frustrating the grace of god

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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seize the moment

By pastor obiageli igboanugo

Thethings of God are mostly done on time, once the time is missed, the momentum ofthat instance is missed. Everything God does has an appropriate timing, if wedon’t walk in God’s time, we miss all that God has prepared for us in thatseason. The manifestation of our labor may seem to take many years, but we mustremember that God’s time is the best and he will surely come for us in thatsituation.  

Seizingthe moment involves you making use of every opportunity that comes your way. However,as children of God we should remember that not all opportunities that come ourway are directly from God, nonetheless, we must be ready and prepared to seizeevery opportunity sent by God.

Let’stalk about Zechariah for example, how he could not understand the time ofGod and was unbelieving of how the things of God will come to existence, whenthe angel of God told him he was going to have a son whose name would be Johnthe Baptist.

Thebible tells us Luke that when the angel approached Zechariah and told him hewas going to have a child Zachariah replied in Luke 1:18 saying “How can I be certain?  My wife and I are well passed childbearingyears.”  

Zachariah failed to seize this moment and the opportunityto have a child by questioning and doubting the words sent to him by Godbut because God had a greater purpose for John the Baptist,the moment wasn’t lost, however Zachariah was made dumb until the birth of Johnthe Baptist.

Letus read:  2 kings 9:1-16, 2 kings13:1-4;6-10;19.

Thebook of second Kings, tells us about Captain Jehu who was appointed asthe king of Israel. Jehu was a man that seized the moment and theopportunity presented to him by following through with God sent instructionsand because of Jehu's obedience and swift response to Godsinstructions, God gave him a dynasty and commended him by making four of hisgeneration to rule over Israel. He didn't just obey God, he did it with zeal. Thebible tells us in 2 kings that Elisha had sent one of the children ofthe prophets to anoint Jehu as the new King of Israel and gave Jehuinstructions from God to smite the house of Ahab his master to avenge the deathof all the prophets who have died under the hands of Jezebel. Jehu obeyed these instructions zealouslyand immediately he was anointed he ordered that the gate of the city be closedso nobody would tell king Ahab what was happening and began to war withoutdelay against the prophet of Baal and the dynasty of Ahab.

Seizingthe moment comes from total obedience and submission to God. When we obey God’sinstruction, we seize the moment.  Justlike the story of Abraham who was instructed by God to sacrifice his sonIsaac, Abraham seized the moment by obeying God and following Godinstructions. The bible recorded in Genesis 22, that early in themorning Abraham rose and did what God said. He never contemplated nordiscussed the subject matter with his wife, he went forth immediately to carryout Gods instructions.

Seizingthe moment would require us to follow through with every instruction given tous by God. The bible tells us about how David defeated Goliath in thebook of Samuel 17:49-51

49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slungit and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead,and he fell face down on the ground. 50 So David triumphed over thePhilistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand, he struckdown the Philistine and killed him. 51 David ran and stood over him.He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After hekilled him, he cut off his head with the sword. When the Philistines saw thattheir hero was dead, they turned and ran.

AfterDavid threw a stone that entered the temple of Goliath he wasn’tsatisfied, he didn’t relax in victory, the bible tells us that he ran toGoliaths body and cut off his head and as the Philistines saw this they ran away.Cutting off Goliaths head sealed the victory over the philistines. A lot ofChristian in the world today fail to complete the instructions and tasks they aregiven. The moment a sign of victory begins to emerge they relax and becometardy with the instructions. If you have ever wondered why David rantowards Goliath to cut off his head, you will know that by cutting off Goliathshead he made sure that Goliath (the hero of the Philistines) will never rise again,and this is what we as Christian should begin to emulate. As a Christian we areto finish the assignments and tasks given to us, if we are assigned to fast andpray for three days we should fast and pray for three days, a lot of Christiansfail to understand that when we do not finish our assigned tasks, we are givingtime to the enemy, This Time given to the enemy will allow the enemy to recuperate,reinforce and strike back again even harder. Therefore, we should worktirelessly and rigorously to complete our God assigned tasks to achieve divinevictory.

Seizingthe moment can also mean avoiding procrastination. When God instructs us to dosomething we are to act instantly (without delay). As Christians we are not tocontemplate about what God asks us to do because while thinking, we can losethe momentum of that season.

There is clarion call to arise and desist fromour Luke warmness as true believers of God and not rest for a moment inspiritual activities.

The bible tells us in Ephesians 5:14 ,

"Wherefore he saith, awake thou thatsleepiest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light."

Sleep in this context means submissiveness toslothfulness, procrastination, and sin. The bible tells us here to leave slothfulness,procrastination, and sin, for they all lead to spiritual death and embrace thethings of God so that Christ will show us the way to spiritual growth and life.

Let’s read: Matthew 25:1-13

The passage in Matthew tells us the parable often virgins awaiting the arrival of the bridegroom. Five of the virgins cameprepared by bringing along with them extra oil for their lamps, while the otherfive virgins did not.  As the bridegroomdelayed in arriving, the oil in the lamps of the unprepared Five virginsexhausted so they went in search of oil. While on their search the bridegroom arrived,and the door was shut. This parable simply explains to us we should always beready to seize every moment or opportunity for spiritual and physical growth.

Let’s also read the parable of a man who gavehis servants talents: Matthew 25:14-30

This is the parable of the talents. Thisparable tells us how a man who was about to travel shared talents to hisservants according to their abilities. To one he gave five talents, to anotherhe gave two talents and finally to another he gave one talent. When he returnedfrom his travels, all the servants presented to their master what they had donewith their talents. The bible tells us that the first two servants doubledtheir talents while the servant with one talent buried it in the ground becauseof fear. The servants who doubled their talents were greatly reward and to theone who buried his talent the one talent was taken away.

 As aChristian we are to seize every moment presented to us by God this meanscarrying out Gods instructions even when we are afraid. When we carry out Godsinstructions afraid, our confidence and faith in God is straightened becauseafter we have succeeded, and we are rewarded we know now that we can do allthings through Christ our lord and savior and there is no need to be afraid.

This parable also explains the Justice Systemof God that He is never unjust. He has deposited wonderful treasures in usaccording to our ability and want us to work with the treasures so that wecontinue to pursue the advancement of his kingdom. God desires that we areprofitable with what he has given us.

There is one crucial thing we should bear inmind as Christians, that is, in God's kingdom, it is not about what you aregiven but what you did with what you are given.

AsChildren of God, it is important for us to remember that we are all valuable toour Heavenly father. Having less talents doesn’t make you unworthy orincompetent because what truly matters is what we do with the talents we are given.We should also remember while waiting for our blessings to come, we should bewary of what we do or say at that waiting period, because our words can either prolongor cancel out the blessings of that season. Every Moment or Opportunitypresented to us by God is an opportunity to grow spiritually and physically, AsChristians we are to constantly seek out these moments and seize them byfollowing the tasks and instructions that follow.

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power of resurrection

By pastor obiageli igboanugo

Resurrectionis the greatest manifestation of the power of God. If God in is mightinesscould raise Jesus from the dead, what is impossible for him to do in your life?The greatest enemy in the fullness of his craftiness could not comprehend orput a stop to the coming and resurrection of Jesus Christ and because of this,he was utterly defeated by the power of resurrection.

OurChristianity is founded upon our understanding of the resurrection and thebelief in the resurrection, and this is what distinguishes us from otherreligious practitioners “the understanding in the belief system that Jesusresurrected from the dead and he is alive now and forever more” Revelation1:18a. The power in the resurrection can’t be diminished because Christis alive, interceding for us and executing whatever we say that is His word. Inthe resurrection of Jesus Christ lies the power to overcome the world and theflesh and as believers we should have the revelation of this power because itis by this power, we conquer the world.

Furthermore,believing in the resurrection of Jesus is also acknowledging the Lordship of JesusChrist because He had to die and resurrect to have authority over all things. He didn’t just gain thelordship by the fact that he was originally God, he gained it by conquest, “that through his death he might destroyedhim that had the power of death, that is the devil” Hebrews 2:14. He died so we can live together with him ineternity 1st Thessalonians 5:10, and now that He is alive,all power belongs to him in heaven and on earth Matthew 28:18.

Inthe race of Christianity, we have to believe and proclaim that Jesus is Lordbecause “no man can say that Jesus is theLord, but by the Holy Ghost” 1stCorinthians 12:3b, that is nobody or spirit can submit to the lordship ofJesus only the Christians filled with the holy ghost can accept the lordship ofJesus Christ and make bold proclamation of his lordship.

Let’slook closely into the story of Lazarus John 11:1-53. The power in theresurrection was shown in this story because Lazarus was dead for four days andit was already too late for him to be raised according to the Jewish tradition,it is believed that the body must have decomposed, but Jesus came through andraised Lazarus because His miracle is done when there are no physical possibilities,because when there are still possibilities his sovereign power is limited inthat situation. From the time Jesus rose Lazarus from the dead, there was adetermination to kill Jesus because there was a great dissatisfaction in theheart of the Pharisees about the raising of Lazarus and other miracles He did,the plan to crucify Him begun and was to be enacted as soon as possible becausemany Jews saw what Jesus did and they believed in Him. The Pharisees alsoplanned to kill Lazarus John 12:9-11 so as to get rid ofevery evidence that Lazarus was raised by Jesus because many had believed inHis name and the power in the resurrection. So he was crucified and killed,little did they know that there was a mighty plan by God in His death andresurrection because while he was dead for three days, he was preaching thegospel to the dead in Hades 1 Peter 4:6 and his rising from the deadbrought great power to us as believers.

Jesus’resurrection delivers from fear andits greatest manifestation which is deathHebrews2:15 and also guarantees our rising because there is resurrection foreverybody: There is resurrection to damnation and resurrection toeternal life, anyone who believes in the resurrection of Jesus Christ isrisen unto life John 11:25.

1stCorinthians 15:17 “And ifChrist be not raised, your faith is in vain; ye are yet in your sins”,” but now he is risen from the dead, andbecome the first fruit of them that slept” 1stCorinthians 15:20.

Thesescriptures explain to us that since Christ is risen, we have received completefaith and total forgiveness of sins. His resurrection also delivered us fromthe power of darkness and also translated us into the kingdom of his dear son Colossians1:13-14.

Thegreatest news to us as believers is that the spirit which is the Holy Spiritthat raised Jesus Christ from the dead dwells in us and it gives us life Romans8:11 which says “but if thespirit of him that raised Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised upChrist from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit thatdwelleth in you.” 

SPEAK: DearFather you are the power of resurrection, and that same power brought our LordJesus from the dead despite every opposition so I believe in my situation no matterworse it might be, it can be overcome by the power of resurrection. AMEN


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crowned with glory and honor

By pastor obiageli igboanugo

A crown is an ornament worn by Kings and sovereign Princes as a badge of imperial or regal power and dignity. The crown can also be associated with honorary distinction as a form of reward.

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.

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