Scroll to Content

The Most Endangered Species on Earth

Help, Lord, for the godly are no more; the faithful have vanished from among men. The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men (Ps. 12:1, 8). The most endangered species on earth today are godly men and women – people who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, love Him, and walk compromisingly in His ways. Everyone faces the temptation of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life. However, it is in seeking God’s guidance and strength that we can overcome these challenges. The lack of godly men is creating a vacuum that is being filled by the wicked – people who have rejected God’s ways and honor what is vile among men. Any godly person who will not conform to ungodliness faces opposition and even persecution because evil reigns. Will it get better? No! It will only get worse until the Lord raptures the remnant from the claws of the evil one. If you are not experiencing tremendous pushback from the culture as a godly person, then you are either compromised or completely disengaged from the culture. We are the light of the world.

 
 
Rev. Sunday BwanhotAuthor:
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is a missionary to America serving with SIM/ECWA. He is an Economist by profession and has worked as a Statistician with Kaduna State Government. He later pioneered and managed the Challenge Press of ECWA in Jos before God’s call to pioneer the Prayer Ministry of ECWA in Jos, Nigeria. In 1993, God called him to Chicago as a missionary and has been serving there since 1995 to date. Currently, he pastors ECWA Chicago which he planted and serves as the Chairman of the ECWA USA District Church Council. Loves being a grandpa of 8 grandchildren and enjoys writing.

An Invitation to Holiness

But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: Be holy, because I am holy (1Pt. 1:15-16).

Many Christians believe in misconceptions about holiness rather than in its possibility, as God commanded us. We think that holiness is the preserve of a few elite spiritual leaders, that it is obtainable only after death, and that it is an impossible lifestyle on earth that restricts and cuts on freedom. Satan delights in perpetuating such erroneous views to keep us away from desiring holiness. God will never command us to do anything impossible for us to do. Besides, He always makes available all resources to enable us to do His will. Holiness means to be separated and set apart. Setting anything apart does not make it holy; it must be devoted to God to be holy. Herein lies the problem with many Christians who follow Christ but are unwilling to dedicate themselves to the Lord. God wants us to be holy like He is, not by our efforts but through His impartation. I am the Lord, who makes you holy (Lev. 20:8b).

Rev. Sunday BwanhotAuthor:
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is a missionary to America serving with SIM/ECWA. He is an Economist by profession and has worked as a Statistician with Kaduna State Government. He later pioneered and managed the Challenge Press of ECWA in Jos before God’s call to pioneer the Prayer Ministry of ECWA in Jos, Nigeria. In 1993, God called him to Chicago as a missionary and has been serving there since 1995 to date. Currently, he pastors ECWA Chicago which he planted and serves as the Chairman of the ECWA USA District Church Council. Loves being a grandpa of 8 grandchildren and enjoys writing.

The Choice Each of Us Must Make

Two personalities are interested in you, and each of them desperately wants you to serve them. The two personalities are God and Satan. God and Satan are not in competition with each other since Satan is a creature of God and under the power of God, but each of them is competing for your soul. God, who created you, has the power to make you serve Him, but because He acts in love, He has given you the free will to choose to serve or ignore Him. Satan hates you and wants to enslave you, but God denied him the power to force you to do his will. So, neither God nor Satan will force you to serve them. The choice of who you serve is your prerogative, and no one will take that from you. Yielding to God is yielding to life, and yielding to Satan is yielding to death. The choice is yours. “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deut. 30:19).

Rev. Sunday BwanhotAuthor:
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is a missionary to America serving with SIM/ECWA. He is an Economist by profession and has worked as a Statistician with Kaduna State Government. He later pioneered and managed the Challenge Press of ECWA in Jos before God’s call to pioneer the Prayer Ministry of ECWA in Jos, Nigeria. In 1993, God called him to Chicago as a missionary and has been serving there since 1995 to date. Currently, he pastors ECWA Chicago which he planted and serves as the Chairman of the ECWA USA District Church Council. Loves being a grandpa of 8 grandchildren and enjoys writing.

When Weakness Is Strength

Independence is a cherished value today. Kids want to do things without the interference of adults; adults, and even seniors do things and are agitated when anyone gives unsolicited advice. Dependence is considered an admission of weakness or failure. In our culture today, where everyone must be a winner and first, there is hardly room for dependency. Christianity, however, is a religion of dependency. We must admit our inadequacies and our need for a Savior we can depend on. We depend on Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection to fix our sin problem. We depend on the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. We depend on the Bible, prayer, and fellowship. We are birthed into the body of Christ individually, but the spiritual journey from that point to the end requires interdependence. Believers influenced by today’s independent culture are likely to think of Christianity as something they achieved through their efforts. As the branch must abide on the vine to bear fruit, we must depend on Christ (John 15:5).

Rev. Sunday BwanhotAuthor:
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is a missionary to America serving with SIM/ECWA. He is an Economist by profession and has worked as a Statistician with Kaduna State Government. He later pioneered and managed the Challenge Press of ECWA in Jos before God’s call to pioneer the Prayer Ministry of ECWA in Jos, Nigeria. In 1993, God called him to Chicago as a missionary and has been serving there since 1995 to date. Currently, he pastors ECWA Chicago which he planted and serves as the Chairman of the ECWA USA District Church Council. Loves being a grandpa of 8 grandchildren and enjoys writing.

Sorry, But You Are Not in Charge!

We humans can be funny and phony, and we will soon find out how. None of us chose our parents or decided which day of the week and time to be born. None of us picked the city, town, or hospital to be born. None of us chose our meals for at least the first two years. Most of us did not question the existence of God. Now that we are older, we choose to love or hate our parents; we decide what city to live in, what to eat, and even question if God is there and cares. We think we are in charge of our lives and destinies. That is precisely what makes us funny and phony. We had no control of our beginning and certainly have no control of our end. Despite this, we deceive ourselves that we are in charge of our lives. No one knows when, where, and how they will die. God decided your entry into this world, and He alone planned when you would exit it. Let us stop being phony and admit that God oversees our lives, not ourselves. Relinquish control to Him today. He is in charge, not you.

Rev. Sunday BwanhotAuthor:
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is a missionary to America serving with SIM/ECWA. He is an Economist by profession and has worked as a Statistician with Kaduna State Government. He later pioneered and managed the Challenge Press of ECWA in Jos before God’s call to pioneer the Prayer Ministry of ECWA in Jos, Nigeria. In 1993, God called him to Chicago as a missionary and has been serving there since 1995 to date. Currently, he pastors ECWA Chicago which he planted and serves as the Chairman of the ECWA USA District Church Council. Loves being a grandpa of 8 grandchildren and enjoys writing.

The Paradox of Freedom and Law

Laws are excellent if they do not apply to you. Many young people long for the day they go to college, or somewhere they are no longer under their parents’ ‘restrictive’ rules. However, no sooner than they are out of parental supervision than they must submit to new restrictive rules in colleges or places of work. Freedom is not the absence of law but rather the liberty to choose from the options available within the law’s boundaries. Paul restates freedom as the choice to be a slave to righteousness, which leads to holiness (Rom. 6:16-22). Bondage, on the other hand, is the disregard of the law in the pursuit of our choices. Paul calls it slavery to sin, which leads to shame and death. One of the most significant lies of Satan today is to make us think that the law is terrible and restrictive and that we need freedom from yielding to the law. The truth is that we need to obey the law to be free. Freedom without boundaries is tyranny.

 
 
Rev. Sunday BwanhotAuthor:
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is a missionary to America serving with SIM/ECWA. He is an Economist by profession and has worked as a Statistician with Kaduna State Government. He later pioneered and managed the Challenge Press of ECWA in Jos before God’s call to pioneer the Prayer Ministry of ECWA in Jos, Nigeria. In 1993, God called him to Chicago as a missionary and has been serving there since 1995 to date. Currently, he pastors ECWA Chicago which he planted and serves as the Chairman of the ECWA USA District Church Council. Loves being a grandpa of 8 grandchildren and enjoys writing.

Be A Xerox Copy of God

“Be imitators of God … as dearly loved children and live a life of love …” (Eph. 5:1-2). God’s invitation to imitate Him is an unscalable challenge to every one of us. Who can imitate God? We failed the test of keeping the Ten Commandments, and God graciously set them aside and introduced salvation by GRACE through FAITH. No one has ever seen God. What does He look like? How, then, can we imitate Him? God sometimes asks us to do humanly impossible things, and only by His help can we accomplish them. It is impossible to imitate God without His help. We are called to imitate His character, and our first port of call is to live a life of love – love for God and love for our neighbors. If we sincerely love God and our neighbors as God commands us, we are indeed His children imitating our heavenly Father, for He loves everyone without showing favoritism. Aim to be a carbon or xerox copy of God today, all by His special grace.

Rev. Sunday BwanhotAuthor:
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is a missionary to America serving with SIM/ECWA. He is an Economist by profession and has worked as a Statistician with Kaduna State Government. He later pioneered and managed the Challenge Press of ECWA in Jos before God’s call to pioneer the Prayer Ministry of ECWA in Jos, Nigeria. In 1993, God called him to Chicago as a missionary and has been serving there since 1995 to date. Currently, he pastors ECWA Chicago which he planted and serves as the Chairman of the ECWA USA District Church Council. Loves being a grandpa of 8 grandchildren and enjoys writing.

Mirrors, Mirrors, Mirrors.

Mirrors are a great discovery and so vital that we have them in bathrooms, bedrooms, and living rooms, and most ladies carry them around in their purses. As the mirror reveals, there is always a 100% response to fix whatever is incorrect. As good as the mirror is, it lacks the power to change anything in you; you have to fix the problem yourself. The Word of God, however, is a mirror that has the power to change you if you let it do its work. And because this is so true, we need to look into God’s Word more often than women look in the mirror. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like” (Jam. 1:22-24). How many times have you looked into the mirror of God’s Word today? Better still, have you faithfully done everything the Word revealed today?

Rev. Sunday BwanhotAuthor:
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is a missionary to America serving with SIM/ECWA. He is an Economist by profession and has worked as a Statistician with Kaduna State Government. He later pioneered and managed the Challenge Press of ECWA in Jos before God’s call to pioneer the Prayer Ministry of ECWA in Jos, Nigeria. In 1993, God called him to Chicago as a missionary and has been serving there since 1995 to date. Currently, he pastors ECWA Chicago which he planted and serves as the Chairman of the ECWA USA District Church Council. Loves being a grandpa of 8 grandchildren and enjoys writing.

Implications of Easter

Jesus and the two disciples On the Road to Emmaus, by Duccio, 1308–1311, Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena (WikiCommons)
Jesus and the two disciples On the Road to Emmaus, by Duccio, 1308–1311, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Siena (WikiCommons)

Christ is risen indeed! But what does it mean to you? The good news of the resurrection was proclaimed to the disciples by the women who saw Him alive, but the news only added to their confusion. However, something dramatic happened when Christ revealed Himself to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, the ten, Thomas, and then Paul (Saul). All these people believed and experienced Christ differently. The fears and doubts that crippled them for days disappeared. Later, when they were filled with the Holy Spirit, they had only one purpose: to live for Jesus Christ and only one work to do: to tell others the Good News. The implication of Easter to us today is that we let the power that raised Jesus back to life raise us above the sinful pleasures that have trapped us. As the risen Lord reveals Himself to us and we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us, we will have only one purpose: live for Jesus and only one work to do: leading others to Christ.

Rev. Sunday BwanhotAuthor:
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is a missionary to America serving with SIM/ECWA. He is an Economist by profession and has worked as a Statistician with Kaduna State Government. He later pioneered and managed the Challenge Press of ECWA in Jos before God’s call to pioneer the Prayer Ministry of ECWA in Jos, Nigeria. In 1993, God called him to Chicago as a missionary and has been serving there since 1995 to date. Currently, he pastors ECWA Chicago which he planted and serves as the Chairman of the ECWA USA District Church Council. Loves being a grandpa of 8 grandchildren and enjoys writing.

PASTORAL LETTER: Exposition of ECWA Articles of Faith and Practice. What Do You Know About the Angels?

Rev Joseph P Ezeigbo

2016 ECWA USA Calendar

“So He (the LORD) drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.Gen.3:24.”.
When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying” Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” Gen.19:15.
“For He shall give His angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Ps.91:11-12.
“Then the devil left Him, and the angels came and ministered to Him.” Matt.4:11.
“Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven and strengthened Him.” Lu.22:43.
“But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, he says: Let all the angels of God worship Him.” Heb.1:6
“But to which of the angels has He ever said: Sit at my right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool?” Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” Heb.1:13-14.

ECWA ARTICLES OF FAITH AND PRACTICE STATES:
God originally created innumerable company sic) of sinless, spirit-beings, known as angels. They are messengers of God to help His people in all ages. However, one angel high in rank sinned through pride. He is known as Satan. A great company of other angels joined Satan in his rebellion. They became active agents of Satan and are called demons) Isa.14:12-17; Ezek.28:11-19;1 Tim.3:6.

We’re back. After about three months break, in order to write the series for Christmas, ECWA 2024 Theme, and the recently ended Spiritual formation Summit, we’re back to the Exposition of ECWA Articles of faith and Practice. The numerical order of the Articles of faith and Practice was not followed at the beginning of this series, but the statement on angels is number 5 on the list.
In theology, the doctrine about angels and demons is called Angelology and Demonology.
Tales about angels and demons are as ancient as the garden of Eden. There is hardly a child growing up, whether in the primitive or the so-called civilized culture who never heard about angels or demons, either told as myths, folklores of pagan superstition, or as traditional biblical history. In the 1990s, there seemed to be in America a resurgence of interest on the subject of angels and the life hereafter. It is disappointing however, to note that much of the books and views expressed on the subject are tainted by New Age and occultic syncretism. The doctrine about angels is a subject which the Bible has a lot to say about.

THE ANGELS AND THE ANGEL OF THE LORD-IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?
The answer to this question is of primary importance before venturing into a biblical study of the subject. The terms “angels”, “the angels”, or “the Angel of the LORD” appear multiple times in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament. But it should be carefully noted that there is a vast and infinite difference between the two terms. The former refers to created beings and the latter to the eternal Creator of all beings. Both are not anywhere synonymously or interchangeably used in the Scriptures. Most of the time when “angels,” the created beings, is meant, an indefinite article “an” or plural form “angels” is used. (See the above opening scriptures.) But the “Angel of the Lord”, the Creator of all beings, is always referred to with the definite article “the Angel or the Angel of the Lord” He is always referred to in the singular form, never in the plural. Gen.16:7; 21:17; 22:15; Num.22:22-27;32-35; Judg.5:23; 6:22-24; 13:9-23;etc. Moreover, the reference to the “Angel of the Lord” in the Old Testament is commonly understood as the preincarnate Jesus or the Theophany.
Like humans, angels are created beings and therefore not eternal. Psalm 148 which calls for all the creation to praise their Creator mentions angels.v.2. Two passages in the New Testament attribute the creation of all that exist (and that includes angels) to God. Jn.1:3; Col. 1:16. Also like the rest of the creation, their existence and function is sustained by Christ.Col.1:17. But unlike humans, they are spiritual beings and endowed with supernatural powers and intelligence. Gen.19:10-11;2 Sam.14:20; 24:15-16; Dan.6:21-22; 8:15-16;2 Thess.1:7;2 Pet.2:11. Although spiritual beings, and possess supernatural intelligence, they are neither omnipotent, Dan.10:12-13,20; 2 Pet.2:11; Jude 9; nor omniscient.Matt.24:36;1 Pet.1:10-12. Angels, like humans, are not sinless, and are subject to judgment and punishment.Isa.14:12-15; Ezek.28:11-15; 1 Cor.6:3;2Pet.2:4; Jude 6; Rev.12:7-9. There is no disclosure in the Scriptures when the angels were created, but they predated humans, and seemed to have witnessed the creation of the universe. Job 38:7.

THE MISSION OF ANGELS
Their name spells out their primary mission or purpose of creation. Angels are heavenly messengers or servants. The word “angel” both in Hebrew, malakh and in Greek, anggelos, means messenger or servant. The first mention of angels, cherubim, in the Bible assigned them to a task.Gen.3:24. And likewise in many other places. Gen.19:15-17; Ps.91:11-12;103:20-21;Job 1:6; Matt.4:11; 13:49; 18:10;Mk.13:26-27;Lu.1:19;22:43.etc. The author of Hebrews describes them as servile creatures.Heb.1:13-14. It is likely that this designation contributed to the concept of the guardian angel. Besides running heavenly errands, there seems to be a higher duty or what could be considered the primary duty of angels. Biblical eschatology depicts worship as the primary duty of angels.Rev.4:6-11;5:8-14;7:11-12;19:4. This picture is first shown in the vision of prophets Isaiah and Daniel. Isa.6:1-8; Dan.7:9-10. The Psalmist repeats calls to angels to worship Jehovah. Ps.29:1; 103:20-21. All the angelic hosts are summoned to worship the Son of God.Heb.1:6. Although God will be the Executor of the endtime program, He will do it using the angels as His agents. Beginning with the period of the Great tribulation until the ushering in of the eternal state, angels play different roles in the endtime program.Rev.6-22.

THE RANKING OF ANGELS
As the heavenly hosts, angels operate in a well-ordered form and seemingly ranked as in human administration. The Scriptures categorize celestial beings as Seraphim, Cherubim, powers, authorities, principalities, thrones, might, and dominion.Isa.6:1-11;Gen.3:24;Ezek.10:3-16;Eph.1:21; 3:10;Col.1:16;2:10. This designation is also used to describe the demonic realms.1 Cor.15:24;Eph.6:12;Col.2:15. Some Medieval theologians wrestled with the issue of this ranking that some ended up with either nine or ten levels angels. In his masterful way, the renowned theologian of that age, Thomas Aquinas, nicknamed, The Angelic Doctor, because of his many writings on the angelology, wisely cautioned in his Magnum Opus , Summa Theologica, that our knowledge of angels is inadequate and we therefore should be cautious in our categorization.
Following-up on the counsel of Aquinas, it is appropriate also to warn that while possessing attributes that exceed those of humans, angels are not objects of worship. On the contrary, good angels shun worship by humans. Rev. 19:10; 22:8-9. Paul warned against those who in the guise of false humility or the dispense of esoteric knowledge lure the believer into the worship of angels.Col.2:18.

GOOD AND EVIL ANGELS
All angels, including Satan, in their original creation were good. Gen.1:31. But at some unspecified time, more likely before the creation of the universe, Lucifer, as he was originally known, in his pride, rebelled against God.Isa.14:12-17; Ezek.28:11-19. In his rebellion, he drew with him one-third of the angels.Rev.12:4. After his fall and being cast out of heaven, Lucifer became Satan, the accuser, and his companions became demons. Ever since his fall, has begun the Cosmic battle of the Ages between good and evil. Although Christ defeated Satan on the cross and disarmed all his principalities and authorities, Col.2:15, this conflict will continue until the consummation of time which God has set in his calendar. 1 Cor.15:24-25; Rev.20:10; Matt.25:41.
The Scriptures indicate that not all the angels who were cast down with Lucifer are at work in the world today. Some have been remanded as prisoners in chains.2 Pet.2:4; Jude 6. Their number is unknown because the total number of the angelic hosts is not revealed anywhere in the Scriptures. Instead, the Scriptures refer to “innumerable company of angels.” Heb.12:22,(NKJV), and ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousand of thousands.Rev.5:11.cf.Ps.68:17. Although the number of fallen angels is unknown it should be speculated that the 200 million army bound at the River Euphrates is part of the number.Rev.9:14-16.
The good angels consist of those who have remained loyal to God’s authority. They are called “the holy angels,” “the angels of God.” Lu.9:26;12:8.” The angels of God. “Heb.1:6.” His angels, “angels in heaven.” Matt.16:27; 24:31. Those who do his bidding and worship before His majestic throne without ceasing. They are the ones who will serve as the executing agents of the endtime program.Rev.6-22.

NAMES AND TITLES OF ANGELS
Angels like humans have names. But of all of the myriads of angels that are in existence, only three are mentioned by name in the Bible.
Lucifer- “Morningstar” or “son of the morning” The appellation given to him in Isa.14:12. This designation is referring to his unfallen state. Some think that he was the archangel before Michael.
Michael the archangel- “Who is like God.” Dan.10:13,21;12:1;Jude 1:9;Rev.12:7.
Gabriel-“Mighty warrior of God.” Although his name depicts him as a warrior, he is more frequently presented as an “emissary angel” Dan.8:15-17; 9:20-22; Lu.1:18-20,26-27.
There are other angels mentioned in the non-canonical books and these also include Michael and Gabriel.
Some angels are described with titles such as Cherubim and Seraphim. This appellation appears to specify a special duty different from the other angels.
Cherubim -pl. for cherub. From the first mention in Genesis 3:24 and other places in the Old Testament, it appears that these are angels whose primary duty is guardianship or to protect. Exo.25:17-22 ;1 Chron.28:18;2 Chron.3:10-13. The cherubim, in addition to their guardianship detest pollution of true worship. Their picturesque gradual departure from the temple was a clear sign of God’s rebuke and rejection of the idolatrous worship that prevailed among the remnants.Ezek.1-10.
Seraphim-pl. For seraph. The name means “shining ones “or “burning ones.” This is burning with the holiness of God’s presence. These are thought to be the angels who stand closest to the throne of God. Their only duty is to continually worship and proclaim God’s holiness.Isa.6:1-4. The seraphim cover their faces while worshiping because of the dazzling majesty of God’s holiness.
Sons of God-Heb.bene elohim. Job 1:6; 38:7.
Host of heaven.1 Kgs.22:19; Lu.2:13.1 Sam.1:11
Mighty ones or heavenly beings. Ps.29:1; 89:6; Dan.4:1 3.

CONCLUSION
This presentation is only but a bird’s eye view on angelology. There are many other aspects that are impossible to cover in a limited study such as this.

Author

Rev Joseph P Ezeigbo

attended Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana where he graduated in 1984 with a BA in History and Biblical Studies (Double major). Rev. Ezeigbo began his graduate studies at Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake and later transferred to Capital Bible Seminary in Lanham, Maryland where he graduated with an M.Div. and Th.M. degrees in 1988 and 1989 respectively. He pursued post-graduate education at Liberty University and Liberty Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Virginia. Rev. Ezeigbo previously served as secretary and chairman of ECWA USA and currently serving as the vice chairman and prayer coordinator. As a hobby, he is a researcher in Theology and Church history. He help to raise prayer awareness for the worldwide Persecuted church and prayer for the Muslim world.

The Cross Existed Before Sin!

The CROSS, where our redemption was paid, was in God’s heart even before the world’s foundation. “… the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8). That means even before we were created and yielded to sin, God knew of our predicament and reached out in love to save us. We rebel against God and express our doubts about His love for us through disobedience. Satan seizes such moments to deepen our doubts about God, and we believe his lies more than we believe in God’s love. There is no reason to doubt God’s love; it is plain insanity for anyone to reject His love. He willingly gave up His only Son to die a cruel death on the cross for us. What has Satan or any religious guru given up for you as a demonstration of their love? Reciprocating God’s love is the only reasonable response we can make. We demonstrate our love for God by living for Him who died for us and completing the task of telling others of the salvation He purchased for all. Resurrection blessings on you! Happy Easter!

Rev. Sunday BwanhotAuthor:
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is a missionary to America serving with SIM/ECWA. He is an Economist by profession and has worked as a Statistician with Kaduna State Government. He later pioneered and managed the Challenge Press of ECWA in Jos before God’s call to pioneer the Prayer Ministry of ECWA in Jos, Nigeria. In 1993, God called him to Chicago as a missionary and has been serving there since 1995 to date. Currently, he pastors ECWA Chicago which he planted and serves as the Chairman of the ECWA USA District Church Council. Loves being a grandpa of 8 grandchildren and enjoys writing.

Choosing To Die to Live

As a result of the spiritual and physical death passed on to man because of the fall, we come into the world determined to live and not die. But no one has succeeded in keeping themselves alive physically or spiritually. Death is inescapable. Jesus Christ is eternal and has no sin and lives forever, yet He chose to be born to die – the very thing we dread. Jesus Christ was born to show us how to die, and He died to show us how to live. We are saved not by Christ’s life but by His death and resurrection. And so, it is only in dying in and with Christ that we can truly live. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him (Rom. 6:6-8). So, at this Easter, are you striving to live by all means even though you will eventually die, or are you learning to die to sin and self so that you can live with Christ eternally?

Rev. Sunday BwanhotAuthor:
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is a missionary to America serving with SIM/ECWA. He is an Economist by profession and has worked as a Statistician with Kaduna State Government. He later pioneered and managed the Challenge Press of ECWA in Jos before God’s call to pioneer the Prayer Ministry of ECWA in Jos, Nigeria. In 1993, God called him to Chicago as a missionary and has been serving there since 1995 to date. Currently, he pastors ECWA Chicago which he planted and serves as the Chairman of the ECWA USA District Church Council. Loves being a grandpa of 8 grandchildren and enjoys writing.

SIN: A Debt with A High Interest

For the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23a). Sin is an enticement to enjoy a massive loan with an astronomically high interest rate and stiff penalties. The loan is only for projects that are adjudged morally inappropriate from the Bible’s point of view. Those loans are invested in lustful ventures that crash, leaving the people without lasting benefits and debts a thousand times more than borrowed initially. You are penniless and far worse than when you did not get that loan (sin). Why would any sane person do that? Sin entices and promises immediate gratification to be enjoyed for a short time. However, it conceals the long-term consequences, which, if you knew, you would not have engaged in that sin. Satan is the Loan Officer and does not cancel or forgive debts. Jesus Christ alone has the resources to pay off your debt and has paid it in full. You must call Him up to activate your payment. Are you still in debt because of a sin? What are you waiting for? Call Jesus up today and tell Him about it. But do not take loans from Satan anymore.

Rev. Sunday BwanhotAuthor:
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is a missionary to America serving with SIM/ECWA. He is an Economist by profession and has worked as a Statistician with Kaduna State Government. He later pioneered and managed the Challenge Press of ECWA in Jos before God’s call to pioneer the Prayer Ministry of ECWA in Jos, Nigeria. In 1993, God called him to Chicago as a missionary and has been serving there since 1995 to date. Currently, he pastors ECWA Chicago which he planted and serves as the Chairman of the ECWA USA District Church Council. Loves being a grandpa of 8 grandchildren and enjoys writing.

Spiritual Giants

If you think you are a spiritual giant because you have been a Christian for many years, or degrees earned from seminaries, a position in the church, a spiritual gift being exercised, financial contribution, and holy life that you live, think again. You are a spiritual giant only in your eyes because you are comparing yourself with fellow humans. You will feel so small when you compare yourself with Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith. It is those who have stopped growing spiritually who consider themselves to be giants. A true believer will continue to walk and stumble in this life with an endless war between the flesh and the spirit. While this struggle continues, he is perfected from one stage of glory to another. Finally, when the flesh is put away, he will stand perfect in the presence of our Lord and Savior. That is when he will be crowned a spiritual giant. Until then, like Paul, our heart cry is: I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death (Phi. 3:10).

Rev. Sunday BwanhotAuthor:
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is a missionary to America serving with SIM/ECWA. He is an Economist by profession and has worked as a Statistician with Kaduna State Government. He later pioneered and managed the Challenge Press of ECWA in Jos before God’s call to pioneer the Prayer Ministry of ECWA in Jos, Nigeria. In 1993, God called him to Chicago as a missionary and has been serving there since 1995 to date. Currently, he pastors ECWA Chicago which he planted and serves as the Chairman of the ECWA USA District Church Council. Loves being a grandpa of 8 grandchildren and enjoys writing.

Erecting Your Memorial

When God stopped the flow of the Jordan and the children of Israel crossed over the river on dry ground, they were commanded to pick up stones from the riverbed and set them up as a memorial (Jos. 3 and 4). No one, including the unborn generation, was to forget what God did for Israel. God is still doing great things for us, but we are setting up memorials for what we are doing for ourselves and not what God is doing in and through and for us. Since the deeds and memorials we set up for ourselves are not perfect, our children do not like them and walk away from them. Sadly, it ultimately leads to some of them walking away from fellowship with God. Your memorials are the legacy you left behind. It is not what you want people to know, but it is what people observe as the passion and priorities of your life. Testimonies last Saturday during my brother’s funeral service were consistent regarding his humility, passionate service, and faithful walk with the Lord. May our memorials stand tall also. Amen!

Rev. Sunday BwanhotAuthor:
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is a missionary to America serving with SIM/ECWA. He is an Economist by profession and has worked as a Statistician with Kaduna State Government. He later pioneered and managed the Challenge Press of ECWA in Jos before God’s call to pioneer the Prayer Ministry of ECWA in Jos, Nigeria. In 1993, God called him to Chicago as a missionary and has been serving there since 1995 to date. Currently, he pastors ECWA Chicago which he planted and serves as the Chairman of the ECWA USA District Church Council. Loves being a grandpa of 8 grandchildren and enjoys writing.

PASTORAL LETTER: Introducing Spiritual Formation

Rev Joseph P Ezeigbo

2016 ECWA USA Calendar

 

Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but You have not let me know whom You will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have found favor with Me.’ If You are pleased with me, teach me Your ways so that I may know You and continue to find favor with You…The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. “Then Moses said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that You are pleased with me and with Your people unless You go with us?…And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” Exod.33:12-18.

I want to know Christ-yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Phil.3:10.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if these possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 2 Pet.1:5-9.

This pastoral letter is a temporary break-off from the on-going series on the Exposition of ECWA Doctrines and Articles of Faith. The chief reason being to acquaint those who for various reasons are not able to participate in the special teaching series. Spiritual Formation Summit which runs from January 31st-March 20.

INTRODUCTION
There is no doubt that Spiritual Formation is not a common term in the vocabulary of contemporary religious community, and this includes those who identify as evangelicals. Many church-going people are familiar with such terms as “repentance, conversion, discipleship, missions, evangelism, prayer and fasting, but not Spiritual Formation. So this naturally raises the question,”What is Spiritual Formation?” A simple question with a complex answer. The answer could be said to have many faces, but one identification. Different people have defined Spiritual Formation in various but similar ways.

One author writes,” Spiritual Formation speaks of a shaping process with reference to the spiritual dimension of a person’s life.” Many others have defined it in the following ways:

  1. Spiritual Formation is the practice by which one progresses in a spiritual or religious life.
  2. Spiritual Formation is the process of being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ for the glory of God and others.
  3. Spiritual Formation is the on-going process of the Triune God transforming the believer’s life and character towards the life and character of Jesus Christ.
  4. Spiritual formation is the process of transformation of the inner dimension of the human being, the heart, which is the same as the spirit or within.
  5. Spiritual Formation is the process of forming or growing the spiritual self.

Now you get the idea. Notice the one word, process, that is repeated in all these definitions. The repetition of that word right off the bat indicates that the pursuit of spiritual formation has no graduation date nor Diploma. It is an endeavor in which a believer is engaged throughout his life. An old saint of a past generation expressed it in these undying words,”The making of a saint is a miracle of but a moment, but the making of a man of God is a life-long process.” Alan Redpath

Spiritual formation goes beyond the casual,”I have Jesus in my heart forevermore.”of the beginning of the christian life. Spiritual formation is the act of the believer in seeking daily to be conformed into the image of Christ. A key passage of scripture in spiritual formation is Romans 8:29.” God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity restored. ”( The Message). This passage shows that conformity to the image of Christ,a.k.a spiritual formation was in God’s plan of salvation in eternity. A Christian life that is short of this goal is a compromised version and living within the realm of mediocrity. Writing to the bewitched Galatian believers, Paul reminded them how he yearns and strives for Christ to be formed in them. Gal.4:19.

THE ORIGIN OF THE SPIRITUAL FORMATION MOVEMENT
Although many church historians date the beginning of spiritual formation with the Desert Fathers of the early church such as Simon Stylite, Anthony of Egypt, or founders of cenobitic communities such as St. Pachomius and Basil of Caesarea, others begin with the later development within the medieval Catholic church which was associated with divines such as Benedict of Nursia, Teresa of Avila, Bernard of Cluny, Bernard of Clairvaux, and Catherine of Siena. All these sought for a personal devoted life to God in the face of perceived spiritual decay, debauchery, and growing moral corruption in the early church and later intensified in the Roman Catholic Church during the Middle Ages. Their inner quest for holiness and spiritual discipline led to the founding of the monastic movement. There are even those who date the origin as recently as the latter half of the 20th century, with the 1978 publication of Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline.

However, if one goes by the many and related definitions of spiritual formation as shown above, it could be argued that the thirst and hunger for spiritual formation outdated the above historical periods by several millennia. The quest for deep experiential knowledge and relationship with God is as old as Biblical history. As shown in the opening Scripture passages, Moses, after his glorious forty days mountain experience with God ,no sooner pleaded, “Show me Your glory.” Exod.33:7-11,12-18. The apostle Paul after his celestial vision and many years as a missionary still yearned, “that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” 2 Cor.12:1-6;Phil.3:10. Besides the high priestly prayer of Christ at Gethsemane, John 17, the two greatest prayers in the New Testament are for a deep, intimate, and experiential knowledge of God.Eph.1:15-20;3:14-21.

While the term “spiritual formation” may be relatively modern, its purpose and goal are the same that were sought by the Bible characters, Desert Fathers and the medieval saints- a deep experiential knowledge of God.

HIS PART AND OURS
As in sanctification, spiritual formation has two sides, God’s part and the believer’s part.” For it is God who works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure.” Phil.2:13. In sanctification, God begins the work,1 Pet.1:2, but it is the believer’s responsibility to desire and extend the work begun inwardly by the Holy Spirit. Rom.6:12-14;2 Cor.6:14-7:1;1 Thess.4:1-8;2 Pet.1:3-11. The renowned missionary statesman and Biblical scholar, J. Oswald Sanders, contends in his book, “Enjoying Intimacy With God,” It is we, not God, who determine the degree of intimacy with God that we enjoy. We are at this moment as close to God as we really choose to be.”

Someone has written that “Spiritual formation is a synergy of the divine initiative and human response.” Brother Lawrence, the mystic who lived “the practice of the presence of God” while doing menial chores in the monastery states that effective communication with God could be carried on in the normal duties of life. He believed that it was a mistaken concept to compartmentalize prayer time from the normal walk of life. “ Our actions should unite us with God when we are involved in daily activities, just as our prayer unites us with Him in our quiet time,” he writes.

Fanny Crosby in her inspiring poetical style expresses a yearning that rhymes with spiritual formation in these words.

I am Thine O, Lord, I have heard Thy voice
And it told Thy love to me
But I long to rise in the arms of faith
And be closer drawn to Thee

Consecrate me now to Thy service Lord
By the power of grace divine
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope
And my will be lost in Thine

O, the pure delight of a single hour
That before Thy throne I spend
When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God
I commune as friend with friend.

 

Author

Rev Joseph P Ezeigbo

attended Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana where he graduated in 1984 with a BA in History and Biblical Studies (Double major). Rev. Ezeigbo began his graduate studies at Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake and later transferred to Capital Bible Seminary in Lanham, Maryland where he graduated with an M.Div. and Th.M. degrees in 1988 and 1989 respectively. He pursued post-graduate education at Liberty University and Liberty Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Virginia. Rev. Ezeigbo previously served as secretary and chairman of ECWA USA and currently serving as the vice chairman and prayer coordinator. As a hobby, he is a researcher in Theology and Church history. He help to raise prayer awareness for the worldwide Persecuted church and prayer for the Muslim world.

Irresistible Heaven

Heaven, as described in Revelation 21:1-22:6, is irresistible, and the price is right – absolutely free – free to us but paid for by Christ’s death on the cross. The current earth and heaven with all the hang-ups will pass away, and God will usher us into a new heaven and earth. The best thing about heaven is that God will dwell with His people, and we will see His face. Nothing of the ills we face on earth, like death, mourning, crying, sickness, pain, hunger, vile and wicked people, will be there. The city is made of precious stones that nothing here on earth can compare. Even the streets are made of pure gold. Those who will enter this city are people who have trusted in Jesus Christ, whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Into this beautiful place and in the presence of our Lord and Savior was my younger brother, Alfred Bwanhot, ushered in on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024. We celebrate God’s redeeming work in his life and how he walked and successfully completed his journey of sixty-five years of pilgrimage on earth. “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!” (Job 1:21b).

Rev. Sunday BwanhotAuthor:
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is a missionary to America serving with SIM/ECWA. He is an Economist by profession and has worked as a Statistician with Kaduna State Government. He later pioneered and managed the Challenge Press of ECWA in Jos before God’s call to pioneer the Prayer Ministry of ECWA in Jos, Nigeria. In 1993, God called him to Chicago as a missionary and has been serving there since 1995 to date. Currently, he pastors ECWA Chicago which he planted and serves as the Chairman of the ECWA USA District Church Council. Loves being a grandpa of 8 grandchildren and enjoys writing.

Givers of Love Are the Biggest Winners!

Valentine’s Day is today, and perhaps you are sitting on the sidelines waiting to be shown love by your spouse or best friend. You will likely be upset if they fail to express love to you in a tangible way or come short of your expectations. You have just set yourself up to be disappointed. To save yourself from such heartache and embarrassment, do what God commands: Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law (Rom. 13:8). God is love, and love gives out sacrificially. The giver is full of joy more than the recipient. Such is the unconditional love Christ poured on us. As recipients of God’s love, we became debtors, and the only way to pay our debt is to love others. Do not incur more debt of love by waiting to be loved. You will be happy only when you start repaying your debt of love by showing love to others. So, reach out first this Valentine’s to show love instead of waiting to be loved. You will be happy and not disappointed.

HAPPY VALENTINE to you, our fan!❤️

Rev. Sunday BwanhotAuthor:
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is a missionary to America serving with SIM/ECWA. He is an Economist by profession and has worked as a Statistician with Kaduna State Government. He later pioneered and managed the Challenge Press of ECWA in Jos before God’s call to pioneer the Prayer Ministry of ECWA in Jos, Nigeria. In 1993, God called him to Chicago as a missionary and has been serving there since 1995 to date. Currently, he pastors ECWA Chicago which he planted and serves as the Chairman of the ECWA USA District Church Council. Loves being a grandpa of 8 grandchildren and enjoys writing

Can You Die for The Truth?

During His earthly ministry, Jesus Christ did so much good, including healing and feeding thousands, raising the dead, teaching, counseling, and encouraging thousands without charging a penny. The people even wanted to make Him their king, but He declined. So, why did they kill a man who did a lot of good and never did a wrong? The TRUTH He spoke! They liked His good works but hated the TRUTH He proclaimed. This scenario has not changed since then. Christians in every nation, culture, and generation bring much good to their communities but are hated because we proclaim the truth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only Savior of the world. Different religions proclaim their own ‘truths’ and make exclusive claims and are welcomed or tolerated, but Christians are labeled as obnoxious, intolerant, judgmental, and should be rid of. The world would rather do away with Christians and their good deeds than accommodate the TRUTH they proclaim. Are we going to tone down or shut up because of the opposition, or are we going to keep on proclaiming the Truth and risk persecution as Jesus did?

Rev. Sunday BwanhotAuthor:
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is a missionary to America serving with SIM/ECWA. He is an Economist by profession and has worked as a Statistician with Kaduna State Government. He later pioneered and managed the Challenge Press of ECWA in Jos before God’s call to pioneer the Prayer Ministry of ECWA in Jos, Nigeria. In 1993, God called him to Chicago as a missionary and has been serving there since 1995 to date. Currently, he pastors ECWA Chicago which he planted and serves as the Chairman of the ECWA USA District Church Council. Loves being a grandpa of 8 grandchildren and enjoys writing

Conference 2024

ECWA USA JULY 2024 CONFERENCE UPDATES

ECWA Church

 

ECWA USA 2024 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE JULY 25 – 28, 2024

“For the Vision is yet for an Appointed Time” Habakkuk. 2:3

AT

Baptist Church Image

BEECHMONT BAPTIST CHURCH
4574 S 3RD ST., LOUISVILLE, KY 40214

CONFERENCE FEATURES:
Motivational Messages; Inspiring Praise Worship sessions; Prayer Clinics; Bible Study Workshops for Adult & Youth; Symposium; Talks & Discussion; Lunch and Dinner at Conference Venue; Youth Bible Quiz & Other Events; Games & City Tour; Medical, Legal & Financial Consultations; and Installation of District Church Council Executives.

CONFERENCE REGISTRATIONS:
BY CATEGORY (*EARLY BIRD*REGULAR*AT THE DOOR*)
                                                                                     Jan 1 – April 30     May 1 – Jul 24      Jul 25 – 28
Single Adult                                                                 $140.00                  $160.00               $180:00
Couple (Husband & Wife)                                           $260.00                 $280.00               $300.00
Children Ages 4-12 years                                           $80.00                   $90.00                 $100.00
Youth/Young Adult: 13 – 17 years old                         $90.00                   $120.00               $120.00
Student Ages 18-24 with part or full-time job           $120.00                 $130.00               $140.00
Student Ages 18-24 without job                                 $90.00                  $110.00                $130.00

Registration cancellation by April 30, 2024 will be refunded 100%; May 1 – May 31 – 75%; June 1-June 30 – 50%, No refund from July 1. For any question send email to conference@ecwausa.org
*International attendee rates will be charged at early bird rate.

You can complete your registration in multiple ways:

  • Click here for direct link to the form
  • Text  KENTUCKY2024 to 678-922-4222 on your Mobile
  • Through MinistryOne Mobile App – Tap on Events or Discover icon. Tap the conference form.
  • Scan QR Code from your Mobile devices:

       

HOTEL RESERVATIONS

ECWA 7.25.2024 -Conf Hotel Accommodation

ECWA July 25-27, 2024 Conference Hotel Accommodation

LOCATION: Home2 Suites Louisville Airport Expo. 3000 Crittenden drive, Louisville, KY 40209 ($129/room/night plus tax rate of 17.54%)
To make a reservation call Paula Wathen, Director of Sales at 502-916-3800 or Email her at Paula.wathen@hilton.com. Mention name of event : ECWA July 25-27, 2024 Conference
CUT OFF DATE: 7.4.2024 after that any rooms not reserved will be released back into inventory.
PET FEE: $75.00 for the duration of the stay up to TBD days
CANCELLATION: 72 Hour Cancel or will be charged one night’s room and tax
AGREEMENT WEB SITE: http://hiltondistribution.com/usa-sleepingroomsonly/addlterms.htm.

 

HOTEL AMENITIES

Queen and King rooms with sleeper sofas and Kitchens
No Attrition
24 hour Market for purchase of snacks, beverages, etc.
Indoor swimming pool and workout room with combined laundry area
Complimentary Breakfast Buffet each morning

Committee Secretary
Elizabeth Garba

ECWA Theme 2024

ECWA Theme 2024

PASTORAL LETTER: The Meaning of ECWA 2024 Theme – For the Vision Is Yet for An Appointed Time Hab 2:3

2016 ECWA USA Calendar

 

FOR THE VISION IS YET FOR AN APPOINTED TIME; BUT AT THE END IT WILL SPEAK, AND IT WILL NOT LIE, THOUGH IT TARRIES, WAIT FOR IT; BECAUSE IT WILL SURELY COME, IT WILL NOT TARRY.” HAB.2:3.

It was hardly “luck” or coincidence. Such was not in my mind when I was thinking of a Scripture that would be the focus of our First Tuesday Prayer for Revival for October 2023. Later, it turned out that Habakkuk 2:3, the promise chosen to plead before God, was the same chosen by ECWA Executive as ECWA 2024 Theme. It was neither “luck” or coincidence, but perhaps, providential.

When I chose Habakkuk 2:3 as a devotional passage and prayer focus, I was trying to encourage persistent prayer and faith towards revival. I had a feeling that some of us might have begun to doubt or become skeptical about the revival that ECWA as a denomination began praying for about three years (October 2020). I felt that Habakkuk 2:3 is an appropriate passage to encourage us to continue to pray, trusting that a faithful God will do what He said He would do in His own time. There is a mystery about prayer that is beyond all human comprehension. While promises abound about answer to prayers, only God in His Sovereign will determine when and how each prayer is answered. Ps.115:3. This applies to prayer for Revival.

THE BACKGROUND
It was a time of vying for power supremacy in the Middle East. The new Babylonian Empire had just crushed the Assyrian empire in 612 BC. Egypt under Pharaoh Neco preempted an attack to stop Babylon from being the dominant power, marched North passing through Palestine. King Josiah, perhaps, in league with Babylon confronted Neco in a battle at Megiddo and got killed. Neco, on his part trying to regain lost power marched on to engage in a battle with Babylon at Carchemish and was defeated. Having become the new world power, the Babylonians naturally acquired Judah which was a vassal state of the humiliated Egyptian empire. Upon extending its authority to Judah, the Babylonians deposed Jehoiakim, the eldest son of King Josiah, whom Pharaoh Neco had enthroned in preference to his younger brother, Jehoahaz. 2 Kgs. 23:36-24:7. But Jehoiakim was a rascal of his own making. Unlike his godly father, King Josiah, who revered the word of God, Jehoiakim was the exact opposite. He was the” poster boy” who was imbued by hubris, cut in pieces the scroll from Jeremiah being read to him and threw it into fire and watched it burn to ashes.Jer.36:1-26. As the idiom says, “like the ruler, like his subjects.” The despicable attitude towards God’s law and the moral degradation in Judah appears to reflect its ruler’s disregard for God’s commandment.

HABAKKUK’S VISION V.1-4.
It is with this background in view that Habakkuk, a prophet of obscure background, became burdened by the moral and spiritual decay in the nation that he cried to God for intervention and perhaps for judgment. It was a period of prevailing violence, lawlessness, suppression of the powerless, injustice, and seeming anarchy.1:1-4.

GOD’S RESPONSE V.5-11
God’s reply to Habakkuk’s complaint was as unexpected and stunning as it was disappointing. God said that He was preparing a new superpower, Babylon, to punish the kingdom of Judah. God did not need any informant or information from any source about the new superpower which He has just elevated. He knew the potential and the future demise of the new Babylonian empire. But He wants to exercise His Sovereignty over all His creation regardless of their devotion to Him. Proverbs 21:1 does not exclude anyone.

HABAKKUK’S REACTION 1:12-2:1.
Habakkuk was flabbergasted. He was utterly disappointed by what he considered a strange divine response. It was difficult for him to imagine (in his mind) such an unreasonable means of punishment. To him, the people of Judah were sinful, but the Babylonians were more cruelly sinful and idolatrous. He could not reconcile how a holy God would use cruel and idolatrous Babylonians to punish people more “righteous” than they. He nevertheless resolved to wait and see how this paradox would pan out.

GOD’S REPLY 2:2-3.
Just like when Job demanded answers from God regarding his suffering, Habakkuk got none. Although neither Job’s questions nor Habakkuk’s bewilderment were ignored, God demonstrated that He does not have an obligation to answer every question that is demanded of Him. Rather than explaining His plan to Habakkuk, God instructed him to clearly write and display the response that he was given for all to see. The vision was to be written on a durable material and displayed in a public place for all to read. Not only to read, but that whoever reads might quickly run with it and announce it to others. No specific time of fulfillment was given, that is concealed in God’s own timing and Sovereign plan. Deut.29:29. Although the fulfillment may seem delayed, it will surely come to pass. Babylon’s ascendancy to power reached its climax in 604 BC after victory over Egypt. But as God promised, Babylonian Empire succumbed to a new rising Eastern empire under King Cyrus, the Persians, in 539 BC.

THE LESSON
The book of Habakkuk is one of the shortest books in the Bible written by an obscure prophet of unknown pedigree. Its message, especially the promise in 2:3, is relevant for our time. God’s instruction to Habakkuk is a reminder that God’s word, often at first, may be contrary to our human reasoning. It also instructs us not to judge the ways of the Lord by our limited human knowledge alone. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isa 55:9. William Cowper reflects this truth in his classic hymn.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense
But trust Him for His grace
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face

For us as believers, we need to learn to trust what God says. The old Scripture Union Chorus says, “He cannot fail for He is God” “He cannot fail, He pledged His word.” It is similar as when God promised Abraham a descendant that will multiply as the stars in the sky. Gen.15:1-5. Years later, when God repeated this promise, He swore by His name. Gen22:15-18. It is upon this premise that the author of Hebrews urges his recipients to have hope and confidence.Heb.6:13-18. And so should we.

Going back to what originally prompted me to use Habakkuk 2:3 for our First Tuesday Prayer for revival. There is the temptation for some people to begin to lose hope or become skeptical. God, in His time, fulfilled His word about Babylon. The defeat and destruction of the Babylonian empire by the Persians is only a partial judgment. In eschatology, there will be the final judgment and destruction of Babylon the Great. Rev. 17-18.

Therefore, as we continue to pray for revival and other needs, let us focus on God’s word. Depend on God and His faithfulness, for He who called us is faithful and He will do what He has promised 1Thess.5:24. Jesus taught us to pray with perseverance Lu.18:1-8. Borrowing again from the inspiring wisdom of William Cowper:

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain
For God is His own interpreter
And He will make it plain
In His own time
In His own way

“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time. But at the end, it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it, because it will surely come. It will not tarry.” Hab.2:2-3.

GOD SAID, I BELIEVE IT. AND THAT SETTLES IT FOR ME“ is a creed worthy of our faith.

Author

Rev. Joseph Ezeigbo attended Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana where he graduated in 1984 with a BA in History and Biblical Studies (Double major). Rev. Ezeigbo began his graduate studies at Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake and later transferred to Capital Bible Seminary in Lanham, Maryland where he graduated with an M.Div. and Th.M. degrees in 1988 and 1989 respectively. He pursued post-graduate education at Liberty University and Liberty Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Virginia. Rev. Ezeigbo previously served as secretary and chairman of ECWA USA and currently serving as the vice chairman and prayer coordinator. As a hobby, he is a researcher in Theology and Church history. He help to raise prayer awareness for the worldwide Persecuted church and prayer for the Muslim world.

What Might God Be Displaying in Your Life?

This happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life” (John 9:3). Everything God created and all He allows or does not allow are to display His works and glory. For example, the mountains reveal His steadfastness and unchangeable nature; the sun reveals His glory, holiness, and righteousness; the storm, thunder, and lightning reveal His power and commanding authority; death reveals His justice; etc. The man born blind was God’s design to display His works. What might you be experiencing right now that God wants to use to display His power, grace, mercy, love, justice, and sovereignty in and through you? We grumble and complain when going through some experiences because we do not know what God is doing in our lives for His glory. What about other works displayed in our lives that are our choice and are not God-like? Those works bring shame instead of glory to God’s Name. Oh, that everything about us will display God’s glory and attract others to Him! Amen!

Rev. Sunday BwanhotAuthor:
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is a missionary to America serving with SIM/ECWA. He is an Economist by profession and has worked as a Statistician with Kaduna State Government. He later pioneered and managed the Challenge Press of ECWA in Jos before God’s call to pioneer the Prayer Ministry of ECWA in Jos, Nigeria. In 1993, God called him to Chicago as a missionary and has been serving there since 1995 to date. Currently, he pastors ECWA Chicago which he planted and serves as the Chairman of the ECWA USA District Church Council. Loves being a grandpa of 8 grandchildren and enjoys writing.

Are You Still Waiting in Line for Your Turn With God?

Are You Still Waiting in Line for Your Turn with God?

Do you sometimes think that God is too busy and unable to get to your case as quickly as you want him to? You are not angry because you understand He is busy, and others are in line ahead of you or may even have more critical issues than yours. But the question remains: when will it be my turn? You are in good company with David: My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer me, by night, and I find no rest (Ps. 22:2). Our needs often distort our perspectives of God, resulting in His good promises evaporating into thin air. Well, for the umpteenth time, God will remind us that He is not too busy or distracted from His love and care for us. His heart and arms are wrapped around us, and it is so true that He has never broken a single promise He made. God’s capacity enables Him to attend to you as if you were the only being in all creation. He cares for everyone personally and even knows when a strand of hair falls off your head. My friend, you are not in line waiting for God. God is at work in you right now.

Rev. Sunday BwanhotAuthor:
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is a missionary to America serving with SIM/ECWA. He is an Economist by profession and has worked as a Statistician with Kaduna State Government. He later pioneered and managed the Challenge Press of ECWA in Jos before God’s call to pioneer the Prayer Ministry of ECWA in Jos, Nigeria. In 1993, God called him to Chicago as a missionary and has been serving there since 1995 to date. Currently, he pastors ECWA Chicago which he planted and serves as the Chairman of the ECWA USA District Church Council. Loves being a grandpa of 8 grandchildren and enjoys writing.

Vote To Die In 2024 So That You Can Live

Wheat

Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds (John 12:24).

We all say ‘Amen’ to this parable because of the truth it conveys. The fact, though, is that Jesus was addressing people who loved their lives and did everything to preserve and micromanage them. We are glad to be among the living to start the New Year 2024, and we all have plans for the year. We want to be alive and execute our plans. Some might have even declared that death is not their portion in 2024. But Jesus taught us to die to self, die to our ego, ambition, and plans as the way to live. He then invites us in Luke 9:23 to deny ourselves (dying to self), take up our crosses (a willingness to die), and follow Him. It is no secret that Jesus came into the world to die for our sins, and it is not surprising then that He is inviting us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices who have died to self, sin, and selfish ambitions. We must die now so that we can live in 2024.

 
 
Rev. Sunday BwanhotAuthor:
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is a missionary to America serving with SIM/ECWA. He is an Economist by profession and has worked as a Statistician with Kaduna State Government. He later pioneered and managed the Challenge Press of ECWA in Jos before God’s call to pioneer the Prayer Ministry of ECWA in Jos, Nigeria. In 1993, God called him to Chicago as a missionary and has been serving there since 1995 to date. Currently, he pastors ECWA Chicago which he planted and serves as the Chairman of the ECWA USA District Church Council. Loves being a grandpa of 8 grandchildren and enjoys writing.

Congratulations! Happy New Year! Welcome To The 2024 Journey!

Past, Present, Future

God is awesome and very wise. He gave us only three time periods, Past, Present, and Future, and taught us how to live. The past, like 2023, has come and gone, and only memories and lessons learned are what we have left. The future is from the next second to eternity; it is beyond our control. We can only plan and hope but must wait for the future. We cannot borrow from it nor delay it. The present is very brief. It is a split second, and we must use it wisely before it passes into the past. Yet, the decisions we make at that moment have eternal implications. So then, how should we live? Paul’s example is good for us. “I want to know Christ … becoming like him … attaining to the resurrection from the dead. I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me … Forgetting what is behind and straining toward the goal …” (Phi. 3:10-14). Past: Forget it. Present: Know Jesus and live for Him. Future: Look forward to the resurrection. Let us live well in 2024.

 
 
Rev. Sunday BwanhotAuthor:
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is a missionary to America serving with SIM/ECWA. He is an Economist by profession and has worked as a Statistician with Kaduna State Government. He later pioneered and managed the Challenge Press of ECWA in Jos before God’s call to pioneer the Prayer Ministry of ECWA in Jos, Nigeria. In 1993, God called him to Chicago as a missionary and has been serving there since 1995 to date. Currently, he pastors ECWA Chicago which he planted and serves as the Chairman of the ECWA USA District Church Council. Loves being a grandpa of 8 grandchildren and enjoys writing.

Doxa Magazine is at https://doxamagazine.org/