And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free", (John 8:32)

18 March, 2018: Celebrate every success

"So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." (Romans 9:16)

In life you will meet a number of successes and failures. This is an irrefutable fact of life. The key to enjoying your life is to stay positive. This is done by finding it worthwhile to celebrate your success. If you are progressing, you will encounter more failures than success. What makes the failures worth the while is the single success that comes after. Never become so used to succeeding that you take them lightly. Did you pass your semester exam? Be thankful and celebrate. Did you have another baby? Even if it is your tenth baby, don't take it for granted. Always remember that for whatever you have there are hundreds of people out there working hard, praying hard and believing God for just the same thing. There is no small success. Success is always the product of maximizing an opportunity with the help of God. There is always the God factor in every success for "by strength shall no man prevail" (1 Sam 2:9).... continue reading »

15 March, 2018: Demonstration of power

"Some Pharisees and Saducees who came to Jesus wanted to trap him. so they asked him to perform a miracle for them, to show that God approved of him" (Matt 16:1, GNB)

Up till today our generation is still seeking for a sign. We are like the Pharisees and Sadducee of old who keep looking for miracles as a means of approval. People will flock to "prayer houses" where they can be "prophesied" to. They will sheepishly follow around "men of God" who carry the "solution" to their problems. Dear child of God, no man carries the solution to your problems, only God. But even Jesus himself refused to perform a miracle for his own personal approval. Our Lord and Master set a standard for us Christians and ministers that we must follow. First of all, miracles are performed by God not by any person. God uses people to perform miracles for His own glory, not to prove that those people are anointed. A miracle is God responding to the needs of man by supernaturally intervening in the natural order of things. Jesus never took any glory for all the miracles He did, in fact He would always warn people strictly not to tell others about the miracle that has taken place. That is why I always question this idea of printing flexes and handbills showing people raising their wheelchairs and walking sticks after being healed in our ministry. Or sharing bulletin of stories of miracles so that people read about the "power" of God at work in our ministry. My question is always "Are these display of miracles and 'testimonies' meant to glorify God or attract people to our crusades?" "Are they aimed at exalting the name of Jesus or to prove to people that we are anointed?". The truth is unless we allow the Holy Spirit to strictly guide our actions, it is so easy to colour outside the line.... continue reading »

14 March, 2018: Witnessing for Christ

"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:8, KJV)

When Jesus promised the disciples the Holy Spirit, it was clearly stated what the Holy Spirit was going to accomplish in their lives. The first thing is that they will receive power; and this power was to help them witness effectively for Christ. The Living Bible puts it so beautifully: "But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power to testify about me with great effect..."(TLB). The power of the Holy Spirit is manifested when we witness for Christ. The Holy Spirit was not given so that we can heal the sick, raise the dead and walk upon the sea, etc. No; the Holy Spirit was given so that we can witness for Christ. You must realize that you don't need the Holy Spirit to be able to perform miracles even though miracles are one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Now, I know that statement sounds scary! But it is true. I also know that taken out of this context, that statement can be misinterpreted, so please don't take it out of this context. Recall that long before the Holy Spirit was given the disciples were sent out and they cast out devils and healed the sick and raised the dead, etc. (Matt 10: 1-8, Luke 10:17-20) Now someone may argue that Jesus sent them and He must have given them the Holy Spirit. Then, what about the stranger that the disciples tried to stop. Who sent him out? And who gave him the Holy Spirit?(Luke 9:49). The point here is to show that the primary purpose of the Holy Spirit was not for the gifts (1 Cor 12:7-11), but for the fruit (Gal 5:22); and these fruit are to enable us witness effectively for Christ. As a matter of fact, Jesus made it clear that miracles are performed purely by believing in the name of Jesus; not necessarily by demonstration of spiritual gift (Mark 16:17-18). But today, we have turned our priorities upside down. ... continue reading »

9 March, 2018: Consequences of living a godly life (part 2)

"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me." (Matt 5:11, NIV)

"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Tim 3:12)

Being persecuted as a christian is usually a sign that you are doing something which the world around you doesn't feel comfortable with. And that is a good sign. We must realize that the evil world and its system is under the influence of the devil and his demons. It is no wonder that he (the devil) will seek to use that evil system to fight those who have decided to live their lives as instruments of good. This is why James says to "count it all joy when you are persecuted". This means that persecution is actually a good thing, and must be expected. Quick question: "Will every christian suffer persecution, or is it reserved for some unfortunate ones?" This question and its possible misrepresentation is what I want to address in this second part of this lesson. ... continue reading »

7 March, 2018: Consequences of living a godly life

"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Tim 3:12)

"In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Tim 3:12, NIV)

Today, we all have come to assume that living a godly is the sureway to peaceful life, success, prosperity, breakthrough, etc. This is very true but it is not the whole truth; and when only a part of the truth is emphasized at the expense of the other parts, it becomes a lie. As beautiful and glorious as it is to live a godly life, we must also be aware of the caveat, the warning and the consequences. It is important that Christians especially new believers are taught the whole truth about serving God and living a righteous life. One of the fall out of becoming a christian is persecution. Paul told His son Timothy, anyone who wants or dares to live a godly life will suffer persecution. The question is "what is persecution?". I come from a religious background where denial of personal comfort, poverty and poor dressing habit is sometimes wrongly equated with suffering for Christ and spiritual growth. We sometimes mistake "suffering" with "persecution". The truth is that persecution can lead to suffering, but not all suffering is persecution. Some sufferings are self-inflicted as a result of ignorance and negligence. But that is not my focus today. I want us to know what persecution is all about.... continue reading »

5 March, 2018: Power in action

"The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them." (Acts 15:12, NIV)

The Holy Spirit had a special assignment for Paul and Barnabas. He called them out specifically when the church was praying. And after they were laid hands on, they received a special anointing or power to do the work for which they were called. Today, the reason most Christians are struggling in their area of assignment is because they are lacking the power to be effective in that area. Recall that power is defined as the ability to do work. Power is that inert ability and capacity to embark on a task and accomplish it. It goes beyong the will. You can be willing to do something, yet lack the ability to do. Power is not as simple as it sounds. It is completely divine; and no one has the power to assume power by themselves because all power belongs to God. If we must be effective in the Lord, in our business, marriage, ministry, academics, etc; we must be anointed or empowered for that effectiveness. I once came across a book title: "Anointed for Business". Though, I haven't been opportune to read the entire volume; but the title speaks volume and reveals the authors full understanding of the need of power.
... continue reading »

4 March, 2018: You shall receive power

"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

Power is one notion that cuts across every sphere of human existence. We speak of power in social circles, science, government, politics, law, medicine, arts, etc. And while the term power might mean different things in these various fields of endeavour, one unifying factor is that they all agree on one thing: and that is the dynamism of power. Power is dynamic. Power can only be measured or ascertained by the influence, effect and motion it causes. In science, power is generally defined as the ability to do work, or a measure of the rate at which energy is transferred or dissipated. It takes power to transfer (or move) energy from one point to another; and life is all about the movement of energy! From the continuous rotation of the earth on its axis to the revolution of the stars and planets around the sun, our world is created with the notion that stagnancy is unnatural. Everything is always on the move. The hand of the clock never stops for a minute to catch its breath. Whether we move along with life or remain immobile depends on the amount of power we have.... continue reading »

3 March, 2018: The lifting power

"The Spirit then entered me and made me stand on my feet, and He spoke with me..." (Ezekiel 3:24)

To achieve anything in life, we need enablement, empowerment and encouragement. Without fear of contradiction, one could rightly conclude that our individual target in life is to be achievers. we all want to accomplish something worthwhile with our life and in our lifetime. What we do while alive will constitute what people know and remember about. Hence, there is the desire to accomplish and become outstanding. This is where and when we come to realize that we cannot do this on our own. Most persons seek assistance from diverse sources. The Psalmist observe that in pursuit of assistance and enablement, some have placed their trust in horses and chariots and other things instead of in the name of the Lord. Some have joined occult groups, fraternities, cults etc which promise to assist and enable their members achieve success and progress in life. And as soon as they join such groups, their lives experience a meteoric rise in accomplishment. They become successful almost inexplicably and mysteriously. They become popular. They suddenly become persons to reckon with. They become successful; and they literally get lifted by a force and power that is evidently outside of them. But this lifting is very temporary and destroying because it is coming from the devil and gotten at the cost of one's soul and spiritual freedom. ... continue reading »

28 February, 2018: The mind of Christ (part 3) - obedient unto death

"You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal's death on a cross." (Phil 2:5-8, NLT)

We all are eager to identify with the lion character of the Saviour. The lion character is the dominion character, the ruling character; and it speaks of the character of the Saviour to the world. That is why it is the Lion of the "tribe of Judah" not the Lion of "God" - speaking of His relationship with the world. But there is another character of the Christ which is the character of humility. The character of submision; and this character speaks of His
relationship with the Father. That is why it is addressed as the Lamb of "God", not the Lamb of the "tribe of Judah". And it is this character that exemplifies the mind of our Christ that I want us to consider today. The scripture says to let the mind that was in Christ Jesus also be in us, whom though He was God did not cling to His right as God but submitted Himself to accomplish the will of the Father". Christ was submissive to the will of the Father even when it was unpleasant to Him. Three times He prayed that if it was possible that the cup should pass over Him; and also three times He concluded that the will of the Father be done instead.

In this dispensation, it seems we are raising Christians who have mastered how to impose their wills on God. it is always God do this, God do that. We have perfected the concept of "stubborn faith", "wrestling with God", "commanding God concerning the works of His hands"... which are all concept developed out of a poor understanding of the scripture. The mind of Christ is a mind that is submissive to the will of God. And let me give you a warning: God's will is not always pleasant; but it is always the best!... continue reading »

27 February, 2018: The mind of Christ (part 2) - what a great lover

"If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the spirit...fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love..." (Phil 2:1-2)

This week as we embark on the teaching about the mind of Christ, we hope that the Holy Spirit will grant us a deep understanding on the person of our great Master and Saviour, Jesus Christ so that we may become truly like Him. The name Christian means "Christlike"; but if there is any name that the bearers fail to live up to, it is the name "christian". We most times allow our personal idealism to cloud our judgment and dissuade us from living up to that wonderful name. We believe that through this teaching, the Holy Spirit shall open our mind's eyes to "see Him as He really is, and we shall be like Him" (1 John 3:2). One great quality of Christ's mind which we shall consider today is love - unconditional love. I have never encountered a greater lover than Jesus. Speaking about tht love of Jesus, the Bible says "Greater love has no man than this!" (John 15:13). No one has ever loved more than Jesus. Now, when we talk about the way Christ loves, most christians just shrug their shoulders and say, "Well, He is Christ... He can do all things, after all He is God". But the scriptures do not agree with such line of thought. We are expected, required and commanded to operate on the same level of love that Christ do. We are expected to have the same mind that He has. Paul told the Philippians "be ye likeminded, having the same love"
... continue reading »