Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Divine grace’

The source of peace…


By Pastor Bobby Schuller

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” 
-Romans 5:1-2

The love of God in you says this: It’s not what you do that makes you important, it’s not what you have that makes you important, and it’s not what people say about you that makes you important. It’s just the simple fact that you’re God’s beloved child. He says, “I love you and I’m well pleased in you. I take pleasure in you. All of this is for you, your brothers, and sisters, whom I love and adore.”

It seems too simple. I know God loves me. Well, I suppose he loves me…if I do this, if I accomplish that, or if I have this. He loves me if I’ve completed enough things on his love list.

But, it’s not like that, my friends. That’s what grace is – the unmerited love, pleasure, and favor of God on you, regardless of what you do, what people say about you, what you have, what you accomplish or don’t accomplish in your life.

Nothing brings peace like God’s grace-filled love in our lives.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the love you have for me – unearned favor from you that has nothing to do with my accomplishments or my failures. I have peace through your grace-filled love in my life. Amen.

Devotion: Peace is mentioned in this devotion. What other feeling, thought, or emotion do you experience as you think about God’s love for you?

A Vaulted Tale.


And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshipped Him.
Matthew 2:11

Recommended Reading
Acts 17:22-31 ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%2017:22-31&version=NKJV )

J. Edgar Parks wrote about a man named George Mason, a banker who inadvertently locked himself in his bank vault on Christmas Eve. He didn’t get out until the morning after Christmas, when he slipped out sheepishly but silently as the door automatically swung open. What bothered him most was that nobody had missed him. He had been so detached from Christmas preparations that not a single person had noticed his absence. He resolved to never again “miss” Christmas.

Listen to Today’s Radio Message ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio.aspx?tid=email_listenedevo )

Few people are ever locked in a bank vault, but lots of people miss Christmas. They may party, spend, give, receive, and concentrate on the things of the world. But none of that speaks of the essence of Christmas. The true celebration of Christmas is when we ponder afresh the grace of God who became human, entered history through a virgin’s womb, and brought redemption to the world. Pondering these things leads to prayer, and prayer leads to worship, and worship leads to obedience and joyful service.

If you’re in a vault of your own making — busyness or bitterness or business — break out of it. Worship Christ the Newborn King.

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Titus 1-Philemon 1

By David Jeremiah.

The Dark Side Of Duck Dynasty Exposed (MUST-SEE VIDEO).


Duck Dynasty is one of the most watched shows in the history of television. It follows the Robertson family and their business, The Duck Commander.

What most people don’t know is the dark past that only their faith in God helped get them through.The Robertson family has battled drugs, alcoholism, and suicidal tendencies. Through all this pain great things have emerged.

dark-duck-dynasty-phil-robertson-miss-kay-exposed

CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH THE VIDEO NOW.

click-here-to-read-the-rest-of-this-story-on-before-its-news-from-now-the-end-begins-nteb-geoffrey-griderThis is their story as filmed by I Am Second. It is about 30 minutes long. If you can’t watch the whole thing… just watch the first 3 minutes. You’ll be glad

by NTEB News Desk

Calling Nigeria ‘Work In Progress,’ Jonathan Declares Economy ‘Robust’.


By SaharaReporters, New York

President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday set up an advisory committee on National Dialogue to establish the modalities for a National Dialogue or Conference.  The Committee will also design a framework and recommend the form, structure and mechanism of the process.

Mr. Jonathan was speaking on the occasion of Nigeria’s 53rd independence anniversary.

In what appeared to be an abrupt decision, he said the committee will be chaired by Dr. Femi Okurounmu while Dr. Akilu Indabawa will serve as the Secretary. He said he expected the report to be ready in one month, a complete surprise considering that full membership was yet to be announced.  Following the receipt of the committee’s report, he said the nation will be briefed on the nomenclature, structure and modalities of the Dialogue.

“In truth, Nigeria is still a work in progress and we are challenged everyday to keep building in spite of the various obstacles that we face,” he told Nigerians.  “Our strength has been in our diversity. If we look back over the years, we can say confidently that there is every reason to celebrate.”

In another claim that is bound to be controversial, he said Nigeria on its journey to greatness has built an economy that is robust and erected enduring infrastructure and institutions of democracy.

“Our social system is now more inclusive, open and compassionate. We are waging a steady battle against poverty, unemployment, and corruption. Our sense of community, solidarity and shared expectation is strong and capable of withstanding the present social, economic and political challenges that still confront us.”

He called on Nigerians to begin to align their political utterances and conduct solely to the nobler passions that unite our people, stressing that ordinary folks, not politicians make a nation.

Why he tried to rally Nigerians against extremism, he curiously mentioned corruption only once, claiming to be “waging a steady battle” against it along with poverty, and unemployment, and corruption.  In a new line in his recent speeches, Mr. Jonathan has stated that the menace of corruption is exaggerated in Nigeria, and he did not dwell.

On extremism, he said, “I implore every Nigerian – wherever you are, whatever language you speak, whatever your religious persuasion, whichever Political Party you support -: let us join together to fight this evil of extremism.”

Full text of the address:

Address by
His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR
On the Occasion of
Nigeria’s 53rd Independence Anniversary
Tuesday 1st October, 2013

FELLOW NIGERIANS,

1.           Today marks 53 years of our Independence as a nation.
First and foremost, I would like to say congratulations to us all.
Through thick and thin, we have built this country together. Through
triumphs and trials, we have developed a Nigerian identity in our own
way.

2.           In truth, Nigeria is still a work in progress and we are
challenged everyday to keep building in spite of the various obstacles
that we face. Our strength has been in our diversity. If we look back
over the years, we can say confidently that there is every reason to
celebrate.

3.           Today’s Independence anniversary is unique because it is
the last before we mark our centenary. On January 1, 2014, Nigeria
will be 100 years old as a country, following the amalgamation of the
Protectorates of Southern and Northern Nigeria in 1914.

4.           Beloved country men and women, traditionally, the
Presidential address on this symbolic day has served two purposes.  It
has, quite rightly, been used to remind all Nigerians about our
heritage.  It has also allowed my predecessors and I to comment on our
stewardship to the nation and make political capital out of a state
occasion.

5.           But this year, I will not. Because, today of all days, we
should not be scoring political points. On the contrary, in this last
year of the first century of our Union, we should be addressing our
future as a Nation and a people!

6.           I admit that these may not be the best of times for our
nation. Our people are divided in many ways – ethnically, religiously,
politically, and materially. I cannot hide from this reality. I cannot
hide from my own responsibilities.

7.           As we prepare to mark the centenary, therefore, today
offers us an opportunity to reflect on our long journey to nationhood
and the progress we have made so far. Whatever the challenges that we
may face, we have every reason to be proud of our national
accomplishments; we have every reason to remain proud and optimistic.
Our collective national journey has witnessed great watersheds, thanks
to our spirit of endurance, perseverance and sacrifice.  Getting the
rest of the job done with determination and courage is just a matter
of time. We are Nigerians, a nation of talented people, endowed with
resources, potentials, and Divine Grace.

8.           In our journey to greatness as a nation, we have built an
economy that is robust and erected enduring infrastructure and
institutions of democracy. Our social system is now more inclusive,
open and compassionate. We are waging a steady battle against poverty,
unemployment, and corruption. Our sense of community, solidarity and
shared expectation is strong and capable of withstanding the present
social, economic and political challenges that still confront us.

9.           In saying this, I am reminded of the comments I made a
week ago to a cross-section of Nigerians in New York during the 68th
United Nations General Assembly. I declare now as I declared then: we
have a duty as Nigerians, whatever may be our differences or
prejudices, to always put Nigeria first.

10.       Our politics should be an art of patriotic labour and
selfless service to the community, particularly by the political elite
who are placed in positions of great trust and responsibility.
Politics has its own high moral principles which abhor distracting and
divisive rhetoric. As men and women in leadership, we must continually
focus on service, duty, responsibility, and the next generation. Those
who are elected to govern at all levels must focus on improving the
lives of our people, not selfish ambition.

11.      In the words of the American theologian and author, James
Freeman Clarke, ‘a politician thinks of the next election; a statesman
of the next generation’. Whether we are Muslims or Christians; rich or
poor; from the North or the South; East or West; regardless of our
political affiliations, this is the time for every one of us to be a
statesman!

12.      My clarion call therefore, on this special day, is that we
should begin to align our political utterances and conduct solely to
the nobler passions that unite our people. Politicians do not make a
nation; ordinary folks do.

13.      Our nation is made great by the big and small efforts of
regular citizens. These are the teachers and men and women in
academics who inculcate the knowledge and wisdom that transform into
tomorrow’s wealth; the traders and market women who tend to our
everyday needs; the farmers whose labour feeds the nation; the
artisans whose work ensures that our homesteads are well maintained;
the doctors, pharmacists, nurses, accountants, bankers, engineers, and
other professionals who add value to our lives; the sportsmen and
women and those in the creative industry who bring honour and fame to
our nation;

14.      And the men and women of our armed forces and security
services who toil day and night so that you and I may live in a safe
and secure nation.

15.      It is the individual and collective heroism of these regular
folks that has placed our nation on the path of greatness. Politics
and politicians sometimes distract the people and create unnecessary
tension.

16.      But our independence celebration is about the same people,
the people of Nigeria: their industry, sense of mission and purpose,
and their patience and perseverance as we navigate historical turns in
our march towards prosperity and self-sufficiency. Today, I salute the
people of Nigeria.

17.      My Compatriots, history has proven that nations take time to
evolve. We should rejoice in our democracy because it enables us to be
united by our differences, not destroyed by them. And, there is no
more crucial time for us to be united than now.

18.      The threats we face may be real and immediate. But we are not
alone in this regard. It is a difficult season for much of the world:
industrialized or developing; rich or poor. What matters are the
lessons we learn, the wisdom we demonstrate, and the victory we snatch
from the jaws of likely defeat.

19.      And I tell you, more than anything else, there are lessons to
learn, and every cause to be thankful. If I must cite one example,
take Syria. As we all pray and work for a return to normalcy in Syria,
it would be helpful for us to reflect on the fact that Syria was once
a peaceful, thriving, multi-cultural nation which played host to a
mosaic of religions and ethnicities.

20.      But that once idyllic nation has today become a theatre of
human misery of unimaginable proportions as a result of the activities
of extremist forces.

21.      Fellow Nigerians, the spectre of extremism haunts every
democracy in every corner of the globe. While we celebrate our
independence and good fortune, our hearts must grieve for those who
have lost loved ones in numerous terrorist activities around the
world.

22.      Back home, I admit being overtaken by deep feelings of grief,
whenever news reached me of the appalling atrocities in some of our
States, especially the North Eastern part of our country. Just two
days ago, terrorist elements attacked the College of Agriculture in
Gujba, Yobe State killing a number of innocent students of the
institution and other residents in cold blood, most of them in their
sleep.  This act of barbarism is a demonstration of the extent to
which evil forces will go to destabilize our nation. But I assure you,
they will not succeed.

23.      My heart goes out to the families of all those who have
fallen victim of these dastardly acts. Our Administration will not
rest until every Nigerian is free from the oppression of terrorism. I
reassure you that no cost will be spared, no idea will be ignored, and
no resource will be left untapped in the quest to enable our people
live without fear.

24.      On this day, I implore every Nigerian – wherever you are,
whatever language you speak, whatever your religious persuasion,
whichever Political Party you support -: let us join together to fight
this evil of extremism.

25.      On behalf of us all, I commend our Armed Forces and security
agencies for their dedication and bravery in the face of grave danger,
and in the name of our collective liberty.

26.      Fellow Nigerians, this is a time to pull together behind the
national cause: the cause of our freedom, and our future. We must
rekindle the spirit of Nigeria, to ensure that every democrat and
every lover of peace in this great nation continues to live in a free,
peaceful, and secure Nigeria.

27.      On my part, I re-dedicate myself completely to the service of
this great country. I was elected President to continue the process of
building a prosperous nation where hopes, dreams and aspirations would
be fulfilled. Nigerians, home and abroad, want a country they can be
proud to call their own.  I am pleased to affirm that, no matter the
challenges we face, we are on the right path to greatness. Our
Transformation Agenda, which is part of the overall vision of making
Nigeria a land of greatness, has been delivering positive and
encouraging results.

28.      On May 29th this year, I presented to the nation a mid-term
report of my Administration’s Transformation Agenda. This was
conceived as an integrated policy aimed at reconstructing not only
institutional governance for effective and efficient service delivery,
but also a re-orientation of national norms and values.  The document
captured the essence of our agenda in relation to core objectives and
achievements.

29.      I have been consistently mindful of the weight of public
expectation to find solutions to the challenges that confront us
because the mandate we have is a free and sacred one. In all that I
have done, I have been guided by this sacred obligation, to work hard
for the good of Nigeria and to make life better for Nigerians. I want
to assure everyone that Nigeria, under my leadership, will not fail.

30.      Exactly 53 years ago today, Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa
urged us to ‘move with quiet dignity to our place on the world stage’.
I am sure that there have been times when every one of us must have
questioned how closely we have followed that injunction.

31.      But again, I can reassure you that Nigeria’s place on the
world stage today is strong and safe, and it is certainly a place of
dignity and respect. We must continue to build on this by remaining a
nation and a people committed to ideals, the noblest humanitarian
values, and the rule of law.

32.      Our Constitution is anchored ultimately on the idea of
freedom and fundamental rights: freedom of expression; freedom from
discrimination; freedom to vote and be voted for, and the right to
human dignity. These are the core values of a true democracy. These
are the values of which we must never lose sight.

33.      In my address to the UN General Assembly last week, I
emphasized the crucial role of democratization in improving the
fortunes not just of this country, but of our entire continent.
Democratic values encourage diversity. They encourage discourse. They
encourage disagreement. This is the joy of democracy.

34.      It enables us to have an opinion. And ultimately, the ballot
box gives us all the opportunity to instigate change. When democracy
works, it does not destroy a nation. It unites and defines it.

35.      Fellow Nigerians, our Administration has taken cognizance of
suggestions over the years by well-meaning Nigerians on the need for a
National Dialogue on the future of our beloved country. I am an
advocate of dialogue. When there are issues that stoke tension and
bring about friction, it makes perfect sense for the interested
parties to come together to discuss.

36.      In demonstration of my avowed belief in the positive power of
dialogue in charting the way forward, I have decided to set up an
Advisory Committee whose mandate is to establish the modalities for a
National Dialogue or Conference. The Committee will also design a
framework and come up with recommendations as to the form, structure
and mechanism of the process.

37.      The Committee will be chaired by Dr. Femi Okurounmu while Dr.
Akilu Indabawa will serve as the Secretary. The full membership of the
Committee will be announced shortly.

38.      I expect the Report to be ready in one month, following which
the nation will be briefed on the nomenclature, structure and
modalities of the Dialogue.

39.      Fellow Nigerians, the past 53 years have seen Nigeria evolve
on an epic scale.  Our progress since independence has not always been
smooth. This is, after all, our Fourth Republic; but despite all its
flaws, it has lasted longer than all the previous three put together.
That is progress and it proves that, our differences – real and
imagined – notwithstanding, we are, in every sense, a united nation.

40.      This is no time for the harmful clutches of parochial
sentiments and the politics of bitterness, impunity, arrogance and
unhelpful indiscipline. We must stand as one, with absolute commitment
and resolve to resist any force that threatens us and the sanctity of
our union.

41.      I want to thank all our country men and women who have stood
by this Administration in the midst of mounting challenges and
enormous expectations.

42.      I recognize that it is not easy to keep believing in the
possibilities of our greatness when our faith is constantly
challenged. But let me assure you that, if we do not despair, we shall
reap the reward of our labour in due season.

43.      It is my prayer that, another 53 years from now, our children
and grand-children will look back on our effort and be thankful that
we kept the faith.

44.      May God continue to bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

45.      I wish you all a very happy 53rd Independence Celebration.

46.      I thank you.

Full Text Address by His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR.


FELLOW NIGERIANS,

1. Today marks 53 years of our Independence as a nation. First and foremost, I would like to say congratulations to us all. Through thick and thin, we have built this country together. Through triumphs and trials, we have developed a Nigerian identity in our own way.

2. In truth, Nigeria is still a work in progress and we are challenged everyday to keep building in spite of the various obstacles that we face. Our strength has been in our diversity. If we look back over the years, we can say confidently that there is every reason to celebrate.

3. Today’s Independence anniversary is unique because it is the last before we mark our centenary. On January 1, 2014, Nigeria will be 100 years old as a country, following the amalgamation of the Protectorates of Southern and Northern Nigeria in 1914.

4. Beloved country men and women, traditionally, the Presidential address on this symbolic day has served two purposes. It has, quite rightly, been used to remind all Nigerians about our heritage. It has also allowed my predecessors and I to comment on our stewardship to the nation and make political capital out of a state occasion.

5. But this year, I will not. Because, today of all days, we should not be scoring political points. On the contrary, in this last year of the first century of our Union, we should be addressing our future as a Nation and a people!

6. I admit that these may not be the best of times for our nation. Our people are divided in many ways – ethnically, religiously, politically, and materially. I cannot hide from this reality. I cannot hide from my own responsibilities.

7. As we prepare to mark the centenary, therefore, today offers us an opportunity to reflect on our long journey to nationhood and the progress we have made so far. Whatever the challenges that we may face, we have every reason to be proud of our national accomplishments; we have every reason to remain proud and optimistic. Our collective national journey has witnessed great watersheds, thanks to our spirit of endurance, perseverance and sacrifice. Getting the rest of the job done with determination and courage is just a matter of time. We are Nigerians, a nation of talented people, endowed with resources, potentials, and Divine Grace.

8. In our journey to greatness as a nation, we have built an economy that is robust and erected enduring infrastructure and institutions of democracy. Our social system is now more inclusive, open and compassionate. We are waging a steady battle against poverty, unemployment, and corruption. Our sense of community, solidarity and shared expectation is strong and capable of withstanding the present social, economic and political challenges that still confront us.

9. In saying this, I am reminded of the comments I made a week ago to a cross-section of Nigerians in New York during the 68th United Nations General Assembly. I declare now as I declared then: we have a duty as Nigerians, whatever may be our differences or prejudices, to always put Nigeria first.

10. Our politics should be an art of patriotic labour and selfless service to the community, particularly by the political elite who are placed in positions of great trust and responsibility. Politics has its own high moral principles which abhor distracting and divisive rhetoric. As men and women in leadership, we must continually focus on service, duty, responsibility, and the next generation. Those who are elected to govern at all levels must focus on improving the lives of our people, not selfish ambition.

11. In the words of the American theologian and author, James Freeman Clarke, ‘a politician thinks of the next election; a statesman of the next generation’. Whether we are Muslims or Christians; rich or poor; from the North or the South; East or West; regardless of our political affiliations, this is the time for every one of us to be a statesman!

12. My clarion call therefore, on this special day, is that we should begin to align our political utterances and conduct solely to the nobler passions that unite our people. Politicians do not make a nation; ordinary folks do.

13. Our nation is made great by the big and small efforts of regular citizens. These are the teachers and men and women in academics who inculcate the knowledge and wisdom that transform into tomorrow’s wealth; the traders and market women who tend to our everyday needs; the farmers whose labour feeds the nation; the artisans whose work ensures that our homesteads are well maintained; the doctors, pharmacists, nurses, accountants, bankers, engineers, and other professionals who add value to our lives; the sportsmen and women and those in the creative industry who bring honour and fame to our nation;

14. And the men and women of our armed forces and security services who toil day and night so that you and I may live in a safe and secure nation.

15. It is the individual and collective heroism of these regular folks that has placed our nation on the path of greatness. Politics and politicians sometimes distract the people and create unnecessary tension.

16. But our independence celebration is about the same people, the people of Nigeria: their industry, sense of mission and purpose, and their patience and perseverance as we navigate historical turns in our march towards prosperity and self-sufficiency. Today, I salute the people of Nigeria.

17. My Compatriots, history has proven that nations take time to evolve. We should rejoice in our democracy because it enables us to be united by our differences, not destroyed by them. And, there is no more crucial time for us to be united than now.

18. The threats we face may be real and immediate. But we are not alone in this regard. It is a difficult season for much of the world: industrialized or developing; rich or poor. What matters are the lessons we learn, the wisdom we demonstrate, and the victory we snatch from the jaws of likely defeat.

19. And I tell you, more than anything else, there are lessons to learn, and every cause to be thankful. If I must cite one example, take Syria. As we all pray and work for a return to normalcy in Syria, it would be helpful for us to reflect on the fact that Syria was once a peaceful, thriving, multi-cultural nation which played host to a mosaic of religions and ethnicities.

20. But that once idyllic nation has today become a theatre of human misery of unimaginable proportions as a result of the activities of extremist forces.

21. Fellow Nigerians, the spectre of extremism haunts every democracy in every corner of the globe. While we celebrate our independence and good fortune, our hearts must grieve for those who have lost loved ones in numerous terrorist activities around the world.

22. Back home, I admit being overtaken by deep feelings of grief, whenever news reached me of the appalling atrocities in some of our States, especially the North Eastern part of our country. Just two days ago, terrorist elements attacked the College of Agriculture in Gujba, Yobe State killing a number of innocent students of the institution and other residents in cold blood, most of them in their sleep. This act of barbarism is a demonstration of the extent to which evil forces will go to destabilize our nation. But I assure you, they will not succeed.

23. My heart goes out to the families of all those who have fallen victim of these dastardly acts. Our Administration will not rest until every Nigerian is free from the oppression of terrorism. I reassure you that no cost will be spared, no idea will be ignored, and no resource will be left untapped in the quest to enable our people live without fear.

24. On this day, I implore every Nigerian – wherever you are, whatever language you speak, whatever your religious persuasion, whichever Political Party you support -: let us join together to fight this evil of extremism.

25. On behalf of us all, I commend our Armed Forces and security agencies for their dedication and bravery in the face of grave danger, and in the name of our collective liberty.

26. Fellow Nigerians, this is a time to pull together behind the national cause: the cause of our freedom, and our future. We must rekindle the spirit of Nigeria, to ensure that every democrat and every lover of peace in this great nation continues to live in a free, peaceful, and secure Nigeria.

27. On my part, I re-dedicate myself completely to the service of this great country. I was elected President to continue the process of building a prosperous nation where hopes, dreams and aspirations would be fulfilled. Nigerians, home and abroad, want a country they can be proud to call their own. I am pleased to affirm that, no matter the challenges we face, we are on the right path to greatness. Our Transformation Agenda, which is part of the overall vision of making Nigeria a land of greatness, has been delivering positive and encouraging results.

28. On May 29th this year, I presented to the nation a mid-term report of my Administration’s Transformation Agenda. This was conceived as an integrated policy aimed at reconstructing not only institutional governance for effective and efficient service delivery, but also a re-orientation of national norms and values. The document captured the essence of our agenda in relation to core objectives and achievements.

29. I have been consistently mindful of the weight of public expectation to find solutions to the challenges that confront us because the mandate we have is a free and sacred one. In all that I have done, I have been guided by this sacred obligation, to work hard for the good of Nigeria and to make life better for Nigerians. I want to assure everyone that Nigeria, under my leadership, will not fail.

30. Exactly 53 years ago today, Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa urged us to ‘move with quiet dignity to our place on the world stage’. I am sure that there have been times when every one of us must have questioned how closely we have followed that injunction.

31. But again, I can reassure you that Nigeria’s place on the world stage today is strong and safe, and it is certainly a place of dignity and respect. We must continue to build on this by remaining a nation and a people committed to ideals, the noblest humanitarian values, and the rule of law.

32. Our Constitution is anchored ultimately on the idea of freedom and fundamental rights: freedom of expression; freedom from discrimination; freedom to vote and be voted for, and the right to human dignity. These are the core values of a true democracy. These are the values of which we must never lose sight.

33. In my address to the UN General Assembly last week, I emphasized the crucial role of democratization in improving the fortunes not just of this country, but of our entire continent. Democratic values encourage diversity. They encourage discourse. They encourage disagreement. This is the joy of democracy.

34. It enables us to have an opinion. And ultimately, the ballot box gives us all the opportunity to instigate change. When democracy works, it does not destroy a nation. It unites and defines it.

35. Fellow Nigerians, our Administration has taken cognizance of suggestions over the years by well-meaning Nigerians on the need for a National Dialogue on the future of our beloved country. I am an advocate of dialogue. When there are issues that stoke tension and bring about friction, it makes perfect sense for the interested parties to come together to discuss.

36. In demonstration of my avowed belief in the positive power of dialogue in charting the way forward, I have decided to set up an Advisory Committee whose mandate is to establish the modalities for a National Dialogue or Conference. The Committee will also design a framework and come up with recommendations as to the form, structure and mechanism of the process.

37. The Committee will be chaired by Dr. Femi Okurounmu while Dr. Akilu Indabawa will serve as the Secretary. The full membership of the Committee will be announced shortly.

38. I expect the Report to be ready in one month, following which the nation will be briefed on the nomenclature, structure and modalities of the Dialogue.

39. Fellow Nigerians, the past 53 years have seen Nigeria evolve on an epic scale. Our progress since independence has not always been smooth. This is, after all, our Fourth Republic; but despite all its flaws, it has lasted longer than all the previous three put together. That is progress and it proves that, our differences – real and imagined – notwithstanding, we are, in every sense, a united nation.

40. This is no time for the harmful clutches of parochial sentiments and the politics of bitterness, impunity, arrogance and unhelpful indiscipline. We must stand as one, with absolute commitment and resolve to resist any force that threatens us and the sanctity of our union.

41. I want to thank all our country men and women who have stood by this Administration in the midst of mounting challenges and enormous expectations.

42. I recognize that it is not easy to keep believing in the possibilities of our greatness when our faith is constantly challenged. But let me assure you that, if we do not despair, we shall reap the reward of our labour in due season.

43. It is my prayer that, another 53 years from now, our children and grand-children will look back on our effort and be thankful that we kept the faith.

44. May God continue to bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

45. I wish you all a very happy 53rd Independence Celebration.

46. I thank you.

SOURCE! http://newsinigeria.blogspot.com/2013/10/full-text-of-address-by-his-excellency.html

Confidence in Whom?.


Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
Hebrews 10:35

Recommended Reading
Ephesians 3 ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%203&version=NKJV )

If you confide in a friend, you put your trust in him or her. English confide, confidant, and confidence all come from Latin confidere: the intensive prefix con and fidere, meaning trust.  Con, as a prefix in Western languages, can also mean “with.” So confidence means “with trust or faith.” The English words  confidence and confidently occur 36 times in the Bible (NKJV).

Listen to Today’s Radio Message ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio.aspx?tid=email_listenedevo )

The writer to the Hebrews talks about remaining confident in Christ “to the end” (Hebrews 3:6, 14) and exhorts his readers not to lose their confidence, “which has great reward” (Hebrews 10:35). The Greek word for confidence also occurs in Hebrews 4:16 where it is translated “boldly” — an exhortation to come boldly, with confidence and without doubting, into God’s presence to “obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” The apostle Paul says our confidence is not in ourselves but in Christ (Ephesians 3:12).

If confidence means “with faith,” the next question is, Faith in whom or what? The rewards of confidence are only as good as its object. Make sure your confidence is in Christ alone.

Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man would stake his life on it a thousand times.
Martin Luther

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Haggai 1-2

By David Jeremiah.

{ Day 248 }.


The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. —Psalm 116:5-7

It was the Lord’s idea to be gracious to us, not our own. He longs to be gracious far more than we long for Him to be. But that grace must establish His relationship with us, not undermine it. Therefore He will not release it in fullness until He hears the great cry of His people, signifying our readiness. Though He will release a certain administration of grace no matter what, He’s looking forward to giving more than that introductory dimension of the kingdom of God. He convinces us of what is in His heart as we cry out to Him day after day. We do not earn anything by crying out. We cannot sing or shout and earn power. Rather, the Lord’s plan is that when we lift our voices to Him, our hearts become receptive and connected to Him. When that happens, we enter a realm where God’s blessing and grace actually establish and enhance intimacy with God instead of diminishing it. The process of prayer has surprised, tenderized, and drawn us into intimacy with Him.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Lord, my heart cries out with a desire to experience the fullness of Your glory. Let me abide with You in the spiritual realm of blessing and grace and experience a deeper relationship with You.

The Lord longs to be gracious to us, but He
won’t be when it threatens to
alienate us from Him.

By MIKE BICKLE.

Truthful Hearts.


Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. —Psalm 51:6

God wants nothing less than complete honesty from us. The word in Hebrew for “truth” is amet. It means to be totally honest and transparent. Who we are on the outside is to be absolutely consistent with who we are inside. He who comes to God with the acknowledgment of his sin comes in truth—a sinner saved by grace. His grace requires nothing more than truth from the truly repentant.

A sincere heart is not a perfect heart, a holy heart, or even one dedicated to service—it is a heart willing to reveal itself just as it is and nothing more.

You need not be afraid of shocking God. There is nothing about you He does not already know. Even the hairs of your head are numbered.

Be honest with God. He who searches the hearts of men will never withhold His grace and mercy from you.

Jesus, I embrace Your truth and Your ways. Make me
totally transparent to You. I desire to serve You
alone. Guide and direct me in all truth,
I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

By ROD PARSLEY.

Your unique story…


By Pastor Fred Gillett

“He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.’” 
-Mark 16:15-16

There are those who are paid for ministering and teaching others about God’s grace through Jesus Christ our Lord. However, there are many more of us who have received the grace and are in both the world of business and in personal ministries where we can publicly share our faith on a personal level.

Have you actually put your testimony down on paper? Have you ever shared your personal testimony with others?

Your life is a testimony and sharing with others about how you came to know Jesus as your personal Savior is your unique story and can encourage others to want to know him, as well.

Prayer: Father, may I be a blessing to you today in my little corner of the world as I allow your love flow through me in my words and deeds to draw people to you. Amen.

Reflection: How has your personal testimony touched the heart of another?

Understanding God’s True Grace Helps Avoid Distorted Grace Messages.


woman reading Bible
(© Lightstock/DanielBendjy)

In December 1999, my church, River of Life, in Corona, Calif., was in the midst of a genuine outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We were seeking God like we never had before. I was praying, on average, more than five hours a day. We were holding services five nights a week. Never in my life had I sought God with such fervency. Never had I so separated myself from the things of the world. Never had I lived as holy a life as I did during this time.

Then, on Dec. 30, near the end of a service, I was sitting on the edge of the platform when suddenly the presence of God came upon me powerfully. I fell straight back and was lying on the platform. I couldn’t move. I was frozen in place for 30 minutes or so.

While I was on the ground, one of the men in our church came over and grabbed my feet and prayed for me. About 10 minutes after he finished praying, I felt another person grab my feet. It was gentle at first and then quite firm. As this second set of hands held my feet, my body began to shake. When the hands lifted off my feet, I could move my body again.

Later, I found out no one had grabbed my feet the second time—at least no one whom people could see. And when I finally sat up, the Lord spoke something to me that would forever change my life. He said, “You have sought Me like never before. You have lived holier than at any other time in your life. You have pursued My presence far beyond any other time in your life. You think you are worthy to receive the outpouring of My glory. However, during this time, your sin is worthy of eternal damnation.”

In the natural, I felt that no one could have pointed a finger at my life. I was doing everything I knew to do to be pleasing to God. I felt my motives were pure. All I truly wanted was Him. Yet even in this state, I still had sin in my life. I still fell short of the glory and holiness of God, and the sin in my life—as all sin is—was detestable to God. It was deserving of His judgment and warranted an eternity in hell.

Although I had preached that the sin we commit even as Christians is repugnant to God and worthy ofhell, I never really saw it until that night. I had a true, deep revelation that I still fell far short of the glory and righteousness of God, even as a Christian. The words the Lord spoke that night shook me to the core of my being.

Yet even as He was speaking those words, I heard the Lord speaking in a second voice. The first voice spoke to me Person to person; the second echoed through the heavens. In that second voice He said, “But My mercyendures forever.”

At that moment, I knew that if God’s mercies were ever to cease, I would be a goner. I knew that without His everlasting mercy, I couldn’t survive one moment. His mercies cover me—praise the name of the Lord!

Grace Comes Before Mercy

Yet here is the thing: People often confuse grace with mercy.

Although many people find grace complicated, in reality it is simple to understand. Take a look at what the apostle Peter has to say about it. He writes, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (2 Pet. 1:2-3, KJV, emphasis added).

Simply put, grace is the favor of God that gives us access to the power of God for everything we need for life and godliness. I want you to consider that statement again: Grace is the favor of God that gives us access to the power of God for everything we need for life and godliness. That is not a complicated idea. The reason many Christians find it difficult to understand grace is that they confuse it with mercy.

Grace is the undeserved, unearned favor of God that gives us access to the power of God for everything we need for life and godliness. Mercy is when we have sinned and deserve judgment, yet because of the blood of Jesus we don’t receive the punishment we should. Grace gives us favor to access the power of God; mercy releases us from the judgment of God.

Grace is favor, and that favor gives us access. It gives us the legal right to access the power of God for everything we need. None of us deserves access to God and His power (Rom. 3:10, 23). Because of sin, we all deserve an everlasting hell. Yet God has given us access to all He is and all He has.

Mercy is when we are released from the judgment we deserve. God has shown us mercy by not making us pay the penalty for our sin. As long as we remain in Christ, that mercy keeps us from the judgment we truly deserve. We all need His mercy, and that mercy will endure forever.

Yet we are not saved by mercy. We are saved by grace. Without the grace—the favor—of God, we could never have access to the mercy of God.

God favored us while we were yet sinners. This is very important for you to understand. God first released His grace before He was able to extend to us His mercy. Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (NKJV, emphasis added).

We didn’t deserve the favor of God. We deserved hell. But God so loved us—He placed such value on us—that while we were still His enemies, He sent Jesus to die for us so that we might have access to Him.

With that access, we now can receive mercy for all our sins. It is this access that comes to us undeserved and unearned. It is this access that has allowed us to be forgiven, cleansed and made a new creation.

If God hadn’t given us favor to access His power, we could never be free. We would be bound for all eternity to death and destruction. Satan’s goal in the Garden of Eden was to cause sin to enter the world so that mankind would no longer have access to the eternal power of God for everything we would need for life and godliness. He knew that if man sinned, we could no longer eat from the tree of life—the tree of total provision and continual supply. The grace of God gives back to us the access to God’s power for everything we need.

Everything Comes Through Grace

On top of that, all the things we receive from God come to us through His grace.

We are saved through grace. Acts 15:11 says, “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they” (emphasis added). We know that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved.

We believe through grace. We read in Acts 18:27, “And when he was minded to pass over into Achaia, the brethren encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples to receive him: and when he was come, he helped them much that had believed through grace” (ASV, emphasis added). We’re saved by grace, and the Bible says we have the ability to believe by grace. How often do we struggle with unbelief? Yet the Bible says that the power to believe comes by grace.

We receive our inheritance by grace. Acts 20:32 says, “And now I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you the inheritance among all them that are sanctified.” Although we deserve an eternity in hell, Jesus not only saved us but also left us an inheritance. Through grace we’re built up, become strong and receive our inheritance. That inheritance is “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). Your inheritance is that you have been predestined by God to be changed into His image.

We obey by grace. The Bible says that through God’s grace, we receive the power to obey. Romans 1:5 says, “Through whom we received grace and apostleship, unto obedience of faith among all the nations, for his name’s sake” (emphasis added). In so many churches, Christians are beaten over the head with rules and regulations. They are told they have to do this and do that in order to be pleasing to God, and then they feel defeated when they struggle to obey. The Bible tells us God’s grace gives us the power to obey; it is not something we do of ourselves. So many people are living in condemnation because they don’t have a revelation that grace gives them access to the power of God so they can obey the will of God.

We stand by grace. It is grace that gives us the power—the ability—to stand against the devil. Romans 5:2 tells us, “Through whom also we have had our access by faith into this grace wherein we stand; and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (emphasis added). A lot of people say they can’t resist temptation. That’s a lie from the pit of hell, because grace—God’s grace—gives us the power to stand.

We receive spiritual gifts by grace. People often look at me and think I am special. They think I have a special calling and special gifts and that this is why I see the power and anointing of God operating in my life.

They don’t realize I was kicked out of high school six weeks before graduation and that I spent five years abusing drugs and alcohol, stealing money from employers, friends and family to pay for my drug habit. They don’t know the sexual misconduct I was involved in. They have no idea how lost I was.

Now I travel all over the world ministering to millions of people. Lives are changed. People are saved, healed and set free. In our meetings, we have seen the kinds of manifestations of God that I used to only read about in books on revival. None of this happens because I am so spiritual. It happens because of God’s grace. Romans 12:6 says, “And having gifts differing according to the grace that was given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of our faith” (emphasis added). All the gifts of the Spirit are received by grace.

God Has Given to Us All Things

Everything you need comes by grace, which is God’s favor on your life, regardless of whether you deserve it or not. However, if this is true, why do most of us live lives that are broken, defeated, sick and without power?

It is because we don’t understand the grace of God. We have failed to understand what grace is and how it can be multiplied in our lives. Through grace, we have favor that gives us access to the power of God for all things.

Let’s look again at 2 Peter 1:2-3 in the American Standard Version: “Grace to you and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that his divine power hath granted unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.”

All things that pertain unto life—that means everything we need for life has been given to us: clothes, money, relationships, food, spiritual food, strength to stand against the devil, an ability to obey God and the power to cast out demons and heal the sick.

Don’t tell me that you can’t live a godly life, that you can’t live for God, that you can’t remain pure and save yourself for your husband or wife. Don’t tell me that you can’t avoid drugs, drinking or listening to ungodly music.

You say, “Brother Steve, it’s too hard.” No. You don’t understand. Everything we need for life and for godliness has been given to us through God’s divine power. Everything you need to live the life God desires for you has been given to you already.

The key to obtaining the power of God is access. It’s like what happened one day when I was having lunch with a very famous international minister. This man is powerfully anointed, and everybody wants to get close to him. He is also a very private man.

After lunch he pulled me aside from the other ministers who were with us, many of whom were also well-known, and talked with me privately. He wanted to give me private access. He told me I could call him anytime, which is something he rarely ever does.

He was giving me access. I don’t deserve it. I definitely wasn’t the most well-known person at the table. But he chose to give me undeserved access. He showed me favor.

God has given you and me access to His very presence and power. Through His undeserved grace and favor, God has chosen to give us the legal right to tap into His power for everything we need.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

STEVE FOSS


Steve Foss has traveled worldwide for more than 15 years ministering to laypeople and training pastors and leaders. After starting his first Bible study in 1988, he developed campus youth outreaches and in 1990 helped create the Young Warriors ministry of Morris Cerullo World Evangelism. He has been the main speaker at the I-55 revival in Crystal Springs, Miss. The author of Satan’s Dirty Little Secret, Steve’s most recent book, Grace Is Not a Get Out of Hell Free Card (from which this article was adapted) releases this month.

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