Welcome to 2017! This is our year of Covenant! The Bible says in Genesis 15:1 that “After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” And in Genesis 17:2,4,7, God declared that “2 And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” 4 “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.” 7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.”

So I declare over you that My God shall protect, shield and defend you all through this year.  You are entering a year of testimonies. A year of favour. A year that you will overtake. A year of signs and wonders.

 What is a Covenant?

A covenant is a – contract, treaty, pact, accord, deal, bargain, settlement, protocol, agreement, arrangement, understanding, pledge, promise, bond, guarantee, undertaking or commitment.

Genesis 17:1 “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.” Also, Amos 3:3 says “Can two walk together unless they are agreed?” We have said that a covenant is an agreement. I pray that in 2017, may the Lord give you the grace to live a life that will agree with God.

 In Genesis 28:15 God Almighty declares, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.” He says “… I am with you …” He is guaranteeing us His divine presence and breakthroughs. Like with Moses and Joshua, He is guaranteeing us success (Exodus 3:11-12; Joshua 1:5).  Therefore, you cannot fail! You shall dominate! Any opposition against you shall crumble. He would not leave nor forsake you in Jesus’ Name.

 So this is what God is saying to us concerning 2017:-

1. It’s a year that the Lord will remember you (Exodus 2:24). Acts 10:1-4 concerning Cornelius, and Isaiah 38:3 concerning Hezekiah. God will remember you.

1 Samuel 1:20 “So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked for him from the Lord.”

Like Hannah, 2017, is your year of divine remembrance.

2. There shall be a delivery of your hanging inheritance. Joshua 18:2-3 “But there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes which had not yet received their inheritance. 3 Then Joshua said to the children of Israel: “How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers has given you?”

God is saying, I will not allow the intention of the enemy to succeed for I am the Sovereign God (Isaiah 7:7).

3. I will personally supervise your case. That means God will not leave you nor forsake you.

In Joshua 1:5, God said “5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.” You shall get to the Promised Land. Your destiny shall not be truncated. I see the light of God enveloping darkness.

Ralph Waldo Emerson “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

It is said that “Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” Rise up and take charge of your destiny.

In 2017, God said, I will be with you all the way, in the morning, day and night. God will be with you through every trial and tribulation. He will give His angels charge over you to guard you in all your ways. He will heal your wounds with the Balm of Gilead and He will defend you and yours all the days in 2017.

4. Your sacrifices cannot be ignored. It shall be well with you (Isaiah 1:19; Isaiah 3:10). You will not labour in vain. Isaiah 65:20-24 says, “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days … They shall build houses and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 22 They shall not build and another inhabit; They shall not plant and another eat; For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They shall not labor in vain, Nor bring forth children for trouble; For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the Lord, And their offspring with them ….”

5. You will never be ashamed for I am the great restorer. Joel 2:25-26 “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, and the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you. 26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; and My people shall never be put to shame.”

6. In 2017, God said, rest assured of my faithfulness. I shall be faithful to you.

1 Thessalonians 5:24 “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.”

I see a surplus. An overflow of God’s faithfulness. I see God turning things around for you. He said, you will ask and I will do it (John 14:14). God said, don’t be too slow in asking. Isaiah 55:6 says “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near”.  There is a time to seek.  Seek Him early. John Wesley said, “Prayer is where action is.” I urge you to take action in the place of prayer.

Charles Spurgeon said, “I would rather teach one man to pray than ten men to preach.”

D. L. Moody said, “He who kneels the most, stands the best.”

7. It is a year God will appear to you if you can pay the price. Don’t give up. In Genesis 32:30, Jacob wrestled with God and God appeared to him and blessed him.  Also, in 1 Samuel 3:21 “And God appeared again at Shiloh to Samuel. The appearance of God will make every evil work to disappear in your life. Make a declaration that the God who appeared to Samuel, appear to me by your Word in Jesus name.

8. In 2017, God is saying, I will do something better and bigger and your disappointments shall be irrelevant. 2 Chronicles 20:6-12 “6 and said: “O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You? ….”  Set your eyes on God. The rest of your days and years shall be better than the past.  It shall be a year of unforgettable encounters (1 Corinthians 2:9). God said, I should ask the question, – are you ready for it?

9. God said I will send good news to refresh your life. You will sing a New Song. Let your faith be restored. Don’t panic.  Psalm 121:1-2 (AMP) “I will lift up my eyes to the hills [of Jerusalem]— From where shall my help come? 2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. 3 He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.”

You will not be ashamed in this life. For I am the Lord, the Light of your salvation.  Know that the Lord, is the stronghold of your life. Stand on Christ the Solid Rock.  He said, look up to me., your story will change supernaturally in 2017.  You will dance your way to victory.

In every circumstance, God shall make you victorious if you trust Him (1 John 5:4).

10. God said, ‘Be bold and be strong’. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer. Pursue the anointing. Go after the anointing by submitting to God. Jesus went to John, The Baptist; Elisha went to Elijah, and Paul went to Ananias. It is your year of domination. You are moving from glory to glory. Humble yourself before God. You shall be lifted.

I see the greatest news of all time coming your way in Year 2017.  Shout Hallelujah!

11. In 2017, your word will come and there shall be a turnaround of your world.  Tell someone, your word is coming as a dream of the night. Psalm 126:1-3 says “When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion, We were like those who dream. 2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, And our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” 3 The Lord has done great things for us, And we are glad.” In 2017, your laugh shall be the greatest and loudest in Jesus name.  Psalm 119:89 says “Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.”

If God said it and I believe it, then it is settled.

12.  Don’t play down on God. His name is the Almighty.  Genesis 17:1-2 says “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. 2 And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.”

Know that the enemy isn’t fighting you for your present, he is fighting you for your future.  He knows how awesome it’s going to be.  You are a favoured child of God.

13. In 2017, God said, I will make your greatness second to none. Don’t let anyone make you to believe that you’re a nobody. 1 Peter 2:9 says “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” I see sunshine in place of gross darkness; beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning and the garment of praise for every spirit of heaviness.

14. In 2017, unique and interesting doors will open onto you. I see a major door opening that will cause all other doors to open on their own accord. He said, I have the master key. God said, move beyond fear, doubt or confusion and you will hit the target of grace of divine opportunity. I see your hard work, faith and grace all coinciding to enable you achieve unprecedented success (Daniel 11:32). Like Paul being called to the Gentiles and Peter being called to the Jews (Acts 9:15, Galatians 2:7-8), it may not at first make sense, but it is God. Listen more to the Spirit.

15. Now hear this, God said, your emptiness shall be filled. Genesis 28:15 says that He will be with us constantly until He finishes bringing us into all that He has promised. This is the year He will open the door for you to mount that platform of significance.

16. In 2017, strive to regain your kingdom authority. Pay the sacrifice in the place of prayer, meditation of the Word and submission to the Holy Spirit (Acts 17:11; Matthew 14:14; 15:30-31). You are for signs and wonders!  God gets the glory when the blind see and the lame walk and the maimed are made whole not when we nobly suffer under the agony of pain, sickness and disease.

17. Don’t argue with the Word of God. God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).  The verse 35 says “But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”

Seek the truth always because I am the truth. John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

The Word works for everyone. Let the word work for you.

John 17:17 says “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”

As delivered at our New Year’s Eve Service (31st December 2016) by Dr. Akpo Onduku, Pastor of Chapel of Grace, Bradford)

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