The Marathon

The Marathon

Galatians 5:22New Living Translation (NLT)

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

The Marathon Virtue: 

The Marathon Self Control:

The Marathon Perseverance:

The Marathon Love:

The Marathon Knowledge:

The Marathon Godliness: 

The Marathon Finishing Well:

 

 

Desire to grow spiritually

Desire to grow spiritually

Every Christian must have a desire to grow spiritually and make this a priority in their faith walk.

When it comes to faith and relationship with God, there is no such thing as standing still hence why it is called the Faith Walk. Either you are moving forward and developing more Christ-like characteristics or you are moving backwards and walking more in the flesh nature.

So if backsliding is walking in the flesh, the opposite is walking in the Spirit.

A more basic way to put it is: your spiritual growth is relative to the YIELDING and WALKING in accordance to the WORD of God.

Following after righteousness, being transformed by the renewing of your mind, perfecting holiness in the fear of God and many more disciplines are outlined in the bible for us all.

Usability

Usability

Last year we emphasized the importance of studying and understanding the bible. We examined the basic elements of real faith, such as:

Knowledge: Faith must have an intellectual content. It cannot be empty or blind but must be based upon the knowledge of certain fundamental truths.
Belief: It is not enough simply to know certain things. We must also believe that those things are true and actually meet our needs.
Trust: Without trust, faith is merely intellectual, like the “faith” of demons, who know the truth about Jesus but refuse to trust and obey him as Lord

We kicked off 2015 with a new sermon series titled “Usability”, which simply means the ease of use and learnability of an object. There is no doubt that the sovereignty of God is such that no matter who we may be, we all work within his ultimate plan. So the question is, which part of HIS plan will your life be used for?

Only when we begin to look beyond our own needs and ability will we start experiencing how God uses ordinary people like you and me to do extraordinary things.

Built to last

Built to last

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Sometimes in life we go through draggy, lengthy and wearying situations. I’m talking about a wilderness or valley kind of process that leaves you worn out to the extent you feel like you can’t go on. This could be an attack on your health, job, family, business or even legal or financial issues – troubles which ultimately tamper with the very peace you have received.
So you being to wonder just how to stay still in the midst of the turbulence; when your roof has been blown away and the rain is pouring down on you and your valuables. You’ve got insurance and so you quickly pick up the phone, dialling H.E.A.V.E.N and quoting reference J.E.S.U.S!
You present trouble, peace eliminating cheer up and overcome when the actual order Jesus gave was peace, trouble, cheer up and overcome. God has flow and order to everything He does and is very intentional too. Trouble does not come before peace; God’s peace pre-exists and presides over trouble and it does not matter what happens, you ought to consider that an attack on your in-built capability for it is written:
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
A few lessons from the above scripture:
• You are not the first to experience that situation – lots have and many continue to
• You are well able to handle the situation – it is not beyond your ability
• You can count on God’s faithfulness for a way out – realistically, you are not stuck – you can go on!
No wonder Paul could confidently write to the Romans:
… in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.(emphasis mine) Romans 8:37
And to the church in Corinth, he wrote:
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57
But I thank God, who always leads us in victory because of Christ. Wherever we go, God uses us to make clear what it means to know Christ. It’s like a fragrance that fills the air. 2 Corinthians 2:14
So take heart, cheer up! You need to quit singing the same old sad song and change the gloomy look with a garment of praise!
…to strengthen those who mourn in Zion, by giving them a turban, instead of ashes, oil symbolizing joy, instead of mourning, a garment symbolizing praise, instead of discouragement. They will be called oaks of righteousness, trees planted by the LORD to reveal his splendour. Isaiah 61:3
Herein is another confirmation you are built to last. Isaiah calls you the planting of the Lord for the display of his splendour. Your roots go way down and your fruits spring up for all to see and eat! You may be shaken but you cannot be displaced or destroyed – You are too much! You are built to last!
In recent years, there has been a surge of global developments and architectural infrastructures such as the Seven Wonders of the World. These are man-made innovations (monuments/buildings) which are historically deemed remarkable amongst many, lots more are erected by the day. A common denominating factor among these is that a lot of planning go into their construction. In the same manner, God – the master creator put a lot planning towards making you and in his capacity as Alpha, exemplified key concepts modern engineers and builders apply:
Originality of idea
Innovators are big on ideas, detail-orientated, specific and very much engrossed in design. Oftentimes they spend a lot of time in research to identify if there are existing products or constructs as theirs. The market research is what informs their decision and plan to create.
In the beginning, when God had made all the living creatures and vegetation, he knew something was outstanding.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:26-28
You are a unique design. You have not evolved from a chimp or anything of that sort. God thoughtfully and beautifully made you. Here’s how the Psalmist put it:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14
In another place, he cites God saying:
“Indeed I said, ‘You are gods, and all of you are sons of the Most High. Psalm 82:6
The next time you are faced with a challenge, consider the fact that you have been beautifully crafted and wonderfully knitted; you are a god and have the ability to subdue and rule. You have the upper hand. You are built to last!
Functionality of the structure
This is another important factor for innovators. Identifying the function of a structure informs the different capabilities or riggings applied to it. Certain buildings have deeper foundations by virtue of their proposed height, others are more enlarged and roundish to ensure fitness for purpose. No collapsed building or withered plant is a good sight hence Isaiah’s symbolism of you as God’s planting is not only prophetic but profound.
…They will be called oaks of righteousness, trees planted by the LORD to reveal his splendour. Isaiah 61:3c
If you know anything about oaks, you would resonate with the symbolism. Oaks are hard durable woods used especially for construction, furniture and flooring. It’s alright if you are sawed into pieces, nailed in different places and matched on so many times, you can take it because you are not only firm but tough also.
In another place, Isaiah writes:
Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are for signs and wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion. Isaiah 8:18
There was season in the life of Jeremiah when his people were in exile and he’d seen things that made him so afraid he wanted to quit, until the word of the Lord came to him:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew] you, before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
Paul, in writing to the Ephesians said:
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
You have been built for a purpose, to be strong and durable, to reveal splendour and do good works, to be a sign and a wonder. A sign indicates and communicates direction. A wonder is a delight thus highly esteemed. That’s why the enemy is mad at you, but I encourage you to:
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16.
Longevity of the construction
A majority of infrastructure is built with the future in mind partly to give a sense of pride and satisfaction to all contributors, but mainly for return on investment. The longer the life span of the construction, the more income for the innovators particularly the investors.
Matthew gives an account of a construction site involving 2 different types of builders:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27
From the above text, we can see the consistency in Jesus’ message, trouble will come -there will be rains, floods and storms! Whether you are stand firm or cave in is dependent on what you do with what he said! Remember his words:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Rocky houses stand while sandy houses fold in. The truth is that you are well equipped to stand and that will give God glory. The challenge here is:
…The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41b
Here’s where a reminder of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians will prove helpful:
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the Excellency of the virtue may be of God, and not of us. Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not. 2 Corinthians 4:7, 1
If the excellency of the virtue is of God and not you, then he knows your limits. Why then would you want to throw in the towel? Why do you insist on fainting having received the mercy and grace to stand and last?
A time in history, God spoke these words to Jeremiah but today he’s saying to you:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Here’s another confirmation that you are built to last – because God has plans to prosper you. To move you far away from and above your present circumstance. If you were still in doubt, he also plans to give you hope (expectation and desire for a thing) and a future (a time yet to come). God has a detailed plan including your today even to the future. You were built with the future in mind. You are built to outlast that trouble!
Overcomer is not fancy title. All overcomers at one point or another have had to come over things. That’s why you are going through so you can win your own medal. Definitely, troubles will come, it may try to keep you under but you will rise above it. You will not be broken instead you will breakthrough!

Jeanie is a gifted worship leader and writer. She also has a deep passion for the word and prayer. For more about Jeanie, please visit https://instrumentofpraise.wordpress.com.

The Baptism of Prayer

The Baptism of Prayer

Text: Acts 12:1-7

No believer should be a civilian rather they should be militant as soldiers. To combat the enemy, we need to be in constant communication with God for strength, guidance and strategy. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God. 2 Corinthians 10:4

From the text in acts:

Herod attacked those who belonged to the church.

Not all members of the public but specifically those of the household of faith
The church is under attack – we don’t have a level playing field!

Herod proceeded to make a second arrest based on the satisfaction of the Jews

What are we losing for the joy of the world? Selah!

Peter was arrested and imprisoned under the guard of four squads of four soldiers

Peter was an apostle and chief disciple of Christ. He was the ‘shaky’ Christ turned to a rock, the one saved from being ‘sifted’ through prayer. He was given‘keys’ to lock and unlock – so quite a threat to the enemy.
Death is not a tragedy but an unfulfilled life is. To stop Peter from fulfilling destiny, his arrest and imprisonment was staged. Many believers today are in similar situations, arrested physically, imprisoned financially …limited,capped…constrained!
One man versus 4 squads of soldiers – Herod knew Peter was extraordinary and hence deployed a comparable level of force.
You are very powerful but just don’t know it!

Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover. But while Peter was in prison,the church prayed very earnestly for him.

What you tolerate, you will not terminate. If the church was at ease as before,Peter would have died like James did. Take action! Pray!!
Take desperate measures for desperate situations. The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and violent take it by force. Matthew 11:12
There has to be fervency and a sense of urgency to your prayer. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16
Prayer is an act of faith. Playing back to God what he has said in his word. If you do not speak, you will not see. Your belief is enacted through the words you speak… the prayers you say … the decrees you make. “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” 2 Corinthians 4:13
You will not be publicly disgraced!
God will raise intercessors to bear you up in your time of need!

The night before the trial, the Angel of the Lord came to rescue Peter

God will come through for you in the nick of time
Although he was asleep and tied up, God came in the scene, woke him and he was liberated – the chains fell! The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5
They killed James but Peter came out, you will escape!
What stopped others will not stop you!

Minister:Pastor Sam Osiadi

Note taken by Jeane – Instrument of Praise