DCLM_END OF THE MONTH_SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE_GS NATIONAL BROADCAST MESSAGE_MARCH_2020_EDITION
SUNDAY 29TH MARCH, 2020
GHS: 117: (SHOW A LITTLE BIT OF LOVE AND KINDNESS) GHS: 119: (DO SOMETHING FOR OTHERS) GHS: 122: (SOMEBODY NEEDS YOUR LOVE)
TAKE NOTE 1. SPECIAL STS: SUPREMACY AND SUFFICIENCY OF THE NAME OF JESUS
NOTE: For Sunday Worship Services, All Locations are to Hook Up By 8:30GMT (9:30AM) For Bible Reading, Choir Ministration and GS Message
2. All Sundays Till further notice will be GS Message transmission from LAGOS HQ. 3. The message starts by 10:00 am 4. Special COVID-19 broadcast by 9:30 am before bible reading. 5. All LTM workers should please take note.
Districts, Locations, House Church, House Fellowship Locations (Of not more than 25 members, Lagos HQ and as stipulated by various States Governments and Countries) should connects where possible through.
DCLM_SPECIAL SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE_GS NATIONAL BROADCAST MESSAGE_APRIL_2020_EDITION
CONGREGATIONAL SONGS/HYMNS ⬇⬇⬇ GHS: 26: (I KNOW WHOM I HAVE) GHS: 30: (I'VE ANCHORED IN JESUS) GHS: 76: (IN TIMES LIKE THESE)
(GHS in line with the SPECIAL STS LESSON)
TAKE NOTE 1. SPECIAL STS 12/04/2020: SERVING GOD IN TROUBLOUS TIMES
NOTE: For Sunday Worship Services, All Locations are to Hook Up By 8:30GMT (9:30AM) For Bible Reading, Choir Ministration and GS Message
2. All Sundays Till further notice will be GS Message transmission from LAGOS HQ. 3. The message starts by 10:00 am 4. Special COVID-19 broadcast by 9:30 am before bible reading. 5. All LTM workers should please take note.
Districts, Locations, House Church, House Fellowship Locations (Of not more than 20 members, Lagos HQ and as stipulated by various States Governments and Countries) should connects where possible through.
✍️ NOTE For Sunday Worship Services, All Locations are to Hook Up By 8:30GMT (9:30AM) For Bible Reading, Choir Ministration and GS' Message
MEMORY VERSE: “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).
TEXT: Revelation 1:9-11,19; Habakkuk 3:17-19
John, the apostle of Jesus Christ, was sorely persecuted and banished by the Roman government to the Isle of Patmos where he suffered loneliness, hunger, thirst and other physical inconveniences and needs. Other apostles of Christ were also persecuted and tortured to death by their cruel persecutors. Though suffering, John the beloved “was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind [him] a great voice…” He did not allow the prevailing adverse condition to discourage or hinder him from worshipping God. Thus, he received the commission to write the book of Revelation to the seven churches in Asia Minor and the entire church that we are reading today. Though he had none to encourage or comfort him, he continued to serve God till the end. Difficulties, troubles and pressures also come to believers due to global or national economic recession, pandemic and peculiar personal, family or community problems. At the time of Habakkuk, there was economic recession; yet, he continued to serve God with joy. Like these saints, believers should continue to serve God in spite of personal, family, community or national problems and adversity. Adverse conditions are not new; Christ predicted they would characterise these last days (Matthew 24:6,7).
Apostle John was banished to a lonely island of Patmos from the company of believers “for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ”. There was famine at the time of Habakkuk that affected the economy and well-being of the people; yet, he joyfully served as a prophet to the nation. A similar dearth occasioned the ill-fated movement of Elimelech and Naomi to Moab where death claimed all male family members. This did not dissuade her from living a godly life that robbed off on Ruth. Also, it was a nightmare for Ruth to become a young, childless widow. Though left with no means of livelihood or husband to care for her, she refused to return to the idolatrous worship of her native land but cleaved to Naomi and her God in spite of uncertainties of life. It was traumatic for Job to lose his wealth, servants and children in a series of calamities that he did not know anything about (Job 1:14-19). After hearing the reports of these calamities, he “worshipped”. Worse of all, he was diseased with putrefying sores that made servants, acquaintances and beneficiaries of his wealth desert him. Yet, he refused to curse God but trust Him. Moses and Aaron witnessed a deadly plague that led to the death of fourteen thousand seven hundred Israelites for murmuring. Yet, the duo made atonement for the people that stopped the plague. Daniel was confronted with a deadly conspiracy of envious indigenes who sought to terminate his life in Babylon but remained fearless, faultless and fervent in prayer to God. Joseph, Joshua, Jehoshaphat, David, Deborah, Shadrach with the two other Hebrew children, Stephen and Silas all faced difficulties while serving God; “others had trial of cruel mockings and scourging… bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword.. being destitute, afflicted, tormented…” They all “obtained a good report” of rendering service to God because they persevered in troublous times.
Paul the apostle suffered severe persecution right from the time of his conversion to the Lord (2 Corinthians 11:23-27). Recounting his experiences, he says: “…in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft”. When he was told about the persecution that awaited him in Jerusalem, he was undeterred, saying, “none of these things move me…” This ought to be every believer’s response to difficulties that seek to hinder or reduce our commitment to God’s work.
The experiences of these and other saints prove that there will be no trouble-free world before the coming of the Lord. Thus, no believer should hope for a better time to serve God; the time to serve Him is now! The Scripture assures that we can do an enduring work for God in difficult times. “Know therefore and understand, that …the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times” (Daniel 9:25). Since He has helped many old and contemporary saints who did exploits for Him, He will help us too.
Question 1: Mention some Bible characters who served God during adversity and what believers can learn from their experiences.
The Scripture admonishes that we should not allow our hearts to be troubled or afraid during reverses of life as if they are strange and serve no purpose (John 14:1,27; 2 Timothy 3:12; Acts 14:22). God allows some difficulties to come our way to, one, prove the genuineness of our love, sincerity, loyalty and commitment to Him and true worship; two, distinguish true believers from impostors who lack fruit of the Spirit such as Habakkuk expressed during famine; three, prevent missteps and backsliding that is often the outcome of a life of ease; four, toughen and mature believers for an enduring walk with Him; five, draw us closer to Him in prayer, reading and meditating on His word; six, crystallize our vision of the better country and final home; seven, prove the infallibility of His word and faithfulness to His promises, especially as regards His intervention and the ministry of the Comforter in troublous times.
Bible saints persevered in troublous times and served God because they, one, acknowledged divine ownership of their lives and resources and the eternal purpose of God (Isaiah 43:7,21; Romans 14:7,8; 1 Peter 2:9); two, retained the consciousness of His presence (Hebrews 11:27); three, focused on the power and supremacy of the Almighty (Job 42:2); four, accepted the immutability of God and His attributes (Job 19:25); five, understood the deadly consequences of negligence, idleness and irresponsibility (Esther 3: 8-11; 4:12-17; Ezekiel 3:17-21); six, believed the promise of divine intervention (Isaiah 63:9; 43:2; Romans 4:17-21); seven, had assurance of divine partnership in service (Exodus 33:14-17); eight, pursued the hope of heaven, eternal prize and glory (Hebrews 11:15,16).
God relieves His suffering children when His good purposes are accomplished (1 Peter 5:10). Rather than allow trials to make us bitter, we should grow in spiritual understanding of the purpose of our calling as soldiers of Christ.
Question 2: What basic truths can help believers continue to serve God in troublous times?
*3. TRIUMPH OF GRACEFUL SERVANTS IN TROUBLOUS TIMES
(Revelation 1:10,11,19; Habakkuk 3:19; Job 1:20; 13:15; 27:6; 42:10; Daniel 6:22; Ruth 1:16-19; 2:12; 3:10,11; Matthew 1:5,6,17; Luke 1:74,75; Acts 20:22-24; 1 Corinthians 15:10; 2 Corinthians 12:9; 2 Timothy 4:6-8; Malachi 3:17,18; Mark 10:28-30; Revelation 2:10; 1 Corinthians 15:58)
John the apostle served God faithfully till the end because He patterned his life after Christ, the Source of grace. He heard and recorded Christ’s testimony that He accomplished all that God sent Him to do in spite of persecution and trials (John 17:4). All who have experienced divine grace are called to follow Christ’s steps in suffering and service in the Kingdom (1 Peter 2:21-23). Grace produces godly attitudes that make our service acceptable to Him (Titus 2:11,12). This explains the worshipful spirit of John and Job and the joy of Habakkuk who served God in spite of adversity. Job, for instance, received divine healing and double of what he had lost. When Daniel could not be cowered by conspiracy against his life and prayer, he was cast into the lions’ den but God delivered him (Daniel 6:22). Ruth also conquered widowhood and uncertainty about the prospect of a marriage partner and provision for sustenance with purity of life, consecration and faith in God. In a divinely arranged circumstance, she married Boaz and became the great grandmother of our Lord (Ruth 1:16-19; 2:12; 3:10,11; Matthew 1:5,6,17).
Paul did not count his life too dear to him to suffer while serving God unlike many professing believers today. He testified that “by the grace of God”, he accomplished his beat: “…I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness…” (2 Timothy 4:6-8). We must not allow issues of marriage, money, accommodation, promotion, persecution, privation, pestilence or outbreak of disease to affect our commitment to “serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life” (Luke 1:74,75). In spite of present prevailing pandemic, we need to re-strategize to keep our vows of rendering lifetime service for God.
Tried by troubles, we become more useful and fruitful in the Kingdom, receive comfort of the Spirit, present and eternal rewards and crown from Christ (1 Peter 4:14; Mark 10:28-30; Revelation 2:10).
Question 3: What are the rewards of believers who persevere in spiritual service till the end?
To be among His faithful servants who will receive rewards, we must be saved and separated from the world, consecrated and consistent, devoted and dutiful, pure and purposeful, selfless and sacrificial, prayerful and persevering, Spirit-filled and serviceable, determined and dogged, fervent and fearless, innocent and incorruptible, faith-filled and faithful, obedient and observant, resourceful and resilient, visionary and valiant, trustworthy and thankful, watchful and wise, goal-driven and God-glorifying, humble and heaven-minded.
Question 4: How can believers triumph in spiritual service?
All believers must renew their love for Christ, awake to the duty of saving the lost and occupy till He comes. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
MEMORY VERSE: “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44).
TEXT: Matthew 24:36-44
Happenings around the world reveal that these are days preceding the coming of our Lord. They are testimony to the certainty and imminence of His return. The Lord did not leave anyone in doubt concerning the certainty of His coming to take saints home. But He wants us to be watchful and ready while waiting for His return. In the passage under consideration, He made reference to the time of Noah to teach us the importance of watchfulness and readiness for His return. To avoid shame of being rejected and left behind, we must watch and be ready for the rapture. “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”
The rapture is the greatest event of all ages, which the Church awaits. It is the catching away of all true believers in Christ to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Thus, the highest duty is for leaders to prepare the church for this event. The greatest preparation is for the individual believer to be rapture-ready and our greatest responsibility is to warn and win sinners to Christ so they will not perish with this sinful world. The devil has a short time; he works unrelentingly to deafen and deaden as many as possible so that they will not hear, believe and embrace the true gospel.
Question 1: What do you understand by the term ‘rapture’?
1. WARNING FROM THE RECORDS OF THE SINNERS’ RETRIBUTION (Matthew 24:36; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3; Matthew 24:37-41; Luke 17:28-30,32)
A recurrent concern of many people in every generation is the time the Lord Jesus will come to take His people home. But they fail to prepare for that day. Several predictions of when this event will occur have been given, which eventually turned out to be false. Particularly close to the start of the millennium, a lot of people concluded that the world had reached its end. As a result, many unwise decisions were taken by some people who are ignorant of the Scriptures.
In fact, few hours to the said time, many were found flocking church premises, secretly or openly confessing their sins in order to make a late enlistment. The trembling and fear that hung in the air was totally unmatched. But this should not be the case with true children of God. Knowing the certainty and nearness of Christ’s return is enough for us, as believers. It is not in our power to set any date or predict when the Lord will come. Those who think they can scientifically predict the date of His return deceive themselves. Such deceivers try to contradict Christ’s saying: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” The time of Christ’s return is unknown to anyone or personality except the Father. Therefore, it will be a waste of time to read books or magazines which predict the time He would come.
The Scripture reveals that Christ’s return will be sudden and unexpected. We are warned from records of sinners’ retribution of the past. When the Lord told Noah that He would destroy the world with flood, He did not give him any date. Although he got specifications concerning the ark he was to build, the Lord did not give him a specific date when the flood would start. Noah warned the people, but they remained adamant. Instead of thinking about the imminent destruction, they made marriage and pleasure the priority of their lives until sudden destruction came upon them. The deluge swept everyone away – rich and poor, literate and illiterate, the elite and the common man. Like Noah’s day, no one knows the hour or date when the Lord will come. This calls for constant watchfulness and readiness by all believers.
Question 2: Why is it dangerous for a believer to preoccupy his mind with the mundane?
People who set their affection on or commit their entire life to earthly pursuit should always “Remember Lot’s wife” who had the opportunity to escape sudden destruction but was destroyed because her affection and mind were in Sodom. Those who claim to be believers but have no time for the Lord, Bible study and meditation, fellowship, worship or eternity will miss the rapture. “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” As we await the imminent return of the Lord, we should not allow careless people to derail us from the path of righteousness and ruin our eternal destiny. To run the race successfully and be with the Lord when He comes, we must set our affection on things above, be watchful and ready at all times. There is no better time to heed the Lord’s warning and be prepared for His imminent return than now!
2. WAITING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS FOR HIS SURE RETURN (Luke 12:35-44,47,48; 21:34-36)
There is connection between Christ’s coming and watchfulness of saints in righteousness. Believers must not wait in idleness and carelessness, but in righteousness. According to Revelation 19:7,8, righteousness is the dressing our Saviour expects of us. Our garments of righteousness should not be stained with sin. We are to be on our guard constantly, watching against the pollutions of the world. Christ warns, “…Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares” (Luke 21:34). As we expect His coming, we must desist from irrelevant activities that blind the mind, stupefy the conscience and corrupt the heart.
We must be wary of so-called preachers who peddle the doctrine of eternal security and undermine the need for believers to wait constantly in righteousness for the Lord’s return. There is no eternal security for a sinning churchgoer; neither is there permanent salvation for the backslider. Christ’s warning remains the same: “Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not”. He repeatedly emphasised His sure return so that no believer or minister of the gospel will be careless and taken unawares.
“Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” No wise believer will allow anything or anyone to distract or discourage him from labouring for the Lord at this time. This is the time to prove our commitment for the salvation of souls, and the grace of God is sufficient to carry us through (1 Corinthians 15:10).
Question 3: What should be the believer’s attitude to the doctrine of eternal security and those who peddle it?
To escape condemnation on the final day, we must be willing to hear and obey the totality of God’s word. Also, we must “Watch… and pray always, that [we] may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” If we wait, watch and labour in righteousness, that day will not take us unawares.
3. WATCHFULNESS AND READINESS FOR THE SAINTS’ RAPTURE (Matthew 24:42-44; John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51,52,58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 3:2-5,11)
“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” Here, Christ stressed that He will come to take saints to heaven. But we need to be watchful and ready because we do not know when He would come. When the Lord comes in the rapture, He will appear in the sky to first raise the dead and then catch the living saints away. “The dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.” This will be followed on earth by the great tribulation (a period of monumental suffering, affliction and hardship) and in heaven by the marriage supper of the Lamb – a period of rewards for true believers and unparalleled bliss in the presence of the Lord. It is instructive that the rapture will happen “in the twinkling of an eye.” Therefore, believers who hope to partake in it must constantly keep their garments of righteousness pure. “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:3).
Those who reject Christ but claim to believe only in the Father will not go with Him when He comes to take His saints home. To be ready for the rapture, we must “believe in God, believe also in [Christ]”. Although many doubt the prophecy about Christ’s return, the Lord Himself promised, “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
Any moment from now, the trumpet shall sound and He that shall come will come and will not tarry.
Question 4: As believers, what assurance do we have that Christ is coming to take His saints home?
Support your answer with the Scripture. The return of Christ to take saints home should provide comfort to all believers. No matter the challenges and troubles, the hope of going with our Saviour dims the pains and sorrows of the present. The believer who is expectant of Christ’s return will not allow himself or herself to be overwhelmed with the matters of this life. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Apostle Paul offered comfort to bereaved believers, assuring them that there is hope of the resurrection of their loved ones and fellowship with those they left behind. From Paul’s exhortation, it is clear that there are two sets of participants at the rapture. The first set is the believers who died in the Lord and will resurrect bodily at Christ’s return. The second set involves believers who are still alive and remain in the faith at the coming of Christ. Both groups will be caught up to the sky to meet with the Lord Jesus Christ in the air.
To be ready for the rapture, sinners must repent, confess and forsake their sins, and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and personal Saviour. Believers, who look forward to His glorious appearing, should observe the following: one, closeness to God’s word (John 5:39).
Daily reading and study of the Bible is vital as this is the mirror that shows our condition and affords us the opportunity to measure up to God’s standard. Two, watching and praying (Mark 13:33-37). Christ would not have commanded His disciples to watch if there were no dangers. By watching, we are at alert against the wiles of the devil, and through prayer, we receive necessary grace and strength to overcome the enemy’s wiles. Three, self-examination (2 Corinthians 13:5). Daily self -examination will help to reveal areas for correction in our lives as we expect our Lord’s return. Four, occupying till He comes (Luke19:13). We cannot be idle and neglect the work of the gospel committed to us and be expecting the Lord’s return. Five, perseverance and endurance (Matthew 24:12,13).
The preponderance of temptations in the last days makes endurance an essential ingredient as we prepare for the Lord’s return. The multiplication of iniquities and evils will attempt to weaken our defences against sin, but we must be determined to overcome.
Question 5: How can sinners and saints prepare for the imminent return of the Lord?
Believers who remain steadfast until the end will receive open commendation and crown of glory from the Lord. “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown” (Revelation 3:11).
PREACHER: OUR FATHER IN THE LORD, PASTOR W.F. KUMUYI
TOPIC: THE BELIEVERS’ PRESERVATION UNTIL THE DAY OF GOD’S VISITATION
TEXT: I PETER 2:11-12 - 11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; - 12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
As you live your life and interact with people, there is something you are looking at: the day of reckoning, judgement and visitation. You want to live a life that will give glory to God on the day of visitation. People may misrepresent or not understand you now because you are a Christian and a consecrated soul. So they condemn and judge you. They think you are eccentric and not doing the right thing because you are different from how you used to be. But this will not change or intimidate you because you are living and acting that way because of the day of God’s visitation.
The people of the old and New Testament did not realize, think of or focus on the day of visitation. (Jeremiah 51:18) The day of visitation, the day when God will visit to judge. There were errors and shortcomings in their lives, hence, on the day of visitation, when God shall appear to judge every man’s work, they shall perish. Because these people were ignorant of this day, they were vain in all their ways and and full of iniquity.
Isaiah 10:1-3 - 1 Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed; - 2 To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless! - 3 And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory?
The people made unrighteous decrees and laws to hinder others. They are ignorant, thinking about only today. They also think that power to do everything resides with them. But the day of visitation and desolation will come speedily and all who have misused and squandered every opportunity to know the Lord will be judged.
Luke 19:41-44. Jesus came to this world and to the people of Israel. Again, that is a kind of visitation from heaven: visitation of grace and love, divine help, manifestation of the goodness and power of God. The children of Israel missed it, we will not miss it in Jesus name! Amen.
You have been paying to God for a long time, all those prayers are in God’s bottle. He may decide on a particular service day, it could be a Sunday, Monday or a Thursday, and He remembers you as He remembered Zechariah. What if you missed the day of visitation? Maybe you have fasted and prayed and it is like nothing happened, but a day came when God intended to visit you. You will not miss the day of God’s visitation. Amen.
Note this: For each one on earth, there is a day of God’s visitation when God says, you have done enough on earth, come yonder. There are people who live their lives negligent of the day when God will call them home. They live haphazardly, carelessly, selfishly, thoughtlessly because they are ignorant of the day of God’s visitation.
The day of visitation is the day of Rapture when the dead in Christ and the living shall all rise up to meet the Lord in the air.
Many people behave as if the rapture will never take place. They fall into this pitfall, they fall into that corruption in society, and do whatever they like. They are ignorant of the fact that the Rapture can take place anytime. In this text, we read Jesus wept over Jerusalem because they do not know the day of their visitation.
1. THE AFFECTION OF STRANGERS OF STRANGERS AND PILGRIMS IN THE WORLD. I Peter 2:11 The dearly beloved are saints who are saved from the pollution of the world. We must always know that we are strangers and pilgrims here. (Psalm 119:19,54,57,72,89) On the day of reckoning all the millions and billions of Naira and dollars, whether you got it properly or by fraud will not matter. The word of God which teaches us about salvation, holiness without which no man shall see the Lord, and makes us conduct ourselves wisely would matter most.
The laws of God are permanent and constant while the decrees and laws of the world are changing. We are strangers here, we are not ordered by the decrees and laws the world is making, we are walking and working by the laws of God. (vs 105,112,133).
Hebrews 11:13. God gave promises to the saints of old. Some of them were for earthly things: lands, houses, material things and possessions. There were promises of spiritual blessings: salvation, forgiveness, sanctification, holiness and qualification for heaven. There were also eternal blessings reserved for them in heaven. They set their affection on Heavenly, spiritual promises and blessings. If the Lord saw to it that the earthly promises and blessings will aid and guide them towards the heavenly blessings, alright, but if they will hinder them from concentrating on the spiritual and eternal things, He will let them go, that is, He will not allow them to have them.
They saw the promises of the land afar off, and they knew that the Lord at His own time will give the land to their descendants, they were persuaded and confessed and confirmed that they were pilgrims on the earth. (vs 14-16) They declared that they desire and seek another country. We as strangers and pilgrims will do same. What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and lose his own soul? What shall he give in exchange for his soul?
ch 13:12-14. Jesus suffered outside the gate, He suffered for our salvation as no tongue can tell. We need to pray that He helps us to live as strangers and pilgrims here on earth, and know the worth of the work that He has done for us.
Colossians 3:1-3. If you set your affections on anything or anyone on earth, it will act as a downward pull and when the picture of heaven is set before you, the zeal, joy and desire to go forth and enter will not be there. The earthly things: the material things, the man or the woman, the work, or the job will act as a downward pull and the force of gravity on your life. So, set your affections on things in heaven, not on things on earth.
Think for a moment, what is it on the earth that is dear and precious to your heart that if God should choose to call you home today, you will say, “God, give me more time, I’m not ready to go yet, my affection is set on the things on earth”. That is dangerous. Set your affections on things in heaven, not on things in the world.
You are dead to: - The affections of the world, - Attractions of the world - Slave holders of the world. Some people are under the control of the slave holders. They put a chain round their waist and feet, they put a padlock on their lips, they control what they say or do and where they go, what they see, virtually everything. They will not allow them to go far or see the glory and beauty of heaven. They will not allow them to care about their ministry or what God has called them to do. So getting to heaven will involve you being dead to the slave holders.
I Peter 1:3-5 - 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, - 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, - 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
The greatest blessings, highest thing, reward and joy are not now but reserved in heaven for us. We are strangers and pilgrims here and the joy, happiness and zeal we have is that we have something higher and more beautiful reserved for us in heaven.
John 17:14-16,24. We are not of the world as Christ is not of the world. Jesus prayed that we will be where He is now: in heaven. May our lives show that we are strangers and pilgrims in this world and may we set our affections on the heavenly country for which the Lord is preparing us. May God wean your hearts from the imprisonment of the world in Jesus name. Amen.
2. ABSTAINING FROM FLESHLY LUST AND POLLUTING WARFARE: I Peter 2:11 Fleshly lust will wage war against the pilgrims as they pass by this world. So when temptations come, they are to push them aside because they are not of this world.
* Strangers and pilgrims, ABSTAIN
* Those who set their minds and hearts on things above, ABSTAIN
* Those who are going towards heaven as their final abode, ABSTAIN
* Those who are following after the Lord Jesus Christ who wants His disciples to be with Him where He is, ABSTAIN from fleshly lusts which war against the soul. Fleshly lust, desires, and inordinate affections,
* Concentration on the things that pull you by the flesh into degradation, ABSTAIN
I Peter 4:1-2 - 1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; - 2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
God wants us to abstain from the lust of the flesh so that the day of visitation will not meet us unawares.
I John 2:15-17. If anyone loves the world, gives more attention to the world more than God, that is the love of the world. He who is in pursuit of the things of the world, to get and have the world, and will not pay a fraction of that time for God, such one loves the world. He that is willing to sacrifice his time and family for the things of the world but is not willing to do same for God, willing to put his children in a far away place to be able to do other things but is not willing to put them aside for God, that person is of the world. But he that loves the Lord abides forever.
You need to make a deliberate effort to keep to the Lord and not allow the things of the world to pull you away. Let us look at these two texts below before we read II Timothy 4:10.
Colossians 4:14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.
Philemon vs 23-24: 23 There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus; 24 Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.
In these texts, we can see that Demas was still in the Lord, working with Apostle Paul. The Apostle commended his companions and sent their greetings to the brethren. Note, one of them was Demas.
2 Timothy 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
Worldly lust attracted Demas, a fellow labourer of Apostle Paul. He could not overcome. We will overcome. Amen.
I Corinthians 10:6-14 - Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. - 7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. - 8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. - 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. - 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. - 11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. - 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. - 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. - 14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
Whatever blocks your view of heaven is an evil thing,
Whatever deadens your conscience that you are no more sensitive to the voice of the Spirit is an evil thing,
Whatever stops your journey on your way to heaven and you are no longer interested in the things of heaven, and all you are concerned about is the physical, earthly, material is evil,
Whatever takes your passion away from the things of God, and you are no more interested in them but you are focused on this particular idol, it is an evil thing.
vs 14. There are people who are not into idolatry, worshipping idols of wood, iron, or the type Nebuchadnezzar raised up, but money has become an idol in their lives. They will give up Sunday worship service, their spiritual life, even the church (for always preaching against fraudulent practices), and their convictions for money. Anything you can give up your spiritual convictions for is an idol. An idolised a thing you fear, love and bury yourself into. Little children, FLEE FROM IDOLATRY.
I Timothy 6:5-10 - Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
They measure godliness and spiritual progress by how much of the things of the world they have.
- 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. - 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. - 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. - 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. - 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
There are some who are quick to say, the Bible did not say, money is the root of all evil. But when what you do, your sleeping and waking thoughts, all your activities of the day are focused on money, planning and strategizing for money, how big, how much, when it will get to millions and billions, that is what you think about every time, your friendship and interactions are determined by how much money you have, your allegiance to anyone is determined by how much money they have, and your marriage is dependent on how much money that woman will help you to make, or how much money the man will shuffle to you, that is the love of money.
These things war against the soul and God wants us to shift our attention from the things on earth to the things of heaven. He wants us to abstain from fleshly lusts, desires and affections which war against the soul.
Micah 2:10 - Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.
Always remember that we are strangers and pilgrims here.
I Thessalonians 5:21-22 - 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. - 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
Fornication is evil, abstain from all appearances of fornication. Adultery is evil, abstain from all appearances of adultery. You say, “I did not do anything!” Why did you stay inside a room with a lady all alone with the door closed? That is the appearance of evil.
You say, “I did not steal anything” Why did you scratch that thing on the receipt? Why did you try to change something? That is an appearance of fraud! Abstain from every appearance of fraud.
The way you dress, you say, “I am a Christian, and I am old enough in this church of ours to know how to dress decently”. I understand sister, but all these shine-shine on your clothes and shoes, by the time you put them together, they are more than the earrings you are not wearing. Abstain from all appearances of evil.
You are somewhere shouting and pointing fingers. Someone asks you, “Brother, are you angry?” You answered, “No, I am not angry, children of God don't get angry”. And your eyes are red, and you are shouting and pointing fingers. That is an appearance of anger. Abstain from all appearances of evil.
You claim you are not angry but you had to break a plate because you do not like what is happening and you wanted to catch people’s attention? That is an appearance of evil.
If we are going to heaven, we are thoughtful, careful and spiritual. We are not carnal, we are not getting to the edge of the Christian life, almost falling over and manifesting appearances of sin. If we are children of God, gentleness, meekness and love, mercy and goodness must characterize our lives. But the way we are angry and fight against something are all appearances of evil. We are to abstain from them all. May God grant us the grace. Amen.
II Peter 2:17. Those who do not live right publicly or privately, who have forgotten that they need to abstain from all fleshly lusts, have reserved for them, blackness and darkness forever. Always remember that there is a reckoning day, a judgment day, a visitation day in everything you do. So give your hearts and strength in serving the Lord, and if anything will distract you from your heavenly journey, abstain from it, vs 18-20.
3. THE ACCEPTABLE CONVERSATION OF SAINTS WITH REWARDABLE WORKS I Peter 2:12 The Lord wants us to set our conversation, speech, conduct, lifestyle, character right (Psalm 50:5,23) You are a beloved child of God, and a stranger and pilgrim here on earth, so, you must order your conversations aright. You have to forsake the old way of speaking, the old characters and the old lifestyle (I Peter 1:14-16,18) You are redeemed from vain conversations.
I Peter 3:1-2. Wife, do not be bossy on your husband, he is the head of the home. Respect him, no matter what you have more than your him. Some wives are in subjection to their bosses at work, to their pastors in church more than they are to their husbands. Some are more in subjection to their sectional leaders in church than to their husbands at home. Some wives make laws in the family and want their husbands to bend to such. That is neither right nor scriptural. The chaste conversation of a believing wife will save the unbelieving husband, and vice versa. vs 15-16. Do not harden, deaden or sear your conscience. It is our good conversation that will count on the last days.
II Peter 3:11-14 - 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, - 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? - 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. - 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
God will give us the grace to be blameless.
I Peter 2:13-23 - 13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Do not attack the president of the country, do not speak against him either in the newspaper or radio, television, internet, YouTube, Twitter. Do not speak against the governors or leaders of the state, have a comportment and character that is subdued and Christianly. - 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. - 15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing (not by protests may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
It is the will of God that our character and comportment will be under subjection, and obedience. We will, by well doing, not by rioting, silence the ignorance of foolish men.
- 16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. - 17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
Honour all men. Do not do anything to anyone that will show disrespect or dishonour. Honour all men inside and outside the church, in your community, anywhere and everywhere.
Do not disrespect or speak evil of your leaders in the community, state and nation. Do not disrespect your leaders in the church. If you are to respect the leaders in the community and the governor in the state, how much more your pastor who is leading you on the way to heaven? Honour your pastor.
- 18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.
Servants, be subject to your Masters whether they treat you well or not. Some people only respond well to masters who do well and badly to those who are bad. In the world, the servants from the gatemen to the cleaners and the rest of them want their directors/masters to be subject to them, whether they are good or bad. That is not right. The church must not also be like that.
- 19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. - 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. - 21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: - 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: - 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
The Lord has given us His word and showed in minutest details how we need to return to Him as Saviour, Shepherd, and Sanctifier and how we are to be submissive to the leaders He has given to us in the church, community, country, corporations and offices where we are working.
We need grace to do this and it is available today. After hearing the word of God, we need to go to the Lord to ask for grace to be able to do all of these things. We need to spend quality time to pray so that when the trumpet sounds, we will be able to go with the Lord. When the saints go marching in, we will be among them. Amen.
Rise up and pour your hearts to the Lord. Ask for change in your personal lives, family, and in the church at large, that the Lord will come with His surgical knives to take away all unrighteousness.
MEMORY VERSE: But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the kings meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself (Daniel 1:8).
TEXT: Daniel 1:1-21
The book of Daniel opens with the great tragedy of the fall of Judah, the southern kingdom of Israel. Horrifying moral and spiritual corruption among the people prompted the Lord to send His prophets to warn them of dire consequences of personal and national backsliding. Jehoiakim who was the reigning king in Judah at that time did much evil and influenced Judah to sin greatly against God. Refusal to heed divine warning eventually brought judgment. Nebuchadnezzar, Gods instrument of vengeance came against Judah, besieged Jerusalem, fought against it, defeated and deported many of them to Babylon. Sin will always attracts divine judgment and suffering (Proverbs 11:21; Jeremiah 5:25). Judahs sin and recalcitrance led to captivity, enslavement and a lockdown of their cities in fulfilment of the prophecy of Jeremiah. The cities of the south shall be shut up, and none shall open them: Judah shall be carried away captive all of it, it shall be wholly carried away captive (Jeremiah 13:19). Though Judah was subjugated in Babylon, Daniel and his companions who were among the captives of Judah refused to worship idols or compromise with the idolatrous practices of the host nation. They upheld the moral and scriptural principles of righteousness they had learnt and imbibed in their homeland. Thus, they excelled in Babylon. God blesses similar wholehearted devotion, love and faithfulness of present-day believers to Him, irrespective of any adverse situation or circumstance they find themselves (2 Samuel 22:25-27).
Question 1: Why were Daniel and his companions in Babylon?
The backsliding and moral decadence of the kings, priests, prophets and people of Judah were abhorrent in the sight of God. He sent His faithful prophets to warn them of the dire consequences of immorality, covetousness, idolatry, pride, violence, fraudulent dealings, deceit and the abominations of the heathen nations among them but they remained defiant in sin. I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings... and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me (Jeremiah 35:15). Thus, the predicted conquest and captivity came in successive shocks. Sin always exposes individuals and nations to danger and judgment because they are offensive to God. Note that Nebuchadnezzars triumph only happened because the LORD gave... Judah into his hand (Daniel 1:2; Jeremiah 44:30). The enemys power is always limited by Gods purpose and design. Thus, in contemplating the world and its affairs, we should look beyond the creatures to the Creator. Believers learn from the fulfilment of the declared judgment against Judah that, one, God sees every sinful thought and deed; two, backsliders cannot retain Gods blessings and possessions; three, sin attracts afflictions, captivity, suffering and divine judgment; four, there is no eternal security for any sinning Christian; five, believers should not relent in proclaiming the gospel to warn sinners and backsliders of the consequences of their evil deeds; six, believers should intercede unceasingly for their society and nation as the godly can be affected by the wrong choices of their neighbours and rulers; and seven, sinners and backsliders who repent and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour will be saved. God knows how to keep His redeemed people in times of trouble (2 Peter 2:9).
Question 2: What can believers learn from the fulfilment of the predicted captivity of Judah?
Nebuchadnezzar had an ingenious way of weakening conquered territories and strengthening his kingdom. The kings strategy was to search for young men with superior natural endowments, stature, noble and royal birth who could be trained for three years to stand before the king and serve in his palace. Their training included emasculation or castration to become eunuchs, education and examination. The curriculum was designed to derail them from serving the living God and induce or seduce them to follow the false gods and profane policies and practices of Babylon. To achieve his goal, the king offered them free education and full support.
Daniel and his friends were among those selected for training, having met the criteria for eligibility set by Nebuchadnezzar that candidates must be children in whom was no blemish, well favoured, skilful in all wisdom, cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. Being chosen for special training entitled Daniel and his colleagues to enjoy the same food and wine the king had. Others considered it a privilege to partake of the kings provision, But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself (Daniel 1:8). He discerned it to be an honour laced with compromise. Therefore, he and his companions chose to be given peas, beans or vegetable meal and water.
Joseph also rejected a sinful offer while carrying out his duties in Portiphars house. He was conscious of the all-seeing eyes of God and refused to be defiled by his masters wife. Moses chose to suffer affliction with the people of God than enjoy the pleasure of sin for a season in Egypt. Some saints in Scripture also refused to accept deliverance from their captors because it involved renouncing their faith in God (Genesis 39:7-10; Hebrews 11:24-26,35). Satan still uses attractive privileges, opportunities and honours to allure undiscerning believers. God wants all His children to reject offers with embedded demands for sinful compromise, repent of any incidents of compromise and return to Him, renounce association with seducers/corrupters, run the race with patience and remain steadfast in righteousness to enjoy His favour and blessings in life and eternity.
In spite of their christening in line with Babylons policy of assimilation, these young men maintained godly character, courage and faith in God. They did not allow the decision of other captives who ate the food, their status as captives in a strange land and fear of the wrath of the king of Babylon to affect their faithfulness to God. The story of Daniel and his three friends proves that Nebuchadnezzar did not succeed in making the Jews forget their God, religion or land (Psalm 137:1-6). It must be underscored that the King of kings requires the best of hands who possess excelling physical capacity, moral uprightness, scriptural conviction and spiritual fervour to be sourced, engaged, trained and commissioned in His vineyard (Luke 10:2; 1 Timothy 3:1-6). Besides, adversity can come to the righteous but it is his devotion and faithfulness to God which reflect in his scriptural choices, values and actions that will ultimately lead to triumph (1 Corinthians 10:31). Refusal to be defiled for any reasons and under any circumstance is the Lords will and pleasure.
God allows believers to pass through difficult times to prove their faith and faithfulness to Him; prune and purge believers of spiritual dross; and show forth the power of His grace (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). If we remain faithful, God will fulfil His promised deliverance, comforting presence and promotion in our lives (Hebrew 13:5). To be as faithful and devoted to God in difficult times as Daniel and his companions requires genuine experience of salvation, separation from the world, purpose of heart or determination to maintain holiness, prayerfulness, courage, humility and faith in God. The Lord expects believers to trust His judgment and remain faithful even in adversity.
Question 3: Highlight the excelling qualities of Daniel and his companions that believers should emulate.
3. PROMOTION OF THE FAITHFUL AND HUMBLE (Daniel 1:17-21; 6:3; Proverbs 22:29;Genesis 41:39-41; Psalm 119:98-104; Luke 21:15; Acts 6:8-10; Ephesians 1:16-20; Colossians 1:9-11; Numbers 14:24; Matthew 23:12; Luke 19:17; 1 Peter 1:4)
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah requested to be tested with vegetable meal. This request was evidence of their strong faith in Gods power as ten days were definitely too short to make any significant difference in diet. He was not ashamed to speak about his faith with the prince of the eunuch unlike many believers who cringe when it comes to ministering to their bosses or anyone in authority. Daniels petition to the prince of the eunuch was polite and humble; he was not confrontational. His request was granted and God blessed their food and made them look better than those who ate the kings dainties. God is always ready to favour us when we stand for righteousness.
God honoured the faith of Daniel and his colleagues and endowed them with knowledge, skill and wisdom above other candidates. Daniel was also endowed with ability to understand visions and dreams. Eventually, they were chosen to stand before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm (Daniel 1:20). Obedience to God in our endeavours will make us excel above others. The Scripture affirms that, The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour... (Proverbs 12:26). Righteousness brings exaltation but sin breeds reproach. Commitment to Gods outlined principles of living, courage to stand out and absolute confidence in Him will lead to promotion, preservation and inheritance of God blessings in life and in eternity.
Question 4: Highlight the present and eternal benefits of maintaining a godly character in difficult times.
Daniel and his companions showed extraordinary integrity and commitment to the true God in the land of false gods and corrupt practices. This quartet gave a full and convincing testimony to the omnipotence, goodness, holiness, omnipresence, faithfulness, sufficiency and omniscience of God. Their faith in God had such deep roots in their character, conviction and courage that superficial change of names and the luxury of new surroundings could not affect. We must not mortgage our destinies for the perishable things of this world but keep our eyes on the inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for [us] (1 Peter 1:4).
MEMORY VERSE: “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him” (James 5:14,15).
TEXT: James 5:13-18
Our text talks about prayer as revealed by the mention of the words ‘pray’, ‘prayer’ and ‘prayed’. To the believer, prayer is very essential and central. From the passage, there are one, personal prayer whereby we have the privilege to pray when problem arises; two, pastoral prayer whereby anointed leaders pray for our needs; three, the penitent prayer through which we come back to the Lord if we have done something wrong; four, participatory prayer which involves other believers who, in love and fellowship, sharing the burden of a fellow Christian, raise their voices to God in prayer on his behalf; five, powerful prayer which proceeds from hearts where there is no guilt or condemnation that might be a barrier to receiving answers; six, persistent prayer – a kind of prayer that is characterised by perseverance until the answer comes; and seven, prophetic praying – praying with the revelation and word of God as in the case of Elijah.
God has given us a clear answer and solution to sicknesses and afflictions. The solution is prayer in the name of Jesus. “Is any among you afflicted? let him pray… Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him... in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick”. Our prayer of faith is capable of healing the sick. It brings forgiveness, redemption and salvation for sinners. When sickness calls, the believer is not in doubt of healing because if he prays in the name of the Lord and in faith, the sick will be healed. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”.
Question 1: How central is the prayer of faith in the life of a believer who wants to enjoy divine healing?
From Genesis to Revelation, we find God’s provision for healing in the entire Bible. We find also His supernatural power and the victory of the children of God.
1. THE FINAL SOLUTION TO HEALING (Exodus 15:26; Numbers 21:8,9; Deuteronomy 7:15; Joshua 14:10-12; Ruth 4:11,14-17; 1 Samuel 1:12-18; 6:3; Proverbs 4:20-22; Ecclesiastes 8:4,5; Song of Solomon 2:15)
God had a healing covenant with the children of Israel. He said, “I am the LORD that healeth thee”. We should always remember that He is still the great “I am” and not ‘I was’. As we behold the Lord and meditate on the sacrifice of Christ, the One that is lifted up, we shall be healed. If there is any pestilence that ravages the land, our prayer will produce healing not just to one person but to the whole church and nation. Jeroboam became sick after attempting to lay hold on the man of God to destroy him. But when he pleaded, his withered hand was restored. God does not waste time in healing us if we plead for mercy, keep His commandment and ask Him in faith. Before God is obligated to heal and deliver any sick person, the truth must be obeyed and faith exercised without wavering. Healing is the natural result of meeting the conditions stated by God in His Word. We experience divine intervention once we do what God wants us to do. After obeying Him, then we can offer prayer for deliverance.
Question 2: What is the connection between total obedience to God’s word and the believer’s healing and health?
The miracle working power of God takes away sicknesses in our lives. Our righteousness through Christ takes away our infirmities and heals all our diseases. When the children of Israel came out of Egypt, the uniform testimony of the Scriptures was: “there was not one feeble person among their tribes.” God still has the power to heal any ailment that is detrimental to our health, including COVID-19.
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed”. The prophets of the Old Testament emphasised the power and strength of God. They saw ahead of time the stripes that will be laid on Christ. There is assurance of getting our desired healing. And we must not doubt because “whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered”. To get rid of sicknesses, we must seek the Lord. As individuals, families, churches and nations, if we turn away from rebellion and wickedness, and ask God for mercy, He will heal us of whatever ailment we may be suffering at the moment. “For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.”
Question 3: How can a believer appropriate Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for his healing and continuous health?
3. HIS FULL SALVATION WITH HEALING FOR ALL (Matthew 8:16,17; Luke 4:18,19,21; John 5:5-9; Acts 3:6-8; 10:38; Romans 8:11; 15:19; 1 Corinthians 12:7- 10; Galatians 3:5,13,14; Philippians 2:10; Colossians 1:13; 1 Thessalonians 1:5)
“When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick”. Christ our Saviour came with full salvation in the New Testament which also includes healing. All the apostles made use of “the name of Jesus” to work wonders. Peter healed the lame man at the Beautiful gate when he declared: “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” The name of Jesus Christ is still powerful today and works wonders in the life of those who believe.
Question 4: How can one qualify to use the name of Jesus Christ to heal the sick or deliver the oppressed?
God “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son”. In that Kingdom, there is no sickness, infirmity or any impossibility with Him. Therefore, no matter the challenges that confront us today, we must not allow them to grow higher than our faith. The source of health is God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, His might and the Spirit He has given us. The Lord does not want us to be discouraged because He “hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”. As believers, we have hope of life – eternal, abundant, conquering, spiritual and physical – because we know that God who has “promised before the world began” cannot lie. What the Lord did in time past, He is ready to do again in our lives today. He will keep us by that same power with which He kept His disciples and servants of old.
As believers, God’s wish for us is that we “prosper and be in health”. He is willing to keep us from falling into sickness, calamity or danger “and to present [us] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy …both now and ever. Amen”.
Question 5: Why are some believers not experiencing divine intervention in their situation today?