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I Am Pressing Forward, by Pastor Samuel Obafaiye

Philippians 3:13-15 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

Apostle Paul acknowledged that he isn’t at a level he wanted yet. He has not yet arrived. That he was still a work in progress. He does not consider himself to have attained or have taken hold of the fullness of Christ, neither has he reached his desired goal.

He realised that God is still pruning and shaping him. He also said he was striving to improve. That he would not give up. That his goal is a definitive mark of a higher calling of God in Christ. He also challenged every child of God to have the same mind as well, that we may not have become who and what we wanted; but we can get there.

You may not be where you ought to have been.

You may not be where you really want to be.

But guess what? You are pressing on.

Press forward or pressing forward is an idiomatic expression (informal language that has a meaning that is different from the meaning of the words used in the expression, e.g. Hold your tongue: does not mean use your hand to hold your tongue, but to keep quiet).

So press forward means to make progress.

Other synonyms of press forward are advance; make up for the list time; pick up speed; proceed forward; press on.

I could have titled the message “You will press forward”, which could have been a prophetic declaration and prayer (which I will still do); but I have put it as “I will press forward”, which is a personal declaration; a decree; a confessional statement; and a desire of what is needed.

When the word press is used, what comes to mind readily is pressure exerted or force applied. Whether it’s in ironing of clothes, pressing against an object or as in producing printed materials. Pressure and force are applied.

From today, may you receive the required strength to press forward in life.

One of the hard situations in life is when a woman is in labour. There comes a critical point when the baby is about to burst forth. If the woman couldn’t press forward anymore, two destinies will be at stake; except certain emergency measures are quickly applied.

There is someone reading this, your destiny is at a critical birthing stage. Receive the power to bring forth in Jesus name.

To someone else, I’m asked to tell you that at the end of it all; nothing shall be lost.

Why do I need to press in order to move forward? Why can’t I just be forward, without having to press?

You will need to press because moving forward is never easy. There are two forces that act on an object that tries to move forward: Gravity and Drag.

Gravity tells the object not to try and lift off the ground.

Drag tells the object to stay put where it is.

For an object to achieve an advance motion, therefore, an internal or external force has to be exerted by or on that object in order to press/thrust forward.

May your destiny defy the laws of gravity.

May your destiny supersede the power of drag.

Both the power that presses down and the power that pulls back, may you not answer to any of them.

Receive the push effect from Jehovah the unmatchable God.

Enjoy the lift from the Everlasting Arms of God.

Why should we press to move forward?

Because the end of the tunnel is now closer than what it was before.

Romans 13:11 – And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

Apostle Paul letting the Romans church know that help was closer to them then than how it was before.

For those who understand the time. There are 24 hours in a daytime. There are hours of sleeping and hours to awake and work. The hour to wake up has come. Permit me to declare to you that salvation is now near.

You believed before. Believe it again now. Your supernatural advancement commences now.

The Bible gives us examples of those who pressed forward and as such their destinies became glorious. Yours will be glorious as well.

In Luke 5:1-10, Apostle Peter had a life-changing experience with Jesus. From that incident, he would have become a fish merchant; he, however, left all the catch and followed Jesus.

He was later used by God to catch multitudes of souls of men instead because he pressed on.

I am asked to tell someone or remind them that their destiny is more than ‘fishes’. Souls of men are waiting for you. Be closer to Jesus and serve Him passionately, your reward shall outweigh the ‘fishes’ you are chasing.

In Mark 10:46-52, the bible tells us about a man that pressed forward despite his predicament and circumstance. His life then became glorious. His was called Bartimeus son of Timeaus.

He was blind. He was a beggar. He chose a busy road to beg for alms. On that fateful day, the traffic of the people passing was unusual. He asked what was happening. He was told that Jesus Christ of Nazareth was passing. From that point, he was determined to press forward to Jesus, the only One who could transform his destiny.

Some of the questions I asked myself were:

What was a blind beggar doing beside the highway? That could be very dangerous!

How did he know when to raise his voice?

How did he know what sentence to shout?

How was he able to shout louder than the crowd?

Why didn’t he get discouraged when he was told to shut up?

Why didn’t he ask for lots of money so as not to beg again?

After receiving his healing, why didn’t he go back home?

He, however, followed Jesus in the way.

There is someone reading this, God says I should tell you to position yourself by the ‘highway’. He says, you are presently on a ‘country road’. Where you need to be to press forward is by the ‘highway’. God said the person I am talking about will understand what that means. The Divine connection you need will locate you on that ‘highway’.

To another person, the Spirit of God says the grace necessary for you to press forward is available right now. Receive that grace in Jesus name.

The question of when to act for you to press forward, may you not miss it.

What to say, may you not miss it.

How to say it, may you not miss it.

May the intimidation of men do not discourage you.

In Mark 5:25-34, the Bible tells us of the woman of the issue of blood. She had been in that situation for 12 years and had lost all that she had in the hands of the physicians while looking for a cure.

But when she heard that Jesus was passing; she pressed through the crowd with the whole strength she had left, touched Jesus robe and she was healed!

There is someone reading this, the reason why you have not progressed beyond your present state is that you have been experiencing gradual leakage, now and again.

As things are building up for you, they just leak with style.

I’m asked to tell you that the leakage have now stopped.

You will notice pretty soon.

You will suddenly make an advancement to a level you haven’t made before.

Every virtue that has seeped out of you are now being returned in Jesus name.

Types of forward movements

Capability (potential/capacity)

Psalms 84:7 – They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.

Ability (power/might)

Job 17:9 – The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.

Glory (honour)

2 Corinthians 3:18 – But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Extent (coverage) spread

Psalms 92:12 – The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

Wisdom

Luke 2:52 – And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

Fame

Proverbs 4:18 – But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

Numerically

Exodus 12:37 –And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children.

Wealth

Genesis 26:13-14 – And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.

Sound health

Joshua 14:10-11 – And now, behold, the Lord hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the Lord spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.

Fruit of the Spirit

2 Peter 1:5-8 – And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The secret of moving forward

Isaiah 43:18-19; Psalm 37:5

Forget the past: mistakes, achievements, blessings.

Reach forth to things ahead: opportunities, successes, blessings.

Have a higher mark/prize in view: better result.

Commit your ways to God in prayers.

Prayers

The Power that promoted David from a captain of 600 men to become the king over Judah and then king over Israel; enable my destiny to reign and rule in my lifetime.

The power that moved Mordecai from the king’s gate to the palace; move me into a position of prominence in life.

The power that moved Jephthah from a leader of vagabonds to become the leader of Israel; turn me into an extraordinary being.

The power that fast-tracks the destiny of Joseph from the dungeon to the highest possible position in Egypt; make my destiny count in this land.

The power that transforms Saul of Tarsus from the murderer of saints to the chief-most apostle; transform me into a mighty vessel in your hands.

The sermon, I Am Pressing Forward, by Pastor Samuel Obafaiye, was delivered on Nov 4, 2018. 

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Impacting Your World, by Revd (Mrs) Gloria Madugba

Text: Ephesians 2:10; Mt. 5:13-16
The Bible tells us that we are created unto good works. We are light that should not be hidden. Men don’t keep lamp under the bushel, but on a table to give light. Men must see our good works and give glory to God our father in heaven. We are even to provoke one another to love and good works.

In Acts 9:36, the bible talks about Dorcas, how she did good works to the extent that when she died; the brethren could not let her go like that. For some of us here, there may not be any reason for brethren to petition heaven for your return if you should pass away. For Dorcas, it wasn’t so. They didn’t let her go like that.
What is impact? It is your ability to make use of the potentials, the gifts, the abilities and talents that God has given you to rule your world and make a difference in your generation.

God does not create nonentities. Every one of us is born and loaded with potentials to make a difference wherever God has planted you. But your abilities to make use of those potentials determines the impact you can make in your generation.

Many live and they die without impacting even a fly; does it mean that God didn’t bless them with anything? No! Just that they carry all that potentials into the grave.

Some of us are carrying books, songs and lots of good works. Things that God expect us to do and bless our generation. How will you be remembered when you are no more here?

That is why the bible says ‘whatsoever your hands find to do, do it with all your might, for there is no work in the grave where you go’. There is a time frame to work, Jesus even said He must work the works of Him that sent Him, while it is the day, the night soon comes when no man can work.

Life is not about how long you have lived, but what donations you have made. Not to live as Methuselah and we can’t lay hold of a few things you have done.
You don’t want to walk into heaven from the backyard, and no one would notice when you arrived. Someone like apostle Paul couldn’t have walked into heaven unnoticed. There must be a heavy celebration that a general has arrived. That is what we should aim for.

How can you make an impact on your generation?
1. You must be a genuine and authentic child of God. You need to be born again so that the devil will know that he cannot devour you. You must be on fire, so he doesn’t joke with you. You must truly be converted.

2. You must be a person of integrity. Your salvation must show in the way you relate with God and people. Transparency, honesty, no hypocrisy. Let your moderation be known by all men. Let your Christianity not only be in your heart but in the things you do as well (Psalm 24:2-3; 15:1-5).

3. Be a broken vessel. Die to the flesh, carnality. Some people are crying to God to use them, but they are not usable because they are so active in the flesh (Rom. 8:8; John 12:24; 2 Tim. 2:19-22). You determine what can of vessel you want to be in God’s hand by your level of submission to His purging. (Gal. 5:16; Rom. 8:5-10).

4. Move your prayer life to another level. Some of us just like 2-3 minutes prayers. James 5:16 tells us how to pray. There must be fervency out of a righteous heart – Acts 4:31. It is a must for success and breakthrough. It must be done without season (I Thes. 5:17). You must have fellowship with the Holy Spirit to pray aright and well (Rom. 8:26). Fall in love with the Holy Spirit.

5. Load your spirit man with the word of God. It is the greatest tool for impacting others (Psalm 107:20). It has what it takes to heal and deliver. Paul encouraged the Colossian church to have the word dwell in them richly (Col. 3:16). You can be listening to the word in various form through technology.

6. Be a hardworking believer. Don’t be satisfied with complacency (Prov. 22:29). Avoid time wasters. Hard work put you in a class where few achievers belong to. It stands you out. Put you above average. Every level of success carries a price tag.

7. Watch the words that come out from your mouth. Words are powerful (Prov. 18:21). What do you say about yourself, your future and your destiny? Prov 12:18. No idle words in the realm of the spirit.

8. Be a great blessing. Add value to life (Gen 12:2). God is not looking for containers that will sit on His blessings, but stewards, channels and vessels. God can only bless you at the level of your capacity to be a blessing. Look for the opportunity to add value to people (Prov 11:24). Your worth in life is not what you have, but how many lives are blessed through you. That’s what is very special about the life of Job (Job 29:11). How many are smiling because of you? Don’t be an individual, you can be an institution. Don’t just look for money, seek ways to use what you have in impacting lives.

9. Be a solution wherever you find yourself. Some of us are so good to bring problems. James 3:16. You are either solving problems or you are creating them. Seek opportunities to solve them. What space are you occupying? Let your absence be felt when you are not there because your presence matters. Jesus always changes the atmosphere wherever He went (Acts 10:38).

10. Accept responsibilities wherever you find yourself and serve there joyfully. Ministry is about service. It is what brings out the greatness in you. Don’t shy away from it.

11. Be conscious of the company you keep. Don’t hang out with the wrong people (Prov 13:20). Who are your friends? Your association determines your destination (I Cor. 15:23). There are people who can become fire extinguishers of your life. Who are you hanging out with? Not every friend is meant for every chapter of the book of your life. It is wisdom to know when you are done with any relationship.

12. Enjoy your life. So that your joy can flow to other. The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. Have fun in your relationship with God and people. There is no spirituality in frowning (John 15:11; Psalm 16:11). Why frown when you can smile. It is also a seed that you can see the result straightaway in the life of whom it is sown. Be excited about your life, you will excite others. Enjoy the ride to heaven.

13. Be God’s priest in the marketplace. The church is a training ground. The world out there is our stage to practice (Rev. 1:5-6). You are a mobile altar of God. Your presence can change the atmosphere wherever you are. Don’t walk with your shoulders bent. Walk as the ambassador of Christ. You are God’s voice.

14. Be passionate about your mandate in life. It’s good to come to church, but is your place in the church? What is your place in the world? That is why you were born. Jesus knew of His (Luke 4:18; I John 3:8). Why are you here? What are you doing about it?

15. Be a change agent to your family or anywhere you are. Reverse evil trend in your generation. The daughters of Zelophehad change in Israelites history. You can do the same where you are. What change are you bringing where God has planted you?

16. Showcase the power of God. You can’t do that if you don’t have the fire of God in your bones. Don’t be an ice-condition Christian. It will solve most of your spiritual battles. It is still for today and not just for the apostles. Our world is waiting for signs and wonders (Acts 4:16). Wake up and let your life count.

The sermon Impacting Your World was delivered by Pastor (Mrs) Gloria Madugba, Spiritual Life Outreach, Nigeria on October 28, 2018.

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The Blessed of the Lord, by Brother Ephraim Okolo

Who is the blessed of the Lord? The materially blessed? Is it possible to be the blessed of the Lord and not have material blessings? Is it possible to have material blessings and not be the blessed of the Lord? The blessed of the Lord is the one that the Lord has blessed, he knows the Lord and the Lord knows him. More succinctly put, the blessed of the Lord is one that has a personal relationship with God.

Luke 16:19-31 tells a parable of three characters; a certain rich man, Lazarus and Abraham. As far as the Lord was concerned, though the rich man had material blessings, he could not be called the blessed of the Lord. His name was not recognized. He had no personal relationship with God. Lazarus, on the other hand, had little or no material blessings but he was recognized by the Lord and therefore we could see him as one blessed of the Lord. Though he carried the Blessing, he was still poor. Therefore material blessings are never an indicator of who the blessed of the Lord is.

In the Blessing, however, is everything we need to live a successful life. We just need to activate or take responsibility for our own parts so that the material blessings which are just additions will become reality. This was depicted by father Abraham because he was blessed of the Lord and he was rich while on the earth. The Blessing referred to here, is recognizable (Gen 24:11-31), transferable and transgenerational.

God created man for fellowship. Man carried the Blessing but lost it. Since then God sought for the restoration of humanity back to divinity but no man was qualified for this redemptive task. Only Jesus Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Lamb of God, prevailed to open the scroll (Rev 5:1-9). In conclusion, one can only truly be called the blessed of the Lord when he or she has a personal relationship with the Lord.

The sermon, The Blessed of the Lord, by Brother Ephraim Okolo, was delivered on the 21st of October 2018 at the Special Youth Service.

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What Is The Colour Of My Robe? by Pastor Samuel Obafaiye

Text: Rev. 7:9-14 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindred, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God forever and ever. Amen.

And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

This is an account of what will happen in the future which was shown to John the Beloved by Jesus at the island of Patmos.

John was the only apostle that died of natural causes. After all, attempt to kill him failed, the Roman Emperor Domitian asked that he should be taken to that island to die of hunger, but Jesus took him into a trance to heaven instead to see things to come.

John saw that not only Jews will be in heaven, but also multitudes from all races and colour. One unifying thing among those in heaven is that they will all be wearing white robes.

For me, one of the greatest inventions of man as a result of eating the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil is clothing. It covers our physical nakedness. All the inventions of light, the telephone, cars, planes, etc. are very great; but without clothes, life will really be weird.

The first time Adam and Eve had to manufacture covering, they made it from fig leaves. God had to give them a better covering made from the animal skin instead.

Apart from covering our physical nakedness; clothes also serve the importance of keeping us warm, especially in a colder climate, the thicker the clothe, the warmer a person may feel so that one doesn’t fall sick.

2 Timothy 4:13 The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.

As civilisation progresses, clothe significance has graduated from just covering of nakedness and warmth to show of wealth and affluence; royalty and honour; uniformity and identification; etc.

For example:

Honour – Ex. 28:2

Royalty – Gen. 41:42; Esther 6:1-11

Uniformity – Ex. 28:40-43

Wealth/Affluence – Luke 16:19

Poverty – James 2:1-4

Culture – Joshua 7:21-22.

We are all dressed beautifully in different attires today, but before God, there are only two types of clothing or garments one can wear. So as we are all here, you will either be wearing either of two un-imaginary garments.

  1. Robe of righteousness – It is a pure white linen given as a gift by God to a person when they are saved. However, the person is expected to consciously and constantly make effort to wash that robe in the blood of Jesus, such that there must not be any spot, stain, wrinkle or blemish on their robe when Jesus comes for them.

Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

  1. Robe of filth (unrighteousness) – This is a robe that bought from another source of sown by self. It may be of any colour. It may even be a white robe haven been given by God initially. The problem with the robe may just be that it’s a bit dirty, a little stained has few spots, partly wrinkled, and has a blemish or any of such things.

Such robe may be worn deliberately.

Mt. 22:1-14

The parable of the guests invited to a wedding.

Or it may be worn carelessly.

Zechariah 3:1-5 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by.

How do I keep my robe pure white?

God told High Priest Joshua what to do so that such an occurrence will not happen to him again.

Zechariah 3:6-7 (Amplified) And the angel of the Lord (solemnly and earnestly) admonished Joshua, saying, “Thus saith the Lord of hosts; ‘If you will walk in my ways (that is, remain faithful), and perform My service, then you will also govern My house, and have charge of My courts, and I will give you free access (to My presence) among these who are standing here.'”

  1. Walk in My ways. How can a man walk in the ways of God?

Micah 6:8

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Do justice; love mercy; walk humbly before God.

  1. Perform My service. How can a man perform God service?

Romans 12:1 – I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Give yourself; give your time; give your substance to the service of God.

Jesus at 12 years said. “Why look for me? Know not that I must be about My father’s business?”

What are you doing about your father’s business? I challenge you to get on board. Come to me and say “this is my circumstance, what can I do?”

Is there any stain from the above in your robe already? The blood of Jesus is still available to wash your robe. Ask Him to wash you now.

The sermon, What Is The Colour Of My Robe? by Pastor Samuel Obafaiye, was delivered on October 14th, 2018.