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Christians As Agents of Divine Restoration
Sat, May 13, 2017
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44 mins 45 secs
Winds of change have blown and are continuing to blow across Nigeria and the entire African continent. Amidst this rapid and drastic change, the Church has found itself in a difficult position of being part of the problem and at the same time being called upon to proffer solutions. Therefore, more than ever before, the Church and Christians in Nigeria must find new ways of fulfilling the Great Commission amidst the turbulence of modern politics, deteriorating socio-economic situation, persistent insecurity and social unrest pervading the country.
David-Experiencing Restoration After a Moral Failure
Sun, May 07, 2017
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1 hr 58 mins 41 secs
To some people, the story of David and Bathsheba is one of judgment and condemnation. Others see it as a story of grace, restoration, and hope. For those willing to admit their sin and accept God’s judgment, grace, and restoration, it is both. The realization that God’s agenda is one of healing and restoration will change our perspective on everything. This morning, we shall learn how we can experience divine restoration after a moral failure. First, we look at how David got into the mess in which he found himself (2 Samuel 11:1-5)
Easter Cantata
Sun, Apr 16, 2017
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2 hrs 27 mins 44 secs
One of the mysteries is that the saints living at our Lord's Second Coming will not die, but be changed, and that this change will be made in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and at the sound of the last trump.
Submission on Palm Sunday
Sun, Apr 09, 2017
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45 mins 19 secs
In the story of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, there are drawn for us several beautiful pictures of submission—a quality highly valued by God. This morning, we shall consider three illustrations of submission that can be found in our text. First is the submission of Jesus to the will of the Father. According to Luke 19:28 – “And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.” Even though the phrase ascending up to Jerusalem is brief, yet it is pregnant with meaning. In it there was fulfillment of prophecy. Christ fulfilled Zechariah’s prophecy precisely by riding into Jerusalem on a donkey (Zech. 9:9). The phrase is also suggestive of danger that Jesus was deliberately walking into. He was ascending up to Jerusalem—knowing full well the danger this act placed Him in. Thirdly, the phrase is evidence of Jesus’ submission to the Father’s will. This act would lead to the cross—the whole reason for His coming. Ahead of Him in Jerusalem lay the cross, the agony, the suffering, the pain, the drink of vinegar and gall, the crowd’s mocking, the spear in His side. When Jesus ascended up to Jerusalem, He knew all that was before Him. And yet—He was still submissive to the will of His Father. But the submission of Christ was not the only example of submission in this story. The second is the submission of the disciples to the will of the Savior in verses 29-35 – The disciples were given strange instructions about the colt in Luke 19:30-31. The disciples willingly submitted to the command of their Master, Jesus Christ
Prayer: Key to Overcoming Family Challenges
Sun, Mar 26, 2017
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45 mins 11 secs
Every family faces challenges that, if care is not taken, can be used by the enemy to cause frustration, discouragement, separation, and even divorce. But whatever we may face as a couple or a family can be overcome if we will pray to God for His help. This can be illustrated by the account of the birth of Jacob and Esau, the twin sons of Isaac and Rebekah that we read earlier. Now concerning Jacob and Esau we are here told that they were prayed for. Their parents, after they had been long childless, obtained them by prayer (Gen. 25:20,21). Though God had promised to multiply his family, Isaac prayed for its increase; for God's promises, must not supersede, but encourage, our prayers, and be the ground of our faith. Though he had prayed for this mercy very often, and had continued his supplication many years, and it was not granted, yet he did not leave off praying for it; for men ought always to pray, and not to faint (Luke 18:1), to pray without ceasing, and knock till the door be opened, He prayed for his wife; some read it with his wife. From his example, we learn that husbands and wives should pray together. This is also explicitly stated in Apostle Peter's first epistle so that their prayers be not hindered (1 Peter 3:7). The result of his effort is that God heard his prayer. This buttresses the fact that children are the gift of God. Those that continue instant in prayer, as Isaac did, shall find, at last, that they did not seek God in vain (Isaiah 45:19). In answering their prayer, God did more than they could imagine—Rebecca became pregnant with a set of twins. God often does more than we ask for in our prayers, and gives more than we can ask or think (Eph. 3:20). But the pregnancy brought with it another challenge. The children struggled together within her. The commotion she felt was altogether extraordinary and made her very uneasy. Whether she was apprehensive that the birth would be her death, or whether she was weary of the intestine tumult, or whether she suspected it to be an ill omen, it seems she was ready to wish that either she had not been with child or that she might die immediately, and not bring forth such a struggling brood. Before, the want of children was her trouble, now, the struggle of the children is causing her a lot of worry, fear, and anxiety. From this experience of Rebecca’s, we can learn that the comforts we are most desirous of are sometimes found to bring along with them more occasion of trouble and uneasiness than what we thought of. We are too apt to be discontented with our comforts, because of the uneasiness that attends them. But how did she handle this unpleasant development? She went to enquire of the Lord. She did not depend on her own understanding or seek the counsel of those who never had a similar experience. Her reasoning was that if God could grant her the power to conceive these babies in her womb, He can be relied upon to guide the whole process leading to their birth. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Isaiah 66:9 (NIV) 9 Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?" says the LORD. "Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?" says your God. Philippians 1:6 (NIV) 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus
Preparing Your Family for a Future Without You
Sun, Mar 19, 2017
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58 mins 31 secs
Preparing your family for a future without you is a responsibility that every parent owes his or her family. A few examples will buttress this point: The first is King Hezekiah. From the story of his life we learn that God would want everyone to put his own house or family in order before they die. (Isaiah 38:1). The second is Isaac who thought he was about to die and was desperate to pass on the blessing and promise he inherited from Abraham to Esau. (Genesis 27:1-4). The third example is Jacob who made it clear to his son, Joseph, that he did not want to be buried in Egypt. (Genesis 47:28-31). Not only that; he also addressed the unspoken fears and concerns of his family concerning their sojourn in Egypt; gave a special gift to Joseph; and told his sons what would happen to them in the future. (Genesis 48:21-22; 49:1-2, 28-33). The fourth example is Joseph whose father Isaac not only helped to reconcile him and his brothers before his death but also reiterated his father’s promise to his family and asked his brethren to carry his bones to Canaan for burial when he dies. (Genesis 50:15-26). The fifth example is our Lord Jesus Christ who not only comforted his disciples ahead of his death but also committed the care of his mother to John, the beloved disciple (John 14:1-3; 19:25-27). But how can you prepare your family for a future without you? Those who care to do this have much to learn from Abraham whose story we read in Genesis 25:1-10. First, he made Isaac his heir as he was bound to do, in justice to Sarah his first wife, and to Rebekah who married Isaac upon the assurance of it (Gen. 24:36). It is important for parents to appoint someone as leader of their family in their absence who will command the love and respect of everyone in the family. Second, he gave gifts to the rest of his children, both to Ishmael, though at first he was sent empty away, and to his sons by Keturah. It was justice to provide for them; parents that do not imitate Abraham in this are worse than unbelievers. Third, even though it is not explicitly stated in the Bible, Abraham must have worked hard to heal the division that existed between him and Ishmael, on the one hand, and between Ishmael and Isaac, on the other hand, before his death. The evidence for this is that Ishmael and Isaac worked together to give Abraham a befitting burial. (Genesis 25:8-10). Parents must make sure that they heal the divisions that exist among their children and between their immediate and extended families. Fourth, live an exemplary Christian life before them and lead them to give their lives to Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour. This should be done very early in the lives of your children and family members. Fifthly, help them to cultivate a life of their own that does not revolve around you. They should be helped to understand the will of God for their lives and be committed to doing it even during your lifetime. They must be taught to fend for themselves and not have to rely on others, including you, for their survival. Finally, pray for them until the very end that God will look after them even when you’re no longer going to be around to take care of them. This was one of the very last acts of love that Jesus carried out for the benefit of His disciples. Parents can also pray to God for the children and family that they will be leaving behind in the world. (John 17:9-11, 14-17).
Getting Ready for Marriage & Family Life
Sun, Mar 12, 2017
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1 hr 18 mins 4 secs
Having spent the greater part of the last several weeks on the Christian Home and Family, a subject that primarily addresses the needs and concerns of married people and/or single parents, it is necessary for us to address the subject of getting ready for marriage and family life. This is because the majority of us who are present here today are unmarried people. The quality of the preparation we make for marriage and family life determines to a very large extent our success in marriage and family life. What, then, should we do to prepare for marriage and family life? In the first place, the preparation should start very early. Our parenting should have as one of its goals the preparation of our children for a similar role in life even though it is still in the future. Boys should be groomed to be breadwinners and good husbands and fathers while girls should be groomed to be homemakers as well as good wives and mothers. Unfortunately, this is often not done because parents wrongly assume that people’s ability to function in these capacities will come naturally. But this is not so, and there is a lot of evidence for this. Secondly, parents should be good role models for their children in marriage and family life. Whether they like it or not, their home is their children’s first school of marriage and family life. This is where the children learn about marriage; about how to function as a husband and a father; about how to function as a wife and a mother; and about how to bring up children. Thirdly, avoid anything that will destroy your potentials for having a successful marriage and family life. Sexual immorality is quite rampant in our world today and many teenagers and youth are caught in its web. Some girls are forced to drop out of school because of unwanted pregnancy while many boys get distracted from developing into responsible adults by engaging in sexual immorality. In the fourth place, develop your potentials for having a successful marriage and family life. You can do this by adopting the right priorities in life. One, put God first by being born again and growing spiritually. Two, acquire the needed educational and/or vocational training that will help you fend for yourself and also take care of a wife and children when you are ready to get married and start a family. For girls, they must also acquire the needed educational and/or vocational training that will make them helpers to the men that will seek their hand in marriage. Fifthly, allow God to lead you and seek counsel from spiritually mature people around you in your effort to get married. Don’t be headstrong like Samson or self-willed like Esau whose poor choices of whom wives brought griefs to their parents and disasters upon them. Be sure to understand the plan of God for your life and be committed to living according to that plan because it will help you to understand who will be the best person for you to marry among the many children of God that are available. Before you start looking for Mr. or Miss. Right, be sure you are Miss. Or Mr. Right yourself and that you are moving in the right direction according to the will of God for your life. In the sixth place, learn to be contented with what God provides for you at the beginning of your marriage. You can only grow big when you start small. Don’t despise the days of small beginning. You don’t need all the money in the world to start a family. Don’t cultivate the habit of living to impress others and incurring debts in order to have a lavish wedding.
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