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Make Full Proof Of The Ministry, by Revd George Adegboye

Bible Text: 2 Timothy 4:5

One of the differences between rich people and poor people is that poor people watch TV and listen to entertainment; rich people read and love reading.  So learn to read.

Some people only resurrect on Sunday morning, we only see them on Sunday. Coming to church is a way of life, it is a place you sharpen yourself for the real world, don’t take it likely.

2 Timothy 4: 5 – “But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry. (NKJV)

“As for you, be calm and cool and steady, accept and suffer unflinchingly every hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fully perform all the duties of your ministry”.(AMPC)

Joseph endure affliction, Job endured affliction and you see the end of these two people, they had more than enough at the end of their life. This book of Timothy was the last book Apostle Paul wrote to his mentee and he was giving an instruction.

Some people will say I do not have a ministry but you have, there is nobody who is born again who does not have a ministry.

2 Corinthians 5:17-19 – “17 Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!

18 But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him].

19 It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor).” (AMPC)

God has given us the ministry of reconciliation and this ministry is for everybody.

There is a word which many of us are familiar with, the word “NEWS”. It was a word that was introduced in the 14th century. It can be defined as newly received or noteworthy information especially about recent and relevant events. In the world today there is various kind of news, whether on radio or TV, we have world news, entertainment news, headline news, sports news, in recent times news was added called fake news. Donald Trump has propagated this news. One thing about news is that people are committed to sharing it. CNN share news, Organisations share news, even you share news when you hear about someone waiting on God for many years either for a job or baby and then suddenly gets one; you share it.

You hear it through news network. I did a research recently and discovered that about 84 public news channel exists. There are 179 private news channels, there are 33 business news channels, there are 14 sport news channels, in Africa alone; there are 18 news channels. You can see that sharing news is something people and organisations are committed. Human beings are interested in learning and share news, what is going on; nowadays technology has increased the speed of news sharing. Organisations have taken advantage of this. Before it should be word of mouth. Some of you are used to sharing and tagging on Facebook.  However one common thing about the news channel of close to 370 is that most of this news is fake, are bad, they are not too good news. It is always very depressing when you switch on your TV or radio and you hear an aircraft crashed in southern Sudan,  a man came back from work and discovered that his wife has been beheaded, a child walked into the neighbourhood and have not been found. Most of the news in the world is not too good; even at that many people still depend on the news, many people trust it and many people adhere to it.

There is, however, news which I believe everyone around us deserves to hear. You know you share a lot of news. For example “…our club won, Spain defeated England but there is news worthy of sharing with those people around us and people in our neighbourhood need to hear and deserve to hear. While news can be defined as newly received, or noteworthy information especially about relevant and recent events. The good news literally can be defined as news received or worthy information of a high standard.  We share a lot of news especially on social media but we refuse to share the news that those who are around us deserve to hear from us. The good news of the gospel of Christ is beneficial and to the advantage of someone. It is news of a high quality. Of all the news, the best news is the good news which the Lord Jesus Christ gave us to share. He didn’t give us world news.

As believers, we share a lot of other news with friends, family, colleagues and unbelievers in various forms but we do not share the good news as we share other news. If we share the good news as we share other news, this world will be a better place. All other news is depressing.

However, there are characteristics that make the news Jesus gave us the best news of all.

The book Matthews emphasizes that the purpose of the news God gave us is to pass it on.

Psalm 91:8…

If you and I can share the bad news why is it that we are not committed equally to share the good news? The best news of all is the good news. If you are used to news sharing through any means, this is an important thing to share with them. The good news has 3 parts that people you share it with will appreciate. The 3 parts are:

  1. God has done something about the peoples past. 1 Corinthians 5:17 emphasizes that old things have passed away for those in Christ. Every one of us has a past with a lot of mistakes. I don’t know about you but I have made a lot of mistakes in my past. Between 1973 and 1980 I lived a terrible life. But the good news God is saying is that “I have taken everything you have done and wiped the slate clean”; you do not have to be guilty anymore over your past. The pregnancies either you impregnate somebody or you got pregnant the lies. Though you since may be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow. Your past is gone, even if that is the only news that is good news but there is a second part to it.
  2. God has something good for you in the present. He has made you for a purpose but for you to discover the purpose you need to come to Christ and discover God. There is a purpose of God for your presence. You may feel hopeless but there is hope, you may feel destitute that life is tough and very unfair, but there is hope. People are committing suicide, throwing in the towel, abandoning their husband, wife and children. Not only has He dealt with my past but he has provided for my present. The present is brighter even more than you can imagine, think or believe. Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 139:17

“How precious and weighty also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!”

  1. Not only is your past taken care of, not only is there a provision for your present taken care of but there is a great future for you with a home in heaven. It is good to have a home in Las Vegas, Washington DC, it is good to have a home in Madrid or even in London but you need to have a home in Heaven. You may not even have a home here, maybe you are still renting but the good news is you have a home in Heaven and it is a place you will abide forever and ever; even without you buying a land. There is a plan for your future.

All these 3 constitute good news. God says forgiveness for your past; there is a purpose for living in the present and a home in heaven for the future. Don’t you think some people will be interested in that? Old things have passed away, tell your friends, families, people you meet every week, on a daily basis, and colleagues need to hear this. How can they come to the knowledge of this without you fulfilling your ministry? Your ministry is to share this good news. You don’t have to make it happen, you don’t have to do anything more than tell people about it, and if they believe it; it will change their lives. Do the work of an evangelist, that is what God says, He didn’t say leave your work, resign from your work just share the good news. Many of us do the work of a pharmacist when we prescribe drugs and give medicine to our kids at home, or when someone comes to you for advice; you do the work of a lawyer, you are not a lawyer. Let me tell you when He said to do the work of a preacher, he didn’t say you are a preacher, he didn’t come down with thunder and speak to you. Like he did to Moses. But he said, “Do the work of a preacher, do the work of an evangelist…” Another one says “go on preaching the good news, another one says “keep the message alive.”  When you share messages, you keep it going on, keeping it alive.

Many of you have received messages on WhatsApp; after reading it; it says “share / forward it to 10 people or 20 people. Some of you do it, if they say you can get free human hair, you will forward it so why won’t you forward a more beneficial message. Someone forwarded it to me, that is why I am here and I have forwarded it to you, so you need to forward it to other people.  Keep the message alive. A Bible version says, “do the work of telling good news”, many of us like to carry bad news. There is a news station in Yoruba (Nigeria Tribe)   named “Iroyin Kayefi” which means hefty news.

Another one says “work and tell others the good news”.

I remember when I bought my first house in Spain in 1992, I could almost tell anybody when I bought my house in America, I could tell anybody.

Oh taste and see, singing “I have seen the Lord’s goodness, his mercies and compassion …” How many of you have seen and experienced the Lord’s goodness, the Lord has been good to you? If you have? then share the good news, you have depth and wealth of knowledge to share from. Good news is refreshing to a thirsty soul. Proverbs 25: 25

“Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far [home] country”.

The heat of this world is terrible; people need to cool off, how do you do that? By sharing the good news, Good news is reviving.

Make full proof of your ministry. The ministry many of us have is not the ministry of singing, the ministry is not being able to counsel people, being able to tweak, there is the ministry you don’t need any microphone, your ministry is to save souls. Mathew 18: 11. Some people say my ministry is to play the drums. No, it is to preach the gospel, to share the good news. When I newly gave my life to Christ, I had nothing but my testimony, I  share my experiences, this was who I was, this is who I  am now and this is who I AM BECOMING, AS I SHARED they started listening and becoming like me. Good news is reviving, refreshing, delightful, reassuring, comforting. Good news is different. It is different from world news, sports news, entertainment news and every other kind of news. I want to implore you to make full proof of the ministry and share the good news.

2 Corinthian 5:18

But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him].”

Paul said it; God gave us the ministry, everyone, anyone, no matter who you are, what you do, and what your circumstance is. One translation says   “he has given us the work of reconciliation. Adam was in a relationship with God, but walked away but reconciling means to bring us back to God.

Another translation says; “He has committed to us the work of making peace” you have the ministry of making peace; making peace is a serious work, how many of you have seen two people fighting and try to separate them, but you need to do this. One translation says “the task of making others His friend…” If you are a friend of God, don’t you think it’s a good position that others need to be? He has also called us into a work of restoring relationships; he has called us to settle our relationships with each other. It is a general ministry; you are not a Christian if you do not have this ministry.

He has committed unto us the task of telling others about the peace in Christ. We need to pass on the good news. He has given us the task of bringing others back to him through Jesus Christ. It is so simple; you have tasted and seen, all you need to do is describe your taste.  He has also given us the office to preach the atonement; atonement means what God did to bring man and God back together again.

With all I have just said, you will expect that many Christians will be sharing the good news, because of how beautiful it is. According to a recent research, 80% of believers know that they are called to preach, but 61% of them admitted they have not done anything along this line in the past 6 months they have not done anything about it. If I ask the same question now and if you all are going to be truthful; the statistics are right but it is your ministry. Apostle Paul in Colossians 3:17

And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.”

I am reminding you and pricking your conscience. You are the one enjoying it but there are neighbours, friends, colleagues who need what you have but you have never shared the good news.

I went to visit one of our members in his office when I got there; there was this man sitting near him for the past 9years. I asked him “are you born again?” the man looked at his friend and said answer him, my member said NO and the friend said why you have not told me. There are friends, family, neighbours, colleagues you have not told about the gospel, you told them you bought a car, you told them you have a child, you told them you bought a house but this good news you refused to share. Make full proof it, give expression to it, and fulfil the work of the ministry.

Reasons why people don’t share the good news.

The seeming unwillingness of members to share good news has been a major concern and frustration for Pastors. If every member here share the good news and win one soul we will start the second service, and church growth will be very easy. When Jesus called Peter he didn’t say I will make you rich, He said I will make you fishers of men. Follow Jesus and He will teach you to catch people. The following is to help you develop a capacity to catch people.

Several reasons why many are not catching people, they toil all night and are not catching somebody.

  1. Many Christians are thinking it is an extraordinary assignment for the Prophet, for those in full-time ministry and not their job. However, Jesus Christ has committed this assignment to us. No matter what assignment you have, it is secondary; every member in any department needs to win soul first. Sharing the good news does not require any skill; share it with whatever language you can share it in. The early church was uncooked, ordinary men; if they can; you too can.
  2. People do not make it a priority. Women make making their hair a priority; they make manicure and pedicure a priority, painting your face a priority, make sharing the good news a priority. Anything you make a priority you are committed to doing. Singing should not be your priority, if there no souls in this Church who will you sing to, who will you record if there are no souls.
  3. We don’t share the good news because we have lost our love for God and others. If you love God for the price you have paid; don’t you think you need to help. If you love someone and you know the person has cancer, you know the cure for cancer won’t you tell them. Sin is worse than cancer. There are people who are from a Christian background but have wandered away. Jesus said if you love me keep my commandment, what is the commandments “…go ye into the world …” One translation says, “…go into your world….
  4. It is because we have become isolated from unbelievers. We don’t know how to connect with them. When you got saved you had unbelievers around but you were told for you to grow you; you need to make new friends. So after awhile Pastor says invite your friends to church you come inviting nobody. Over the years you have developed only Christian friends. There is an MP3 message I am going to give to the Pastor if you are interested in becoming a fisher of man, speak with the Pastor and get the message. You’ll need to understand how to connect with people, how to build bridges with people?
  5. Another reason why people don’t share the gospel is that of fear satan put in people. People are afraid of what they would do to them in their workplace, in school at colleges. If you cannot talk to them during work, speak to your colleagues after work.

Prov. 29:29, Number 14:24.

You can go to the park, the mall and speak to people. Where I stay in London, I just go to the mall; I invite people for lunch. Building bridges with people are very easy. Isaiah 41:10- “Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice”.

I do not know the reason for the fear you have but God is with you.

  1. People are looking for an immediate result. I invited him but he did not come. You want to share and get an immediate result, the man that has been a sinner since 1920 you want him to turn around immediately. Don’t worry; do your best and leave the rest to God.
  2. It is because of their own spiritual state. If Christianity is not real to them, they cannot share what they do not have. You come to church, I agree with you because you are still closer to the person that doesn’t come at all. Your sharing the good news is a reflection of where you are in Christ. You cannot give what you do not have.

God will reward you as you share the good news. God will not reward you for building houses, for having many cars, for having plenty of money, God will not reward you for people you know but God will reward you for making Heaven happy.

Luke 15:7- “Thus, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one [[a]especially] wicked person who repents ([b]changes his mind, abhorring his errors and misdeeds, and determines to enter upon a better course of life) than over ninety-nine righteous persons who have no need of repentance”.

How many people will walk up to you in Heaven and say “Thank you for sharing the good news”.

Go ye into the world and fulfil your ministry, make full proof of the ministry by sharing the good news.

Prayer: Pray to be committed and bold to share the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The sermon, Make Full Proof Of The Ministry, by Revd George Adegboye, founder RHEMA Chapel International Churches.

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The Sun From On High Shall Rise On You Afresh, by Pastor Samuel Obafaiye

The Sun From On High Shall Rise On You Afresh, by Pastor Samuel Obafaiye

According to National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA), nothing is more important to us on Earth than the sun. Without the sun’s heat and warmth, the Earth would be a lifeless ball of ice-coated rock.

The sun warms our seas and oceans; it stirs our atmosphere; it generates our weather patterns; it gives energy to the growing plants that provide the food and the oxygen for life on Earth. No wonder in many countries and cultures from primitive time and until now, many worship the sun.

Many of us come from where the sun is prevalent and therefore we do not appreciate the significance of the sun. But for those who dwell above the Tropics of Cancer and below the Tropics of Capricorn, they will appreciate the sun the more; especially those in the Arctic and Antarctica, where they hardly see the sun in any given year. They always rejoice when the sun shows up.

I will wish we have more sunlight in the UK yearly. That will make my living here more comfortable. Such is the power of the sun. I had had the mind that when we become citizens in the UK, we will migrate to somewhere warm (Florida). As much as I love the UK, I don’t like the climate.

But God has a way of ordering the steps of His children. God made sure that we sow in this land. Thank God, for He has also prospered the seed.

As powerful as the natural sun might be, there is another Sun that is more powerful. He is called the Sun of righteousness. May He rise upon you afresh today in Jesus name.

Malachi 4:2 – But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

Whenever I see a baby of deer and lamb jumped around when they are in the open field. I used to wonder why. Now I know that it is because the Sun of righteousness has arisen upon them.

May the Sun of righteousness arise on you with healing in its wing. May you go forth and skipped like the calves from the stall.

– Someone here, you have thought this is your benchmark, but the Sun of righteousness will fire you up again. You will not only walk forward, you will jump forward in Jesus name.

– Someone here, the Spirit of God asked me to tell you that this is your morning. I’m not sure how old you are now, but your morning has just begun.

The natural sun can hurt those who mess about with it. It can’t be domesticated like other celestial bodies. So also is the supernatural Sun. But for God’s children, the radiation from heaven upon us is just right.

Psalms 84:11 – For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

May God shield you from harm. May God bestows His glory upon you. May the glory of God radiates all over you. May no good thing be withheld from you.

Luke 1:78-79 – Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring (rising sun) from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

By the mercies of God, may the Sunrise from on high visit you.

May all forms of darkness around you disappear.

Any shadow of death haunting anymore to fissile away in Jesus name.

May Jehovah guide your feet in the way of peace.

After sojourning in Syria for over 20 years, God told Jacob to return to Canaan (Gen. 35:1). He was however still frightened of his brother – Esau. On his way home, he sent messengers to his brother, and to his shock and terror, he was told that Esau was coming to meet him with 400 men!

Jacob had to share his servants and belongings into groups and also is family and divided them to worship Esau, while he was coming at the very rear. Overnight, he had an encounter with God who changed his name; and as he was walking out of Penuel, his destiny was changed from a supplanter to triumph with God (Gen.32:22-31.

It happened that when Esau that was coming with 400 men to fight his brother saw him, instead, he came down from his ride, ran to meet him; embrace him; fell on his neck; kissed him; and wept over him.

– You are here, you are terrified of a certain host that has come against you. Instead of the hosts attacking you, their disposition to you will change. They shall run to welcome you; embrace you; fall on your neck; kiss you and weep for their intent.

May your enemies beg to make peace with you.

Joseph was born into splendour and opulence. Jacob his father was blessed mightily of God. However, his brothers hated him, because he was the favourite of his father. He was to be killed but was later sold into slavery

While in slavery, it was like the sun of his life had set. How could he ever get his freedom again? Who will pay the price over his head? Will he ever step unto Canaan soil again? Will he ever enjoy the love of his father again? Will he meet his mother alive again? These were disturbing questions he would be asking himself.

13 years later though, the Sun of righteousness shone on him anew. He was released from dungeon and straightaway became the second most powerful man in Egypt.

– There is someone here, God is taking you to a higher level of splendour and opulence. May you get there.

– To someone, God says your years of captivity and servitude are over. God will take you to such a high pedestal you will never have imagined.

– God is wiping off the shame of your youth now. The reproach of your early years shall be forgotten.

God asked Moses to assemble the children of Israel at the foot of Mt. Sinai, where He would give them instructions, and he should come up the mountain to meet Him. Moses was there for 40 days and 40 nights, after which God gave him 2 stones containing the Ten Commandment.

But when Moses got to camp, he met the children of Israel worshipping an idol and he became really angry. He broke the 2 tablets he just received from God. 40 days gone with the wind.

God later asked Moses to hew 2 stones like before and bring it to the mount again. Moses was again there for another 40 days and 40 nights. This time, when he returned, his face was shining to the extent that no one could look directly at his face, for the Sun of righteousness has risen upon him.

– There is someone here, having confessed and forsaken your sins before God, the devil is still tormenting you with the guilt. I am asked to tell you that your iniquity had been pardon. Your error is forgiven. Your mistake has been taken away. Go and sin no more. God, however, wants you to draw closer to him. So that your face can start shining in an amazing way.

In Judges 11:1-11, the Bible tells us about a man who was born into an honourable family, his father was an important figure in Israel and his clan reputable. It was like the sun had risen on him early in life. Unfortunately, when his father died, the other children of his father sent him packing. He began to live in caves and strongholds.

Not too long, the Sun of righteousness rose upon his life again. He became the leader of the whole of Israel.

– You are here, you have been pushed aside, I am asked to tell you that those who pushed you aside will soon see you in their front.

– Those who thought you are not qualified to lead their tiny group will soon find out that you are to lead a far larger group which they would still be among.

– There is someone listening to me, I am asked to tell you that you are coming out of caves. Strongholds are no longer your abode. You are marching to the palace.

– You are here, for the greater part of your life, you have experience hatred. You will start experiencing love from now.

The condition for enjoying the Sun of righteousness.

As the name of the Sun implies, one has to be righteous to enjoy the Sun’s benefits.

Then how can one become righteous?

God must have conferred the grace of righteousness upon the person for two reasons:

– By believing in His person; and

– By obeying His words

Genesis 15:4-6 – And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Romans 4:3 – For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Galatians 3:6-7 – Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

Prayers

Father, let my enjoyment of You increase greatly.

Father, move me to a higher level of glory in You.

Father, let Your countenance upon me increase.

Father, let my life reveal Your glory to the whole world.

Father, don’t let me be a local champion, turn me into a global showpiece of Yours.

The sermon, The Sun From On High Shall Rise On You Afresh, by Pastor Samuel Obafaiye, was delivered on September 2, 2018.

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I Am The Lord, I Change Not, by Pastor Samuel Obafaiye

Text: Malachi 3:6 For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Background: A message from God to the Israelites which could have served as a reminder; as an assurance or as a warning to them.

The book of Malachi was written about 100 years after the Israelites came back from the 70 years captivity/exile in Babylon.

It happened that the years the Jews spent in exile from their land had made them forget some of the instructions and ordinances that were given to them by God; and so when they returned to Canaan 70 years later, the generation that came back had stopped obeying some of God’s instructions.

Psalm 137 (they were weeping, not praying, not reading the Torah, not fellowship).

As stated in Malachi, two of such ordinances are Tithes and Offerings. God asked Malachi to draw the attention of the Israelites to such areas. That though they might have experienced changes in life over time as a result of their years in exile and generational successions; but He as a God doesn’t change. He is the same before they went into exile; while they were in exile; and when they had returned from exile, and they should obey and reverence Him as such.

Though the message today is not based on Tithes and Offering in particular, just as God sent to the Israelites thousands of years ago, it is a message to remind someone that God is Lord and has not change; for another, it is to assure that God is Lord and has not change; and to another person, it is to warn that God is Lord and has not change.

There are several entities that are either revered as lord or call themselves lord. There is however only one who is called “The Lord”. It is that Lord that has sent me to you today.

– There is a testimony shared by Pastor Agu at a leadership meeting that came to my mind in explaining this. During one of their outreach at a prison in the UK. A notorious inmate called ‘lord’ gave his life to Christ and started going to chapel, so every inmate starts to go, for those who stayed behind, his boys goes after them and say, ‘my lord says you must go to the chapel to meet the Lord’. There may be many ‘my lords’, but there is only one ‘the Lord’.

That Lord has sent me to you. It may be a reminder; an assurance or a warning. I pray you to figure out which one.

Nothing in life is permanent. A child is born today and everyone is happy, in not too distant future, the child has become aged and has passed on and so we mourn. All things are subject to change. Even Satan is not an exemption (he was in heaven, he now roams the firmament, later in the bottomless pit, finally in the lake of fire).  It is only God that doesn’t change. He remains the same (Heb. 13:8).

As a reminder

– In Joshua 1:1-2, God instructed Joshua to lead the children of Israel to the Promised Land after the death of Moses. But because of the difficult nature of the assignment (Moses was like a little god before them; Moses had the rod of God; Jordan, not a small river; more than 2 million people; what he has seen the people did to Moses), God had to remind him again and again that He is the Lord and that he should not be afraid.

Joshua 1:1-2 – Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses ‘minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all these people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.

Joshua 1:6,7,9

– There is someone here, you are afraid of an assignment, there is an obstacle like the river Jordan that you must cross, it’s like the crossing is not just you, but involves the lives of others too. Maybe you have looked at yourself and you have concluded that there is no chance you can cross over, I am asked to remind you that God is Lord and He has not changed. He will help you to cross over.

You have even said that it would have been better if it’s just you. God says I should tell you all of you are crossing over.

In John 11: 1-46, we read that Jesus allowed Lazarus to die from his sickness so that the glory of God might be seen. Jesus had taught Lazarus sisters that He is the resurrection and the life; despite this teachings, Mary and Martha thought if Jesus had come when Lazarus was still sick, there was hope, but now that he was dead, all hope had gone.

In John 11:20-37, Jesus, however, had to remind them that He was not only the Lord over sickness but over death also.

John 11: 39-40 – Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

– There is someone here, you are just coming to Jesus just like Mary and Martha came to welcome Him; but not necessarily because you think He can solve your problem. I’m asked to tell you to keep reading Jer. 32:27 until you understand the sentence.

Jeremiah 32:27 – Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?

In Luke 24: 13-35, after the resurrection of Jesus, He appeared to 2 disciples walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus. They were troubled that Jesus who they thought was their messiah had been killed, and His body was missing.

Jesus had to remind them of the Holy Scriptures how it had been written that all these had to happen for mankind to be saved. Their eyes soon opened and they believed.

– There is someone listening to me now, there is something that you felt has come as a blessing to you, but you are not sure of that anymore.

I’m asked to remind you:

That though you may have suffered many persecutions because of it, but be of good cheer, because you will overcome;

That weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning;

That they sow in tears bearing precious seeds shall surely come back rejoicing;

That it is not the beginning of a thing that matters, but the end of it;

And that the glory of the later is always greater than the former.

As an assurance

In Gen. 12:1-3, God asked Abram to proceed on a journey to the Promised Land and that He would make him the father of many nations, at this time he was 75 years old and had no child.

Years down the line, he became discouraged, God had to assure him that it will not be his chief servant that would inherit him.

Genesis 15:2-6 – And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the Lord, and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Again, years down the line, God had to assure him that it is not Ishmael he had in error that will be his heir.

Genesis 17:15-22 – And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year. And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.

– God asked me to assure someone here that He has not forgotten you. It may appear so to you, but He has not.

– Someone here, you are concerned of time. That time is going. You always think that if only you are still a particular age, things would have been better. For you, in particular, God says He will still time. Time will not go for you.

To another person, He says He will exceed your Ishmael. You thought the coming of ‘Ishmael’ was the blessing you have been waiting for, but no. God said that the blessing of Ishmael will be exceeded.

As Jacob was running away from home because of the fear of Esau, a lot of negative thoughts would be going through his mind: all that his father had will be seized by Esau, his father’s funeral in his absence, will he ever meet his mother again? Will he ever return to Canaan?

But in Gen. 28:10-15, God assured him that he would bring him back and that he would be prosperous.

Genesis 28:10-15 – And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

– There is someone here, just like Jacob you went out empty. God says you will come back in full.

To another person, He says you may be using stone as a pillow now, but very soon you will be using the finest of cotton.

As a warning

When Moses was preparing to die, he gave the children of Israel words of warning from God. That a time will come when they have settled into Canaan properly, that they must not forget God.

Deuteronomy 31:16-22 – And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and these people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them. Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us? And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods. Now, therefore, write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel. For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant. And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware. Moses, therefore, wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel.

– This is my song to you, even though I’m not about to die. God is saying many of us have eaten in the UK and become satisfied and are prospering, therefore have turned to serve other gods, especially Mammon (god of material wealth, anything that promises you more money, greed, an undue pursuit of gain) in the place of God.

He asks me to warn such people to repent.

There are many among us who were fervent as students or on work permits, but as soon as they become permanent resident or citizens, God is out of their picture.

There are some who were single and were fervent for the Lord, but as soon as they become married, God is out of the way.

There were those who were trusting God for the fruit of the womb, but as soon as they have a child, the baby becomes their god.

There are those that were fervent when they had no gainful employment, but as soon as they got a good job, God is the last thing on their mind. Talk less of tithing.

God says I should tell you, He is the Lord, He changes not.

In Revelation chapter 2 and 3, God wrote letters to the 7 churches in Asia. 2 of the churches received commendation (Smyrna & Philadelphia) while the other 5 received warnings.

Theologians have said that the characteristics of the 7 churches represent the dichotomy of the kind of Christians we have today; and the kind of churches that exist.

Which may imply that for every 7 Christians or 7 churches, 2 may be sound, and 5 may not. The question is, which group do you belong?

The 5 warnings to be viewed as individual persons.

– The Ephesian church was told that they had left their first love and should do first works.

– The Pergamos church was told that they were upholding the corrupt teaching of Balaam and that of Nicolatans (mislead into idolatry, fornication). Your teachers are on the internet. They were asked to repent.

– The church at Thyatira was said to have tolerated Jezebel who was misleading people. That her followers will be killed if they do not repent. Do you have a Jezebel deceiving you?

– The church in Sardis was said to have a reputation that they were alive but they were dead. They were asked to wake up and strengthen what remained which were about to die, for their deeds are not perfect before God.

– The church in Laodicea was told that because they were not hot nor cold, but lukewarm, they would be vomited out by God, except they repent.

In Mal. 1:6-11, God brought the attention of the Jewish priests to the bad offerings they were accepting from the people and were sacrificing such to Him. They were warned to desist from such to avoid punishment.

Malachi 1:6-11 – A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the Lord is contemptible. And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil?

and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? Offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? Saith the Lord of hosts. And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the Lord of hosts. Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought.

I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand. For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts.

3 areas of warning

– Our personal relationship with God (prayer, word, meditation, fellowship with others).

– Our service to God (what duty are you doing for Him? In which way are you working for Him? What assignment do you perform for God?)

– Our giving to God/or to the things of God (do you pay your tithes? Are you a cheerful giver? What financial support do you give to God’s work?). God can’t be mocked.

The word has gone forth. Is it a reminder to you? Is it an assurance? Is it a warning? Is it a bit of each? Let’s go to God in prayer.

Prayer of mercy

– As a reminder – Pardon my memory loss.

– As an assurance – Pardon my unbelief and doubt.

– As a warning – Pardon my disobedience

Final prayers

Father, demonstrate your power in me

Father, demonstrate your power through me

Father, show the whole world with my life that you are the I am that I am.

The sermon, I Am The Lord, I Change Not, by Pastor Samuel Obafaiye, was delivered on August 26, 2018. 

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Move Forward, Stretch Forth Your Rod, by Archbishop Tunde Adeleye

Bible Text: Exodus 14

Father interpret your words in our heart. Let us not just be hearers but also doers in Jesus name (Name)

The Bible text is about the children of Israel and Moses as they sojourn out of Egypt through the Red Sea to the promised land. Moses job was a tedious one, he was sent to lead the people that were inherently stubborn. After he had communicated the message, they will leave him and go gather together and do something else (Exodus 32).  The Israelites were a set of stubborn people but God mercies endureth forever.

God hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that he would pursue the Israelites, at a time the Israelites were complaining “are there no graves in Egypt so much more than you want us to die here? ….” (Exodus14:11). Moses was caught amongst the children of Israel and God. The Israelites were very stubborn people as at the time, so it was difficult to do the job of Moses. The kind of people who witnessed the miracles and still were impatient to wait for Moses to come back from the presence of God (Exodus 32).

In Exodus 14: 4 God said he was going to harden Pharaohs’ heart so that God could manifest his power.

“And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.” So the Israelites did this.

I tell you today do not pursue or go after God’s anointed. The consequences are great, an example is that which happened to the Pharaoh.

Meanwhile, God will always take care of his people and look out for them. Maybe you are in a state where you have no one to turn to, no help, no one to borrow from, full of debts and do not how to move forward, you are by the red sea.  God told Moses to move forward, even in the midst of the red sea.

Have you been in a situation where you think there is no way, you evaluate your life and it seems no way, yet God says to move forward. Maybe you looked at yourself, it seems you cannot make it, you visited the doctors they said you cannot have children, God is telling you today, “Fear not”, “Stand still”.

There are many situations people face today, I may not have mentioned yours, I do not know what your circumstances are but I know there is a God.

If you have a relationship with God and hear his voice, you will know he is the one speaking and heed His voice; “… Move Forward…”

The Bible says in Gen. 22: 1; God called Abraham and he answered, “Here I am..”; this happened because Abraham could hear his voice.

I have been through the Christianity, from a worker to where I am today as an Arch Bishop.  At a younger age, although born in a Christian home there was a moment in my life I knew I had to surrender my all to God, it had nothing to do with my Christian background. Even though I was born in a Christian home, something was still missing. I listened to a message and the message came to me and the question was “what next”?

I pray for you today; may you not just be filling the church, may you have a relationship with Christ, so that when he says go forward, you will understand what he is saying and heed His voice.

Exodus 14: 15-16 – “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground”.

If you think you are down God will lift you up. You have the rod right now in your hand, the rod is grace, the rod is the power of God, it is the word of God in you, use it and move forward.

The story of how Jesus discipled Peter is also an interesting one. Peter and his colleagues had been toiling all night but on the arrival of Jesus, He said to move forward and cast your net, Peter replied at your word we will cast the nets (Luke 5: 3-5)

I tell you today, God is taking you to another destination, take your rod and move forward, stretch your faith, stretch the word of God.  Use your faith, work out your salvation, whatever you do, you do for yourself and do wholeheartedly.

There are some people who think doing the word of God is a form of getting popularity with the Pastor or pleasing the Pastor but I tell you today, whatever you do you do for yourself.  God will remain God.

Brethren, the rod to move forward is with you, there is nothing to be afraid of. Just stretch forth. God said to Moses stretch forth over the sea and divide the sea, which means the capability is with Moses.  Thus, the children of Israel worked on the dry ground.  The red sea parted and became dry and all enemies drowned. You will go through the dry ground, you are moving forward in Jesus name (Amen)

Prayer: This red sea that is before me, father help me to stretch forth my rod and let every impossibility became possible in Jesus name, Amen.

The sermon, Move Forward, Stretch Forth Your Rod, by Archbishop Tunde Adeleye, Archbishop of Niger-Delta and Bishop, Calabar Diocese Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, was delivered on August 19, 2018.