The ‘successful’ Resurrection of our Lord is the proof that He indeed is God; the King of kings, the Lord of Lords. For no man can resurrect himself.
It is because Jesus is risen that we can accept the Word of God as true.
It is because He is risen that we can accept His virgin birth, His life on earth of doing good, and miracles and all that He claimed to be.
It is because He is risen that we can confidently preach His Gospel and souls are won to the Kingdom of God.
It is because He is risen that we can pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
It is because He is risen that we can partake in the Holy Communion as we did today in the service.
The resurrection of Christ makes me ‘proud’ to be a Christian and I boldly declare that I serve the only Living God!
Read below a most wonderful prayer from a saint of long ago:
“O Lord God, our Father. You are the light that can never be put out; and now you give us a light that shall drive away all darkness. You are love without coldness, and you have given us such warmth in our hearts that we can love all when we meet. You are the life that defies death, and you have opened for us the way that leads to eternal life.
None of us is a great Christian; we are all humble and ordinary. But your grace is enough for us. Arouse in us that small degree of joy and thankfulness of which we are capable, to the timid faith which we can muster, to the cautious obedience which we cannot refuse, and thus to the wholeness of life which you have prepared for all of us through the death and resurrection of your Son. Do not allow any of us to remain apathetic or indifferent to the wondrous glory of Easter, but let the light of our risen Lord reach every corner of our dull hearts.”
Karl Barth (1886-1968)
A man had a dream. He saw a set of big feet in the sand. They were orderly and moved on a straight line. Then he saw another set of feet, much smaller, going zig –zag, all over the place. After sometime, the smaller feet became one with the big ones. Inside each big foot there was the shadow of the smaller one. That went on for a long time.
Then later he saw that the two sets of feet separated once more. The smaller feet went like mad, zig- zag all over the place. Here in Nigeria, that type of ‘crazy’ pattern we call it ‘ja-ga-ja-ga’.
The man saw the Lord Jesus in the dream and asked him about these three designs in the sand. The Lord said that when he was ‘a baby’ Christian, he was walking quite independent from Him. He was still stubborn and over active. Then the two sets of feet merged together. That is when he became a mature Believer, one with Him in will and purpose.
Then the man said to the Lord:
‘I understand that. But please why are our feet separating again? Did I backslide? Did I become as stubborn and overactive as at the beginning? I am worried Lord…’
The Lord smiled and said:
‘No, my beloved….That ‘ja-ga-ja-ga’ pattern you saw is when we danced together…’
This evening we just danced in the presence of the Lord. All the chairs went up side down as we did pirouettes and tango and waltz and cha-cha –cha under the stars.
Right now my feet are hurting but my liver smiles….
‘For Pilate knew that for envy they had delivered Him (Jesus)’ (Mt 27:18)
Envy is defined as a painful and resentful awareness that others are more blessed or more gifted than me and a desire to have that same advantage, by any means.
Envy is criminal. Envy is sin. Envy nailed Jesus to the Cross.
The only way to be free from the bondage of the sin of envy is to fall in love with Jesus! The fire of His passion for the souls of men will burn to ashes any envy in the heart. This is the truth! It is also my experience as a Believer!
I envy no one for I walk in the path designed by God for me!
I have all things in Christ, my Lord! Whatever I do not have, I do not need!
I am unique, fearfully and wonderfully made by God. I do not desire to be someone else!
I rejoice with the accomplishments and blessings of others! None can receive except from above and I know that my Lord is an extremely generous Person.
Envy has lost its foothold in my heart forever! The miracle happened at the Cross! I saw envy fainted and died! She was buried in an open field and none wept for her! Envy died and remains buried forever!
Praise the Lord all you people!
Jesus died and rose again! I died with Christ and rose with Him! Look up and see me there! In His heart!
Taize is an ecumenical sung and silent participatory prayer service designed to achieve a contemplative state through music, song and silence. The Taize Community is made of more than a hundred Christian brothers from more than thirty countries. They come from all churches, catholic and protestant. They are monks; they pledged their lives to live ‘like Jesus’. They willingly chose to live a simple life, celibate and deeply spiritual. Taize is a village in France. Brother Roger, a Swiss Protestant believer, was the founder of the community in 1940. The community has become one of the world’s most important sites of Christian pilgrimage. Over 100,000 young people from around the world make pilgrimages to Taizé each year for prayer, Bible study, sharing, and communal work. Through the community’s ecumenical outlook, they are encouraged to live in the spirit of kindness, simplicity and reconciliation. Brother Roger was killed by a mentally deranged woman at the age of 90 while conducting prayers from his wheelchair. More than 10000 people attended his funeral.
The original house that Brother Roger bought at the beginning became too small for the visitors that come throughout the year. With contributions from many people and dedicated effort from the willing volunteers, a church is built there now. It is surrounded by many simple wooden chalets for the visitors.
Surprisingly, the community attracts many young people who go there for personal spiritual retreat. They participate in daily activities as follows: simple breakfast, Bible studies, prayers of healing and deliverance, lunch, worship with songs and playing guitars, more Bible studies and prayers, dinner, then more worship until midnight.
This is one of their prayer-songs:
“Lord Jesus, You came to unbind the chains of every slavery, friend of the humble, bread of hungry hearts,
Jesus, full of patience and goodness, You showed forgiveness and kindness to the very end.
Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, You call to yourself all who are weary and burdened.
Jesus, You came into the world to serve and to give Your life…You were betrayed for money, dragged before judges and nailed to the cross.
Jesus, Lord of the universe, by Your resurrection from the dead You are alive at the Father’s side and there You prepare a place for us…
We bless us, O, Lord Jesus Christ; for You burn away the trials of life in the fire of Your presence…
We worship You, Lord, upon the cross!”
(I have not been there myself, but this is another proof that young people all over the world are hungry and thirsty to know God, to have a living, intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, thru the Person of the Holy Spirit. Please pray for the young people all over the world, that they will hate sin and come to Jesus!)
(Picture shows many young people praying on the grounds of the church at Taize, France)
‘We had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found’ (Lk 15:32)
A rich Land Owner King had two lost sons. The younger one was lost outside the church, the elder inside. Their Father is God!
The younger man soon got tired of farm work. Some traders from ‘the far country’ came passing by with their wares displayed for all to see. This was the first time the young man saw pictures of ‘half dressed’ women. They gave him a taste of drink and a little cigarette with it. In his father’s house, things like these were never found. Little by little the desire to go and settle abroad, in ‘the far country’ of fun and excitement, grew inside him. He became restless. The work at the father’s farm became burdensome. The odor of the animals and the sweat of the laborers made him ‘mad’. Then one day he got the courage to ask:
‘Father, give me the portion of my inheritance…cash please…’
That was the beginning of a road that went down to the pit. Except for the grace of God intercepting him who wasted it all to prostitutes and thieves, he could have lost even his soul. The devil only shows the sweet beginning of sin; he never shows the end of it, the emptiness, the despair and the pain without cure.
He finally came back to himself and came home. He told himself: ‘It is better to be a door man in the House of my Father than to dwell in the diamond studded tents of wickedness’
The elder brother got angry. He never prayed for the lost brother. He never thought that they will see eye to eye in this life. He never thought that he will ever have to divide his own share with anyone else again. He hated the rejoicing, the party, the music so much out of place in the house of God…so he thought…he never knew the pain of his father, the longing to see all his children surrounding his table…with all the servants and staff, one son was missing and all the money in the world could not buy a son…He never joined the father in the race to welcome his son…his brother really…
When the father saw the slow moving shadow of his son coming home…HE RAN…the Old Man ran as fast as he could…to embrace, to kiss, to dress, to cover, to restore, to rejoice…
The fatten calf has been slain! Blood was shed that we may rejoice!
Life should always be enough reason for celebration!
Eternal life should always be the reason for dancing, and singing, and rejoicing, for it is a gift paid with the Blood of the Lamb!
I am a sinner saved by grace…I was blind, but now I see…I was lost but now I am found…I was dead in trespassing and sins but now I live… therefore I rejoice…let the angels take the lead, I shall follow…let the music begin…and never end! Forever!
‘See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise’ (Eph 5:15)
This is command to the believers! Our ‘walking’, our behavior, our way of life should be totally in the Spirit and not lead by emotions or by the lust of the eyes.
What does it mean to walk circumspectly? The answer is simple: walk like a cat!
Have you seen a cat walking on dirty or wet ground? She hates it! She is set to remain clean, wisely choosing her steps. She walks carefully, slowly, looking where to place each foot, jumping over if the place is too soiled…At the end of the journey, her body and even her paws are still clean, compared with the road she had to pass thru. At last, she will not rest until every stain is removed by her rough tongue. You may not like cats like I do, but please accept this: cats are always clean!
This world is full of sin. Some believers boast that they can go anywhere and visit anyone, no matter how corrupt or wicked. If the Lord sends you with a message to ‘the red district’ or to ‘the mafia headquarters’, then go with faith and you shall be protected. But if the center of your spiritual journey is a mixture of religion, adventure and material gain, you will not be protected from the corruption of the flesh and from the unclean spirits ‘urinating’ on you. Your white clothes shall be soiled with lust, greed and deception. You shall lose your ‘virginity’ to satan, just like Eve lost hers. You shall hate the light for exposing your stains and run towards darkness like unto a friend.
It is only true confession and repentance, the deep work of the Cross that can change the heart. It is only the Blood of Jesus that can cleanse these stains of mockery and shame.
Be wise therefore! Even a stray cat knows how to avoid dirt!
Be clean! Be pure!
In Jesus name, Amen!
‘So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there. The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their ancestors. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the Lord gave all their enemies into their hands. Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled’ (Josh 21:43-45)
Men may promise you wonderful things, but no man is able to totally fulfill them. God is the only Person who gives hope and promises to you and He alone is able to fulfill them all. God never gives false hopes.
God’s promises are all good and they are found in Christ. These good blessings are beyond number: salvation, healing, deliverance, prosperity, protection, provision, fruitfulness, relationships…
You cannot ‘claim’ the promises if you do not have a living relationship with the One who gives them. You must be born again; you must give your life to Christ, before you can ‘enjoy’ the benefit of God’s promises to men.
In the text above we see three basic promises fulfilled:
A PLACE – God who made the heavens and the earth promises you to have a place of your own where you can live in peace. Jesus said that He will prepare a place for us, a mansion for each one of His children. The way to that place is found only in Christ. Please remember this: NO Christ- No Mansion! (Jn 14:1-6)
REST –God alone gives rest from (overtime) labor and (deceptive) worries. Jesus calls us to take His yoke of service and that we shall find rest of our souls (Mt 11:28-30). You who pray for a job, please remember that the world can only give you work but cannot give you rest from that work. Rest is God’s gift to His faithful servants.
VICTORY – God is your shield against all the attacks of your enemies. His presence will surround you and you can live in peace even in the midst of wicked men. Your ‘rough’ neighborhood is not stronger then God’s shield. Jesus is Lord even in the ghetto!
In Christ the only way to move ahead is from victory to triumph! (2Cor 2:14)
The conclusion is this: trust God! Trust and do not doubt God’s power, promises and His provision. He is the faithful God! Read, study and mediate upon God’s promises! The promises He gave to you are the means for you to discover the reality of God! God’s Word never fails! It will always perform according to the purpose for which it has been sent to you (Is 55:10, 11). Do you think that you read that portion of scripture by mistake? You can never even touch a Bible by mistake! God lead you to read that particular verse this morning! Trust God to the end! Time may go on and things look the same, but remember that God’s Word never fails!
So, enjoy and serve God without fear! He who is faithful, will do it!
“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit” (Jn 3:7, 8)
The Holy Spirit is like the wind, free, mysterious, adventurous, whispering, dancing, embracing, filling emptiness, changing hearts, giving life to whom He wants…No one can replicate His works…
The Holy Spirit is God!
‘So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.
Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS’ (Jn 19:16-19)
There is a green hill far away,
Outside a city wall,
Where the dear Lord was crucified,
Who died to save us all.
We may not know, we cannot tell,
What pains He had to bear;
But we believe it was for us
He hung and suffered there.
He died that we might be forgiv’n,
He died to make us good,
That we might go at last to Heav’n,
Saved by His precious blood…
There was no other good enough
To pay the price of sin;
He only could unlock the gate
Of heaven and let us in.
O dearly, dearly has He loved,
And we must love Him, too,
And trust in His redeeming blood,
And try His works to do.
(Song by Mrs. Cecil Alexander, 1847)
(In the picture, the Golgotha Hill in Jerusalem, as it is today)
‘But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do’ (Jam 1:6-8)
Doubt is a type if faith. It is very difficult to describe, detect or imagine doubt. It is much easier to identify the sin of lust or lying, for example, than to isolate doubt from our mind. Doubt is wavering faith, unstable faith, damaged and unacceptable faith. Doubt is an evil religious spirit. It spreads like a plague. It is much more difficult to produce faith in your listeners. You have to preach to Word of God, the Gospel of Christ Crucified. This ministry has to be done patiently against all odds. Faith comes by the hearing of the preached Word of God. Doubt is like an infection. It is much easier to damage the faith than to produce or increase it. Doubters hate the believers and attack their faith. Be careful who your friend is!
Faith is wavering faith. To waver it means to go to and fro between two opinions, two choices, to loves or to directions. Doubters have an ‘on and off’ type of faith. They believe, for example, on Monday, but doubt on Tuesday…they believe again on Wednesday…and so on…
The sin of doubt affects especially three areas of God’s blessings:
*God’s power (especially the supernatural power to experience miracles)
*God’s provision (especially to trust God for abundance)
*God’s promises (especially to trust God for ‘impossible’ things)
Doubters are like the waves of the sea. They move on and off, day and night, without rest. All their movement is in vain for they do not expand the boundaries of the sea. Doubt makes you worried and overactive emotionally but there is no clear progress spiritually or in the natural. Doubters are ‘unstable’ in all their ways. The word ‘unstable’ means to be reckless (they seem bold and take unnecessary risks, but later back of as cowards). It also means to be confused, restless, unsettled.
Marriages can be affected by doubt. The husband and wife may agree to do something but the next day one of them will change his mind. The unity of the Spirit cannot be established in a marriage where doubt has access.
The worst thing that can be said about a doubter is that God refuses to answer his prayers. It does not matter that his needs are great or urgent. Doubt disqualifies him to have communion with God and his prayers do not pass the ceiling.
We then repented of the sin of doubt and each one of us confessed: ‘I believe in God!’
Last night we had a special deliverance service. It was non stop from 10 pm to 4 am. The church was full to the brim, more people than a Sunday service. Many came from other churches in need of help, healing and deliverance. The anointing was so strong that there was no ‘accident’. Everything went ahead according to the ‘prayed plan’. It was like ‘Iraq’ war…
Many agents of jezebel came to disrupt and seduce, not ready for deliverance…we spotted them, lay hands on them and they manifested badly, falling on the floor and making noises like swine…
The rest, the humble and the willing were all touched…some became saved in the midst of it all…many were delivered…
We ended with a grateful worship to God, hands lifted up, sweat and tears on all faces…but O, the joy of freedom, of knowing that we pleased the Master who personally lead the army to victory!
(You learn more about God during one minute of anointing of the Holy Spirit manifesting, than during one year of Bible school…)
All glory to God! Our church will never be the same again…
The Prince of Peace seats now enthroned…Jehovah Shalom has crushed and cut off the head of satan under our feet (Rom 16:20)
Thank you for all Spirit lead prayers and intercession from all over the world…we share in the reward!
Jesus is Lord!
Eric was a great, famous man. He was a general in the US army, a pilot for many years. He invented many things.
During the Second World War, he was in a military plane with a special message from the president. He and seven crew members suffered a plane crash on the rough Pacific Ocean.
Miraculously, all of the men survived, crawled out of the plane, and climbed into life rafts.
Captain Rickenbacker and his crew floated for days on the rough waters of the Pacific. They fought the sun. They fought sharks. Most of all, they fought hunger. By the eighth day their rations ran out. No food. No water. They were hundreds of miles from land and no one knew where they were. They needed a miracle.
That afternoon they had a simple devotional service and prayed for a miracle. Then they tried to nap. Eddie leaned back and pulled his military cap over his nose. Time dragged. All he could hear was the slap of the waves against the raft.
Suddenly, Eddie felt something land on the top of his cap.
It was a seagull! Old Ed would later describe how he sat perfectly still, planning his next move. With a flash of his hand and a squawk from the gull, he managed to grab it and wring its neck. He tore the feathers off, and he and his starving crew made a meal – a very slight meal for eight men – of it. Then they used the intestines for bait. With it, they caught fish, which gave them food and more bait…and the cycle continued. With that simple survival technique, they were able to endure the rigors of the sea until they were found and rescued.
Eddie Rickenbacker lived many years beyond that ordeal, but he never forgot the miracle of that first lifesaving seagull. And he never stopped saying, “Thank You, Lord.” That’s why almost every Friday night, for as long as he lived, his neighbors in Florida will see him, an old man above ninety, slowly going with a bucket, full of fish and shrimps, feeding the seagulls. He always had a heart full of gratitude towards these birds, for one of them send by God, saved his life.
If Eddie can come back to feed the seagulls, as an act of gratitude for saving his life, how much more we should remember the good things God has done for us…Remember the miracles of the past…salvation, healing, deliverance, provision…this grateful remembrance is one of the greatest weapons in spiritual warfare!
‘Lord, on behalf of my family, I say: THANK YOU!”
These past few days…people just come to us with tears and they say something like this: ‘Pastor, I thought I was born again, but now I know I am not. Please pray for me for I want to give my life to Jesus’…
These are people that were considered serious believers for many years…
There is no other explanation except the move of the Holy Spirit convicting of sin (of unbelief, of religious false hopes…) revealing Christ Crucified to the broken hearts…
Blow your trumpets in Zion…shout from the rooftops…revival is at hand…even in Warri, Nigeria!
All glory to God Almighty!
The following are (edited) notes from a Chinese army general. Read them and pray for wisdom to apply them as a believer in spiritual warfare. Judge your self, man of God! Let the light of the Holy Spirit shine in your heart to expose hidden ‘pockets’ of sin. Even if the sin is small, repent BIG time! The weakness of a leader is more dangerous than the strength of the enemy outside! Be filled with the Holy Spirit and be strong in the Lord!
‘There are five dangerous faults which may affect a general of the army:
1-Recklessness (desire for fame, adventure and entertainment during warfare), which leads to division in the camp and destruction;
2-Cowardice (fear of death), which leads to capture;
3-A hasty (hot, impatient) temper, which can be provoked by insults;
4-A delicacy of honor (pride, self love) which is (over-)sensitive to shame (embarrassing situations); (Remember: a wise and humble man overlooks an insult!)
5-Over-solicitude for his men (pleasing men too much, pampering his soldiers), which exposes him to worry and trouble.
These are the five besetting sins of a general, a leader of men and it is ruinous (a disaster) to the conduct of war.
When an army is overthrown and its leader slain, the cause will surely be found among these five dangerous faults.
Let these words be a subject of meditation’
(Excerpts from the oldest manual on warfare: The art of war, by Sun Tzu, 1910)
‘Listen my son to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching, they will be a crown to grace your head…’
‘These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up’ (PV 1:8; Deut 6:6, 7)
The family is God’s institution. It is made of father, mother and children. The father is the head of the home. The mother is the helper to the head. The children are commanded by God to obey their parents. This is not just a natural tradition. It is the command of God. The parents have authority over their children for as long as they depend on them. God has given the parents the right to train, to mold their children thoughts and opinions, by teaching them the Word of God. That is why the children are commanded to fear, to honor, to respect and to obey their parents. They are not supposed to obey the aunties, the uncles or the neighbors in the same way. They are to listen and obey especially their parents, because God gave the parents that authority over them. By learning to obey the parents, they learn to obey God.
God expects the parents to train and teach the children the Word of God. The parents are accountable to God for fulfilling this peculiar duty. This training is not to be left to the church, to the pastors or to the school teachers. It is the primary duty of the parents: mother and father. It is not easy to teach a student. Instruction is always hard. It is so much easy to play, to look for ‘fun’ and to be distracted by it. Entertainment is much ‘sweeter’ than learning the Bible or even studying science subjects. That is why discipline must be enforced in the home. As parents, we cannot expect our child to become a spiritual, mature person, if he stays in front of the TV set or the computer for hours.
The authority of the parents over their children represents the authority of God. These relationships are to be ‘unto the Lord’. God’s name is at stake in the way we handle authority. For example, as parents, we cannot teach our children how to steal money from the bank. That is an abuse of authority and shall be judged by God. The general principle in the case of abuse of power is to quietly disobey man and obey God’s Word (Ac 5:29). That means to be ready to receive the penalty from men, trusting God to bring justice to you at last. This peculiar type of suffering is seen when the children are believers and the parents are not. Or when the wife is a believer and the husband is not. It takes much faith, patience and prayer not to sin under such painful provocation. God allows these situations so that the oppressor may witness the Christian behavior in action. It is a very powerful weapon of spiritual warfare to learn submission unto God while rejecting the sinful abuse of authority. Many husbands and many fathers were brought to their knees in total surrender to God because of the grace upon the ones in subjection to them. Selah!
There is another point to be made: our children belong to God. He is their highest eternal authority over us all. Practically, it means that our plans for the future for our children should be totally under submission to God’s plans for them. Our duty as parents is to pray and find out God’s desire, plan and purpose for the future our children. Much pain can be avoided for the whole family if we remember that we are just care- takers and not the owners of ‘our’ children. This prayer is a very important spiritual work, but few parents take it seriously. May we humble ourselves and do it right, at least from now on!
As a parent, you do not have to struggle to earn this honor of respect from your children. This is God’s command to them and He will enforce it. Children do not respect their parents just because they are older or stronger than them. The parents do not have to be ‘perfect’ in all things. No! The reason why the children have to fear and respect their parents it is because God, who created all men, says so! Disobedience to this command will receive just punishment. But in the same time, as parents, we have to prove that we are worthy of the privilege of having children entrusted to us by God.
The following are notes from a Chinese army general. Read them and pray for wisdom to apply them as a believer in spiritual warfare. You can see that ignorance is deadly. Pray that the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to see yourself thru the eyes of Christ. Pray that the Holy Spirit will expose and reveal the strengths and weakness of your enemy. Remember, God never loses a battle! The more you are filled with the Holy Spirit, the greater the chance for victory each time you attack! Also remember that Love never fails and Love drives away the torment of fear (1Cor 13, 1Jn 4:18). Love means worship! Worship the King and under His banner you will be lead in triumph always! Jesus is Lord!
“Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory:
He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.
He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.
He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.
Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle”
(Excerpts from the oldest manual on warfare: The art of war, by Sun Tzu, 1910)
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth” (Ps 121:1, 2)
Hills stand for successful men, mentors and teachers. We look up to them to be inspired, to grow to their heights. This may look good to the world. But to the Believer, looking to long at the hills brings discouragement, for we compare with them and feel cheated. ‘When will I be like Apostle Paul?’ –I used to ask myself. The more I tried to be like him, the more the gap between us increased. Then one day, the light of the Spirit shone on my understanding: ‘You look to low, Lia. Do not look at the hills; look at the Maker of the hills…’ The Lifter of my head adjusted my vision instantly. The Lord applied His salve on my eyes and now I see all things well. Since then, I look at the hills, but I do not stop there…they point me to their Maker who is my Lord! He never slumbers, He never sleeps. He watches me day and night.
My Helper, my God, how great Thou art!
On this day, 20th of March, 2000, our Church, Father’s House was born!
After about 20 years of medical practice, God called us to full time ministry. This building was our private hospital, Lily Clinic, Warri, Nigeria. We were in the US when the Lord said that we should come back, sell the medical equipment and change the hospital into a church. We left our children with Christian friends in the US. We came back to Warri. It was not an easy decision, but we obeyed. We started with less than 20 people, now we are more than a hundredfold! The Gospel of CHRIST Crucified is preached, souls got saved, the sick were healed, the troubled were delivered, marriages got restored, ‘baby’ Christians are now mature men and women of God!
To God be all the glory!
POVESTEA NOASTRA (In Romanian)
Azi, biserica noastra este 13 ani! Sotul meu, Ruchmond si cu mine, am lucrat ca doctori an Warri aproape 20 de ani. Am facut bani si nume. am devenit crestina aici in Nigeria an 1986. Sotul meu de asemenea. An anul 1989 ne-am dus la America cu copiii. Acolo Donum ne-a zis sa ne antoarcem anapoi si sa vindem echipamentul medical de la spitalul nostru particular si sa schimbam cladirea antr-o biserica. Am lasat copiii acolo cu prieteni Crestini an SUA. Nu a fost usor, dar l-am ascultat pe Domnul. Pe 20 Martie, 2000 am deschis cladirea ca biserica (vedeti an poza). Se numeste: Father’s House (Casa Domnului). A, anceput cu 20 de oameni, prieteni si colegi, iar acum santem mai mult de doua mii de adulti. Cuvantul lui Dumnezeu e predicat, sufletele s-au salvat si botezat, bolnavii s-au vindecat, cei tulburati s-au eliberat, casatoriile s-au normalizat…
Toata slava merge la Domnul Isus!
‘So on March 7th, the two decrees of the king were put into effect. On that day, the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but quite the opposite happened. It was the Jews who overpowered their enemies’ (Est 9:1, NLB)
There are two nations: the Jews and the Amalekites. One nation was blessed and the other was cursed by God. God picked their leaders: Mordecai, the servant of God on one side and Haman, the Amalekite, on the other side. God allowed Haman to be promoted first. Many accepted the king’s decision and bowed down to Haman, except Mordecai, who could not submit to a cursed man. This refusal to worship made Haman mad with rage. He decided to kill Mordecai, but his anger was too much to be satisfied on only one person. So he made a plan to kill not only Mordecai, but all his people, the Jews. He convinced the king that these Jews are trouble makers and they should be exterminated. The king, who loved to drink, was foolish enough to believe him and he agreed. Then Haman went to the court magicians to cast lots to know the day when this ‘sacrifice’ should be done. They gave him a date, on the 7th of March, eleven months later.
This is a miracle! On that day, the Jews were prepared for battle. By this time things have changed: Haman, who picked the date given by the magicians, was dead. Mordecai was promoted by the king and replace Haman. The king sent messengers with the news that the Jews are free to fight back for their lives. The fear of God fell upon all the people in the land. No one could fight the Jews. So the tables were overturned and the victims became the victors in less than a year.
*God is faithful and He chose His faithful servants ‘for such a time as this’. During times of crisis, God will position true believers to help and counsel you!
Esther did what she was supposed to do and Mordecai did what he was supposed to do. Each one was faithful and wise in his own area of influence. There was no confusion in God’s camp!
*God restrains the evil people so that they are not able to attack the believers even when they are angry. Haman wanted to kill Mordecai, later he changed his mind, and making plans to kill all the Jews. God was behind this change of mind. When Haman asked the magicians to play lots and to find a date for slaughter, they could have said: ‘immediately’. Then Mordecai and all the Jews could have died. But God was restraining the evil and the magicians gave him a date on the 7th of March, eleven months later. Haman was too superstitious to ignore the magicians. The period of almost a year was enough time for God to completely change the scene, spiritually and naturally. Haman died before the date of his expected victory. Mordecai was recognized as a loyal servant in the court who saved the king’s life. He replaced Haman. And Esther became not just a pretty face in the palace, but a wise, spiritual queen, a helpmeet comparable with her husband.
*The wicked people may be crafty and make ‘perfect’ plans, but God is in charge of all human affairs and He can never lose a battle. No weapon fashioned against the people of God can ever prosper, for this is God’s inheritance to them!
*Wicked, greedy, unrepentant people, you who hate all the is good, you that hate the Word of God and the people of God…repent if not you shall perish!
*People of God, rejoice, for the victory is here and the joy is complete!
In Jesus name, amen!
‘Everyone must submit to the governing authorities for there is no authority except that which God has established…Consequently, he who rebels against the authorities is rebelling against what God has instituted and those who do so will bring judgment in themselves…for he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing…’ (Rom 13:1-5)
This is the definition of authority: The right to rule, to decide, to command and to judge others. Authority is the power to influence the thoughts, the opinions and the behavior of others.
The following are some Biblical principles concerning authority in general:
*God is the only authority that has authority and power within Himself
*God is the only original source of all secondary, delegated authority and power in the universe.
*God delegates His authority to men, by His sovereign will. He also decides the level and the boundaries of that authority
*God’s Word is the final authority over every area of life. Therefore authority must be a good thing.
*God has established institutions thru whom He carries out His authority on earth (for ex. the family, the civil governments…)
*Any word from the authority is a command to be obeyed. Without obedience, a command is lowered to the status of a suggestion. Even a suggestion coming from the one in authority should be taken very seriously, just like it is a command!
*There are consequences (punishment) for disobeying the authority (for without consequences, there is no authority)
*God establishes and protects His delegated authority. All rebellion is punished by God!
*The preaching of the Gospel is always powerful for it is done in the Supreme, eternal authority of Jesus Christ!