Calvary greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who has brought us this far in our year of Great Wonders. This year our theme scripture has been 1 Corinthians 2:9 which says “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” So far, God has been very faithful.
This month we are holding our 5th Divine Encounter conference and number five is the symbol of grace. Therefore, I decree that the grace of God will be sufficient onto you this year in Jesus name (2 Corinthians 12:9). Yes, talking about God’s grace, the great Apostle Paul had a “thorn” in the flesh, yet Paul was not alone for God was with him. God will be with you also in Jesus name. In Deuteronomy 31:6, we are encouraged to “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (NIV).
To many, there is a thorn in their lives. There is a cross even in the heart of God. Jesus Christ, Our Saviour wore a crown of thorns. Apostle Paul’s thorn was never disclosed to us. Paul even begged that his thorn might be removed. He thought it was exceptionally painful. There is no hint that Paul complained. He prayed. He said for to me to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21). Each of us may think that our thorn is worse than that of others. Affliction should drive us to God, not away from Him. Affliction should draw us nearer and nearer to Him. Job said though he slay me, yet will I trust in him (Job 13:15). If our prayer preceded our complaining, we would probably bless rather than blame. Paul’s prayer was definite and repeated. Paul said: “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me” (2 Corinthians 12:8). Paul’s cry was urgent and persistent. We may say Paul’s prayer was not answered? It was answered and gloriously answered, but not in the way that we would acknowledge. The answer was: “He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness ….” (2 Corinthians 12:9). You may have wondered sometimes whether does really care? You may have wondered why a particular trouble has come your way or why is it not removed? Why is my prayer not answered? I can imagine you saying does God really care when my heart is pained to even sing a song? Let the Christ’s personal assurance to Paul be a heartening guarantee that He does indeed care. “… He said unto me…” Paul said. Perhaps, no verse of Scripture has brought more comfort to Christian hearts than this one. “He said unto me.”! This was Paul’s personal experience. “My grace is sufficient for thee.” This year God told us at the cross over service that in the midst of the storms of life, we will find peace. John 14:27 says “Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled] (AMP).
Now, the theme for this year’s conference is Mighty Works. This theme has long been given to us by the leading of the Holy Spirit almost a year ago. Precisely, it was announced on June 10th 2012 at the conclusion of the Divine Encounter Conference 2012 while we were thanking the Almighty God for making it possible for us to soar on eagles’ wings (Exodus 19:14). We are seeing the great wonders of God as a people. God is indeed a faithful God. Psalm 105:5 urges us to “remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth.” I want to assure you that this God is still the Sovereign One. You shall laugh last in Jesus name. No matter the situation you are passing through the Word in 1 Peter 5:10 says that the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, shall perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you (NKJV). May you be a recipient of His abundant grace in Jesus name.
Interestingly, the Psalmist reminiscences that “But then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works. O God, your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as you? You are the God of great wonders! You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations” (Psalm 77: 11-14). In this scripture, Asaph, though by the leading of the Holy Spirit was the human author of Psalm 77 was crying out to God, feeling that that perhaps God has left him because he was so troubled. He was a Levite who lived in the days of David and undoubtedly was a great musician. Do you ever feel troubled? The enemy uses these down times to cause us to doubt God. However Asaph didn’t continue in this mode of thinking for very long. By remembering what God has done before, Asaph was encouraged and strengthened. This is why Rev. 12:11 says that we overcome the enemy by the word of our testimony. Has God ever done anything good in your life? He will do even more now and in the future. Hold fast and don’t faint. The Bible is packed full of testimonies that we can read over and over again to assure us that we do indeed serve a God who does mighty works.
You are just an inch to becoming a recipient of His mighty works. It is all tied to your faith. Jesus Christ said in Mark 9:23 that “… If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Your miracle is on the way. Hebrews 11:6 says that no one can please God without faith. Raise your faith today, if need be cry to God like the man in Mark 9:24 who said “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief”. Jesus heard his cry and went ahead to cast out the deaf and dumb spirit from his son. Once we can raise our faith to believe that God can do mighty works in our life, we need to go another level. The Bible tells us that we will do greater works than Jesus. Jesus did Mighty Works and we are to do even greater. This is in John 14:12 which says “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father”.
I decree that you shall begin to rise to a new dimension in Jesus name. May the Lord Almighty manifest His glory in your life in Jesus name.
Dr. Akpo Onduku (Pastor, Chapel of Grace Bradford)
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