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New Beginnings – Rev. Funke Ewuosho

(Notes were taken during the message. All scriptures are in NKJV version unless stated otherwise)

Key scriptures:

Revelation 21:5
“He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Isaiah 43:19
“Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. We must give heed to the new thing God is doing.”

How will you experience new beginnings?

1. You must know it is NOW
“So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:22-24

“Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.” Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’ ” 1 Kings 18:41-44

Everything God has done starts first on the inside!

2. You must SEE it, you must perceive it
You should see what God is doing first with your spiritual eyes. Your spiritual eyes are the eyes of faith. The moment you can see it, there is a readiness to receive it. You must keep your eyes on the goal.

“See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, To root out and to pull down, To destroy and to throw down, To build and to plant.” Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.” Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am [d]ready to perform My word.” Jeremiah 1:10-12

Don’t let distractions get in the way, you must keep your focus on God. Ask God to open your eyes today to see what he has begun.
If you can see it then God is ready to do it!

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

3. You must forget the old
“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19

Verse 19 shows us that the prerequisite of seeing the new thing is to forget the old.

We can learn from Abraham’s life; he did not consider his body when God told him that he was going to be a father.

In order to forget the past, we must maintain the stance of not dwelling on past calamities and troubles. Keep maintaining your stance and refuse to retain past experiences, thoughts and mindsets that remind you of the old. Eventually, you will forget the past. Hebrews 11:15-16 says, “And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had the opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”

“And to Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On, bore to him. Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: “For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house.” Gen 41:50-51

Sometimes in order to forget your past troubles, you need to leave what is familiar to you. What God is doing is a new thing and it may bear no resemblance to what you knew or experienced before.

4. You must overcome your fears and doubts
Keep saying what God says until you overcome your fears!

“Sing, O barren, You who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud,” Isaiah 54:1-4

You who have not labored with child! For more are the children of the desolate Than the children of the married woman,” says the Lord. “Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords,

And strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited. “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore. God is stretching you because God wants to do a new thing!”

You must be ready to step out of your comfort zone; it’s time to break away from fear!

5. Release your faith for the supernatural

When dealing with God put all your eggs in one basket! Believe God for something only He can do; nothing is too hard for the Lord.

Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,”

“For thus says the Lord: ‘You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you, your cattle, and your animals may drink.’ And this is a simple matter in the sight of the Lord; He will also deliver the Moabites into your hand.” 2 Kings 3:17-18

In this new season, let us heed to the new things that God is doing!

Notes taken from the message by Rev. Funke Ewuosho, ‘New Beginnings’

 

Restoration

In December 2020, Rev. Funke Ewuosho led us in prophetic prayer, and the theme was restoration. Below are some notes on the prayer time.

Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the Lord your God; For He has given you the [a]former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you—The former rain, And the latter rain in the first month. The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.  “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming [b]locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, And praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; My people shall never be put to shame. Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: I am the Lord your God And there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame. Joel 2:23-27 NKJV

Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest. Ecclesiastes 11:4 NLT

Despite the evil that is around God will preserve you.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.[a] He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favour has come,[b] and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel,[c] he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory. They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago. They will revive them, though they have been deserted for many generations. Isaiah 61:1-4 NKJV

Read Isaiah 60 and Psalms 126

  • God is bringing restoration; He will vindicate you on every side.
  • We are going to praise with shouts of joy and sing of the mercies and the goodness of God.

Focus on the Word, not on what is happening around. When we focus on Him, He will turn things around; like preserving Israel in Egypt in the land of Goshen.

‘Behold, I will bring back the captivity of Jacob’s tents, And have mercy on his dwelling places; The city shall be built upon its own mound, And the palace shall remain according to its own plan. Then out of them shall proceed thanksgiving And the voice of those who make merry; I will multiply them, and they shall not diminish; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small. Their children also shall be as before, And their congregation shall be established before Me; And I will punish all who oppress them. Their nobles shall be from among them, And their governor shall come from their midst; Then I will cause him to draw near, And he shall approach Me; For who is this who pledged his heart to approach Me?’ says the Lord. ‘You shall be My people, And I will be your God.’ ” Jeremiah 30:18-22 NKJV

Then he restored the chief butler to his butlership again, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand. Gen 40:21 NKJV

  • God is restoring your health, your name in the workplace, etc.

Another sign of restoration is being repaired –like the walls in the book of Nehemiah.

What needs to be repaired/mended in your life?

Healing: your health restored to the original condition

Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other. Matthew 12:13 NKJV

What parts of your walls are broken?

God is rebuilding the old ruins. He is rebuilding generationally in the lives of your children.

And they said to me, “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.” Nehemiah 1:3 NKJV

Some things that characterize RESTORATION:

  1. Double for your trouble

Instead of your shame, you shall have double honour, And instead of confusion, they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land, they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs. “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery [a]for burnt offering; I will direct their work in truth, And will make with them an everlasting covenant. Isaiah 61:7-8 NKJV

Rejoice in your inheritance; double honour; double celebration.

  1. The hand of God (anointing of the Holy Spirit) will come upon you

Read Ezekiel 37:1-14 (The Valley of Dry Bones)

  • The things that have gone dry, maybe your business, your finances, your marriage or your relationships -God is restoring life to you.
  • The breadth of God upon your life. Speak to issues in your life. Speak the Word of God and see the dead things be restored to life. God is opening the grave as you begin to prophesy.

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; [a]blessed are you among women!” But [b]when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I [c]do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.” Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:26-38 NJKV

And soon the sky was black with clouds. A heavy wind brought a terrific rainstorm, and Ahab left quickly for Jezreel. Then the Lord gave special strength to Elijah. He tucked his cloak into his belt[a] and ran ahead of Ahab’s chariot all the way to the entrance of Jezreel. 1 Kings 18:45-46 NLT

 NKJV: Then the hand of the Lord came upon Elijah; and he girded[a] up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

Elijah outrunning the chariots signifies speed, divine acceleration, etc.

  • God will restore to you the wasted years.

How could one chase a thousand, And two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, and the Lord had surrendered them? Deuteronomy 32:30 NKJV.

It is the Lord’s doing!

Read 1 Samuel 30

David in Ziklag – he lost all his family and people and his people, and he strengthened himself in the Lord. This is not a time to mourn, but to rise up and take your garment of praise. David recovered all without lacking anything.

The solution is to recall the goodness of God and begin to encourage yourself in the Lord.

For the full prayer sessions of restoration please visit our YouTube channel here: https://bit.ly/3z5EJdj

Recommended message: ‘I will Restore’ by Rev. Funke Ewuosho, if you want to order your copy (MP3 or CD), please contact us: office@uk.fowm.org

 

WHAT ARE THE REWARDS OF SEEKING GOD?

The Rewards of Seeking God

Hebrews 11:6 (NLT) says, “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” God has a reward system! He is not calling us to labour in vain. In this life-changing message, Rev. Funke Ewuosho shares what the rewards are for seeking God; when to seek God; and how to seek God. When we seek Him with all our hearts, we will find Him.

7 REWARDS OF SEEKING GOD…

Which one sticks out to you the most?

  1. When you seek God you will find Him (Genesis 15:1)
  2. You experience God’s presence (Psalm 27:9)
  3. You receive answers to your prayers (Luke 1:13-14)
  4. You walk in provision (Psalm 34:10)
  5. You walk in blessings (Psalm 119:2)
  6. You have hope (Lamentations 3:26)
  7. You walk in understanding and insights (Psalm 73:1-17)

Want a deeper study into these rewards, with more scriptures? Email us today: office@uk.fowm.org

Watch part 3 of ‘The Rewards of Seeking God’ by Rev. Funke Ewuosho via our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/1NXjEFqyqv4

the rewards of seeking God - Rev. Funke Ewuosho

 

The Partnership Series | Week 4

Who are our Partners? 

YOUR COMMITMENT…
As a partner of FOWM, you have a desire to see the vision of the ministry fulfilled in every possible way. Your resources will help us further God’s Kingdom through the platforms that have been opened up to us. In supporting us, you:

  • Give regularly through a standing order (visit www.fowm.org/partners)
  • Pray regularly for the work of FOWM

OUR COMMITMENT…
By becoming a covenant partner with FOWM, we are committed to helping you fulfil purpose. We provide every partner with:

  • Regular prayer support
  • Regular gifts, including messages and teaching tracts
  • Special invitations/updates on our itinerary, events, conferences and partners’ meetings
  • Letters from our founders, Revs. Kola and Funke Ewuosho
  • Seasonal gifts and discounts across our product catalogues

Partner with us today by contacting us: office@uk.fowm.org

The Partnership Series | Week 3

The Work of FOWM

  • We open and run health centres and programmes across the nations: we run free medical checkups in Ghana, and opened the Wisdom Foundation hospital in Nigeria which supports the needy.
  • We support local communities with provisions and resources, such as building boreholes in Northern Nigeria.
  • We broadcast the Word of God on television stations, the internet and streaming platforms.
  • We distribute free discipleship magazines, CDs and DVDs around the world.
  • We hold and support ‘Strategic Equippers’ conferences in different nations, including East-Central Africa.
  • We support pastors, ministers, and the planting and establishment of churches in rural areas of Africa, including Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon and Ghana.

As God raises more people to partner with us, we trust that we will be able to reach more people for God’s Kingdom.

Find out more by visiting www.fowm.org/partners

Partner with us today by contacting us: office@uk.fowm.org

The Partnership Series | Week 2

What is Partnership?

Partnership is a scriptural and covenant-based means for the effective spread of the Gospel.
In covenants, each party has a role to play and the role includes being a blessing to the other. In the Old Testament we see Abram having allies as he went in search of the deliverance of Lot. We see David sharing the goods with the men who did not go to battle but stayed with their goods while they went to alike. The goods were shared with everyone!
(Genesis 14:13 and 1 Samuel 30: 24-25)

An invitation to partner with FOWM
Like David’s men, you too can experience God’s blessings as the ministry continues to commit to the great commission!

As doors open for us in the various nations of the earth we need our partners to stand with us in prayer, in giving and in
receiving so that like Peter and Paul, we also can carry out our God-given mandate to the nations. You can give a one-off gift, or make a commitment to giving from as little as £10 a month to £100 a month. You can also give to a specific project. Please get in touch with us: office@uk.fowm.org.

Find out more by visiting www.fowm.org/partners

 

The Partnership Series | Week 1

The Great Commission

Peter, after obeying Jesus’ instruction to let down his net, needed more partners to help catch a great number of fish. His nets were at the point of breaking (Luke 5:5-10)! Like Peter, Fountain of Wisdom Ministries (FOWM) need partners for the massive harvest of souls not to be lost!

FOWM is committed to the great commission: going into the world and making disciples of the nations. With offices in several countries around the world, getting involved is now very easy. We are committed to sharing godly wisdom with everyone we have the opportunity to meet as we seek to equip them to fulfill God’s plans and purposes for their lives.

As we partner together, the blessing of giving and receiving will spread across the globe and lives will be affected and generations to come will not be the same again.

Welcome!
Rev. Kola and Rev. Mrs. Funke Ewuosho
(Founders of FOWM)

Find out more by visiting www.fowm.org/partners

Partner with us today by contacting us: office@uk.fowm.org

Why We Should Not Accept Sickness and Disease

Healing

Have you accepted sickness and disease as your portion in life? Have you struggled to maintain your faith during trying times? Sickness and disease was never a part of God’s plan. Rev. Funke shares with us: why we should not accept it; why healing belongs to us; what to do when we need healing; how to live a healthy life; and how to get and maintain our healing. After listening to this message pack, you will be armed with the truth from God’s Word, and strengthened to rise up and take back your divine health. Get the pack and start your journey to enjoying divine healing!

Order the full 9-part message by emailing office@uk.fowm.org, or go online: www.vimeo.com/fowm

 

10 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD NOT ACCEPT SICKNESS AND DISEASE:

  1. God wants you well.  Read Psalm 103
  2. Sickness was not part of God’s plan. Read Romans 8
  3. They are evil. Read Mark 5:34
  4. Sickness is a curse of the law. Read Deuteronomy 28
  5. Healing is part of the atonement. Read Isaiah 53
  6. Healing is your inheritance. Read Romans 8:16
  7. Healing is God’s covenant to you. Read Exodus 15:26, and 23:25-26
  8. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Read 1 Corinthians 6:19-21
  9. Sickness and disease do not glorify God. Read Acts 3:8-9
  10. God needs you healthy. Read 2 Corinthians 5:1

 

By Rev. Funke Ewuosho

 

For the full message, visit www.vimeo.com/fowm.

WHAT DO WE DO TO SHINE?

[Continued from ‘It’s Your Time to Shine’ article]

 

 

What then must we do to shine?

i. Arise!

The first thing to do is to arise. Our text says, ‘Arise, shine…’. Note it didn’t say, ‘Arise and shine’! Which implies that arising goes hand-in-glove with shining! Jesus said, a city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

It is our responsibility to arise. We are the ones to let our light so shine for all to see, that they may glorify our Father in heaven (Matt.5:14-16).

Nothing happens until we arise; and things won’t change until we arise. Deborah said, “the highways were deserted, and the travelers walked along the byways. Village life ceased, it ceased in Israel, Until I, Deborah, arose, Arose a mother in Israel” (Judge 5:6-7).

We must arise; “Those from among you shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In” (Isa. 58:12)

ii. Maintain a vital connection to God

The Bible is full of the stories of people who ‘shined’ in their generation as a direct result of their connection to God! Jesus said, we can’t be fruitful, unless we remain vitally united with Him (John 15:4). The Bible says, “the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits” (Dan. 11:32c).

Daniel purposed in his heart, not to defile himself with the king’s delicacies and wine because of his relationship with God. And when he and his three friends were tested at the end of ten days, they looked healthier and better nourished than all their colleagues who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. Not only that, when the King interviewed them at the end of their training period, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers in all his kingdom (Dan. 1:19-20)!

Remember, the earth and the people shall be covered in deep darkness; “but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you”. 

Darkness also represents ignorance, confusion, etc. That was the case when king Nebuchadnezzar had a dream and didn’t know what it meant! When he demanded that his astrologers tell him the dream and its interpretation, they told the king it was humanly impossible (Daniel 2:10c). That was the time for Daniel and his friends to shine! 

Darkness and light are opposites; light represents knowledge. The king commanded that all the wise men in Babylon be destroyed. Daniel and his friends would have perished with the others; but when they prayed, God revealed the secret to Daniel in a night vision (Daniel 2:14-19).

The Bible says, “The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant” (Ps. 25:14). Job talked of the days of his youth – “When His candle shined upon my head, and when by His light I walked through darkness;…when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle…” (Job 29:2-4 KJV).

It was Joseph’s time to shine when Pharaoh had two dreams and no one could interpret them! God gave Joseph the interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams, and Joseph’s advice was well received by Pharaoh (and all his officials) and he set Joseph over all Egypt. The man who delights and meditates in God’s Word, “shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” (Ps. 1:3).

iii. Live by Faith

“For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7 ). The NLT version says, “For we live by believing and not by seeing”. A person who lives by faith, doesn’t live by what they see in the natural or physical realm! Faith deals with the unseen realm; it is the evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11:1c). Faith calls the things that don’t exist (physically), as though they did (Rom. 4:17). Why? Because, “the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3c).

Darkness covers the earth and the people; and if you would shine, you’ve got to be different! You can’t afford to listen to what everybody is listening to, say what they are saying, or respond to things the same way they do. “When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up” (Job 22:29a KJV). Isaiah said, “This is what the Lord says to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people: “Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it” (Isa. 8:11-12 NIV).

The Bible says that the worlds were framed by the Word of God (Heb.11:3a); so, learn to speak His Word. Jesus said you shall have what you say (Mark 11:23); so, if you keep saying what you have presently (in the physical), that is what you’re going to have! Start saying what God says you have and you will have it. You have redemption and forgiveness, through the blood of Jesus (Col. 1:13); you have obtained an inheritance in Christ (Eph. 1:11); by the stripes of Jesus you have been healed (1 Pet. 2:24); you have overcome satan by the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 12:11); you have been given all the things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3); you have overcome the world (1 John 5:4-5); etc. Start saying who the Bible says you are – note that you are (not will be) the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21); more than a conqueror (Rom.8:37); the redeemed of the Lord (Ps. 107:2); the head and not the tail (Deut. 28:13); blessed beyond the curse (Num.23:20); etc.

iv. Live by the Spirit

These aren’t the days that we live like ordinary people; because the greatest Force in the universe lives inside of us- the Holy Spirit!

He isn’t only with us; but also in us and where need be, He would come UPON us to accomplish whatever needs to be accomplished. Jesus calls Him the Helper; so He is here to help us. He is also called, “The Spirit of wisdom and understanding…of counsel and might…of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord” (Isa. 11:1-2). So we can draw on any of these dimensions of the Holy Spirit, whenever it is needed. When Joseph was called upon to interpret Pharaoh’s dream; he answered, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace” (Gen. 41:16c).

Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream, by the Spirit of God. He also gave counsel as to what Pharaoh should do in the seven years of abundance, to prevent hardship in the seven years of severe famine that would follow. He operated by the spiritual gifts of the Word of knowledge and the Word of wisdom!

Daniel also operated by these gifts, when he supernaturally told the king’s dream and its interpretation. It was a humanly impossible thing to do. Nebuchadnezzar’s wise men said, “There is not a man on earth who can tell the king’s matter; therefore no king, lord, or ruler has ever asked such things of any magician, astrologer, or Chaldean. It is a difficult thing that the king requests, and there is no other who can tell it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh” (Dan. 2:10c-11). The Bible says the gifts of the Holy Spirit- the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healings, the working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, different kinds of tongues, the interpretation of tongues – are distributed to each member of the Body, for the profit of all (1 Cor. 12:7-11). Note that the gifts are manifested through and by the Spirit, and not through the human flesh, reasoning or ability!

v. Walk in Love

We can’t talk about shining, without talking about the need to walk in love. (Read 1 John 2:9-11).

We’ve talked about living by faith, but the Bible says Faith works by love (Gal. 5:6c)! We must, however, understand how love works. Love is a commandment; it’s not an advice or a suggestion from God! It is the greatest commandment (Matt. 22:36-40). That is, it isn’t subject to our feeling, convenience, person preference or opinion. Like faith, love is of the heart, and not of the head- the Bible says that the love of God has been shed in our heart! Love isn’t selective in its operations; we must love everyone. (Read 1 John 3:14-19). It is also a test of our genuine salvation and discipleship; By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

Love isn’t a feeling, it’s about actions flowing from a genuine heart. The Bible talks about ‘having’ love (and not ‘feeling’ love) for one another (John 13:35)! God’s love is practical; He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Jesus commanded us to love one another AS HE HAS LOVED us. (John 15:12). And how has He loved us? By laying down His life for us. “And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:14-18).

vi. Maintain Fellowship With Others

There is a need to be in fellowship with other believers. Daniel had his three friends. Though the Bible says, Daniel purposed in his heart not to defile himself, a close study would show that he wasn’t alone in this. The four men were together on abstaining from the king’s delicacies and wine and ate just vegetables (Dan. 1:8-16)! When the decree went out for all the wise men in Babylon to be killed, Daniel didn’t seek God concerning the matter on his own. The Bible says, he got his three companions involved and the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision (Dan. 2:16-19). The days of ‘one man show’ are over! Another word for fellowship is partnership. In order to shine, you must know how to work in partnership and collaboration with others. Nobody has it all made; there are people who have what you need, to make up for what you have. As Jesus stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, He needed a boat to preach from to the multitudes. He had the crowd and the message, but didn’t have a boat; so He got into Peter’s boat. That was partnership there! When He was done, Jesus told Peter to let down his nets for a catch. Don’t forget that before now Peter had given up on catching any fish – they had washed and hung up their nets. The Bible says when they did as Jesus said, they caught so much fish that their net began to break; “So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink” Luke 5:7.

Sometimes we need others to spur us on, motivate and encourage us, even what we know we should be doing. Sometimes we get the inspiration we need from others. The Bible says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” (Proverbs 27:17 NLT). If you’re going to shine, you’re going to have to learn from others, rub minds with others, exchange ideas, etc. “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:24-25). Your company is where you run to when the enemy has thrown all kinds of stuff at you, to pull you down, to discourage and stop you. After the miracle of healing the man at the Gate Beautiful, the religious leaders got Peter and John arrested and detained till the next day. After their release, they went to their own company and reported to them all the warnings and threats of the religious leaders. They responded by raising up their voice together in prayer. And rather than be downcast and discouraged, they were back again, speaking the word with boldness (Acts 4:23-31)!

However, the fellowship you keep can either make or mar you in life. It’s been said, ‘show me your friends, and I will show you who you are’. Also, ‘Show me your friends, and I will show you your future’. How true! The Bible says, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed” (Prov. 13:20). You must, therefore choose your company carefully in the light of who you want to be and the kind of future you want for yourself.

vii. Prayerfulness

Shining in the midst of darkness requires being prayerful. It’s not just about praying every now and then, but praying always!

Satan is the ruler of darkness. He is the ‘god of this world’; and the Bible says, “We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19 NLT). That is, we’re living in enemy territory. Jesus told His disciples that He was sending them as sheep among wolves (Matt. 10:16)! But thank God, we’ve been well equipped, so we don’t need to be afraid of the enemy. We are born of God and have overcome satan and the world; because Jesus has already overcome the world for us! To be able to stand against the wiles or strategies of the devil, we are told to “Put on the whole armor of God” (Eph. 6:11). And it seems like the armour goes hand in hand with praying, because it goes on to say, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Eph.6:18a).

Interestingly, again, Daniel is a good example to drive home the need to be prayerful. The Bible says that after the writing was signed, Daniel went home into his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, “he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days” (Daniel 6:10). Notice that it was his custom to pray; it wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction driven by fear or to make an impression on anyone. Of course, that would be a wrong time to do that- when he was facing a matter of life and death! I often say to people: you don’t try new tricks on the day of battle. David refused to go and fight Goliath in Saul’s armour; he said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them” (1 Sam. 17:39). That explains why some people have become casualties in the battles of life. They are like the sons of Sceva, who tried to cast out demons “by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” And “Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded” (Acts 19:13c-16).

We are told to be “faithful in prayer” (Rom. 12:12). Things aren’t just going to fall on you like ripe cherries; though Christ has already obtained for us all we would ever need in life, in the redemption He obtained for us through His blood. We have an enemy who will contest every ground with us. We’re told to fight the good fight of faith; we will still have to ‘take hold of’ what has already been given to us (1 Tim. 6:12)! The Kingdom of God still has to be taken by force even though it’s the Father’s pleasure to give it to us; because we’re fighting against “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12c).

Esther had to put up a fight. She hadn’t been invited to the king’s presence in thirty days and she faced a death penalty if she went in uninvited, EXCEPT the king held out the golden scepter to her. Esther accepted the challenge. She decided to go before the king to plead for her people, but only after three days of fasting! On the third day, dressed in royal robes, Esther went into the inner court, uninvited; and instead of her facing the wrath of the king, Esther found favour with him. He said to her, “What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you—up to half the kingdom!” (Est. 5:3).

Remember, “The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]” (Jas. 5:16 AMP).

viii. Make A Choice

In conclusion, it’s not only your responsibility to arise; it’s also a choice you would have to make. Mordecai presented Esther with a choice- to either remain completely silent at this time or to go speak to the king. He told her, “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Est. 4:14). And she made the choice- a tough one; she said, “And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” (Est. 4:16c). But did you notice that she didn’t perish? The truth is, those who say ‘if I perish, I perish’, don’t perish! Remember the three Hebrew men? They were told to either bow to the image of gold or to burn in the fiery furnace. They refused to bow, yet they didn’t burn; rather they were delivered and promoted (Dan. 4:15-30)! Daniel chose not to defile himself with the king’s meat and wine (Dan. 1:8). He also chose to defy the king’s decree and went in to pray to God- not just once, but three times daily, as had been his practice. He was thrown into the lions’ den; but he was brought out unharmed, because God sent His angel to shut the lions’ mouths. As a result, king Darius honoured the ‘God of Daniel’ and Daniel also prospered during his reign (Daniel 6:10-30).

Also, know that whatever choice you make today, will not only affect you, but also generations coming after you – “ I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” ( Deut. 30:15c).

God bless you

Rev. Funke Ewuosho 

IT’S YOUR TIME TO SHINE!

Phew: what a year – 2020! We trust that we all, by the end of this eventful year, will be expressing a sigh of relief; as the Bible says, “the end of a matter, is better than its beginning” (Eccles. 7:8a).

There’s been no year like this in recent history. For most of us, the year started with so many promises and great expectations. It promised to be a year of DOUBLE: double blessings in favour, fruitfulness, finances, promotions, celebrations etc. And everything seemed to be going in that direction, until COVID-19 took the world by storm. What started far away in the backside of China, began to spread across the continents, to different parts of world! Then came the lockdowns that have crippled the global economy, affected lives and livelihoods, disrupted plans, and have drastically changed our lifestyles.

And all the negative experiences, and the gloomy projections, have also left some cynics saying, ‘how come nobody told us this would happen? We were only told it would be a year of double blessings!’ But there hasn’t been any time as this that God’s Word in the book of Isaiah, has been this relevant! It says, “Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you” (Isaiah 60:1-2). It seems to me that there’s a connection between the darkness that shall cover the earth, and the ‘shining’ of God’s people; because it takes darkness for light to shine. Light doesn’t shine in the light! Also, why would God tell us to arise, if we were not down and didn’t have reasons to be bowed down? The Amplified version of that verse says; “ARISE [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you–rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!”

The Bible says, “Light shines in the darkness for the godly” (Ps. 112:4 NLT). This is the set time for you to be favoured by the Lord; it’s your time to shine. “For the Lord will rebuild Zion and appear in his glory” (Ps. 102:13,16 NIV). This is the time for your horn (i.e. your strength) to be exalted with honour (Ps. 112:9); for God is the Glory and the Lifter of your head (Ps. 3:3).

Remember, it takes darkness for the light to shine! It took a famine in Egypt for Joseph to shine. Pharaoh sent for him in prison; “He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his possessions, to bind his princes at his pleasure, and teach his elders wisdom” (Ps. 105:21-22). Joseph told his brothers that God meant for good what they had meant for evil (Gen. 50:20); indeed, “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28 NLT).

The truth is that when there’s darkness on one side, there’s light on the other side – “the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you”. When the Egyptians were pursuing after the Israelites, the pillar of cloud came and stood between the two camps; “Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other,” (Ex. 14:19-20). Amazing – the same cloud that was darkness to one camp, gave light to the other! The Bible says, “When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up” (Job 22:29a KJV). Jesus was “destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel” (Luke 2:34b); it all depends on the side you’re on!

[Taken from the full article]

 

By Rev. Funke Ewuosho