This is our pulpit in the new church. It is made by our church people who are good in carpentry. Praise the Lord! The Word of God shall be proclaimed to the nations, to the glory of God!
“Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible” (Lk 1:36, 37)
Angel Gabriel came from heaven to Mary. His words were not his own, but God’s who sent him. Just imagine! What does an angel know about ‘old age’? Does the word ‘menopause’ is whispered in heaven? How do they talk about barren women in the angels’ club? An angel does not grow old. He does not understand the weaknesses and trials we humans face on earth.
The doctor surely told Elizabeth that she is too ‘advanced in years’ to be a mother. Her priest too gave her no more hope. Her dream of having a baby has to be buried with her. Her prayers met God’s door locked. No angel had the key. She may have resigned to be a foster mother to other children. Maybe she can be a teacher… or a nanny to other children… what else?
But things changed overnight. When men give up, God comes down. He likes to do things like these; just so that we give Him alone will the glory. God sent a special Angel with a drop taken from the ocean of glory. The Angel brought a message of life from above. No sickness, no weakness, no mountain of opposition could stop the Word from conceiving. Elizabeth’s name means ‘My God is Abundance’. God the Provider came and gave her a son. The God of abundance brought baby John to his waiting parents.
This is the lesson: Divine abundance may come early or may come later in life. But it will come at last!. Just believe! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Dreams come true! For like the angel said: with God nothing will be impossible! All Glory to God!
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand” (PV 19:21)
God is not an influence. God is a Person. God has His own mind, His own plans. Men make theirs, but it is God’s purpose that prevails against theirs. That is why it is good that in every situation you pray first of all to know God’s mind. You should not go ahead and make plans by yourself, waiting for God to bless them. It will not work!
In Hebrew, the word ‘plans’ means to plot, to conceive something in your mind, the effort to think, to imagine or to invent. People who have the gift of curiosity always invent something new in their mind. They are the poets and the artists. We admire them but there is a danger. They imagine themselves to be wealthy, to live abroad or to marry someone rich and famous. They live in a dream land until they are cut off from reality. This is a very dangerous road. Many have perished in their reckless paths.
The truth is that God has His plans about us, about me and you. His plans are good and not evil. But we hate His plans if they are different than ours. But remember! No one can fight God and win! God’s plan and purpose shall ‘stand’ and all other plans shall bow down in failure. The Word of God shall accomplish the purpose for which it has been sent. If God seem silent now, it is because He waits for you to repent, to come to Him and align with His eternal plans for your life.
This is my testimony: There was a time I thought of myself as a very intelligent person. I (quietly) boasted of my achievements. I had many plans for my future. I thought I can achieve my goals without God. I tried to reason without prayer. I tried to sing without a voice. I failed! And thank God I failed! That is how I met my wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ! His plans for my life are too wonderful for me to write down in English or any language. Christ has now become my wisdom. I can freely boast of Him!
This is my counsel: If you are worried about someone who is going astray, someone you pray for, I say this to you! Take your eyes from that person or the surrounding circumstances. Look up unto Jesus and you shall see total victory and joy in His plans for that person. God is able to stop a fugitive! God is able to arrest a backslider! God is able to change the heart of that stubborn man! God is able to stop that woman who runs towards hell. Jesus has the keys of both life and death. Jesus is the Judge of all the earth and He has the last say in all human affairs! Stand on God’s side and you shall never fall! Have peace! Be strong! In Jesus name, Amen!
“Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name! (Ps 103:1)
This evening in the church we praised the Lord nonstop for two hours. I told the congregation that there are many things we can do in one hour. We can spend it in eating, sleeping, reading or visiting people. But the best way to spend one hour of your life on earth is in the presence of God. The best investment you can make, the highest value you can get for one hour is to dedicate it to praise and worship God. The second best is prayer. Any other thing, no matter how good, is below.
So we decided to increase the value of our lives. First of all we prayed to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We received power as the Holy Ghost fell upon us. We then praised God with all that is within us. From one song to another, dancing and clapping, the Holy Spirit led us on. One thing is clear: praise is a sacrifice. It is not easy to praise God. It is not just singing. It moves the whole being: body, soul and spirit. Another thing is clear: lazy people cannot praise God. It is a privilege to praise God. It is the right and duty of the children of God. Not everybody can praise God. So we, who can do it, must do it!
Just before the evening service, I was informed that a sister who attends our church is on admission in the hospital with her 15 years old daughter. The sister lost her husband about two months ago. Now her daughter is sick. The doctor diagnosed appendicitis saying he will perform the surgery tomorrow. That is why he admitted mother and daughter. I held hands with Pastor Trish, just before the service and we prayed that God will intervene and heal her by Himself. As we praised God I forgot about the problem. All I remembered was The Lamb upon the Throne! At the end of the service, after two hours of praise, the mother phoned and said that the doctor came again this evening, examined the daughter and changed his mind. He said that there is no need to surgery. This ‘little’ testimony is just one good thing following the praise that touched heaven tonight. The praise must continue tomorrow and forever!
Praise the Lord!
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Mt 7:13, 14)
This is the main gate entering our church, Father’s House Bible Church Warri, NIgeria. We call it the Narrow Gate of Life! Pray that all people who shall enter thru this gate will be saved! All glory to God!
“Say to this mountain: ‘Go!
Be cast into the sea!’
And doubt not in your heart
That it will be to thee.
It will be done! Stand on His Word!
Challenge your mountain in the Lord!”
(F B Meyer)
This is the Word of God:
“Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain: ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them” (Mk 11:23)
“For thus says the High and Lofty One
Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy!
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,
To revive the spirit of the humble,
And to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Is 57:15)
The Almighty God tells us where to find Him. He who created the Universe has revealed to His creation, to us human beings, where we should go to seek Him. God is omnipresent. But there is a special place where God, whose name is Holy, dwells in a particular way. The revelation of God’s dwelling place is not just for our general information, but it is an invitation to seek God until we find Him. In the presence of God there is peace, strength, revival, fruitfulness, fulfillment and fullness of joy. Do not seek happiness for you shall never find it! Seek God and all these blessings shall follow!
Most people who called themselves believers do not pay the price to find God. They worship Him from afar and are satisfied with a distant, ‘second –hand’ relationship. That is the tragedy of religion. Listen now to the Gospel: Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, left heaven for thirty three years and came down to earth to reveal God the Father. He died for our sins to restore us back to God. Our Savior is a Person. Only in Christ we can know God intimately and personally.
God lives in heaven. Most people believe that, at least in theory. But God says that He has a second home. He also dwells with ‘contrite and humble people’ for the specific purpose to revive their souls. Who are these people? These are the children of God who take their cross daily to follow Jesus.
To be contrite it means to be repentant, to be deeply sorry for sin. In Hebrew the word means to be a victim of oppression, to be crushed to powder or to have a broken heart. A humble man is a submissive man, one who is not proud and who thinks little of himself. In Hebrew it means to be put down, to be humiliated until you become depressed. God Almighty says that He dwells with these people just the way He dwells in heaven.
Emmanuel means ‘God with us’. This is the promise of God: if you humble yourself, repent of your sins, and come to Jesus, the Spirit of God shall comfort and revive you. In Hebrew, the word ‘revive’ means to give life and to keep alive forever. It is not just a temporary emergency procedure to a dying man, the way doctors are doing it. It means to completely destroy the bondage and the damage of sin and death; to nourish, restore, repair and made completely whole. It means to make a new man who lives forever with God.
God says He dwells with people who suffer injustice and oppression. Simply said, God is your ‘Tenant’ and Friend. Can you imagine having Doctor Jesus living in your guest room? You will never fear any sickness, poverty or any life crisis at all. But this revelation is more than a dream, more than a nice imagination. It is the truth found in the Bible. Now you know why I never worry, why I love my home. Jesus Christ lives with me and in me. What a wonderful promise! What a mighty privilege! Glory to Emmanuel!