Welcome to the glorious year 2017! Our Year of “God, our Refuge & Strength!”
All by God’s grace and for His glory has He spared us & brought us in to fulfil His purpose. We say, “Thank You Lord!”
From the 1st of December, 2016 to the 1st of January, 2017 we have experienced a season of ‘fasting’ & ‘feasting’ and we now see the ‘future’ unfolding!
We thank God for His faithfulness and His keeping power. I also seize the opportunity to thank everyone that prayed and allowed God to make 2016 a “Year of Greater” indeed. Our hearts glow with gratitude for the joyful sounds of salvation, new babies, new families, new assemblies, healing, journey mercies, success in exams and promotion at work etc. that God released upon us. Indeed, all things pertaining to life & godliness! Glory to His name.
We also look back at areas of our weaknesses/sinfulness as individuals, families and church. Our failures at maximising God’s grace in our character, conversations and conduct. Not learning or yearning for the Word as we should, as well as not taking our place in prayer and intercession.
The biggest ‘room’ in our midst, will always be the room for improvement! We are grateful that we can forget the things which are behind and press on to the mark of high calling in God which are ahead! We pray and trust God to strengthen our feeble knees and raise up our weak hands in Jesus name.
During the fast (Anoint the shield), one of the scriptures we prayed with on the 1st day is Psalm 52:8-9
“But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever. I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints.”
While we may not be very familiar with olive trees because they do not grow near where we live, in Israel, the olive tree was, and is the most important of all the trees because it is a source of food, light, hygiene and healing. While, I have not been to Israel yet myself, I read that olive trees cover the mountainside of Galilee, Judea and Samaria. That in spite of their twisted trunks, their tops are evergreen & the trees are tenacious. They can thrive in great heat with minimal water!
The image of the ‘olive tree’ is hope inspiring! Each one of us can learn more of this metaphor! Every department and assembly can receive fresh grace to embrace & manifest these qualities of the olive tree in 2017 and beyond! Develop tenacious faith! Ride out the droughts and storms of life!
The Fast, Love Feast and Cross Over Night, assure me that God is able to make all grace abound to us and help us fulfil His purposes in our lives, homes, church, communities, nation and nations as we yield to Him. In 2017, is a clarion call to yield more to God. Find His will and do it! Many natural & man-made incidents are already in the pipeline to shake the foundations of faith locally, nationally and globally. But those who know their God shall be strong and do great exploits in Christ Jesus! Make that your portion!
The ‘future’ we have come into is part of God’s plan! It is not an accident. He promised through Jeremiah that He has good thoughts and good plans for us and our future. Yes, even in the midst of frequent and intensified ‘shakings’, He offers to be our refuge and strength! Find your place & stay in God; don’t stray. You will not be a victim or casualty in Jesus name.
Let us commit to give God our best of time, talents and treasure! Give Him your attention & participate actively in His purpose! The brand New Year lies ahead of each one of us. Receive His grace to be ruthless with time wasters! Yes, we have all been dealt with 365 (left with 363.5) days! God will rebuke the devourer for your sake as you entrust Him with your substance & time.
Deal with personal flaws. Make every effort to be a better you & contribute to a better us! Follow your plan for improvement. Like Paul, none of us has attained perfection even as we make allowance for each other’s faults, we must ‘provoke’ one another to good works!
Know and grow in the Truth so that you will not be a victim of ignorance, hardened by indifference or short changed by arrogance! The wind of ungodly doctrine is still blowing. Don’t be tossed about! Only the Word of God sets us free. It is the absolute truth, others are relative!
Brethren, I see the goodness & glory of God arise upon us all! Personal & corporate expansion shall continue & we all with open face shall see and reflect the glory of the Lord, even by His Spirit!
Happy New Year!
Amen! God bless you richly Pastor.