MAN UP! In view of this reality, we have often expanded our motto to read, "We are Building a People and a Place to Serve the Lord". Today's write-up has more to do with the people that we are building than the place that we are building. More specifically, it has to do
with the MEN that we are building for the service of GIVE IT UP TO YOUR FATHER
the Lord. In the language of our youth, it is a challenge to the men of UCF to Man Up!!
The Bible clearly vests spiritual authority in the
home and in the church in men. Genesis 3: 16, Joshua 24: 14 and 1 Timothy 2: 11 specifically address these truths. When men grow and thrive spiritually, their
homes thrive and the church thrives as well. When
men do not grow spiritually, their homes suffer and Donâ€™t blame it on the alcohol, Just abstain from it
As we embark on the second half of 2012, it is the church suffers as well. Unfortunately, too many necessary for us to take stock of the progress that we homes and churches are suffering today because have made with respect to the goals that we set at men fail to play their God-given roles at home and in
the beginning of the year. As you know, our motto the church. for the year is "We are Building for His Service" - an
allusion to the fact that this is the year in which we plan to build a new Family Life Center and additional classrooms to enable us serve the Lord better.
Thankfully, the Bible provides us with much guidance on what God expects of men in the home and in the church. To be sure, it is clear from scripture that the expectation of God is that men would be
However, as I have shared previously, it would be strong leaders at home futile to try to build a place to serve the Lord without first building a people to serve Him.
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and at church. In fact, the notion of a weak, lily-livered man is antithetical to 6. the picture of manhood that is cast in the biblical narrative. Several bible passages including Proverbs 31: 23, Ephesians 5: 22 and 1 Peter 3: 1 address these truths.
THE HUSBAND MUST SHOW GENUINE LOVE TOWARD HIS WIFE. His love for her should be unconditional, just as the love between brothers. When brothers disagree, it does not change the fact that they are brothers. Likewise, when a husband disagrees with his wife, it should not terminate his relationship with her. True love overcomes disagreements.
For the avoidance of doubt, let me emphasize that spiritual strength has nothing to do with brute force, a domineering posture or being a tyrant in 7. one’s home. It is not about being a bully toward one’s wife and children; it is not about being feared in one’s home; and it not about a “my way or the
THE HUSBAND MUST BE GENTLE TO HIS WIFE. He must avoid fighting, quarreling and name-calling in order to have his way. He should be gentle in words and action. Gentleness is a sign of strength.
highway” approach to parenting and leadership. Rather, it is about the willful submission to God’s authority, the willful assumption of God-given
THE HUSBAND MUST SACRIFICE FOR HIS WIFE. He must be willing to give up his comfort, convenience, security and resources for his wife. He must love her sacrificially, even as Christ loved the church.
THE HUSBAND MUST FORGIVE HIS WIFE. He must be willing to let matters go when his wife offends him, and resolve not to keep bringing them up once they have been resolved.
responsibilities and the loving and dutiful fulfillment of these responsibilities in the home and in the church. It is doubtful that there is any better barometer of a man’s spiritual strength than his treatment of his wife. The way he treats her is a clear reflection of his submission to God and will have a profound effect on the climate of his home 10. and the lives of his children. Consequently, it will also affect the church to which he belongs. In view of this, I would like to draw our attention to ten (10) responsibilities that God has given Christian men with respect to their wives. According to the Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 3: 1-9, they are as follows: 1.
THE HUSBAND MUST BE A BLESSING TO HIS WIFE. He must understand that he is to be a blessing and not a burden to his wife. He is to be a source of joy and not a source of pain to her.
When a man assumes his God-given responsibilities to his wife, it spills over to his children, and his entire family is strengthened. When the family is
strong, the church is strong because the church of God is made up of families. THE HUSBAND MUST STRIVE TO UNDERSTAND HIS WIFE. Every Weak men make weak families and weak families make weak churches, but woman is different. They have different passions, different strengths, different weaknesses, different life experiences, etc. on the other hand, strong men make strong families and strong families Therefore, husbands should understand their own wives and refrain make strong churches!! from comparing them to other women. When a husband understands his wife’s particular needs, he is in a better position to In closing, let me remind the good men of UCF that if we are to fulfill our respond and please her. goal of Building a People and a Place to Serve the Lord, the process must
THE HUSBAND MUST HONOR AND CHERISH HIS WIFE. He must begin with them. Let us Man Up!! protect and preserve her, treating her as he would something that is delicate and precious. He must know that his very life is tied to hers. Love, If she suffers, he will suffer. If she prospers, he will prosper. He must know that she is a joint heir of the grace of eternal life along with Pastor him.
THE HUSBAND MUST PRAY WITH HIS WIFE. It is the husband’s responsibility to ensure that the family maintains fellowship with God through prayer. He should lead his family spiritually, inviting God’s protection, provision and prosperity upon the home.
THE HUSBAND MUST BE UNITED WITH HIS WIFE. The husband must include his wife in planning and in all matters pertaining to the home. He must solicit her input and listen to her.
THE HUSBAND MUST BE COMPASSIONATE TO HIS WIFE. He must lovingly assist her whenever and wherever she needs his help. He must be sensitive to the burdens that she bears. He should assist her domestically and support her financially, among other things.
Pastor Effiom And Family
This is the first of a three-part outline of the sermon delivered during UCF 2012 Father’s Day Celebration. The first part focuses mainly on our Heavenly Father and his expectations of us as His redeemed children. The sermon was based on our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount as recorded for us in Matthew Chapter 6.
Whenever I have the opportunity to go on the Airplane I love to be on a window seat. And the purpose was to enable me look out the window and absorb the enormity of God’s creation and how little we all are in the grand scheme of things. All the giant buildings all around us become insignificant, even our planet Earth becomes irrelevant the higher you go in space. And in spite of this our Lord is still mindful of us, little people, not wanting our souls to go to waste. Matthew 6:25-34 25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33 seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” These verses uttered by our Lord during the Sermon on the Mount, are a pointer to the wisdom in, and the compassion in, the teachings of Christ Jesus. Jesus demonstrated that He knows the heart of a man. He foreknew that man usually has ready-made arguments about why it is that he cannot avoid being anxious. For starters, man has to provide for his family, and so also the bodily needs of man need to be met. But the Lord Jesus foresaw such thoughts, and He has a heavenly answer for them. At 4 different times in these verses Jesus says "Do Not Worry." First, about life; second, about food; third, about clothing; and fourth, about tomorrow. Simply He forbids us to be over-careful or over-anxious about “temporal stuff” but admonishes us instead to latch on to the providential care of God by seeking first the Kingdom of God. I hope you all realize we are talking about those that are already saved and belong to God. Apart from the 4 areas of our daily worries identified by Jesus, we could add our own list of concerns. People worry too much about: Failure; Accidents; Terrorism; Criticism; Divorce; Losing a loved one; Aging; Some kids have fear of learning Math; Worry about how to afford that perfect gift for someone dear to us.. There is no shortage of things to worry about. The poor worry about how they will get things, the wealthy worry about losing things. Everybody has a ton of things to worry about. Jesus points out to us the uselessness of over-anxiety. Our life is certainly in God's hand; all the care in the world will not make us continue a minute beyond the time which God has appointed. Worrying will not add an hour to our lives, and we shall not die until our work on this side of eternity is done. He gives us examples of the birds of the air, how they make no provision for the future, but rather they live day to day on what they can pick up, using the instinct God has given them. The birds teach us that no man doing his duty in the station to which God has called him, shall ever be allowed to come to poverty. King David knew this divine truth very well and he recorded it for us in the Book of Psalms. Jesus also asks us to observe the flowers of the field. Aren’t they a beauty to behold? They put on the best of colors without any labor at all. God, by His almighty power, clothes them with incredible beauty every season. Jesus adds that this same God, being the Father of all believers, and who takes thought for perishable flowers, will surely not neglect the bodies in which dwell immortal souls (**God spoke every other things into existence, but when it comes to humans, he worked). The rest of God’s creation does not worry, but God provides for them. Only us Humans worry, and that is because our so called intellect. How incredible!!! Jesus suggests to us that over-carefulness about the things of this world is most unworthy of a Christian. For example, when we are bereaved of those whom we love, we are not to "sorrow as others who have no hope." (1 Thess. 4:13.) When
tried by anxieties about this life, we are not to be over-careful, as if we had no God, and no Christ. In the verses just read, to combat the anxiety inherent in man’s nature, Jesus offers us a gracious promise that if we seek first-and-foremost the Kingdom of God, everything that we need on this side of eternity shall be added to us. This means, it shall be added on top of the treasures we have stored up in heaven. Romans 8:28 and Psalm 37:25 expand on this further. Jesus’ promise to me and to you is that tomorrow shall take care of itself. We are to attend to today's business, and leave tomorrow's anxieties till tomorrow comes. And for some people in the world at this moment, that tomorrow may never come, and yet they have killed themselves today with over-anxiety. Attending to today’s business tacitly means that we have to still use our God given talents to the best of our ability each day. One cannot just fold his/her arms and say God will provide. We still have to make the most of each day. When you are working hard at something and it seems you are not getting results, as long as you know that what you are chasing is something that has been deposited in you by God, by all means don’t give up, keep on keeping on. We need to realize that God is busy aligning the stars for your blessing. Our God is never late, He does not allow the blessing to come to you until all the stars have been properly aligned in your favor. If the blessing had come earlier it probably would not last. This is equally applicable to our business people. God wants you to not worry but just to continue to push ahead doing the best you can, truthfully, and as on to the Lord. If you do this, your success is guaranteed.
The story is told of one seven-year-old daughter who was thrilled when her dad took her to Disney World for the first time. She headed straight for Space Mountain. The dad worried that the roller coaster would be too scary for her, but she insisted. To her delight, they rode it twice. The next year they returned to the Magic Kingdom, and the daughter, now eight, again dragged the dad to Space Mountain. As they stood in line, the dad could see her soberly studying the signs that warn about the ride's speed. "Dad," she said, "I don't think I want to go. "The dad then asked her why she would be nervous when she had enjoyed herself so much the last time. She replied, "This year, I can read." Isn’t education wonderful--the nice thing about being educated is that it enables us to worry about things all over the world! What a difference a year makes. The fact is, worry has become an obsession in our modern world. But we as the Redeemed of God must conquer it, and Jesus emphatically tells us we MUST. Basically we all need to learn to give it up to our Heavenly Father. God Bless You!! - (To Be Continued) ……......... (Deacon Adeolu Esho)
In Depth Analysis Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, John 11:25. Not long ago Christians celebrated the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It was an event marked with fanfares and topical sermons. Without a proper grasp of the meaning and implication behind the event makes the whole celebration a ritual without reality. Foremost in my mind is the need to delineate the difference between the resurrection of our Lord and that of Lazarus. Unlike Christ’s death that was once and after that His resurrection. Lazarus was only resuscitated and not resurrected, for he later on died again. One of the great promises of Christ to His followers is the assurance of a resurrection body even if any should die before the rapture. The Lord is the prototype of Christian’s resurrection. The beauty and uniqueness of our Christian faith is that we are not confused unlike the religious world that is uncertain of their after death. It is a fact that Christ is not in the grave, for it was impossible for grave to hold Him captive. Why? Physical death is the result of spiritual death and the acquisition of sin nature right from Adam. Christ had none of these; nevertheless, He suffered a substitutionary death. This was the ‘foolishness of God’, the just for the unjust, and the righteous for the wicked. For on the cross his perfect humanity faced the wrath of God: spiritual and the eventual physical death. The typical example of Christ victory over death is He being the first-fruit from the dead, and so will His followers. Our heavenly Father is the greatest investor, for He sowed a Seed and has been reaping billions since the death of Abel. The Scripture says in 1Cor. 15:20; but now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. By the grace of God we would now focus on what happened after Christ discharged His life on the cross of Calvary. Unarguably, it was not the deity of Christ that suffered death on the cross but His perfect humanity. For Deity cannot die nor has it anything to do with sin, this truth must be noted. God in His infinite wisdom choose to come into this world as a human through the virgin birth, known as the doctrine of incarnation. As perfect humanity the Lord possesses spirit, soul and body. According to Scripture, the power of death could not over power Him, rather it was the Lord who discharged His life on the cross. How? The Scripture says he has the power to dismiss and recall His life. John 10: 18; no one has taken it away from me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it again. This commandment I have received from My Father. In eternity past, before the creation of the world out of nothing (ex nihilo) the Omniscient God, not man, has decreed how exactly Christ is to die. He could have chosen another way, but He did not, a demonstration of the principle of divine decree and co-existence of human will working together through out human history. Nothing happens on earth by chance even though Satan is the god of this world. ICor.4: 4; in whose case the god of this world has blinded the mind of the unbelievers, that they might not see the light of the glory of the gospel of Christ, who is the image of God. Nevertheless the Lord controls history Satan can only accomplish whatever the Lord allows him to. Satan is only a fallen angel, and not the Creator. And people are simply the extension of satanic wickedness. Christ is our role model of crisis management. The significance of application of the principle of impersonal, unconditional love was demonstrated most on the cross. We must be aware that from divine perspective it is not the object that holds a relationship but the subject. Whenever two people come together misunderstanding and tension would arise here and there. This could lead to bitterness, malice, vindictiveness and other mental attitude sins if not handled with spiritual common sense. This secret power of one’s mental attitude impersonal love capacity was the weapon our Lord exercised on the cross. 1Peter 2: 23; and while being reviled He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously. When Christ suffered the worst mental and physical abuse He handled the tortures with utmost perfection. The solution was that He focused on releasing biblical truth resident in His soul during the worst crisis of His 33 years of earthly life. I don’t know the trial of faith you might be passing through now. Have you turned that issue to the Lord without double mind? Sometimes our suffering could be as a result of our bad decision. We may live with some wrong decisions throughout our lifetime while others could be short-lived. Whatever may be the case we need metabolized doctrine as the only legitimate problem solving mechanisms to enable us maintain a balance state of tranquility of the mind. (....To Be Continued) By Rev Godson Amechi
What is forgiveness? What is forgiving?
Willing to forgive
God accepted Job because he had done what was right. Job forgave his friends, he prayed for them and the Lord restored his losses. Job 42: 7-10. Read Matt. 18: 33, “Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant even as I had pity on thee? This question is for us today.
Ready to forgive
Principles and Law of Forgiveness:
a. “The unforgiving Debtor” Matt. 18: 21–22 (NLT). Then Peter came to Him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me, seven times?” No, Jesus replied, “seventy times seven”. b. Prayer of faith: Mark 11:25-26, 25) and when ye stand praying forgive, if ye ought against any, that you’re Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. 26) But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. Luke 6: 37b, Forgive and ye shall be forgiven. James 5:15b “And anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.”
You will be surprised how many people are sick today because of un-forgiveness and bitterness. Sow forgiveness and reap mercy. Unforgiveness is holding back the blessings of many. Release your blessings today if you want progress, prosperity, forgiveness, mercy and divine favor from God. Forgive those who offend you, release them from your heart. Has your Pastor offended you? Forgive him. Has the choir mistress stepped on your toes during practice? Forgive her. Has any member of our congregation offended you or not greeted you when he or she passed by, stepped on your clothes? Forgive such a fellow. If you cannot forgive and truly release that fellow from your heart, you have ceased from walking in love. Note: You forgive your offenders not because you like to but because you have to; not because you desire it but because it is God’s command, not necessarily for their good but for your own good. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. Ps. 66: 18
c. Forgiving members of congregation. 2 Cor. 2:5-8, 7) “Now it is time to forgive him and comfort him. Otherwise he may become discouraged that he won’t be able to recover. 8) Now show him that you still love him.” Matt. 5:25, Come to terms quickly with your enemy before it is too late. Permit me to conclude as follows: Take time and list all the people who d. Offering or Gift, Matt. 5:23-25 (NKJV) “Therefore if thou bring have offended you; go to meet them, one by one and say to them: thy gift to the altar and there remember that thy brother hath ought Brother or sister, what you did to me really hurt me, I am forgiving you against thee, 24) leave there thy gift before the altar and go thy way; because I love myself so much that I have no choice but to forgive and first be reconciled to thy brother and then come and offer thy gift. “ release you from my heart. Since forgiveness is God’s command, That means, whatever you offer to God will be rejected except you first obeying Him in that aspect will be counted to you and me as an act of righteousness. reconcile with the fellow/person. “Those who fail to forgive,” they are without excuse; they deliberately and knowingly choose the course of lawlessness and rejection of God’s 3. Forgiveness Not Negotiable: As long as you live in a Law of Forgiveness. community, someone may step on your toes. As long as you interact with people, misunderstanding is bound to come. No reasonable Note this: “The justice of God: “For there is no partiality with God,” for person will be angry without a cause. It is friction that generates hurt, God does not show favoritism. Roma n 2: 11 (NLT) pain, bitterness and unforgiveness. When people speak evil or lie May God help us to submit to His Principles and Law of Forgiveness? against you, you will feel pain, when the one you trust disappoint you, Amen to that!!! it hurts. Eph. 4:30-32, 32) 30)“And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, 32) and be Mama Mayen Ette ye kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ’s sake hath forgiving you.”
4. How do you handle these problems when they occur? Because if you do not handle such negative feelings properly, they will affect your heart, they will affect your relationship with God to the extent that God will no more answer your prayers.
5. You may ask, why should I forgive my offender or why will God not answer my prayers when I was the one offended? It is because God is also very interested in your relationship with your fellow men. Hence He says in Heb. 12: 14-15, “Follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” 15) Says: “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble and thereby many be defiled.” (Also; read Matt. 6: 12-15, The Lord’s Prayer, “And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. 15) “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Permit me to emphasize this: Jesus says that if we refuse to forgive everyone that is indebted to us, our heavenly Father will not forgive us. He will also retain our sins against us. If we were Joseph, ex: I doubt whether we would have forgiven our brethren, who sold him but Joseph forgave them, Gen. 45: 4-8. What about Job and his three friends, God, had wrath against them, for they had not spoken of God what was right but UCF page 5
DON’T BLAME IT ON THE ALCOHOL, ABSTAIN FROM IT. Let me preface this article by saying, I have nothing against anyone who drinks alcohol and if you do drink, there is no need to hide it from me. I am writing this article to open a healthy discourse about this controversial yet important issue. I have no intention to cause any schisms, however, I do challenge everyone to search the bible and form a biblical conviction for or against drinking alcohol. You have probably heard the saying, “blame it on the alcohol”. It is a tagline people use as an excuse for a mistake they made while they were tipsy, “buzzed” or drunk. If you have ever used this excuse then you remember the headaches, dizziness, overconfidence and of course the embarrassment(s) when you got drunk. I remember the last time I ever drank. It was the night of my secondary school graduation and a bunch of us snuck away from the hostel to an unsupervised party at a day student’s house. The highlight from that night was me embarrassing myself after consuming a bottle of Star beer. I danced really wildly and randomly started stroking the hair of a girl I had not talked to in years (awkward). After that night, I promised myself never to drink alcohol again. I of course blamed it on the alcohol. The problem, however, is that God does not blame our actions on the alcohol but instead He holds us accountable for them even under the influence. Without question the bible condemns drunkenness as sin (Eph. 5:18, Gal. 5:21, Ref. 1). Therefore, the question is not “should I get drunk?” it is, “should I even drink at all?” From Proverbs 31:4-7, the answer is that drinking is not for everyone and not all alcoholic drinks should be drunk because of their negative effects, however, even if you can drink, there is a better option. Proverbs 31:2-9 is the key scripture for SWAGGA (Servants With a God Given Assignment), our boys ministry at UCF Arlington. It is part of a record of a mother’s advice to her son, Lemuel, who has been crowned as King. It gives practical insights on many issues including honoring mothers, proper interacting with women, abstaining from dangerous habits such as drinking alcohol, defending the less fortunate and judging people righteously. Proverbs 31: 4-7 is the section regarding drinking alcohol and it says, “4It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: 5Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. 6Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. 7Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.”(NKJV)
First, Proverbs 31:4 says that alcohol is not for everyone. Specifically, it says that kings and princes should not drink wine or strong drinks because of the position they have as rulers. Their positions require that they make sound decisions while avoiding embarrassing situations. Even a little alcohol can be impede these responsibilities as it did Noah when he got drunk, embarrassed himself and cursed his grandson after God have given him the responsibility of establishing human government (Genesis 9). This restriction on drinking is also given to others in leadership positions such as priests (Leviticus 9) Deacons (1 Timothy 3:8) and bishops or overseers (Titus 1:7). It is understandable why this is so, imagine how uncomfortable you will feel if you found out a pastor (overseer) downed a couple before he preached or tried to counsel you. The call to abstinence however, is not restricted to just leaders. It is open to anyone who wishes to live up to a high standard for God in order to receive blessings (Numbers 6:2-3). It is this group which I advocate for Christians to choose. Second, Proverbs 31:4 explains that all drinks are not made equal. The passage makes a distinction between wine and strong drink (hard liquor). John Walvoord et al explains that Hebrew word, Yayin (translated as wine) usually refers to low alcoholic drinks and even sometimes unfermented grape juice. Conversely, strong drink (Shekar) refers to anything that is intoxicating (Ref. 2). It was also culturally unacceptable to get drunk (Isaiah 5:11). Wine in those days was well diluted and a person had to linger around the bar or mix it with other things in order to get drunk (Proverbs 23:2930, Isaiah 5:11). John MacArthur explains that the alcoholic content of wine back then was about 2.23% or less which is not comparable to the content of wine these days (Ref. 3). In fact, He suggests that the wine Jesus turned water into was close to grape juice which is why it was so sweet. As a result of this, the excuse that a person can drink whatever they want because Jesus turned water into wine is not a valid one. A list of alcoholic contents of different drinks is given below so you can see where what you drink falls. Third, Proverbs 31:5 mentions negative effects of drinking such as forgetfulness and impaired judgment. From further research the negative effects of drinking can be classified into physical, mental, social and spiritual problems. The physical problems include slight brain damage (Ref. 4), liver/organ failures and the numerous deaths as a result of drunken drivers and other people under the influence of alcohol. The metal problems include forgetfulness (Proverb 31:5), impaired judgment (Proverb 20:1, GeneUCF page 6
sis 9) and the tendency to make a fool of oneself (Proverb 20:1). The social problems include bad example to kids, poor witness to unbelievers and offensiveness to some believers. It should be stressed that most kids drink their first drinks in their parents’ wineries and whatever we do in moderation our children tend to do in excess. We need to be careful not to open the door of alcoholism to them. Additionally, drinking does not help our ability witness to Unbelievers who hold Christians to high standards. It also offends some believers (especially ex-alcoholics) and we are not to let our liberties destroy others (1 Corinthians 8:9). Finally, the spiritual problem is that if we drink and get drunk we indeed sin. Additionally many cults use alcohol in idol worship (Ref. 5). Fourth, Proverbs 31:6-7 educates that there can be legitimate reasons for drinking. Strong drink can to be used as an aesthetic for those who are dying or ill. It says, “Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish”. Paul expounds the medicinal sentiment of alcohol when he tells Timothy to drink wine to cure his ailment (1 Timothy 5:13). Another legitimate reason to drink is if there are no better drinking options. For example, John MacArthur explains that in the old days, they did not have technology to purify water and wine was sometimes the healthiest choice (Ref. 3). This however does not apply to us now because we have proper purification techniques and a wide variety of nonalcoholic beverages. finally, people who are not in a leadership roles can exercises their liberty to drink as long as they do not get drunk, offend another person, or upset their own conscience by drinking (Romans 14:21-23). Lastly, in Ephesians 5:17-20, Paul proposes that being filled Holy Spirit is a more fruitful alternative to drinking. He says, “and do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). Lewis Sperry Chafer defines the filling of the Holy Spirit as “a spiritual state where the Holy Spirit is fulfilling all that He came to do in the heart and life of the individual believer” (Ref. 6). It is in this state that a person is able to fully worship and serve God under God’s might. The person overcomes all inhibitions to service and minsters in an almost out of body way. Paul explains that a person can be filled by the Spirit by edifying other believers, Giving God thanks, singing Him songs and humbling oneself under the fear of Him (Ephesians 5:19-20). From my personal experience, there is not a more exhilarating feeling than being filled with the Holy Spirit. Our youth who have been to camp exalted can also attest to this. It is much greater than momentary patch of peace one finds in a
DONâ€™T BLAME IT ON THE ALCOHOL, ABSTAIN FROM IT.contd
bottle. A Christian consistently filled with the Spirit can forgo drinking alcohol and any likewise addictive habits. In conclusion, Christians are not allowed to blame any action on alcohol because God holds them accountable even when they are drunk. Proverbs 31:4-7 explains that drinking is not for everyone and not all alcoholic drinks should be drunk because of their negative effects. And even if it is ok to drink, being filled with the Spirit is a better option. This is why I am a proponent for alcohol abstinence. All together, the bible condemns drunkenness, discourages alcohol drinking and offers being filled by the Holy Spirit as a greater substitute to drinking. Typical Alcohol by Volume Levels (Ref 6) Fruit juice (naturally occurring): less than 0.1% Low-alcohol beer: 0.0%1.2% Kvass: 0.05%-1.5% Cider: 2%-8.5% Beer: 2%-12% (most often 4%6%) Alcopops: 4%-17.5% Makgeolli: 6.5%-7% Mead: 8%-16% Barley wine (strong ale): 8%-15% Wine: 9%-18% (most often 12.5%-14.5%) Dessert wine: 14%-25% Sake (rice wine): 15% (or 18%-20% if not diluted prior to bottling) Liqueurs: 15%-55% Fortified wine: 15.5%-20% (in the European Union, 18%-22%) Soju: 17%-45% (usually 19%) Shochu: 25%-45% (usually 25%) Mezcal, Tequila: 32%-60% (usually 40%) Vodka: 35%-50% (usually 40%) Pure vanilla extract: 35%+ Brandy: 36%-60% Rum: 37.5%80% Sotol: 38%-60% Nalewka: 40%-45% Gin: 40%-50% Whisky: 40%-55% (usually 40% or 43%) Baijiu: 40%-60% Palinka: 42%-86% Rakia and Raki: 42%-86% Bitters 45% Absinthe: 45%-89.9% Poteen: 60%-95% Neutral
grain spirit: 85%-95% Rectified spirit: 96.5% Absolute alcohol: >99 By Amen Omorongbon
EFFECT OF EMPTY NEST SYNDROME (ENS) ON MARRIAGES : I have wondered, pondered and asked questions on why couples would decide to go their separate ways after investing decades of hard work and investments raising their children. The children most of the times are in colleges or out of colleges, mortgages, car notes and other loans are paid off. I then came to a conclusion that not having a solid foundation in the word of God has a lot to do with It but that the "Empty nest syndrome" can not be ignored. What is this syndrome? It is the feeling of depression, sadness, and or grief experienced by parents and care givers after the children come of age and leave their childhood homes. This may occur when they go to college or get married. Women tend to be more affected than their men counterparts because they are going through other significant life changes like, menopause and caring for their aged parents at the same time. We all stay busy during the business / work hours but the feelings rear their ugly heads or creep in when we get home. The children and the activities that kept us busy are not there any longer and God forbid if communication between the parents is already dried up. Often a time, you hear statements like, "There's someone here but no one's home". Quoting T.D Jakes, "Night time often makes people more honest about their needs as well. Loneliness, ignored all day, camouflaged in business clothing, is now stripped naked and clamors for some kind of connection". So if these needs are ignored over a period of time, what do you think happens? God have mercy! I sometimes wonder why God asked the first man this question. "Adam where art thou?" I believe most of us come home physically but not mentally and emotionally. The social media are not making it any easier as some tend to continue their day on the internet, television and phone and stay detached and disconnected from one another. Adam would have been in a similar situation, hence his poor "weaker vessel", Eve got in big trouble that cost them big! Both partners in marriage have some degrees of this empty nest syndrome, so need to feed each other well and both will be satisfied. When you feel this way, occupy yourself doing God's business and He will surely make all things beautiful in His time because everything is possible with God. Also keep good friends, socialize, recreate and go on adventures with them. This is the time to take all those trips and cruises that you never had time to. Shalom! ..............Sister Hope Ekwueme UCF page 7
The PMS (power,money,and sex) Of Marriage: My brethren, how long can we be in denial or lying to ourselves about this cancer that keeps eating deeply into our marriages. Churches not growing spiritually or numerically, prayers not effective, pastors going through unsuccessful counseling and divorce lawyers getting richer. The stress levels, depression and suicide cases are up, the pharmaceutical companies manufacture new medications while the psychiatric facilities and our jails are running out of space. No marriage is exempted from this. No not one! Yours may not be as serious as your neighbor but you surely do not have it well anyway. After reading T.D Jake book, "Strength for men, solutions for women", I come to love him even more. A man of God calling a spade a spade without any compromises. I thank God also for my pastor Effiom who is of similar character. I am blessed to have listened to some women and men as well and our stories remain the same. These encounters have moved me to speak up. Confirmation from more than two witnesses! Basically all woman must have experienced some grade of PMS( premenstrual and pre menopausal syndromes ) at one time of her life. That period of extreme discomfort, agitation, irritability from bloating, cramping and hot flushes. Just as a woman's monthly cycle or menopausal period can produce extreme discomfort, agitation and irritability, so also can the PMS cramp the healthy function of the marriage relationship. As T.D Jake quoted, "Too often I fear that these three topics are not being addressed by the Church, or if they are, they are diluted and sanitized. In our Churches, power in the marriage is often handled by mishandling a few key scripture verses about submission and female roles. Rarely is there an equal emphasis on the male role and husband's submission to his wife. When finances are brought up, it's all very pious-give to the Church, pay your bills on time, and be frugal even as you delight in what the Lord has provided. There's usually not a discussion about the power of debt to suck the life out of a couple's mismatched money goals, about one partner's workaholism and greed, about another partner's shopping addiction and inability to budget", I totally agree with him. Sexuality of course will be hampered by all the above as well as few medical conditions that will need medical interventions. Brethren, these three topics will help each couple navigate through their marriage by the grace and the wisdom of the almighty God which is in His word. So do not give up or give in but maintain a closer connection with one another in "Finding a balance in the power of love and a power in the balance of love. For sure, with God all things are possible. Shalom! ............................By Sister Hope Ekwueme ENTER INTO A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD We can enter into relationship with God through Jesus Christ. This is done through accepting Him as our Lord and personal savior. This is by confession of him by faith that he died for us. Romans 10:8-10 says that if thou shall confess with thy mouth the lord Jesus and shall believe in thine hearth that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shall be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. God is interested in adopting us as his sons. The bible repeatedly present Godâ€™s desire to personally and intimately be involved with his children. He wants to provide the warmth, affection, discipline and accountability that characterize a parent loving relationship. Devine re-fathering is not a simple, overnight process. It requires commitment-prayer and bible study. It is not just a onetime laying of hand by presbytery. It demands that children of God take time to listen to the fatherâ€™s guidance and the act on it. God wants to father all of us until we are sure of his approval, his guiding power and his promise of heaven. God wants us to experience a deeper level of security, a security enough to confront timidity and fear. God wants us to become secure enough in his hand and to crawl out from under the false pretence and quit trying to impress people. When we have this freedom, it produces a divine elasticity in us. This will make us lead with firmness, submit with humility and encourage with enthusiasm. Remain blessed as you read. Rev. Godson Eleda. UCF page 8
Text: Daniel 5:22-31; Matthew 7:1-3
: JUDGING----MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN
NOTHING IN THIS MESSAGE RELATES TO COURTROOM JUDGING. ): Non believers and hypocritical Chistians judge with prejudice. Obama is hated by racists. Even though Obamacare and Affordable Care Act mean the same Health Care Act, racists hate Obamacare but love Affordable Care Act. People are generally in love with their feelings. People judge selfishly by how they feel; through the lens of hatred; through the lens of Influential people; through the influence of bullies; based on race or tribe; through the lens of envy. Christ said, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matth.15:18,19). God, however, judges differently. Let us see how God judges. Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans was an idol worshipper of materialism so he had no appreciation for God just like his father King Nebuchadnezzar. Belshazzar orchestrated a big party to show his disdain for God and utter disregard for things of God. “While he tasted the wine, Belshazzar gave the command to bring the gold and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple which had been in Jerusalem, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them.” During the party, the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them (Daniel 5:22-33). Lessons: 1. GOD IS AN AUSPICIOUS (Perfect and fair) ADJUDICATOR. The Bible teaches us about God’s expediency because in the same hour the King and his party desecrated the Temple’s vessels, a hand appeared and scribbled God’s vengeance on the wall of his palace,” MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.” Interpretation by Prophet Daniel---MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; TEKEL:You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians (Dan. 5) This judgment from God was implemented with lightening speed. V. 30,31. 2. GOD IS A METICULOUS JUDGE. LET US SEE HOW DETAILED AND THOUGHFUL GOD IS. Interpretation by Prophet Daniel---MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians (Daniel 5). The main lesson for us from the experiences of King Belshazzar is that God judges auspiciously after weighing us in His scale. GOD IS WISE, OMNIPOTENT, OMNIPRESENT, AND OMNISCIENT. HIS JUDGING AND JUDGMENTS ARE PERFECT AND BASED ON REAL FACTS GOTTEN FROM HIS INFINITE WISDOM AND METICULOUS PROCESS. WE WILL NOW LOOK AT HOW PEOPLE, JUDGE OTHER PEOPLE. PEOPLE ARE MISINFORMED JUDGES And PEOPLE ARE HYPOCRITICAL JUDGES. 3. PEOPLE ARE MISINFORMED JUDGES. Judge not….(Matt. 7:1a). Christians who are created in God’s image are sometimes misinformed and conflicted about what Jesus Christ was teaching us in Matthew 7 when He admonished, “Judge not,…..We sometimes think that we cannot judge. No, we can judge fellow Christians using the standards and truth of the Word of God. We are permitted to judge fellow Christians. Paul wrote: “For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore "put away from yourselves the evil person” (1 Corinth. 5: 12, 13). THE QUESTION IS ARE YOU QUALIFIED TO JUDGE?. Do you want an unqualified Doctor to perform Surgery on you? Of course, not; Or do you want unqualified Lawyer on your case? In the same vein, how do you judge fellow Christians if you don’t know the Word; you don’t understand the Word, and you don’t live by the Word of God. KNOWING AND LIVING THE TRUTH OF GOD SHALL SET US FREE. OTHERWISE, YOU CANNOT JUDGE CORRECTLY. ” CHRIST was not telling us not to judge at all but that we MUST JUDGE OURSELVES FIRST. Christ stated, “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:1-3). He went further to implore us to remove the plank covering our own eyes so that we would see clearly. SECOND AREA OF MISINFORMATION IS JUDGING NON CHRISTIANS. CHRISTIAN PEOPLE JUDGING NON CHRISTIANS AND NON CHRISTIANS JUDGING CHRISTIANS’ WAY OF LIFE. The judging of non believers should be left to God. See Paul’s instruction: “For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges” (1 Cor. 5). Look further at 1 Corinth. 6 for additional enlightenment on this matter. AS I CLOSE: WE SEE ANOTHER PROBLEM WITH CHRISTIAN PEOPLE. 4. PEOPLE ARE HYPOCRITICAL JUDGES. PEOPLE JUDGE OTHERS WITHOUT JUDGING THEMSELVES FIRST: WE AGREE THAT WE CAN JUDGE FELLOW CHRISTIANS BUT WE should not be hypocritical. We are to judge ourselves first before judging others. Christ stated, “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:1-3). He went further to implore us to remove the plank covering our own eyes so that we would see clearly. See Paul’s instruction: “…….Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges” (1 Corinth. 5). However, Christ wants us to put away hypocrisy in judging by first judging ourselves before judging our fellow believing Christians. GOSSIPING IS ALSO A FORM OF HYPOCRITICAL JUDGING. THAT IS SAYING truthful or false THINGS ABOUT A PERSON BEHIND HIS BACK. Finally, this topic is very important for us when we judgmentally discuss things going on in Nigeria, USA, or any other place around the world. Thus, professing Christians DO NOT judgmentally condemn with malice anything being done by non believers. For example, the acts of non Christians like moslems, agnostics, aetheists, etc. cannot be judged by Christians using Biblical guidelines. Hate the evil done but, do not hate moslems because of Boko Haram. Additionally, hate the evil done but don’t hate those politicians. But, true Christians can judge things being done by other true Christians only after judging themselves, accordingly. The main focus for Christians is self examination and accountability to God, according to UCF page 9
Christ: “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Using Christ’s teachings, we are not qualified to judge or condemn a CHRISTIAN person in Lagos, Kano, Calabar, Enugu or Arlington who is protesting nonpayment of his salary pension or other compensation if we have received our own salary or compensation. We must be careful because judging others unfairly condemns us to God’s judgment. Rev. Jim Reimann wrote, “The best policy, however, is always to search inwardly first. If we are honest with what the Lord exposes in us, we will most likely be too busy to judge others. After all, God can take care of others.” Brethren, when we point the accusatory index finger at someone we must remember that three other fingers are pointing back at us. ”And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?” (Matthew 7). God is the ultimate judge! See Psalm 96:13 FINALLY, JUDGE YOURSELF FIRST BEFORE JUDGING other Christians. God hates hypocrites. Moreover, stop judging unbelievers. God’s judgment is always there no matter what we do because God is an auspicious adjudicator and a detail oriented meticulous judge. MAY GOD FORGIVE -------By Rev Edmund Chinaka Bible Study Questions And Answers Bible Study Q/A : #-1 In view of Paul’s warning in 1Timothy 4, can Christians fall away from the faith? Christians are saved by faith and not by works, that is, what we believe about what Christ has done for us and not what we do (Ephesians 2: 8). Upon salvation, we receive the gift of eternal life and are eternally secure (John 3:16). We receive eternal life because we are made righteous through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21). The righteousness that we receive is positional; it belongs to Christ but is imputed or credited to us, but since it is Christ's, it is nevertheless efficacious or effective to save. (Galatians 3: 6). We receive positional righteousness in Christ, but are empowered and expected to strive for practical righteousness. (Galatians 5: 16-21). When we appear before Christ in judgment, we will receive eternal rewards for the level of practical righteousness that we have attained. (Romans 14: 10-12; Rev. 22: 12). However, in the mean time, as we journey along the path from positional to practical righteousness, we will sin and may even backslide, meaning that we may remain in a sinful state for a period of time. (Romans 7: 24) These sins that we commit AFTER our salvation reflect our lack of practical righteousness and invite divine discipline, but do not revoke our eternal salvation which is based on our positional righteousness in Christ and not our practical righteousness. (1 Corinthians 5: 5). Our post-salvation sins affect our eternal rewards but not our salvation itself, for that salvation is eternally secure, having been secured by Christ. (John 10:27-29) . True believers in Christ do not backslide to the point of unbelief because doing so would make them "antichrist" and the Holy Spirit restrains them from going that far. (2 Thess. 2: 6-7; 1 John 2: 18-23) . Instead of a true believer backsliding into unbelief, God will GRACIOUSLY remove him from this world!! (1 Corinthians 11: 28-32). The falling away from the church (apostasy) mentioned in 1 Timothy 4, is not the falling away of backsliding, but rather the open abandonment of established Christian truths by false teachers who populated the church but were never truly saved.
Bible Study Q/A : #-2 How do we reconcile the fact that we in the church are expected to share the gospel with the world, including Israel, when the Lord has stated in Jeremiah 33 that He will write His covenant in the hearts of the people of Israel and they will have no need of preaching or teaching? The New Covenant, as it relates to Israel, will be fulfilled in the Millennial Kingdom. However, in relation to the church, it is already in force in this Dispensation of Grace (the Church Age). (I Corinthians 11: 25). The New Covenant requires Christians to observe Holy Communion in order to identify with Christ, whose body was broken and whose blood was shed for us. Because it is a covenant with the church (those who are already saved), saving faith is not one of its requirements per se. However, it still requires "living faith" in order to receive its blessings and serve the Lord. The New Covenant obligates God to bestow upon those who identify with Christ by faith through Communion, all of the spiritual benefits belonging to Christ. God has fulfilled His part of the covenant by bestowing on us the spiritual blessings of Ephesians 1:3. Under the New Covenant, God expects us, as Christians, to evangelize the entire world, including Israel, as we have been commissioned to do in Matthew 28: 19-20 and Acts 1:8, by using the power that He has given us. (Romans 10: 14-15) . In keeping with the established pattern of mankind's failure, the church will fail to evangelize the world as she has been commissioned to do. Israel, as a nation, will not be converted during the Church Age. However, some Jews will come to salvation, even as they are doing now. (Romans 11: 7) . Israel, as a nation, will come to Christ, the Word of God having been written in the hearts of its people according to the provisions of the New Covenant, during the Millennial Kingdom when Jesus Christ will reign in Jerusalem as "King of kings". (Romans 11: 11, 26-27). Communion is an ordinance of the church, given by our Lord Jesus Christ. It is not a suggestion or a mere ritual to be taken lightly. Christians are to partake of communion often in order to ensure constant identification with our Lord. It is at "the table of communion", when we remember the body of Christ which was broken as punishment for our sins, and the blood of Christ which purges us from all sin, that the spiritual blessings of the Christian faith are affirmed in our hearts and spiritual power is appropriated for victorious living!! Partaking of communion elements does not impart healing to the sick per se, but when it is done in faith, it does energize our faith in God for healing, according to His will. Many Christians partake of Communion as a matter of ritual and nothing happens. However, some partake in faith and are strengthened for healing and other exploits for Christ!! The early church celebrated Communion every time they came together in worship. Many churches still do and we should too!!
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Pictures From Recent Church Events ..
Pastor Commends Sister Josie After Mother’s Day Message
Mom And Aunties Congratulate Little Jeremiah At Easter Egg Hunt
Pastor And First Lady’s 5th Anniversary
Sister Binta Appreciates Bro Tony At Father’s Day Outing
Children Having Fun At The Annual Picnic
Our Women Enjoying The Annual Picnic
The Nwosu’s Receive An Award At The Marriage Enrichment Seminar
Bro Lamuel Teaching The Youth At VBS
Deac Esho Leading The Grill Masters At The Church Picnic
The Eleda Family Dedicating Another Blessing From God
Some Of Our Women Wishing Bro Steve Happy Father’s Day
Men’s Fellowship After Father’s Day
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Congratulations To The Summer 2012 Graduates!!!
Brenda Osemwengie With Mom And Some Aunties - Lamar High School -
Joy Ekwueme With The Rest Of The Family - Lamar High School-
Rashid Idodo And Daniel Adegoke - Timberview High School -
Other Graduates Not Highlighted Above: Ufoma Oweh (Dubiski Career School) - Aisha Ibrahim (Summit High School) Adeoye Esho (MIT Engineering) - Stacey Aguwaife (UT Arlington)
From The Editor's Desk
We thank God for seeing us through the publication of another issue of our quarterly newsletter and I want to use this opportunity to thank all the contributors of articles and pictures to this compilation. Our newsletter is another forum we are currently using to share the word of God outside the four walls of our church. We are therefore using this opportunity to encourage us to take heed of the word of God and use this forum as one of the various channels available to us to SPREAD THE LIVING WORD TO A DYING WORLD. We love you with the love of the Lord and we look forward to more of our members taking an active role in bringing to fruition the publication of future editions of our UCF QUARTERLY. Member support is welcome through submission of articles and church related pictures to email@example.com, advertising opportunities are available to business owners @ $50 per quarter page and donations can also be made by writing a check to UCF with memo note "newsletter". Remain blessed and remember that "He who began a good work in you shall carry it to completion until the day of Jesus Christ" .................The Editors
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