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Don’t Miss Your Place In God’s Program, by Pastor Peter Yakubu

Text: Ruth 1:1-22

This happened in the days when judges ruled: needless to stress that the rule of judges and not kings as should have been the case was brought about as a consequence of the error of a man called Judah, the son of Jacob. This error denied ten generations of kings access to the throne because a father satisfied his lust.

Elimelech was a man in the lineage of the Messiah from the city of Beth-lehem-Judah. (Bethlehem means the house of bread or the place of food.) It was an irony that there was famine in the house of bread and Elimelech whose name means “My God Is King” would relocate to somewhere else, and of all places, Moab; outside of the Commonwealth of Israel. He left with his wife and two sons to live in Moab.

Soon after, Elimelech died leaving his wife Naomi ( Naomi mean” pleasant, lovely” hence -“my pleasant one or “my lovely one”) and their two sons Mahlon (meaning “weak, sick”) and Kilion (meaning “frail”)

The two boys married Moabite ladies Orpah (“back of the neck” or ” to turn back”) and Ruth (“friendship”). Within the space of a short time, the two boys died leaving no children. Having been in Moan for ten years, Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem having heard that the famine was over (Vs 6). Orpah ‘turned back’ to her people while Ruth befriended Naomi to the end (vs 14).

In vs 13, Naomi said, “…the LORD is afflicting me!” (NET). Why would she claim so and not that the hand of the LORD was against her husband and children by killing them? Obviously, she knew she was in the heat because it was her decision to relocate in the first place. Don’t ever undermine the power of a woman: if a man is tired of a place or church and desires to move and the wife does not consent, trust me, they will remain there. If the woman got tired and decided to move and the man does not want to, still trust me, they are moving. For whatever reason Naomi wanted out of Bethlehem during the ‘temporary’ scarcity, I cannot say: maybe she thought she was smart, or she wanted her ailing children treated abroad or maybe, she was just an impatient person. Whatever the reason, DO NOT MAKE PERMANENT DECISIONS OVER TEMPORARY SITUATIONS.

When Naomi got back to Bethlehem, she met the same people she left behind, they did not die. Rather she suffered losses. She said “I left here full, but…return empty (vs 21). Her decision to relocate did not pay her.

How many people have left the churches where God planted them at the slightest provocation or offences. Whatever the offence, if God planted you there stay there (Ps 92:13). You don’t resign from your job because of provocation or offences, do you? Why leave the church? Why leave your country or city for a reason that might not stand the test?’ The LORD Jesus said “offences must come” (Matt. 18:7). Patience and self-control are the fruit of the Spirit.

Elimelech should have been the great-grandfather of David and a progenitor of the Messiah but he lost it to a woman who could see beyond the mundane and attached herself forcefully and by faith into the genealogy of the Lord Jesus Christ. Ruth was a woman of the Spirit, willing to go to where Naomi ran away from. She became the mother of Obed, David’s grandpa through Boaz, Elimelech’s brother. Elimelech lost it and his brother had to raise the seed for him through Ruth. Even if Obed bears Chilion’s name, we know the seed is Boaz’s.

Elimelech’s one mistake erased his entire generation from God’s program for them. Let’s be careful about our choices and decisions in life.

Final Note:

That interesting four-chaptered book was not dedicated nor named after Elimelech, nor Naomi, neither Boaz nor Obed but to a total stranger, a gentile woman, a Moabitess, RUTH, who knew to plug herself into God’s program when those for whom it was prepared failed.

Seek To Know And Stay In The Centre Of God’s Will.

The sermon, Don’t Miss Your Place In God’s Program, by Pastor Peter Yakubu, founder, Prevailer’s Arena, Lagos Nigeria, was delivered on August 5, 2018.

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The God Of All Grace, by Pastor (Mrs) Tonia Obafaiye

1 Peter 5:10: But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen and settle you.

The month of July 2018 has been declared a month of common salvation and un-common faith by God Almighty through the Angel of his Church as inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Common Salvation:

John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:18: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Jesus died for all: Salvation for all has been paid for, free for all but I would say not entirely free because someone paid dearly for it with His precious Blood. I guess it is free for all because we did not do anything to warrant it, deserve it or be worthy of it.

But the Bible says in Ephesians 2:9, it is by the grace of God that we receive it, not of works, lest any man should boast. I believe that is why some people find it so difficult to accept and believe in the simplicity of the gospel (salvation) that is free of charge because they feel they should be able to do something or give something to merit it.

The Bible in Titus 2:11 says: For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.

The plan and desire of God are that salvation should be common to all men (regardless of their race, colour, language, status, height, weight, educational status or vocation). Jesus Christ the Son of God died for all, the Cross is a wealthy place because God sowed his only Begotten Son, so that He can reap you and I. That’s why the Bible says if the prince of this world knew that the King of Glory will resurrect, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. Let somebody shout Halleluiah.

The Bible says in Matthew 24:14: And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations and then shall the end come.

Romans 10:15 says: And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things.

Un-common faith:

Faith, as it were, is the solid foundation of every born again spirit-filled life. It is like the air we breathe.

Hebrews 11:6 makes us to understand that without faith it is impossible to please him, for he that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek (& serve) Him.

Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

A great man (Martin Luther King) defines faith as: ‘Faith is God’s work in us, that changes us and gives new birth from God. (John 1:13  which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God). It kills the Old Adam and makes us completely different from other people. It changes our hearts, our spirits, our thoughts and all our powers. It brings the Holy Spirit with it. Yes, it is a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this faith. Faith cannot help doing good works constantly. It doesn’t stop to ask if good works ought to be done, but before anyone asks, it already has done them and continues to do them without ceasing. Anyone who does not do good works in this manner is an unbeliever. Faith is a living, bold trust in God’s grace, so certain of God’s favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it (Job: Though he slay me yet will I trust Him). Such confidence and knowledge of God’s grace makes you happy, joyful and bold in your relationship to God and all creatures. The Holy Spirit makes this happen through faith. Because of it, you freely, willingly and joyfully do good to everyone, serve everyone, suffer all kinds of things, love and praise the God who has shown you such grace. Thus, it is just as impossible to separate faith and works as it is to separate heat and light from fire!

I believe every man is born with a measure of faith, but the extent to which it grows or can be strengthened depends on who you yield your spirit to (Romans 6:16: Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?)

Jesus said in Matthew 17:20 that if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can move mountains. You can begin to imagine when this mustard seed faith begins to be exercised in the living word of God, we can do the unimaginable, extraordinary, amazing things and exploits for the Lord.

I want to liken uncommon faith to un-wavering faith (devoid of the doubt like the one James described in James 1:6-8, a double-minded man cannot receive anything from the Lord)

They say if you do not stand for something you will fall for everything. Consistent faith, the faith that does not easily give up, no matter the distraction, discouragement or how intense the fire of the trial might be. Elisha in 2 Kings 2 when he journeyed with his Master Elijah before he was taken away.

There were 3 people in the Bible that Jesus accorded accolades (means special honour & acknowledgement) to in the Bible because he saw them exercise great faith. The Greek Woman & The Centurion.

May God Almighty strengthen our faith to become great faith in Jesus name.

Please journey with me as we look at these 2 examples from the Bible of people that demonstrated un-common faith.

The Greek Woman (In Mark 7:24-30)

A Gentile woman from Syrian Phoenicia asks Jesus to cast a demon out of her daughter. A Gentile is not expected to have faith in the Jewish Messiah. In fact, Jesus tries to shoe (discourage) her away, basically calling her a dog. It was a rare moment in the ministry of Jesus indeed, that he would say no to someone asking for help. Clearly, this serves as an opposition to faith. This gentile woman had every reason to just walk away, but she didn’t. Instead, she responded that even the dogs get the scraps from the table. Jesus delivered her daughter because of this reply. Both the initial rejection by Jesus and His statement that the woman’s reply is the reason she got her miracle makes this event unique.

The one characteristic this woman did not have is that she really had nothing to lose by stepping out in faith and not walking away when she was rejected and discouraged.

Her faith was desperate, she had a demon-possessed daughter at home, and she left home believing that when she met with the Great Physician (The Son of David) all will be well with her daughter and she received because she believed.

They say life does not give you what you want in your mind, it gives you what you demand with your actions. Matthew 7:7: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you’

John 16:24: says: ask until your joy is full. Let’s not ask in murmuring, complaining, or in vain repetition, but we ask in faith believing we will receive because God is too faithful to fail, He is infallible, He has never lost any battle, He cannot deny Himself or His word).

The Centurion (Matthew 8:5-13)

The story of the Centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant. It is unusual in that the centurion actually prevented Jesus from going to his house. He said ‘Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof but speak the word only and my servant shall be healed’. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me, and I say to this man, Go and he goeth and to another, come and he cometh and to my servant, Do this and he doeth it’.

The story is unique and it scores the centurion’s faith as great faith.

There are only a few instances in the Bible where Jesus healed from a distance, and in none of them, does the recipient of the miracle express faith in long distance healing, but this centurion stopped Jesus from entering the presence of his sick servant, declaring that he believed Jesus had enough authority to heal from a distance just by saying the word. Jesus responds with great praise, saying, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. Jesus spoke the word and his servant was healed that same hour.

Brethren, we might not be able to see Jesus face to face now as the Centurion or the Greek woman did, but He lives in us and we have His living word which is spirit & life. The Bible says in Mark 11:24 ‘Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them’.

Proverbs 24:10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.

Luke 17: 4-5 Even if he sin’s against you seven times in a day, and seven times returns to say, ‘I repent, thou shalt forgive him. ’ And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.

(The Power of Faith) Remember the Bible says it is impossible to please God without having faith in him. So everything we do as children of God must please God 100%.

The sermon, The God Of All Grace, by Pastor (Mrs) Tonia Obafaiye, was delivered on July 29, 2018

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How To Be Preserved In These Times And Seasons, by Pastor Yomi Obadimeji

Text: Jude 1: 1-4 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, [and] called: 2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.  3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.  4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

The times we are in are evil. It is the last days. Things that we do not imagine will happen are happening in our days. Instead of condemning evil things, they get celebrated nowadays.

As Christians, God is counting on us. We have received a common salvation, we are however not making it common and popular to people around us. We just keep to ourselves alone. This is not the mind of God, He wants us to publish the good news by proclaiming our faith everywhere.

In order for us to be preserved in this evil times, we must do the following:

Continue to maintain His presence.

Moses knew that the only thing that could preserve Israel as a nation was if God’s presence remained with them (Ex. 34:33-35). The presence of God was distinguishable in the life of Moses, His face shone and reflect the glory of God, such that other people could not look at him.

When the presence of God is with us, the more secure we will be. Moses was kept secure because he dwelt in God’s presence.  Every enemy he had were subdued before him (Num, 12: 1-10).

David also dwelt in the presence of God, he was kept secured by God from all attacks: animals and humans (Psalms 127: 1-6). Refuse to be a nominal Christian. Make yourself known to God. He will make Himself known to you.

Be a servant of God. Serve God.

Those who serve God, He keeps alive to serve Him more (Mal. 3: 17).

The Bible records that Phineas did serve God and God promised to preserve him and his household (Num. 25: 11-13). Let serving God be the reason why you are living.

God blesses those who serve Him; He heals them and prolongs their days (Ex. 23: 25-26).

David was a great servant of God (Psalms 89: 20; 105: 15), no wonder he was greatly blessed by God.

Daniel served God wholeheartedly, he was blessed mightily by God. We must add value to the kingdom of God through service.

Activate your faith in God.

The extent of faith you have in God determines the security of your destiny. Job had great faith in God, his security was strong. His blessings that the enemy took were doubled by God (Job 14:14; Job 42: 10-17).

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were men of great faith, God defended them. Those who threw them into the fiery furnace were burnt, but they were preserved. The king had to give honour to their God (Dan. 3:16, 28).

What can help you in these times?

The strength of your relationship with God.

Queen Esther had a strong relationship with the king, she got what she wanted (Esther 5: 3-8). Our relationship with the king of kings must be strong.

The quality of the word of God in you.

How much words do you have? This is what you can use to fight the enemy when he comes against you.

What is the seriousness with which you take the word? Your power and life rest on this.

May God preserve you in Jesus name. Amen!

The sermon, How To Be Preserved In These Times And Seasons, by Pastor Yomi Obadimeji, senior Pastor of RCCG Strongtower, Manchester was delivered on July 22, 2018.

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Walking In The Spirit, by Brother Omoniyi Akinpelumi

Main Bible Text: Galatians 5: 22-26

When we got born again, a measure of the Holy Spirit was given to us. This is the earnest of God’s inheritance for us as seen in Ephesians 1:13-14. The New English Translation [NET] bible version refers to this measure of the spirit as the “down payment” or ostensibly can be said to be an “initial deposit”.

However, God’s agenda for us that as we obey and walk faithfully with him, more of his spirit would be given to us until we are “full” of the spirit. This can be observed naturally in the lives of newborn babies, who through feeding and exercise, grow from strength to strength till they attain manhood/womanhood.

As seen in Romans 8: 28-29, God’s ultimate purpose for everyone on earth is for us to conform to the perfect image of Christ. Hence, there lies a journey from new birth to becoming Christ-like, which can only be achieved by walking in the Spirit.

Furthermore, it is clear in 3 John 1:1-2 that God wants us to prosper in the natural (financially and health-wise) even as we prosper in our soul. To prosper in our soul is to walk circumspectly as wise (Ephesians 5:15), obeying every of God’s instructions. These are evident in the lives of Abraham and Enoch who walked with God (Genesis 5:22-24, Hebrews 11:8).

How to walk in the spirit?

The excellent way to walk in the spirit is to walk in love. This entails

  1. Walking in love towards God (Luke 10:27)
  2. Walking in love towards our neighbours (Mark 12:31)

Forgiveness:

God wants us to forgive each other and let go of offences when our neighbour offends us as explained in Mattew 6:15 so that we can live in peace and harmony with each other in order to grow well spiritually.

Obedience:

Abraham walk with God was out of love which was manifested in obedience to God’s instructions. Abraham loved God that he was ready to sacrifice his only son on Mount Moriah. Hence, God credited him with righteousness and called him his friend. This buttresses the fact that Abraham walked faithfully before the sight of God.

Practical steps in aiding our walking in the spirit

  1. Meditating on the Word of God

In Psalms 119: 58, David said that what kept him in his walk with God was the Word of God that he has meditated and hid in his heart. Also, Psalms 119: 105 states that the Word is like a lamp to our feet and light to our path. This shows that by reading and obeying the word of God, God is able to guide us and direct our steps alright so we can walk circumspectly faithfully before him.

  1. Having an understanding heart

In Ephesians 1: 17-18, Paul prayed for the Christians in Ephesus that their eyes of understanding would be enlightened in the knowledge of God, so they can know and fulfil their purpose in Christ.

It is also imperative to note that King Solomon didn’t ask for wisdom nor riches nor the heads of his enemies but for an understanding heart to be able to discern/judge between good and evil so he can walk worthily in the sight of God as his father walked as seen in 1Kings 3: 3-9.

The sermon, Walking In The Spirit, by Brother Omoniyi Akinpelumi, was delivered on July 15, 2018, on the occasion of the Special Youth Service.