<![CDATA[Faith International Christian Centre - Study Centre]]>Sat, 31 Mar 2018 10:49:36 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Enjoying Everyday Life]]>Tue, 17 Sep 2013 17:55:48 GMThttp://ficcnigeria.org/study-centre/enjoying-everyday-lifeJohn 10:10  " The thief comes to steal, kill and to destroy, but I have come that they may have  and enjoy life, in abundance, to the full, till it overflows".
3John 2 "I wish above all thing that you may prosper (that all may go well with you) and be in health, even as your soul prospers".
Jeremaih 29:11 "I know the thought and plans I have for you - Thoughts and plans of welfare and PEACE, and not of EVIL, to give you hope in your final outcome.

1.  God's plan is for us to have and enjoy our lives in abundance, to the full, till it overflows.  To enjoy our families, to enjoy our children, to enjoy our homes, to enjoy our careers, to enjoy our health.  God wants everything to be better for us.  He wants our marriages to be better, our children better, our health better.  John 3:17 says "For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through it might be saved and be made safe and sound".
God does not bring evil to our life, he brings good.  Someone may say, "But I am going through this bad thing because God is teaching me something.".  God does not teach you things with bringing you evil or killing your child or inflicting you with sickness.  It is not God's method.  James 1 says "All good and perfect gift comes from God from the father of light in whom there is no variableness or shadow of turning", infact it also says "God does not tempt anyone with evil, and cannot be tempted by evil".
Yes I can decide to go through though things for sake of the kingdom, and we all do make sacrifices, and God appreciates it, in life we make sacrifices to gain good things, that is not in the same category as attributing all the evils in my life to God teaching me something.  God can and teaches us better, and shows us his kindness by doing good things in our lives.  That is why the bible is a book of testimonies, of God's goodness and kindness.

2. God is a good God.  His plans for us is good, His thoughts for us is good, His will for us is for us to enjoy our lives,  God's WILL is the same thing translated as God's THOUGHTS or PLANS.  In heaven God's will is done at all times, that is why heaven is a blessed place, a beautiful place, a place of completeness and wholeness, but on earth, not so.  Jesus asked us to pray for God's will and plans of peace to be established in our lives.  We pray it every time in our church, and we pray it boldly, because we know that his plans for us is of peace - Shalom - favour, prosperity, favour, success, rest round about, wholeness, not missing in our lives, nothing broken.  We know his plans are not of evil - Ra - disfavour, loss, unrest about us, failure, poverty, loss.

3. God is not against us, he is on our side. Religion has told us God is waiting to punish us, or kill us at every point.  But that is a lie, He is not, He is waiting to bless us, He loves to answer our prayers.  He prides Himself as the God that answers prayers.  God is not our problem, he is our answer - Jesus came not to condemn and sentence us to death and punishment, but that we through him might be saved (Hebrew: Soteria - completely salvaged, delivered, released into a new life), and be made safe and sound.  You want to be salvages and delivered and made safe and sound, God wants it too.  See, you and God are on the same side.  He wants us to enjoy our life, our health, our families, our homes, our marriages, our jobs, our businesses, everything that pertains to life.

So what should I do to start enjoying God's plans in my life?

1.  Come to Him.  Many times, we live life as if we are all by ourselves.  We bear our own burden, try to solve all our own problems, and sometimes, the burdens are so heavy, and the price so great.  But God is saying, you don't have to bear your burden by yourself.  he said, “Come to me all you that labour and bear heavy burden, and I will give rest" take upon you my yoke, and learn from me, for I am meek and lowly in heart,  and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light," (Matt 11:28-30)
You come to God in prayer by faith believing that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.  Hebrews 11: 6 says "He that comes to God must believe that He is and that he is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him".
The scripture says "If you come to God, He will come to you. If you come to him, He will in no wise cast you out".  God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him.  We can't say it enough.  If you seek him, you will find him.

2. Sometimes you have to enforce the word of God in your life.  Every nation have Law Enforcement Officers - Police, Army, and numerous other groups) There job is to ensure that people do not break the law.  They enforce the law and punish offender.  God wants us to be law enforcement agents too, enforcing the word of God in your lives and families etc.  When things start trying to turn south in your lives, it is time to tie up your law enforcement belt and start enforcing the word of God.
You enforce the word by:
a.  Speaking to the mountain and commanding it to move.  Mark 11:23 says "If you say to the mountain. . ."  It did not say if you cry or murmur or complain or tell your neighbour about the mountain" We have a task to speak to every mountain in our lives, be it sickness or pain  or issues in our homes. Open your mouth and speak to it in the name of Jesus.  Who art thou oh Great mountain before Zerubabel, you shall become a plane, not by power, not by might, but by the Holy Ghost.  Every mountain will become plane.  Jesus said, if you speak to the sycamine tree and say be removed and be planted in the sea, it will be done. if you speak to the mountain, be removed it will be done.

b. Enforce the word by standing your ground and rebuking the devil over the issues of your life.  Ephesian 6 says "having done all the crisis demand, stand therefore" Every crisis demands a set of actions.  Stand your ground and resist the devil.  Paul said; do not give the devil foothold in your life.  Refuse to allow trouble and fear gain foothold in your life.  Stand your ground and chase them out of your home in the name of Jesus.

3.  Obey the word.  God spoke to Joshua in Joshua 1:8 " The book of the law should not depart out of your mouth but you shall meditate on  it day and night, so shall you make your prosperous and you shall deal wisely and have good success".
Psalm 1 reads "Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor sits in the seat of the scornful nor stands in the way of sinners, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in his word does he meditate day and night, he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water who bears its fruit in due season and its leaves does not wither and whatever he does prospers.
a. To enjoy the blessing, you have to know it.  Spend time knowing the word.  Apply yourself reading the word, hearing the word, thinking the word.  Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, so fill your heart with good things.
b. You have to speak it.  Prayer is a sub-set of speaking.  Speak the blessing, Speak grace.  Let your words be seasoned with salt.  If you will have what you say, imagine what will happen when you start speaking the blessing and speaking life and speaking the word and speaking faith.  Things will align for you and start to work.  Start speaking good things.  Start speaking the blessing, start speaking favour and grace.


<![CDATA[Help! Its My Anniversary]]>Thu, 18 Apr 2013 10:27:12 GMThttp://ficcnigeria.org/study-centre/help-its-my-anniversaryEvery new day presents you an opportunity to take an inventory of your life . . .

Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12.

The Financial Crisis:

On Sept 15, 2008, The stock market crashed. The crash became the precussor of the biggest market crash since the 1930s and spiralled across the world.  The other day, CNN ran a news clip to commemorate the  anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Firstly, I was shocked to realize it was already so long.  It looked like it happened a couple of weeks ago.  I vividly remembered the headline on CNN "Economy in Crisis" and all the noise of losses and write-downs that happened in the financial industry. Now it is a story.

What of your own personal life?  You were a year older yesterday; this is your fifth year in that job that you hated; you finally have lived 20 years on that street that you promised you would move from within 2 years; today is the third year since you said you would do that degree, write that exam or complete that new book.  How time flies.

I look back at my own life and I am amazed at how much time has gone.  You know we tell our friend the stories of things that happened when we were in the University as though they happened yesterday; we talk about the prayer leagues with our senior friend when we were in our first year; we talk of the "Alutas", we talk about the courses we loved or failed as though they all happened yesterday. They are stories that are more than 10 years old.

This obviously would have been what the Psalmist was going through when he wrote that scripture "Teach us to number our days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom" Wisdom is profitable to direct.  We need to take time to take an inventory of our lives and see if it is looking like we planned it.   We need to number our days.  Maybe we will change direction or take a decision that can change the course of our lives.

Can I ask you a question?  if you continue to do the things you are doing now, the way you are doing them, will you achieve you purpose in life?

God's Own Annivesary:

There are four cardinal issues that we need to look at from the 1st chapter of Genesis

1.  Every new day in your life presents you a new opportunity to add something new to your life:   God had created the heavens and the earth in the dateless past, at the beginning.  God's earth had become empty and void with darkness over the face of the deep.  But Genesis 1:3 said God spirit hovered over the waters and God said "Let there be Light" From that day, time began and as each day passed, God sought opportunity to change his world and bring His dreams to pass.  At the close of everyday God would take an inventory of what He had done and He would say "It was good".  Every new morning was God's opportunity to add something new and good to His earth.  Every new day in your life presents you a new opportunity to add something new to your life.

2.     Thank God for the night times of your life when everything must recede and take a break. The night time must come, and you must take a break, even if temporary, from the thing that grieve you and oppress you.   Let me tell you something about the night:

a.      The night must come:  As far as the earth remaineth day and night, summer and winter, summer and winter shall not cease.

b.     If not for the night there will never be regeneration.  You know people talk about sleep deprivation is a big issue and that is because sleep regenerates our neural system.  There is the circadian rhythm that controls our body clock managing our waking and sleeping time.  Even plants breathe out carbondi-oxide at night and take in oxygen.  You know if all of our lives were good, we would not have time to rethink, re-plan and refresh.

c.     No matter what is going on, at night, it must stop.  Both the troubled and trouble must stop.  Nothing under the effect of time is endless; whatever has a beginning must have an end.

3.     A time must come when you must take an inventory of your life and make decisions that change the direction of your life.

4.     Sometimes, I wish life was just one spark-fast-sprint where you make one move, get a result and that’s it, but it is not so.  Life is a continuum.  Yes, you do one thing right, then  you must create a habit of doing right things and being right and living right, and that leads you to keep doing other things right.  

Notice I said “you create a habit of doing right things”.  A habit of consecutively doing right things is the key to the success and breakthrough you desire.  A miracle will cancel your debt but a good financial habit will bring you prosperity.  A miracle will heal your body, a but a habit of taking care your health will keep you healthy. Etc.

Four Inventories You Must Take

1.     An inventory of your vision and God’s purpose for your life.  You need to ask sometimes:

a.   Am I in God’s purpose for your life? Where am I in comparison to God’s plan and purpose that he has revealed to me?

b.     If I keep going this way and living the way I live, where will my life end up?

c.     What changes can I make to my life to line up my vision and God’s purpose for my life?

           Without vision, the people perish (Prov. 29:18)

2.     Take an inventory of your walk with God.

a.     Am I walking in the spirit or in the flesh?

b.     Am I developing habits that foster growth in the things of the Spirit?  Habits like praying in the spirit, speaking right, living right, tithing, confessions, taking sides with God (life of faith in the word).  These are great habits that will help you grow and succeed in the things of God and of natural living.

c.     Are there spiritual contaminants I am greatly exposed to? We need to put them away:  all contaminant of the body and the spirit perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

3.     Take an Inventory of your personal life:

a.     Am I developing habits that make for success?  Habits like working hard, waking early, executing, applying myself etc.

b.     Am i taking care of my family?

c.     Am I taking care of myself, sleeping well, eating well, taking care of my body and my health etc?

4.     Take an inventory of your soul (i.e. your mind, your will and your emotions):

a.     Do I need more education?

b.     Am I learning new things that will help me grow in deepen my knowledge career wise, ministry wise etc?

c.     Am I also being socially relevant?

d.     How do I get to the next level?

If you do this, you will be well and your life will be a mighty force of God.

<![CDATA[A Dozen Things!]]>Thu, 18 Apr 2013 10:25:51 GMThttp://ficcnigeria.org/study-centre/a-dozen-thingsLife is like a spring, with concentric circle of good and bad, distress and pleasure on its way up or down . . .

Life is like a spring, with concentric circle of good and bad, distress and pleasure on its way up or down. Good and bad, distress and pleasure is a normal circle of life whether you are on your up in life or on your way down.  If you haven't had a distress, wait it will come.

As long as the earth remains seed time and harvest, day and night shall not cease, a concentric circle of life, moving up, never stopping.  The spring can continue, until you cut it, never stopping, never ending.

The Way to Good

God designed that sometimes the way to good is through the seemingly bad.  Diamonds are always found in the rough, Gold always purified through fire.  In the concentric circle of life, the way to pleasure is distress and the way to distress is pleasure, a combination of both brings out the greater good.  Would you call it bad when a child falls while learning to walk? To the child it may be bad, but to you with the positional advantage of hindsight, you know that falling is an inescapable path to walking.  Yes sometimes it is intended for evil, but God is a master at turning it to good

When we realize that the way to greater good is sometimes through seeming distresses, then the way we perceive distress will change.  There is always a diamond in that rough, there is a gold in that dirt, there is a Usain Bolt in that toddler who is keeps falling, there is a ministry in that your misery.  

I know a friend of mine who came to Lagos for his youth service in 2000 and worked with a Corporate Promotion outfit.  After his youth service, the company would not regularize his appointment.  He struggled, prayed, lobbied, but eventual had to leave the employment of the Firm. He also began to apply to other places and did not get any job. Meanwhile he had been making handmade cards from his secondary school and also read Fine Arts in the University, and haven worked for this corporate promotion company, he decided he would start soliciting for Corporate gift businesses.  He put together some gift samples he had and began to make presentations around companies in Lagos he also registered his business and focused on it.  Soon he was awarded his first contract and the rest is history.   As at 2009 he had travelled to UAE, Kenya and the UK both on holiday and business and is currently on his way to China.  He is married and has a lovely baby.  His name is Diamond - Lanre Ajayi.  

I cannot even begin to tell the story of one of the foremost female speakers in the world - Joyce Meyer.  She told stories of her abusive childhood.  Yes it was intended for evil, but when she turned to God, God used it for good.  Do you think the Joyce Meyer Ministries would have been touching lives like it is doing today had she not gone through those days?

Jesus.  Imagine if he was not betrayed by his friend Judas, hated by his cousins and crucified by the people he fed , how could we have come to glory.  His death was by all means intended for evil, orchestrated by hell, meant to silence him, slay him, thwart God's purpose for him, but he stayed with God and God had other plan, had the devil known, he would not have crucified the Lord of Glory.  God knew that by his death, he would bring many sons to Glory; His blood would speak for our redemption.  He will be an effective high priest because he would have been touched with the feeling of our infirmities.  What was intended for extreme evil, God planned for good.

Can I preach to you?  You are currently going through your worst experience right now.  Things are tough and bad, so bad that you haven't stopped crying all night. But if you stay with God, God would work all for your good. It is time to begin to rejoice, because even though the enemy intends to destroy you by it, But God has another plan.  What was meant for evil, God will use to accomplish his goodness in your life.  There is a ministry in that misery; there is a gain in that pain.  God spoke me in 2003 and said " Azubike, if you will come to me I will come to you, those that come to me I will not cast out.  no matter  how bad or how tough, if you come to me I will come to you."

Remember Joseph, You know he would never have gone to Jail had Potiphar's wife not lied on him.  He would not have been lied on had he not been sold to Potiphar by the Ismealite.  He would never had been in the custody of the Ismealite had he not been in the pit.  He would never had been in the pit had he not been hated by his brother. Now his brother hated him.  They did not sell him to accomplish God's will, they intended it for evil. But he stayed with God, learnt from him a dozen things and no matter how bad it got, he came out on top.   Now imagine if all this evil never happened, he would never have met Pharaoh’s butler and baker, never have interpreted their dreams, never have been privy to the King's issues and had the opportunity of solving them, and never had become the 2nd in Command.  He will never have preserved Israel and accomplished God's will and promise to Abraham.   He told his brothers "What you intended for evil, God planned to good". He stayed with God and saw the good! 

All things, life, death, evil, good  all work to accomplish God's plan for our lives and that plan will be accomplish if we do a dozen things we will discuss later.

Jesus told the parable of the man who built his house on the rock.  he said "when the storm came and the wind blew, it beat vehemently against the house, but the house stood because it was founded on the rock.  Notice that Jesus used the word "When" which is adverb of time depicting certainty, and he did not say "if" adverb of probability.  Certainly the wind will come, one day, definitely, without fail. so it is a normal cycle of the life. But also notice that intrinsic in the parable is the fact that the storm was not permanent, it ended.  No matter the distress, it will end.  It must end, it can never be permanent because that is not it normal abode.

God didn't say there won't be trouble, but he promised to get us out of it. Psalm 91 "I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honour him. . ." the eyes of the Lord runs to and fro the earth to show himself strong on the behalf of those that love him.

Simulating distress: 

You don't prepare for war in he time of war, winners prepare for war in the time of peace.  The story of the Ants comes readily to mind. The Ant prepares for winter in summertime.  The book of Proverbs instructs: "Go to the ants, consider its ways and be wise". Your outcome in life is a product of the things you pay attention to.  You need to know a dozen things to do ever before the winter comes. If you are already in distress, then reading this material implies that you know at least to come to God, look for solutions and learn from Him a dozen things to do to pass through your current situation.

A Dozen Things:

1.     Keep a positive /faith attitude

2.     Keep yourself in good spirit; clean up, dress well, smile and don’t cry too long.

3.     Eschew all forms of bitterness:  the root of bitter grows up to cause trouble.  Love people, and don’t add to the trouble.

4.     Forgive everyone who has hurt you. 

a.     Forgiveness is an act of faith.  You take that position “I have forgiven and that is it.  I refuse to hurt anymore; I sow my hurt as a seed, and stay with the forgiveness”.  When issue come up again, you say, “no, I have forgiven, I have taken that position and I am not moving away from to the left or to the right, I have taken that position”.  That is the act of faith.  That is how to forgive by faith! 

b.     You know we talk about forgiving and forgetting, and so we find it hard to stay in forgiveness because we never really forget, but what God says is forgive and be healed.  Don’t forgive and forget, forgive and be healed.  You may remember afterwards but you have forgiven.  You believe you have forgiven and you stay there.  Forgiveness is an act of faith.  

c.     The bible talks about faith being in our mouth and in our heart, so to walk by faith then we have a combination of believing in our heart and then confessing with our mouth what we believe, lining up our thoughts with what we believe, and speaking it everywhere and all time whether we feel like it or not, in and out of season.  You also know that to walk by faith we have to stay with it, and when any thought come into your mind contrary to the truth you believe, we pick up the word you are standing on in your mouth.  This is the same way we walk in forgiveness.  You have stand in faith taking hold of God’s word and speaking it, thinking it etc.

5.     Forgive yourself also and ask God to forgive you.  Sometimes the distress you are going through may be as a result of what you actually did wrong.  Yes you made that mistake whatever it is, but you must ask God for forgiveness and you must forgive yourself.  God is faithful and just to forgive you your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.  And then, he justifies you.

6.     Stay in faith all the time. Create imaginations and reasonings in line with   the truth (God’s word), and the result you are expecting.

A.      Listen to tapes, read books, pray, really pray, believe, watch videos that speak to you, keep the word going in and out  of your mouth.  Summarily, just create an atmosphere of God’s presence around you.

B.     Speak to yourself often and affirm your believe out of your own mouth.

7.     Release your love for and to others. 

a.     Don’t stay closed up, give!  Give your time, money and comfort to God and to others.

b.     Develop an out-flowing personality. Stay in friendship.

8.     Humbly analyze all the things that you can connect and start reprogramming yourself for your victory.

-           Make decisions like deciding to pray and give, loving your family and friends.

-           Change, really change.

9.     Go out and find a new beginning.  Trust God, don’t be discouraged or afraid.  Remember God is with you.  He said “I will be with you in trouble, I will help you. I will not give you up neither will I lose my grip on you” (Hebrews 13)

10.   Keep a thankful and thanksgiving attitude for whatever progress you’ve made.  Don’t fret.  Remember Philippians 4: 6-7 “Don’t fret or be anxious for anything but in all things with prayer supplication and thanksgiving, make your request known to God and the peace of God. . .”

11.   Call your mum.  I mean, keep in touch with everyone whose love and friendship your value.  Don’t disappear.

12.   When it is ended, turn your misery to ministry. Turn your problem to a platform. Realize that there are several people who are also going through your same situation and be a blessing to them.

<![CDATA[Walking in Your Financial Blessing]]>Thu, 18 Apr 2013 10:24:53 GMThttp://ficcnigeria.org/study-centre/walking-in-your-financial-blessingHow to walk in God's blessing as regards your finances.  Read More. . .

In Jan 2008, my wife gave birth to our first child, a baby boy -Chukwudera Kenneth, before we were discharged from the hospital, the doctor instructed my wife to breast feed the child "on demand".  Now my child is just over a year, he weighs an excess of 12kg and tries to sing a few lines of his lullaby, and turn the whole house right side up, lots of energy.  He is growing into a real boy.

The fact that my child was born male does not imply that he would grow up into a man.  Being male is a function of genetics, but to become a full grown man is a function of training and managed development. 

You are blessed!

This is how it is with our Christian life and the blessing (as it concerns our finances or health).  Ephesians 1: 3 say "(God) has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus".  We as believers are not blessed because of what we did, but by genetics, by being in the Anointed one Jesus, by being in His Anointing.  You are blessed because you are in Christ Jesus.  2Cor. 5.17 says ..."if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away, and all things have become new.  All things are (now) of God. . ."  you are new regardless of. . , no matter what . . , inspite of ...  Your finances are new, your health is new, your life is new. Jesus died and rose to get you into this new life.

At the temptation in the wilderness (Luke 4.3-4) Jesus instituted this new life when he declared, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God." From that day,  you (the new man) were no longer subjected to the limitation of natural life.  From then on you could live by every word of God, beyond the limit of the natural man.  When the natural comes to its wits end, you can take hold of a higher life and walk in the word of God.  You can get result beyond what the limits of the natural man. You cannot be barred in! your finances cannot be barred in, your health cannot be barred in, your children cannot be barred in, your career  cannot be barred in.  You are set free!.

However, you achieved this new life not because of what you did, but because of what He (Jesus) did.

Walk the walk

Now you have a responsibility to take this word and walk in it, put it in your heart, your mouth, your thoughts, your perception, and do it until you see your life transformed to that image. It is not enough that you have this new life, you need to walk in the newness of this life. 

The same way it is not enough for my son to born male, he need to learn, train, eat, think. act and grow in the life he has, to become a full grown man, so is it with the blessing and the new birth.  Just as being born naturally is not an end in itself so also being born again is not an end in itself.  It is the beginning!.  You need to walk in the newness of that life (Rom 6:4).

How to walk in the new life

2Pet 2: 4 Gives us the recipe for walking in the newness of the life, partaking in God's divine nature, Peter called it.  it says " Whereby are given to us exceeding great and precious promises that by these, we might become partaker  of the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world through lust".  You could be  born again and still not escape the corruption in the world.  The word "Corruption" means "Decay".   There are decays in the world system , like we see in the world's financial system today, there are pestilences and diseases that attack people - Swine flu, Bird Flu, but the bible says that  by taking hold of, and staying with these precious promises or instructions from God's word as regards these particular areas of your life, taking sides with them in your words, thoughts and action, doing them,  you can walk in the blessing right in the presence of these situations and not be touched by the decay in the world system.

The Instructions to obey

We have listed nine (9) instructions from the word of God that can get you walking in your financial blessings:

1.  Communicating in giving and receiving.  Philippians 4. 15, Paul talked to the Macedonian Church how that they were the only ones who communicated with him in giving and receiving.  Not in giving alone, but in giving and receiving.  2Cor. 8 from verse 1 showed how that in a great trial of affliction (their country's financial crisis), the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded to the riches of their liberality.  They entreated the Apostle to receive their gifts and partake in the fellowship of ministering to the saint.  Verse 5 says" And this they did, not as we hoped, but first they gave their own selves to the Lord, and to us by the will of God".  Did you see that " gave themselves to us by the will of God"  They found out God's will (God's instructions(from his word) on what to do) and then gave themselves to the Apostle in line with that instruction. They learned how to give and receiving and they poured themselves into it.  They now stayed on that word until they saw manifestation.  A change in their own financial circumstances.  God wants you to communicate in giving and receiving.  People have said give to God and don't expect anything back.  But God said no, communicate in giving and receiving.  In all aspect of God's instruction about your finances, God has put a giving and receiving structure. The same way giving is an action, receiving is done in words, in thoughts and in action.  Another way to put this is "to draw on your store of good thing".  You draw by taking sides, in words and thought, with the promise, claiming it as yours and applying that promise in the spoken word over the issues of your life, and refusing to be moved from it until you see full manifestation. See Hezekiah when he was told he would die, he drew on his store of good. He cried to God and said, oh God, see how I have walked before you, Oh God !. . .He drew intently.  He drew with passion, he did not let down, and God heard and gave him 15 more year.  Remember Dorcas, how when she died and they sent men to Joppa to call Peter. In this case other people drew on her store/account for her. They showed all the things she did for them, and the anointing came on Peter, and she was raised from the dead.  Paul in Phil 4. 17 says "not that I desire a gift, but i desire friut that may abound to your account"  Fruits you can draw from in good and bad times. This is the first instruction. Communicate in giving and take the promise and draw on your store intently until you see manifestation.

2.  Tithing:  Kenneth Copeland talks about "Administering your tithe" Deut 26 shows how that tithing is not done only by giving a tenth, but also by word of mouth.  The tenth you give becomes your exoderm and the words spoken, become the endoderm. 

You are also to draw on your tithe by taking up Mal 3.10 and beyond, and begin to declare that the devourer is rebuked for your sake. When the devourer shows up in your work, career, or in your home, don't sit down and smile and call the pastor, take on the fight against it. Declare I am tither, and this devourer is rebuked for my sake and will not destroy the fruit of my ground.  When you go for that job interview don't just go their wishing anything will happen, begin to declare, I am a tither, and a giver, and because I give, it is given unto me.  All I know how to do is how to prosper.  Wear your nice tie, polish your shoes, look like the winner you are and take on your word.  Psalm 149 says " let the high praise of the lord be in your mouth and the two-edged sword in your hand to execute judgment upon the heathens and punishment upon the people to execute upon them the written judgment."  This is your honour as a saint of the most high God.

3.  Giving:  He that gives receives.  If you give you will receive. Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down shaken together running over. Luke 6:38.  It will be given unto you.  Communicate in giving and receiving.

4. Honouring the prophet:  Mat 10.41-42, "He that receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward. . . And whosoever shall give to drink to one of these little ones a cup of water only, in the name of a disciple, verily, I say to you, he shall in no wise lose his reward".   The word "to receive" means "to welcome, accept and entertain or support".  If you do that, firstly, you will not be a part in receiving the blessing of God on the prophet, but your own action get rewarded on a higher level as though you carry the anointing of the prophet.  Your results or rewards become amplified.  What you do that would have yielded  a little result, begins to yield larger result.  Your efficiency multiplies.  The other says for giving a cup of water to these little one in the name of a disciple, you will not lose your reward.

In addition I sense that if we create a cycle of supporting one another as believers in doing good to members  of the household of faith, as the bible commands, we can create a chain of good and literarily break the power of any recession.  This is what Kenneth Copeland calls God and Sons".

5. Honouring your parents:  Ephesians 6.2-3 " Honour your father and your mother  which is the first commandment with a promise, that it may be well with you, and that thou mayest live long on the earth".  Treat your parents well, take care of them, call them.  Again I feel this is a recipe for this time of recession in the world system.  If we each call up our parents and grandparent, we will meet their needs at this time and also activate the blessing on our lives.  I Believe this absolutely.  It shall be well with you and you will live long.  You will not die young, you will live long.  It will be well with your work, your children, your spouse, your career, your company, all that pertains to you. 

 6. Doing things for the gospel's sake:  The story of the rich young ruler in Mat 19: 16 - 29 comes readily to mind.  Remember that the young man came to Jesus, and inquired what he needed to do to be saved.  He had kept the commandments but knew he had something lacking. Jesus met him and knew what the issue was,  the young man he was sold out to his riches. He (Jesus) decided to address the issue because he had compassion on the ruler.  He however addressed it in an interesting way " Go and sell all you have and give to the poor, and  you will have treasure in heaven and then come and follow me".  Do you see this same approach when Jesus addressed the Woman at the well, "Go and call your husband", and the woman said, I have no husband, she however gave room for the touch of God.  Jesus addressed the man's core problem, He heart was in his riches.  His dependence was on it, and he could not trust God.  To break that hold, Jesus had to first point out the fact. the guy unlike the woman at the well, went away sorrowful for he had great riches which controlled him, and which he could not give up for anybody's sake, not even God's.  But that is not even the point.  The disciple got to thinking, if this guys walked away when he was told to give up his stuff, what about them who had given up all.  To this Jesus answered,  First if you gave up all for my sake first the twelve of you, you will sit with me on the throne.  Secondly for everyone that will ever give up anything for my sake and the gospel's sake, you shall receive a hundred fold in this earth and eternal life.

We can do things for the sake of Jesus and for the gospel's sake.  You may not like the preacher, but you can support him for the gospel sake and for Jesus sake, because you favour the righteous cause.  You can draw on this.

7. Work:  Ephesians 4: 28, " . . . let him labour that which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth."  You cannot have if you don't work.  So.  get a job!  no matter what.  It is totally unacceptable to be without a form of work or the other.  Find a job, be active in doing this.  It doesn't have to be high paying, but whatever it is, get a job.  Also you may have to increase your ability to earn. therefore get a training, a new degree, learn a new trade.  You must increase your ability to earn.  there is an interesting book I read that covers this topic so well it is a book by George Clason, " The Richest Man in Babylon".  Be willing to create a job if you can't find one of if you have a good idea.  But whatever you do, you must work.  Someone says opportunities are hidden in something spelt W-O-R-K.  It is a disorderly lifestyle when people loaf and don't work.

8.  Right Speaking and Living:  Walking in the blessing takes a change in your total lifestyle. You can’t speak wrong, live wrong and expect to walk in the blessing.  God demands that you clean up your word and your acts and live the word.  Eph. 4.30 - 32 says for us to put away all corrupt communications from our mouth, be kind to one another, forgiving one another, put away evil speaking, and malice.

Again, by your words your are justified or condemned the scripture says.  Don't go confessing how bad things are and how bad things will get for you, start taking on God's word, and saying thing may be bad, but God said he will meet our needs.  God is making all grace abound toward us.  because we give, we receive.  The devourer is rebuked for our sake and he does not destroy the fruit of our ground.  Confess Psalm 91:  He delivers and shall deliver us from the snare of the fowler. No arrow or pestilence comes near us and our household.  He shall give his angels charge over us to keep us in all our ways.  Praise God!.  Stay with this and live right and you are set for the blessing to overtake you.

9. Giving to the poor:  Psalm 112 talks about the righteous man dispersing abroad and giving to the poor and his righteousness enduring forever.  It also says his horns shall be exalted with honour.   James 1:26 - 27 says pure religion and undefiled before God and the father is this" To visit the widow in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world".  God wants us not to forget the poor and the needy among us.  God wants us to be king to them. and your horn will be exalted with honour.

Looking at this time, what else can help alleviate people's suffering other than this.  Start from your own household and neighborhood.  Let's help people to get education, get medical care,  get food to feed their household.  Be gracious and lend when that family member who is in need asks of you. Help your community.  Let's create a chain of good around us  and be a blessing.

In conclusion

let's do these 9 thing and you will walk in the blessing!.

<![CDATA[30 Days Devotional on Faith - Day 30: Faith and Fear]]>Thu, 18 Apr 2013 09:34:34 GMThttp://ficcnigeria.org/study-centre/30-days-devotional-on-faith-day-30-faith-and-fearThe opposite of faith is fear!

Hebrews 10:32 - 39

  "32But be ever mindful of the days gone by in which, after you were first spiritually enlightened, you endured a great and painful struggle,

    33Sometimes being yourselves a gazing stock, publicly exposed to insults and abuse and distress, and sometimes claiming fellowship and making common cause with others who were so treated.

    34For you did sympathize and suffer along with those who were imprisoned and you bore cheerfully the plundering of your belongings and the confiscation of your property, in the knowledge and consciousness that you yourselves had a better and lasting possession.

    35Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward.

    36For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised.

    37For still a little while (a very little while), and the Coming One will come and He will not delay.

    38But the just shall live by faith [My righteous servant shall live by his conviction respecting man's relationship to God and divine things,  and holy fervor born of faith and conjoined with it]; and if he draws back and shrinks in fear, My soul has no delight or pleasure in him.

    39But our way is not that of those who draw back to eternal misery (perdition) and are utterly destroyed, but we are of those who believe [who cleave to and trust in and rely on God through Jesus Christ, the Messiah] and by faith preserve the soul."

 The believers had gone through a tough time of affliction, but they withstood and overcame.  They overcame because they knew something.  What they knew gave them confidence to act in the face of their struggles and affliction.  Paul called it a confidence of faith or a fearless confidence.

Faith Vs Fear

1.            Faith makes you act in a positive direction, fear make you act in the negative direction. You exhibit faith confidence by acting on the basis of what you know.  While fear would make you give up, faith will make you move on.  Fear will make you stand still in your tracks, terrified, faith will make you move forward, confident.  Habakkuk 3:19 (Amplified version) says “The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds' feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!

2.            Faith can be defined as “confidence because you know” or confidence based on knowledge.  The more you know and understand, the more confidence you have and act based on.  Faith does come by hearing.  Hebrews 10:34-35 says “You had compassion for me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves . . . therefore do not cast away your confidence of faith.”   The reason why they had compassion and took the affliction joyfully was because they “knew”.  Their act of confidence was based on what they knew and had become convinced of. 
To walk by faith is to walk by what you know.  We are faced with all sorts of issues, but when you know something about how to deal with your issue, you are confident, confident because you know something.  You know that the prayer of faith will salvage the issue; you know that if you speak to the mountain and refuse to entertain any doubt, the mountain will move.  Because you know, you refuse to entertain fear.   Fear drains your confidence and makes the trouble overwhelm you; faith increases your confidence, breaks the back of fear, and makes you conquer.

3.            Faith moves forward, and fear draws back and shrinks:  We are of those who believe to the saving of the soul and not of those who draw back unto perdition.   Habakkuk 3:19, says “He will make us to walk on our high places, not stand still in terror, but to make spiritual progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility].”

Memory verse:  Hebrews 10:39 “. . . We are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul”.

<![CDATA[30 Days Devotional on Faith - Day 29: Faith and Works]]>Thu, 18 Apr 2013 09:33:13 GMThttp://ficcnigeria.org/study-centre/30-days-devotional-on-faith-day-29-faith-and-worksYou have been praying, it is time to make that next move.

James 2: 14 - 26, reads as follows in the Amplified Bible Version:

  14What is the use (profit), my brethren, for anyone to profess to have faith if he has no [good] works [to show for it]? Can [such] faith save [his soul]?

    15If a brother or sister is poorly clad and lacks food for each day,

    16And one of you says to him, Good-bye! Keep [yourself] warm and well fed, without giving him the necessities for the body, what good does that do?

    17So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).

    18But someone will say [to you then], you [say you] have faith, and I have [good] works. Now you show me your [alleged] faith apart from any [good] works [if you can], and I by [good] works [of obedience] will show you my faith.

    19You believe that God is one; you do well. So do the demons believe and shudder [in terror and horror such as make a man's hair stand on end and contract the surface of his skin]!

    20Are you willing to be shown [proof], you foolish (unproductive, spiritually deficient) fellow, that faith apart from [good] works is inactive and ineffective and worthless?

    21Was not our forefather Abraham [shown to be] justified (made acceptable to God) by [his] works when he brought to the altar as an offering his [own] son Isaac?

    22You see that [his] faith was cooperating with his works, and [his] faith was completed and reached its supreme expression [when he implemented it] by [good] works.

    23And [so] the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed in (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on) God, and this was accounted to him as righteousness (as conformity to God's will in thought and deed), and he was called God's friend.

    24You see that a man is justified (pronounced righteous before God) through what he does and not alone through faith [through works of obedience as well as by what he believes].

    25So also with Rahab the harlot--was she not shown to be justified (pronounced righteous before God) by [good] deeds when she took in the scouts (spies) and sent them away by a different route

    26For as the human body apart from the spirit is lifeless, so faith apart from [its] works of obedience is also dead".

Amplified defines "Works" in this context as "deeds and actions of obedience that backs or follows faith".   Another version describes it as "Corresponding action".   But I like to define it as taking steps in the direction of your faith.

I have had many experiences with God where I am praying for something and after praying, God says to me, now, you have prayed, go and get it done.    God wants me to take steps in the direction of my faith.  For instance if I had prayed for a job and I am standing in faith, then my deed or action of obedience in line with the faith and prayer is to go out and look for a job.  If I had prayed and released my faith for something to go well, then I go and start to do the thing expecting it to get well,  in line with the prayer I have prayed.

Notice the following from what James writes in these scriptures:

1.  Faith, if it has no deed or actions of obedience is inactive or dead or inoperative and destitute of power.   You need to put your legs where your faith is.  If you believe God for a change, put your leg in the direction of that change.  If you believe God for admission to a university, apply to the university.  If you believe God for a job, go look for a job.  If you believe God for a change, go make the change happen.  Praying may not be a lot of problems for people, the problem or difficulty is in putting your legs where your faith is.

2. Faith is expressed in what you do, not in what you don't do.   I have seen many people who are on treatments, for instance, abandon their treatment or even refuse to get treatment because they think that refusing treatment is a way to prove that they have faith for healing.  Your faith is not expressed by what you don't do; it is expressed by what you do.  I particularly have heard of cases where some women have had complications in child delivery because they refused to have a caesarean section even when obviously all the odds were against natural birth, and the doctor was skilled.  They claim that they have been praying and they believe God and so allowing the doctor deliver their baby by CS would be anti-faith.   Once again, your faith is not expressed in what you did not do; it is expressed in what you do.    James 2: 22 calls it “faith cooperating with works".   Your faith is completed and reaches its supreme expression when it is implemented by good works (what you do).

I recall when God got on me about this issue, He said to me, what are you asking for, the process or the answer?   I said, the answer, and God said, "Focus on it".  What a woman in labour needs is safe delivery, the process is totally unimportant.  Focus on the answer. When you begin to pray, God begins to work on the answer and that answer may entail more than you know in your natural thought process.

Let’s say this clearly.  Every answer entails a process,  James 5:14 says "if anyone is sick let him call the elders of the church and let them pray over him anointing him with oil, and the prayer of faith will save the sick (so much that ) if he had sinned any sin, it will be forgiven him" ( italics, mine).  The prayer of faith will completely salvage the situation, whatever it entails (even if it entails all his sins being forgiven).

Every prayer you pray entails a process, and your prayer of faith will completely salvage the situation whatever it entails, even if it entails God bringing you a good doctor, and you having a CS or you having an IVF, whatever it entails.

I recall my wife had 2 miscarriages and we began to pray, and God answered our prayers.  He led us to a Doctor who was a consultant gynaecologist.  He managed my wife and took time to teach and explain what was happening to us.  We have three wonderful children now.  We have even been able to use what we learnt to help our friends who also had miscarriages like we did and they now have their own children. 

Your prayer may entail you changing town, changing business, changing work place or even changing friends.  Don't be stuck with your own ways, be open to take the take steps in the line of your prayer and faith and move forward.

3. Faith is made perfect/complete by works.  Your prayer and faith is not an end in itself, it is a means to an end.  The bible says that you will obtain the end of your faith, which is the salvation (soteria) of your soul. The goal of your prayer and faith release is to obtain a result.  Faith is not an end in itself.  It is a means to an end.  You need to be conscious of it.   Why are you standing in faith for a job? I guess it is because you want a job.  When you pray and begin to stand in faith, the power of God is released to sort the situation for you, and then you take steps in the direction of your prayer so you can see the result you desire. Let’s take a very simple analogy, someone wants to have his own child and begins to pray and stand in faith, these alone will not provide the child.   Children will not drop from heaven.  Ova and sperm have to meet then a child will be formed, he needs to get that to happen.  The faith process will be incomplete until that work is done, and then faith would have had its full expression.  Imagine if the man just kept praying for a child, never went out to adopt one and never got married, he is not going to have a child, even if he stands in faith for eternity.  His faith is inoperative until the works is done.

In Mark 4:  26 – 29 Jesus talked about God’s way of doing things,  and said that a man sowed seeds in his ground and went about his business, doing what he was supposed to do, day and night and the seed sprang up of its own accord.   His seed had to be in the ground first, his faith and his action tied together, cooperating.  I had an understanding from the story of the widow of Zarephat in the book of 1 King 17.  The Man of God had come to her and asked for water and a little bread, and she had given an answer “I have just a handful, and I am gathering stick so I and my son may eat it and die”, but the prophet said, “Go and do as you have said”,  make the cake as you have said, go about your business as a you have said, pay the bills as you have said, “but first of all, make me a little bread, for thus saith the Lord. . .“ Once she got her seed into the ground, as she went about her business, the answer was manifested. The bag of food never ran dry.

Your faith and your actions have to cooperate for you to have manifestation.  Imagine if you believe God for a financial change in your life and you don’t get to work, will money just suddenly drop into your pocket.   As you go to work, God will begin to bless the work of your hands, open new doors and bring you miracles and new ideas, and the rest becomes history.

4.  Faith alone is not sufficient.  We have said all the above to say that standing in faith alone is not sufficient.  I currently pastor a young church, and we are standing in faith believing God for growth, I know God is leading us in all it entails to have growth which I know will include God releasing grace for growth on our church, we keeping the church doors open, reaching and inviting people to church, managing their total experience, shutting our backdoors by converting them from attendees to members etc., and as we work intelligently and skilfully, the increase will come.  So it is not sufficient that I stand in faith alone, I have to also begin to walk in the direction of what it entails to have growth as God puts them in my heart.  Faith alone is not sufficient.

Memory Verse: James 2: 26   “For as the human body apart from the spirit is lifeless, so faith apart from [its] works of obedience is also dead".

<![CDATA[30 Days Devotional on Faith - Day 28: Building Faith For Situations]]>Thu, 18 Apr 2013 09:32:08 GMThttp://ficcnigeria.org/study-centre/days-devotional-on-faith-day-28-building-faith-for-situations30How can I develop my faith for healing or financial transformation or any kind of breakthrough, at a particular point in time?

One of the oldest desires of man especially believers has been how to develop faith for particular situations.  Sometime we go through an experience that raises our need to believe God for a miracle or breakthrough, and usually at this cross road of life we want our faith to be strong and not weak because we know our faith will overcome the world. But most often than not, we are not just as sharp in our faith regarding those issue as we should.  The disciples were at those cross-roads not once, not even twice.  One time they were so frustrated that they said to Jesus “Lord, increase our faith”.

It is obvious that several people, at the crossroads of their lives are weak in their faith and not strong.  When they get to the crossroad of their lives, they have a great temptation to fret, worry and be anxious.  This only accentuates the issue and deteriorates the situation.  So the question that begs for answer,   “Why are we sometimes weak at the cross roads of life?”

1.        Jesus’ parable about the man who hears and does the word comes to mind He said “ He that hears the word and does it , is like one that builds his house on the rock and when the storm came and the wind beat vehemently against the house, it stood, for it was built on the rock.  But the man who hears the word and does not do it is like the man who built his house on sand and when the same storm came and the wind beat vehemently against the house, it collapsed.”

Notice that it did not say “And if the storm comes and the winds blow” it says “When . . .”   The word “When” depicts certainty, it will come to be.   At the cross roads of life, the storm will rage and the wind will beat against our house, but if we have not been hearing and doing the word, we will not stand through those times because our faith is weak.

2.        Have you noticed that at some time your faith for particular situation just skyrockets and at other times they are just at the ground low?  Have you observed that you faith level is totally depended on your emphasis at any particularly point in time. As your emphasis shifts, your faith level also shifts.  James 1: says “He that looks into the perfect law of liberty (that sets free) and continues therein, not being a forgetfully hearer but a doer of the word, the same shall be blessed in all of his deeds”.

Notice a few key words:

a.       He looks in

b.      He continues therein

c.       Not being a forgetful hearer

d.      A doer of the word

It is not enough to just look into the perfect law of liberty, we must continue in it.  Paul warned Timothy, take heed to the gospel which you have received lest at any time you let them slip. The things we are hearing and learning can slip, and if they slip, then we will have no faith and power in those tough times.    

Now, hearing the word and continuing therein is not enough, you must not be a forgetful hearer.  If you hear about faith and patience and health and the blessing, speaking right, living right, your righteousness in Christ etc., and you forget what you have heard, then  your faith will not rise  to get you to the answer you desire and you will not be blessed in that deed.  However, not forgetting the word is not enough, you need to be a doer of the word, not a hearer only, deceiving yourself by reasoning contrary to the truth.  The first work is to begin to get your thinking to line up with the truth of God’s word.  Begin to envision and internalize the word of God as regards your particular issue.  See the manifestation of the answer in your mind eye, and put it in your mouth

3.       They do not have a store of seed to draw from in the days of adversity.  The story of the 10 virgin:  Some had oil and some did not, then the arrival of the bridegroom was announced. You know the story, those without oil were left out,  So it is, if you do not have a store of seed for the days of adversity, it will be difficult to step up to the occasion.  Remember, if you fail in the days of adversity, you strength is small.  Your faith level will rise as you hear and hear the word of God.

So what do I need to do to build my faith for the situation I am going through?

1.       Begin to load up on the word of God.  Someone said, there are two best times to plant a tree, 30 years ago, and now.  So if you haven’t been loading up, start now.  The gospel of Luke has it about Jesus in the days of his temptation, that in those days, he fasted.  He did not sleep in the days of his temptation, He did no go to complain to his friends, instead, He fasted.  So spend time to build your faith up.

2.       Put the word in your mouth and mind.  Remember the word is in your mouth and in your heart which is the word of Faith which we preach.  For faith to work, it has to be both in our heart and in our mouth, we believe with our heart, we confess with our mouth to receive salvation.  Jesus is the high-priest of our profession or confession.  In Genesis 1, God had a crisis; the world He had created was upside down.  God did not pull over and cry, the bible says the Spirit of God hovered over the waters and God said “Let there be light” or ”light be!” and light was.  God spoke his word into the situation and the situation changed, you must do likewise.

3.        Expect things to change for you:  Expect big thing.  Expect God to change the tides for you and give you a miracle.

Memory Verse:  Psalm 91: 15 “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honour him.”

<![CDATA[30 Days Devotional on Faith - Day 27: The Force of Patience]]>Thu, 18 Apr 2013 09:30:49 GMThttp://ficcnigeria.org/study-centre/30-days-devotional-on-faith-day-27-the-force-of-patienceLet patience  have its perfect work . . . .

The Forces of Patience

What happened if you have been confessing, believing and praying and acting in faith and you are not yet seeing the manifestation of the answer you desire in the natural?

Mark 4:26-29

“And He said, the kingdom of God is like a man who scatters seed upon the ground, and then continues sleeping and rising night and day while the seed sprouts and grows and increases--he knows not how. The earth produces [acting] by itself--first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe and permits, immediately he sends forth [the reapers] and puts in the sickle, because the harvest stands ready”.

Let’s point out a few things from what Jesus said in this scripture:

1.        Jesus calls the parable God’s way of doing things.  There is a way things are done in the kingdom of God.  Jesus was explaining the way things are done in the kingdom by these scripture.  God’s way of doing things.  Jesus talked about this in Mat 6:  Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness (his way of doing things and being right), and all other things shall be added unto you (Amplified version).

2.       Notice that the seed was sown and the sower slept and rose, night and day while the seed sprouted.  He went about his business, night and day.  He did not see manifestation on the day he sowed the seed but he was confident the seed had been sown in the earth.  He knew he needed to be patient.

3.       The seed he sowed went through a progression – First the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear, then the harvest.  He did not uproot the seed while it was still a blade, he waited for full manifestation.

In our walk with God, it is important that we recognize the place of patience – consistently applying and staying on God’s word and with our actions of faith until manifestation.  In consistency lies the power, Gloria Copeland says. 

We need to hold on to the hope of the gospel that was preached to us and refuse to be moved away, whether we see immediate result or not.

In the parable of the sower, Jesus talked about the men that had the word sown in their heart, the first set had the word but the devil came and took away the word by force, basically because they did not understand the word.  Some other people heard the word and received it with Joy, but had no root in themselves, so when afflictions and persecutions arose for the word sake, they got offended and let go of the word of God.  Yet still others heard the word, but the distractions of life, the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choked the word and it died at mid day,  But there was the final set who heard the word, understood it, held on through persecutions and affliction, refused to be offended by the word, refused to be seduced and distracted by the pleasure of the word, refused to be deceived by riches and stood their ground on the word, and they bore seed – 30, 60 and 100 fold.

There is a hundred fold return that is available if you refuse to give up on the word.

Situations are going to come against you in the process of your walk of faith, like Jesus explained in the parable of the sower, but we will hold on, we will refuse to give up on God and His word, we will be like the last set of people who received.

The need for endurance, steadfastness and patience.

1.       Jesus said, “If you continue in my words then are you my disciples in deed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”.    It is in “continuing” in His word that we come to know, get deeply acquainted with, and actively recognize the truth for it to set us free.  You cannot know the truth and be set free if you don’t continue in God’s word.

2.       Jesus said in Mark 4: 24 “Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you--and more [besides] will be given to you who hear.   You want more result, you pay more attention, you give more thought and study to the truth you hear.  You pay no thought and study, you get no result, you pay minimal attention, you get minimal result etc.  So, if we are not seeing the virtue and knowledge we require, then we are not paying the attention that is required.

3.       James 1: 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.   Patience is essential as part of the developmental process.  Amplified says ”But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.  Notice that 3 words were used to represent patience - endurance and steadfastness and patience.   You need to hold on to the end.  He that endures to the end shall be saved “soteria” that is delivered, healed, changed, and transformed.  If we hold on to what God said in his word, in our speaking or confession, in our thoughts and imaginations, and in our agreeing with the word and taking sides with It in our heart, till the end, we will be healed, saved, prospered, delivered, transformed, whatever salvations means to us, whatever it entails.

4.       You have need of patience so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive your reward.  Hebrew 10:36.  This encapsulates the purpose of patience in our walk of faith.  Your reward is coming, but you need to be patient.  

5.       There is a law of progression that is working on your faith drive.   Your answer is going through the progression, first the blade, then the ear then the full corn in the ear and afterwards the harvest.  Your harvest is coming.  The cycle may be short or long, but there is a progression.  This is called the law of progression.  Your faith is still working.  You may not see the manifestation today, but your faith is still working.  God is turning things around for you from the roots.

The story of Jesus and the fig tree comes to mind.  He cursed the tree, and it did not look as if something was happening to the tree, but by the next day, it died, FROM THE ROOTS.  It did not look like it changed, if you looked at it, the leaves still looked green, the stem still looked strong, but the word was working on it, in its root.

When you step out and start releasing your faith, the issue may look like it is not changing, you may not even see any physical change, but the word is working on the roots of the situation.  You see why you cannot give up on your faith?

Hold on, your faith is still working!

 Memory Verse: James 1: 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

<![CDATA[30 Devotional on Faith - DAY 26: Teaching Your Children to Walk by Faith]]>Thu, 18 Apr 2013 09:29:16 GMThttp://ficcnigeria.org/study-centre/30-devotional-on-faith-day-26-teaching-your-children-to-walk-by-faithGod called Abraham because he will teach his children to walk by faith. . .

Malachi 2: 15 unveiled the will of God from the foundation of the earth, for the family unit - to raise godly offsprings. "And did not God make [you and your wife] one [flesh]? Did not One make you and preserve your spirit alive? And why [did God make you two] one? Because He sought a godly offspring [from your union]. Therefore take heed to yourselves, and let no one deal treacherously and be faithless to the wife of his youth."

This is why the devil is working hard to put the family unit under siege. He wants to catch them young.  If he is able to get the minds of the offsprings twisted, then a whole generation of young people will grow up in rebellion, But God forbid.  That is the reason why God wants us to lead our children in the way they ought to go.

Abraham:  God spoke of Abraham in Genesis18:  17-19: 

    17And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;

   18Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

   19For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

We have a responsibility to teach and command our children and household to keep the way of the Lord.

Some misconceptions about raising our children:

1.  Children will find their level in faith.  This is a fallacy.  If Children are not pointed in God's direction, they may never find it.  We as parents have a duty to point them in the direction of God's word and nurture them in the admonition of the Lord.  Train up your child in the way he should go and when he grows, he will not depart from it.  If you don't point your children to eternal life, they may go to hell.

2.  Children should be allowed to choose their faith:  What we forget is that faith is not chosen in isolation.  People are influenced into choosing a direction of faith.  God spoke of Abraham, "For I know Him".  I believe this is one of the reasons God chose Abraham.  God knew that if he had Abraham, he had a generation, and all the nations of the earth - Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, japan, Myanmar, all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him.  That was going to happen because Abraham was going to command his family and household to serve and obey God.

We have a responsibility to perpetuate God and godliness in our families.  The bible says that one shall serve him and it shall be accounted for a generation (Psalm 22:30).

How do we model faith to our children:

1. Make a show of the word of God:  Deuteronomy 11 18- 21 reads:

"18Therefore you shall lay up these my words in your [minds and] hearts and in your [entire] being, and bind them for a sign upon your hands and as forehead bands between your eyes.

    19And you shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you rise up.

    20And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and on your gates,

    21That your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth."

Make a show of the word.  Get so full of the word first and then make a duty to teach them to your children in all available medium - words, music, video, toys, games, whatever avenue you have, that your days and theirs may be multiplied, like the days of heaven upon the earth.

2. Be an example to them.  You need to realise that children don't just do what you say, they do what you do.  Be an example.  Obey God in their presence, show them that you are excited about God and it is not boring to serve God. Demonstrate forgiveness and love, demonstrate service and godliness.  Point them in the direction of God.

3. Take them along to serve God.  Moses said we and our children with all our belongings are leaving so we can serve the Lord.   As a church, we decided to put in a place a children's church from the beginning, and we are committing resources to it to make their church as interesting as possible.  We are not leaving our children back, we are all going together.  The key way we can pass the gospel along our generational chain is to start today to take the children along.  We are hand holding them to the promise land.

Memory verse: Psalm 22:30
A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.

<![CDATA[30 Days Devotional on Faith - Day 25: Faith Chokers 2 – Cares of this life, deceitfulness of riches.]]>Thu, 18 Apr 2013 09:28:05 GMThttp://ficcnigeria.org/study-centre/30-days-devotional-on-faith-day-25-faith-chokers-2-cares-of-this-life-deceitfulness-of-riches. . .and some fell on thorns and  as they grew up.  . .

The parable of the sower outlined to us the various issues we face in the process of walking in faith.  The sower went forth and sowed the word. 

The basis for faith is the word of God.  When our faith reaches full manifestation, it bears fruit.  So each time we begin to take steps in the direction of the word to release our faith, certain activities are orchestrated to divert and choke our faith.  Jesus outlined 4 activities that will work to choke our faith.

Let me state the following important issues on the activity of the faith chokers:

1.        We all go through the motions of these activities.   Sometime we don’t understand the word, sometimes, we receive the word with joy and because we do not have a strong root, persecution and afflictions come and we are offended and give up on the word.  I know that in my walk with God up till today, I have heard people say “but I am praying and studying the word, why am I going through these problems?”  Some have become discouraged and dumped the source of their victory, while other have deepened their faith , understanding that the Lord promised to be with us in trouble, to deliver us and to honour us.  We all go through the same things and the same process.  What this implies is that it is a standard process through which we must all pass and succeed if we must have a great faith walk.

Sometime, it is encouraging when we realize that other people are going through or have gone through the same afflictions we are going through.  The big men of faith we know today also went through the same.  I have heard Gloria Copeland, a great woman of faith, say in one of her tapes “I did not even think that this kind of life (talking about the life of faith she and her household have walked in) was possible”. That is the reason why they can teach faith.  So let’s make the following clear:

1.        You are not the only one walking in faith.  You are not going through these faith chokers.  You are not the only one who sometimes does not understand.  You are not the only one who sometimes receives the word with joy and then afflictions and persecutions, troubles, the care of this life and the deceitfulness of riches, all come to steal the word.  If you stay with the word, you will see manifestation.

2.      God wants us to become skilled in walking by faith.   One way to make the stay in our heart is to hear it over and over.  If you hear the word once, you may not understand and connect with it., but when you spend time and pay attention to the word, it will stick and you will connect so strongly to the word thatit will be impossible for it to be taken out of you. 

Let’s look at the additional faith chokers:

In the Amplified version, Mark 4:18-19 “And the ones sown among thorns are they that heard the word sown in them and . . .

a. The cares and the anxieties of this world and;

b. The distraction of the age- the pleasures, the delights and false glamour, and the deceitfulness of riches.

c. The cravings and passionate desire for other things.

. . . Creeps in and choke the word that it bears no fruit. 

The “cares and anxieties of the world” has to do with the concerns of life – what to eat, what to drink and what to put on.  Jesus spoke about this in Matthew 6.  He said, “Do not take thought about what to eat, or drink or what to put on, He said, “is life not more important than food and body more than raiment?” Do not worry, take thought or be overly concerned about these things.  Worrying and focusing excessively on the cares and anxieties of life distracts us from focusing on the more important issues of the word of God, it creeps in and chokes the word.   In Matthew 6: 27 Jesus said “which of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit),  to his stature or the span of his life?”

Verse 31-33 “Therefore, do not worry and be anxious, saying, “What are we going to have to eat? or, what  are we going to have to drink? Or, what are we going to have to wear?  For the gentiles seek and diligently crave all these things and your heavenly father knows well that you need them all.  But seek (aim at, and strive after) first all his kingdom and his righteousness (his way of doing and being right) and then all these things taken together shall be given you besides

How do people take thoughts and get anxious?  They do so by “SAYING”.  The “saying” process is the process that produces anxiety;  Do you also realize that the speaking process is also the process that produces faith?    What it means is this, the same system that produces faith, produces anxiety and worry.   If we take thought, or worry by “saying”, then as the worry and anxiety builds up, it will displace our faith, and what we say becomes our manifested result.  Jesus said that we will have whatever we continue to say.  The anxiety will grow and take over your life, producing the lack and the troubles you are confessing and expecting while faith is dissipated.  But instead of worrying, saying, begin to build faith saying.  .  . And you will have what you continue to say.

Then the other faith chokers:   The distractions of the age- the pleasures, the delights, the false glamour, and the deceitfulness of riches.  I like what this is called – The “distractions of the age".  Ours is an age of unimagined distraction. - Television, celebrity lifestyle, all sorts of images constantly bombarding our minds exalting the "lifestyles".  The biggest warfare we fight today is not divorce, it is not even gay marriage, it is a battle for the attention of men.  The enemy is in a fierce battle for the minds of men, we need to build a standard in our lives against the floods of distractions.  We need to become paranoid about giving attention to the word of God and a godly lifestyle.  When we do that, God’s word in us to grow inside our minds and become the first word and the final word.  That little leaven will grow and leaven the whole lump.

The Deceitfulness of riches:  Often times when people acquire material wealth, they have a tendency to stop seeking God and developing their faith.  They become deceived and start to put their trust in the riches that they have acquired.   But riches are deceitful, because when you have finally put your trust in it, thinking I can now sit back and enjoy, have my fill and my soul can eat for several days, suddenly, your soul is required of you by the superior, and what you have worked for and amassed, goes to someone else.    This happens all the time but it never happens until you finally say, now, let me settle down, pull down my old structure, build a new one and enjoy my life.  In 2009 at the beginning of the banking crisis in Nigeria, some 8 bank CEOs who were powerful, wealthy and of high repute were sacked by the Governor of the Central Bank in a fifteen minutes meeting. After that all other bank CEOs took caution immediately, set up hand over plan and another set of 4 handed over the following year to successors.   This shows how fleeting and unstable it is to trust in your wealth, but he that trust in the Lord shall not be moved forever.  

Stay in faith and refuse to be distracted by these distractions of the age.  Focus and give the most earnest heed to the word of God, and when you get to the cross-road of life, you can stand on the word and get the enemy fleeing from you. 

The cravings and passionate desire for other things: This is as simple as it sounds – people begin to focus on other things and then develop interest for other things and soon they are simply whisked away from the faith they were walking in.   Desire for alternate lifestyles, desire for the popular culture, all sorts of things that grow to create distraction from the word of God and choke the word until it stops bearing fruit.

We need to consistently keep our focus on the word of God and the things of God and refuse to be distracted from the lifestyle of the word.