Category Archives: Fresh Word

fresh word by Revd kola Salako:Developing An Unshakable Confidence in the Word of God

 

Many people, indeed, most Christians have some confidence but many a times, we don’t have enough confidence to be blessed or to receive certain blessings. The bible says there is a reward for confidence. In this message, I want to underscore confidence and help you ascertain whether you have confidence or not, and what you are expected to have confidence in. A lot of time, people have confidence in the wrong things; for instance, people have confidence in unreliable things like fellow human, their wealth, the economy, government, educational certificates and others. The only thing to have confidence in is the word of God. Aside having confidence, you’ve got to grow in it. The confidence in God’s word is so powerful, unshakeable and rock solid. Your ability to preach or teach God’s word is to the extent that it will work. If you lack confidence in God’s word you can’t preach it. There is an appropriate level of confidence in God’s word to be able to preach it. What you have confidence in, you do.

Heb 10:35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great recompense of reward.

FOUR REASONS WHY PEOPLE LACK CONFIDENCE

  1. People lack confidence because they don’t know it is important.
  2. Experience of failure in relationship, work or life makes people loss confidence.
  3. Family background, e.g. weak or inferiority complex, from self, parents, schoolteachers, friends, colleagues, e.t.c. for instance slave mentality will lead to lack of confidence.
  4. Demonic attacks: attacks from the devil. Unfulfilled dreams or nightmares can make people loss confidence.

There is the tendency of losing confidence when you experience delay, have unanswered prayers, not getting what you want from God’s word as you think you should or you are getting the contrary to what the promises said. This is a very important instruction for anyone who is going to preach God’s word, or anybody whose life would be a testimony to God’s word because there is a great reward attached to it. If you throw away your confidence, you have thrown away the reward also. If you lack confidence you lose the reward also. If you have some confidence, you can develop it.

Isa 30:15 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.

Someone once said that the Pentecostal Christians are convincing because they are convinced. Our messages are convincing because we are convinced. The point is, when you are convinced you are likely to be more convincing. Jesus said: I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. He declared it unarguably. This the way we should preach. This is a true and complete depiction of confidence.

Things Predicated On Confidence

  1. Without confidence you cannot defeat the enemy in battle. Without confidence, you can’t cast out devils. To lack confidence is to be unsure.
  2. Without confidence, you can’t discern the will of God and the victories He has for you.
  3. Confidence is the basis of approaching God effectively in prayer, Heb 4:16.
  4. Without confidence you cannot be on the offensive, James 4:17. You cannot stand in the day of battle without confidence. Demons don’t respect people that are not confident or bold.
  5. Without confidence you cannot venture into new territories, and as such, you cannot start something new. If you can’t start something new you cannot achieve much, Ps 18:29. The life of David was full of confidence, Ps 112:5-10.

Your confidence in God will put you over impossible situation. A good definition of confidence is an established heart. A man whose heart is established in God is confidence. Mind you, confidence can be misplaced. If your confidence is in your money, position, education, man, church, e.t.c, it is misplaced. A Christian with this kind of confidence is still a baby, Pro 25:19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.

It is actually difficult not to have confidence in man because you are always relating with man and the truth is God is actually going to use people. But as long as you live every promise from man should be taken with a pinch of salt so you don’t suffer a broken heart, Phil 3:3, Is 2:22, Ps 118:8-9. Your confidence should be in God totally and not in man, Ps 118:8-9.

HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR CONFIDENCE IN GOD

  1. Understanding God’s Provision– God is our source. You must understand that God has made complete provision for us and does not hold any back from us, Hos 4:6. It is He that gives us all we had, have and will ever have. God will surely provide; even those things you seem to have lost he will provide another.
  2. Knowing The Word Of God– to know is not in cramming, it begins with meditation. It is knowing the spirit of the word; knowing the essence and purpose of the word, Matt 4:4. The word of God must be eaten (read), and digested (meditated) before it can be useful. What you hear is nothing, but what you think and meditate on is important. What you meditate on is processed, and then you can preach it.
  3. By having communion with God– maintaining a life of prayer and communication with the Lord. Communion with God can be through meditation or your thought. Pray in tongues. When you do so, you are praying by your human spirit through the help of the Holy Spirit. Doing this often, sanctified thoughts will flow from your spirit to your mind. If you have communion often, you can say God says this and He will back it up. Communion builds relationship and confidence. Every man of God secures his confidence by communing with God.
  4. Remembering Past Victories– this is called Ebenezer. 1 Sam 7:12. When you forget past victories, your confidence reduces, Psa 78. This why we share and remember testimonies.
  5. Seeing other people stand– when you see other Christians stand in the same condition you are it builds you confidence.
  6. Taking a stand– this implies boldness. Boldness builds up confidence in us, Ps 27:1-5, Eph 6:13.
  7. Be filled with the spirit – Eph 18:19.There is nothing on earth as powerful or equal to the working of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life. When the Holy Spirit works on you, you become a changed man. He has come to administrate the work of Christ. The blessings of God come through the Holy Spirit including helping believers to become confident to witness.

As you exercise yourself in godliness you become more confident and develop spiritual muscles. I like to ask you these questions:

  1. What are the things you will do if you are sure that if you do it, it will succeed?
  2. What will you do or attempt for God, if you knew that if you attempted it it will yield you desired result.
  3. Who will you speak to about Christ if you are sure that person needs Christ and will be saved?
  4. Are there such people you will speak to if God told you you needed to speak to them?

Only confidence will make you do some unusual things. There is confidence to ask, to speak and do what you’ve never done before.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

You can’t be confident in the bible if you don’t study it and meditate on it, 2 Pet 1:17-21. The prophesies of the scriptures are surer than what anybody says from any other source, Heb 13:5.

PRAYER

Lord, help me to develop my confidence in you.

God bless you.

 

Do Not Rush Be Cool, God Will Work It Out {Heb.11:6b}: by Revd M.I.Famusiwa

It is  in the habit of mankind to be in a haste and to hurriedly get whatever we desire . we want everything to be snappy and timely, forgetting the fact that ,He who created theheavens and earth  is the determinant of how and when our desires will get to us.

Many people can no longer exercise patience as a result of the countless pressures placed on them, may be in the Place of Work, Marriage/ Relationship, Business /Financial life. We are ignorant of the fact that we cannot engage God in any relay or rush Him.

In Genesis1:1ff, God created onething after the other, and engaged time and season to  bemoderating the affairs of the world. He created everything patiently, He did not rush, and he accurately ordered the status of the creatures.

When you are in a haste you are bound to make some irreparable mistakes. Therefore do not rush.

In Gen.1:3-5– Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.

 God called the light day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. (NKJV)

Contextually,you will see that ,God did not create everything in one day,He firstly made the light, and separated  same light form darkness, then He named them , he called the light  day , the darkness He called  night. At the same time He fashioned out Evening and Morning to make a whole day. In a day ,you have morning and evening, it is therefore very impossible to bypass morning and jump to the afternoon or evening, you must undergo  the whole day process{morning , afternoon and night} before you can record a full day experience{s}.

The message is:

  1. Be patient enough, so as to undergo a complete spiritual metamorphosis of outstanding breakthrough.
  2. The darkness must be separated from your light before you can have a reflective and bright future
  3. You cannot bypass God therefore slow down your speed a bit
  4. You cannot dictateto God, therefore accept whatever he bringsyour way, for it shall work for your good.
  5. A snappy  success or riches can lead to a long time poverty therefore be contented and hope for a better tomorrow that will surely come your way
  6. Give your life to Jesus for He is the perfect Molder of your life.

Please say the following prayers with me.

Father I thank you for the gift of life, Lord Jesus forgive all my sins,I accept you as my Lord and personal saviour henceforth, write my name in the book of life, endow me with the power of  Your Holy Spirit. for I ask in Jesus name. Amen

GOD BLESS YOU.

 

 

 

TEMPTATION: AN INSTRUMENT OF PROVEN INTEGRITY by Rev’d M.K.O. Akanni

Temptation is persuasion to do what is wrong. It is part of a crafty plan that appeals to our natural desires in attempt to separate us from God. It’s also Satan’s invitation to give in to his kind of life and give up on God’s kind of life. Often, temptation begins in seemingly harmless pleasure, soon gets out of control, and progresses to full blown idolatry. Although, temptation can be used positively in scripture, we most associate temptation with giving in to sin and evil. The bible teaches that temptation to sin is Satan’s main activity in our lives even though our own selfishness and appetites certainly make the tempter’s work easier.

From the Gospel according to St Matthew 4:1-11, we are made to know that Jesus was led by the Spirit to the wilderness simply to have His faith tried; meaning that it was by the influence of the Spirit that Christ went into the wilderness to try Him, to make proof of His faith, ministry and integrity. The first act of the ministry of Jesus Christ was a combat with Satan. This kind of temptation was meant to seduce Jesus from His allegiance to God; it was a temptation in the bad sense of the term. The devil focused on three crucial areas when he tempted Jesus.

  1. Physical needs and desires –  Food
  2. Possessions and power – I will give you this and that.
  3. Pride – Jump down, He will make His angels charge of you (Mo le fo,mo le to lo mu akere pon nitan but in all of these, Jesus did not give in to Satan.

The food that Jesus resisted after forty days of fasting was a snare to Eve and small prophet because they could not control their appetite for food, the possessions He jettisoned was what Achan went to hide even at the war front – what an entanglement?  The major downfall of King Herod was a pride of position which Jesus did not even count as a thing to equal Him to God.

Being tempted to sin does not mean the same thing as sinning, of course, temptation is inevitable for Christians. Jesus was tempted but did not sin. The temptation of Jesus was premium upon the public approval of His ministry by God in Matthew 3:16-17 – And Jesus when he was baptized went up straight way out of the water; and lo, the heavens were opened unto him and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him. And lo, a voice from heaven saying; this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. Job was tried because of his un-equal qualities 1. As a perfect man. 2. As an upright man. 3. As one that fears God. 4. As one who shuns evil. (Job 1:8, 2:3). Joseph’s integrity was tested while he was alone with the wife of his master but vehemently rejected a free offer of sex that could have earned him more human favour in the house of Portiphar since we know that woman is Key in the affairs of every home. Joseph could resist the temptation not because the circumstances surrounding the scene were favourable to him, but out of a seemingly closed way out, he found himself out of the ugly situation half-naked – an evidence of case against him in the law court. He suffered the just course but guarded his integrity ( He could have said she seduced me, she charmed me, she lured me… had he given in to sin) “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God; – [The statement] and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, andgot him out – [The action] (Genesis 39:9c, 12b). This incident could have been a justifying excuse for people like Reuben who slept with the concubine of his father (Gen. 35:22); King David who saw the nakedness of Uriah’s wife from far balcony and eventually slept with her (11Samuel11); what of Amnon, who pretended to be indisposed just to have sex with Tamar, his sister of the same father (11Samuel 13).

Fathers in the Lord, it is not an overstatement to say that one may not be regarded as a true Christian if he’s not been faced with such a temptation that is difficult to overcome, most especially when one is left alone. For example, Joseph looked around, he saw no one, he looked up, he saw someone that is, God. No
wonder, Paul implores us in 1Cor. 10:12 that let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. The mighty can fall if he’s careless with the way he handles his Christian life. ( A doobale kan ki I subu, eni to duro lo nsubu, bi giga eniyan ba si ti to, bee naa ni isubu re yoo dun to nigba to ba subu. Bee si ni omi ti ko to nkan le gbe omuwe lo).

Temptation does not originate in the mind of God but within the heart of man (Matt.7:4-23). The integrity of man’s heart determines whether a man will overcome or fall by it. In the Epistle of James 1: 2-11, temptation is not limited to sense of allurements to sin, but trials or distresses of any kind which test and purify the Christians’ character. Every possible trial to the child of God is a master piece of strategy of the captain of his salvation for his good. God does not afflict or expose his children to temptation because he takes no pleasure in their distresses but for their benefit that they may be wiser and better, he does delight in helping us grow stronger through it. Many today have fallen short of God’s glory because of temptations they could not resist, they have jeopardized the grace and the anointing of God upon their lives, they have even dragged the name of God into the mud; but the good news is that all hope is not yet lost on them as this year has been declared as our year of divine restoration, and I see God restoring them to their rightful position in Jesus name. For us who think we stand, Jesus gave an example of the way to resist temptation, to baffle the tempter and to overcome when tempted.

8 Ways to avoid Temptation

  1. To flee__ You don’t cat-walk when there is temptation, the best strategy is to flee the situation (Gen. 39:6-12, 11Tim. 2:22a).
  2. Turn your back against it__ Sometimes our greatest temptation are those we think are our friends. (Prov. 10:10-14, Eph. 5:11).
  3. Be determined not to fall into it__ A solid commitment made before temptation strikes, is the best preventive to sin (Dan.1:8)./
  4. We must be prayerful__ When you are tempted turn to God for strength, make your temptation a constant focus of prayer and rebuke the tempter if possible- Get off me (Matt. 6:13, Heb.4:15,16).
  5. Say no when confronted with what we know is wrong (Gen. 39:7-12).
  6. Resist immediately, any delay makes it more difficult (John 4:7).
  7. Memorize and meditate on positions of scripture that combat your specific weaknesses (Joshua 1:8, Col.3:16, Ps.119:9-11).
  8. Find another believer with whom you openly share your struggles and call this person for help when temptation strikes (Gal. 6:1-3).

Satan’s favourite strategy is to make that which is sinful appear desirable and good. Be warned! Satan tempted Eve and succeeded in getting her to sin. Ever since then, he’s been busy getting people to sin. He even tempted Jesus but Jesus did not sin. Temptation: is an instrument of proven integrity. Will you overcome it or fall by it?

ACTION WORD: Hebrews 4:15,16

Walking Worthy of our Calling by Ven. S. O. Enike

DEVOTION LED BY VEN.S.O. ENIKE DURING CLERGY RETREAT

AT OUR SAVIOUR’S CHURCH, IKENNE

ON THURSDAY, JANUARY 22, 2015

Text: Ephesians 4: 1-16

Theme: Walking Worthy of our Calling

Introduction: Calling is used both in the secular and the spiritual. It comes as a strong desire or passion in the secular world to do a particular job or become an expert in a particular field, especially one in which someone is able to help other people. For instance, an individual may have passion for imparting knowledge on others. Such a person will strive to become an educator or instructor in a chosen field, another person may have passion for looking after the physical and mental wellness of people, therefore, he or she will focus on the medical field.

However, spiritual calling is different in that, this comes from God. It is not about what one chooses to do, rather it is about whom God has chosen to use as vessel, therefore, it is Divine summons to carry out God’s assignments.

This much Apostle Paul knew when he addressed his letter to the church at Ephesus while he was imprisoned in Rome. He was so close to the church that he spent over three years with them. In Acts 20:17-38, detail account of his meeting with the church elders in Ephesus is given, He was not so much bother about his incarceration, but he was concerned about Christians in Ephesus and of course those of us gathered here keeping to the standard of our calling. The implication of this calling is that we are representatives of Jesus Christ on earth. It is a great privilege.

Hear this message from Jesus Christ about our calling in John 15:15,16 “ No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from my father I have made known to you, you did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the father in my name He may give you”. In the light of this eternal truth, we can say that our calling is unique.

Let us therefore, take note of the following facts about our calling:

  • Our calling comes with some cost

When God called Abram who later became Abraham, he was asked to leave and go away from three things, namely: (i) his country (ii) his people (iii) his father’s house.

We are called to keep away from sin and then turn to God, in counting the cost, our Lord Jesus Christ in Luke 14:26 puts it this way, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple”. Our calling demands that we keep away from evil conduct and evil doers. And that natural desires must be overcomes by Divine Grace.

The message of Apostle Peter in Acts 2:40 is also instructive … “Be saved from this perverse generation”.

  • Our calling is accompanied by God’s promise

The call of Abram in Genesis 12:1-3 was followed with promise from God, six times

  1. I will show you a land
  2. I will make you a great nation
  • I will bless you
  1. I will bless those who bless you
  2. I will curse him who curses you
  3. In you shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
  • The place of our wives is important in our calling

When Abram received the call to leave his country, people and father’s house, he did not leave his wife behind. They went together. This was in accordance with Genesis 2:24, which states that the man and woman shall become one flesh.

  • The calling from God comes with specifications

When God called Noah to build an Ark for preservation of some lives during the flood, he received specifications as regards the building of the Ark. Genesis 6:13-22, verse 22, specifically states that Noah obeyed all the commands of God.

There is an account of a man of God in 1Kings 13, who was sent from Judah to Bethel. The Lord told him, “You shall not eat bread, nor drink water, nor return by the same way you came”. His initial response was of obedience, but later he was deceived by an old prophet in Bethel telling him that God had sent him to tell the man of God to eat and drink in Bethel. The consequence of his action was that a lion killed him,

  • In our calling, God makes use of ordinary things in us for extra-ordinary purpose

Exodus 4 tells us of Moses encounter with God. He was with an ordinary shepherd rod. When the calling of God came upon him, double miracle was performed on the rod. The rod turned to a snake and then the snake turned to a rod. This time it was no longer Moses rod as a shepherd, it became God’s rod in the hands of Moses, his chosen vessel.

  • Calling from God is with clear-cut message

In Luke 4, when Jesus came to the Synagogue in Nazareth, he opened the book of prophet Isaiah from where he found in clear term the purpose of His earthly ministry. He says,

  • “The spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me
  • To preach the gospel to the poor
  • He has sent me to heal the broken hearted
  • To proclaim liberty to the captives
  • And recovering of sight to the blind
  • To set at liberty those who are oppressed
  • To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord

In Paul’s message, he identified some virtues needed for a worthy calling. Humility and gentleness. When we live by these virtues, it does not mean we are inferior to other people. We must not see ourselves better than others. The presence or absence of these virtues determine our character.

Billy Graham once said that: ‘’When wealth is lost, nothing is lost, when health is lost, something is lost, But when character is lost, everything is lost’’.

Some years ago, I saw on the TV, Prince Williams who is a grandchild of Queen Elizabeth, he went to visit some British Soldiers who came back from Iraq and Afghanistan with injuries, some of them were on wheel chairs. As he was addressing them, he would squat before each one of them as he talked, thereafter when he granted interview to journalists, he said that his late mother had taught him never to stand over a man in a wheel chair to talk with him, he should rather squat. That was his own way of showing humility even to the disabled.

Conclusion: As men of God who are called by His grace, the demonstration of strong character expected of us by God will bring love, unity and peace.

Great Destiny by Ven. Foluso O. Babatunji

What is destiny?

Destiny can be defined by in many ways, but the following are the synthesis of various views on the very important concept. These views include the Biblical examples that can be presented to delineate the word. Firstly, one can infer that destiny means somebody’s pre-ordained future. It is a pre-determined inevitable series of events that happens to a person.Secondly it could also be deduced that destiny is the inner realizable purpose of life. It has to be discovered than realized. In other words, destiny is not only a pre-determined inevitable series of events like the bitter pill one has to swallow when one is sick, but it has also been giving to every person to engage these series of events in such a way that they will fulfill God’s ultimate plan in one’s life, and glorify Him who initiates it.

The Yoruba believe that it is the individual that chooses from heaven what he or she would like to become or achieve when he or she reaches the earth. We all know that this is extraneous to the Biblical view about this concept.

God is a God of destiny. He has purpose for everything He has created – Eccl. 3:10. For instance, destiny, purpose, plan precedes building, and it must be referred to always, to be able to have the desired building. The Hebrew word for plan is tabnit. I Chron. 28: 12. Ex. 25: 9. This means pattern.This has a connotation of model, prototype, a copy of the original. God showed Moses and David certain things in heaven, which they drew as plan, to interpret as they build.Your life is a building of God. There is a tabnit in heaven about your life. To be able to realize this, heaven must be referred to now and then. He who must fulfill God’s plan for his or her life must have access to heaven, and that cannot be done without Christ. He is the only way to the Father and to heaven: John 14: 6; Ephe. 2: 6. Our place in heaven could be reached only in Jesus Christ. To accept Him as Lord and Saviour means we are ready to be able to fulfill our heavenly destiny. Through Him we can access this plan day by day, and with faith and prayer actualize it.

Fulfilling Your Destiny

In this life, there are many people living their lives as if they do not have a pre-ordained future, because the inner purpose of their lives had not been discovered. Therefore their lives are full of struggles. They cut themselves with the knives of frustration, deceit, disappointments, because their heaven is closed, like the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18: 26 – 29. The last part of that passage says ‘no one paid attention.’ Living one’s life apart from heaven’s plan will remove the attention of heaven.

Furthermore, it is pertinent to reveal to parents that they play an all important role in bringing the heavenly tabnit of their wards to realization when they themselves are in connection with heaven. Many parents have resounded the statement ‘no one in your family bears that name’ Luke 1: 61, without knowing that they have special children, on whom God wants to showcase His wisdom, grace and glory, more excellent than what they use to know in their family.

Finally, you need the following in other to be able to fulfill your destiny

  • Coming to the knowledge of Christ. Col. 2:9&10.
  • Growing in the Lord who reveals secrets Dan. 2:28.
  • Fear of the Lord (live in holiness). Ps. 25:14.
  • Anointing of the Holy Spirit. I Chron. 28:19.

May God showcase your life and that of your wards in excellence in your generation. Amen.

This article was written for Yemi Ogunbiyi Anglican Schools (YOAS) Magazine-2014 YOAS TRADEMARK