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Jesus, Our Jubilee, by Deaconess Caroline Ndlovu

Jesus, Our Jubilee, by Deaconess Caroline Ndlovu

I hope we are all aware that God is still speaking today. God has told us certain fundamental truths in his word. One is that we will HE will never leave us nor forsake (Hebrews 13:5). We sing songs to testify of this. Another advocate who will never leave you is the Holy Spirit (John 14:10).

When I say that God is still speaking today, I am referring to the monthly themes that God gives us through the shepherd of the house. This year has been themed a year of unimaginable progress. In the book of Ephesians, we know that God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can think or even imagine. But that is qualified further by the statement: according to the power that is at work in you (us).

God can use prophecies to deliver these messages to us. On the other hand, God has told us that he leads his children by the inward witness. He does not say that He will send angels to give you every direction, every day. Angels are, however, there on assignment to protect us- as stated in Psalms 91. We know they step in at particularly significant and important instances to deliver messages.

God can also make provision for His children by giving them specific instructions to observe certain seasons and events. We can see this type of instruction in Leviticus 25:1-13. In verse 10, God instructed the children of Israel to observe the year of Jubilee. Looking closer at the given instruction reveals the depth of its importance. The year of Jubilee was to be celebrated on the 50th year (after 7 lots of 7 years). God uses 7s as the number of perfection. In Leviticus 25:8 we see reference to 7 sabbath years and in the book of Revelation: seven churches (1:4), seven spirits (3:1), seven golden lampstands (1:12-13), seven stars (1:16), seven seals (5:1), seven horns (5:6), seven angels (5:2), seven trumpets (8:6) and seven plagues (15:1). There are no coincidences with God, so the insistence of observing the year of Jubilee (that comes after 7 lots of 7 years) shows its significance.

However important this year was for the children of Israel, they still soon forgot about the instruction altogether.

The year stayed unrecognized until a young man of 30 years stood up to read from the book of Isiah (chapter 61) to proclaim the year of liberty to captives and the opening of the prison to them that are in bondage. He also proclaimed recovery of sight to the blind. In this way, Jesus began his ministry in the year of Jubilee and His first act of ministry was to remind the children of Israel of the power and significance of the instruction they were given. Ultimately, He was also proclaiming that He is our Jubilee.

Once again, the children of Israel did not remember to celebrate the year of Jubilee. During this period of 2000 years (70 AD to 1917), Jerusalem was under the feet of Gentiles. In 1917, General Allenby, a British army commander walked into Jerusalem with his horse beside him. He made a call for all the European based Jewish population to come back, but most of them did not head the call. In hindsight, this was a provision of protection that God was making to grant His chosen people an escape from impending danger (the Holocaust). God’s intention was to deliver them in a timely manner- before they even knew they would need deliverance.

By 1967, notably another Jubilee year, Israel was surrounded on all sides by their enemies. They were outnumbered to a ratio of 1-100 for their army artillery. Yet after 6 days, they won the war and for the first time in 2000 years, they took east Jerusalem where the temple mount is located. Again, an extraordinary provision was made.

Finally, now we enter 2017, another Jubilee year. We have recently heard an announcement that an otherwise unpopular politician has declared Jerusalem as the rightful capital of Israel- a move that scholars are saying is the fulfilment of an end time prophecy.
From these examples, we can see that God’s favour abounds in the year of Jubilee. This is not to say that there will not be any trouble. At times when you are hemmed in on all sides, that is when God shows up with his timely delivery. The victory of the six-day war has no parallel in war history apart from the war on Jericho when the walls of Jericho fell down. The children of Israel marched around the city of Jericho, for 6 days, and on the seventh day, God gave them victory (Joshua 6:1-5).

Maybe some of you are hemmed in by sickness or by family situations but God has provided you with a provision. He has provided you with a timely delivery.

What are the keys to having Jesus as your Jubilee?
1. Rest. When you quiet yourself in the spiritual sense, you allow God to do a timely delivery. He said “be anxious for nothing but in prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known to Me…” and through this, we will gain “the peace of God that passes all understanding”. Have faith in God. Faith is an important ingredient in our walk with God. Jesus commended 2 people as having great faith- the centurion and the Syrophoenician women. These two people had one thing in common, they both kept their eyes on Jesus and believed with all their being that He was able to deliver them. This kind of faith is vital if a believer is to master rest. To rest in His promises is to trust that He is able and he is willing to move in your situation.

2. Proclamation of the Lord’s death. As we saw in the account of Jericho, the blowing of the Ram’s horn is significant in experiencing Jubilee. The Ram’s horn signifies the proclamation of the Lord’s death which is also the preaching of the Gospel. Listening to messages that remind you of the finished work of Christ reinforce this gospel. Galatians 3 speaks of this and uses a continuous tense to show that the hearing of this word must be continuous.

3. Flow with the Spirit. The word Jubilee comes from the Greek word Jubal or Youvel which refers to the playing of music. But the root of this Greek word means “to flow”. When we flow with the Spirit of God we will not be led astray. The Spirit can lead through a variety of ways and one of them is through the word. By falling in love with the reading of the word we allow God’s peace to envelope us and the Spirit to minister to us. The Holy Spirit will continually reveal the reality of Jesus as our Jubilee and remind to look to Him always for our timely delivery.

The sermon, Jesus Our Jubilee, by Deaconess Caroline Ndlovu was delivered on December 17, 2017.

 

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Love, A Segment of the Fruit of The Spirit, by Brother Adefarati Oloruntoba

Love, A Segment of the Fruit of The Spirit, by Brother Adefarati Oloruntoba

Text: 1 Cor 13:13

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love (NIV).

The word Love is a cliché in our contemporary world; it has been panel-beat and reduced to mere quotes, slangs, and name. Man’s definition of love remains shallow, defective and ineffectual which accounts for why consistent and unconditional love among people remains a mirage regardless of the huge investment of time and labour. The more we talk about it, the less of it we experience because love is supernatural and it takes the supernatural to operate in absolute love. Love was not manufactured by man, meaning you can’t assume authority over.

We clamour for love because it’s the spring of unity, joy and life but look for it incorrectly, Love is not emotion phantoms and it’s beyond affection. The best way to learn or understand Love is to borrow the definition from the manufacturer’s perspective.

Facts about Love:

  • God is love; God does not have love but he himself is Love. He is the ultimate love 1John 4:7-8 and whatever he does is an expression of his love.

  • You will always struggle to show true love until God’s love distils in your heart (1John 4:16) because humanity is coded to love only things that face the direction of his interest. Hence, it is natural to hate. Jesus was hated (Isaiah 53:2-3), it was normal for people to chant crucify him because the humanity residing in them was lending his voice.

  • You cannot actually value love until you drink from the cup of hostility, hatred gives us another definition of love

  • Jesus demonstrated how to find and live in love. He channelled his focus on God, John 5:19 -20, He did not only acknowledge that God loves him but also made a pious commitment to pleasing God always; prioritize Gods above other things. This is why it was easier for him to love people because God is living in him.

  • Love is God’s language and emphasis in every generation. If that is not your hallmark too, then something is wrong with your Christianity. Deut. 6:5, Matt 22:37,

  • God’s reward system is based on love; he recognises his love and advertises it to people. Mat 3:17, Mat 17:5 (NLT)

  • Love is the seal of sonship: Luke 6:35

  • Love is the platform for transacting with God, it’s the currency of heaven

  • Love is the ultimate need of man

  • Love is the new testament commandment Mark 12:28-31,

  • Love is the debt you owe everyman you come across and the recipe for an acceptable service to God. Rom 13:8, 1John 4:7-11, Lk 6:27, 1Pet4:8

  • Love reflects your closeness to eternity; the kingdom of God Mark 12:31-33, 1John 4:18-19

  • God requires you coordinate your love towards him before you can synthesize unconditional love toward fellow man,

  • Love reveals the direction of your life. The true test of your love is your pursuits, check your greatest appetite, your love lurks around it. God’s love made people (Abraham, Lots, Stephen, etc.) set aside their personal principles, ambitions and dreams in order to please God. Love goalpost of every believer is 1 Cor 13:4-8

Love gives; it’s sacrificial. God (Love) has given his best, Jesus did likewise, men of like passion also gave their all as an expression of love; Paul, Peter, Reinhard Bonnke, among others. The more you love God, the easier it will be to love people genuinely and unconditionally Rom 12:9-21, Eph 4:1-6

Now is your turn, what would you give to God and what would you give your generation before you step out from time into eternity.

The sermon, Love, A Segment of the Fruit of The Spirit, by Brother Adefarati Oloruntoba, was delivered on 19th November 2017 at the Special New Workers/Talent Audition Service.

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Joy, A Segment of the Fruit of The Spirit, by Sister Patricia OBAWOLE

Joy, A Segment of the Fruit of The Spirit, by Sister Patricia OBAWOLE

Introduction

The word ‘joy’ is defined as, “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires or, a state of happiness”. However, as we are not children of the world, a more apt definition can be found in the Bible. Today we will look at the biblical understanding of ‘joy’.

Worldly Joy is Temporary

The joy that the world offers is a pale imitation of the true Joy only God can give us. The joy that unsaved people experience is a temporary joy (Happiness actually). It comes and goes depending on the situation that person is in at the time. If things are going well, there is an excitement and they call Joy. When things are difficult, there is automatically nothing to rejoice for. In the book of Job, one of Job’s friends utters some insightful words: “the exulting of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless but for a moment?” (Job 20:5). There can be no true joy outside God.

Joy Is a Gift from God

The Joy we are considering today is a segment of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, who resides in the heart of the believer, Galatians 5:22-23 says “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Since God is the author of all these good things, when one becomes a Christian, and is united to God through faith in Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit imparts these qualities to the believer. Joy is also an integral part of the Kingdom of God and will exist wherever believers are present, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). Every believer has Joy.

Circumstances Should Not Take Away Our Joy

In the book of 2Corinthians 6:10, Paul says that Christians can even be “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing”. This means that even when we are in the midst of a situation that “legitimately” brings us sorrow, our inner joy is never taken away. The very core of our being can still rejoice in the fact that we are forgiven children of God who enjoy an intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe. Our joy is strengthened when we remember that, no matter what the circumstances, God is with us and He is above all.

*We see this in the writings of several New Testament authors:

James 1:2-3 says “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness”.

Philippians 2:17-18 says “Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise, you also should be glad and rejoice with me”

The apostle Peter encourages us with, “…rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” I Peter 4:13.

As I round up, one of the things that can steal our Joy is Sin. Godly joy is a wonderful thing; it is a supernatural gift from God to every believer. However, one warning must be issued. Sin can steal our joy. It is difficult to experience the joy of our relationship with God when we have done something that damages that relationship. Joy is a gift of the Holy Spirit; when we grieve the Holy Spirit by our sin, we interfere with the flow of joy (among other things) from God. If we find that we are experiencing joy less and less, we may need to re-evaluate our relationship and our knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Finally, Christians Should ‘Rejoice Always

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘rejoice’ in this way, ‘to feel joy or great delight’. There are several passages in the New Testament where Paul instructs us to ‘rejoice’. These passages carry a sense of urgency or command as if Paul were saying that a Christian is to be full of joy and he is urging believers to make sure that their relationships with God and others are relationships that produce joy (Philippians 3:1 and Philippians 4:4).

Most people know the shortest verse in the Bible (John 11:35 “Jesus wept”). However, the second shortest is just as important. This can be found in 1 Thessalonians 5:16 and it tell us to “Rejoice always.” Followed by “pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”. This joy, prayer, and thanksgiving should characterize the life of a Christian. It is God’s will for the believer. This is how God wants us to live. “Rejoicing always” does not mean that we are to paste a fake smile on our faces no matter what is going on in our lives or the lives of those we love. It means that we are to remain steadfast in our knowledge that God is our strength and comfort, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves.

May we all experience supernatural Joy in Jesus name.

Thank you for listening.

The sermon, Joy, A Segment of the Fruit of The Spirit, by Sister Patricia OBAWOLE, was delivered on 19th November 2017 at the Special New Workers/Talents Audition Service. 

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Peace – A Segment of the Fruit of The Spirit, by Brother Arinze Ngonadi

If you are asked to close your eyes and think deeply about something or someone that brings you peace, a lot of people might go to their significant others, their children, a place or even food. As much as these things do bring peace, they all have one thing in common. That is that they are all temporary. The peace derived from these things is momentary and fleeting. True peace, everlasting peace comes from Jesus. This period we are in is the dispensation of grace and because God cannot behold sin, when we sin, what God sees is Jesus interceding for us. With Jesus in our lives, everything changes. For example, when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey everything about that donkey changed and now because of that one donkey, previously thought to be for the poor and less privileged, every wasted donkey everywhere are celebrated even till today. Why? It’s because that donkey had Jesus. Peace has four main types:

– False peace
– Inner peace
– Peace of God
– Peace with man

Peace is simply a gift from God that stems from obedience and faith.
In the Old Testament, peace referred to relationships between people, nations, and God with men while in the New Testament Jesus came and changed how we define peace. Peace in the New Testament refers to rest and security.

Today, we still use peace as a form of greeting. Regardless of race or gender, peace is universal. This is why when Jesus was leaving he said to his disciples that he leaves them his peace and they are to share that with others.

The most important thing to know is that peace is not external. That conviction has to come from within. With this, your mind, body, soul, and spirit will be at rest in trying times.

In the book of Psalm, Chapter 91 verse 7, David believed that no matter how many fell on his side, he knew nothing could harm him because God was with him. In Psalm 23, he believed that even though he walks to the valley of the shadow of death, nothing again could harm him. Why? Because God was with him and this gave him peace.

Today it is important to find peace as that is what God commands us to do but carefully. Today, peace can be used manipulatively and create a false sense of security. It is important to discern what is what and seek the peace that comes from God.

In conclusion, Romans chapter 8 verse 6 says that letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death but a mind controlled by the spirit leads to life and peace. I pray that the peace of God be with you and all your loved ones, in your place of work and every aspect of your life. Always remember, much like that donkey, when Jesus is with you, you will be celebrated.

The sermon, Peace – A Segment of the Fruit of The Spirit, by Brother Arinze Ngonadi, was delivered on 19th November 2017 at the Special New Workers/Talent Service.