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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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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.

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Imitators of God – Eph 5:1-2 by Sister Charity Ohia

To imitate someone means to have someone as a role model. It also is synonymous with mimicking someone.  As children of God, He expects us to mimic Him in all His ways.

It may seem impossible to mimic a being as perfect as God, so He sent His son Jesus to lead us on the path to follow. Jesus is the ultimate example of how God expects our lives to be.  Hebrews 4:15-16 tells that we do not have a high priest who does not sympathise with our weakness but was at all points tempted yet He did not sin. God knows that we are humans and mimicking Him isn’t something that can be in human power.

The bible also encourages us in Philippians 3:3-4, that we (believers) are the true circumcision. Firstly, the word circumcision has to do with the cutting away of flesh.

We cannot be true imitators of God when we walk in the flesh because God is a spirit and the flesh and the spirit are in enmity according to the bible. Secondly, Phil 3:3-4 also encourages us not to any confidence in the flesh. This is because the flesh will always fail. The Bible says woe to the man who puts his trust in another man.  As imitators of God, we must only focus on God and Jesus. We do not come to church for any man, therefore, do not let any man distract you from your worship to God.

2 Corinthians 3:18 also informs that being an imitator of God is a continuous process because we are transformed (to God’s image) from glory to glory. So as Christians we should strive for more in Christ. We never get comfortable in our current level with God. Truth is, in God, there is always the next level.

The ultimate goal of imitating God is to be like Him because He is our father and we have been adopted in His royal family and we must strive to live in a way that will please and uphold His family name. we are also the light of the world so must let our lights shine that all men will our good works and give glory to our father in the heaven

One example of imitating Christ is learning to forgive those who offend us just as God has forgiven us our sins.

Jesus while on earth, studied and knew the word for himself. We cannot imitate a God that we do not know and there is no other way to know God except through His word. The bible says that we must study to show ourselves approved. We have to search the scriptures and get to know the mind of God as individuals.  Jesus defeated the devil with the word of God. We need the word of God to be overcomers on earth.

Jesus was humble did not have a defeated mindset. The bible says ‘LET this mind which was in Christ Jesus be in you’. Jesus did not judge anyone and so we must not.

The sermon, Imitators of God – Eph 5:1-2 by Sister Charity Ohia, was delivered on May 20, 2018, on the occasion of the Special Youth Service.

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It Shall Be As The Lord Has Commanded, by Deacon Razak Obadina

Text: Acts 27: 9-27

The year has been declared as the year of Apostolic grace and Apostolic power. As a foreword from the pastorate regarding the theme and I quotes “Apostolic means something that is pertaining to either an apostle or the apostle of Christ, their time, their faith, their peculiar spirit and practice”. For us to experience and be established in these promises we need to believe and run with it daily this year because 2nd Chronicles 20:20b stated that we should believe in the Lord our God, and we shall be established, we should also believe in His prophets and we shall prosper.

In January of this year it was revealed to us as the month of the remaking of destiny, in February we were told to prepare for great drought. In March, divine help was made available for us. And now we are in April we are to expect the father’s blessings.

The Apostle possesses the key seven-fold ministry apart from our Lord Jesus and were also the original disciples called by Christ himself.

Now, grace simply means enjoying what you did not deserve; something you did not work for that was handed over to you.

  1. We were saved by grace according to Ephesians 2 vs 8-9
  2. We were enriched by the grace of Christ 2nd Corinthians 8 vs 9
  3. Grace allows us to enter into our blessing/place of rest
  4. Grace make us great and  raises us up
  5. Grace enables us to do what ordinarily we can’t do.

Examples of those who enjoy the grace of God are

  1. Solomon, a beloved of the lord 2nd Samuel 12 vs 24-25
  2. Jesus an epitome of the grace of God 2nd Corinthians 8 vs 9
  3. Paul 1st Timothy 1 vs 12-16
  4. The Apostles had great grace upon them. Acts 4 vs 33b

Power is simply ability or an enablement to do a work. Powers are in categories due to their different effects in “building up” or in terms of destruction. For example, the firepower of a shotgun is lower than that of a machine gun which is lower than that of a military tank and that of a missile. The Holy Spirit is known as the enabler. The Holy Spirit empowers the apostle to enable them to fulfil their destiny/calling in Acts chapter 2. Even Jesus needed to be empowered by God to fulfil his calling (Acts 10 vs 38). For David to defeat Goliath the champion of the Philistines, he had to be anointed by the prophet of God through Prophet Samuel (1st Samuel 16 vs 13).

The declaration is a sure word/promise of what God is going to do for us as revealed through his prophet (Amos 3 vs 7). Who is making such declarations?

God himself is making these declarations.

Who is God?

  1. The owner of heaven and all that is on the earth (Psalms 146 vs 5-6, Psalm 24 vs 1)
  2. God called those things which be not as though they were (Romans 4 vs 17b)
  3. He does as He pleases (Psalms 115 vs 3)
  4. When God speaks it is done (Numbers 23 vs 19)
  5. Power belongs to God (Psalms 62 vs 11)
  6. He answers prayers (Psalms 65 vs 2)
  7. God is good (Psalms 34 vs 8)
  8. Nothing is too difficult for God (Luke 1 vs 37)

To key into His declaration for this year we need to do the following:

  1. We need to believe in His declaration knowing that He will bring to pass. Mark 9 vs 23. We also need to add to our faith diligent (James 2 vs 26b, Proverbs 22 vs 29).
  2. Keep asking in prayer until our joy is full (John 16 vs 24). Bringing down the presence of God in praise and worship (Psalm 22 vs 3)
  3. We need to be courageous to confront issues that come our way daily with the help of the lord
  4. Holiness should be our lifestyle for us to see the lord and His goodness. Hebrew 12 vs 14
  5. Get prepare for the second coming of our Lord as there is a crown of righteousness waiting for us.

The sermon, It Shall Be As The Lord Has Commanded, by Deacon Razak Obadina, was delivered on April 8th, 2018.