I COMMAND YOU TO LAUGH!

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength” (PV 17:22)

Chose today between these two options:
1. Rejoice, laugh and be strong (God’s medicine)
2. Be sad, depressed and weak! (the devil’s poison)

I chose to rejoice! The Joy of the Lord is my strength!

(In the picture: our very happy grand son Oliver Sisan Oakes)

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HOLY COMMUNION

 

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1Cor 11:26)

The Holy Communion is designed to be the link between the Cross (the past) and the second coming of Christ (the future). It is a visible sermon connecting the price and suffering of love with the glorious reward of love. At the Lord’s Table the pain and the glory meet face to face. Each time we take the bread and the wine we connect the past with the future, the salvation that happened at the cross with the perfected salvation that will happen on the day of the Lord! Each time we take the Holy Communion we proclaim, we preach, we teach, we publicly declare that Jesus died for our sins, He rose again and shall one day come back in power and glory! If you do not believe in the Cross or you do not believe in the second coming of Christ, please do not take the Holy Communion. That means you are taking it ‘unworthily’. You are a sinner and you need to give your life to Christ.

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But for the rest of us, the true born again children of God, the Lord’s Table is a means of imparted grace. We come, rejoicing with fear. By the power of the Holy Spirit, with the bread and the wine in our hands, the Lord Jesus Christ seems so real to us… As we come to the Lord’s Table, we are comforted that God knows our sufferings and all our sorrows. He knows each tear that falls, each secret sigh and each unspoken longing. Our sufferings cannot compare with the glory that shall be revealed, not only to us, but in us! The Blood of Jesus speaks even right now! Be healed! Be delivered! Be blessed! In Jesus name, amen!

 

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ALWAYS WITH ME

 

“His father told him: ‘My child, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours” (Lk 15:31)

 

This is what the father told his son in the parable of the prodigal. The backslider has come home. The older son was angry and jealous because his father now lavishes his love on his once lost son. Are you angry? Or are you grateful?

 

The father stands for God the Father. Child of God, you who feel ignored, neglected and rejected. These feelings are the poisonous arrows of the devil who is a liar. The devil hates families. He wants that the children should fight their parents. He wants the parents to hate their children. The same devil wants to destroy marriages. But listen to the Father! He calls you ‘Child’! “You are My Child!” He is reminding you that you are always in His presence. He loves you. He cares for you. He protects you. He guides you. By His Spirit and by His Word! He promises to never leave you and never forsake you. God is a God of the Covenant. Even when you are not faithful, He is always faithful to the promises He freely gave to you.

 

Listen again: “Everything I have is yours’. Child of God, this idea that you are a poor person with no hope and no future is a total lie. In Christ, you have everything that is good. What do you want? The past, the present, the future, these are all yours. Death and life are yours, these are your servants. Do what you want with them.  The authority to trample upon serpents and scorpions is yours! Do not look at what you miss! Look at what you have! The presence and God is yours! The blessings of God in Christ are yours!

 

Jesus said: “If you believe, you shall see My glory!” True faith leads to glory! May your feet walk the right ever shining path of truth and grace! May your eyes see the King in His beauty! May your ears hear the word of God speaking from behind: This is the road of holy success! Walk in it! And now, let us praise the Lord!

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CAPTURED BY LOVE

 

“For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life… But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere” (Rom 5:10; 2Cor 2:14)

 

Some say this: ‘I was always God’s friend… Since I was a child, I always loved Jesus… then after I became born again I love God more…’ If this is what you are saying, your testimony is false. This is because we are all born sinners. Before you became born again you were God’s enemy. To become a born again child of God is a miracle of total surrender and the beginning of new life. An enemy of God becomes His friend! This is possible only because of the Cross of Christ!

 

This is my testimony: Before I became born again on the 14th of March, 1986, I was an atheist, an unbeliever and clearly an enemy of God. I did not believe in the existence of God. I hated religion and what it does to people. In school, we were thought that ‘religion is the opium of the masses’. They said that religious people are foolish and lazy. I believed that. I hated when people say they believe in God. When I came to Nigeria in 1980 and I saw everybody praying, talking about God and going to different churches, I felt sorry for the Nigerians. I was sure that I will never be foolish like them. I was a medical doctor, happily married with three children. I was rich and famous. I did not need God. Or so I thought…

 

But God’s hand of love arrested me. I was fighting God and His people with bullets of unbelief and arrows of doubt. God used His people to fight back with bullets of mercy and arrows of grace. I finally lost the war. I was arrested as a prisoner of war. Like the Roman Empire’s triumphal procession, myself and others like me, were dragged in chains behind the Captain of salvation. I had no hope to live. Why should I be spared? I did damage to the faith of many by my proud, foolish and unbelieving words. One by one, the prisoners came before the throne of God. They were judged guilty as charged and sentenced to death. My turn came. I did not want to tremble and show fear before my captor. I tried to stand but I could not. The sentence of death was on me. The angels were looking without smiles and without anger. I was thinking fast… Will I be shut or hanged? I did not know of any other option.

 

Suddenly, the One who conquered me pointed at me and said: ‘This one should live. I shed My Blood for her. I paid for her in full. I want her alive. I will change her from an enemy to a friend. She shall be My servant and My lover. Loose her chains of wickedness and replace them with chains of everlasting love. She shall be called my Bride. She is a prisoner of hope. She shall work for Me! To the glory of My name and for the expansion of My Kingdom!’ Hearing that I shall live, I collapsed at His feet. Against my will, I was grateful. Mercy triumphed over judgement! The Blood of Jesus spoke on my behalf! My Lord dressed me with His garments of righteousness. He sprayed on my His Fragrance! He breathed in me His Spirit. He puts His words in my mouth. He gave me His strength to do His work. The old Lia died. The new Lia lives forever.  This is my story! This is my song!

 

Singing:

“Forever You will be

The Lamb upon the Throne!

And I gladly bow my knees

To worship You alone!!!”

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THE POWER OF PRAYING TOGETHER

HAPPY WITH CHURCH TONIGHT
Our prayer meeting was very good. Today it also rain heavily but the people came to pray and praise God. It is very encouraging to any pastor to see people coming to church, especially during the week. God bless you, members of Father’s House Bible Church! You are a blessing to me! The adults and the children praised God. Then the Word came: 
 
“So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church” (Ac 12:5). The word ‘earnest’ means to be serious and passionate in motives, effort and purpose. In Greek it means ‘to pray without ceasing’, pray constantly, continually and fervently (meaning with great passion, hot, glowing like gold in the fire). As a church, we should pray more, not less! We should pray individually, as families and as a church. In Acts 12 you see the power of what is called ‘congregational prayer’. These are some lessons about the importance of praying together as a body:
 
*The first thing to do in each prayer meeting is to acknowledge the presence of the Person of God the Holy Spirit! Prayer must be done in an atmosphere of worship!
*If a church prays regularly, that church is strong. If a church does not pray, that church is weak or dead.
*Prayer is good and very effective (even when some are struggling doubt, like Rhoda…)
*Prayer is a great weapon in spiritual warfare. Thru prayer we fight against the forces of darkness. Prayer is the spiritual weapon that destroys the natural power of the world, which is the sword (political oppression, persecution and tyranny)
*Prayer produces boldness in ministry, especially when preaching the Word or witnessing! (Eph 6:18-20)
*Prayer should be done in a known language (Ex. English) and also in the Spirit (tongues). If there is a prophetic message coming in tongues, that message should be interpreted. The leader of the prayer meeting must be a mature Christian, filled with the Holy Spirit. He must be sensitive to the moving of the Holy Spirit; gentle, wise and firm. There must be passion and order in every prayer meeting.
*Prayer releases supernatural blessings (on Peter) and curses (on Herod). Prayer brings blessings upon the faithful and the judgment of God against the enemies of the church
*Prayer should start if at least 2 or 3 true believers come together in the unity of the Spirit. Jesus is in your midst (Mt 18:20)
*Prayer should be done earnestly (seriously, fervently, passionately, hot; burning; glowing)
*Prayer should be done in the name of Jesus and must be led and empowered by the Holy Spirit
*Prayer is God’s invention and the will of God! It must be practiced always, not only in crisis. Give thanks! (1Thess 5:16-18)
*When praying, things may get worse before they get better (Ex Daniel, Esther)
*Prayer changes circumstances. Prayer manifests the providence of God and His perfect timing!
*Prayer of faith moves God to act. The result is always more than what you can imagine (Eph 3:20)
*Prayer destroys all the obstacles that block the testimony (16 soldiers, chains, iron doors…)
*Thru Prayer we witness the power of God, of heaven, of the Kingdom come. Angels are sent on assignment to save and deliver the believers.
*Thru Prayer the Word increases and multiplies. This is how preaching and evangelism gets stronger.
*Prayer leads to revival! Halleluiah!!!

RUN WITH PATIENCE

“Therefore let us also, seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:1, 2)

The Christian life is compared with a marathon race. It is not a hundred meters dash. It is a marathon race. We need to learn how to be champions, not just for a day or two, but a life time gold medalists. Jesus is our example and teacher. Follow Him and you shall surely fulfill your destiny. What we need most of all is not strength, wisdom or skill. Surprisingly, the first thing we need to run and complete the race is patience. To tell you the truth, this surprises me. In the past, I did not invest enough effort in being patient. I thought that is an old fashioned strategy. I did not believe that patient people are the real champions. How wrong I was…

Patience is defined as bearing under provocation, pain or delay without complain, anger or change of direction. It is a mindset that helps you never to give up on your God’s given vision of life. Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit growing in the garden heart of the true believer. To be patient it means that I shall be faithful to what God showed me about my life, my marriage, my future and ministry. Sin tries to bring me down, to slow me or to take me astray. Patience will keep me on the right road that ends with a crown. Truly patient people are never disappointed. Patiently I will avoid the devil’s snares. Patiently, I learn to let go of all emotional attachments coming from losers who have no desire to pay the price for a crown. As for me, I want that crown, so I made up my mind to run the race with patience!

What is the opposite of patience? What is the danger of being patient? It is to be impatient, hasty of restless. These are designed to push you to go astray, abandoning the appointed path of the marathon. All unbelievers are impatient. Making close friends with unbelievers will expose you to the danger of impatience. Haste is living in a hurry; it is an over-eagerness to act. Acting impatiently is always the product of foolishness. When you cannot wait before you make a decision, when you cannot pray and think of the consequence or your actions, you become impatient and you shall be disqualified in the race. Remember: Sin is always done in a hurry and haste leads to poverty (PV 19:2; 21:5). To me, this is a serious warning. I do not want to end in poverty. Therefore I shall learn to be patient with people and with myself.

Patience has wonderful eyes! It sees the light at the end of the tunnel and the crown at the end of the battle. Our Lord endured so much opposition from foolish and evil men. But He saw the joy ahead. He never stopped seeing the crown! He passed thru the shame and pain of the Cross. He finished the race. Jesus is now the King of kings and the Lord of lords! Jesus is now the happiest Person in the universe. He is God and He is self-sufficient. But as a Man on earth, He showed us the path ahead. Let us take our cross and follow Him! This is the song of true champions! Can you sing it? Is your heart stir up to desire to be like Jesus?

“Lord Jesus, please help me to be more patient…help me not to be distracted and impatient… Help me to be a champion in the marathon race of the Christian life… Help me to win the eternal crown of righteousness… Help me to be like You! I give You alone all the glory! In Jesus name I pray, amen!”

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I RECEIVE THE POWER TO MAKE WEALTH

HAPPY WITH CHURCH TONIGHT

The women’ fellowship was wonderful. It was raining outside but many women came. This is a sign of healthy hunger for the presence of God. May it continue, in Jesus name, amen! The praise and worship was good. The sisters were not ready to stop the praise. This is another good sign of a healthy church. Thank God! Sister D said that she was knocked down by a motorcycle on the Express way. She was lying on the road, in and out consciousness. I her spirit she was saying: I shall not die, but live…my life is in God’s hands. Some young men carried her to the hospital. They did some tests and everything was normal. Sister R said that the toilet cover fell and broke injuring her feet. Her baby was close by but was not injured at all. Sister M testified that God has been with her all these years as a single mother. Men tried to deceive her, to take advantage of her, but she prayed and God helped her to stand faithful and strong. Sister B testified that she needed a surgery for a growth on her lips. The doctor did the operation free of charge. Sister C testified that her new born baby had jaundice and almost died. But she had faith in God to change this ‘story’ into a testimony. The baby is very healthy now. Sister O was sick for months with stomach ulcer and God healed her. Sister H has been suffering with serious asthmatic attacks for more than 15 years. She testified that by the grace of God, she is healed! They all gave all the glory to God! Hallelujah!

 

Then we had a good time of prayer. I prepared another message but led by the Holy Spirit we prayed for a financial breakthrough. We prayed that God will bless the work of our hands. We declared the Word of God over our lives: “But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day…I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread” (Deut 8:18; Ps 37:25)

 

‘In Christ I declare: You do not need a degree, you do not need business experience, you do not need capital. You need faith in the Living God, Jehovah Jireh, God the Provider! God can produce something out of nothing. God is your helper. Do not look around! Do not look at yourself, at your husband, at your boss or at the promises of the Nigerian government. Lift up your eyes!  Look unto the eternal hills of Zion from where Your Helper comes. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords! His name is Jesus Christ! God will bless you with a supernatural breakthrough. God will open a new door for a new business. You shall work less and make more money. You shall not live ‘from hand to mouth’ because ‘money shall meet money in your hand’. You shall not worry about what to eat, how you pay your rent or your children’s school fees… But you shall have enough money to live a good and blessed life. We reject the evil spirits of doubt, poverty, begging, complaining, fear, poison, depression, in the name of Jesus! Holy Spirit please, come! Fire of God, come! Lord, if you give me, I will take!  We vow to give God alone all the glory! In Jesus name, amen!’