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By pastor obiageli igboanugo
The bible tells us in the book of 1 Corinthians 9:25:
25. And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we incorruptible.
This bible passage here tells us that as we continue in our everyday life to pursue the mastery of a particular field inorder to be crowned, recognized, or rewarded for our skills; for example individuals’ pursuit to be crowned as Master Chef in the culinary arts or as a master of linguistics etc. All these crowns sought after are corruptible and will eventually fade away, but the crown bestowed on us as Children of God are never fading and incorruptible.
Glory, according to Webster's dictionary, Glory is splendor, shining, flourishing.
The bible says in 2 peter 1 :17:
17. For he received from God the Father honor and glory when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory.
The bible passage here relates the definition of Glory to splendor, brightness, and magnificence. Glory is also associated with the divine presence of God.
These two definitions are meant to give us a broad understanding of what it means to be Crowned with glory. To be Crowned in Glory means to be filled with the totality of Gods Goodness, to bask in the splendor and magnificence of God. The book of Exodus 33:12 tells us of the story of Moses
12. One day Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Take these people up to the Promised Land.’ But you haven’t told me whom you will send with me. You have told me, ‘I know you by name, and I look favorably on you.’
When Moses confronted God about who will accompany him as he led the people to the promised land, he reminded God of his words ‘I know you by name and I look favorable on you’ the King James version of this same scripture reads ‘I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight’. Moses was bold enough to ask God who would accompany him as he led the people to the promise land because he had the favor of God. Favor can only exist when you are being crowned with God’s glory. The lord then replied in Exodus 33:14,
14. “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.”
Prior to this, the people led by Moses had sinned against God and God said he will send an angel to accompany them, but Moses interceded and requested that God be with him as he accompanies the people to the promise land. And in Exodus 33:15-16:
15. Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place.16. How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.”
From these bible passages we can see that Gods favor upon us is how people know that God is with us, so if we are already living in abundance of favor, it therefore means that God resides in us. The presence of God in our lives as Children of God sets us apart from other individuals in the world, because as God resides within us there is overflowing of grace, favor, splendor etc.
And God replied to Moses in Exodus 33:17:
17. The Lord replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.”
Here we can see how the favor of God grants us petitions, because God is with us, we are favored and as we are favored by God, we can intercede for not just only for ourselves but for others too and because of God’s favor our intercessions are successful. God knows us by our names, as a crowned child of God you are known by your name, God honors us by knowing our names. What glorious and honorable accomplishment for God to know your name.
The book of Exodus 33: 18-19
18. Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.”19. The Lord replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, [c] before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.
The bible passage expresses to us that the glory of God is the goodness of God, to be Crowned in Glory is to be in the goodness of God. The book of Psalm 65:8-13 (TPT) gives us the benevolent magnificence of the glory of God, to be crowned in the Glory and honor of God means to bask in the beauty, abundance and favor described in Psalms 65:8-13 . The book of Roman 8:17 tells us that we are heirs of God and are co glorified with Christ Jesus and therefore everything that belongs to Jesus belongs to us provided we acknowledge him as our Saviour who died for our sins. And verse thirty of that chapter tells us that we are called by God and whoever is called is justified and who ever is justified is glorified. And remember that to be justified is to be made righteous and have right standing with God. The real question now is why are we glorified by God. The bible tells us in psalms 8:3-6 that we are created only a little lower that Elohim (GOD) meaning the angels are our servants. We are created and crowned with glory and honor. We are the children of God and therefore we are a representation of God on earth. As a child of God, we are to embrace that we are royalty, crowned in the Glory and honor of God, our attitude, environment, behavior etc. should demonstrate that we are not victims of the world, but are crowned children of God.
A lot of individuals continue to live in this world as victims of oppression, poverty, sickness, death etc. and continue to assume the roles of victims in every situation that arises. They fail to recognize that Gods Plan for us as his children is to be glorified and honored and to rule over all things of this earth.
The book of Ephesian 1:22-23
22. And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,23. Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Ephesians 2:6 also says
6. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
These bible passages in Ephesians chapter one tells us that Christ is sited on the throne, and everything is beneath his feet and subject to his Authority, chapter two of Ephesians also tells us that as children of God we have been raised up and have been given the privilege to sit where Christ sits. It therefore means we also have that same authority as Christ over all thing, and as children of God the glory that belongs to Jesus belong to us, we are co-glorified with Jesus as said in the book of psalms. This then means that we have no business living as victims of oppression, poverty, sickness, death etc. because God has lifted us up and given us authority over every and all situations. It is the will of God for us to be glorified and honored, so as Children of God it is our right to be above all things and to have authority over principalities and power. I therefore employ every child of God to embrace their inheritance and assume their royal rights and wear this crown of glory and honor.
By pastor obiageli igboanugo
As Christians, we are always in a journey of either seed time or harvest time. And the seed time is the period where we are waiting upon God, waiting upon the promises of God to come to pass in our lives. And in those times, things might not be so good, it is usually a time filled with trials and tribulations. But then along the line harvest time comes. This harvest time is a time when we begin to see the manifestation of what we are believing and waiting on God for. The common between the harvest and seed period is “Time”, time is a big word. Seed Time can take as long as three months, the next day, a few minutes, a couple of hours or maybe twenty years, they can take time. We cannot exactly pinpoint the duration. The Bible says, “in due time God will answer us”, that due time is left to God alone and is not in our hand to determine the timing. While in waiting we need to be having a good time, we need to be preparing to receive and praise God. Many people may choose to wait in different ways it could either be negatively or positively. Habakkuk 1:12 -17. The book of Habakkuk told us that Habakkuk knew what they were experiencing is as a result of their punishment, they were under Babylonian captivity. And everything is not fine because they were suffering. And their captors who are of wickedness and practicing idolatry are prospering, celebrating and rejoicing. and it’s as if they are doing it with impunity, and there's no punishment and they are rejoicing and things are going well with them. This could be likened to our modern society where Christians see the wicked prospering and it seems like Christians are suffering. Though modern society will make it seem like the wicked are prospering and Christians suffering but God wants to encourage us today. Habakkuk 2:1 says, “I will climb up to my watch tower and stand at my guard post. There I will wait to see what the Lord says and how he will answer my complaint.” The above portion of the bible tells us to climb to our place and stand at our guard post, a place where we can hear from God where we will not be disturbed by what is happening around us, then await to see what he says. It is a place of expectant expectation. And God replied Habakkuk and He said,
Habakkuk 2:2-3 “Then the Lord said to me, write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow incoming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.”
I believe this is where God is telling us today to wait patiently. You know it is a common saying among us Christians, that God is never late, But the truth is that he is never early. Most times he is never early, the reason is because the period of waiting is a period of preparation a period God uses to prepare us and strengthen our faith in Him. Assume if anytime we ask God for something he just instantly provides, we notice that we do not exercise our trust and faith in God. it is when we are waiting on God, believing that he has answered us, that is the furnace in which our trust in God is developed. There is no other way to develop patience but in the furnace of affliction and trials, and it is not our making, and we cannot determine the extent of our trials or afflictions.
The bible he says in Psalm37:34, “wait on the Lord and keep his way and he shall exalt you to inherit the land. There's an exalting at the end, when the wicked are cut off thou shalt see it.”
Keeping God’s way is very important because while we are waiting on God temptations will come to try and deviate us from God’s will for us. It is also in this period of waiting that so many people are tempted to compromise. So many people are tempted and begin to say “ this is taking too long”, “What do you want me to do?”, “ I can’t sit idly by, I have to do something”. Its just like somebody who is believing God for a marriage spouse, and the enemy is coming out telling them, “very soon you won’t even be in a childbearing age anymore, why don't you do something?” As the enemy is bringing these temptations and because they are already being tempted to compromise, what will happen is most people take the bait and miss out completely on God’s will for them.
Psalm 40:1 says, “I waited patiently for the LORD; And he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.” patience is very, very important in our waiting.
If you do not wait with patience, your waiting cannot be effective.
Psalm 62:5 says, “my soul waits thou only upon God, for my expectation is for him.”
Only upon God, not upon people or what they have promised, wait upon God. If you want to truly understand the works of God, you will see that when God is about to bless us, he uses people to bring the blessings. But sometimes, if we are not careful, we get sidetracked by what the people are doing. The very people that were assigned to solve our problems, or to give us our miracle begin to get sidetracked. That is why our waiting should only be upon God, for our expectations are from him.
When we wait upon God, we place all our attention upon the right source. When God needs to move the people that are involved in your breakthrough, God knows how to touch every heart. Remember, the Bible says in proverbs 21:1 “The heart of the king is in the hands of God, like a river of water, he can turn it to whichever direction he chooses.”
In The book of Esther God took away sleep from the eyes of a King. And in that keeping him awake. God made him to do certain things. The Bible says in psalms that God raised over the heathens. So even though they are not Gods children God rains over them, and because God rains over them, God can put it in their mind what to think. When the children of Moab were fighting Edom and against Israel. Elisha was called to pray because at the time they had been travelling for seven days and they began to thirst ? Elisha prayed and told them that by tomorrow the valley will be filled up.
2 Kings 3:22-23 tells us “But when they got up the next morning, the sun was shining across the water, making it appear red to the Moabites—like blood. “It’s blood!” the Moabites exclaimed. “The three armies must have attacked and killed each other! Let’s go, men of Moab, and collect the plunder!”
God made the enemies to think they saw red, And God made them to think that the Israelites had killed themselves. But when they went to collect the plunder, the bible says in
2 kings3:24 “But when the Moabites arrived at the Israelite camp, the army of Israel rushed out and attacked them until they turned and ran. The army of Israel chased them into the land of Moab, destroying everything as they went”.
That is the portion of your enemies, God will put certain thoughts in them, that will make them to think what God wants them to think. So, let's not elevate whatever the enemy is doing in our lives right now. God is able and powerful enough to work out things. That is the reason why our expectation should be upon God for our expectation is from him. And even when there seems to be a blockage, God has the power to move them out of the way, either temporarily or permanently.
Job14:14 says “If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, Till my change come. We are required to wait and wait patiently”.
So, what do we do while waiting on God?
It is very important to inculcate certain virtues while waiting on God. one of this virtue is humility.
God is putting in us the ability to trust Him, even though we do not understand the situation, even though we do not understand. A woman of God gave an analogy, our time of preparation is like planting a seed on the ground, when you plant a seed in the ground. The seed must first break through the husk for the insides to come out. So, it takes pressure and temperature after which the root starts going downwards, it goes downwards first before it shoots up out of the soil. The seeds that have no roots can be are swept off easily. In the parable of the sower, the seed sown on rocky ground, because there is not much soil does not spring up quickly, but the proper way is for the roots to go down first before upwards. Now, while it is doing all that within the soil, we are not aware and not able to see it all what we know is the seed has germinated and a plant has surfaced out of the soil. And if you now go and dig up that seed to see what is happening, you’ve basically damaged the seed. And that's what a lot of us do mistakenly we will keep thinking, “I want to understand”, “Lord, I must understand the situation”, “Why is it happening this way?”, “ What is A doing?” , “What is B doing?” this is clearly all wrong. Do not seek to understand but seek to trust God in that situation because as it's happening, by the time you're seeing the plants upwards, it has already gotten roots downwards. But what is happening in the ground you're not seeing and most times, it's not God's prerogative to explain to us. So do not question God and ask why instead trust in GODS process.
Psalm 39:5 says, “You said you have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you. At best, each of us is but a breath.”
We are hand breed before God, we need to realize that God has made us and he loves us, God is the potter, and we are the clay. Just as Paul was saying that the potter has the right to make any clay in one way and another in another way. It is the prerogative; it is part of God's sovereignty. When we realize who we are, we now know that he's everything and it is not beholding of Him to start explaining to us. One situation we Christian’s face is when we begin to see others enjoying their harvest while still in waiting for ours, but what we fail to realize is no Christian just wakes up in the morning and it is all good. There must be a process. Just like when people give testimonies they don't really tell you the trials and tribulations they have faced while they waited . So, our job as Christians is to be encouraged that, as others have experienced their harvest, so will we and our time is coming. There should be no room for saying, “God, why me now?, Why is my own not coming” . You don't start asking God questions, because your time is coming. It's as simple as that and That's how it works. Every single one of us will pass through this period.
When a servant has come back from working in the fields, you do not tell the Servant “oh you have worked a whole day you must not tired”, instead you turn to the servant and demand for your food to be prepared, you are to be served before the servant thinks about feeding himself, that’s what a servant does.
Job 17:10 say “when you obey You should say, we are unworthy servants, we have simply done our duty.”
The second virtue God wants us to inculcate while waiting, is trust. We have to trust that God is powerful and loving. The belief that God is powerful means that we know that he is in charge of all happenings, Things are not arbitrary or out of his control. sometimes when we are in a bad situation, or in the backside of the desert like Moses, you will think you've been forgotten or you think that this situation is so overwhelming, that there is no hope and that God cant come through again, you will begin to minimize God's power in that situation. God is capable of both helping and changing things. Do you know the most beautiful thing with God is that when we are patiently waiting, when God comes for that breakthrough, that answer is always sudden, so wait for that sudden to come. suddenly from Prison to Palace, suddenly from a shepherd boy to Prime Minister. That is how God operates.
2 Corinthian 9:8 tells us, “God is able to make all grace abound towards us.”
So God is all powerful and nothing that is happening to us is arbitrary or under the hands of chance. God is in total and complete control of everything. Even if it's not working out according to what you believe or what you have prayed, God is still in control. Trust Him that he is in control.
The understanding will come when you have reaped all you have Sown. God is not bound to start explaining the situations and processes of how he wants to make you successful neither is he bound to tell you what to avoid or how much growth you should have attained before you begin to reap your harvests. But remember, the period of preparation is also the period for preparation to receive our miracle, everything we pass through has a redemptive purpose. Our suffering has a redemptive purpose. The Bible says in Romans 8:28, “God is able to make all things work together for good for them that love God." Everything Is Working for your good. So when you believe that God loves you, it gives you strength, and you know that whatever is happening is not the end of the matter. God still loves you, in spite of what you're passing through. God still loves you and he will turn around every situation. That is when our faith is rooted and grounded in love. According to Ephesians 3, our faith is rooted and grounded, when we are sure of the love of God, when we believed the love that God has for us, it makes our faith rooted. Remember, Mark 4 talks about the parable of the sower of the word, the Bible says that when affliction and persecution arise by reason of the word, they are offended. So because they don't trust the love of God, they don't believe that God loves them. Remember that analogy i gave earlier about somebody that waited and suddenly they say, “I can’t wait any longer I'm out of here because I waited on this God" this happens because they have not perfected the love for God. He said when we are rooted and grounded in this love, we are no longer angry, and the knowledge of his love keeps us from being bitter.
There are certain types of waiting we must consider the first type are those who wait passively. These are the category of people that have told themselves they have waited, and they have not seen, and they have decided to move on with their lives. They tell themselves “I don't want to think about it so I don’t feel disappointed anymore”. The truth is they were not really engaged to start with, they were not commuted to change the situation they just hoped that God will change the situation. And because God hasn't changed the situation, They've moved on. It is more of a “I wish God changes my situation kind of thing”. The other kind of waiting is expectant waiting. Now when a woman is pregnant, from the day she takes in, she is planning for that baby. She is planning but she's not seeing the baby. She knows the baby Is inside of her, she is planning and even buying baby clothes. Every plan and thought would be about the baby. That is where God wants us to be expecting him to move in, expecting him to change our situation.
Every day we wake up, we are expecting that maybe that day will be the day of salvation. He said, Behold, today is the day of salvation. At the end of the day, if it didn't happen, another day is coming. What do you tell yourself at point “I'm getting closer to the day of salvation” you wake up the next day’s again and say again “today is the day of my salvation” by doing this your faith is engaged, completely engaged and trusting God. And the final thing we should keep doing while waiting is to keep thanking God. One thing the enemy does against us while we are waiting upon God is to make problems seem bigger than they really are, making us not to see any other good thing in our lives. We do not see that our children are healthy, that they are growing well, that we are not going to the hospital because of crisis, that we have food on our tables, that we have a roof over our heads and are doing well. The so-called problem has taken over our focus. And this is where Thanksgiving comes in because when we are intentionally praising God for His faithfulness, his kindness, His mercy and his love, It keeps us focused on the goodness of God, It keeps us focused on him. For a thankful heart cannot be a complaining heart. If you are thankful, you cannot in that same heart be complaining, a grateful heart does not harbor complains. Because even though God has not answered what you asked for, you remember that it by his grace you have a Job and feeding well etc. And even if you do not have anything the very fact that you are alive is enough to be thankful to God. Job 14:7 say, “For there is hope of a tree, If it be cut down, that it will sprout again, And that the tender branch thereof will not cease”.
Again, as long as there is life there is hope, your time is coming.
By pastor obiageli igboanugo
Paul Said in Galatian 2:21 KJV
“‘I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”
Is it possible to frustrate the grace of God? frustrating the grace of God is like being in a place, situation or condition of stagnation, where things are not moving forward and we are suffering like people in the world. It is therefore possible to frustrate the grace of God because in our modern society today we find a lot of people in this state of stagnation. God has given us gifts as a part of his grace, gifts of which we are accountable for, each gift specifically tailored to fit our personalities and every gift differs.
Before we move any further, what is grace? Grace according to Webster's dictionary is the free unmerited love and favor of GOD, the spring and source of all benefits men receive from God. Therefore, the gifts are part of the benefits of his grace upon us.
Ephesians 4:7says, “But unto every one of us is given the grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.”
The bible tells us that, there is no person alive today who has not been given the grace of God, the grace of God first begins to manifest the moment we receive salvation. Everything that has been bestowed upon us is as a result of the grace of GOD. Salvation is all about grace, everything that God gives us is all about grace because it is unmerited, we don’t strive for it, it was given because of God’s goodness and love for us.
Are we accountable for the gifts given to us by GOD? Must we use these God given gifts? Being accountable in this sense is to be liable for our conduct while in possession of these God given gifts. So are we liable for these gifts the parable of the sower has an answer for us;
Mark 4:3-9 Says,
3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. 6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8 And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” 9 And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
If you go through the above bible passage you will discover that Jesus always says, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” The hearing Jesus refers to isn’t just the physical hearing of the word, we all can hear , it actually refers to obeying the word and inclining ones self to receiving the word with an open heart.
The seed in the parablelike the word of God is perfect, incorruptible and thus will germinate and produce fruit provided the conditions are right. From the parable the word of God is not the variable because his word is perfect the bible says in Acts10:34 “God is no respecter of persons”, therefore his word respects no man” , so whenever his word is used it will spring forth and geminate automatically. The variable here from the parable are the different types of soil that the seed is planted .The soil in this case represents the state of our hearts . In the parable only 25% of the seeds germinated and the remaining75% were destroyed and still within the 25% the magnitude of growth was spread 30%, 60% and 100% .This thus tells us that we determine to which soil we would grow in other words what is the nature of our hearts is there evil in your heart or does your heart breed Goodness.
Mark 4:23-25 says,
“23. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24. And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. 25 For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
According to the book of mark we are therefore accountable for our actions, when we put in effort to grow closer to God we will be rewarded. The book of James 4:8 says “draw near to God and he will draw near to you” it didn’t say God draws to you first, you as a child of God need to put the effort to draw closer to God first and he will draw closer to you. We basically determine the measures to which we are blessed by how much effort we put in to draw closer to God. And the bible also says , if we don't use what you are giving, you are in danger of losing even that you have. And it's a very sobering thought, because in the worldly system it is take from the person that has more to equalize and that is how the world works, take from the rich, give to the poor, the poor, that are not doing anything. God's system is different, God expects you to produce according to the gifts and callings he has put in your life. God doesn’t expect you to give more than he has given you.
The earth like the heart is made to grown whatever is sown into it, Unfortunately, this will work both positively and negatively. The growth works subconsciously, if we continue to sow garbage in our heart garbage will be produced, likewise if we sow the word of God into your heart we will reap the fruit of life. The question now is what are you planting in your heart ?!, what are you listening to?!,And it's very important the things we sow in our hearts. if I'm listening to the Word of God day and night what happens automatically is my faith increases. the book of Romans 10:17 says “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”. one of the problems with our society today is we give energy to a lot of negativity, we idolize and listen to music with a lot of swear and curse words, pornography etc. when all these enter the heart it will only yield negativity and evil. We then begin to notice things change, you begin to struggle to go to church, everything becomes harder etc. We then begin to question God. So, the real question today for Christians is what are we feeding your heart?
Matthew 25:14-30 tells us about the parable of the talents, here we see that whatever gifts we are given we are to multiply, be fruitful and produce. you are not expected to produce more than your given but to be accountable. From the parable the servant who was given five talents multiplied his talents by 100%, and when his master found out what he has done he congratulated and rewarded him. This shows that when you are fruitful with what God has invested in you, you will surely be reward. The second servant, though given only two talents was able to double the talents and he was also congratulated and rewarded telling us that When we are faithful with the little that God has given to us, when we use to full potential our gifts no matter how small God is going to promote and reward us ,God promises. The bible tells us that the third servant filled with fear dug a hole in the ground and put his gifts, his perception of his master firstly was his master is harsh and merciless. Many Christians today are like this third servant ,they are overcome with fear never able to accomplish their true potential because they are afraid to fail or be laughed at and thus remain stagnant. If you read further into the passage you will see that the master ordered the servant who wasn’t fruitful to give his talents to the first servant who doubled his gifts. And in Verse Matthew 25:29 “ For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” You are therefore accountable for the gifts God has given you and you will give a report on how these gifts are being used. So it doesn’t matter what gifts you have, whether you are a cleaner ,under traffic control or even in the information technology department, use your gift to serve God wholly and full heartedly and you will be reward. And to those who refuse to use their gifts be aware that these gifts can be taken from you and given to another. But that will not be our portion in Jesus Name. Amen
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