Saturday, 29 December 2012

Pastor Nadarkhani re-arrested on Christmas Day

Pastor Nadarkhani and his wife
Many of you prayed for the release of Brother Yousef Nadarkhani and as God would have it, he was released on bail September 8, 2012. We shared the joy here.

He has been re-arrested on Christmas Day and taken back to prison to serve the remaining 45 days of a three-year sentence for evangelizing Moslems. Over the years, the Iranian Government has charged him with many things including apostasy, banditry and extortion, and later acquitted him of all the charges. Remember his wife was once arrested in 2010 in their bid to put pressure on him to recant his faith but was later released.

Foxnews reports that since Nadarkhani's release, his attorney, Mohammed Ali Dadkhan has been imprisoned and remains in Iran's notoriously brutal Evin Prison where his health is rapidly deteriorating and is being denied proper dental care, according to his family. He has been incarcerated for advocating Nadarkhani's case and other human rights cases.

It's like the Iranian Government is just determined to hurt Brother Yousef. Please pray for him and his family that the plans of their persecutors shall not prosper.  Also, pray that the Iranian government does not decide to bring additional charges against him and keep him in prison for additional time.

For more information, please go here.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year 2013!

We want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year as the year 2012 draws to an end. 

As I was listening to Celine Dion's song here on "So this is Christmas", I remembered some Christians I read about this morning and prayed for, who are being persecuted as we speak. Some are still in prison and do not know when they will be freed. Example is our brother Behnam, an Iranian Pastor, who has been in Iranian prison since May 2011. We had shared his story before, asking brethren to pray for him. The concern now is that his health has deteriorated and he is denied medical treatment. However, if you exercise patience and read his recent Christmas Letter from prison, you will see resilience and faith expressed in the midst of difficult circumstances. Continue to pray for him.

In Indonesia, a church of about 600 members, pastored by the Rev Palti Panjaitan, Batak Christian Protestant Church (HKBP) Filadelfia in Bekasi, has been worshiping on the streets because the authorities refused them using their church building. This church is not alone, the GKI Yasmin congregation in Bogor also faces a similar challenge. In Uzbekistan, we thank God that the eviction verdict placed on Pastor Vyacheslav Goncharenko  and his church, the New Life Church was evoked just a few days ago. They can for now continue to use their property for worship services. 

Finally, in Somalia, Mursal Isse Siad, 55 was recently shot and killed because he repented and left Islam. Time will not permit us to share all the stories of the persecuted church who serve God today at the risk of their freedom, comfort and even their lives.

Why do we share these stories? The reason is simple: we are to share the burden of those brethren around the world who are suffering for their faith. We do not share them so as to make us afraid or discourage us. No! We want to see how we can stir ourselves up unto obeying the injunction: "Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." Heb 13:3 NIV

The issue is that as you celebrate this Christmas, remember that there are many who are depending on your prayers to survive and live. Their crime is nothing but the fact that they confess Christ. One said “The best helping hand you can give us is to have praying hands”. 

One of these days, we will all meet  together in heaven with these brethren. Play your part in love.


Once again, Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year 2013!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Whatever happened to our ‘bowels of mercy’!

Whatever happened to our ‘bowels of mercy’!

 “But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 1 John 3:17 KJV.

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering”  Col 3:12 KJV.

Greater part of the year, 2012 has seen a lot of Christians being attacked, killed, dispossessed and displaced especially in the Northern Nigeria. The persecutions have not abated as on the 1st October, about 30 Christian students were murdered at Federal Polytechnic, Mubi as reported here.

A close look at the reports from the Anglican Diocese of Jos website shows the mayhem that has been meted on Christians by irate Muslims who want to Islamize them by all means. What disturbs my heart is not just that our brethren are being killed and displaced, but I do not seem to see a mobilization and concerted efforts from the ‘free’ churches to reach out to these Christians who are passing through difficult times. It seems as if Christian leaders behave like every other political leader who will just come out after every incident and condemn the ‘murderous attack’ and then ‘to your tents O, Israel’, we all go back to business as usual. We criticize efforts that are solely denominational both in nature and commitment, that is, efforts that concentrate only within the denominational boundaries, but even that is rare these days. Our self-centeredness is very obvious and manifest in our indifference and inaction.

Currently, floods are ravaging several parts of the country. Homes and properties are destroyed; people are missing and being displaced; churches and mission fields are closed down. What are the ‘free’ churches doing? What has happened to our bowels of mercies? “How dwelleth the love of God in (us)”?

I was in a church today and the best that was done was to pray for those who were affected by the floods to take heart and be consoled by God. Meanwhile an emphasis was made on people paying endowment fund which nobody has been able to explain what the purpose is. What is the endowment fund for? Is it going to be used for investment? Will they draw money from it to build hospitals or for evangelism and missions? Is it to be used to build something befitting for the General Overseer or fund accumulated for him to have easy access for his travels and so on? The questions can go on and on. However, no matter how noble the idea may be, the issue is that the church is insensitive to the plight of those suffering the effects of the current disaster – floods. Some members around where I was seated murmured asking why they were talking about endowment fund while nothing was being done about those whose lives have been changed forever. Some are sleeping in open classrooms while others are under trees.

For most of the victims, life will never remain the same for good. It reminded me of a brother whose life was changed forever when one of the markets in the city of Port Harcourt got burnt down about ten years ago. His church where he was very committed in service could not help him to stand back on his feet because the pastor was afraid not to set‘precedence’.

I believe that social work can be used as a means of evangelism. I believe that social concerns can be used by the church to show the world the heart of a loving God. I believe that social concerns can open up door ways for the salvation of souls. If these things are true, why is the church not taking this opportunity? There are many things churches can do:

1.      Set up a committee who will work out modalities on how your church can be involved
2.      Collect offerings like was done in 1 Cor.16:1-4; Acts 11:29-30 and send to the affected churches.
3.      Concerned families can come together and contribute clothes, medicines and food stuffs and send to the affected areas.
4.      Churches can send artisans to help in reconstructing some destroyed houses.
5.      You can persuade your organizations to do something as part of cooperate social responsibility.

There are so many things we can do if we have God’s kind of heart. When we see the sufferings of our fellow men and look the other way like the Priest and Levite in Luke 10, or remain indifferent as most of us are doing today, one can really ask, “What happened to our bowels of mercies?”

In case you are having problems who to contact, call 08033160938 (Bishop Angar Nyanabo whose whole Diocese is submerged and he is squatting somewhere in Yanagoa) or 08036705262 (Rev. Can. Somiari whose missionary churches are affected in Bayelsa) or any other church leader you may know. Just do something! God bless you!

Believed but too late!

Believed but too late!
"He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.' "Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.' "'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' "He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'" Luke 16:27-31 NIV

That was a discussion between the rich man that dressed in purple and lived in luxury while he was alive and father Abraham. The man was speaking from hell while Abraham was answering him from the abode of the saints. You can read the whole story from Luke 16: 19-end.

Most likely, when the man was on earth, he had no time for spiritual things. He did not have time for God. He just carried on in life as if he would live forever here on earth. But life on earth is not permanent. We are all passers-by, strangers and sojourners who start the journey towards our death the first day we are born.

There are two major events in our lives that draw people around us, if we are privileged, without our awareness – our birth and our death. As many of us as are reading this piece right now are waiting for the next big event that will gather people around us, our death which we have no control over. For our entrance, our birth, we had no preparation for it but for our exit, our death, we have to prepare for it. When a man gets so distracted by the fashions of this world that he forgets that he is a pilgrim here and begins to live like a land owner, he is the most deceived and the most to be pitied. That was the kind of life the rich man in our passage lived.

One truth is clear from this story of Jesus: the soul of man does not die when the body dies. We continue to live even after we are buried here on earth. Whether we are rich or poor does not affect the fact that we will all be conscious after death. Notice that Lazarus’s burial or funeral was not mentioned but the rich man was buried. That is why it does not matter the “chariot of your departure”. It does not matter the way we die or whether a superb funeral is organized after we are gone. It does not matter how many priests and pastors that attend our burial. Notice also that the rich man was still full of his feelings. He was hurting, thirsty and tormented in the flames of hell. Death is not total extermination of our conscious being.

A few questions keep coming to my mind, how is it that someone who is a child of Abraham can go to hell? How is it that even in hell, he was still calling Abraham, “father Abraham” and neither Abraham nor God could rebuke him for doing so? It means that he was not lying. But why is it that he is spending his eternity in hell, lost forever? He wasted his opportunities and the privileges he had. He lived as a child of Abraham by birth and association but did not serve the God of Abraham. Hence even by his addressing Abraham as ‘father’ did not bring him out of hell. For generations to come, he will remain in hell forever in regret for missing the salvation of God.

This picture tells me that there are many in hell today who will be calling on God to save them. There are many in hell today who will be receiving Jesus as their Lord and Savior numerous times. It tells me that there are many people in hell today who are crying and praying prayer of repentance. The issue is that nobody will stop them from praying but surely no such prayers will be answered.

It’s amazing to see this man that could not give Lazarus little crumbs from his sumptuous table asking for a drop of water. He remembered all the messages preached to him by teachers of the Law and suddenly developed a heart of compassion for his equally lost brothers. He became an intercessor immediately and was asking that a preacher be sent from the dead to warn his brothers. "Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.' … 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'" Luke 16:29-31 NIV. It means that if they do not listen to the Gospel that is preached all around them, they will not listen even if something spectacular happens, like the dead coming back to life to preach.

One life to live! We have the opportunity to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and serve Him. The time to make decision for eternity is in this life and not hereafter. There is no purgatory or a go-between life and your eternal destination. It is possible that there are some in hell right now who are praying for you not to come there, probably thinking that if you go to heaven, you will help out. Many will believe in Jesus only when they have entered hell but they will have believed too late. Please as we come close to the end of this Year, make sure you take the right decision. Do not join the statistics. Do not waste your opportunities and privileges. God bless!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Global Rise in Christian Persecutions in the coming days.

 “Every five minutes a Christian dies for his faith.” That was a statement made by Massimo Introvigne, the Commissioner for Religious Freedom of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as reported Canada Free Press.

These are not easy days especially for those Christians who live side by side with Muslims as neighbours. These are perilous times. 

As we approach the close of this age, there is going to be a tremendous increase in the persecution of Christians worldwide. What we are seeing is only the beginning of 'birth pangs'. Many may think it is going to be limited to the lands where Muslims are dominant. No! It will equally take place in the so called developed countries. It is not dependent on how wise we are, it is dependent on what the Word of God says.

If you look at the events that led to the Holocaust, part of the sentiment was that the Jews were responsible for the economic woes of Germany and the Great Depression and that the Jews plan to dominate the world as recorded in a fraudulent book called "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" There was widespread antisemitism all over Germany and greater part of Europe. Hitler exploited this when he came to power in 1933 and began to implement his plans which he outlined in Mein Kampf published in 1924. When he began the massive extermination of the Jewish population, much of the populace did not see it as an issue, even Christians. The best many did was to be indifferent. Today, we live with the history of one of the worst genocides ever committed against a people group - the Holocaust. 

Why do I draw this historical lesson? There is a growing sentiment against Christians all over the world and the drum is being beaten very loudly by the media. It is as if Christians are the cause of the problems and violence perpetrated all over the globe. In Communist countries, they are seen as spies who cooperate with 'foreign elements' to undermine the powers of the state. In the Islamic countries, they are not just seen as spies but also they are seen as 'infidels' who should be subjugated or killed before they corrupt the 'holy' Muslims. All the recent persecutions, killings  and sufferings of Christians all over the world attest to this. In the Western countries, Christians are seen as the only obstacles against for example legalized abortion, homosexuality and 'freedom' which at best can be described as license to live in sin. Starting from the media to the movie industries, from Civil Rights to the Academia, there seems to be a commitment to destroy Judeo-Christian culture and principles. The world do not want to have defined absolutes. Very soon, Christians will begin to go to jail for some evangelism activities in these countries. It is as if the world will know peace if only Christians will keep silence and stop insisting that Jesus Christ if the only Way to God. Life will become difficult for committed Christians in the coming days. There are many situations that will lead to all these, both circumstantial and planned. It is already happening like Massimo's comment shows above. 

Never assume "it will never get to me". Get involved now in the ministry towards the persecuted. Train yourself now in holy and righteous living. Take the tough decisions now to please God in all that you do. 

The challenge is, is your faith strong enough to carry you  through evil days and to the end? Is your anchor strong on Christ alone? It is true that many churches prepare and motivate their members on how to become rich and wealthy; I wonder how many equally prepare them on how to stand strong in the days of trials and turmoil that are about to come? The Bible is correct when it says, "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" 2 Tim 3:12. NIV. Better be prepared now and make sure you are standing on the Solid Rock.

Remain rapturable!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Brother Youcef Nadarkhani acquitted and released.

It is with great joy that we announce to you the release of our brother Youcef Nadarkhani from prison in Iran. Present Truth Ministries announced this on Saturday that Pastor Youcef was acquitted of apostasy charges but found guilty for proselytizing Muslims. He was sentenced to three years which he has already served during his detention in prison. He has been reunited with his family.

"He said, "Thank you to everyone that has supported me with your prayers." He is now home with his family."

Many of you responded to our call to prayer and really prayed. It is worthy that you equally share in this good news.

"Please continue to keep Youcef in prayer. Another prisoner with apostasy charges, Pastor Mehdi Dibaj, was realeased and then murdered shortly thereafter. Let's pray for safety and protection for our brother, as well as everyone involved in his case." 

Please make sure you continue to pray for him and all the persecuted brethren from around the world. God bless you!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Break that chain!

Break that chain!

 “For sin shall not have dominion over you” Rom 6:14 KJV.

This is a true saying and nothing but the truth. Sin shall no longer have dominion over you. You do not have to continue to live a defeated life under the dominion of sin.

When sin comes, it looks as if it is alone, but far from it. Sin comes with a chain of other sins. It comes with a chain of bondage, not just to itself but also to other sins that you never bargained for.

For example, there are many people today who have committed murder through abortion. Not because they set out to commit murder, but the sin of lust and immorality had it attached to their chain, but the victim never saw it. Let’s look at David; the day he saw Bathsheba taking his bath, he never planned to eliminate her husband so as to have her. One thing led to another and at the end of the day, David’s lust brought adultery and in a bid to cover it up, he conspired against Uriah, betrayed his young army officer, set him up and he was murdered. I suspect that if there was any confidant around David after the whole drama, he would confess to him, “I never intended or planned to murder an innocent blood in my life. I avoided killing King Saul even when I had the opportunity. I don’t know how I entered into this mess”.

The jealousy and hatred of the brothers of Joseph had in its baggage, betrayal, murder and lies. The day they were asking Joseph to shut up in the house after he told one of his dreams was not the day they set out to kill him.  However, that sin of hatred had a chain that was dragging lies, conspiracy, and murder from behind. They did not see them until the time when circumstances arranged themselves. Indeed, sin comes with a chain. One sin leads to another and to another and to another. If the chain is not broken early, it leads to other bondages. Our prisons today are filled with many people who have the remaining part of their lives wondering what made them do what they did. There are a lot of people whose lives are broken because of some things they have done and they are wondering how they got to the point they are today. Some will even look at their childhood pictures and are wondering what happened that the innocent face in the picture has put his hands into sins he never dreamed. It just started with one innocent-looking enticement to sin and then the chain entangles.

The last person we will look at is Judas Iscariot who kept stealing money from the money box he was keeping for years, parleying with some wrong people in power and never knew that all these would create insensitivity towards sin in his heart, so strong that he would conspire to betray and sell his Master. The day the Lord Jesus called Judas, he did not set out that he would end up committing suicide. He followed like every other person. However, one opened door to sin led to another and the chain continued until he lost all sensitivity towards sin.

Child of God, never you underestimate any sin. It is not alone. It has a chain no matter how simple and innocent-looking it may seem. If you are already trapped, you do not have to continue in the slippery road; you will only end up sliding down even into things you never bargained for in your life. Snap that chain! Sin shall not have dominion over you. That is the truth.

Now one may ask, how can I break the chain?
Godly sorrow: breaking the chain of sin starts with godly sorrow. The prodigal son came back to his senses, asked himself sincere and personal questions which people around him possibly did not know about. He changed his mind and decided to snap the chain of his sinful living. He humbled himself and was even ready to accept becoming a servant in his father’s house.

You must stand before God as somebody who has no arguments in defense. Accept His verdict and tell Him you are sorry. Ask for mercy.

Radical action of turning: breaking the chain of sin involves taking some radical steps no matter whose ox is gored. Whose life is being ruined? Yours! Whose life is entangled? It’s yours! Hence, who will take the radical turn? You! Again, the prodigal son dammed the shame and headed home to face the father he disappointed through his riotous living. He did not stop on the way. He did not branch into bypass. He headed home to face his father, elder brother, relatives and servants. His chain was snapped the day he turned, parked his bags and headed home, not the day he cried over his life of suffering. There are people who may need to move from where they are now to another location if their chains must be broken. Others may take some costly decisions. But in all, make sure that you break that chain. Sin shall not rule over you!

Thursday, 30 August 2012

The exorbitant price of sexual sin - My list. Make yours!

Make a list of what can be the possible consequences of your sexual sin if you fall into it.

Whenever I think about sexual temptation, I find it helpful to review what effects my ungodly action could have:

1. Bringing dishonor to my Lord and Savior who has brought me this far.
2. Deeply hurting my wife and children. She may never trust me again in life.
3. Wasting years of ministry experience for a long time, maybe permanently.
4. Bringing great pleasure to Satan, the enemy of God and all that is good.
5. As a ‘wanted man’ anything can happen to me.
6. Being the firstborn in my family, transferring battles to my next generation which ordinarily would have ended in my generation.
7. Undermining the faithful example and hard work of other Christians in our community.
8. Possibly bearing the physical consequences of such diseases as gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, herpes, and AIDS; perhaps infecting my wife or, in the case of AIDS, even causing her death. I always remember Sis A who died of AIDS with all her prophetic gifts.
9. Creating problems for my younger brother who is a pastor and has looked up to me for years. In his challenges, I know that he has been watching me.
10. Heaping judgment and endless difficulty on the person with whom I committed adultery.
11. Possibly causing pregnancy, with the personal and financial implications.
12. Bringing shame and hurt to my ministry partners and elders who have trusted me over the years: (list names)
13. Bringing shame and hurt on all that will hear it from far and near who have been blessed through my ministry.
14. Causing shame and hurt to friends, especially those I’ve led to Christ and discipled: (list names)
15. Invoking shame and lifelong embarrassment upon Myself.
16. Getting entangled in a sin-chain that may be very difficult for me to break till I die.
17. The Lord coming and meeting me in sin.

I will continue to update this list as days/years roll by!

Try making your own list. When you weigh the consequences of sexual sin in advance it’s a frightening prospect! May God help all of us! Amen.

Adapted from Randy Alcorn’s article THE REAL AND UNTOLD COST - The exorbitant price of sexual sin. See Randy's list here.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Continue to pray for Brother Youcef - Charge against him changed to "banditry and extortion".

Our brother, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been charged with new offences - "banditry and extortion" according to a recent update from International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. They seem to have replaced the old charge of apostasy which has drawn much international condemnation with these new charges, just to make sure our brother is punished and suffers for being a Christian.

For those who may be new to this story, Pastor Youcef was a pastor of a church in Rasht which had a congregation of about 400 members. He was arrested for converting to Christianity after being a Christian for more than 10 years. He has been languishing in prison with other Iranian brethren. The good news is that his faith is intact. In fact we shared one of his letters he wrote from prison here. What an encouragement!

Look at what the Bible says: Rom 8:18 "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us" NIV.

Please continue to pray for him and the other brethren in Iranian prisons. Pray that their faith will remain strong. Pray that they will finish strong. Also pray that their testimony will bring conviction to all the people around them. May they released from prison soon. May these spurious charges against Youcef be struck out. Pray for their families.

God bless you as you participate in this ministry towards the persecuted.

For more information, please go to ICHR in Iran.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Urgent Prayers for Pastor Behnam Irani

We have been updating all our friends and viewers on the persecuted brethren in Iran and other parts of the world calling us to prayers. It is very easy to relax and become complacent when we live in parts of the world where there is relative peace and you are not being harrassed for your faith.
However, for every peaceful night of sleep you enjoy, know that there are brethren who are spending the same night in prisons without comfort. For every opportunity you have to visit a hospital to treat either your self or loved one, remember that there are thousands of believers who are languishing in prisons around the world who are not granted access to medicare. They are being eaten up by their diseases or sicknesses, seeing their death before them and are helpless about their condition. Except God intervenes, their stories will not be different from that of those who have died.

Please look at this prayer request below and make sure your family, fellowship group, and church participate in praying for Brother Behnam Irani. Equally do not forget that Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is still awaiting execution, except God intervenes through our prayers.

"We have an urgent prayer request for pastor Behnam Irani of Karaj, Iran. He continues to suffer from bloody stool, and within the last week was so sick that he became unconscious. As a result he was finally allowed to go to the prison hospital. It appears that what he was suffering with was not intestinal, but rather a bleeding ulcer. We are thankful that he has been allowed to see a doctor and is being treated for his illness, but since the situation is so serious, we ask for your prayers for his healing. Jesus said, “If thou canst believe all things are possible,” Mark 9:23. Let’s put our faith together in prayer for our brother who is suffering and believe for his healing. Please pass the prayer request on to your churches, prayer groups, and bible studies."

For further information, please go to

Monday, 25 June 2012

Anointed in the midst of his brethren

“So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers,…” 1 Sam 16:13 NIV

It is amazing how the Lord makes His choice!

God asked Samuel to go to Bethlehem and anoint one of the sons of Jesse as king to replace Saul. As usual with God, He did not tell Samuel who to anoint specifically. When God calls a man to follow Him, He does not give him all the details. If you are waiting to see everything, hear everything, know everything and have everything before you go on to obey God, you may never obey Him at all. It takes faith to walk with God. No wonder “without faith, it is impossible to please God”.

Samuel went and began to look at the sons of Jesse like every one of us would do. He thought it was Eliab, and then Abinadab and then Shammah but the Lord told him that none of them was His choice. What is worthy of note here is the strong word the Lord used when the first son, Eliab came forward, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him…” Vs 7. What will label a man, “rejected” in God’s programme even though he may have all the qualifications that can appeal to us as humans? The same verse gives us a hint, “…The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

Now let’s look at God’s choice, David. The first description in verse 12 referred to his physical appearance, “He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features.” However, the Lord had found a different heart in him compared to what He saw in Eliab. His spiritual disposition to the Lord was different from that of his elder brothers. Apart from that, look at the six other qualities the servants of Saul mentioned when they were recommending David to King Saul, “…(He) knows how to play the harp (The instrument he was using to praise God in the forest). He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the LORD is with him." 1 Sam 16:18.

But the time Samuel came, as far as their father, Jesse was concerned, David’s name did not qualify to be even mentioned. He was remembered only when every other person had been brought forward and could not make God’s choice. Circumstances turned out to request for him. It is amazing how God’s favour can distinguish a man in spite of the opinions of men. It is amazing how protocols can be overridden when God wants to lift a man. David was not anointed in the forest where he had been working and walking faithfully with the Lord; he was anointed right there in the midst of his brethren. The same place where others felt he was not qualified to be mentioned with the others, he was anointed, lifted and set apart. God’s choice has no query.

Does God still do the same thing today? The answer is “YES”. Our faithful work and walk with the Lord prepares us for His lifting. May God single you out for blessing today! Amen.

God bless!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Youcef Nadarkhani: A Day of Prayer and Fasting for His release.


Pray as a family; pray as a church and as a fellowship; pray as an individual for this brother and all other persecuted brethren around the world! God bless.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Easter Sunday Car Bomb Explosion kills over 25 persons in Kaduna Nigeria

A car bomb exploded along a busy roadway Sunday morning in a central Nigeria city, killing at least 38 people in the latest attack on a region beset by religious, ethnic and political violence, an official said.
The blast struck Kaduna, the capital of Kaduna state, leaving charred motorcycles and debris strewn across a major road in the city where many gather to eat at informal restaurants and buy black market gasoline. Nearby hotels had their windows blown out of by the force of the powerful explosion, which engulfed a group of motorcycle taximen.

At least 38 people were killed in the blast, said Abubakar Zakari Adamu, a spokesman for the Kaduna state Emergency Management Agency. Others suffered serious injuries and were receiving treatment at local hospitals, Adamu said.
The explosion badly damaged the nearby All Nations Christian Assembly Church as churchgoers worshipped at an Easter service, the possible target of the bomber. Witnesses said it appeared the explosive-laden car attempted to go into the compound of that church before it detonated...

Please continue to pray for the Nigerian Church for a re-awakening. Pray that God may console those who are grieving and cause the perpetrators to repent. Pray that those in leadership positions will have the will to do what is right.
Read more!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Faithfulness Part 3: Be faithful with other people's 'riches'.


This is the last in this series on how faithfulness affects our Christian life.

Remember we are learning kingdom principles taught by the Lord Jesus Christ. They are as valid today as they were the very first day He taught them. "If you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?" Luke 16:12.

Many of us are working for companies and corporations. Every person prays for promotion. Every person looks up to better condition of service and pay raise. As I noted in the previous write up, many have been deceived into believing that serving God is like a magic - It does not matter how you live. It does not matter the choices you make. Once one man of God or the other prays for you, prosperity comes upon you like rain. Once you attend one open door crusade, the sky is your limit. Once you pay your tithe or give a special offering, favour becomes your portion irrespective of your life. These are the lies from the pit of hell to make you miss all that God has prepared for you and cage your soul eternally.

It is actually a fundamental problem with much of today’s preaching. We tend to make the people believe that they will become somebody else once we lay hands on them. We make them believe that once they attend one program or the other, suddenly, their condition will change. It is a half-baked truth. What God does in our lives is all interconnected. What He is currently doing today is connected to what He did yesterday and is connected to what He will do in our lives tomorrow. That is why God brings people back to certain schools of experience. For them to progress, they must pass the test. The circumstances of the experiences may not be exactly the same, but if you look very carefully, you will see that God is asking for the same thing. Let’s encourage God’s people to be patient and live right. Let’s encourage faithful living among our church members.

The Lord is saying that if you desire to have your own, be faithful where you are working right now no matter how menial it may look to you. Many people do eye service. Unfortunately, believers join them to do the same thing. They forget that it is the Lord who sees in the secret that blesses openly.

It is God that will plant you in the heart of your boss to favour you even against his own will. It is God that will open your file where you will be remembered because you have been faithful. Mordecai was faithful serving as a Gateman in the king’s house. His reward was kept by God for an appointed time. It was not forgotten but it waited for the due season. At a very critical time in his life and that of the Jews in Susan, God caused his file to be opened. His faithfulness paid off. Not only was he lifted, his life and that of the other Jews were spared, while Herman was hanged on the same gallows he prepared for Mordecai.

Faithfulness has no alternative. If you want God to bless you, be faithful where you are now. Your boss may be bad, be patient. Others may be giving eye service, even using you to promote themselves, be faithful. Pray for them. One beautiful thing is that no man can limit God. It is not a must that God will reward you exactly in the place where you are right now. Where you are now may be a stepping stone. It is possible for storms and divine shaking to come like in the case of Mordecai that will pave your way to where God wants you to be. Like I said before, God cannot be limited. There are thousand and one ways He can do one thing. The economy of God controls the economy of the nations, even where you are right now. If your boss does not want to promote you, God will. Only remain faithful.

What I have shared with you are biblical principles that have worked for our faith-fathers. They are eternal principles that have stood the test of time. They are truths of the kingdom. The Lord asked it as a question, “If you are not faithful with that which is not yours, how can you get your own?” Make no mistakes, there are no short cuts in God’s kingdom.

God bless you!

See Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Faithfulness Part 2: Faithful with unrighteous money the key to being entrusted with true riches

This is the second in this series on faithfulness as the Lord Jesus taught in Luke 16: 10-13. See Part 1 here.

Many of us may not believe that the way we handle money has a connection to what our spiritual life looks like. The way we see money and the way we handle it tells a lot about our Christian life regardless of what we say or claim.

The Lord taught a lot about money both in His expositions and parables. Almost in all of them, He emphasized faithfulness.

Many people are on God’s waiting list for empowerment because of their attitude to money. Truly, many have stayed on the list for a long time. Why? The answer is because their attitude has not changed. Many want to be great in God’s hand but He has postponed His plans because of what they have done with the little money that He allowed to enter their hands. They never knew that the little mammon God allowed them to handle was part of their test for a higher opportunity, an exam for bigger stewardship. They never knew, so they blew it. They wonder why God has kept them one place for a long time.

Money has the capacity to become an idol.
Money has a powerful influence. Money is capable to change the message of a preacher. Money is able to change the commitment of a child of God. Money is able to remove our trust from God. Money has a false security. Many people’s character change once they see money. The Lord Jesus said, “You cannot serve God and mammon”. Money is capable of being a master to the extent that it can compete with God in our lives. Remember, the Semitic word, mammon, can refer not only to money but also to riches and wealth generally. Now note that the issue is not necessarily the quantity or amount of riches you have but your attitude to it. Are you ruling over what you have or is what you have ruling over you? What is the position of money in your life? Is it your master or your slave? Does money determine how you live? Does it determine your values and your view about life? Does it determine how you relate to the next person? Does the desire for money drive you? Money is good. It is not an evil in itself. It is a tool for living. It is used for solving problems. But anytime money becomes anything more than a tool, it creates problems for us, especially in our relationship with God.

He wants us to be faithful to Him in money matters. Instead of money using us, we are to use money to serve and glorify Him. He wants us to surrender our lives and possessions to Him and allow Him to direct us. God wants us to see our money as His gift to us and our attitude should be that of a grateful and faithful steward; that guarantees that we will be relevant to the kingdom agenda.

love of money has already killed many people. It has changed the character of many. Many churches have changed their doctrine because of love of money and consequently lost their true riches. Many preachers are already captives to money. Many are in the battle as we speak. One thing is clear in all of these, the battle with money for control is a battle of your life. You must win it if you are to be a container for eternal riches. Your heart does not have the capacity to hold the love for God and love of money together at the same time. One must give way for the other.

Remember, the Lord is not saying that it is wrong to have or acquire riches. He is saying that we have to be faithful stewards as it concerns money and being faithful qualifies us to handle true riches. It is a lie for somebody to be unfaithful in money matters and still claim to be a carrier of spiritual wealth. The two do not go together. It is a deception for a Christian to refuse to be accountable in money matters and still think he is as spiritual as ever.

Please, in your offices, in your market places, in all the areas of your life that concerns money, do not separate them as being secular. The life you live daily both in and outside the Church walls put together make up your worship life. Your attitude to money determines whether God will entrust you with true riches. Be faithful in money matters if you want God to use you.

God bless you!

See part 1 here.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Faithfulness Part 1: Faithfulness in very little things


"He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. "Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? "And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? "No servant can serve two masters; ... You cannot serve God and wealth." Luke 16:10-13 NASU

“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.” Luke 16:10 NASU

"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Luke 16:10-11 NIV

There are three critical issues the Lord raised concerning faithfulness which we will be sharing in three parts starting from this part 1.

The first point is that if a man is faithful when he is entrusted with a little responsibility, he will equally be faithful when he is entrusted with a bigger responsibility. In the same vein, if someone is not faithful with little responsibility, he will not be faithful in a bigger responsibility. Faithfulness is a virtue of keeping trust and staying true to what you believe. It means being reliable, loyal and trustworthy.

There are a lot of young people who desire to do “big things” for God. They want to suddenly become ‘great men of God’ but do not want to be under anybody’s instructions. They do not see any link between what they are doing today and what they believe God has called them to do tomorrow. They do not see what is presently in their hands as having anything to do with what God wants to place in their hands tomorrow. Hence, they handle what is in their hands now with levity. They behave anyhow now because they have the mindset, “this is not what I am cut out for. This is not where I am going to be anyway”. This makes them to be careless in what they are doing today.

They are waiting for when God will announce them. They are looking up to when God will make them great and lift them above their fellows. They believe that God has promised them a worldwide ministry though right now, they are in one obscure environment under an administrator they even feel they are better than. Because of the vision they have, they tend to be rebellious and despiteful toward their superiors. The truth is that they have failed to understand the principles of the kingdom the Lord Jesus is teaching us in the passage above. Many of us today wish that these principles sank into our hearts when we were very much younger.

In the kingdom, there are no short cuts, except you choose to remove yourself away from the covenant. As long as you are in the kingdom, these principles stand. When God begins to look for people to be saddled with greater responsibilities, He looks for those who have been faithful in the little things. This is because the kingdom believes that he who is faithful in very little things is faithful in much. Please note that He did not say that the person WILL BE. Instead HE IS faithful in much.

The little choices you make today impacts your destiny. What you are doing today defines what you will ultimately become. What you are doing today defines where you are going. Where you will be tomorrow is determined by the direction you are headed today. Never you think that circumstances will interrupt your life and suddenly you are lifted to be in charge of much when you are not faithful in the very little that is in your hand today. You are the one to interrupt yourself and begin to be faithful now.

What is in your hands today?
It may be much or little in your own eyes but what you do with it is what matters. What happens is that many a times people do not value what is already in their hands. They despise it and refuse to commit themselves to it. Greed, envy, jealousy and pride are the killers in this area. Why is it that you cannot concentrate and finish well what you are doing now? Why is it that you are neglecting what you are doing now meanwhile you want a higher place? What is that in your hands? It may be a position, a ministry or a job. Do not misbehave in it.

Now, it does not matter what people think about where you are right now. It does not matter their opinion about how lowly what you are doing now is. What matters is what you do with it. There are people who are running some businesses who are not eligible for promotion no matter how hard they pray or fast. God cannot give you a promotion that is bigger than your character. Each time God wants to lift their business and wants to start with moulding their character, they resist Him or bolt out of training half way. They want to remain the way they are. You cannot remain the way you are and walk with God at the same time. God cannot give a kingdom to a child to run. The few times He did it in the Old Testament, He placed them under some tutelage and guidance.

God orders the steps of the righteous.
This is a biblical truth every child of God has to believe. In most cases it is a bitter pill to swallow. Firstly, if you have been in a position whereby it is as if your mates have left you behind and moved on with life and you are faced with the challenge of either following the short cuts of unrighteousness and meeting up with them or obeying God and remaining where you are, you will understand how bitter the pills can be. The truth is that you cannot do righteousness and remain where you are. But already there is a big problem here. We are never encouraged to compare ourselves with ourselves. Secondly, if you are in an employment where obviously you are being paid lower than you think you are supposed to earn and you believe you should be somewhere else better, you may understand what I am sharing. However, the truth is that that seemingly lowly place is a stepping stone. God brought you there.

All I am doing is to make you see the connection between where you are now and where you are going. Even if you cannot see it with your physical eyes, see it with your spiritual eyes. Faith has eyes and can see. In fact, what faith sees is more of a reality than what the physical eyes see.

One who compromises in one area will most likely compromise in other areas. It will be very much easier for one who is firm against sin in one area of his life to have victory against sin in other areas of his life. Please never you play or despise what you are doing today. Humble yourself. Be faithful and committed to it. God will lift you up in due time.

Watch out for part 2.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Please continue to pray for our brother Bishop Umar Mulinde of Gospel Life Church International

"Doctors at Sheba Hospital in Tel-Aviv, Israel, are still not sure what kind of chemicals Muslim extremists cast on Bishop Umar Mulinde of Gospel Life Church International outside of Kampala last Christmas Eve, but they know that the acid is threatening the vision in his remaining eye.

“I am regaining my sight, though the healing progress is a bit slow,” Mulinde told Compass by phone. “Doctors are still looking for ways to save it, but it seems a complicated case. The chemical was very strong, and each day it was going deeper, with pain increasing day by day; even the doctors are interested to know which type of acid it was, because it really did great damage to me.

"Mulinde, a former sheikh (Islamic teacher) who became the target of Islamic extremists after converting to Christianity in 1993, said his left eye has been getting better under the specialized treatment he has been able to receive..."

Remember the story we shared here some months ago.

"Mulinde said he was encouraged that ministry is continuing at his church in Namasuba, about 10 kilometers (six miles) outside of Kampala, though his friend Zachariah Serwadda, a pastor with an Evangel Church congregation, was ambushed on Feb. 4 after an evangelistic outreach in the predominantly Muslim town of Mbale."

Pray that Mulinde will retain his sight. Thank the Lord for the faithfulness of Mulinde and his friend Serwadda. Pray that the Lord will bless their efforts to spread the gospel. Pray that the perpetrators of these attacks will repent and come to know Jesus Christ. Please pray that increased persecution in Uganda will result in increased boldness among believers (Acts 4:29-31).

See the whole story here at Compass Direct. You can get more information on how to pray and participate in the ministries to the persecuted by going to VOM website. Please pray, pray and pray.

The Pastoral challenge from the life of Steve Jobs.

In this age when most people are career preachers and pastors instead of being men and women really called by God to serve His Church; highly conscious of their positions in the organizations they work instead of serving the people God has put into their charge, many have driven men away from the Light instead of drawing them closer. Many fight whatever they do not understand and try to bring down whatever seems to intimidate them. If you do something the pastor may not be able to do, you will be seen as a threat instead of a complement. If you ask a difficult question, you will be branded and brought low and nobody will care to address your concerns. If you behave differently (Not sinful anyway) or raise biblical issues that are not ‘comfortable’ to the denomination or issues they consider ‘no go areas’, you will be seen as a non-conformist and a trouble maker. All these put together have affected our attitudes in leadership and the way we treat people. They have equally hindered us from training the men that God brings around us. We see the power plays within the pulpits, between the pulpits and the pews and within the pews and ask ourselves, “what would the Lord Jesus do if He were to be around today in the Church?”

My heart was broken when I read a write up on the life of Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, by Gordon MacDonald, the editor at large of Leadership Journal and chancellor of Denver Seminary, The Soul of Steve Jobs. Gordon just finished reading Steve’s biography written by Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs. I admired Steve Jobs and his accomplishments and have listened to one or two of his motivational messages but that is not the focus of my discourse here. What really moved me to write this piece is the comparison Gordon made on the three major influences Steve had early growing up as a young boy:

“"(My father) loved doing things right," Jobs reflected. "He even cared about the look of the parts you couldn't see." Decades later this principle learned in boyhood would shape the development of Apple devices. Jobs always insisted that the inner parts of anything bearing the Apple name be as perfectly designed and built as the outer parts, even though a customer would never see them…

When Jobs began school, his parents and teachers soon discovered that he was a "problem child." It showed in his rebelliousness, in his boredom with the curriculum, in his unwillingness to fit into ordinary classroom regimens. He resisted learning in the traditional cookie-cutter ways.
It's startling to realize that Steve Jobs might have ended up a social discard—a delinquent—had it not been for an observant teacher who suspected that she had an exceptional child in her classroom. Under her guidance Jobs quickly accelerated in his learning experiences. "I just wanted to learn and to please her," Jobs said, looking back on her efforts.
Unfortunately the same did not happen in his church experience. When Jobs was 13, he asked his pastor a simple (yet not so simple) question.

Isaacson writes: "In July 1968 Life magazine published a shocking cover showing a pair of starving children in Biafra. Jobs took it to Sunday school and confronted the church's pastor, 'If I raise my finger, will God know which one I'm going to raise even before I do it?'

"The pastor answers, 'Yes, God knows everything.'

"Jobs then pulled out the Life cover and asked, 'Well, does God know about this and what's going to happen to those children?'

"'Steve, I know you don't understand, but yes, God knows about that.'"

The pastor's answer badly underestimated the young teen's intellect and left him unsatisfied. According to Isaacson, Jobs walked away from the church that day and never returned.”

Gordon MacDonald now made a prayer which I will encourage every reader, who is a leader to pray:

"Lord, make me aware of the implications of any (any!) word I say to people during the course of the day. Who can know when a spoken word directs someone toward the right path … or the wrong one?"

As I read this, I wondered how many young people we must have not listened to, how many yearning hearts we may have carelessly by-passed without noticing what God was doing in their lives, how many souls we have not paid attention to in their struggles. Externally, we only saw a ‘rebellious person’ who refused to agree with us, but we couldn’t see the needy person inside. We saw a church member ‘fighting’ us but couldn’t see the struggling man inside. We saw a man that must be condemned but couldn’t see the man inside that is crying for freedom. The list can go on and on. Today, there are some things I taught years ago that I wish time will rewind so that I give better explanations. Imagine what would have happened if Steve’s pastor in 1968 saw in him a needy inquisitive young boy that needed discipleship and took time to address his questions and not just telling him ‘'Steve, I know you don't understand…”.

The hard working and detailed father did his lot on Steve Jobs. His observant teacher in school did her part. It was the pastor that failed in his own contribution to his life. Maybe as he left church, the pastor felt a relief that the issue of the ‘problem child’ has finally been solved and no one bothered to look for him. My pain is not that it happened in 1968 and Steve Jobs walked away from the church that day and never returned. My pain is that such and related stories seem to be repeating themselves in our churches today.

May God help us to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and to raise men for Him setting aside all these distractions driven by fear and competitions.

Please make sure you pray that prayer in your own words. The next time a church member or a participant in your Bible Class asks a question, concentrate and listen, no matter how ‘silly’. You may never know when someone is on a brink of a defining moment, an important turn in his life. Your answer may be what will determine the direction of the turn – right or wrong.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Boko Haram's Plot to end Christian Presence in Northern Nigeria

The al-Qaeda linked Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram has declared it is plotting to "end the Christian presence" in much of northern Nigeria. According to a spokesman, the group is preparing to launch a campaign of terror against Christians through kidnapping Christian women and coordinated bombings. The women reportedly will be held for ransom and returned only to Christian families who leave the region.

The goal is to eradicate Christians completely so that a "proper Islamic state" might be established. The authorities say Boko Haram is well armed with sophisticated weaponry and munitions.

This new threat against Christians is very direct and indicates very dangerous days lie ahead.

Christians need to be watchful and work together prayerfully to see this plot of the devil brought to naught. Our God frustrates the tokens of liars and makes their diviners mad.

Please pray the Lord will protect and deliver believers in northern Nigeria. Pray He will frustrate the plans of the enemy and through His mercy bring many to repentance. Pray that Christians in Nigeria will not be fearful but trust God (Revelation 2:10).

(Source: VOM as reported by Australian Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission)

Friday, 24 February 2012

Remember our Brother - Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani

Execution orders may have been issued for Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. Please pray for Pastor Youcef!

According to contacts in Iran, the execution orders for Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani may have been issued. Pastor Youcef's situation -- an innocent man convicted and sentenced to death for becoming a Christian -- has reportedly not been this dire since his story was first reported.

It is unclear whether Pastor Youcef would have a right of appeal from the execution order. The head of Iran's Judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, must approve publicly held executions, but only a small percentage of executions are held public -- most executions in Iran are conducted in secret.

Please pray that the Lord will intervene and that Pastor Youcef will be freed from prison. Pray that Youcef and his family will remain faithful to the Lord in all situations. Pray that the Lord will be exalted through Pastor Youcef, whether in life or in death (Philippians 1:20).

From Voice of matrys

For more go here.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

He who has the Bride is the Bridegroom

He who has the bride is the bridegroom

I have been to several wedding ceremonies and saw the friends of the bridegrooms perform in different colours. Some ran around for several days trying to support the bridegroom to make the wedding ceremony a success. Many even participated in procuring very personal items like wedding gowns, rings, shoes etc for both the bride and the groom. However, there is one thing I have never seen: the bridegroom leaving his place and allowing his friend to marry his wife for him.

Many years ago when we came into the city after our high school, five of us were living in one room with only one person, a very magnanimous brother, catering for everybody because God blessed him with a good job early. Several of us were in relationships we hoped would end up in marriage. We made fun calling ourselves “shoe shiners”. We would always joke that no matter how you shine someone else shoes, afterwards, you must hand over the shoes back to him because he is the owner. You are not. The idea was that we were all committed to the welfare of the fiancées of each other. However, no matter how committed we were, nobody crossed an obvious boundary of acting as if he has the bride. Many of us ran away when either the fiancée or family of a friend’s fiancée began to give us undue attention at the detriment of our friend.

John the Baptist called himself a friend of the bridegroom while answering a question from his disciples in John 3: 26-30 and he taught us great lessons on how to handle and serve the Church, the Bride of Christ.

“They came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan — the one you testified about — well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him." To this John replied, "A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, 'I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.' The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less. John 3:26-30 NIV

The Church is the Bride of Christ. The Pastor or the General Overseer is not the owner of the church. The Bishop and Archbishop do not own the church. The Pope does not own the church. The church belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Head – One Bride, One Bridegroom.

When Paul said that he betrothed the Corinthian Church like a virgin to one husband, he was actually acting as a friend of the Bridegroom. He was saying, “I have worked to prepare the Bride for her Bridegroom. I have not exploited her. I have not taken advantage of her though the Husband is yet to arrive. I am handing the Church to her Husband as a virgin”. He never stood in the position of the husband for any while.

What happens is that the Lord equips every one of His children, with gifts and ministerial offices, so as to play a part in equipping and preparing His Bride for Him. He does not give His Bride to anyone to marry for Him for a time and then later, hand over to Him. The ministry we have from Him already is based on this trust, that we will carry out and finish our work and still leave His Bride uncorrupted, unexploited and still a virgin, intact. What we are doing is like what a eunuch would do in those days. They used to prepare and attend to the brides of kings. At no point will he ever assume or behave as if the bride is his. Whatever items of beautification, or food he is given for the bride, he delivers faithfully. To be emotionally attached to the king’s wife is out of the question. He has been castrated ever before he entered the service. Never will he misbehave or maltreat her. His fulfillment comes when the bride is presented to the king and the king is please with her.

Any mistake can cost him his head. Remember the man, Haman, only because the king saw him around the wife in a manner he considered inappropriate, he was hanged. Those who are in the business of attending to the King’s Bride know that it is a precarious service with great responsibility. This is because they know that it can cost them their life, even eternal life. There is no man the Lord handed the Church over to in trust as if to stand in for Him for sometime before He comes. What we have in trust are our ministries which all aim at preparing the Church for Him. The fact that we even have the gifts and ministries is a privilege. It is an honour to participate in preparing and equipping the King’s Bride for Him.

It is a deception for a church leader to carry on as if the church belongs to him. There are those who use the church resources for whatever they want without being accountable to anyone. They oppress those under them like a tyrant and see church members as an opposition camp or a farm. They forget that these ones under them, both pastors, other church leaders and members, are all part of the Bride the Lord has called them to equip and serve. It is a misconception for a leader to see the church as his personal farm, field or investment. The husbandry belongs to God.

True, God’s servant gets his due from the harvest of the field but both the farm and the entire harvest belong to the Owner. He partakes of the harvest as one who will give account. Knowing this, a wise servant opens himself up to human accountability helps and sets all the tools around that will act as checks to help him prepare for the day he will give account before God. It is a foolish servant that dismantles all the structures that place accountability demands on him simply because he wants to be free to use the church resources the way he wants. This makes us as like owners and hence we behave like the servant Jesus talked about in Matthew 24: 48-51. The church is not to be used to build personal empires. Doing all these is meddling with the King’s Bride.

Let’s all renew our commitment to preparing and equipping the Bride for her Bridegroom. Let all of us rededicate ourselves to playing our part in making the Bride ready. We cannot be here forever. We are only contributing our own quota. Others have gone before us. This is our time. When we are gone, others will continue the work till He comes. Come Lord Jesus, come!

God bless!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

What they want is not what they need.

Please read this and see this boy's heart. In places where there is no persecution, do we have this kind of heart for God? Many of us will be surprised when we get to heaven to discover that many from persecuted areas of the world made it more than many who live in ease in persecution free areas. From here.

North Korea: A Visiting Missionary

When the boy in the hotel finally spotted the visiting “businessman,” he ran to him and grabbed his hand. The startled visitor tried to pull away but soon realized that the boy was making the sign of the cross on his palm silently with his finger. The man, a missionary who had prayed to make contact with the church, looked down into the face of the rail-thin boy and immediately understood the message: “The church is alive in North Korea!”

The next day, the missionary met secretly with the boy. He learned that his father was a Christian who had been imprisoned years before. The boy’s family had greatly suffered under the brutal government and had to beg for food just to survive. Now because of drought, people everywhere were dying from severe malnutrition.

When the missionary asked what he could do, he thought surely the boy would request food for his family. But the boy asked him for only four things: to take his tithe that he had saved over many years, to baptize him, to give him Holy Communion, and to give him a better Bible.

The man was moved to tears as he realized the boy’s wisdom. Physical help would only serve him for a day or two, and then he would be back in the same predicament. Spiritual help would prepare him for eternity.

Read it all here for other comments.

Pray for the persecuted Nigerian Church!

My plea with us this first month of the year is that we remember the persecuted brethren in Northern Nigeria in our Church, group, family and personal prayers.

In the Nigerian Church, there is an evolving culture of using January for Fasting and Prayer in preparation for the year. There is nothing wrong with having Fasting and Prayer but what we do within period determines whether we are eternally minded or not. What we do within the programme determines whether we are concerned with what burdens the heart of God or not.

Mark Ojunta
Photo: Compass Direct News

On the 28th of August, 2011, our brother Mark Ojunta was murdered while serving among the Kotoko people group in North Eastern Nigeria.

In Christian Post, it was reported that “ 36-year-old evangelist Mark Ojunta, from southern Nigeria, was ministering amid the Kotoko people of Nigeria's northeastern state with Calvary Ministries (CAPRO) when he was shot in Maiduguri. Boko Haram reportedly killed at least 23 Christians during August alone; beginning on Aug. 11 through Aug. 15 where attacks in Rasta Foron village resulted in six dead, and on Aug. 15, in Heipang village, where nine members of one Christian family were killed.

These deaths were followed by the murder of six Christians on Aug. 21 in Kwi, lotion, and Jwol villages, and, on Aug. 14, in the community of Chwelnyap, where two more were killed at the hands of militants”.

In January 2012, they carried out series of attacks on Christians and their places of worship. One was on Deeper Life Bible Church in Gombe. According to Sahara Reporters, "The attackers started shooting sporadically. They shot through the window of the church, and many people were killed including my wife," Mr Jauro told Reuters news agency.

From Reuters, On the 6th of January, “Gunmen opened fire in a hall in Mubi on Friday where a group of Christians had gathered to mourn the deaths of those killed in an attack the previous day.
"Unknown gunmen in Mubi attacked and killed 3 people on Thursday night and on Friday as people gathered to mourn the deaths, the gunmen believed to be the same attackers killed 18 people, totalling 21," a Red Cross official told Reuters.

A lot of indigenous Churches have been burnt down, pastors killed and members scattered. Brethren are living in fear. Those who are non indigenes may run back South to their villages but what of the brethren who are Northern Nigerian indigenes?

Now, is it time for Churches to gather in their Fasting and Prayer programmes concentrating on claiming one earthly possession or another? Is it time to focus on making frivolous promises to members just because you want to raise their hope? Is it a time to lead the people into ‘covenants’ that we cannot prove from the Scriptures which we have discussed here? Or is it not time to lead the Church in repentance and cry to Him for the National Church? These are perilous times.

The other day, I saw a reverend gentleman speaking passionately in the ranks of the protesters against the removal of petrol subsidy over the past few days. My heart was stirred up. I thank God for him. However, God is looking for men and women who will equally be on fire for the matters of the voiceless believers who are suffering and living in fear.

Brethren, please whatever you do this month of January, remember the persecuted Church. Pray that God will encourage these believers and uphold them. Pray that God will give the Nigerian Church the Christian heart to forgive their persecutors and raise several ‘Sauls of Tarsus’. Pray that God will deliver the Nigerian Church from materialism and human worship. Pray that people and Churches will be touched to contribute to the welfare of the persecuted brethren. The work is indeed great and the harvest ripe but the labourers are few. Please be among the few.

God bless!

Monday, 2 January 2012

Muslim Extremists in Uganda Throw Acid on Bishop

KAMPALA, Uganda, December 28 (Compass Direct News) – Islamic extremists threw acid on a church leader on Christmas Eve shortly after a seven-day revival at his church, leaving him with severe burns that have blinded one eye and threaten sight in the other.

Bishop Umar Mulinde, 37, a sheikh (Islamic teacher) before his conversion to Christianity, was attacked on Saturday night (Dec. 24) outside his Gospel Life Church International building in Namasuba, about 10 kilometers (six miles) outside of Kampala. From his hospital bed in Kampala, he told Compass that he was on his way back to the site for a party with the entire congregation and hundreds of new converts to Christianity when a man who claimed to be a Christian approached him.

“I heard him say in a loud voice, ‘Pastor, pastor,’ and as I made a turn and looked at him, he poured the liquid onto my face as others poured more liquid on my back and then fled away shouting, ‘Allahu akbar [Allah is greater],’” Mulinde said, still visibly traumatized two days after the assault.

A neighbor and church members rushed him to a hospital in the Mengo area of Kampala, and he was then transferred to International Hospital Kampala...........

When Mulinde converted from Islam to Christianity, his family drove him away with clubs and machetes. Since then, he has suffered numerous life-threatening attacks. In 1995 at Mbiji, he was attacked with clubs but managed to escape. In 1998 he was attacked at Kangulomila near Jinja town. In 2000 in Masaka, Muslims bribed the area district commissioner to declare Mulinde’s meetings illegal; Muslims stormed into one of the meetings and dragged him out, beating him till he lost consciousness. Police saved him.

In 2001 in Busia, while addressing another meeting, a Muslim extremist narrowly missed killing him with a sword. In 1994, he survived a gun attack at Natete, near Kampala, when a bullet narrowly missed him. He said that as he fell into muddy waters, his Muslim attackers, thinking they had killed him, said, “Allah akbar.”

Because of the threats against him – in October Muslim extremists sent him text messages threatening to assassinate him – Mulinde had relocated to another area in Uganda.

He has vowed to continue fighting for the rights of the former Muslims haunted by radical Islamists.

Please read it all here!