A CAST SHEEP RESTORED

 

 

cast sheep

“The Lord is my Shepherd;

I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul…” (Ps 23:1-3)

 

A sheep that has rolled over on its back is called a “cast sheep’. It can’t get up because its center of gravity is off, sometimes because it’s pregnant or simply because it has a full fleece. Oncast sheep 2ce fallen, a cast sheep tries to restore itself back on its feet. But it is not easy. The sheep then panics, cries and waste more energy.  The gasses start to build up in the abdomen and it can die in a matter of hours. A wild animal can come and kill the defenseless sheep. Most of the times, the sheep is not be able to get up without assistance. That is why the shepherd has to be very observant to know when a sheep is missing. It is the shepherd or his trained dogs that can turn a cast sheep back on its feet. The process seems rough but it saves its life. Once the sheep stands, there is still need to be supported for few minutes. The shepherd holds it between his legs until it stops shaking, until the fear is gone and it is balanced again. After that, the sheep is fine.

 

David was a shepherd. He knew the danger of staying upside down for too long, just like a cast sheep…

“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Ps 43:5).

The word ‘downcast’ describes a cast sheep. His soul is upside down, helpless, depressed, anxious, sinking down in despair.  The danger for a sheep to lose its balance and to overturn is especially when it is pregnant or the fleece is too heavy. Spiritually speaking, our soul is in danger of backsliding when we become fruitful or too comfortable in our blessings. The devil attacks in both situations especially with an evil spirit of pride.

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (PV 16:18)

 

Pride is extremely difficult to detect. God allows us to fall a little, to expose the hidden pride. We need to repent and become humble servants. Pride leads to backsliding. Once I become proud, I start falling spiritually. Suddenly, my life becomes upside down. Just like a cast sheep, I panic, trying to save myself. My soul becomes ‘disturbed within’. This word means trouble, war, noisy voices and arguments inside my soul. I lose my peace and spiritual balance. I feel hopeless and my world is upside down. The more I struggle to restore myself back on my feet, the worse things become, inside and outside. That is when I have to exercise self-control. I have to stop this crazy, frantic, lonely struggle…I have to remind myself that I am not alone. I belong to Somebody! I have a Shepherd! Elohim, the Creator of the Heavens and the earth is my God! Jesus is my Shepherd!  I shall not want…There is hope!!I i shall praise God again in the sanctuary…I cannot die as a backslider…This is His promise: God will “restore my soul”…I shall humble myself and wait on God…He knows all things…He knows that I am missing from the fold…He said that He will leave 99 sheep to look for me alone…He shall find me and bring me back to His flock where I belong…

 

“I need You Lord Jesus…I trust in You, Savior…I humble myself…Forgive me for my foolish pride…Please come to help me…I cannot live alone…Nothing else can satisfy but You…No one else  can restore my soul, except You…I love You more than any human on earth, more than my own life…I promise never to go astray…Holy Spirit fill me afresh…Thank You Jesus… Thank You my Lord…All the glory goes to You alone!”

 

In Christ I declare:

The Lord is my Shepherd!

I shall not want!

My soul is restored!

My health is restored!

My marriage is restored!

My ministry if restored!

My finances are restored!

My peace and joy are restored!

To the glory of God!

In Jesus name

Amen!

DAVID BRAINERD

 

 

David Breinard

David Brainerd (1718–1747) was an American missionary to the Native Americans. At that time, the Europeans settlers wanted to evangelize the native people. But very few Christians answered the call to go to them. The native people were known for crude pagan occult practices and wild behavior. Many who tried to go close to them were rejected or killed.

David went to Yale University but he was sent home after one year because he had tuberculosis and was spitting blood. Disappointed that he could not fulfill his academic dreams he joined a missionary agency that was looking for evangelists to go the Native Americans. God gave him supernatural favor with them. He could not speak their language. He used an interpreter who soon became born again. He rode on a horse back for many miles, in the forest, in places where no white man has ever entered. He often felt lonely and depressed. He never married. He kept a personal diary. He continued to do ministry among the Natives until he was too weak to walk.

A famous man of God Jonathan Edwards heard of him and took him to his house. There was no cure at that time for TB. He told his young daughter to take care of him. It was then that he discovered David’s diaries. Edwards was a pastor and was preaching revival. But he was discouraged that most of the people who called themselves Christians were only religious and not truly born again. Edwards was so touched by the words of David, his commitment to God, his pure faith and worship that he decided to use his own money to publish the dying man’s diaries. These became ‘best sellers immediately. David died at 29. Edward’s daughter contacted the TB and died few months after. They are both buried side by side.

During his short life he endured many difficulties but he never gave up on God. As a result, his biography becomes a source of great inspiration and encouragement to many Christians, especially the missionaries.

 

These are some lines from his diaries. Do you feel the anointing of the Holy Spirit working thru him?

“April 21 …and God again enabled me to wrestle for numbers of souls, and had much fervency in the sweet duty of intercession…

April 25. This morning I spent about two hours in secret duties and was enabled more than ordinarily to agonize for immortal souls. Though it was early in the morning and the sun scarcely shined at all, yet my body was quite wet with sweat…

December 15. Spent much time in prayer in the woods and seemed raised above the things of this world…

August 4. Was enabled to pray much, through the whole day…

November 3. Spent this day in secret fasting, and prayer, from morning till night…”

 

This is a great encouragement to me too. It is not only what we do that God uses and rewards. It is our words left behind in the hearts of men and on the pages of a diary. I encourage you all to start writing your thoughts on paper. You do not have to be a great poet to write down things about your life, as you see them. You never know what God will use your dairy to bless many souls unto eternity!

 

In Christ I declare:

“My heart us stirred by a noble theme…my tongue is the pen of a skilful writer…” (Ps 45:1)

I shall write books!

I shall compose songs!

To the glory of God!

In Jesus name

Amen!

INSTANT HEALING AND PEACE

 

 

 

“But Jesus said, “Someone touched Me; I know that power has gone out from Me.” Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at His feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched Him and how she had been instantly healed. Then He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” (Lk 8:46-48)

 

I have just left my office, still angry in my spirit. A Christian sister in need of prayer and counsel came to see me. She is married with three children. Since I know her, she has never been sickly. But now she said that she is sick with a ‘mysterious’ disease. She bleeds internally and she is pale. But she has no pains at all. She went to many hospitals and did many tests. She is not rich but she had to spend a lot of money. The medical results are all conflicting. The doctors could not agree on a particular diagnoses or what treatment she should take. They just gave her some ‘tablets’ and told her to go home, to wait and see…

 

She was seated in front of me quoting scriptures. But the sound of her voice and the body language spoke only of doubt, fear and defeat. Then I got angry at the devil that was tormenting her. I confronted her: are you born again? She said yes. I asked her: Do you believe that Jesus can heal you? She said yes. Then I commanded the evil spirit of religion to be silent! With the authority of Christ given to me I reminded her of the power in the Blood and in the Name of Jesus!  I told her to go back in time and remember that holy day when she became a child of God. The power that took her sins away is the same power that will take the sickness away. She was struggling to call the names of the microbes the doctor isolated in her fluids. I told her she does not need to know all these foreign bodies. She cannot heal herself! Their names are not important…why? For at the name of Jesus they all must bow! She said the doctors are confused about her sickness.  I told her that Jesus is never confused about His creation! Jesus does not need to ask the doctors for permission before healing her. I reminded her that her body belongs to God and it is declared to be the Temple of the Holy Spirit. I told her that I am also a medical doctor but I was not trained in building or repairing of temples. The medical doctors can treat the unbelievers but they know nothing about the habitation of the Holy Spirit in God’s temples. I told her not to worship doctors, medicine or men!

 

I told her to remove her eyes from her circumstances! To look only unto Jesus Christ! I told her to believe in miracles! What if God wants to intervene and heal her for His glory alone? The evil spirit of religion has complicated her mind too much. She needs to go back to Jehovah Rapha, to the simplicity of trusting Christ Crucified! She is a child of God! She is the Bride of Christ! God is jealous over her. God does not want to share His glory with doctors, nurses, pharmacists or medicines. I told her to let go of the good to make space in her heart, for faith in the best! I told her to take the medicines prescribed to avoid a conflict with her unbelieving husband who has paid the medical bills. But in her heart she should cry to God who is able and willing to save and to heal! God will not reject any desperate believing soul! I know for I was there too! Thank God that I can practice what I preach! I am not a hypocrite! I am not selling the Word of God! Out of the abundance of my heart, words supplied and sealed with the fire of the Holy Spirit, I have spoken!  God is able! God is faithful! To God be all the glory!

 

As for you dear reader, Be healed, In Jesus name, Amen!

 

In Christ I declare:

By the stripes of Jesus I am instantly healed!

I am happy!

I have peace!

I go forth to testify of God’s goodness to me!

In Jesus name

Amen!

STRONGER

 

 

the Cross of Jesus

There is love that came for us
Humbled to a sinner’s Cross
You broke my shame and sinfulness
You rose again victorious

Faithfulness none can deny
Through the storm and through the fire
There is truth that sets me free
Jesus Christ who lives in me

No beginning and no end
You’re my hope and my defense
You came to seek and save the lost
You paid it all upon the Cross

So let Your name be lifted higher
Be lifted higher, be lifted higher
So let Your name be lifted higher
Be lifted higher, be lifted higher

You are stronger, You are stronger
Sin is broken, You have saved me
It is written, Christ is risen!
Jesus You are Lord of all!!!

(By Hillsong)

MY REWARD IS MY PROTECTION

 

 

 

The prayer meeting was very good. It is so satisfying to come into the presence of God and find Him waiting. There is nothing like it! The children came to the altar to worship prophetically. Never underestimate their little blessed voices and hearts! Their faith in God and the confidence to worship is amazing. We the adults prayed for them. We declared that all shall be saved; all shall be filled with the Holy Spirit! No one shall be sick even with the ‘normal’ childhood sicknesses! We destroyed any spell upon them that makes them lonely, depressed or slow in school. We used them as a point of contact for all who pray for the fruit of the womb! Children are a reward from God! Even as we prayed, they continued to sing…They did not want to stop…truly, nothing compares with the anointing of the Holy Spirit!  Lastly the message came:

 

“Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (Gen 22:15-18)

 

This is a spiritual law: God rewards obedience! God rewards Abraham for his faith and total obedience done even unto death.  When God spoke he did not just pray or meditate upon the Word. He did something! He ‘offered up’ Isaac. In Greek, the word ‘offered’ means to do something, to actively deal with a situation. It is an action, not just a speech. The word describes somebody who, carrying his burden, endures to the end. This man is a champion who finishes the race. That is how Abraham passed the test: he trusted God that even if Isaac dies, yet he shall live. This faith is active and living. God rewards his faith and his obedience with a confirmation of blessings, everlasting fruitfulness and total victory. God confirms the promise of supernatural extraordinary fruitfulness. His descendants shall be many and brilliant like the stars shining in the night sky. They shall be political and social leaders and spiritual warriors. They are children of light defeating the powers of darkness, with its superstition and ignorance. Like the sand on the seashore they shall stop the waves of the sea, the restless wicked forces in this world. They shall be rulers and governors, in charge of many cities. The reward of Jesus is authority over nations and overflow of joy. In Christ, our descendants shall have both. Great shall be our children’s peace! These rewards are not liabilities. They protect you as the mountains surround Jerusalem. The more I obey God, the more peace and joy protects my soul and the less I fear the enemy’s attacks. For God has become ‘my Shield and my exceeding high reward” (Gen 15:1)

 

Mount Moriah is a symbol of the Bema Judgment Seat of Christ. All believers in Christ, without any exception, must appear before this throne. This throne is different from the ‘great white throne’ that separates the believers from the unbelievers (Rev 20:11-14).  From the great white throne some go to heaven and some to hell. But the Bema Seat of Christ if for believers only. Their destination is sure: heaven! But their works and ministries shall be judged and rewarded accordingly.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ that each one may receive what is due him for the things done in the body, weather good or bad” (2Cor 5:10).

This throne discriminates between works and ministries. Not all believers shall be rewarded. Some shall be barely saved.  But others shall be loaded with great rewards, both on earth and especially in heaven.

In Greek, these are the meanings of the words:

*we must- it is compulsory, it is binding and necessary

*appear- made manifest, externally, shining publicly, visibly

*Judgment seat of Christ-“BEMA” seat of Christ is a tribunal and a throne

*the things done- practiced habitually, repeatedly, until they are accomplished

*good-“Agatha” means  useful help, kind acts to benefit the victim, profit, gain to the Kingdom of God

*bad- useless help, no benefit, no value to the victim, no profit, no gain to the Kingdom of God

 

The question is this: Since you became saved, what type of ministry do you do? What sacrifice do you offer to God and to His people? Do your words and actions give glory to God? Do they direct men to Jesus? Do you pray before giving help to men? For example, if you give $100 to a millionaire that is a bad gift, a useless help for he does not need your money…he may need prayer, or better give Him Christ! At the Bema Seat of Christ your ‘$100 gift’ will be counted against you. God searches the motives of the heart!

 

Finally, this is my testimony…I am attracted by truly humble needy people. It is my desire to lead men to Christ, to give sight to the blind, to heal the sick, to bind the wounds of the broken hearted….I forbid wasting my Master’s resources entrusted to me, giving useless help that is not received with thanksgiving.

For example, next to my Bible, my best material possession is my laptop. As expensive as a Jeep is, if you give me that as a gift, it is (almost) useless to me, for I rarely drive. But a laptop is a blessing for I use daily for ministry.

(Please…I am not saying you buy me a laptop for I already have one, I am only making a point…)

Let me add another example: Many years ago a dear brother in the church freely installed an internet device in our house. He pays for our internet. He does not ask for any visible rewards or compliments from us. The other time he came, adjusted the equipment and made the internet faster than before. Once the equipment got bad….He came immediately to fix it. He said that this is the least he can do for his pastors. That is why you can read my letters…Only God alone knows the reward that brother and his family will receive in heaven for helping us do ministry to the nations. There are other many examples of true sacrificial giving to build the house of God and ‘to water’ His servants! God knows you all! You give in secret so God will reward you openly at the Bema set of Christ!

May God bless and reward all the brethren who continue to seek and serve God, who worship Him in Spirit and in truth!  May your reward protect your souls and your homes In Jesus name, Amen!

THERE IS BALM IN GILEAD

 

 

 

“Is there no balm in Gilead?

Is there no physician there?

Why then is there no recovery

for the health of the daughter of my people?” (Jer 8:22)

 

Gilead was an area east of the Jordan River, well known for its spices and ointments. The “balm of Gilead” was a high-quality ointment with healing properties. The Balm was made from resin taken from a flowering plant. Myrrh is taken from a similar plant. It is said that this balm was worth twice its weight in silver.

The Balm of Gilead appears in the Bible as a medicine for incurable diseases. When Joseph’s brothers planned how to kill him, a caravan of Ishmaelite passed by on their way from Gilead to Egypt. In their cargo were “spices, balm, and myrrh”. Later, Jacob tells his sons to carry some healing balm as a gift to Joseph in Egypt (Gen 37:25; 43:11).

 

Jeremiah sees that God’s people are rebellious. They are in danger to be punished for their sins and to be sent away as slaves to Babylon. Their many sins are described in Chapter 7. Even today the people of God indulge in the same sins. They are religious but not saved; they oppress the poor, the foreigners, the widows and the orphans.  They steal kill and commit adultery. They listen and obey the false prophets who tell them that all is well when there is no peace in the land. They serve idols, in particular the Queen of heaven, Jezebel. They do not listen to God’s Word and God’s true prophets. All these sins have ‘hurt’ them deeply. The word ‘hurt’ means a deep spiritual damage, a broken heart and an un-healed fracture of the soul. The effect of sin is too deep to be treated with just human words of religious pity. All sinners need God, His touch and healing Hands. All sinners need the forgiveness of God and the peace of God that passes all understanding.

 

This is Jeremiah’s question:  “How can a people who traded in balm be so sick?” The real question behind the illustration is, “How can the people of God, with the Bible in their hands, going to church every Sunday, praying and singing, be so sinful?”

The truth is that religion can never change your heart! Religion can never save your soul! Church and all activities can never give life eternal! You have to go to the Cross! See the price God had to pay to forgive your sins! You have to give your life to Christ! Unconditionally! By grace and thru faith in the Blood of Jesus, you are saved!

The Blood of Jesus is the Balm of Gilead! It will never lose its power! If you are sick today, if the doctors have lost all hope concerning your case, even then, apply the Blood of Jesus! Have faith that God can heal any disease and change every situation!

The following are just few of some ‘hopeless’ cases I personally know and pray about:

*A couple have been married for more than six years and no baby.

*A sister had a changed valve in the heart and she bleeds often because of her drugs

*A young brother is waiting for heart transplant as the last chance to live

*A husband loves his wife but he is totally impotent for the past 15 years

*A brother has diabetes, heart and kidney failure. He should have died long ago but he is still alive and praying

*A sister is bipolar. She is on medication. She has two children. Her husband works far away. The welfare department may take her children away

*A sister just got pregnant and the man responsible said he is not the father of the baby. She has acute depression

*A sister said that the husband gave her an ultimatum to leave the house and divorce

…and many others…

How can these people live? What help can I give to them? What words will they listed to? The only hope I have to give is the precious Balm of Gilead, the Blood of Jesus! I do not give false hopes! Just the true hope of glory found in Christ alone!  Be saved! Be made whole! Be healed! May you receive your miracle today! In Jesus name, Amen!

 

This is an old African American Song. May the words minister to you:

 

“There is a balm in Gilead, To make the wounded whole;

There is a balm in Gilead, To heal the sin-sick soul.

 

Sometimes I feel discouraged and think my work’s in vain,

But then the Holy Spirit revives my hope again!

 

If you can’t preach like Peter if you can’t pray like Paul,

Just tell the love of Jesus and say He died for all”

 

Lastly… as I just finished this letter, I received a wonderful good news! Just in time! The husband whose wife could not have a baby for the past 6 years has just informed me that ‘pregnancy test is positive’ Praise the Lord!!!!!! Yes, there is Balm in Gilead! There is Balm of Gilead in our home and our church! Let the miracles increase!

More, Lord, moooooore!!!

All glory to You alone!

MY BLESSED TABLE

 

 

 

MARRIAGE IS A GOOD THING (30)

 

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” (Ps 32:5)

 

These are some interesting facts about sheep and shepherds:

During summer it is too hot to keep the sheep in the valleys below.  The shepherds take them up the mountains where the weather is cooler and the grass greener. One of the shepherds goes ahead alone to inspect the place where the flock will stay. He has to look for bad poisonous grass and remove them. He also has to build fences to protect the sheep. He inspects the ground for signs of wild animals that may attack the flock. His duty is to construct snares and traps all around to catch the possible predators.

 

Sheep have many natural predators: cougars (mountain lions), wolves, foxes, bears, wild dogs, eagles etc. Sheep are vulnerable to predators because they are basically defenseless and have no means of protecting themselves. Sheep run when something frightens them. Their only protection is to stay together in a group. Breeds with a strong flocking instinct are less vulnerable to predators than those that scatter. Generally, the wild animals attack the flock to create panic, trying to cause a stampede. In the process some of the sheep injure themselves and they fall prey to the predators. The best way to protect the sheep and lambs is to keep them away from predators, by penning them at night. Certain types of fences (net and high-tensile electric) will aid in keeping predators out. Employing good shepherds is very important. Hirelings are dangerous for they do not care for the sheep. Another method to protect them is to have good guarding dogs. These dogs sleep outside and do not have the privileges of a pet. Their job is to bond with the sheep and not with the shepherd.

But with all the difficulties up on the mountains, the sheep enjoy the cooler weather and the green grass. A good shepherd will love and protect his sheep. Living in peace, without the fear of the enemies, the sheep ‘fall in love’. They mate easier and increase in numbers.

 

Spiritually speaking Jesus is the Shepherd of our souls. He has employed good under-shepherds to take care of His flock. These are the pastors and the leaders of the local churches. In the context of the family the husband is the shepherd of his wife and kids. They cover their flock with wisdom and love. They remove the poisonous weeds of false doctrines. They protect the flock with prayer and the teaching of the Word of God. Our only protection as sheep is to follow the Shepherd and stay together. Every form of rebellion is fatal. Division in the church is a sin. That is why God hates divorce because it separates the shepherd and his sheep. The devil is like a roaring lion looking for lost sheep to devour. He will attack us with fear so that we injure one another. The fence of the Holy Spirit is a seal that protects us at night. The angels are like the guardian dogs. They surround the house of them who fear God and take Him seriously. A disobedient shepherd is a criminal leader. His flock is not safe. He will lose them one by one to the wild animals. No one will come to their rescue.  “Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and no one will rescue them” (Deut 28:31)

 

If God has called you to be a pastor, a teacher, a mentor or a husband, that is a high calling. This is serious ministry and not entertainment or a joke. You are responsible to Jesus for the care and the protection of your flock. A husband is accountable to God each time his wife or children are sick of suffer. You have to be a man of God to truly be a good husband. You have to be a woman of God to truly be a godly wife. Going to worldly parties and making friends with unbelievers, will open the door to the devil and his agents to attack your home. But for the godly husband who loves cares and protects his family, your reward is great both in heaven and on earth! May God multiply the good examples of godly stable and successful families! I personally need to see more godly homes having Jesus as their Lord! If you have done mistakes in the past, repent and stand up again! May God help you to love as Jesus loved! May your enemies be disappointed! May God bless the fruit of your body! May peace rule in your home! Amen!

 

In Christ I declare:

My enemies are disappointed! If they do not repent, they shall die of hunger! My family is safe! My children are safe! There is peace in our home! In Jesus name, Amen!

MY HOUSE STANDS

 

 

MARRIAGE IS A GOOD THING (29)

“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.  If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. If satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished!” (Mk 3:24-26)

 

There are two kingdoms and each has a king. The first one is called the Kingdom of God. It is ruled by the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. Its aim is to declare on earth the glory of God the Father and to bring its citizens to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, the only Savior of men. The method of increasing its boundaries is by faith and love in Jesus. This is an everlasting kingdom that will defeat all others.

The second one is called the kingdom of darkness and it is ruled by the prince of the power of the air called satan. It is a wicked evil organization made by demons and fallen angels. Its aim is to fight God and His people, to kill steal and destroy all that is good. All sinners and all unbelievers are citizens of this kingdom. Its increase is by terror, fear, intimidation, witchcraft and manipulation. The head of this kingdom has been defeated by Christ on the Cross of Calvary. Its destruction has been prophesied and it shall be complete.

 

These two kingdoms influence all structures on earth. Each nation, business, family, each marriage or relationship is ruled by one or the other. For example, it is not possible that both Jesus and satan rule your marriage. There are no two kings in one domain. Satan is the first to apply for leadership. He comes with fake promises of prosperity and pleasure. If at least one of you agrees to his terms, he will take over the relationship and slowly destroys it from inside out. But if you reject its claim and promises, and invite Jesus to control your home, it shall be done!

 

“Every wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands” (PV 14:1)

This is a very good example to see how two women behave differently in regard to their marriages.  The wise woman values her soul, her husband and children. She desires a godly testimony. She pays the prize for ‘building’ a home. This is a work done with love, patience and prayer. She shall enjoy the work of her hands. Eventually, all the glory for her successful marriage goes to Jesus, her king. Her marriage is a cell of the kingdom of God and increases its borders. God rewards that spiritual labor and blesses the home with peace, love, joy and unity.

But the other woman is foolish, not because she is illiterate, but because she has yielded to the power of satan to control her words and actions. Her home cannot stand. In Greek, this word means to be established in the covenant of peace, to continue undisturbed and without divorce. But the foolish woman’s house shall be the opposite: shaky, troubled, and unhappy and eventually shall scatter thru divorce. Her house is divided and broken to pieces that cannot be ‘glued’ together. The puzzle will never be completed. The purpose for that wrong marriage cannot give glory to God.

 

It is very painful to love and marry an unbeliever, to dream lofty dreams of a good life with another whose main purpose is to serve satan. The end is divorce and painful broken hearts. As a pastor, I meet all sorts of women. The wise ones have peace, joy and hope. They are humble. They come for counsel and they are teachable. By faith they solve their problems with the help of the Holy Spirit. They make progress and increase their testimonies. Their marriages improve.  Unfortunately, I also meet proud, foolish women. They come for counsel but they do not take it. They talk too much. Their prayers do not change anything. They are too emotional dramatizing their pains at home. They blame their husbands for everything. They quickly consider divorce without any fear of God. They are troubled like the sea and do not enjoy the gift of marriage. Eventually they end up as bitter defeated women and haters of men. They become jealous on the success of others. They are spiritually dangerous, fallen stars and polluted wells. That is the painful side of being a pastor. My duty is to fight this self –damaging and wicked foolishness and to point them to Jesus for salvation and deliverance. My success in ministry depends on their response. Some change and some refuse to change. But the Word of God never changes…

 

Recently a foolish ‘sister’ came to see me to confess her many wicked and foolish choices. Her wicked careless behavior has damaged her testimony and her marriage. She asked for forgiveness concerning her long standing rebellion against my ministry as a pastor. She has rejected all the words of counsel I gave to her. She told me: “Malia, indeed God is with you! For all the pain I caused you over the years, you should have left the ministry. You should have gone back to your country. It must be God keeping you here in Nigeria, giving you the strength to go on. I saw that you are not even using the pain I inflicted on you to punish others. Thru it all you have remain calm and loving to all. It must be God, truly…”

 

This is a true saying, you need the power of the Holy Spirit to do ministry! Yes, today I want to give all the glory to God for finding me worthy to be called a pastor! I give all the glory to God for healing my heart from the many disappointments in ministry over the years! God did not allow me to see only defeat, but has given me many sweet moments of success and breakthroughs!  I want to give God all the glory for the strength to move on and for the many blessings along the way!

 

In Christ I declare:

For the success in my life and ministry, all glory to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit!

My home, my marriage, my children, my church and my ministry shall stand forever!

To the glory of God!

In Jesus name,

Amen!

A PLACE PREPARED (1)

 

 

 

“Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared…But if you indeed obey His voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries” (Ex 23:20, 22)

 

This is the Gospel of Christ found in the Old Testament. God the Father has designed the plan for our salvation. God the Son has executed it. The Holy Spirit applies it to our own understanding. Christianity is a journey of faith. We are not just walking somewhere, aimlessly. God has prepared a special place for us. As a Christian, you need to recognize that you are directed to a particular place, to fulfill your own destiny. God leads and we follow.

The word Angel means the Messenger of God, King, Teacher or Prophet. All these are the offices of Jesus Christ. He is the Angel who leads us on to a path that ends in a particular place. Jesus told His disciples:

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (Jn 14:1-3)

Jesus knew exactly where He is going. He knew for sure that He will prepare a place for them in heaven. He also promised to come back again to take them with Him to that very place.

 

In Exodus 23 the place described is not heaven, for there are no enemies there. Heaven is the ultimate destination. But this place prepared represents the blessings we have in Christ. God wants us to mature as believers. As you can see, the blessings promised are more than just the basics of life: food and shelter. God wants to give us a true identity as His children, a sense of direction in life, fulfillment, prosperity, healing, deliverance, fruitfulness and victory.

 

One of the major spiritual laws is this: GOD REWARDS OBEDIENCE! The word ‘reward’ means payment for service, extra gifts and blessings. If you obey God’s Word you shall be rewarded. If you rebel, you shall be punished. There is no escape from this law. For example, if you obey God’s Word, He promised to take over your battles in life. He will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your own adversary. This is not my wish. This is God’s promise! In Hebrew an enemy is someone who attacks to push you to fall. An adversary is someone who wants to cage and bind you, to limit your progress. The promise for the obedient children is this: If any one attacks me, God will attack that person. It is not my duty to attack. God will do it for me! If someone plans to cage me and limit my progress God will do the same to him. I have seen people fallen for my sake. I have also seen people bound and stopped in their tracks for my sake. They could not move on! God did it! This is the Word of God!

 

As for me, long ago I made up my mind to obey God’s commandments. I started reading the Bible when I was in my thirties. Once I was ignorant and God showed mercy to me. But when light shone on my understanding I made up my mind to simply obey everything in the Bible. For example, I read: “Thou shall not kill!” Immediately I made up my mind that for as long as I live I shall never kill, attempt or desire to kill any human being. I will not kill with gun, with poison, with slander or with abortion. By the grace of God I kept my promise. My simple obedience has been rewarded beyond any dream. God is my witness! God is my reward!

 

In Christ I declare:

God has a plan, a hope and a future for me!

I am lead by the Holy Spirit to God’s blessed place, promised and prepared!

I obey God’s commands!

God shall fight my enemies and shall oppose my adversaries!

I am free!

To God be all the glory!

In Jesus name

Amen!

MY WONDERFUL LIVING HOPE

 

 

 
“In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1Pet 3:15)

There are times when I meet hopeless people. They are so entangled by the sins of the past or by the troubles of the present that they cannot see any hope in the future. The opposite of hope is called despair. That means you either have hope or you have depression. No one who has hope will kill another man or commit suicide.
As a believer you should never despair of life, no matter the circumstances. Even if the doctor says that your sickness is incurable, even if your spouse says there is no more marriage, even if you find yourself kidnapped in the bush, even if armed robbers shut their guns…in all things and all circumstances, as a believer in Christ, hold on to your hope! For as long as you breathe, you have to believe that God has a plan that includes hope for you.

If you are born again, your soul was not saved with silver and gold. Jesus died for the forgiveness of your sins. The Blood of Jesus shed on the Cross was the price God paid for the saving of your soul. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a Gospel of hope. It presents forgiveness for the past sins, healing for the wounds of the present and hope for the future. There is no greater better news that man can ever hear in this world than this: God loves you and He sent His only begotten Son to die in your place, that you might live! I believe God’s Word! My soul is saved now! That is my faith! One day my body shall be redeemed too! That is my hope! I believe that after my work is done here on earth, I shall go to heaven to live there forever, in the presence of God. That is my sure hope!

Maybe you ask: What is hope?
Hope is defined as the confident strong desire and trust that the future is better than the present or the past; it is the joyful anticipation of greater things to come. To have a glimpse of hope, you must look ahead and upwards. Hope is a very strong spiritual chemistry of the heart. It is not weak at all! It is not just wishful thinking that ‘maybe one day things will change, somehow…’ No! Hope is sure of the reward ahead!

“For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it” (Rom 8:24, 25)
In the Bible there are two things connected with hope: it is invisible and it is located in the future. It may not be seen at this very moment but it is there for sure! It is worth it to believe in hope and to wait on God! It is worth it to persevere until the invisible becomes visible. That means believe that one day, the promises of God will become visible testimonies. If you are born again, there is ‘a holy eager restlessness’ to see the manifestations of God’s Word in your life. Patience does not mean passivity. I wait patiently but I also have an active faith to desire to see the fulfillment of God’s promises. That is why I believe in miracles! The sickness may give me fever but it cannot destroy my hope that one day my body will be healed!

This is my testimony:
Like every human being on earth, I was born a sinner. I did not believe in God. I was successful as a wife, mother doctor and all. But inside my heart I was hopeless and troubled. I did not believe in heaven or hell. When people tried to convince me about the existence of God I had many reasons to prove to them that they are foolish and their faith is a joke. Prayer to me was a waste of time. Church for me was a business center for ignorant people. Many tried to preach to me but I was too proud of my unbelief. But things started changing…the words of hope coming from the anointed lips of the true children of God made me hungry to experience the same. I was too stubborn to accept defeat immediately but little by little I sensed a new strange desire in me to have a new hope. I needed something to sustain me and my family.
The first time I read the Bible it was not pleasant at all. I did not find hope or encouragement in it pages. But something really happened. As much as I hated the truth, I became ‘addicted’ to it. I sensed that God wants me to pay to price to come closer to Him. I suddenly became desperate to become God’s friend. I was tired to be His enemy. I continued to read the Bible. I welcomed the pain of repentance. I was hoping against hope to find hope one day… Limping and weak, I finally touched the Cross. To my great amazement I met the Savior there waiting for me, no words of condemnation from His lips, just love to heal my soul. I became truly born again by the Spirit of the Living God. What a change…Eternity is not enough for me to tell my story, how Jesus came to save my soul…

This is my boast: In Christ I believe that I shall go to heaven. For the unbelievers my hope seems like denial of reality, foolishness and day dreaming. I am not surprised…That is how I felt in the past…But we are commanded to patiently give a reason for the hope living in us. Explaining the reality of the hope of glory is one of the greatest ways to evangelize others. Remember, that the world has no hope. Only the believers have hope. Jesus (who is God) says: “My prayer is not for the world, but for those You have given Me, because they belong to You” (Jn 17:9).
As a believer in Christ I have hope because Jesus prays for me right now where He is in heaven. I am sure that one day I will meet Him in heaven. There is no need to be angry at my hope. No need to fight it because it cannot be destroyed! Not even death can destroy it! It is a Living Eternal Hope, the gift of God to me! But if you humble yourself and come to surrender your life to Christ, my hope shall be yours too. I promise you, this is the truth!

In Christ I declare:
“My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name!

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand”
In Jesus name
Amen!

 

YOU HAVE TO SERVE SOMEBODY!!!

 

 

“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” Josh 24:15)

(I just discovered this old song. I am surprised at the wisdom of this secular singer…Yes, God can speak in many ways…)

You may be an ambassador to England or France
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls

You might be a rock ’n’ roll addict prancing on the stage
You might have drugs at your command, women in a cage
You may be a businessman or some high-degree thief
They may call you Doctor or they may call you Chief

You may be a state trooper, you might be a young Turk
You may be the head of some big TV network
You may be rich or poor, you may be blind or lame
You may be living in another country under another name

You may be a construction worker working on a home
You may be living in a mansion or you might live in a dome
You might own guns and you might even own tanks
You might be somebody’s landlord, you might even own banks

You may be a preacher with your spiritual pride
You may be a city councilman taking bribes on the side
You may be workin’ in a barbershop, you may know how to cut hair
You may be somebody’s mistress, may be somebody’s heir

Might like to wear cotton, might like to wear silk
Might like to drink whiskey, might like to drink milk
You might like to eat caviar, you might like to eat bread
You may be sleeping on the floor, sleeping in a king-sized bed

You may call me Terry, you may call me Timmy
You may call me Bobby, you may call me Zimmy
You may call me R.J., you may call me Ray
You may call me anything but no matter what you say

Chorus:
You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

(Bob Dylan, 1979)

SHARP LOVE

 

 

 

MARRIAGE IS A GOOD THING (28)

“As iron sharpens iron,

So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend” (PV 27:17)

 

Marriage is the best field to practice godly friendship. Wife and husband should be best friends. True friendship is a gift from God. It is an added blessing to the intimacy of marriage. Love is a sacrifice. Friendship is ministry and sacrifice too. In the scripture above there is this little secret on how to keep the marriage fresh and fruitful. God’s prescription may surprise you! It is not by roses and kisses, but by the sharp iron blows exchanged between mature, trained lovers. Yes, love is painful before it is sweet. The Cross comes always before the Crown.

 

In Hebrew, the word ‘sharp’ means to use an instrument, a weapon, like the ax to cut away what is damaging to the character or to the relationship of love.  Think of surgery without anesthesia. But imagine the joy to have a tumor removed and the friend to be healed. As a doctor, I have seen pain inflicted for the good of my patients. They did not appreciate it immediately, but they all came back with gratitude and health revived. The lover detects ‘a tumor’ in his friend who is ignorant of it. He has to cut it off. The blow may come unexpectedly. There may be no time for ‘public relations’. There may be no place for apologies. Kisses do not work in times like these…

Truth is like a sharp double edged sword. Love is the surgeon; it cuts and it frees. True friendship does this surgical work with patience, skill and wisdom. True friendship improves itself. True marriage grows taking strength from all the roots around, pain, joy, crisis and all.

 

The sharp weapon is used to affect ‘the countenance’ of the friend. The husband can use it on his wife and the other way round. This spiritual blow is done as it is needed. In Hebrew, the word countenance means face, favor, honor, purpose, presence, war or employment. These are the different levels affected by the truth spoken in love.  Once the blow is successful there shall be an increased beauty, favor, honor, a sharper focus and purpose in life. This is the work of the Holy Spirit who directed the blow. The strength to do successful spiritual warfare increases. There shall be promotion in the office as the quality of the work of your hands increases. This is a spiritual surgery that indicates victory and deliverance. Pain in not always bad! If the ax is not sharp, the worker wastes too much time in any project (Ecc 10:10). That blow to your friend will make his mind, attention, memory and spiritual sensitivity sharper than ever before. Wounded and healed, he will now speak less, and make greater impact. He will work less and make more money. He will be more discerning and wiser, choosing the best option to move on. Yes, that is the work of spiritual pain between true lovers…A couple that fights and divorces because of painful words, must be foolish or they are unbelievers. For a believer does not waste his pain.

 

“Let the righteous smite me, [it shall be] a kindness; And let him reprove me, [it shall be as] oil upon the head; Let not my head refuse it…” (Ps 141:5)

This scripture has greatly helped me over the years. Even before my husband became reconciled to God, I chose to look at him as a righteous man. For God assured me that he will be saved and he will be in ministry! I decided that no matter how painful his words shall be to me, I shall take that pain like medicine to increase my anointing. It worked! My tears became worship to God. Mercifully, it was not often, but when the pain came, ‘I swallowed it’ like medicine. I had no fear of bitterness. God was using all things to bless me! My trust was in God alone! As for my pain, I kept it between me and God. I solved must of my crisis thru prayers alone. I fasted and prayed until the trouble melted away. Finally, the day came when my husband surrendered his life to Christ. I did not want a religious man, but a true saved soul as a life partner! God granted my prayer! My husband became truly born again! What a day that was…We have heaven to rejoice there forever…

 

This is my word for you:

If you pass this road of loneliness and pain in marriage, do not be ashamed to suffer as a Christian…continue to pray…trust God… worship God… the grief is not forever…weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning… take the pain as medicine…it will not destroy your love, it will only heal your heart…God is in control…Let the pain become the aroma of Christ in you, for the world needs that rare perfume collected from the lilies of the valley… Trust me you shall not die but live and declare the mysterious and wonderful works of the Lord! You shall counsel and encourage others coming behind you! God knows His job! You are His child! It is not over until is over! There is light at the end of the tunnel!

 

In Christ I declare:

The pain coming from my husband (my wife) has become the oil joy to me!

My anointing has increased!

I love Jesus Christ!

My marriage is blessed!

In Jesus name

Amen!

GREAT THINGS FOR ME

 

 

 

“For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. “For the Mighty One has done great things for me; And holy is His name. “AND HIS MERCY IS UPON GENERATION AFTER GENERATION TOWARD THOSE WHO FEAR HIM” (Lk 1:48-50)

 

Each prayer meeting in our church is unexpected in direction as the anointing of the Holy Spirit takes over the hungry hearts. The first thing I want to say is that it is an extraordinary privilege to be a pastor, a teacher and a worship leader in a living Church. There is no better gift or better job that I desire. Thank God that I did not buy my titles with money and have not stolen my office from another. It is God’s call. It is God’s gift and it is irrevocable! God alone takes the glory for every drop of holy success in our ministry, approved by the fire of His presence.

 

We started the meeting well. What I mean by ‘well’ is this: the brethren did not ‘spoil’ their spiritual appetite with ‘fast food, corner street false prophecies’. They came un-ashamedly hungry. As a mother, pastor and teacher, I always appreciate genuine hunger. I feel it. There is a drawing in my heart. Their need has a voice that excites me. I become happy and willing to be spent. Hungry people become true friends.

Then we praised God! We sang different choruses, especially about the power of the Cross and the Blood of Jesus! Then I went to the altar and encouraged each one to pray; not to meditate, sing or dance, just pray. Each was to invite the Person of God the Holy Spirit to come to the meeting!  I say this often: “If the Holy Spirit does not come, we cannot continue with the service. We do not know how to pray or preach without the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We do not have a religious ‘plan B’. It is not enough to know that the Holy Spirit is here. We want Him to move in our midst, to refresh us, to grant personal revival to each of us, to give new gifts and new blessings…

Come Holy Spirit we need You, Come Holy Spirit we pray…Come in Your fullness and power, Come in Your own special way…”

 

We continued to press on in prayer…we ‘mixed’ it with worship as the Spirit was leading us…suddenly, there was an anointing of breakthrough…we had the liberty to pray against sickness, against demons…we prayed for deliverance and financial blessings…we still continued to worship, in English, Nigerian languages and tongues…anything that can help the anointing was received with grateful hearts…Hungry willing people are not too choosy…if something gives glory to God, let it flow…

 

Suddenly, the atmosphere changed…we became broken at the feet of Jesus, we became soft, tender and grateful…we started thanking God for everything…for our children in particular…the anointing was so strong that parents were thanking God like they have never done before, even as their children are teenagers or older…

I saw that one of the singers in the worship team was ‘lost in the Spirit’. I gave him the microphone to say whatever God is telling him. He suddenly started singing: “I see…God is turning all things around for my good…I see…I see…” We started seeing victory and prosperity all over the sanctuary. Do you see what faith can do?

The worship team could not stand…they were sitting on the floor singing…I hope you appreciate this for three of our choir members are little children…they were singing with tears on their faces…Wonderful…Wonderful!!!

 

I prepared my message. I was waiting for an opportunity to stop this ‘crazy’ prophetic worship but I could not find a way…the atmosphere was too charged…Suddenly I saw two brethren worshipping at the altar, tears running on their faces. Both are young skinny men in their thirties. Both have sickle cell anemia, an incurable disease. Both of them came to my office in the past informing me that they want to marry this year. Each has found a believing sister who is Genotype AA. Each has problems with the girls’ families, rejecting them for their status. Each of them has outlived all the doctors’ predictions.

Over the years I have learned to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. If the needs of the congregation are ‘normal’ then I can preach. But if the needs are too great for people to listen to a human voice, then the Holy Spirit takes over and does what only Him can do. No man can heal incurable diseases, heal broken hearts, repair disasters or give second chances to tragic cases…all these in the same meeting….Surely, this evening they do not need me. They need God!!!

 

So I relaxed…I let myself go…Suddenly, the wings of the Spirit carried me up and for a moment I forgot about myself, Warri and the troubles of life…All I could do was to worship, adore and long for more. Inspired by Mary, I started singing…“O, Lord! We magnify Your name! For the things You have done and the battles You have won! Only You are worthy or our praise! We magnify Your name!” The Holy Spirit surrounded us like the mountains surround Jerusalem. We felt protected and strong! Testimonies shall follow!

 

I have just closed from my ‘evening shift’ of working for God! I cannot tell you how refreshed I am! The unity of the Spirit among the brethren was so much that for sure miracles have happened today! For God owes nobody!  It is all by His grace! God came down from heaven at 6:45 pm tonight! He left the heavenly windows open for the late comers…Partake from this anointing! Freely we have received, freely we give!

 

In Christ I declare:

Let the weak say: I am strong!

Let the poor say: I am rich!

Let the barren say: I am fruitful!

Let the oppressed say: I am free!

To God be all the glory

In Jesus name

Amen!

THE WOMEN IN OUR CHURCH (2)

 

 

 

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves (1Pet 3:3-5)

 

Sarah was a ‘holy woman of the past’. But the Bible is not just a history book. It is the ever living Word of God, a present help in times of need. By the grace of God, we shall study how to become ‘holy women of the present!’

I am very grateful to God for my ministry as the pastor to the women in our church. Some time ago, in our women fellowship, we’ve discussed the topic of how our outward appearance affects our testimony. We called that sermon ‘The fashion of godliness’. I want to share some personal observations following that sermon. I shall not call names for we are only interested in applying spiritual principles. When there was an opportunity for me to rebuke or advice, I called the particular sister alone to my office for a private talk. When there was need for prayer, I prayed. These are some of my personal observations:

 

*I called some sisters and explained to them that their dresses are too short, too tight or too revealing. Initially they argued and became defensive. They said that their mothers at home saw nothing wrong with the dresses. Some even told me that their own husbands complimented their outfit in the morning before coming to church. I did not want to argue with them. I do not want the dress to be a hindrance to our relationship. But the word was given. ‘Pray! Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God!’ There was nothing more to add. Later, I discovered that these same sisters had deep issues. Their marriages were not happy. The same husbands that complimented their ‘sexy’ dresses abused their wives at home. They did not trust them with money and did not respect them as women of God.

 

*The women who always come to church with dresses that are transparent, too short or too tight, are not committed believers. Most of them are just religious unbelieves. As a pastor, I have not seen spiritual fruits in them. They have a tendency to be lonely, rebellious and quarrelsome. They do not encourage me as their pastor. They make my work harder. They are thorns in my flesh and care not for my feelings. Of course, thru it all I learn to be patient and faithfully continue in the ministry of prayer and teaching. And the Holy Spirit strengthens me and for that I am truly grateful to God!

 

*Lastly, more good news: Many sisters have changed so much, inside and outside. Sometimes it is hard to remember how they came here. The difference is so great! The inward beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit that is of great worth in the sight of God is already shining forth. This is pleasing to God and a wonderful encouragement to me as their pastor. To God be all the glory!

 

In Christ I declare:

I am a woman of God!

In Jesus name

Amen!

THE WOMEN IN OUR CHURCH (1)

 

 

 

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves (1Pet 3:3-5)

 

Sarah was a ‘holy woman of the past’. But the Bible is not just a history book. It is the ever living Word of God, a present help in times of need. By the grace of God, we shall study how to become ‘holy women of the present!’

I am very grateful to God for my ministry as the pastor to the women in our church. Some time ago, in our women fellowship, we’ve discussed the topic of how our outward appearance affects our testimony. We called that sermon ‘The fashion of godliness’. I want to share some personal observations following that sermon. I shall not call names for we are only interested in applying spiritual principles. When there was an opportunity for me to rebuke or advice, I called the particular sister alone to my office for a private talk. When there was need for prayer, I prayed. These are some of my personal observations:

 

*Some women want to do it right, but they are ignorant. Many come from families where there was no proper teaching on behavior, manners or proper appearance in public. Some sisters told me that their mothers ‘pushed’ them into sexual immorality. Many grew up thinking that without seduction they will never marry. Their dresses reflect such lies. It is our duty as pastors and mothers to teach the younger women how to behave and how to dress. It is not an easy or quick work. But it is a necessary work. After the sermon on ‘fashion’ some sisters told me that now they see the need to change in the way they dress. I prayed with them and I saw the changes since then. They dress more modest, simpler and they even look happier.

 

*The majority of the women in our church dress properly in a way that gives glory to God. They do not over-dress to impress, seduce or intimidate others. Their dresses and hair styles are not too flamboyant, too expensive or too provocative. This is a good thing! I thank God for their wisdom! From my experience over the years, it is rare to find such balance and maturity in this part of the world. In many churches, the women are under pressure to dress fashionably. The world dictates the standard of fashion even in the churches. The dress code for the workers in the oil companies and the banks lead the fashion for others. Many women desire ‘a good job’ so that they can dress ‘corporate’ when they leave their houses in the morning. They feel the need to be admired by their neighbors. This is the spirit of the world and it has crept into the churches too.

 

*For many women the church is a fashion platform. They come to church to compete with one another and even with the pastor’s wife. They all want to look good in the pictures or on the TV. It is often hard to see any difference between a church and a social club. The latest fashion is worshiped everywhere. That is why I am grateful to God that the Holy Spirit who restrains such immature behavior dwells in our church. We are not legalistic and do not insist on any particular style of dressing. We depend on the Holy Spirit who teaches us all things. His will is done without complaining. As a pastor, I give all the glory to God!

 

In Christ I declare:

I am a woman of God!

In Jesus name

Amen!

GIFTS TO ALL WHO BELIEVE!

 

 
“When Christ ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men (and women)” (Eph 4:8)

The women fellowship was done in the presence of God. We praised God and we testified of His goodness. Then we had a long prayer meeting led by the Holy Spirit. The following are the prayer points:
*We prayed for healing! Many sisters complained of fever, body pain and weakness. These symptoms look like malaria or typhoid fever. Both are common diseases in this area. But the medical treatment was not able to completely stop the sicknesses. We saw it as an evil attacks and we prayed against it! We shall not waste money in the hospital or at the pharmacy when God can heal us by His grace! We declared Jehovah Rapha as our Healer!
*We prayed for the spirit of worship. We asked God for the grace and the resources to be able to learn a musical instrument. We repented of the idea that we are too old, too foolish or too much ‘house wives’ to learn to play piano or guitar… For nothing is impossible with God!
*We prayed for the grace to join the pilgrims next year to go to Israel. Our feet must touch the streets of Jerusalem! God shall provide the money and the desire to go. There are no excuses anymore.
*We prayed for our husbands and children. No arrow of the enemy shall meet them. Their accounts shall increase and not decrease! These shall be promotion in the office! There shall be happiness in the marriages!
*We prayed for the single sisters to marry godly men!
*We prayed for the fruit of the womb. Children are a reward from God. A sister has been married for six years. She has never missed her monthly circle. This month she has missed it for two weeks. But she is in pains now…We rejected any evil spirit of miscarriage and sorrow. Another sister has been married for two years. She comes from another church. She got married there and none prayed for her as a bride, for the fruit of the womb. In our church, we always pray for spiritual and material blessings and also for the couple to have children. This evening we prayed for her! We told her that by faith, she should go and buy baby clothes. She shall be pregnant! To the glory of God!

We finally praised God for His loving care over us! To serve a God who answers prayers, that is a blessing beyond words! May Jesus Christ be glorified in this church! May the testimonies overflow! May the sick be healed! May the poor be rich! May the sinners be saved! May the barren be fruitful! May the singles marry well! May the mourning be turned into dancing!
“Father, Son and Holy Ghost, To You alone be all the glory!”

Dear friend,
By faith, may you partake from the river of anointing that is flowing to you right now! God is not a man that He should lie; not the Son of man that He should repent. God has said it! He shall perform it! Faith 100% Doubt 0%!
Come back with a wonderful testimony of salvation, healing, marriage, fruitfulness and miracles!
See you next year in Jerusalem!
May God’s plan for your life be fulfilled!
In Jesus name,
Amen!

TRUTH IN LOVE

 

 

 

MARRIAGE IS A GOOD THING (27)

 

“But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ” (Eph 4:15)

 

Truth is a Person. Jesus Christ said:  “I am the way, and the truth, and the life”. Two thousand years ago, the world judged, rejected, condemned and killed the Truth. I am speaking about Christ Crucified. The only way to know the Truth now, it is by the personal revelation of the same Christ. This is done thru the work of the Holy Spirit, also called the Spirit of Truth. Without the Holy Spirit, anything you know as truth in your life is in fact a lie. Any word you have heard about yourself, if it was not spoke under the influence of the Holy Spirit, that word is a lie! Parents lie to children. Husbands lie to their wives. Deception is a global plague that no man can stop. The devil is a liar and the father of all lies. The world is its domain. Truth is not what makes you feel good. Bad news can be true. Truth is not democratic. The majority may be deceived. Truth is not what you believe. A lie believed is still a lie. Truth is truth!

 

In Greek, truth means revelation, the removal of the veil and hiding nothing.  It conveys the thought that truth is always there, always open and available for all to see. The veil that covers the truth is the blindness of unbelief, the judgment of God upon the world. You cannot discover the truth by study or by mistake. You must be lead into the truth by the Holy Spirit. That is why God takes the glory for every drop of truth you possess. The Hebrew word for “truth” means long lasting faithful strength. It implies an everlasting substance that you can trust!

 

The audible sign of spiritual maturity is found in the scripture above: speaking the truth in love! It takes many years of carrying your cross in Christ to be able to obey this command. This type of speech is a blessing, building relationships in the church and all godly marriages. It is not easy to speak the truth at any time. The evil spirit of religion and lies hidden in your hearer’s heart will instantly fight back. This is because truth is able to set free from all bondages. The devil will hate you for speaking the truth to his prisoners. You shall encounter the backlash of the tongue. You shall be accused as a trouble maker. Truth is always confrontational and creates enemies. Truth separates people. Lies are temporary. Lies are chains of bondage coming from the powers of darkness. But truth is part of the protective armor in spiritual warfare. Truth is like dynamite. Once spoken, it can never be hidden. Truth is everlasting and will always win. If you trust in a lie, you shall be disappointed. If you trust and speak the truth, God will vindicate you!

 

Truth is like bitter medicine. For a patient to swallow it must be wrapped in a sweet coating. Jesus came to bring Grace and Truth. Without grace and love, a sinner will vomit the truth. That is why you are commanded to speak the truth in such a way that your listener will not reject it. It is not enough to speak the truth. It has to be wrapped in a cover of love. This packaging of love does not mean sweet talking, flattering or pretending to be soft. Love is not just a romantic feeling. Love is as strong as death. Love is a fighter for the interests of the beloved. Love is patient and kind. Love is not rude and not selfish. Love does not harm the hearer. There shall be no damage, no loss and no failure when truth wrapped in love is given to another. A wise man said once: “For truth to be spoken in love you need the heavenly music of grace”. That sounds wonderful to my ears…it shall be power to my lips!

 

This is my personal testimony…

A successful marriage is always the result of victory in spiritual warfare. It has nothing to do with beauty of with money. There are times when my husband and I need to confront one another. These issues can be about our marriage, children, finances or ministry. Speaking the truth in love is the only way to establish the unity of peace. It is also the only way to make genuine progress in a difficult situation. We have learned over the years to pray before we speak. We are also good listeners. We ask the Holy Spirit for the timing of such a painful confrontation. As for me, Queen Esther is my teacher and my model, especially when I have to tell my husband some ‘negative’ things. Esther was in trouble. She had to bring some bitter truth to the attention of the king, her husband. It is not easy to tell your husband that his best friend wants to kill all his in- laws. She did it in such a way that the king saw the truth spoken in love and he yielded to it. The choice of words, the body language, the attitude of humility and respect are part of the eternal wrappings of love.

For example, I NEVER command my husband to do anything! Even if it is very important to me! I can suggest a way of action and I leave it like that. I can say: “What do you think about this…” I give him time to see the truth I see. Impatience in marriage is criminal. I also NEVER raise my voice to my husband! That type of shout is useless in any relationship. It can only damage the respect and trust. If I have to correct my husband I keep my spiritual focus on Jesus Christ and the grace available by faith in Him. I identify with my husband’s weakness and together we draw courage from the cross. I NEVER say to my husband: “I told you so!” If God vindicates my stand, and my husband comes back to say that I was right, I never end that sweet moment of grace with any word of pride! I have never regretted true humility and patience as a garment to cover my sinful flesh. This is how our marriage has survived and has overcome many hidden traps and snares planted by the devil. That is why I say: to God be all the glory!

 

In Christ I declare:

I shall always speak the truth in love!

I shall never lie!

My marriage is blessed!

My ministry is blessed!

In Jesus name

Amen!

DIVORCE ANGER!

 

 

MARRIAGE IS A GOOD THING (26)

 

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment” (Matt 5:21, 22).

 

Anger is a natural emotion. Men are angry when they feel threatened or afraid that they lose control. It is very easy to become angry. Just let your hormones take over your brain and your mouth. It is not easy to control anger. It is done with much prayer and deliverance. But it can be done!

God is angry with a righteous anger. He is our example. Jesus too was angry with the Pharisees who took God’s name on vain. But He was not angry when people insulted Him directly. He trusted God the Father for vindication.

“God is a just judge and God is angry with the wicked every day” (Ps 7:11)

God commands us to be angry like Him. We are to be angry with the devil and not with people. We are to hate sin.

The first time the word sin appears in the Bible is connected with sinful anger. Cain was angry and jealous against his brother Abel. God rebukes him but he refuses to repent. Anger is the very sin that stopped Moses to enter the Promised Land. God tells him to speak to the Rock and water will flow out for the thirsty people. But Moses got provoked with the rebellious and in anger he strikes the Rock. God gives water to them but later, He tells Moses that for that sin of uncontrolled anger, he will not enter the land of Canaan. Jezebel was so angry with Elijah that she was ready to God’s prophet. Many wars could have been prevented if the leaders could control their sinful anger. Many relationships could have endured if not for sinful anger and the bitter words that killed the hearts.

 

A good anger was displayed by Phineas when he killed the rebellious couple for the glory of Jehovah. God rewards him for that act with a covenant of peace (Nu 25). This is a difficult passage but the Holy Spirit will lead you into the truth.

This is a very practical question: When is anger sinful? When does the anger cross the line and becomes a tool for the devil? Anger has done much damage to relationships in general and to marriage in particular. Let’s study the Word of God!

Anger is sinful when it is uncontrolled by the Holy Spirit! Anger is sinful when it is:

 

*Too hot!

This type of passionate anger is called wrath. The passion is too much. The words spoken are too painful. Together with idolatry, witchcraft, adultery and selfish ambition these outbursts of wrath are a manifestation of the sinful flesh (Gal 5:19-21). Those who habitually practice these sins are not born again. The devil entered Cain because of unrepentant anger and so, he killed his brother.

When you sense another personality taking over your emotions and your mouth, when you say words that sound strange even to you, when you feel like fighting, when you wish another dead, then you have crossed the line. Stop it! Leave the scene! Pray in tongues for peace to come back to your soul!

 

*Too quick!

“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (Jam 1:19, 20). Anger should not be your first choice to answer in a provocation. You should remain calm, praying in your spirit that God will give you a good word of peace with your enemy. The children of God are peacemakers and not quick tempered wild angry men. Anger lives inside fools.

“Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, for anger resides in the bosom of fools” (Ecc 7:9). The word ‘resides’ also means to settle down, to rest inside, to give comfort. Sinful anger is the tenant and the friend of a fool.

 

*Too long!

Be angry, and do not sin! Do not let the sun go down on your wrath nor give place to the devil” (Eph 4:26, 27)

This is such a simple advice: Do not go to sleep with your anger steal boiling. That will be the sleep of death. It will injure you and your marriage. God gives more than enough grace to settle disputes before 12 mid night. Be the first to say “I am sorry!” The earlier you apologies, the better! Marriage is a fragile gift, it is like glass! It can break into many pieces and no man can repair it! Do not just pretend that all is alright but as a criminal, your heart filled with silent bitter grudges and plans of vengeance. Settle with your enemy quickly if not it will be worse!

 

*Too often!

When anger becomes part of you, when it becomes your life style, then it is sinful. I know many wives who live in terror of their husbands. I know children whose only memories about their fathers is violence and intimidation. When you are known as a bully, when people avoid you because of your temper, then you have crossed the line. No matter the reasons for such anger, even if you think that you are justified in it, it is still sinful. People will avoid you. Punishment and destruction will be your portion.

“He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (PV 29:1)

 

IN CONCUSION:

“Make no friendship with an angry man,

And with a furious man do not go,

Lest you learn his ways

And set a snare for your soul” (PV 22:24, 25)

 

Jesus says that an angry man is a criminal at heart. Do not make friends with an unrepentant angry person! Do not marry a hot tempered man of a bitter woman! That is a snare of the devil! Anger is not a sign of strength but a serious weakness of character. I counsel young people who plan to marry and I hear this often: ‘he is a good man but he loses his temper sometimes…’ That is a signal to stop the plans and still pray. It is like you want to marry a tiger. Even if he is not hungry always, one day he cannot control his instinct and he will swallow you alive! Some tell me: “I like to speak out my feelings. After that I forget about it. My anger is hot but it does not stay long with me…” To shoot somebody you need just s second. After that, you will have a life time of regret. Words spoken in anger are like daggers. They wound and kill.

Take this advice from me: Just the way you cannot marry an adulterous person, do not marry a hot tempered one! Do I hear an ‘AMEN’?

 

In Christ I declare:

I repent of any sinful anger that was too hot, too quick; too long or practiced too often!

I divorce the demon of anger!

I separate myself from any unrepentant angry person!

I plead the Blood of Jesus over my angry spouse!

Let the Blood of Jesus speak peace into my marriage!

The Holy Spirit has taken control!

In Jesus name

Amen!

SANCTIFICATION PROJECT

 

 

MARRIAGE IS A GOOD THING (24)

 

“And “don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil” (Eph 4:26, 27)

 

Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion in response to danger. Anger inspires powerful, often aggressive, feelings and behaviors, which allow us to fight and to defend ourselves when we are attacked. A certain amount of anger, therefore, is necessary for our survival. For example, you need some anger to go to war, or to a race and win.

Anger should not be suppressed, for then it produces internal damage. Many sicknesses are related to unresolved emotional problems. Suppressed anger becomes bitterness and grudge.  These lead to high blood pressure and depression. Anger should then be expressed but not in a way of hurting others. This is a simple advice: always THINK before you speak!

Be slow to become angry and be slow to speak! Your reaction to provocation depends on the level of love you have for God and for men. For love is not easily provoked and does not intentionally hurt others. When you are angry, you feel ‘hot headed’. You sense the adrenaline rising inside you. Your very organs and your brain demand to have a voice to shout.

 

To remain calm under provocation is a sign of spiritual maturity. The devil wants to take control and push you to do things and say words you will surely regret. When anger controls a man, wicked lies start pouring forth. An angry man exaggerates his pain. For few minutes he will ‘shoot arrows’ to wound his enemy and to defend his territory. Nobody in his path is spared. An angry man is very dangerous. He is ready to kill another to survive. Anger is very selfish. It does not want to calm down, to go to rest, except with another round of battle. When anger gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems especially in your personal relationships. Many marriages have been destroyed by uncontrolled anger.

 

In marriage there will be many reasons to be provoked. For two people coming from different background to live together until they die, that is a very difficult thing to do. Often, ignorance and selfishness will rise and provoke the other. It is a battle of control over many things: the vision of the marriage, the training of the children or the finances. The devil waits for a chance to steal a piece of the show. Anger is his tool. Lies are his bait. He is an old fox and has won many battles. Please remember this: You cannot defeat the devil with natural means. You cannot keep anger under control by your human power. You need the greater power of the Holy Spirit to win this battle against the demons of anger and lies. Once you have that victory, your marriage will be a blessing to you, as God designed it to be. If not, it is more like hell on earth. Also, your spouse is not your real enemy. As believers, we do not fight against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness, evil forces of darkness trying to control the home. The battle is always against the invisible demons. Once you believe that and you get ready to defeat them, you shall enjoy your marriage. You need to study the Word of God and pray daily. There is no exception to this!

 

This is my testimony: I have learned over the years to control my anger when provoked by my husband, my children or other people. As an unbeliever I was not what you call a hot tempered woman. But occasionally, I could lose ‘my cool’ and say things that I will regret later. During provocations I will become bold and get ready to insult ‘my enemy’. I was always surprised at what I could say when angry. Normally I will not be so rude or harsh. When losing my temper I felt like wicked words were supplied to me even against my will. After I became saved, I made up my mind to control my anger. It was my personal ‘sanctification project’. I wanted to prove to my husband and to my children that it is worth it to be a born again person. I wanted them to see Christ in me, the hope of glory. In particular, I wanted God to be happy with me. I wanted God to use me as a sample of His grace, to boast about me to His enemies. Controlling anger has been a long and difficult road. But o…so worth it! I prayed that the Holy Spirit will embrace me, will immobilize me and will stop my tongue during provocation. He answered my prayer! Now, when I get angry, I suddenly feel weak and I am not able to respond with quarrels. My voice cannot rise. I try to think of angry words to say and I find none. I sense a supernatural peace inside me calming me down, reminding me that the battle belongs to the Lord! God’s manifested presence in me during provocation is my victory! Little by little, my husband and children have discovered that they shall not be rewarded with the memory of knowing ‘a crazy woman’ at home. They will not remember me full of anger and bitterness! They will remember me as a woman of God, a servant of the Prince of Peace!

To God be all the glory!

 

I encourage you to conquer the demon of anger and to save your marriage! By the power of the Holy Spirit, you can do it!

 

In Christ I declare:

I shall not let anger control me!

I uproot the devil out of my home!

My marriage is blessed!

My children are blessed!

In Jesus name

Amen!