BABY IS COMING!

Our youngest daughter Jemine and her dear husband Matthew Oakes are expecting a baby girl! Tali (in heaven) and I (on earth) we shall be grandparents again! This baby has already brought so much joy to us who still miss her grandfather! I testify: God is good! God is faithful! To God be all the glory!

(I use my joy as a point of contact that God will answer the prayers of many who desire children. With God, nothing is impossible!)

JESUS CHRIST, THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE

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THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL (31) JESUS CHRIST, THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE

During the Sunday service, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh continued preaching about the power of the Gospel. Her main text was taken from the Books of Romans and Hebrews: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith…“The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Rom 1:16, 17; Ps 118:22-24)

The Book of Romans was written by the Apostle Paul to the Christians in Rome, who were mostly Gentile believers, The Book of Romans is not the first Book written by Paul (The first Letter He wrote was 1 Thessalonians). The Holy Spirit inserted the Book of Romans immediately after the Book of Acts because of its importance in presenting the major doctrines of salvation. In the history of the Church, God has used the Book of Romans more than any other Book in the Bible to ignite revival. Many great men and women of God have been converted thru the Book of Romans.

*St Augustine of Hippo (354-430) was the greatest Christian in the time between Apostle Paul and the Protestant Revolution. He was born in Algeria, Africa. His mother was a committed Christian who prayed for him every day. His father was a pagan who became saved on his death bed. He was a highly intelligent and well-educated man. He was a great Philosopher and a Professor but lived an immoral life. He was an alcoholic and a fornicator. One day, he heard a child’s voice telling him: ‘Pick up and read!’. He saw a Bible. He opened it at Romans 13. He read: “Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Romans 13:13, 14). Immediately, the Holy Spirit touched his heart and he believed. He repented of all his sins. He became born again. He wrote many Christians books. There was a man called Pelagius who preached error about the Christian faith. Pelagius was an English man who moved to Rome. He said that the original sin did not pollute human nature and that men have the free will to achieve human perfection without God’s Grace. He said that babies are born sinless. Augustine withstood him and using the doctrines of the Book of Romans proved him wrong. As you can see, God used Augustine when the church was still ‘a baby’ to defend it and keep its faith pure.

* John Chrysostom (347-407), the archbishop of Constantinople, was one of the early Church fathers. He wrote many books defending the Faith. He said about the Book of Romans: “Romans is the chief part of the New Testament and the very purest Gospel”. He memorized the Book of Romans and he encouraged all believers to do the same. He said that the more you study it the sweeter and more powerful it becomes!

*Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a Roman Catholic Monk and a Professor or Theology. In 1515 he was teaching his students the Book of Romans. He went to the Vatican to offer a sacrifice of humility. As he was climbing the stairs on his knees, the Holy Spirit illumined his mind and he saw that salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ alone. The Holy Spirit revealed to him Romans 1:17. He believed, and he was saved. He said that he felt as he was born again and that he entered thru the gates into Paradise. He led the Protestant Revolution. The Roman Catholic Church was divided. Many evangelical denominations started from that time on.

*John Bunyan (1628-1688) was born in England. He was born in a poor family and he was not well educated. He wrote the most famous book next to the Bible. It is called The Pilgrim Progress. which is the no one best seller He was a rebellious youth. But God touched him, and he got converted while reading the Bible, especially this verse: “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38, 39). Because of his conversion, he suffered much. He was sent to jail where he wrote The Pilgrim Progress. This is a lesson taken from his life: while secular education is good, the greatest gift is salvation. The Holy Spirit will empower you to be a man (woman) of God. Another lesson is this: preaching doctrine is good, but it must be accompanied by application!

*John Wesley (1703-1791) was an English theologian and evangelist. He was the leader of a revival movement within the Church of England known as Methodism. He composed many Christian songs. He came from a Christian family. He was traveling to Georgia, US, to be a pastor there. During the journey there was a great storm. The ship was tossed thru and from. He met a group of German Moravian Christians who were truly born again. They were not afraid of death. They continue to sing choruses and have fellowship even during the storm. That is when John Wesley knew that he was not born again. He came back to England and he visited the church from where these Moravian Christians came from. They preached to him and prayed for him that he may be saved. Back to England, he became troubled. He was a pastor but not saved. He was invited to a home where some few brethren, every week, did Bible study. One of them stood to read Martin Luther’s Commentary on the Book of Romans. Suddenly, John Wesley felt the Holy Spirit coming to him. He said: “On the 24th of May 1738, about a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation, and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and He saved me from the law of sin and death.” John Wesley became a mighty warrior for the cause of Christ! He had problems with the Anglican Church because of his new doctrines. He never left the Anglican Church but after his death, his followers founded the Methodist denomination. John Wesley said: “The world is my parish”—a phrase that later became a slogan of Methodist missionaries. Wesley, in fact, never slowed down until he died. He preached and prayed to the end! He traveled over 4,000 miles annually, ridding on a horse, preaching some 40,000 sermons in his lifetime. Glory!

I AM NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL!

This is the major theme of the Book of Romans: the Gospel of Christ; justification by faith alone! The Gospel is something everybody needs. This is because we are all born sinners. Christ Crucified is the only way God can forgive man. There is no other way. The rich and the poor, the educated and illiterate, are all the same before the Cross. Why did Paul say that he is not ashamed of the Gospel? There is a great temptation to be silent about the Gospel. The world hates and mocks it. Why? Man is born a sinner. He is ignorant of God and of his condition. He takes pride in education and moral achievements. He does not want to hear that the only way to heaven is to trust in a poor ‘Carpenter’, who was killed on a cross among thieves. The Gospel has no attraction to both Jews and Gentiles. It is a stumbling block and foolishness to them. The world loves philosophy, poems and literature. Not the preaching of the Gospel! The rich educated men hate it the most. Intellectual pride is the greatest stronghold against the Gospel. Many preachers have compromised the Gospel and they present Christ as a Hero for humanity, a great Teacher or a Helper during troubles. They avoid the Cross and what it represents! They are ashamed of the Cross. This ‘edited’ version of the Gospel is called ‘another Gospel’. It has no power to save or change men. To preach another Gospel brings God’s curse upon the preacher (Gal 1:6-12). The true Gospel humbles men. It reveals to them that they are born sinners; that they cannot save themselves. The natural men hate to be humbled. That is why they hate the Gospel. They want to take pride in saving themselves thru good works or religion. They hate to give all glory to God. The Gospel is not man’s idea, another philosophy or teaching invented by men. The Gospel is unique. It comes from heaven, from God. It is the way revealed from God on how a sinner should be saved. The righteousness offered to men is totally from God. It cannot be bought with money or by man’s effort. It comes by faith in the Gospel, Christ crucified and resurrected. Why should we not be ashamed of the Gospel? For only one reason: It is the only power of God unto salvation for all who believe! This is the reason that kills all fears of rejection and mockery from men!

JESUS CHRIST THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps 118:22-24)Psalm 118 is the most quoted Psalm in the New Testament. Let us exalt Christ, the Chief Cornerstone! Christ’ resurrection confirmed His power to be God and Savior, as the Son of Man and Son of God. The fear of God must replace the fear of man! Because Christ arose, His mercy endures forever! What is the Chief Cornerstone? The builders must choose one stone to be use for the foundation. They will say ‘this one is not good… this one is good’. Since ancient times, builders have used cornerstones in their construction projects. A cornerstone was the principal stone, usually placed at the corner of an edifice, to guide the workers in their course. The cornerstone was usually one of the largest, the most solid, and the most carefully tested of any in the edifice. Once the cornerstone was set, it became the basis for determining every measurement in the remaining construction; everything was aligned to it. The Bible describes Jesus as the Chief Cornerstone that His church would be built upon. He is foundational. As the cornerstone of the building of the church, Jesus is our standard of measure and alignment. This stone called Jesus was rejected by the builders. But God set it in the highest place of prominence. Jesus went to the lowest and God raised Him to the highest place! From death to life! His story, the Gospel, is marvelous in our eyes! Because of His death and resurrection, His mercy towards us endures forever! Peter, stood before the Sanhedrin, after doing a miracle, and boldly, he said: “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:8-13). The Pharisees saw that Peter and the other disciples were un-educated men but that they have been with Jesus! To be with Jesus!!! This is the greatest recommendation for ministry! Why is God’s work marvelous in our eyes? Jesus and His Gospel have been rejected by men! Jesus humbled Himself so low and God raised Him so high! This is marvelous! It is not just learning a doctrine, but it is worship; it involves our emotions! It humbles us and gives us hope! Men choose handsome, socially privileged, well educated, and famous men for positions of authority! As a Man, Jesus was none of this! Men do not choose a poor carpenter to be their King or God! Jesus was born in a manger (not in a palace). The first smell baby Jesus felt was the smell of animals. His ministry was a little more than three years. He chose simple people to be his disciples. His glory was veiled before the world. The Son of God that had all that glory in heaven, set it aside and chose to live like an ordinary man. This is marvelous! Why did He set aside His glory? Because He loved His own. He did not want them to fall in love with His glory, or His riches. Jesus needed to die as a Man for men! His glory as God was always there but it was hidden by the flesh, in the body God prepared for Him! Jesus was like “The Secret Millionaire”- movie! This attitude is the opposite of the natural man’s lifestyle! As sinners, we want to look better than we are! We reject the strategy of Jesus, the ways of God! Paul preached in weakness but with the power of the Holy Spirit. “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Cor 2:4). Salvation, healing cannot be bought! The natural man has always rejected the Gospel. The preaching of the Word is power! Nations have changed by the preaching of the Gospel! Many have been saved! The Gospel gives glory to God and prepares men for heaven! It ignites worship! It brings revival! In heaven we shall worship God forever! This is the purpose of man! Jesus prayed before He died so that the glory that He had with the Father will be restored to Him. He never lost His glory, but it was hidden, covered by human body and ordinary clothes. “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (John 17:4, 5). The story of Jesus is the power of the Gospel. It is not enough for you to know it in your mind. It must move you! You must feel its holy transforming power. Are you born again? If not, then surrender your life to the Lord Jesus Christ! If yes, let us fall at His feet and adore our King! Worship the Lord!

THE BEST FOR THE LAST

“You saved the best until now, Lord Jesus” (John 2:10)

All marriages, no matter how strong, will eventually ‘finish’ their wine of joy and passion and end up ‘dry’: no hatred, no love, just ‘water- surviving’ arrangement. There is a moment when you discover that all the love has been exhausted on daily errands and the boring routine of life. There is a moment when fear will grip the heart that your secret relationship failure will become a public display; ‘They have no more wine…’That place of loneliness, disappointment and shame is the moment for the true Friend to step in and help. The best marriage counselors are not found seated at the table waiting to be served. They are found in the background, among the servants, who know the secret of brewing the miracle of supernatural love that never dies. Once you taste from the latter wine, once you are willing to allow God to love your spouse through your heart, your marriage will receive the stamp of heaven and will survive divorce… in fact, will defeat even death. Never forget the power of the latter rain! That is where the glory dwells!

In Christ I declare: My marriage belongs to God! Jesus is the Lord of my marriage, the Red Cord that can never be broken! I will never lose hope in my marriage for my spouse is a gift from God and God never makes mistakes! My marriage shall last until death will ‘part’ us! Nothing else will be able to destroy it before death! I hate divorce! Like the wine, my marriage shall be better as we get older! Holy romance shall always ‘bubble’ in my marriage! The best is yet to come!In Jesus’ name, Amen!

PS. My beloved husband, Pastor Richmond Sisan Leigh and I were married for 47 years. In July 2020, he suddenly went to heaven. The Lord Jesus Christ is now my husband. He has given me supernatural peace, strength, courage and joy. He who changed water into wine is mine forever! This new wine will never end… In the picture taken some years ago, my husband and I… To God alone be all the glory!

THE BLESSED HOPE

THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL (29)

THE DOCTRINE OF THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST AND OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY

During the Sunday service, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh continued preaching about the power of the Gospel. Her main text was taken from the Books of Romans and Hebrews: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith” ….  And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you … For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance” (Rom 1:16, 7; 8:10-11; 8:22-25)

We live in spiritual season called ‘The Last Days’. This season started with the first coming of Christ, two thousand years ago.  There is a day called ‘The Last Day’ (also called the Judgment Day, or the Day of Redemption, or the Day of the Lord Jesus Christ). At that Last Day Christ will come again. This is His second coming to earth, to judge and to reward. He will come visibly, with His angels and the souls and the spirits of the believers who have been in heaven. The believers shall receive new bodies. The dead in Christ shall rise first, receive their new spiritual bodies and now complete, they shall rise and meet the Lord in the air. This holy process is less than a second! In a twinkling of an eye! The believers who are alive at that time shall be changed instantly, without passing thru death. They too shall receive their new bodies and meet the Lord in the air. This is not a spiritual resurrection but a bodily resurrection. Then, the believers shall be complete, like Jesus, united forever with Him! This event is also called the Rapture or the Blessed Hope! It signifies the complete salvation of the believer, body, soul and spirit! (By the way, nothing is said about the body resurrection of the unbelievers!).

The Second Coming of Christ has been promised by Him. It is our Blessed Hope! His second coming to earth shall be hugely different than His first coming. It will be sudden (like a thief in the night; 1Thessolanians 5:2), Bodily, Visible, Powerful and Glorious. “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus, we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17)

The doctrine of the Second of Coming of Christ and the redemption of the bodies is much neglected.  Many pastors do not preach these doctrines. They are tired to wait for this Blessed Hope. Fear of death is another factor. Because these scriptures are read at burials, many believers associate them with death. They avoid reading them. Also, they think that these scriptures are not ‘practical’ enough to live a happy life in this world. Another reason is this: many prophesies have been made about the end times. All have failed. That is why the pastors avoid this subject. But this is the deception of the devil. The purpose of this doctrine is for us to have greater hope, to be serious with God and to worship Him even more!

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for THE BLESSED HOPE, and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (Tit 2:11-14). The Grace of God teaches and helps us how to die to sin. The doctrine of the Second Coming of Christ is the greatest incentive to sanctification, to holy living. As we look ahead to our Blessed Hope, we purify ourselves as He is pure, and we are ready to serve Him even more!

At the last day, when our Lord comes again, we the believers shall receive new bodies, spiritual bodies like Christ. We shall rise from the earth and meet the Lord to be with Him forever. This is not just a spiritual resurrection. It is bodily. It is not just the continuation of the spirit but the body as well.  In the ancient world, once a king comes to visit a city, his friends come to welcome him, while the wicked ones, his enemies, they hide behind, afraid of his judgement! Our Lord was born on the earth and He died on this earth. Man, too was made of dust, dies and is buried in the earth. But at the resurrection, having our spiritual bodies, we shall meet the Lord in the air and not on the ground. At the resurrection, we shall be ‘caught up’ in the air. The word ‘caught up’ means to be violently snatched as by robbery. The angels will snatch us and take us on the clouds to rise and meet the Lord! Encourage each other with these words. The word ‘Encourage’ is the Greek word ‘parakletos’, the same as for the Holy Spirit. It means a Helper, a Friend who comes close to help, encourage and strengthen you. Therefore, preaching about the second coming and our resurrection, releases the anointing of the Holy Spirit in a special powerful way!  When our Lord shall come again, the believers who have died (slept in the Lord) shall arise first. The believers who will be alive at that time shall immediately change from the natural body to the spiritual body, without passing thru death. The spiritual body shall rise thru the power of the clouds. Our Lord was raised by the clouds (Acts 1:9). In the same way, the believers will rise lifted by the clouds of glory. This is a reminder of the doctrine of the unity of Christ and His body, to the glory of God!

The frustration of the natural creation corrupted by sin has affected us. But our hope is that one day, Jesus will come and change our bodies to be like Him. This revelation will produce faith and perseverance. We know that our future is better than the past. No more fear of death! (Rom 8:22-25). “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself” (Phil 3:20-21) Our spiritual bodies will be like the body of our Lord! ‘Lowly body’ is also translated the weak mortal body, vile (KJ), the Body of humiliation. Our new bodies will be totally free from sin and its polluting effects. It encourages us to stand firm in the faith, have the hope of glory and serve Jesus forever! These scriptures deliver us from all inferiority complexes concerning our bodies, from the fear of sickness, depression, fear of the future, old age and death! We must preach the complete Word of God. The preaching of the doctrine of the second coming releases a special anointing to comfort and encourage the brethren. It tells us that our future is better than our present! I may not know what the immediate future may hold, but I know the ultimate glorious future and best of all, I know Him who holds my future! Glory! Worship the Lord!    

I TAKE MY CROSS AND FOLLOW JESUS

“Whoever does not persevere and carry his (her) own cross and come after (follow) Me cannot be My disciple.” (LK 14:27; AMP)

This is the true gospel we preach: Christ died and rose again with and for me! It is my holy duty and highest privilege to follow my Master everywhere He goes! Like the sheep follows her shepherd, so I follow my Lord Jesus Christ! I do not know the way! But I know Him who is the Way! I do not know what tomorrow may bring! But I know and follow Him who not only knows my tomorrow, but who has designed it for His glory and for my good! I refuse to listen to strange (sweet) voices coming from ‘the bush’ of life. My ears are circumcised. Blood surrounds them and seals them. They are tuned to respond only to Him who died that I may live! I carry my cross daily. The weight of my cross stabilizes my emotions, balances my desires, kills my impatience and helps me to become strong. Without my cross, the flesh will manifest. I will become overactive and foolish. Just as I pray for my daily bread, so I need my cross daily. Both bread and cross they give me strength to live and courage to overcome all obstacles.

Dear lambs, let us follow our Shepherd! It is well with us! Glory to the Lamb who was slain that we, the sheep of His Pasture, may live!

FAITH CHOOSES TRUE RICHES

THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL (29)

FAITH CHOOSES TRUE RICHES

During the Sunday service, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh continued preaching about the power of the Gospel. Her main text was taken from the Books of Romans and Hebrews: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:16, 17). Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh said that when the Gospel takes hold of you it changes you, radically and eternally. It makes you free! Faith is born! Faith is wise! Faith chooses the best God has to offer you. The Gospel is the story of Jesus, the good news proclaimed that Jesus died and rose again for sinners like you and me. The Gospel is not about the power! It is itself the power of God, able to change a sinner into a saint. There are only two places where there is no hope: Heaven (because you do not need it there; you are fulfilled) and Hell. Faith sees hope! Once saving faith enters your heart, you see all things, life and death, poverty and riches, thru a new perspective.

We continued to study Abram, the Father of them who believe in the only Living God. His faith is increasing. (Genesis 14:11-24; 15:1). Lot chose Sodom. Some kings attacked Sodom and defeated the city. The king of Sodom and all the citizens of Sodom, including Lot, are taken captives. Abram hears if this and with only 318 of his trained servants he defeated the kings. Coming back from a far distance, from Damascus, he meets two kings: the king of Sodom and the king of Salem, Melchizedek. Observe how Abram’s faith is growing. God rewards Abram’s faith!

The King of Sodom comes first. He represents the world. Sodom was known for sexual sins, (homosexuality). But that was not the only sin. The Sodomites were wicked, proud and selfish. “Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: “She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore, I took them away as I saw fit… Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness (prosperous ease), while the poor and needy suffered outside her door” (Eze16:49, 50). Everybody who worked in Sodom were slaves. Abram wins the battle and brings back the spoil of war (cattle, clothes, gold, silver etc). The King of Sodom wanted to make friends with Abram. He offers to Abram goods taken from the spoil of war. But Abram refused to make alliance with this king. Be careful! The world offers great goods to buy your friendship. But this is a snare! “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? “Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).  By faith, Abram rejected that offer! It is not easy to reject money! In Egypt, he made money by compromising his marriage to Sarai. He repented of this! Now, he rejects the offer of Sodom. This is a great lesson: It is better to lose money than to grieve the Holy Spirit, lose your peace, your joy and your testimony as a child of God!

Melchizedek comes and interrupts The King of Sodom’ speech. The Holy Spirit intercedes for you! He will always warn you not to lust after the world. The name Melchizedek means ‘King of Righteousness’. He was King of Salem (same as Shalom, Peace). He is our Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 7). Melchizedek blesses Abram. To bless it means to be happy, to be congratulated! Others will envy you! God gave him the victory, deliverance! God offers a relationship that has also blessings. God will always be in a covenant relationship with Abram. Melchizedek blesses God! The name of God here is El-Elyon! The Most-High God! He is above all! Even the Cherub cannot fly above God! He is the Possessor of heaven and earth. He created it and He keep it. This is the God of Abram! It shows Abram how to do it! How can you bless God? How can you make God happy? What does God want? We bless God by kneeling before Him and worshipping Him!

By faith, Abram refuses the money of Sodom and receives what El-Elyon offers, not money, but an eternal covenant love relationship. Abram gives Him a tithe from the plunder. In this encounter, by faith, Abram loses money and gains God’s favor!!! This is a reason why we pay tithes and give offerings for the work of God! Abram made a vow that he will not take anything that will not give glory to God! This is the work of grace! This is the Gospel, the desire to always give glory to God! This is a proof that Abram gets humble and his faith increases! Praise the Lord!

This is another lesson: Each time you receive money consider the source of the money! That determines if you take it or reject it! If it is from God, take it! Thank Him! If it is from the devil reject it! Immediately, God encourages Abram for making the right choice: “Fear not Abram! I am your Shield and Exceeding Great Reward”. The Most High God gives the Exceeding Great Reward! He is Abram’s shield! See how Jehovah protected him in the war (with only 318 servant/soldiers) and even against the temptation-offer of the king of Sodom! God says: ‘If you chose Me, if you have Me, you have everything! I am your true riches!’ This is King Grace speaking! Like Abram, may we learn to say no to the devil and yes to God!

“Take the world, but give me Jesus,

All its joys are but a name;

But His love abides forever,

Through eternal years the same”

Worship the Lord!

SWEET BLESSED MEMORIES

I took this picture 10 years ago (22-03-2011). We just bought the land and we started ‘pegging’ for the foundation of Father’s House Bible Church sanctuary at 49 Effurun/ Sapele Road. My beloved husband, Pastor Richmond Sisan Leigh is seen here with some workers. He is now in heaven worshipping our Lord and rejoicing as a good and faithful servant of God. Since then, I will never despise little beginnings! To God be all the glory! “This place is too quiet-ohhhhh….”

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand” (Zech 4:10)(Pastor Mrs. Silvia Lia Leigh)

THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL (28)

TRUE PROSPERITY HAS GOD IN THE CENTER AND HEAVEN IN VIEW

During the Sunday service, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh continued preaching about the power of the Gospel. Her main text was taken from the Books of Romans and Hebrews: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith” …. “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. Therefore, from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore” (Romans 1:16, 17; Hebrews 11:8-12)

FAITH AND HOPE IN GOD’S PROMISES ARE ALWAYS FULFILLED

Abraham discovered the power of faith and hope in God’s promises; faith and hope in God never fail! PROMISE is a vow to do something good in the future! God’s Promises give us the right to hope until the manifestation comes! FAITH is defined as (present) belief, confidence, total trust in God. HOPE is defined as a joyful constant expectation of good in the future. The promises given by God in His Word will one day become manifest visibly. Hope is invisible. Faith sees the invisible hope and carries on, until it becomes visible. Hope fulfills faith. That is why hope is stronger than faith. Faith does not backslide! Faith is not a coward! Faith pleases God! Faith is the substance, the invisible bridge that carries the hope. When faith is weak, the hope may crash. The greater our faith, the greater our hope and the more we can dream.  Faith is the foundation of hope. Faith is connected to the hearing of God’s Word. It is the underground bridge leading and supporting hope. True faith and hope in God will never put you to shame!

ABRAM’S FAITH IS GETTING STRONGER AND LOT’S FAITH IS GETTING WEAKER (Genesis 13)

Abram is getting stronger in his faith. His faith is now three-dimensional. He looks back at the Cross (repents of his backsliding in Egypt and raises an altar to worship God – Gen 13: 3,4). He looks at the glory ahead, at heaven, at the fulfilment of God’s promise, when his descendants will be like the sand, thru Jesus Christ (Heb 11:8-12). He looks at the present challenge, the division in the camp, and by faith, he becomes a peacemaker (Gen 13: 5-18). Abram and Lot are members of the same family. They have been walking together for a long time. They have been together in poverty and in riches. They have many things in common. But they are also quite different in their levels of faith and attitude to life. Abram has strong faith and Lot has weak faith. They have both left everything to follow God to the land of promise. Both are believers in Jehovah, in other words, both are born again. Abram heard the call of God and obeyed. Lot heard the call thru Abram, but he too was saved. God “delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)” (2 Peter 2:7, 8).

What are the main points of difference between these two believers? Abram is always taking the initiative. Lot is always following, never taking risks.  After coming back from Egypt, Abram repents and raises an altar to God. But Lot did not repent from the love of the world. He becomes a double minded man. He ‘blends’ easily with believers and unbelievers. Abram was generous. Lot was greedy man; his men argued about the property. Lot chose Sodom that looked more prosperous. As a younger man, he was supposed to let Abram chose first. But he could not resist the temptation of choosing wealth. Lot was impatient and disrespectful. Abram was patient, wise, a man of peace, relaxed in the presence of God. Lot is restless, struggling to make money. He did not think about Abram’s feelings. He does not build altars to God. He is not interested in spiritual things like his uncle. He is not worried to leave Abram, his mentor. Like God, Abram is generous. God gave His only begotten Son. But Lot lives for material things. He lives for this world! These two men have different visions of life and of God’s blessings! They looked at life from opposite directions! Lot looks with natural eyes and Abram looks with the eyes of faith, trusting God to fulfill His promises. Abram is a pacemaker. He sees that they are brothers, and they should not fight. Abram is concerned about God’s reputation and glory. Abram appreciates the unity of the Spirit. Lot does not care about that unity. Unity is peace! Division is war. Lot is ready to separate from his family and friends for the sake of wealth. Lot is a materialistic believer. He sacrifices his testimony as a man of God, his relationships with other brethren, for the sake of wealth! Lot chose Sodom, a prosperous town but outside the Promised Land. In Sodom Lot absorbed the spirit of the world that affected him, his family and descendants. Seated at the gate of Sodom, he became a frustrated, powerless political leader. He offered his daughters to be raped to bring peace in Sodom. With all his wealth and social status, he lost everything. His wife died looking back at Sodom. His two daughters committed incest with him, in a cold lonely cave in the mountains. His descendants, The Moabites and the Ammonites, were cursed by God. Lot was a man of weak little faith! What a tragedy! Even today, the devil tempts the Christians to serve two masters. But it never ends well! Learn from Lot’s mistakes! But watch Abram! Immediately Lot left, God spoke and encouraged him! God said (I paraphrase): ‘Abram, you made the best choice. You have lost nothing! I am still with you and My promises will be fulfilled in you…’ From now on, Abram gets closer to God and his faith increases! Abram wanted a prosperity that has God at the center and heaven in view! Do not be like Lot! Be like Abram! 

FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH!

“If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself. Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Tim 6:3-12)

Lot’s sin was covetousness (which is idolatry). Abram looked at the things above (a city with foundations). But Lot looked around, at earthly things. Abram was a man of the Cross. He died to sin and lived for righteousness. He trusted God to fulfill His promises. Lot was a believer, but he did not die to the love of the world. Covetousness is a sinful strong desire to have something (material blessings) that belong to someone else, without any feelings for the other’s rights. It is an elemental desire, similar with hunger, thirst or sexual lust. You set your eyes and your heart on another’s property. It is connected to envy. Envy is unhappiness at another person’s success or possessions. You wish to have the same for yourself. It is also called ‘the love of money’. Jealousy is anger or bitterness against a person (not just his possessions). You think that person ‘stole’ your success or material gain. Christians who are led by money, who preach money, who desire money even above their testimony, are backsliding. We are commanded to withdraw from such. We are also commanded to actively seek and pursue the Kingdom of God, spiritual things, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.  Fight the good fight of faith! Worship the Lord!

GO TO CHURCH ON SUNDAYS!

This is what Jehovah God says to His people: ‘Be careful to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between Me and you from generation to generation. It is given so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy” (Ex 31:13:NLT). I speak as a Pastor and also as a mother in Zion! One word for the wise is enough! In the Old Testament, male circumcision was a command given by God. It was a covenant, a visible sign that the man belongs to God. In the same way, Keeping the Sabbath Day holy for God, is also a command. It is a sign between God and His people (male and female), that they belong to the only living God, to the One who alone can save and sanctify them. If you are a child of God, I beg you, attend your local church’ services, especially on Sundays. God monitors your attendance. Going to church, attending the weekly services and other activities is a privilege. But in particular, Sunday is God’s special day. God promised that as you come, He will make you holy! Except you have a very special reason why you are not in God’s house on Sunday mornings, please honor God, the pastor and the brethren, by attending the services! The online services are for emergencies only. God bless you as you obey God’s Commands!

Your pastor,

Malia!

SHOWING RESPECT IS A CHOICE

“Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor”( Romans 13:7)


Recently I witnessed an act of disrespect towards the elders. As a pastor I meditate upon the word of God. These are some revelations I found: Just like paying a loan, respect is a debt to be paid. If you call yourself a child of a God, then you are to live a life free of debts. If you are in debt and you have no desire to settle it, then you have lost your testimony as a believer in Christ. We are commanded to pay our debt of respect to all who are in authority and to our spiritual leaders in particular because they are worthy of respect. Please be sure of this, God monitors the way we think, talk or behave towards others, especially our leaders.


To disrespect someone is to act in an insulting way toward them. When you disrespect people, you think very little of them. Disrespect is not accidental, but it is a choice about NOT showing proper respect, by acting rude, impolite and offensive. For example, talking back to your teacher is showing disrespect for her authority. Not giving up your seat to an elderly person is an act of disrespect. So is ignoring the customs and culture in a foreign country. The opposite of respect is to despise, to hate, to strongly dislike another human being because you think he is bad or he has no value to you.


To respect someone it means to have due regard for the feelings, wishes or rights of others. It means to be polite and kind ; to admire deeply, to openly honor, praise or treasure another because of their qualities, achievements and their investing in your life, or at least because he or she is God’s creation!


For example when Korah and his followers gathered themselves together against Moses, you know how God expressed His anger who complained against His ordained authority. The Scriptures regard it as a daring and dangerous thing to “speak evil of dignities, to despise dominion.” God takes disrespect against His delegated authority as a personal insult. When Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron, Moses says to them, “Your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord.” Also, when Israel rejected Samuel as their ruler God regarded it as a rejection of Himself. It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the Living God! My testimony: I live in Nigeria since 1980. Most of the customs here are very different than in my birth country, Romania. Long ago I made a choice; I take it as a duty to learn the traditions of people here. This is so that I may not ignorantly offend the very people I try to help spiritually. That will not be helpful to my testimony as Christian. By the grace of a God, I chose to show proper respect to Nigerians and all people I encounter everywhere! Respecting people of all colors and cultures is my choice!

Many people have helped me along the way, but my husband in particular. He has been my mentor to help me understand the way Nigerian people think and behave. Over the years, he has patiently explained to me how to talk, dress and behave here. It has not been easy but it is my privilege to work in Nigeria where God has sent me. I honor my husband and my pastor, Dr. Richmond Leigh! God bless you Sir!


My prayer this morning: May I learn to live a humble holy fruitful life pleasing to God! Like Queen Esther, May I find favor with God and with the people! May people see and hear Christ in me! May nothing in my life hinder the progress of the Gospel! May the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be acceptable in Your eyes, my Lord and my Redeemer! In Jesus’ name, amen!


(written on the 14th of March, 2019)

UNDER THE CANOPY

SUNDAY SERVICE UNDER THE CANOPY

It was hot, both the weather and the anointing! You learn more in the presence of God than anywhere outside it. One hour under the anointing of the Holy Spirit will teach you more than any Bible College. These brethren love God with all their heart and all their strength! Please give glory to God for making it possible that we forget the difficult circumstances and are able to look only unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith! We pray! We intercede! God will answer us! God is our Reward! Jesus is Lord! The worship continues…

(Father’s House Bible Church, Warri/ Effurun/ Nigeria)

THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL (26)

UNBELIEF WEAKENS AND FAITH MAKES YOU STRONG

During the Sunday service, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh continued preaching about the power of the Gospel. Her main text was taken from the Book of Romans: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” … What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness…(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification” (Rom 1:16, 17; 4:1-5; 4:17-25)

FAITH AND HOPE IN GOD’S PROMISES ARE ALWAYS FULFILLED

Abraham discovered the power of faith and hope in God’s promises; faith and hope in God never fail! None will ever be put to shame, disappointed, or regret having faith and hope in God Almighty! PROMISE is a vow to do something good in the future! God’s Promises give us the right to hope until the manifestation comes! FAITH is defined as (present) belief, confidence, total trust in God. It is also faithfulness (faith is not on and off; it continues faithfully to the end of life. All the ‘heroes of faith’ kept their faith to their last breath. We need to do the same. HOPE is defined as a joyful constant expectation of good in the future. The promises given by God in His Word will one day become manifest visibly. Hope is invisible. Faith sees the invisible hope and carries on, until it becomes visible. Hope fulfills faith. That is why hope is stronger than faith. Faith does not backslide! Faith is not a coward! Faith pleases God! (Hebrews 11:6)

Faith is a present active verb. It means ‘I exist’ or ‘I am’. Faith is the substance, the invisible bridge that carries the hope. When faith is weak, the hope may crash. The greater our faith, the greater our hope and the more we can dream.  Faith is the foundation of hope. Faith is connected to the hearing of God’s Word. It is the underground bridge leading and supporting hope. True faith and hope in God will never put you to shame! They will never disappoint you! “Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us… Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame” (Rom 5:5; 10:11).

ABRAHAM LEARNS FROM MISTAKES (Genesis 12)

God commands Abram to leave his father’s home and people, and with Sarai, his wife, to go to a particular land. God told him that He will bless him there. Promises are positional! By faith, Abram obeyed. That is good. Once he arrived in the land of Canaan, he built three altars to Jehovah God (at Bethel, Shekem and Hebron) and worshipped Him. Then a serious famine came to the land of promise. Abram was supposed to trust God for keeping him alive. This is because all the promises concerned his future. He cannot die of hunger. But Abram failed the first test of faith. At that time, he was not wealthy. His greatest ‘treasure’ was his beautiful wife, Sarai. He decided to go to Egypt, ‘to survive’. At the border with Egypt, he convinces Sarai to lie, to keep their marriage a secret. Abram was afraid for his life, that the Egyptians will kill him to take his wife. He told her to say that they are brother and sister so that he will ‘be treated well for her sake’. As you can see in Abram’s case, doubt, fear of death and selfishness weakened his faith. He ignored Sarai’s reputation as a wife. He put her thru great stress. Pharaoh took her into his harem. From the moment they entered Egypt, Sarai becomes ‘the woman’. She has lost her spiritual identity. God warns Pharaoh to release her. He does so. In this case, the unbelievers are more moral than Abram. Egypt is a symbol of the world. Going to Egypt is backsliding. As an ‘in law’, Pharaoh gives him great wealth. In Egypt, they acquire Hagar as a slave woman. She will be the source of more troubles later. As you can see, Abram’s trip to Egypt was a disaster. He became wealthy but he damaged his faith, his testimony as a man of God, his relationships with God, and his relationship with his wife. His son Isaac imitates him later in his unbelief. What is the solution? Go back to your first love! Abram repents and goes back to the land of promise. He learns from his mistakes. He goes back to Bethel, where he first raised an altar and there, he humbles himself and worships God. In Egypt, Abraham did not raise any altar to Jehovah and did not worship Him. The Backslider must repent and retrace his steps. This is hard work, humbling yourself. But there is no other way. You can make money in Egypt, but God will not bless you there for the land and the promises are connected. Once back to Canaan, Sarai is called by her name again: Sarai- Princess. Her reputation as a wife is restored. Material wealth is not a proof of spirituality! Prodigal son (daughter) come home!

FAITH HAS THREE VISIONS!

Imagine that you are a driver. Faith is like driving the car. This is the first vision: looking back! You look back thru the side mirrors to see your ‘back’. Faith looks back at the Cross to see the price paid for salvation and for the miracles promised. The second vision of faith is looking far ahead! In the evening, as you drive, you put on the long beam light to see far ahead, to see the future glory, to see the assurance of heaven. That vision will encourage you to drive faster today. The third vision of faith: look at your immediate front! You put on the short beam light to see what is just in front of the car. Daily, you walk by faith, as you trust God to lead, guide, provide and protect. The devil may throw mud (lies) and cover your side mirrors so that you cannot see the Cross. Or he throws stones (more lies) on your shield glass, to scratch it so that you cannot see your future. All this damages your faith and leaves you incapacitated. You become ‘blind’ and slow to make progress. Pray that the Holy Ghost’ ‘wiper’ will use the water of His Word to clean your mirrors and repair your shield. The Journey, the worship, continues… Worship the Lord!

GOD MADE ME ALIVE

“He made (you) alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1)

This is the apostle’s great analysis of the problem, the difficulty that Jesus Christ faces when He comes to a man or a woman. And what it takes to break through this condition is nothing less than the immeasurable greatness of His power. It is extremely difficult for us to believe that we are dead. If you approach a student in the prime of youth who is involved with friends in all kinds of exciting activities and is looking forward to building a life of independence and you say, You’re dead, the youth will look at you with eyes full of pity and say, What kind of person are you, some kind of nut? But listen to Paul’s analysis, and you will see how true this is. For this is a basic characteristic of dead people: their utter impotence, their powerlessness. A friend recalled an incident when a young man who was working part-time at a mortuary took him on a tour of the place one night. They came into the room where the bodies were lying out on slabs, and he pulled back a sheet and said, Tell him about Jesus. He said, I’ve never forgotten that! How impotent is a person who is dead! How absolutely helpless he is. The corpse can do nothing!

That is why only a miracle of life, of resurrection power, can change a natural man (or woman) into a living soul. What is this miracle? It is the story of the Cross, the empty tomb! It is the greatest love story of all! Jesus Christ, the Son of the only Living God, took human flesh upon Himself, became a man, lived and died as a man. He took our sin upon Himself. He became sin for us that you may become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. This is the divine exchange King Grace decreed before the foundation of the world. None but God could think of it and only God could have done it! We contributed nothing to our salvation. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit did it all! This is the Gospel we preach! If you believe it, you are saved. If you reject it, you are lost! Oh, that you may humble yourself and believe the offer of eternal love… Go back to that mortuary … What will you do if you see the corpse standing up and begin to worship God? Will you run away because of fear or will you join this ‘new creation’ in worshipping God? Jesus said: ‘You must be born again!” You cannot improve on a dead man. You can only apply some make up and dress him (her) in nice clothes. Buy an expensive coffin… that is all you can do. But life, to give life to the dead, that is the unique work of God, the manifestation of His grace towards us. Dear fiend, if you are not saved, please do not waste time: surrender your life to Christ, that you may truly live! If you are born again already, a child of God, then praise Him who paid the ultimate price that you may live! Worship the Lord!

OUR CHILDREN WORSHIP GOD

CHILDREN WORSHIP GOD THIS SUNDAY IN OUR CHURCH

A sister in church told me: “my 11 years old son was sick. He had fever. During the worship he went to the altar and knelt down before God. After the service I asked him: ‘when you went at the altar, did you pray for your healing?’ He said: ‘Mum, I forgot about my sickness. I only worshipped Jesus’. What a wonderful testimony and encouragement from the next generation of worshippers! Glory!

THE POOR IN SPIRIT EXPERIENCE MIRACLES

THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL (25)

During the Sunday service, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled: The Poor in spirit shall experience miracles. This sermon in one in the series called ‘The Power of the Gospel’. Her main text was taken from the Book of Romans: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Rom 1:16, 17).

THE DOCTRINE OF MIRACLES

Miracles are acts of God, by His omnipotent power. For God ‘nothing is impossible’.  A miracle is God’s direct work upon His creation, without passing thru secondary causes (the law of nature or the work of man). A miracle results from the direct and free exercise of the supernatural power of God. Some say that miracles do not exist because God who created nature will not disturb the natural laws. But this is a lie. God is sovereign in the way He chooses to operate, directly (miracles) or indirectly (thru nature or the activity of men), for His glory and for His children’ good! Many deny miracles. They call them ‘accidents.’ The greatest miracle: the incarnation of our Lord, the resurrection of our Lord and our salvation. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s grace and mercy, are the basic source of miracles! You cannot produce or buy a miracle. But you can do something that will ‘facilitate’ and miracle: Go closer to Jesus! “Come close to God and He will come close to you” (James 4:8). You go to places where you hear God’s Word and meet others who have faith. You separate yourself from anything that corrupts or damages your faith. Ex. Blind Bartimaeus positioned himself that day begging ‘along the road’. That is not the best place to sit and beg (the sun is hot, the rain may fall, cars may accident him). But that was the closest he could go to Jesus. He then waited for the Master (possibly praying in his heart). He had faith in the mercy of God! His faith made him ‘a nuisance’ to others. But he ignored them who tried to keep him quiet. He shouted louder and louder for Jesus until He called him. Jesus said that his faith made him well (Mark 10:46:52). These are some scriptures to boost your faith in the God of miracles: Job 42:2; Jer 32:17, 27

THE POOR IN SPIRIT

“Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people… And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 4:23; 5:1-3). To be poor in Spirit is the basic description of the child of God. Some have it more and others have it less, but nobody enters the Kingdom of heaven without this quality. The Gospel’s power and glory is that it changes men, from sinners to saints. The first work of the Holy Spirit is to convict men of sin and to humble them. Once they are totally humbled, the Holy Spirit fills them and lifts them from despair. The Kingdom of heaven (or of God) is the area where Jesus is recognized as King and men submit to His rule and reign. Simeon prophesied that Jesus was born to humble men so that He can give them eternal life. The world will hate His Kingdom’s rule; it is a sign that they will oppose to their own destruction. “Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against” (Luke 2:34). A vessel must be emptied before it can be filled! You must die to self, in humility and shame, the work of the Cross, before you can rise in the power and glory of resurrection! The Cross is before the Crown! Repentance is before saving faith! This is a law of the Kingdom of heaven!

Blessed are the poor in spirit! For theirs (and only theirs) is the Kingdom of heaven! The word Blessed, in Greek, means to be happy, to be envied, to be congratulated. The poor in spirit are the only happy people on earth! To be poor in spirit is a spiritual quality produced by the Holy Spirit. It is genuine humility. How do you see yourself before God? The world, the unbelievers hate to be poor in spirit. What they appreciate is self-confidence. An unbeliever is proud about who he is, what he has done and what he has: good looks, wealth, education, natural gifts, human connections, place of birth, nationality, race, or social standing. The main description of the unbeliever is boasting about himself! He praises himself! To be poor in spirit it means complete absence of pride. You see yourself as you really are before God, who is your Creator and the Judge of all. In the presence of God, you see the truth about yourself: that you are nothing and you can do nothing by yourself! You discover that all your boasting about yourself was complete foolishness. You discover that to live, you need God’s Grace and Mercy. All men who are poor in spirit have had an encounter with God, with the Lamb upon the Throne. Their pride died and they felt like dead men. God lifted them up by His Grace and power.  God humbles men to bless and use them! For example, Abraham was a humble man. He saw himself as ‘dust and ashes’ before God (Gen 18:27). King David saw himself as ‘a dead dog; a flea’ (1 Sam 24:14). Moses was more humble that all men on the face of the earth at that time. God punished Mariam for talking against this humble man (Numbers 12:3). God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble who draws closer to Him! Repent of pride! Humble yourself and God will lift you! 

OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST is the best example of a Man who was poor in the spirit. He totally depended on God the Father for the words He spoke and the authority He used as a Man on earth (John 5:19, 30; 14:10). Jesus said: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Mt 11:28-30)

THE TOUCH OF THE MASTER

A man sick with leprosy came to Jesus. Leprosy is a symbol of sin. It was an incurable disease at that time, a slow painful death. He came to Jesus. He knelt and worship Jesus. He begged Jesus for healing. In fear, others ran away from him. But Jesus drew closer, stretched His hand and touched this man. In Greek, the word ‘touch’ is to forcefully grab somebody; like an anchor grabbing the stone to stabilize the sheep during the storm. Jesus said: “I am willing!” This verb is at present tense, signifying that He is now and forever willing to touch and heal you. As Jesus spoke, immediately, like a demon disgraced and running away, the leprosy left him. The man wanted simple healing, just to stop the progression of the dreaded disease. But the Lord did more than that. He made the fingers grow back and removed all the ugly scars. He made him whole. He cleansed him! Jesus always gives more than we ask him to do. He healed the man’s body, soul and spirit. This is the Touch of the Master! May you experience His touch. You will never be the same again! Worship the Lord!    

Prophetic scripture

Serve God with enthusiasm! ENTHUSIASM is doing something you love; do it with passion, with zeal, with excitement, investing effort, time and resources. The root of the word: ‘enthusiasmus’ (in Greek) means: to be inspired or possessed by God. In used to be a religious word. Now, it means strong emotion compelling action! “Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope … Never give up. Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord” (Romans 12:11,12; NKJ; 11 CEV)

JUST DO IT!

“Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest” (Ecc 11:4)

Child of God, you must serve God ‘anyhow’ (do it always, no matter the circumstances). Stop looking for excuses. Life on earth can never be perfect. Only heaven has streets of gold. In good times and in bad times, in season and out of season, in poverty and in riches, in sickness and in health, no matter how, preach the Word of God, pray or help somebody! God will reward you openly! The greater the opposition, the greater the harvest! Just do it!

A MOTHER’S JOY

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 1:4)

Yesterday, I received this wonderful testimony, how the Holy Spirit filled a sister in Christ. She is a committed Christian, a godly wife and mother. As a mother in Christ and pastor, it gives me great joy to see that more and more brethren come closer to the Lord Jesus and love Him more than material gifts! I use her testimony as a point of contact for others who desire to walk by faith and not by sight! Once you are born again, you desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit, you block all distractions and focus on the Lord Jesus Christ alone, in an humble attitude of worship, you can have the same experience! This testimony is given to the glory of God, to the defeat of satan and for the encouragement of other brethren! Praise the Lord!

“Good evening Malia! I am grateful for today and most especially for the Word of God through your teaching each week. I believe the Word was for me today. These series on Faith, hope and God’s promises have been an eye opener, I hunger for more Faith in God. To God alone be the glory. Each day I look forward to spending quiet time with my heavenly Father. For me it’s not how long or short, but only the privilege to have the alone time with Him. Malia I want to share my testimony of God’s power and mighty presence upon my life today, it is to the glory and exultation of God. In church today, when you prayed and asked us to pray, thanking God for what he has already done and that we shouldn’t be ashamed or look right or left at anyone, but on the Lord, at that moment I asked the Lord that all I wanted and needed was him, in my life (all of Him and none of me) and family. To the glory of God, his power filled me up. Malia it is an experience I desire to fill every moment of my life, I lost all control, no restrictions/inhibitions, only the flow of God’s sweet presence. I feel at peace and joyous knowing that King Grace is King over my life Forever. Thank You Lord Jesus! To God alone be all the glory and honor and adoration! Your daughter…”

FAITH IS THE SUPPORT AND PROOF OF HOPE

THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL (24)

FAITH IS THE SUPPORT AND THE PROOF OF HOPE

During the Sunday service, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh continued preaching about the power of the Gospel. Her main text was taken from the Book of Romans: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” … What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness…(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification” (Rom 1:16, 17; 4:1-5; 4:17-25)

FAITH AND HOPE IN GOD’S PROMISES ARE ALWAYS FULFILLED Abraham discovered the power of faith and hope in God’s promises; faith and hope never fail! He will never be put to shame, disappointed, regret having faith and hope in God Almighty!

PROMISE – a vow to do something good in the future! God’s Promises give us the right to hope until the manifestation comes!

FAITH is defined as (present) belief, confidence, total trust in God. It is also faithfulness (faith is not on and off; it continues faithfully to the end of life. All the ‘heroes of faith’ kept their faith to their last breath. We need to do the same.

HOPE is defined as a joyful constant expectation of good in the future. The promises given by God in His Word will become manifest visibly. Hope is invisible. Faith sees the invisible hope and carries on until it becomes visible. Hope fulfills faith. That is why hope is stronger than faith. Faith does not backslide! Faith is not a coward! Faith pleases God! (Heb 11:6)“But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul… Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen… Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]” (Heb 10:39, 11:1; NKJ; AMP)Faith is – present active verb – means I exist, I am; Substance –Give substance, confirm, validate, support under, justify, uphold; Evidence – proof, documentation, testimony, manifestation… Faith is the foundation of hope. Faith is connected to the hearing of God’s Word. It is the underground bridge leading and supporting hope. True faith and hope in God will never put you to shame! They will never disappoint you! Faith and hope can never become bitterness. These are fruits of the Holy Spirit working in your heart. It is worth it to take ‘risk’ with God! God knows that you are trusting Him and waiting on Him. “Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us… Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame” (Rom 5:5; 10:11).

THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM

*Abraham believed that God has justified him, that he is a child of God. God’s approval cannot be earned. It is by Grace! Out of this basic faith the overflow of faith manifests that God will answer other prayers. Only a child of God can believe the supernatural promises of God! Faith never takes the first step. Faith is a reaction the Word of King Grace! Never focus on faith alone. You cannot manipulate faith! Faith has a living vision! “Look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Heb 12:2)*The Faith is Abraham is the pattern of approved faith for all believers! *Faith trusts the bare Word of God! Faith does not need other supports to believe God’s promises! Faith is pure and connects with God’s Word! Unbelief is sin and an insult to God! ‘Whatever is not from faith is sin’ (Rom 14:23)*Faith acts on the Word. God changed his name from Abram (exulted father) to Abraham (father of nations); Sarai (Princess) to Sarah (mother of nations). From the time God changed their names, they too addressed themselves as Abraham and Sarah! By faith, Abraham left his family and hometown not knowing where he is going (Heb 11:8). True faith has action and fruits! *Faith is born, manifests and grows in the presence of God. Faith relates to your personal walk with God, with your holiness, with faithfulness and daily obedience to God’s Word. You need to read and study the Bible daily, fast, pray and serve God. Be faithful in attending church services, for ‘faith comes by hearing. and hearing comes by the Word of God’ (Rom 10:17). You need to learn the ‘holy skill’ of staying, abiding and walking in the Center of the flow of the Holy Spirit. By the power of the Spirit, kill the misdeeds of the body. Flesh lusts against the Spirit and is addicted to doubt, anxiety, restlessness, and worry. You need to walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Gal 5:16). Disappoint the flesh! The spirit will rise! *God called Abraham when he was weak. Sarah was already barren (Gen 11:30). God’s Grace comes in your weakness and stirs faith!*Faith does not deny the problems. Abraham knew that he and Sarah have serious challenges to have children. Naturally, it was impossible! Abraham was hundred years old. He was as good as ‘dead’. Sarah’s womb at ninety, was also ‘dead’. Abraham looked above the problems and natural limitations, towards the Almighty God who promised children and is able to fulfill the promises. Faith does not deceive itself but totally trust God. Faith masters all impossibilities! Faith is always accompanied by testimonies! Worship the Lord!

Prophetic scripture: “Love never fails!” (1Cor 13:8) The word ‘fail’ in Greek it means: ‘Love will never be hissed out of life’s stage, like a bad actor.’ Love never ends but lasts forever! Love God and love your neighbor! That is the taste of heaven!