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Wednesday, February 23 2022

Contributor: Okwudili Prince-Isaac

INTRODUCTION
Eternity to Eternity is the study of God’s plan for man through the ages from eternity past, through eternity  present, to eternity future. I believe that this study of God’s plan for man from eternity past to eternity future is the most important subject of human existence. The study of God’s plan for man through the ages may be called the backbone of the Bible because it takes in all the ages and dispensations and all the important subjects of the Bible from eternity past to eternity future.

Text: John 14:3
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also”.

Reference Scriptures: Ephesians 1:1-10, Ecclesiastes 3:9-11, Ephesians 3:10-11, 2 Timothy 1:9-10, I Timothy 6:6-7, Matt: 6:19-24, James 5:1-3, Rev 22: 1-5
To have a clear understanding of what God's Purpose is for us would certainly change our whole outlook on life (and eternity) and our commitment to God's service. Our life would take on a whole new dimension!

Ecclesiastes 3:11: “He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.” -AMP Version

1. Predestined Adoption - Ephesians 1:1-6 (NIV)
Paul, in writing to the Ephesians, starts, not with the fall of man, but with the “Eternal Father.” And, he states that God's purpose began “before the foundation of the world.” Paul goes on to teach that God’s purpose for the entire universe is to be realized through, and centering in, His Son, Jesus Christ! To get a grasp of God’s eternal purpose, spoken of by Paul, we must realize that it was determined in God's “Father-heart” – not because man sinned, but before the world was made. In Ephesians 1:1-6 (NIV) we read:
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Chris! For He [God, the Father] chose us in Him [Jesus Christ] before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will - to the praise of His glorious grace, which He [Father] has freely given us in the One He loves” (verses1-6).

2. Conform to Image of His Son - Ephesians 1:7-10 (NIV)
Let’s consider this purpose that was in the Father's heart before the foundation of the world! The fellowship between God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, in the eternities past was so prized, so amazing, that God desired to have many sons conformed to the image of His Son. With great anticipation, God planned that His “eternal Son” would become the incarnate Son, robed in flesh, and share His vital life with the human family, yet to be created! God planned to visit planet Earth, by the incarnation of His Son, not because man sinned, but that Jesus became the very life of man. Paul does points out in verse 7 that, because man would sin, he needed redemption and this provision was also in Christ Jesus. He writes, “In Him [in Christ Jesus] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace.” Verses 8-10 continue,
“He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment--to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ."

Don’t miss this all-important fact, God, the Father, determined that His Son should become mankind incarnate as the means of bringing a vast family of sons into the glorious measure of full stature.

3. Display His wisdom for All Eternity - Ephesians 3:10-11
Apostle Paul sees the eternal Father yearning for a vast family of sons conformed to the image of the eternal Son, in whom He found such delight. Just think of it, from very beginning, “before the foundation of the world,” the Father planned to share His life, through His Son, and express Himself throughout the universe during all ages to come! Ephesians 3:10-11 states that, “His intent [God’s intent] was that now [in this day and age] through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to His eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus or Lord.” God's eternal purpose and intent is to display to the entire universe, for all of eternity, His matchless wisdom by conforming “many sons” into the image of His Own dear Son, Jesus Christ. This is addition to the obvious: displaying man as the master-piece of His creative power as earlier seem in creation (garden of Eden) and redemption (garden of Gethsemane).

4. Growth
“What difference does it make?” The ‘problem’ is that we have placed the emphasis on the “crisis act” of believing that, “Christ died for our sins,” and have neglected to understand the continuous work of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life. “Salvation” is a crisis act and necessary because of man’s sin. However, a “process of growth,” is God's eternal purpose! God's plan and eternal purpose was to share His life with man and to bring him to perfection, spiritual maturity. It was not man's sin (or, defection) that determined this purpose of God sharing His life, but rather, it was in the Father's original (eternal) planning. “Before man was ever created, before he ever sinned,” God determined to share His life through His Son. When man “turned to his own way,” God did not suddenly change His plan. He still would share Himself through His Son, only now He would provide “redemption” by way of the Cross (in pursuit of His eternal plan for man). When God redeems man out of his predicament, it is a crisis act. Here man “believes” in the finished work of the Cross, and receives the divine life God intended for man! Interesting, that is not the end of the story. God designed a continuous work of the Holy Spirit, making possible a daily, receiving, or “sharing,” of God's life – having a continuous and present participation of God’s life! Growth.
Redemption is only the initial step in realizing God's ultimate intention for mankind. 2 Timothy 1:9-10 teaches, the [God, the Father] has;
(1) Saved us, and
(2) Called us to a holy life

5. Immortality
None of the above (salvation, and call to holy living) could be attributed to anything we have done but “because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, [vs10] but it has “now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” When God created man, He had an ultimate purpose in mind, which did not necessitate man’s fall into sin. However, man did sin and, therefore, must be lifted from “fallen condition”
and brought back to the position Adam lost. 2 Timothy 1:9-10 tells us that God's called is twofold:
(1) The first issue; God dealt with the gateway to bring man back to God’s original holy calling. God must deal with man’s fallen condition!
(2) The second issue; God's original desire for a family, “before the world began,” to impart the life of His Son, and conform man into His image.

6. Rest
Rev 22: 1-5 – “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever”.

Present Reflection
Think about this, “When God created man and placed him in Garden of Eden, was Adam, freshly created, all God intended for man? Was Adam the Full Stature” that God wanted man to become?” i.e. complete without God? His design for man, was that Adam become a son in full stature, through inner spiritual development. Like a flower bud moving to full blossom, God designed Adam for development. This, in no way, necessitated sin for its accomplishment. Man was given the choice between two trees in Garden of Eden, representing two ways. He could choose God's way or he could go his own way. Opportunity for development was along two mutually exclusive lines. He could go his own way (soulishly - refers to man living only by the powers of his soul – his mind, will and emotions); by eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, choosing the development of his soul powers, independent of God or (spiritually), he could choose God's way by being in union with the tree of life, and thus, develop spiritually.
May God help us to see His eternal purpose is to develop us into Full Stature. Hence our walk of perfection with the Father should be an eternal endeavour.

Relevant Meditations
Closing Scripture: Matt: 6:19-24 “Lay up for yourselves”, “Lay not up for yourselves” – Contradiction or contrast? With the consciousness and awareness of greater prospects in eternity;
1. Where are our resources being invested? Matthew 6:19-20
2. How do we use some of our resources for living life? I Timothy 6:6-7
3. What is our attitude toward our resources here on earth? - James 5:1-3
4. Do we hoard all income for our own temporal existence or invest much of it in eternity & eternal things for God’s glory?
5. Where are our desires being invested, bearing in mind that what we desire in life we will make room for, and this will ultimately be the focus of our lives? - Matthew 6:21-23
6. The desire of our hearts is what all of life are made of? - Proverbs 4:23-27
7. Where are our lives being invested in, bearing in mind that serving, worrying and seeking all requires about the same energy and time? Matthew 6:24-34

CONCLUSION
As it were, we were placed here (earth) to train for eternity. Our bodies were (each) only intended to be a house for our immortal spirit. It’s ignorant to think we are physical beings headed for a spiritual place. But the reality is, we are spiritual beings living temporarily in a physical place. Are we busy preparing for our rewarding experience in eternity (heaven)?
Jesus stated “….. prepare a place……,come again…….receive you to Myself; .. where I am, there you may be also”

Think eternity……….

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 02:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, February 16 2022

Contributor: Martins Olubiyi

Introduction: What is biblical Fellowship? The word fellowship is derived from the Greek word Koinonia. Koinonia can be defined as “holding something in common” and is specifically used 20 times in the New Testament (e.g., Phil. 2:1-2, Acts 2:42, 1John 1:6-7). Freddy Cardoza maintained that Koinonia is the unity of the spirit that comes from Christians’ shared beliefs, convictions, and behaviours. When those shared values are in place, genuine Koinonia (biblical fellowship) occurs. However, going by today study text, we may conclude that what is capable of sustaining these shared values is rooted in the love of God that bind believers together. Therefore, our focus will be on love as exemplified in our reading text.

Text: Matthew 22:37-39 
"37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

The root of the word Love- The word love is shrouded with misconception in many languages. Love is communicated deeper in Greek words (Eros, Storge, Philia, and Agape). These four unique forms of love are found in the Scripture. They are characterised by romantic love, family love, brotherly love, and God's divine love.

Eros: Love in the form of Eros seeks its own interest and satisfaction—to possess the object of love. God is very clear in the Bible that eros love is reserved for marriage. (1 Corinthians 7:8–9). Eros love should be within the boundary of marriage, eros love is to be celebrated and enjoyed as beautiful blessing from God: "Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love." (Proverbs 5:18–19; see also Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 7:5; Ecclesiastes 9:9).

Storge: Storge is the Greek word that describes family love, the affectionate bond that develops naturally between parents and children, and brothers and sisters. Many examples of family love are found in Scripture, such as the mutual protection among Noah and his wife, the love of Jacob for his sons, and the strong love the sisters Martha and Mary had for their brother Lazarus. Rom. 12:10 portrayed Storge love clearly

Philia: It originates from Greek term Philos, meaning beloved, dearly loved intimate way; a trusted confidant held dear in a close bond of personal affection. It expresses experience-based love. For instance, the love between David and Jonathan in 1 Sam. 18: 1-3.

Agape: Is the highest of the four types of love in the Bible. It defines God's immeasurable, incomparable love for humankind. It is the divine love that comes from God. Agape love is perfect, unconditional, sacrificial, and pure. Jesus Christ demonstrated this kind of divine love to his Father and to all humanity in the way he lived and died: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16). After His resurrection, Jesus asked Peter if he loved him (agape). Peter replied three times that he did, but the word he used was phileo or brotherly love (John 21:15–19). It is important to know that Peter was incapable of agape love because he had not received the Holy Spirit baptism. But after Pentecost, Peter was so full of God's love that he spoke from his heart and 3,000 people were converted.

What is Love in the Bible?
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others. It is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away”. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

The personality of God: God is love (Agape). God is omniscience (all knowing), omnipotence (all-powerful), and Omnibenevolence (supremely good). His attributes are: God is a Spirit, is eternal, is infinite, unchangeable, is wisdom, is power, is holiness, is justice, is goodness and is truth.

Love is sacrificial: Agape love is sacrificial. It is putting yourself in a position where you are easily taken advantage of by another person. John 3: 16; John 15: 12-14

The covenant aspect of love: Agape love is unconditional. However, elements of covenant are involved: commitment, mutual respect, promises or oaths, witnesses and seal. John 3:16; Luke 22:19-20; Rom. 8:32; Heb. 9:13-14; Heb. 5:8; Luke 1: 68-73. As we partake in His blood via communion, we are sealed with Holy Spirit of Promise. 2Corin. 1: 21-22. Therefore, Agape love is more than feeling of emotion.

The nature of God of God is love: But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love 1 John 4:8. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in His love. God is love, and all who live in God are in love, for God lives in them.
1 John 4: 7-21 reveals God’s loving nature. God’s sole make up is love. His love is complete and perfect. Loves come from Him. He is the source. Since God is love then, we, His redeemed children must also love one another. In other words, a genuinely born again who is saved by love and filled with God’s love, must live in love toward God and others. God’s love is unconditional. It is not based on feelings. The Lord taught us how to show His love to others, to our friends, to our enemies, and to our families. God does not love us because we please Him. But He loves us just because He is love personified.

We are partakers of His divine nature. (2 Pet. 1:4). This means that the characteristics of God’s nature become my own- through His creating work in me. Love is the hallmark of Christianity. Our character and disposition must be rooted in love. We receive God’s love in our relationship with Him. We experience God’s love in our relationship with others. God’s love is a gift. God’s love is a life-giving, energizing force. It was demonstrated in Christ Jesus. We are commanded to abide in His love John 15:9. See John 15:13; Romans 5:8; Eph. 2:4-5; 1 John 4:7-88 (NLT); 1 John 4:17-19; Jere. 31:3

The contention- my human nature: In James 1:13, Scripture says God cannot be tempted by evil. Human being as a corporeal substance, has a flesh containing lusts and desires, or the inclination to sin, which causes us to be tempted. That is our Adamic nature. However, if I am faithful to overcome when I am tempted to sin, step by step I can develop, so the sin in my flesh is put to death. Then these Godly characteristics, which are pure and perfect, can be created in my life by the creator. It is a process of transformation. As I progress, the fruits of the Spirit, which is divine nature, starts to replace the sin in my flesh (Gal. 5:16-26).

You can disarm sin. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these…. (Gal 5:20) But God said, “do not let sin reign in your mortal body to fulfil the lust thereof. Rom. 6:12. He further commands, “be ye holy, for I am holy”. 1 Pet. 1:16. Lev. 19-20. The word for holy in Heb is “qadash”, which means to be sanctified, consecrated, and dedicated or to be separated from the world and worldliness. However, if holiness is not a possibility, it will make God to be an unjust God. But holiness is attainable if we are ready to pay the price! How? Lay aside every weight, and the sin which do so easily beset us…” Heb. 12:1. We must consciously die daily (1Corinth. 15:31) by crucify the flesh (Gal. 5:20, 24). In other words, by mortifying the deeds of the flesh (Rom. 8:13; Col. 3:5). By building yourself in the most holy faith by praying in the Holy Ghost (Jude. 20).

Remain in Fellowship with Him- When we remain in fellowship with Him, we shall continually walk in love. “If we say we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanse us from all sin”. 1 John 1:6-7.

Conclusion: Love is one of the most powerful emotions human beings can experience. For Christian believers, love is the truest test of genuine faith. Through the Bible, we discover how to experience love in its many forms and to share it with others as God intended. To walk in love is not a choice! It is a command we must obey. However, it is a matter of willingness. (Isa. 1:19). The power to become is already vested in us. (John 1:11-13). We ‘ve got to yield our vessel in an honourable way to Him so as to eat the fruit of the land. (Phil 2: 13).

Reference: message partly culled from: www.active.org ; www.seminary.grace.edu. Reference (Addendum)- Dynamics of holiness. (Dr. David O. Oyedepo); Radiating His glory. (Zac Poonen); Four Kinds of Love. (C.S. Lewis); Confession. (St. Augustine of Hippo); Leviathan. (Thomas Hobbes); Love is a feeling to be learned (Walter Trobisch).

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 02:15 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, February 09 2022

Contributor: Esther Alajiki

INTRODUCTION

When we talk about prosperity and health, 2 things immediately come to mind, money and physical health.

Text: 

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

Definitions

Health: is defined as the state of being free from illness or injury, a person's mental or physical condition, there are different spheres of health, physical, emotional, spiritual, health is God’s will for his children.
Wealth: is the state of being rich, prosperous, having plentiful supplies of a particular resource, a plentiful supply of a particular desirable thing:

Prosperity: From our definitions we can deduce that there are different spheres or realms of prosperity, the prosperity of the soul is spiritual prosperity (as your soul prospers) and material prosperity (that you may prosper in all things and be in health) “All” connotes more than one instance.

Prosperity of the soul: Man is made up of the Body which is our flesh, the soul which is our conscience our reasoning that carries our character and personality to a degree. And the spirit which is the spirit “inner man, the invisible part of man.

The Soul is your decisive part – the deciding factor of our thought process, it is to be controlled by the “New Man” the regenerated spirit, your soul must be saved, sanctified, dominated, and influenced by the regenerated spirit of Man that is regenerated by the Holy Ghost and the Word of God. But our souls determine a lot of our influence. Your character is a reflection of how much influence our soul has.
Our soul can prosper, when we deliberately infuse the Word of God into our spirit man, the stronger our spirit, the more it influences the capacity of our souls to make godly decisions and vice versa. Our souls will begin to align with the truth of God’s Words and it will begin to prosper. We must receive the Word of God, submit under the authority of God’s Word, whatever it says we obey, we must believe that this Word of God has the power to perform what it says it would perform, and exercise our faith in the Word of God. The reason many don’t prosper is because many don’t believe. The word is activated by faith, and then your soul prospers.
We must proclaim the blessing of God over the facts of life. The truth of God’s word will always prevail over the fact of man’s word and situations.

Evidence of Spiritual Prosperity: You live in truth , you dwell in God and God in you. The Bible refers to this as good Success Joshua 1:8. You walk in truth Psalm 1:1-3. You are a doer of the Word and not a hearer only.
Evidence of Physical prosperity: relates to material possession, the Bible also recognises the prosperity of the wicked,
Psalm 73:3 - For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

Proverbs 23:17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always continue in the fear of the LORD.

It is God’s will to bless our physical bodies, our families, our homes, our jobs, our nation, His eyes are not dim, His hands are not short and He can never run out of resources.
When our pursuit is spiritual prosperity, physical prosperity will follow.
Matthew 6:33 says: seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
2 Chronicles 26: 5. And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.

When the glory of the Lord is upon you:
Isaiah 60:5 “Then you will see and be radiant, And your heart will tremble [with joy] and rejoice Because the abundant wealth of the seas will be brought to you, The wealth of the nations will come to you.

It is the will of God for us to be healed and whole.
The Lord wants to make us whole in every area of our lives, spiritually, physically, emotionally/mentally/psychologically, maritally, relationally, vocationally, socially, nationally in every sphere you can think of. The Lord wants to make us whole . He wants to minister total healing to us.

The Lord wants to heal us spiritually

We must be prepared and willing to receive His healing. Jesus asked the man who was an invalid for 38 years whether he wanted to become well. We should not allow prolonged suffering to rob our hope, confidence, dream and desire. Once we are delivered by God we will have to take responsibility for our life. We will face drastic changes in our life. And once God delivers us, we must be careful to walk in obedience to God lest a worse tragedy occurs in our life. He wants to heal our backslidings. He wants us to live in close fellowship to Him.

The Lord wants to heal us physically.

The Lord is a healer. When we walk in obedience to Him, He promises to heal our sicknesses. we must claim the promises of God and experience His healing in our lives.

The Lord wants to heal us emotionally.

He wants to heal our broken hearts and wounded emotions and painful memories. We must not live all our lives with a broken heart because of a painful experience in the past. The Lord wants to reassure us that He will do a new thing in our lives and therefore we should be willing to forget the past and face the future with confidence.

The Lord wants to heal us relationally.

He wants to mend our broken relationships. The Lord wants us to be free from bitterness and anger and malice. He wants us to be kind and tender hearted towards each other and forgive one another. Just as God has been merciful to us and forgave our sins , we must be willing to forgive others . When we obey His commandments we will experience loving relationships in our life.

The Lord wants to heal us vocationally.

He wants to bless the work of our hands and cause us to prosper in our endeavours. The disciples had tried all night to catch fish and failed to catch any . But the Lord gave them instructions to fish and they caught more fish than they could handle and had to get help from others. The Lord wants to bless us in our vocation and bring healing in the areas where we have failed in the past.

The Lord wants to heal us socially.

He wants to use us to bring healing to our society and community. The prophet Elisha healed the waters of the city and brought healing to the community. The prophet Elijah prayed for rain and brought prosperity to the land. The Lord wants us to carry a burden for our society and community and use our spiritual authority to bring the blessings of God upon it.

The Lord wants to heal us nationally.

He wants to bring healing to the nation. When God’s people humble themselves and pray and seek the face the God and turn from their wicked ways , the Lord will hear their cry and heal their land. Our prayers for the nation can bring peace and prosperity to our land.

CONCLUSION
But 3 John 2 goes beyond money and health. 3 John 2 talks about God’s desire to make you a complete individual, if your soul does not prosper, you will not have a good testimony as a Christian - 1Timothy 6:18,19 -That they do good, that they be rich in good works. It is his will for us to be prosperous, spirit soul and body. Ps 35:27 Let the LORD be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.
When you prosper and you are in health you will be able to do more exploits in the kingdom. Never adjust yourself to a life of paralysis, spiritually, physically or emotionally.
Do you want to prosper and be in good health? God is right here in our midst. He's prepared to hear our requests and heal our afflictions if we are willing to receive and follow Him.

John 5:6 -Wilt thou be made whole?

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 01:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, February 02 2022

Contributor: Peter Folikwe

INTRODUCTION
As we know we are treating the series “Following God’s plan for your life". The sub-theme for tonight’s study is “abundant life”. God’s purpose for our existence is to extend his kingdom here on earth. Ps 24:1 says: “The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” Gen 1:28 reiterating what other speakers on the topic had emphasized in the last 3 studies. God created us to dominate our world.
Anytime we tend to lose our domineering nature, we are uncomfortable and sometimes act abnormally. E.g. Loss of financial independence
Proverbs 22:7 attests to this “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”
No one wants to serve ‘another of equal standing’.
The fight for dominance is from our mother’s womb.We were created to achieve divine purpose; our dreams. Until purpose is discovered, life will be a struggle.

Text: John 10:10
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

Back to Gen 1:28 God commanded us to be fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth, subdue and have dominion.
Man started very well at the beginning: with abundance of resources and the authority to dominate his world. Read Gen 2:13-20.

THE THIEF

In the course of our second study, we were given an expose of the thief. Sin came in Gen 3:1-6. Man and wife hid themselves from God in verse 8 (‘shame’ took hold of these glorious creation of God). Then came ‘fear’ in verse 10 (they were afraid of God). From verse 14 and 16-19 heavy burdens of curses came upon them and they became homeless in verse 24.

Since God is a loving and kind God, in Gen 3:16 despite their sins, He made provisions for restoration. He promised that the son of man (Jesus) shall crush the head of the devil. Despite the authority and power were lost to sin in the garden of Eden & God sent Jesus for the singular purpose to restore our dominance over all of God’s creatures.
2 Cor. 5:17 says “If may man be in Christ. .  . . 
Satan realized the restored plan of God for man on resurrection day. Satan is doing everything to return man back to our adamic nature. 1Jn 3:8 says “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”

Back to the “thief” in Jn10:10. The context in which Jesus spoke these words were preceded by Him painting a picture of a true Shepherd (Jesus) and false/fake shepherds (thieves/robbers). In verse 1 the true shepherd enters through the door of the sheepfold, thieves climb over the wall or through the window. In verse 3 the sheep knows the voice of the true shepherd. In verse 4 the sheep follows the true shepherd as he leads them, but in verse 5, Jesus stated that the sheep will not follow, but flee from strangers. By the time we get to verse 9 Jesus stated “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture”.
As children of God, we have the responsibility to discern between the thief (false teachers) and the good shepherd. Some so-called Christians who are loyal to false teachers don’t know the true Shepherd.

Heb. 10:26 says "For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,"

2Pet 2:20-22 concluded that it is dogs that return to their vomit.

ABUNDANT LIFE

Long before the coming of Christ, God spoke through several of His prophets, one of whom was Joel.

Joel 2:25-27 says: "And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. 26. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. 27. And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed."

God promised restoration of blessings ‘thief’ has stolen, dreams he has killed and the destinies that have been destroyed.
James 4:7 says "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
One of the oldest tricks of the devil is creating an illusion of fear, just like it happened in the garden of Eden to deprive us of abundant life in God.
1Jn 4:4 "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."
We are told the word “Fear not” appeared 365 times in the bible. One for each day.
2Tim 1:7 says “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and a sound mind”. The power to rule our world in soundness of mind.
We also need to exercise the authority we have in the redemption blood of Jesus to enjoy abundant life.
Job 22:28 “Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways”.
Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

CONCLUSION:
3rd John 2 says “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
God Almighty desires for us to live in prosperity: physically, spiritually, financially, emotionally and indeed in every facet of life.

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 02:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
OUR SERVICES

Sunday Worship
First Service @11AM

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OUR LOCATION

The Redeemed Christian Church Of God
Miracle Land Parish Castletown Road, Castletown,
Dundalk, County Louth,
Ireland

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