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Testimony- How prayer saved me from failure and a possible carry-over back in school

pray-sing

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Matthew 7:7

This is the season of making prayers. This is season of pouring our whole hearts out in all forms of true prayers. I’d bet someone wants his/her faith in God to be increased. I know someone desires to know if God still answers prayers. If you are that person, read my short testimony that your faith may be increased.

It was back in 2011 during my early days as a high school student of Electrical Electronics Engineering in Federal Polytechnics Nekede Owerri, Nigeria.

By God’s divine grace I have always been above average in academics. We were all still fresh in school and the engineering stuff was a bit high for a young star like me. I loved Physics and Math (my best subject), but electronics and electrical engineering involved more than being proficient in mathematics and physics.

In school, I was a Christian in heart and deeds. My Identity at home was my Identity in the school. The trend of boys and girls who were churchy at home but worldly outside the home was not my lot by His grace. Therefore I had the God and I had the brains but…

We had just come back from a compulsory strike and we were in a hurry to write our exams and move on to the next level. It was a struggle for everyone no matter your level of brilliancy. With about nine courses to do (I do not recall actual number), I just couldn’t wrap my head around a particular course related to electronics. Or maybe I needed some more time having just returned from the strike. However, the semester schedules don’t wait for any student and so was it for me. I eventually went into the exam to write that subject.

As an intelligent student, I find it shameful to copy from other students because they would probably not know what they were writing. But on that day I was ready to copy because I understood absolutely nothing from the textbook. Unfortunately the exam invigilators decided to spread us out and the monitoring was very much strict that I could copy nothing. Out of the entire questions, I only managed one of the options. In the option I chose to answer, I only knew a single sub-option. Mehn!, it was that bad for me. Up to that point I have never sat for an exam and failed it. To get a carry-over was just too shameful for me, but I was helpless. My dad had told us of the day the Holy Ghost helped him to write an examination he new nothing about. On my own day, I only stared at my empty papers. After the exam, I quietly went back to the dorm, and I was never going to be the same thinking about re-seating for an exam.

Read: Saved to pray

By the time I traveled back home after the semester was finally over, I decided to seek the God of my father and fathers in prayers. Every afternoon, I was full of tears because I couldn’t bear the shame. I cried to God, I cried and cried, I told God I do not want to fail that exam despite writing nothing. Not once did I pray, not twice, but until my victory came. Then one night as I slept, I had a dream where I entered the office of my lecturer. And as I entered, I narrated to him my woes in his exam. In that dream he told me that he will not fail me. When I woke up, I knew it was over. Amen!

Brethren if I had not prayed, I would have failed and shame would have been my portion. I have seen Christians fail for one reason or the other. I have seen Christians die as if they are nothing. I have seen church members held ransom by the devil as if they are nothing. I have seen the church of my God hurt by the devil and his agents as if we are nothing. The Agents of darkness now come to our churches, sing with us and go back as if we are nothing. Yes!, any christian with a dead prayer life and dry eyes is nothing. No man is greater than his prayer life. No church is greater than her prayer life.

Brothers and sisters, I do not write unto the unbeliever who have rejected God. I write to the Churches of my heavenly father and my master- the Holy Spirit. I do not write to pastors, evangelists, apostles and bishops, I write to every member of the body of Christ. No man is grater than his prayer life. We must go back to prayer supplications and intercessions.

Download ‘Victory in the Storm’ Mp3

Finally, may I remind us that holiness, faith and righteousness are the wheels of prayer. If a man is unholy, his prayer is an abomination unto God. Therefore we must put away sinful deeds that our prayers may be answered.

He who lacks grace for these things must ask from Jesus Christ, He is zealous to help his church. Amen!!

‘The coming revival’ by Leonard Ravenhil

coming-revival

For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

Habakuk 2:14
Evangelist Leonard Ravenhill
Evangelist Leonard Ravenhill

The coming revival by Evangelist Leonard Revenhill of Blessed memory – a man who lived and breathed revival. He has stated in a sermon about the coming revival. I also agree to this.

  • He’s going to anoint your sons and your daughters, not your bishops sir… No, I’m sorry bishops.
  • He’s going to show us the Church anointed again in the Spirit of the Living God!
  • When the Church is healthy… hell trembles.
  • They must be young people…. working class people. Not the elite.
  • (They will be people like): Fishermen of Galilee, A Tax Collector
  • We’re going to see men in our generation that have never been on the earth.
  • God’s going to raise some super holy men… people aren’t ready.
  • Folk don’t want my message anyhow.
  • There’s going to come another “Upper Room”. You young men are my hope.
  • God wants some people crazier than I am.
  • There’s not a flood of revival in America today. God is bypassing us, provoking us…
  • The Church has become so carnal… the glory of the Lord doesn’t fill the Temple!
  • God’s going to bypass organized religion and systems before very long… I believe that many denominations are breathing their last right now.
  • I am convinced that God’s going to do a new work… The Holy Ghost may not come back to you… [Matt. 13:12].
  • Some of you preachers are preaching a theology and your shouting behind a denomination, and you’re scared stiff to preach the revelations God has given you.

And I will add

  • Darkness and all its works will be exposed.
  • Many False Prophets and preachers will be exposed and their churches made desolate by the Spirit of the Living God.
  • Truth will reign again in Gods house.
  • Our pulpits will be full of men of fire.
  • Many gifts will be poured out unto men, women, boys, girls, even our children will prophesy.
  • More persecution and trials will come. It will be to test the strength of many who will join the move of God. By this, many will be refined by fire and the true sons of God will be known.

Our song

Oh! How glorious is our Great Father and His son Jesus Christ.
How merciful and kind are his ways.
For He has remembered the people He purchased.
He has remembered the weak gentiles.
From now henceforth all men will call us ‘people of the Most High God’, because he has reformed and revived his own.
And has prepared us for home coming. Amen!!!

Hebrides Revival of 1949 and what we can learn from the move of God

In the Christendom we hastily use the word “revival”; the word “evangelistic mission” is preferable. Why? Because true revival is a sovereign work of the Holy Spirit. If Duncan Campbell (the Hebrides revival evangelist) was alive with us today, he would emphasize the importance of having a clear definition of revival. He would distinguish it from all of our best evangelistic efforts, from our missionary campaigns, and from all of our special services and programs. He would not necessarily criticize these engagements, but he would vehemently insist that they are not to be confused with revival.

Very many Churches fix “revival” programs sporadically for their members in order to turn hearts back to the faith. But many at times we just end up in deliverance sessions and gospel ministration. In such programs the events are organized by men and we work with time. But when true revival comes like the Hebrides revival, the events are organized by God, the sessions are told by the Holy Spirit and no one else.

The Lewis revival, otherwise know as the Hebrides revival of the Island of Lewis (1949-1952) commenced on the Scottish island of Lewis in the village of Barvas and spread to other islands in the region.

Many has told stories and written books about this great revival, however there are lessons we must take from this revival.

 

  1. Revival is a Pentecostal Affair.
    The tragedy of the Roman Catholic and other denominations who have rejected the baptism of the Holy Spirit is that they cannot be revived as a Church; they can only be reformed. But Christian reformation has come and has given us back the Pentecostal experience of the bible. Unless the entire system of non Pentecostal churches becomes reformed in fire, they will continue to miss out on the Holy Ghost revivals. Unless individuals move to Holy Ghost powered Churches, they too will continue to miss out.
  2. No prayer; no revival.
    Beginning in November of 1949, two sisters, Peggy and Christine Smith, 84 and 82 years old–Peggy completely blind, and Christine bent over with arthritis—were burdened due to the depressed spiritual state in their Barvas village church. They sensed the Lord speaking to them: “I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground.” (Isaiah 44:3).
    This led them to pray in their small cottage two to three nights per week, from 10 p.m. till 3 a.m. After several weeks of praying like this, Peggy had a vision of her church being crowded with young people, and an unknown minister preaching from the pulpit.
    Peggy then sent for their minister, Rev. James Murray MacKay. She told him they sensed the Lord was going to send a revival and that he must get his church leaders and spend every Tuesday and Friday night in prayer, and that they would pray simultaneously in their cottage.

    No pain, no gain is a human slogan that is true even in spirituality. Revival comes by prayers. Revival comes when children of God set themselves apart to pray and seek change. Revival tarries because prayer sleeps -Leonard Ravenhill

    Read: Shall we pray of shall we sing songs

  3. Revival is the pure work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy spirit can use men in church reforms. The Holy Spirit can use men in evangelistic ministries. The Spirit of God can use men in powerful missions outreach. But when it comes to revival, He takes the stage.
  4. God doesn’t force us. Throughout the scriptures, God has never failed to remind us that we can choose to obey him or not obey him. Some resisted the Hebrides revival. Some churches that would have be torn apart by the mercies of the Holy Ghost derided the Work of God through the revivalist- Duncan. Deuteronomy 30:19 says: “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live
  5. God uses man. God has never worked alone. The Great spirit of God uses humans as instrument, both in prayers and word ministration during revivals. Apostle Paul had a vision of a little girl saying “Come over to Macedonia and help us”. Paul was never going to help them, It was the Holy Ghost that was going to do the work through him. But the directives, messages and sessions was for the Spirit to tell.
  6. Revival is a time of rebirth. For Christian life to be born there must be death to flesh. For rebirth to come, there was time of death or time of dormancy. For revival to come, it means we have fallen from what we used to be. This was the state of the Lewis Christianity before the revival as an eye witness stated.
    The report
    1. According to testimonies of people present prior to the revival, they confessed that the churches were dead and that they were in a spiritual winter.
    2. Legalism was extreme and the young people wanted nothing to do with the Church. Some of the churches had no young people attending.
    3. The people on the island had a “form of godliness” in that prayer and Bible reading in homes was conducted every morning, but it was carried out as a duty; it was a tradition of those who were converted as well as those who were not.In the schools the children learned Bible stories from their unconverted teachers. Students were also taught the short version of the Westminster Catechism, as well as how to sing many of the Psalms. They were also required to memorize the Ten Commandments and many other selected passages of scripture—but there was no life in it. It was all formality and tradition.
  7. Revival is a thing of the church. Although the Spirit of revival could attract a sinners to repentance and consequent baptism of fire, it is never to be mistaken for a Christian crusade. It is purely the Holy Spirit putting his Church back in order. It is purely about awakening the sleeping Christians and revitalizing the dead church men.
  8. We need revival 
    Anyone who reads the stories of the Hebrides revival will attest to the fact that we need dire awakening in the Church. The Church is sick, many Church has forgotten our stand. Very many of us are now children of the night. It is now about Relativism, Legalism, Liberalism and other ‘isms’ that disdains the Spirit of God. We need revival; yes! we do. And if it be that revival does not come without prayers, then we shall pray and pray more until it comes like a mighty wave. Amen!

 

 

 

Watch the as the revivalist- Duncan Campbell states what happened during those days of power.

 

 
Duncan Campbell (Revivalist) during the Lewis revival 1949

 

Mountain-top experience

And the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I come to you in the thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you forever.” So Moses told the words of the people to the LORD.

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the LORD will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.

Exodus 19:9-11

Mountain

A mountain is a landmass projecting higher than hill in a particular area. Mountains are of great value because they influence the climate and rainfall. Mountains help channel water down to the rivers and can also store a small body of water.

The mountain-top is the best part of the mountain experience. At the mountain-top or as one climbs up to the mountain the weather conditions changes. The humidity increases, the temperature falls, there is more calmness and the foggy clouds smells good to breath. The view is wide. On the mountain-top one sees what others at the valley cannot see. Climbing to the top of a high mountain is an experience only few people can boast of because not everyone will like to go through the process or have the guts to climb. The journey is not always an enjoyable experience, it involves lots of determination and strenuous efforts but the end result is always worth it.

In the matters of the spirit, mountains are similar to what they represent in the physical sense. The top is where we all want to be. The top is where the beauty and view is. The top is where the calmness and peace is found and it is where we can see farther than others. And as humans may likely not climb a mountain physically due to the stress, that is how in the spirit matters, only few people can or do climb to reach the mountain-top.

In the early years when God called the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt. God desired to reveal himself to them that they may know that He is a God that is not far from his people. God spoke to Prophet Moses in Exodus 19:3-6; He reminded him about His exploits against the Egyptians for the children of Israel. God admonished him (Moses), that if indeed Israel will obey his commands and keep his covenant that He(God) will make them His own special nation among the people of the earth.

Moses the servant of God called the people together and told them what the Lord had said to him. He told them about the “if you will obey”; and to this the people responded positively and promised to do as God will command.

The Bible says that after this, Moses went back ‘up’ to God where he was when God spoke to him and gave God the feedback. God replied in Exodus 19:9-11 as quoted in our text above. God said He was coming to the camp meeting. God said He was coming to town. God said He was going to make his power and glory felt by his people. God announced to Moses that glory days are coming; for God was coming to confirm His people for life by speaking to them directly. But He gave Moses a task. He said “Consecrate them today and tomorrow and let them wash and be ready. And then on the third day, I will come to the Mount of Sinai”. Moses obeyed God and after they washed and prepared, on the third day, the Lord came upon the Mount Sinai and called unto Moses to come up.

My dearest reader, I pray that God opens your heart and pour His grace on you and I to enable us understand the secret things that concerns him. Amen!

Firstly, Moses got the message on the mountain-top away from his fellows and brothers. Secondly after they had done all that God commanded them to do, God came down on the appointed day and stayed at the mountain-top. He (God) then beckoned on his prophet to come up to the mountain to experience Him.
This is not the only place Moses met and experienced God on the mountain-top. We must remember that the 10 commandment tablet were first given to Moses on top of Mount Sinai. It was also on Mount Horeb that the Second 10 Commandment was given after the first was broken by Moses. We must also remember that Moses was on a mountain when he had encountered God through a burning bush. On one particular occasion, Moses came down from the mountain and his face was gloriously shining. Moses was taken away from Israel and went back to God on the mountain-top. During Moses’ mountain-top experience with God, God showed him many visions and his view about life was broadened just like he who climbs a physical mountain sees what others do not see. God told him many things he never and may never tell those at the valley. In one of that mountain-top experience, he stayed 40-days eating nothing and did not see death. Also, after one of his mountain-top experience with God, glory shown upon his face and the men of Israel baffled after gazing on him. In fact, it was the mountain-top experience with God that saved him from sharing in Israel’s idolatry. For when he came down, Aron the Priest had been compelled to make the people an idol to worship.

From the New Testament we see that Jesus was a man of the mountain-top. Often he retreated from men. Often he retreated form the disciples. Often he climbed up and prayed. Even his glorious transfiguration was done on top of a mountain. Indeed our lord understood what it means to have a mountain-top experience.

Brethren, the days of Moses are far gone and Jesus is no more in the world in human form. We believers through the spirit of grace has been called to holiness, son-ship and priest hood unto the great God. For what Moses was, we are now; because the same Spirit that worked in him works in us who a true worshipers and Jesus having divided the veil, allowed us access to God; amen!. Now God desires that all Christians will have the mountain-top experience with him. God desires that every believers will have that one on one experience with him. The experience that Changes men. The experience that broadens our vision of things and of gives us other untold truths. The experience that can cause our spiritual face to radiate great glory and the children of darkness and the night marvels. That experience, that mountain-top experience is what God is seeking in our time.

Unfortunately, only few will have this experience. The reason is: just as it is hard, lonely, strenuous and difficult to climb a physical mountain, that is how it is hard, lonely, strenuous it is to have a mountain-top experience with God. We as men need to work for it. Moses climbed, strained his muscles, went without companion; he worked for his mountain-top experience and so we must work for ours. One thing is sure; God is on the mountain giving men ‘the mountain-top experience’.

Some may climb physical mountains seeking God, some go to prayer camps to seek God, some go through many days of fasting, and some wake up many nights in earnest seeking for God. The location matters not. What matters is the effort. It could be in your room, but you are doing what other Christians cannot do. You are praying, studying the word of God, seeking him, straining yourself, staying away from some gatherings, walking that lonely path in search for God. I tell you child of God, the zeal in my God as he has revealed to me burns deep. His zeal cuts through brick walls and any instrument that stands out will receive wonderful mountain-top experience.

Mountain-top experience doesn’t come easy but the reward is not light. But before we aim for it, we must remember the commandment; For He (God) said “consecrate today and tomorrow, wash your clothes, and be ready; on the third day I will come”. Sons of God; men and women greatly loved by God; Church of Jesus Christ! The first process to have this mountain-top experience is to consecrate ourselves back to God in holiness and truth. We must put away the works of sin and darkness and acknowledged that we are heirs of the Father. We must then wash in white. We must cling to the blood of Jesus and allow the Holy Ghost to use the word of God to wash us white. And then we must climb in many waiting. We must climb in true fervent prayers. And on that day, we will have our Holy Ghost powered mountain-top experience with God; on the third day; our revival will come. Amen!!

Understanding the true meaning of the word – ‘Grace’

grace

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.

Titus 2:11

Unto the Church of Jesus Christ and unto the elect of God from all the Churches where the Holy Spirit of God reigns and to those who will push for the Holy Ghost baptism in due time.

The concept grace

To understand the concept of grace without modernity involved, the old testament reference will be useful to us.

“Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone With shouts of “Grace, grace to it! Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “The hands of Zerubbabel Have laid the foundation of this temple; His hands shall also finish it. Then you will know That the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you.”

Zechariah 4:7-9

From the scripture above we can understand that grace gives us smoothness of movement or ease of efforts. In other words, grace makes our little effort yield the desired or greater result. Or it means that grace minimizes our personal efforts. It is just like a push. It also means that grace empowers to attain desired result. Indeed whatever we achieve by grace is unmerited because we were helped to reach that height. One thing I would point out here is that- grace doesn’t take a way human effort. God’s grace for Zerubbabel’s temple did not send Zerubbabel home to sleep while He (God) did the magic alone. This I will explain in my next article about grace.

From the understanding of the primary concept of grace, we will explore divine grace or grace from God to the Church.

Divine grace

Wikipedia defines divine grace as the divine influence which operates in humans to regenerate and sanctify, to inspire virtuous impulses, and to impart strength to endure trial and resist temptation; and as an individual virtue or excellence of divine origin.
A complete definition which implies that;

  1. Divine Grace is from God.
  2. Grace helps us to become regenerated (born again).
  3. Grace leads us to sanctification.
  4. Grace inspires or compels us to act or do things beyond our naturally instincts and ability.
  5. Grace gives us ability and strength to overcome sin, temptation and trials.

In a more spiritual sense, divine grace is defined as the unmerited favour of God through Jesus Christ which brings us forgiveness, salvation, eternal life and empowerment. This worldwide accepted definition to grace doesn’t break away from the root meaning of Grace.

This definition leads us to the three types of grace.

Types of Grace

1. Forgiveness Grace : This is the grace God gives us to obtain forgiveness and mercy. This grace is given because of Christ’s death on the cross. We needed an atonement for our iniquities and Christ became our atonement. Therefore when we ask for forgiveness from God, the death of Christ gives of that grace, that ‘push’, that ‘smoothness’ to access and obtain mercy and forgiveness.

2. Salvation grace : This is the grace needed to be saved. It was this grace that found Paul and every other Christian. When God gives a man this grace, that man cannot help but come to his sheepfold. It might be during the sermon or on personal bible study, or even a divine revelation. This grace will clear the doubts and teach the mind to accept Jesus as Lord.

This grace gives strength and teaches to overcome sin and immorality. This is the grace that leads to sanctification. This is the grace to become born again, and it is given by Jesus though the Holy Spirit. No one can be saved or born again without the Holy Spirit.

3. Empowerment grace : This grace is only given to the saved and purely given through the Spirit of God. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;- Acts 1:8. This grace is the complete package. It gives a man ability to overcome all human limitations. This grace can open up a dull mind to be creative. This grace, can catapult a fearful man to a fearless man. When this grace comes upon a student, he becomes more brilliant than his study mates. Not that he studies more than them, but grace has unlocked his proficiency in understanding. This grace can teach you how to pray for hours without becoming weary. This is the grace behind ministerial calling.

Furthermore

One of the apostle that talked about grace so much was Apostle Paul. He talks about Salvation grace in Titus 2:11: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.
Put in another way; God’s grace has been given to us men. This grace teaches us to deny and say no to sin and worldly lust. It teaches us to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present age.

One would agree that education is empowerment. With education, whether formal or informal, an individual has been given the knowledge to achieve feats. And we know that knowledge is power. Apostle Paul asserts that salvation grace teaches, empowers, strengthens and gives ability to achieve sanctification and righteousness. And one would ask; where is the concept of grace in this? The answer is very simple. Take for instance a man who struggles with a particular sin which has denied him attainment to a holy status before God. When the Spirit of grace comes upon him, he will receive strength. That strength is an empowerment and it works by teaching his mind and spirit to say no to that sin that controls him. And so he has a smooth path or an ease of personal effort to attain holiness. Even if temptation to fall back to the sin arises, he wouldn’t struggle with saying “No!” because something (grace) compels or pushes him to say No!; therefore grace helps him achieve holiness.

We must understand that where there is no feat to achieve, where there is no work to be done, where man is not trying to attain a height, or when God is not on a project through man, grace is not needed and it is not made available. Therefore grace complements the effort to achieve a task at hand.
When God wanted to save the gentiles he gave us grace. When he wanted to use Paul, grace found him. When God wants to do a Holy Ghost revival, grace for prayer is poured out on men. When God wants to bless a man, grace for making wealth is given him. When Zerubbabel was struggling with opposition in order to complete the second Temple, grace was given him. If God desires to call a man to be an Evangelist, grace for evangelistic ministry will be given him. Therefore grace is for achieving a result or goal.
The grace for salvation should make men saved. The grace of holiness should make a men Holy. The grace for forgiveness, brings man forgiveness. The grace for making heaven, gives man strength and teaches him to run the race.

How grace is given

1. Effortless Grace

Take a look at Paul’s experience of salvation, he was given grace without even trying to find Jesus. Some have claimed to come to Christ after seeing Jesus appear to them. Others had near death or even afterlife experiences. For these men, for reason unknown to us and them, grace and mercy found them.

Also as concerning empowerment grace, there are Christians who can pray for hours nonstop. Many never asked God for it, grace brought it to them. There are Christians who can preach fire even without being passing through theology school; we must remember Peter in this stead. Also, the grace for ministry given to the called pastors, evangelists, apostles, teachers and prophets are effortless.
Although this grace is gotten based on God’s free will, it is not to be taken for granted. It must be used to achieve the purpose for which it was given.

2. Asked-for grace

 14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

Our effort was never enough; Jesus died and poured out grace. But for this grace to work in man, he must ask for forgiveness. That asking of forgiveness activates this grace. If you don’t ask for it, it will not be given. Even Paul, though grace found him, I believe he prayed for forgiveness for his misdeeds.

Another instance of the kind of grace is when we ask God for it. No one possess it all; our agglomeration of the spirits of grace can come through prayers. James 1:5 – “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him”. Christians can pray for grace. And as long as the will of God is not on our way, and our hearts are right with God, He has promised to answer us.

I have written songs effortlessly, I also have songs, for which I had to pray and pray more before I could pen it down. The first day I set out to write this article I couldn’t finish it. Then I prayed to God for the grace and it was given to me. Therefore we can also receive grace by making making prayer efforts.

After grace is given

Those whom God has given grace must use it to actualize the purpose for which it was given. Those offered salvation through grace must live saved and resurrected lives. Those who possess grace for prayers must pray. Those who have ministerial grace must minister the word.
There are many church goers who claim to be saved by grace but still live in sin, fornication, lies, cheating, deceit and one form of sin or the other. They cling tightly unto the grace message but neglect its true power and meaning thereby abusing God’s grace. For the grace that brings salvation teaches, empowers and strengthens to say no to sin, any other thing apart from this is not from God.

I Ogba Victor, a servant of the Jesus Christ hereby admonish the Churches and Christians to pray to God for grace. As at the time I write this article, I have been persuaded by God of his zeal to pour out the Spirit of grace upon the church. May the grace of God and his son Jesus Christ rest upon us all; Amen!

 

The abuse of grace; where we have failed God

“Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone With shouts of “Grace, grace to it! Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “The hands of Zerubbabel Have laid the foundation of this temple; His hands shall also finish it. Then you will know That the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you.”

Zechariah 4:7-9

Zechariah 4:7-9

 

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Romans 6:1-3

 

In my other article about grace I summarized grace and everything it is about. The link to the article is below.

Read: Understanding the true meaning of the word – ‘Grace’

In Zechariah 4:7-9 we saw a man whom God gave grace to complete the building of the Second temple. Zerubbabel utilized the grace of God and built the temple. One thing I would point out in this story is that- grace doesn’t take a way human effort. God’s grace for Zerubbabel’s temple did not send Zerubbabel home to sleep or rest while He (God) did the magic alone. No!; but rather, with that grace, Zerubbabel’s hands finished the temple of God according to the prophesy.

What if Zerubbabel had gone home and stopped building the temple, what if he was waiting on grace to build the temple instead of making genuine efforts to accomplish the task? That grace will stop working on him obviously. Perhaps God would have left him and would then choose another builder and pour out grace on his obedient servant.

Surely, grace doesn’t totally remove human the effort but compliments it in a divine magnitude; that man may baffle and praise the God. For he that has been given grace ought to take advantage of the grace of God. He that has the grace of teaching should be in front of students teaching or doing the work. If such a man doesn’t make effort to be in a class, the grace of teaching is then useless unto him. For it is when he starts making efforts towards effective teaching that grace will show him the way it is done. The evangelist with the grace of preaching and evangelism must, study the bible, pray, make research and compile his sermon. He also has to go out to reach the unsaved. That grace will work immediately he sets his mind to do the work for which grace was given to him.

When a man who has been given grace, and he doesn’t do his own part for which the grace was given, it is called the “abuse of grace”.

Another point worth knowing is that grace achieves result or that grace is for achieving result. Example, if God desires to use a man to heal the sick, he pours out the grace of healing on him. That grace is to achieve divine healing when he prays for the sick. Likewise, the grace for prosperity should make a man prosper. As long as the man is willing to work, grace will show him the way to win.

If this is true, then the grace for salvation should make a man saved. In other words, grace for salvation should make a man who has received this grace live saved, sanctified and holy lives unto God.

The sequence is this:

  1. Man is given grace. 
    2. Man works in works with the grace
    3. Grace produces result

The Abuse of grace

The problem of many Christians and churches is mainly at part where they would have to work with the grace or take advantage of it.

There is no doubt that Christ has gifted us grace to obtain forgiveness, should we not ask for forgiveness when we err? Of course not. Remember the Lord’s prayer, “..forgive us our trespasses, as we also forgive…”. Same should be said of all types of grace mentioned in the article: Understanding the true meaning of the word Grace .

On a more serious case, the grace for salvation has appeared to all men. This grace is given to those who have accepted Jesus Christ as lord and king. This grace is for one thing, and that is to enable us live saved and holy lives.

Brethren we are saved by grace. it doesn’t mean that we should not work out our salvation. Paul also agrees to this in Philipians 2:12-13 “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose

God has given us grace freely. We need to do the works of righteousness with this grace. We ought to get sanctified with this grace. This grace has to enable us live saved and sanctified lives as born again children of God. This grace teaches us to say no to sin says the bible.

Note: Not that the grace says no, but it gives us the empowerment to say no!.

Many err greatly and abuse grace when they say “We are saved by grace, not by our works” No! It is righteousness that is by faith. But salvation is by accepting the saving grace of God. We are saved when we take advantage of this grace and use it to live holy and sanctified lives because that is what the grace was meant to accomplish.

When these erring believers argue they would bring up Romans 7:15 where Paul has said : “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do … own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate“.

They use this passage as license to disobey God’s law and live immoral and wicked lives against God.

 

But for some reason unknown to some of us and for which God shall judge every man, these set of believers does not talk about verse 25 of the same scripture: Romans 7:25, which says: Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

In other words, God has delivered Paul from that nature of sin through Jesus Christ. But these people continue to live undelivered from their sinful nature. They continue to be under the bondage of sin clinging unto grace instead of using that grace to live holy lives. No! Brethren no!. Grace is an empowerment. If we start to make genuine effort to live resurrected lives, that is when grace will teach and show us how to win.

We must learn wisdom from God and not ourselves. The same Paul had testified in Romans 6:1- “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?”

 Paul also said in Titus 2:11-12 : “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world”

Surely Paul acknowledges that grace is doesn’t teach us to remain in sin, while claiming to be saved by grace. Grace doesn’t teach us that we are free to sin and go back for forgives, that there is always forgiveness; no! The spirit teaches us that lie is the fleshy spirit behind the “abuse of grace”.

Ananias and his wife certainly did not received this free grace to wrong God and run back to him to ask for forgives. But God struck him immediately and took grace away from him. It is true that as long as we are in the time of the gentiles, there is hope to obtain mercy and forgiveness and salvation; tut let us not abuse this grace because one day it will expire.

For we must know this: that until we start to utilize or take advantage of this grace to live holy, saved and sanctified lives full of the presence of God, we don’t know what we profess when we say we have grace.

Surely, if a man wants to migrate to Canada from Nigeria, he has to purchase the things he will need in Canada. He also has to sell things he will not be needing anymore. He also has to purchase Visa with his resources and pay for a flight to Canada. Why do many Christians who want to be in heaven- a holy land made for the holy and saved, stay in sin and continue in the works of old? Why do they cling so tight to free grace and ignore the works of those who are saved?

Finally brethren, it is good for us to know where we have falling short. It is good for us to know why we cannot repeat the many miraculous works of the New Testament Church. It is good for us to know why we cannot do the works of Apostle Paul despite the grace we have come to learn through his ministry. It is good to know why many churches are more silent than burial grounds in the spirit. It is good for us to know why it seems as if God has abandoned his people and darkness is stealing men. It is good for us to know why we need revival. It is good for us to know why many church goers will eventually not make heaven. It is not that God is partial or lack commitment for his promises, one of the reasons is that we abuse the grace given to us by God.

Once again I do not write to unbelievers but to the churches. Our God has great zeal for his church and he wants everyone to bend to his words and will. Not everyone will receive it, but those for whom it has been given will receive it.

May the God of Grace grant grace to you my reader and to his Church; Amen!!..

Shall we pray or shall we sing songs? – An urgent call to the Church for Revival Praying

pray-sing

Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God.

Philippians 4:6

I Ogba Victor, a servant of the Christ unto those who have been elected to inherit eternal life by faith and through grace made available to us in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Brethren, time is short. We must pay diligence to the message of the Spirit of God. Although no one knows the times of God, but ever since the cross was raised, the lord has continually harvested souls unto life.

Now shall we pray or shall we sing songs?

What are songs of praise? Songs of Praise are uttered words with which Christians express our respect and gratitude towards God. Our way of expressing warm approval or admiration of His Majesty and anything we can think of that concerns Him and his works. Christians praise God by remembering his deeds, and with lifted hands, sing songs and utter words that magnify God.
God who is a spirit eats nothing but praises and his Spirit delights in praise songs coming from holy and righteous men and women. This is true. AMEN.
The theories attached to praises or worship songs goes as far back as the early histories of the world. It is believed that Angles were created to continually sing praise songs unto God day in and day out. Even from Israel’s magnanimous history we have seen God move in powerful ways when only praises were sung like the case of the walls of Jericho. The power of songs of praise cannot be over emphasized.

What is prayer? To a simple man prayer is talking to God or communicating with God. This definition doesn’t do justice to all that prayer is. One may pray without channeling the uttered words to God but directly at the problem or situation. One may pray, commanding demons to move and it is not channeled unto God. Yes! There are prophetic prayers, and other prayers. But all prayers are done in the name of Jesus; Amen!


Prayer is a spiritual exercise in which God has called all Christians to. An exercise aimed at implementing a spiritual or physical change of state and it is done by uttering words with the mouth or with the heart unto God or directly at the thing we want to change. Prayer is as vast as God according to LEONARD RAVENHILL.

God desires that men sing songs of praises to him. God also desires that men pray to him and pray for others. Did you read that carefully? In service unto God we sing praises to him alone, but we pray to God and also pray for men. We cannot praise God on behalf of others but we can pray to God on behalf of others. We cannot sing people into salvation; but we can pray for them to be saved. We cannot directly harm the devil in praises. God Himself will fight our battles. But for he who prays, God fights for by faith and himself fights the devil and makes Hades mourn. Prayer is therefore like a multi edged sword. It can do unimaginable things.

Over the years the so called worshipers, praise makers, song singers, praise leaders have grown in numbers in our churches. Do you know how many self-acclaimed, self-tagged worshipers and praise leaders are on Facebook alone? Too many.

There are worship and praise songs popping up every day from the church and from Christians. The market is full of songs that glorify God. When you go to market to buy songs, you may end up wasting your time checking out thousands of songs unless you have a target. English, foreign, local, contemporary, soulful, dance, there is nothing you are looking for in praise or worship songs that have not been sung and produced over the years. Evidently, despite we have been feeding God in and out, left and right, front and back with songs, worship, praises, the Church grows cold, weak, lukewarm and less effective to change lives day by day. What a sad truth!

Many Church member come with problems to the house of God, they sing songs and dance unto God but still go home with their troubles as if our God has changed or loves when we suffer. Oh! Many cry, shed tears, jump, dance, fall, lift hands and all that stuff we do whenever it is worship or praise time but they still do not know what it means be free and many remains under the devils yoke. The reason is that, songs melt the heart and uplift the soul but it doesn’t change the condition of the man’s soul, spirit or body unless God decides to move.

The theory that Praises move God to act or fight our battles is partially true. This theory is gotten form Joshua chapter 6 during the fall of Jericho as the children of Israel praised God. It is also gotten form 2 Chronicles 20 during the battle of King Jehoshaphat against Moab and Ammon. Now notice the untold real truth about this passages that you may apply wisdom. God sent Joshua to destroy Jericho. Joshua went to fight and saw that the walls of Jericho were too high. They were not witches that could fly and they became helpless to themselves and then Joshua prayed to God and then God told him to praise and make noise of victory instead for the impenetrable wall to fall.
Brethren we must apply wisdom here. God did not tell Joshua to stay at home or go to the church and sing songs of praise while Himself destroys Jericho. He rather sent Joshua to fight and make war. Of course God can do it all by himself. The same way God can fight all our battles and hand us victory on a platter, but no! He wants, and has commanded us to pray, battle and make war.
Also we can observe that when Joshua saw an obstacle he couldn’t surmount he went back to God in prayers, It was God who knew they were at that point helpless, and they needed a miraculous and divine response, who then commanded that Israel sing songs and make shouts rather for the walls to come down. If it was in our time, even battles below us which we can conquer, we will shift it to God in praises. Even when God has not commanded us to sing songs we enter into worship with tears hoping for God’s to come and fight for us. Even many can no more pray to consult God how to fight the battle we face, how to grow the church, how to bring revival. What a time we live in.
After the walls of Jericho was brought down by God, God did not fight Jericho while Joshua waited. For God had only removed the obstacle Joshua couldn’t surmount and then the great Judge of Israel overcame Jericho by his sword as the Lord has ordered.

Same case could be said of the battle of Jehoshaphat. The king faced more than his army can handle then he went to God in prayers and God commanded praises and songs instead. Christians of our time will skip the consultation prayer. They will raise up holy hands and sing with tears and groan for their troubles to go but they go home and remain the same if not worse.

By the grace of God we are living in more powerful and glorious days than Joshua and Jehoshaphat. We have been given the power of God through the baptism of the Holy Spirit to take up battles and gain our victory. We now have divine mandate form Jesus himself who divided the veil to come to him in prayers and ask. We have the name of Jesus that works wonders. For he that is born of God overcomes the world says the scriptures. So we are inexcusable to pray and take our victory through prayers. Therefore God may continue to look at us all through our troubles until we start fighting the fight he sent us to fight. He may continue to remain unperturbed by our tears until we start to take our victory by power. For men ought to pray Jesus said.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the commandment of your God,I also will forget your children.

Hosea 4:5

What we need in these turbulent times is true and genuine prayers more than songs of praise. We need fire fighters who go to the devils domain to free lost souls through genuine intercessions. Praying warriors who pray in the power of the Holy Ghost is what the church lacks and what the church needs.

Jesus retreated and prayed often. He fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. If there ever was anyone who shouldn’t fast or pray that long it was Jesus. What was he praying for that he had to do 40 days fasting? God was ready to hear him already, but he was on his knees for 40 days praying. Whereas many who claim to be His children can’t pray for a single hour.
The only recorded miracle Jesus did with praise, in a better way ‘prayer of praise’ was the raising of Lazarus. But the prophetic utterance in the prayer “Lazarus come forth” should not be overlooked. Other miracles were done through prophetic prayer or proclamation. And then he said to us “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven”. Matthew 18:18

Why then do Christians sing praises waiting for miracle to happen when God has commanded us to implement those miracles in prayer? Why do we sing songs waiting for the devils to be bound when the command was for us to bind him? Why do we sing songs of gladness when sinners are perishing instead of rending our hearts for their salvation? Why do we sing songs of gladness unto God when the churches are wallowing in sleep and falling into darkness when we should arise and command the chains of darkness to be broken? Why do we continue to sing when Hades is prevailing against the church? Instead of the church to watch in prayers, praying for souls, praying for ourselves, praying for others, praying for the church, praying to attain eternal life we would rather sing songs and dance to unto God. Praises are good anyway, but when we neglect the more important things we only make caricature of our good songs and praises.

Have you seen Ephesians 6:10-18? As part of the armour of God and the overall summary of that armoury of a Christian, the preacher said “..And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests”. Now shall we pray or shall we sing songs?

Finally brethren, songs are beautiful and lovely to sing unto God. God loves worship and praises from men of pure heart. It gladdens him. But no father loves a child who doesn’t grow to potential.
We are gods and have to take the god mandate and work powerful things as gods. If we pray power and praise power, we will shatter powerful spirits, Even the Spirit of God will be shattered in love by the glorious songs coming from his boys of war. Imagine an army brigade who were defeated in battle by the enemies coming home with songs of praises and victory when in truth victory was for the enemy. The commander will be abased and disappointed that he was not represented well.
But if they are victorious over the enemy and come home with soulful booties for the commander and they sing and shout songs of victory and praises, the commander will be pleased with them.

Now, shall we pray or shall we sing songs?

America needs revival. Shall we pray or shall we sing songs?

The Church needs revival. Shall we pray or shall we sing songs?

Nigeria needs change. Shall we pray or shall we sing songs?

Christianity is deepening in darkness and Hades is happy. Shall we pray or shall we sing songs.

Members of the churches wallow in one severe life pain or the other. Shall we pray or shall we sing songs?

Sinners are lavishing in sin and trooping Hades. Shall we the church pray or shall we sing songs?

CHURCH OF GOD, shall we pray or shall we sing songs?

True greatness in the sight of God (The Church)

…..and on this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it

Matthew 16:18

I Ogba Victor, a servant to churches through the Spirit of Grace.

Having already published greatness in Gods sight for the Christian and the minister, I hereby write to the churches of the great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. For it is he who has founded the church and upon his foundation we build as wise builders.

Read: Greatness in God’s sight-(The Minister)

Read: Greatness in God’s sight – (The Christian)

I would not explain the meaning of greatness again having explained what greatness is in the Greatness in Gods sight series. I would however not fail to remind my readers that greatness in God’s sight is far different from greatness in the eyes of men. For the scripture says that the ways of God are not the ways of men.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts”

Isaiah 55 vs. 8-9

What is the Church?

Church is gotten from the Greek word Ecclesia meaning ‘the called out ones’. The Church therefore is the body of the called out people of God who represent Christ in the world. The church is the union of individuals who have been called to eternal life by God through faith in Jesus.
The origin of the word explains why the Church is not the building where Christians worship but the people who worship in the Church building.

The irony

If you google or use any of the Search engines to lookup the phrase ‘great church, you will come to see the great irony. What is that irony? The irony is that the world of men defines great churches as magnificent buildings. Great churches are seen as great monumental edifices built for worship. And then we will see churches with mega fellowship and mega membership. You will see some of the churches owned by mega pastors and bishops. And then you will see some of the churches with mega rich members who can generate millions of hard currency in a single church service. These things are how the world, human, people, the internet, and sadly, the modern day Christians see a great Christian church. When men see these thing they say “the church is doing well”.

Therefore it pleases the Spirit of Christ who writes through me a mere dust and a servant of the Church to tell those called unto eternal life and more strictly the Elect of God that there is more to the greatness of a church. The greatness of a Church in God’s sight is far deeper and far higher than man thinks. And it is not in the precious edifices and building, it is not in the mega fellowship members, neither is it in the quality of revenue the members can generate in just a single gathering. Greatness of the church is not found in the well know church leader or pastor. In other words the social status of the Pastor in no way justifies a great church. It is not in the number of branches the church has. The social prowess and name of the church means absolute nothing when God spells the greatness of his church.
These things are good, they are plausible, they are commendable and worth praising God for. However, the matter so little if we understand God’s word.

The following are some outstanding prerequisites for the greatness of a Church.

Holiness

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

2 Timothy 2:19

Holiness they say, is the beauty of believers. The scripture above is a direct command to the church. Its implication is that the Lord of the church knows those who are true worshipers and that they do not abide in iniquity. A holy church is like a precious perfume before God. A holy church doesn’t compromise with iniquity and sinners. A holy church does not tolerate sin from any member or pastor. A holy church doesn’t dwell in quarrels and malice. Such a church uses the Holy Scripture and it’s commandments as guide and not man made dogma.

Prayer

A praying Church is Gods own military. If we can come to terms with how much respect and honour is given to the Army and their generals by a country, then we will understand how much God values and honours a church on fire in prayers. A praying Church is not a church that is selfish in prayers. A praying church must pray all forms of prayers and intercessions. A praying church is normally too hot to handle by the powers of darkness and that church experiences the power of God like none other.

Charity and love

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world

James 1:27

There is no church that ignores the weak, hungry, orphans and helpless widows that will attain Gods mark on righteousness not to talk of greatness. God wants the church to take care of the weak and feeble in the society especially those who are there in the house of God.

Evangelism and Missions :

The zeal of Christ for man is shown in missions and evangelism. A Church that is serious in missions work is like Gods fishing net. Now we now that the net is the fisherman’s most priceless tool; that is how priceless a missions minded Church is to God. Praises makes God happy, prayers move mountains but soul wining gives God fullness of Joy. As it is written in Luke 15:7- I say to you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

A servant Church

If you want to be great, you must be the servant of all the others – Matthew 20:26. The words of Jesus is true at all times even for the body of Christ – the Church. If a church desires to be greater than others, if a church wants to be closer to God than others, if a church wants God to display his power among them than others, that church must be a servant Church.
The church must serve Lord, serve the other churches and Christians, and also serve humanity in line with God’s word. The Church must serve the lord by rendering direct services to him and doing his works. They ought to render services to other churches and Christians in true supplication and intercession. They must serve in prayers; the men of God and ministers both those who pastor them and others who are doing God’s work. They must pray earnestly that the work of God will go on and that God will continue to showcase his power throughout his kingdom on earth. Also they ought to serve other churches by helping weaker church stand on their feet by sending missionaries and evangelists to help expand God’s work. There is greatness in this. Oh yes!! In all my years of following Christ, if there’s anything I’ve learnt about service, it is, that there is greatness in being a servant in the work of God.

The presence of the Holy Ghost

The presence of the Holy Spirit is everything a church needs to meet God’s mark on righteousness and consequently, greatness. For without the Great Spirit of God whom I fear exceedingly, no church can be holy, prayerful, faithful or committed to Gods work. If the spirit of God is in a church, they have 0.9 probability to achieve greatness. For He shall quicken their mortal bodies, purify and sanctify them and even remind them the things I write in these articles of greatness. Just as no man who does not have the Spirit of God truly belongs to God that is how no church without the Holy Ghost’s presence truly belongs to God. The Holy Spirit is the antidote for sinful passions and darkness that is ravaging mankind and many church goers. I pray the lord opens our eyes to the mysteries concerning the Holy Ghost. The prayers and service of a church is more effective if the Spirit of God is present among them. For they will pray and serve in power and might of God.

Summarily, true greatness confirmed for a church no matter the size of building or membership is if the spirit of the Lord is ever present among them. Brotherly love and fellowship has to exist among them and there should be found no darkness and dark works in and among them but the works of light and love. The church must focus on total holiness preaching and shun sin without compromise and hypocrisy. A righteous servant church must never stops praying fervent and true prayers unto God for the churches, ministers and the lost world. The church of love does not forget to help the poor especially those in the house of God. The church must be involved in missions and soul winning. And lastly a church full of faith. For without faith it is impossible to please God says the Holy books.

Finally brethren, put on the whole armour of God as individuals and as the body of Christ for that is the desire of the Lord. Each Christian church must strive to achieve greatness in these days which the spirit of God is zealous to awaken His church in power. Let us not be lackluster or lukewarm but let us be men of the Spirit that we may not be spit out and our names be blotted out.
May the God of peace give us grace in Jesus’ name; Amen.

Do not boast in yourself for you are mere dust

do-not-boast

“Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. “

Genesis 2 vs 7

“In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”

Genesis 3 vs 19

“Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the LORD. “

Jeremiah 9 vs 23 &24

What is the definition of boast?

Cambridge dictionary defines boast as: to speak too proudly or happily about what you have done or what you own.
Rev. Dr. Ogba Onyeije defines boasting as speaking or acting proudly of who you are, your possessions, achievements and what you will do without recognizing God.

We live in a world where there are many boasting and boasters. Some great nations boasts of their military might and their buoyant economies. Some rich people boasts of their riches and wealth. Some educated men and women boasts of their education. Some talented people boast of their talents. Some beautiful women and handsome men boast of their beauty and handsomeness. Some athletes boast of their athleticism. Some powerful men and women boasts of their power and some successful people boasts of their successes.

Whoever you are, whatever you are, whatsoever you think you may have achieved, the Lord says- “stop boasting for you are mere dust and will return to dust”.

In the book of Genesis the bible says that God formed man out of the ground and molded man out of the dust of the earth. The bible says that God breathed into man and man became living soul. After man had sinned against God by eating the forbidden fruit, man was cursed in Genesis 3:19. God said to man – “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”

In Jeremiah as quoted above, the Lord says: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches”. To this I will add:
Let not the beautiful and handsome women and men boast of their good looks.
Let not the successful people boast of their successes.
Let not anointed man of God boast of his anointing and grace.
let not the great achievers boast about their achievement.
Let no man boast of anything because man is nothing but dust. The Lord says “if any man has any reason to boast Let it be that he understands and knows God. Let it be that he has relationship with God. Let it be that he is a servant of God. Let it be that he understands the love, kindness and righteousness of God.

May we reference some historic boasters whom God replied after foolish pride and boasting

 

Pharaoh Ramesses II.
Pharoah Ramesses II

He was the third Pharoah of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful Pharaoh of the New Kingdom. In Exodus 5:2 Pharaoh Ramesses said, “Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, nor will I let Israel go.”
When Pharaoh made this statement, God’s wrought was kindled. God decided to harden Pharaohs heart all through the Plagues of Egypt until his own Son- the heir to his throne was killed with the other first sons of Egypt. God wasn’t satisfied. He continued to harden Pharaohs heart and the King pursued the Israelites to his death and that of his military in the Red sea. It wasn’t until 1881 that his mummy was discovered in an ordinary wooden coffin. Pharoah Remesses asked who the Lord is and the Lord replied him till the His identity wasn’t questionable.

King Nebucadeneer
Nebuchadnezzar
Nebuchadnezzar


Daniel 4 :30 The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”. 

After the king said the above, God replied him through Daniel saying “They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.” 

And so it took Seven years living and learning as an animal in the forest University for King Nebuchadnezzar to learn that man should not boast.


King Herod 

herod
Herod

Acts 12 …22 And they began to shout, “This is the voice of a god, not a man!” 23 Immediately, because Herod did not give glory to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.”Herod, when praised, should have ascribed it unto God alone. Instead he actingly received God’s praise and he paid with his life. History tells us of his quote before he died. For he was quoted to be full of regrets and acknowledgement of his mortality and frailty.


Edward John Smith – Captain of Titanic. 

captain-edward
Captain Edward

After the great Titanic ship was built and ready for first voyage, Captain Edward was asked how safe the Giant Titanic ship was. He boastfully replied “Even God cannot sink the ship”. Unfortunately in that first trip, God replied him. The ship sank and the Captain died. 

Tancredo Neves (Former President of Brazil)

tancredo-neves
Tancredo Neves

During the Presidential campaign, he said if he got 500,000 votes from his party, not even God would remove him from Presidency. Sure he got the votes, but he got sick a day before being made President, then he died.


Deontay Wilder

deontay-wilder
Deontay Wilder

Wilder is particularly known for his formidable punching power, having knocked out every opponent he has faced, except Tyson Fury. His knockout-to-win ratio stands at 98%, with 20 knockouts in the first round. Before his 2020 rematch with Tyson, Wilder who had lost no professional bout before that time said “..Even God cannot help Fury this time.” That was it!! He presented God the perfect opportunity to show him that he was nothing but dust given strength, life and wisdom to excel. He got outclassed and knocked out. His unbeaten run was over. God gave him a bitter lesson that He (God) rules the universe, and even though He remains unseen no one can do without him.

Brethren, the skilled doctor, the perfect artisan, the master of craft and engineering were all given wisdom and understanding by God. Even the intelligent Guru who has refused to follow God was given his intelligence by God. The life we live in which we make one achievement or another belongs to God. If so, why should men boast? Why should men talk as if they have achieved without God.

Men must repent of all boastings and turn a humble state unto the glorification of the unseen God. The God of Israel who became visible through our Lord Jesus Christ. I Ogba Victor, a servant to the Churches do admonish all believers with the word of the Lord and if the unbeliever cares to hear; the Lord God Almighty awaits all praises and worship. We must not give in to foolish pride or boasting. For if we boast, let it be that we know God and his son Jesus Christ. Amen!

Greatness in God’s sight- (The minister)

greatness

Text For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

Luke 7 vs 23

I, Ogba Victor – a called servant of Christ through the Spirit of God unto the Church washed in blood.

I once was trying to figure out how John the Baptist was the greatest prophet ever before the coming of our Lord and Saviour – Jesus Christ. I am also very sure many still ask that question. However, after this article, you will come to light with what true greatness is; and then you and I will appreciate the great man who baptized our lord. Amen

Who was John? John was a minister of God. Yes! For in the fivefold ministerial gifts, John was called as a Prophet to Israel. A prophet and a forerunner to the Lord. What did John wear as clothing? – Nothing to boast of compared to our time. What was the size of his ministry? – Negligible. What did he preach? – Only but repentance and baptism. How many miracles were recorded for him? – None. What was the size of his pocket and net worth? Very much negligible. But how great was he compared to Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, the Major and the Minor prophets? – The Greatest!!

We live a perverse world working against God, his ways, his truths and his plans. For the ways of the world negates the ways of God says the Bible. It therefore pleases the Spirit of Jesus for whom I was called to serve to make His churches know what greatness to God is like; even unto ministers of God.

In our Churches today, if many were told to name great men of God, they’ll mostly start from those who have mustered big churches. I take nothing from them that have mustered great worship centers; but great worship centers does not define great men of God and we will see that soon. Many will call out the renowned Christian writers with books read all over the world. Many will name big fat-pocket international men of God, and those who can pull a large crowd with name and popularity. Some define great men of God by how well and eloquent they can preach, and others by how long they can last during sermons. Others will base the greatness of ministers on their TV ratings and viewership.

Now, let us look at our dear great John and what his ministry was like.
1. John had no mega church.
2. He had no mega followers and the size of his ministry before men was very much negligible.
3. He had no properties, houses or anything to be proud of.
4. Had no record of miracles.
5. And even the days of his ministry were shortened.
But somehow, to this desert man Jesus said “this is the greatest Prophet since Adam to now (BC)”.

Looking into John’s life we can learn Gods view on true greatness. For God doesn’t measure greatness the way we men see and measure. Greatness in the sight of God is not in the longevity of years in the ministry. True greatness of a man of God or a minister of Christ is not in the size of his congregation. It is not in his great assets, fat-pocket, properties, monumental worship centers built and pastored or still pastoring, the number of pulpits ministered on. Traveling to countries, preaching Jesus is good but it doesn’t define a great servant of Christ. How popular a man of God is and the crowd he pulls is good but might not define greatness before God.

Herein is true greatness for a man of God. When he recognizes his calling and ministry, lives it, works it, fulfills it according to the will and plan of God with all sincerity, humility, soberness, and without any form of compromise in service to the God, to the church and to humanity. All this he does in the power of Holy Ghost and with presence of God strong in his ministry. Such a minister has a shot at greatness.
Herein is a true great minister of God – A minister who recognizes that ministry is not given for self-edification and glorification. He understands that ministry is a call to serve; service to the sheep, the church and the Master. The Ministry is for the sheep, the edifying grace is for the church and the glory belongs to God. The reward of such minister is in heaven so he labours hard in service.

We must remember that when John was told that Jesus was baptizing people; this report was probably given by those who had wanted him to become annoyed that another was stealing his ministry, his messages, his potential followers and members. He disappointingly replied them, “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.” 

Often have I prayed to the Lord to give me a heart like John. John was a man who recognized his master. His understanding about ministry was top notch. His understanding that himself must go down and his master must excel over him was excellent. He wasn’t after popularity or name that would cause him to ditch the name of He who he was working for. The ministry was not for him to be edified and glorified but that He who owns the sheep must be glorified by his sheep. John in our own time would probably remain the second greatest to Jesus our King.

I have seen a man of God warn that no one should preach his message. John would disagree with this. John would say just like Paul “Let the kingdom of my master be raised. Let Jesus be preached to his church and let his name be lifted even if my message is audiocopied by another. For all that matters is that Jesus is preached”. A man like John would never do anything that will affect and cause the sheep to derail from He who owns the sheep. John was a typical Jordan boy: boys who have sold pride and self for the work they were called to. Proud people do not go to Jordan and this is why Captain Naaman (2 Kings 5) at first rejected to bath in Jordan. Men still savaged by self who haven’t sold their souls totally to God and their ministerial task does not belong to Jordan. In John was found everything God required from a great minister of God.

One day I asked a man who was greater between Late Reinhard Bonke and some of our so called ‘great’ mega church pastors with mega establishments. Well, if you answer this question correctly and honestly, you should be a judge in this matter. I in no way imply that great men don’t build and muster great and mega churches. But my message says that those things for which we see and allocate greatness are the least things God looks at when he judges greatness. It is possible that true great men have these things by which the world defines greatness, however those things are far from why they are great men in the sight of God.

Finally, we must listen to the Spirit of Jesus Christ. For he who lacks wisdom and grace for these things must ask form God who gives to all men.
Remember to admonish one another in these truth, it shows our true son-ship in Christ. May the God of peace and light keep us from falling till he returns in Glory. Amen!!!