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Praise: An Instrument For Amazing Ascension, by Pastor Joshua Obaro

Praise: An Instrument For Amazing Ascension, by Pastor Joshua Obaro

Bible Text: Psalm 31:21 – “Blessed be the Lord for He has showed me the marvelous kindness when I was in a city of siege”.

Say to yourself “I will rise”. It is our month of ascension. Amazing ascension is the one that causes enemies to weep. Can you imagine a man waking up as a gate man but before the end of the day he got an amazing lifting. Mordecai slept as a gateman but slept as a great man. He never thought of it, he never prayed for it he was never qualified for it but he was spotted for an amazing ascension by the Most High God.

In December 2016, a woman lost her job, in the midst of the crises the landlord was planning to evict her but her cousins who came from Europe during the crises decided to buy her the house. She would have been eternally grateful for her rent to be sorted out but our God is Jehovah overdo. When God wants to step into your case, he will do beyond your request.

3John:2 depicts that “God wants you to prosper spiritually, maritally, financially even as your soul prospers”. So the Lord in his attempt to bless you said in 1Peter 2:2 “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation…”. Many only desire the word of God to know and not to grow.

Psalm 35:27 -”Let them say continually the Lord be magnified that takes pleasure in the prosperity of his servants”. Job 36:11 “If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity
and their years in contentment”. God’s plan for every child of God is to rise. The Lord wants you to rise Zac 3:1, but the devil doesn’t want you to rise. Satan is always out to stand in your way to ensure you don’t rise. To ensure that you do not rise beyond your present situation.

There is power in what we confess. Say to you again “I will rise”. What your mouth don’t declare you cannot experience mistakenly. So always confess good things. “Don’t be ignorant of the devices of the devil lest he takes advantage of you- 2 Cor. 2:11.

The devil applies a lot of tools to ensure people don’t rise. One of the tools the devil uses is ancestral causes. Isaiah 14:21 “Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities”.

Every ancestral voice that says you will not rise; the fire of god will silence them in Jesus. One of the tricks the devil uses is stinginess. A liberal soul is what will be made fat. You don’t give because you don’t have; you give so you can have. Some peoples’ hand is filled with super glue; whatever enters their hands does not come out. Another tool is discouragement; you need to tell the devil my condition is not my conclusion. Another one is sickness. Lastly, is ingratitude. Never say what is this, else things will not happen. The only reason why men are grounded is because they take God for granted. Let your voice be a voice of thanksgiving.

Jer. 30:19 “And out of them shall precede thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small”

2017 you will make merry. Thanksgiving is ascribing glory to God for where you are. You might not be where you want to be but you are not where you used to be. Please don’t ever think you are where you because of your strength. Wherever you are today is somebody’s prayer point. Do you know, while you are thinking oh am in the UK, I do not have a job, somebody else is thinking “oh Lord if I am in the UK maybe my life will be okay”.

Appreciate God for where you are taking cognizance that you didn’t get there by your power. So many people applied but they were refused. Paul said, 1 Cor. 15:10 – “I am what I am because of the grace of God”. I have seen a chartered accountant become scattered accountant. God wants to tell you not to be proud. Give glory to your God, where you are is by his mercies.

James 1:17 – “Every perfect gift belongs to God and comes from God”.

When should I thank God?

When things are good forget not his benefits, when things are bad, thank him still. There are seasons in life, Habakkuk 3:17

“17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:  Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. …” thank him when things are bad. Psalm 66:12 “Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

Once I met a man whose car was stolen and he was dancing on the road. When asked why he was dancing, he declared that he is dancing because they took his car not his life; he is glad that he possessed something someone could steal. Lastly, he said he is thanking God that he is not the thief. In a bad situation do you find reasons to thank God?

Thank God for your situation, you are complaining they are talking about you, they don’t talk about nonentities they talk about celebrities. Be glad you are been talked about, find reasons to thank God always.

Lastly, learn to thank God in anticipation. In anticipation for perfection. Psalm 31:8 “And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room”.

How do you thank God?

Thank God from your heart Psalm 57:7

Thank God with a sacrifice Psalm 116:12 “

Praise is God’s power raising someone from the miry clay. David said, Psalm 116:12 and 17 “what I shall render unto the Lord for his benefits unto me? I will offer to God the sacrifice of thanksgiving”. There is nothing too much to offer to God.

What happens when we thank God?

Your destiny is preserved – Malachi 2:1-2

2 Timothy 3:1- when you are not thankful, your tank cannot be full.

Multiplication of blessings – Psalm 67: 5-7

Divine lifting- David said, “God is the lifter of my soul”. David praised God 7 times daily and prayed without season, no wonder his voice was heard from the bush.( Psalm 119:164, Psalm 55:17).

The only way to move from Bush Residential Area (BRA) to Government Reserved Area (GRA) is through praise.

You will enjoy divine bargain and deliverance. Paul and Silas prayed and got deliverance

You will enjoy divine presence of God. Psalm 22:3, Psalm 91:1. You can’t be seated with the most high and be the most low.

Give God your best praise. Not all praises are acceptable to God. The only one that can lift you is God but you need to give your life to the Lord most high, be acquainted with him so your praises will not be in vain and you can experience all the benefits associated to worshiping Jehovah. Praise the Lord – Halleluiah!!!!

The sermon, Praise: An Instrument For Amazing Ascension, by Pastor Joshua Obaro, was delivered on April 2, 2017

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Newness of Life, by Sister Believe Ohioma

Newness of Life, by Sister Believe Ohioma

Bible text: Romans 6:4-6 – For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism.  And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the father, now we also may live new lives.  Since we have been united with him in his death, we also be raised to life as he was.  We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives.  We are no longer slaves to sin.

Introduction: For one to experience a newness of life, it means there must have been an old life one was living in.  Newness of life means we should be dead to sin.  If we are dead to sin, we are therefore not supposed to live in sin any longer.  Newness of life means that we are no longer slaves to sin.

Case Study: Life of Paul

*Reason to have the newness of life 

# Christ died for us to have this newness of life as was shown in the main passage for the message.  As Christ was raised from the dead, we now also may live new lives.

# We are to walk in this newness of life because it is our choice to partner with God.  Being God’s partner is the best relationship anyone can ever have whereby we have the advantage of sanctification and end goal of eternal life

Romans 6:22 – But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God.  Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life.

*How to experience this newness of life

# We have to die to sin (Romans 6:11) and be buried just like Christ was and we can do this through baptism.  Until you are dead to this sin, you can’t expect to walk in the newness of life. Even after dying to sin in Christ, it is Christ that lives this new life in us and through us

Galatians 2:20 – I am crucified in Christ nevertheless I live yet not I but Christ lives in me..

# We need to have an encounter with God.  Like Paul did on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-31). This encounter transforms one from a sinner to a saint.

Having a true encounter is key.  No need to shout it out cause everything about you shows this

2 Corinthians 5:17 – If a man be in Christ He is a new creature old things are passed behold all things are new.

When you have this encounter, you know who you are having the encounter with just like Saul/Paul did.

Acts 9:5 – When Jesus asked him Saul why are you persecuting me and Saul replied “who art thou LORD”?  He didn’t need to be told who the Lord is.

*Living/walking in the newness of life

# We have to be in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17

# It requires a walk. Not to be stagnant but be in motion.  Walk in faith and dominion.  And we are to live as people of light (Ephesians 5:8).

# Get understanding of this new life.

Proverbs 4:7 KJV – Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom and with all they getting get understanding.

Until you truly understand this new life, you will never fully walk in it.

# Avoid unbelief.  Don’t doubt that you are actually walking in this new life.

# Get good association/avoid bad association.

(Evil Communication corrupts good manners 1 Corinthians 15:18.

# Avoid distractions/pray for grace to manage certain distractions: sin, school, business, work, busy schedule (Psalm 119:15 we are to meditate on God’s precepts and fix our eyes on his ways). Phillipians 4:8.

# We have to set our eyes on things above and put to death our earthly desires.  Colossians 3:1-17.  Things like sexual immorality, uncleanliness, passion, evil desire, greed, wrath, anger, malice, blasphemy and filthy language. Nail our passions and sinful desires to the cross (Galatians 5:24)

# Resolve to live and work and breath in this newness of life. (Philippians 2:12 work out our salvation with fear and trembling). Not forgetting the power and the essence of the Holy Spirit.

Conclusion: There is no better way to walk in life than to walk in this newness of life because it brings about a transformation in our lives and it is essential for us as we sojourn through this earth on our journey to eternal life with Christ.

The sermon, Newness of Life, by Sister Believe Ohioma was delivered at the Special Youth Service on March 19, 2017.

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Proactivity, A Key Factor In Remarkable Strides, by Brother Oluwatobiloba Akintokun

Proactivity, A Key Factor In Remarkable Strides, by Brother Oluwatobiloba Akintokun

Text: Matthew 25:1-13

How many people judged these 5 virgins… this parable was so vivid to me growing up because of electric power scarcity… I was thinking at least one of the virgins should have carried 50 litres of fuel.

Proactivity is making the decision to do important things first, doing the important things first and committing to seeing them through.

A proactive person for example acts in advance to deal with an expected difficulty.

Scouts motto is Be prepared

Proactive vs. Reactive

Being proactive is a choice-action.

A proactive choice is primarily based on your values and your principles.

The opposite of proactive is reactive…. a reactive person makes choices detached from their values… primarily based upon desires, feelings, circumstances, conditions, and their environment.

When we reactively make decisions based primarily only on feelings we often sacrifice our values because of our feelings or desires.

Proverbs 22:3 (NIV)

The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

“A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences” (Proverbs 27:12).

12 Sensible people will see trouble coming and avoid it, but an unthinking person will walk right into it and regret it later.

“Before the 5 virgins new it, the groom had come and gone…

“Before Bro Christian knew what was happening he had reacted angrily and slapped someone…

“Before Sis child of God knew it, she had “over said” (i.e. said more than what was appropriate at that given time).

Some reactive people even personalise their response is a result of their anger…..their trouble……

I pray for you today, any pit or trap set for you by anyone you will not fall into it in Jesus name…

Anyone trying to push your button to get you to react negatively will not find your button in Jesus Name

Different kinds of people walking in pit fall scenario

• Some walk in, falls in, dust themselves and move on……… “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences” (Proverbs 27:12).

• The ones that fixate so much on the pit they are incapable of taking action. Joshua 3 vs 13 said you need to watch and follow the priests carefully…. vs 4 said something along the lines of because this road I am taking you haven’t been through it before…. However, you have to take action…. You have to move.

Anything causing you to fear and not allowing you take action; God will silence them today in Jesus name.

Proactivity is learning from other people’s fall in that pit to avoid a fall.

For Example: Queen Esther: She was fine, beautiful however she was also prepared.

Imagine if queen Vashti was Jew…. the Jews would have had very little chance of being saved…
Queen Esther was proactive, a Jew who was married to King Xerxes, she had to make a weighty choice.

She had to take action…it needed prayer and fasting because she learnt the fate of the person that erred before her Esth. 4vs 16

Yoruba saying…. Ijafara ni ewu translates to (procrastination is undue risk or risky)

Proactivity is the enemy of procrastination; in fact, it eats procrastination for breakfast. Proactivity is doing things before you can even think about procrastinating.

Why is it important to be proactive?

Imagine Joseph was not proactive, he would not have been able to save his own family during famine (Genesis 41: 25-36) (Proverbs 6:6-8).

Having faith does not mean we do not need to plan. We must plan and prepare.

I am not talking about being anxious here, talking about planning; how and when is mortgage going to be paid off? How long do I intend to be in this job for? What do we do to this 10-bedroom house when all the kids are grown up and married?

I can’t pay interest only on this mortgage forever… what is my plan?

I can’t just be doing Sunday/Sunday church going …. what am I proactively doing to prepare for His return?

I was watching a Pastor and they said those “Christians” are still coming back to pray. Pray so that you don’t become a prey…get close to God now so that at least you know what and how to pray……

So that seemly small steps become remarkable stride we need to be proactive.

Choice is a critical element of being proactive.

The wise virgins who had filled their lamps with oil were ready when the bridegroom arrived whereas those who were ill-prepared were left out of the marriage feast (Matthew 25:1-13). Am I prepared for Christ’s second coming?

Because proactivity is decision linked, a very important decision to ask it what inspires my decision. What am I drawing my values from when I respond to issues? Do I even consider my values when I react, act or respond?

Matthew 25 vs 1 to 13

Like I said earlier it was easy for me and you to judge the 5 unwise virgins about not having enough oil in their lamps…

Do I have enough oil in my own lamp?

Peter says, 1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, your minds must be clear and ready for action. Place your confidence completely in what God’s kindness will bring you when Jesus Christ appears again.

We must prepare our minds, to act the way God commands in a given situation. Therefore, we must be proactive — we must act in advance, to deal with whatever situation we find ourselves.

The anger, habit, behaviour cannot keep dropping me in the pit like this!! I can’t just be having a cyclic situation.

What am I drawing my values from when I respond to issues? Do I even consider my values when I react, act or respond?

Jesus tells us we must be ready for His return.

The most proactive thing you can do in your life with your life…. seek ye first the kingdom of God

Mathew 6:33 (AMP) But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.

Being proactive is very Christian. The presence of the Holy Spirit within a Christian’s heart brings God’s wisdom to enter our decision making process. It also means that we are able to move from being reactive to the situations and circumstances that come our way, to Holy Spirit filled human beings who can take charge. i.e. every step I take, every business you invest in, deals you negotiate, what you say when you evangelise, how you deal with your past, how you respond to life issues….

Holy Spirit is Key

You can be proactive and not have the Holy Spirit … there are so many accomplishments in quote that a human being can have… and not have God….

some verses that I read differently for the first time…

God said to Adam the day you decide to eat this fruit that’s the day you die. Gen 2 vs 17

When Adam was 130 years old, he had a son who was like him, and he named him Seth. 4 After that, Adam lived another 800 years. He had other children 5 and died at the age of 930.

Adam died more than 900 years before he died?

He had other children, cultivated etc.

In other words, it is not by your accomplishments, your earthly accomplishments are not a measure of how alive you are in God.

It is the condition of your heart that that God wants to do business with.

The most proactive thing you can do in your life…. seek ye first the kingdom of God.

We need to know that we need Power to take charge… Power to not be victim of circumstances; Power to subdue rather than being subdued. Power that makes you hunger for the things of God.

If you haven’t accepted Jesus as Lord and personal Saviour, you have an opportunity to do so today.

Romans 10:9 promises, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

If you have not yet begun your personal relationship with God, understand that the One who created you loves you no matter who you are or what you’ve done.

Prayer Points

Holy Spirit fill me, overshadow me completely.

Power to walk away when another wants to take Your place in my life.

Grant me the wisdom to be proactive in the place of prayer.

By your grace and mercy help me to be prepared for Your coming.

The sermon, Proactivity, A Key Factor In Remarkable Strides, by Brother Oluwatobiloba Akintokun was delivered on February 12, 2017

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Divine Connection (Acts 23:12-24), by Minister Gabriel Adunmade

Divine Connection (Acts 23:12-24), by Minister Gabriel Adunmade

The beginning of every New Year is always characterised with hope, aspirations, expectations, breakthrough and testimonies

Everybody expects a better year than the previous ones.

Coincidentally, the theme of this year in our church is unimaginable progress, while the theme of the year in RCCG worldwide is pleasant surprise.

As good as this sounds, let me say hear that for us to experience unimaginable progress and pleasant surprise, we have got to do things differently. Our obedience, commitment, dedication and seal to serve God this year must be different from the way we used to. It must be far better than How we used to do it (a common saying that doing the same thing the same way and expect a different result is nothing but insanity).

As the Lord lives, we will all experience all these in every area of our lives this year IJN. (I mean you will experience unimaginable progress as well as pleasant surprise IJN

However, for this to happen, you will all agree with me strongly that we need the help of God.

In the Old Testament which in many times we often refer to as dispensation of law. Or in New Testament including the present time which is dispensation of grace, what God does in the life of a man is always through somebody. (Heb. 13 vs 8)

There has never been a single moment after the fall of man in the Garden of Eden that God Himself came down physically speaking to help man or attend to his needs. He usually sends destiny helper to help out.

Before the fall of man, when God created Adam and Eve, God regularly paid them a visit. How do I know this? In Gen 3 vs 8, the bible says;

“And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭3:8‬ ‭KJV‬

After that time, there was never a moment when God came down physically to attend to man.

Even when He wanted to reconcile man back to Himself, He sent Jesus Christ who came in human form to do the reconciliation process.

What am I saying in essence, for one to achieve anything in life, there must be a link, pre arranged by God.

If you therefore ask me the title of this message, I will simply call it DIVINE CONNECTION.

What is Divine and what is connection?

I believe we all know that anything divine is something supernatural, something that beats human understanding, which man cannot find explanations to. Simply call it God’s intervention.

While I will define connection as a link or linking of two or more things including man together for a purpose.

Divine connection can therefore be defined as the supernatural act of God whereby He links up two or more people together for the purpose of fulfilling their destinies.

What makes this connection special is the involvement of divinity. I.e. a connection that is originated, orchestrated and executed by God.

It is a divine arrangement for a divine purpose.

This divine connection is the most important connection that you need this year to experience unimaginable progress and pleasant surprises. It is a connection you have not struggle for, which God in His wisdom has caused to happen.

(For instance, God sent a lady custom officer to help me out at Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos when I was stranded with money the last time I travelled to Nigeria)

Any unimaginable progress will require unimaginable favour from God which is usually through someone sent by God.

In other words, an unimaginable progress will require an unimaginable connection.

A good plan without divine connections would end nowhere.

Even, if you are as wise as Solomon or even wiser than him, you cannot execute your plan in isolation) you need somebody in the process.

Eccl. 9vs 11 (one of my favourite passages of the bible) I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”

One of the reasons why many people make accelerated progress in life is because they were easily located by their divine connection.

On the other hand, why some people are not making progress is because of bad association, bad influence.

(I have had at some time in life to disassociate myself from some friends because I can see they are going nowhere in life and I know I am going somewhere, because God said He has a thought for me to give me a hope and a future. (Jer. 29 vs 11)

And for that to happen, I have to associate with like minded people. (Brethren, he who will not add value to your life will definitely devalue you.

As a matter of fact, when it comes to unimaginable progress, you have to meet some people in your life and you definitely need to miss some people in your life.

You need like minded people around you all the time to fulfil your destiny.

Even spiritually speaking, to make progress in life and to make it to heaven at the end of the day, you need right people around you to make it happen.

The essence of this message is to help you recognise your divine connection and make you aware of some principles of relating with your divine connections. (I remember some few Sundays ago, a man of God told us that everything in life has principles)

The idea of divine connection is well grounded in the bible if you reflect on it carefully.

There are specific people who God has positioned to cross your path at every stage of your life to make your journey smooth, maybe at work, school, church, neighbourhood etc.

For instance, Joseph met the cupbearer in the prison (Gen 40 vs 1-14), although that one forgot him for full 2yrs, all the same it was the connection that propelled Joseph to become prime minister in Egypt. (If not for divine connection, why should they put Joseph a slave in the same prison with king’s staff).

Some divine connections can come through associations; humanly speaking, we believe you are well connected when you associate yourself with influential people, especially when they are in position of authority.

Similarly, do you know that when you associate with other Christians or servant of God, it could be the foundation to your divine connections.

God said to Abraham in Gen. 12 vs 3 that I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. What that simply means is that those who associate with you and your seeds are blessed.

You can also experience divine connection when you genuinely look after the things of God or serve Him wholeheartedly.

You remembered Obed-Edom. The ark of God was abandoned in his house for 3 months. It turned out to be a blessing for him because he looked after it.

You can open a unique source of connection whenever you handle the thing of God at your disposal with care.

Another fact about divine connection in the bible is the significance of timing. God does the connection in his own time and his own way.

Eccl. 3 vs 11 He made everything beautiful in its own time.

It is clear from this scripture that we cannot do anything with our human strength. The things you have struggled for in the past would become easy when it is God’s time.

 (I remember I have been longing to come overseas since I was very young, maybe 10yrs. When I saw aeroplane flying and asked people what is it all about and they told me it was carrying people going overseas. I said one day, I will be flying in that same plane to overseas. I remembered people laughed at me and said whom do you know there that you are going to visit, except my mother of blessed memory who responded amen in a loud voice. Although I did not know Lagos until I was almost 20yrs old.

But when the time came, God connected me with a friend from nowhere who put me through. As a matter of fact, He himself had applied for   UK visas 10 times, and he was denied 10 times before he finally got it at the 11th time. He told me, do it this way, fill the form this way, say this, don’t say this, Lo and behold, I was given the second time. The reason I was not given the first time was that they have a number of people they have to give at a time. )

When it is God’s time, he will connect you divinely.

Quickly, do we have responsibilities or roles to play when it comes to this divine connection we are talking about, or does it come automatically. Yes, we have roles to play;

We should remember that the foundation for any divine connection is listening diligently unto the voice of God and obey His commandments. Deut. 28 vs 1-14 explain that.

We have responsibility to recognise our connection; we have responsibility to make the connections work.

When Satan wants to destroy somebody, he sends wrong people into his/her life. (E.g. Delilah to Samson, Jezebel to Ahab).

On the other hand, when God want to bless you or save you, He will send right people into your life. That right people can be anybody; servant, wife, husband, boss at work, friend, neighbour.

God sent ordinary maid, small girl to connection Naman with Elisha, God sent Paul sister’s son Paul’s Nephew) to save him from the hands of more than 40 people who bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.

It was that small boy that God used to leak their conspiracy and safe Paul (From the Text we read earlier. Act 23 vs12-24).

One of the best gifts we can receive from God is a divine connection. (God will bless us with that gift IJN)

You cannot be too far from God’s divine connection. It can locate you wherever you are.

God’s favour located Saul in Tarsus, Jonah in the belly of fish, Joseph in slavery, Daniel in a strange land, Mary an innocent lady.

That same favour will locate you this year IJN.

ALTAR CALL

Is there anybody here this afternoon who thinks his/her relationship with God is not strong enough or who wants the relationship to be stronger so as to earn him/her this divine connection we are talking. Let him/ her signify by raising his/her hand up and pastor will agree with him/her.

PRAYER: Father, this year, please, connection me with my helper of destiny. Those who will make me experience unimaginable progress; those who will make me experience pleasant surprises IJN.

The sermon, Divine Connection (Acts 23:12-24), by Minister Gabriel Adunmade, was delivered on January 8, 2017