THF SUNDAY SERVICE
9TH JANUARY, 2022
TOPIC: LOOKING UNTO JESUS FOR GRACE AND MERCY
TEXT: Numbers 21: 4 – 9
PREACHER: Rev. Ebenezer Olawuyi
Sing: I look to you,
You are my healer,
I look to you,
You restore my soul,
I look to you,
For all who look to You will be made whole.
I was praying yesterday when the Lord brought this message to my heart: Look unto Jesus; then, I began to write down what the Lord was inspiring me to write. The Lord asked me to tell you that as you look unto him this year, shame will not be your portion; embarrassment will not be your song and you won’t be disappointed. Those who are incensed against you, either secretly or openly will be ashamed. God has told me to tell you to look unto Him this year.
This year, you will not be an ingrate. Amen. Ungrateful children attract God’s wrath because ingratitude attracts a curse. This year, be grateful. Don’t murmur, don’t grumble, be grateful. I said during the Anointing Service that you only have one person who can perfectly understand the way you feel. Man can try, but no man can understand how you feel perfectly. Your wife can’t understand perfectly what it takes to be a man; if you are a man, you can’t understand perfectly what it takes to be a woman. Men have psychological pregnancy, but it is not the same with pregnancy; he feels it, but he cannot really understand, that is why some women make a vow not to get pregnant again a short time before delivery, but as usual, they forget. Also, nobody can understand how a pastor feels, you don’t know his thoughts, etc. You need to be in that position for you to understand. However, we have someone who understands everything you pass through in life. He understands how you feel and he understands your challenges. It will only be wrong to expect a man to understand you perfectly because it is not possible. This year, don’t look at man; don’t look at anybody, look at Jesus.
The children of Israel were so ungrateful to the extent that even though they have food, they started complaining that that was the only food they were eating. This year, please run away from ingratitude. In Deuteronomy 28:48, God placed a curse on the children of Israel because they were ungrateful. This year, you will not be cursed, rather, you will enjoy blessings. You will be better than you started this year and every day of this year will be better for you.
God was angry with the children of Israel and released serpents to bite them. The serpents of 2022 will not bite you, the locusts of 2022 will not bite you. The year is full of evil, but none of it will come near you. When a person realizes his sin, forgiveness is near; Moses prayed and God told him to make a brazen serpent, put it on a pole and raise the pole up, and as much as those who look up to the brazen serpent will be healed immediately and not die. It takes a personal determination to do that, because when a person is bitten by snake, the most natural thing is to look down at the wound and shout. The scripture says Abraham considered not the deadness of his own body nor the deadness of Sarah’s womb – that was a personal decision.
A man is defeated and he also receives victory in his mind. Your victory or defeat all starts in the mind, so when Abraham considered it, it started in his mind. In Philippians 4, the bible says ‘think’ on whatsoever is true, just, pure…. It is a decision. Looking at the serpent was a decision. Some people say faith is in the mind, but no, it should be backed by action. The Bible says, “Look unto the serpent”, some might have thought it is foolishness to look up, but the scripture says those who looked up were healed and did not die.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO LOOK UP?
1. To focus on Him (Matt. 14:29 – 30): In this bible passage, Peter saw the storm here and was afraid, of course, that is the natural tendency, but God doesn’t want you to walk naturally, he wants you to walk spiritually. This made Peter afraid and then he began to sink. In the earlier parts of this scripture, Peter saw Jesus walking on the water and thought he was a ghost, because it is a terrible thing to see a ghost also, he cried out and then Jesus asked him to come. While looking at Jesus, he was successfully walking on the water, but as he was going, suddenly, there was a boisterous wind – anytime you take a step of faith, you will feel attacked but don’t be distracted. The boisterous wind came and Peter began to sink. Anytime you walk by sight, you will sink – sink financially, sink in bad health, sink in challenges of life, however, this is not the will of God though, he wants you to walk over them. Anytime you begin to walk by looking down instead of looking up, you will sink, so, look on Him, focus on Him, don’t remove your gaze on Him. Whenever you look at the world, you will be distressed; whenever you look at yourself, you will be depressed, but whenever you look at Him, you will be at Rest. Jesus asks us to take his yoke upon us and then we will have rest. Don’t look at the world, don’t look at yourself, look upwards. Focus on Him!
Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith”. In Acts 3:4, the beggar at the beautiful gate was looking down, but Peter and John told him to look at them. Peter represented Jesus here and asked the man to look at Him (Jesus). It is not about the alms, it is about looking at Jesus. You won’t be distressed or depressed this year! Mentally, you will not be depressed, the Lord will be your joy. Amen.
2. To Depend on Him (Psalms 123: 1 – 2): As a servant looks to the hands of his master; as a maid to the hands of her mistress, we look unto Jesus. Looking unto Jesus means depending on him as a servant cannot survive without his master. Let Him know that you depend on Him this year. One of the ways to prove this is to not joke with your prayer life. A person who doesn’t pray is a person who has self-confidence. A person who does not pray or have time for prayer meetings, is a person who has self-confidence, but a person who prays is a person who says, “Lord, without you, I am finished”. You don’t just say you depend on him, you act it out by praying to Him. Practicalise your dependence on him this year by not joking with your prayer life. Jesus told that woman that he is not sent to her, yet she kept going to Jesus. Jesus told her that it is not fit to give the bread of the children to the dogs, but the woman still remained until Jesus answered her.
Your action has to prove it. You can’t claim you depend on God without praying. You can’t say you depend on him if you prefer to go for social gatherings, watch football or sleep when it is time for prayers. For me, I don’t have any other help, if He doesn’t help me, I am finished, that is why my name is Ebenezer. Psalms 104:27 also speaks of total dependence on Him.
3. To be Patient with God: This means to wait, like a waiter waits on his guest. When you focus on Him, it means you are patient, you are not in a hurry. A good waiter is not in a hurry. The guest takes the menu slip and the waiter waits as long as they take, never complaining that they are wasting his time. Someone who is waiting on the Lord is not in a hurry; he is patient with Him. That is why the scripture says, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him”. Learn to wait!
Sing: They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not faint, teach me lord, teach me Lord to wait (Isaiah 40:31).
This year, wait upon the Lord, your own time will come. Do you see someone who has gone ahead of you, you will catch up also. Ahab had gone ahead of Elijah, but Elijah caught up with him and even passed him. Don’t be in a hurry, wait on Him, He never disappoints.
I was reading the book of Genesis the day before yesterday and it got to a point I started crying when I read the story of Joseph, from the time he saw the dream and all he passed through till it came to reality when Joseph told his brothers that he is Joseph; I shouted and wept. Whatever promise God has given, not minding if it takes a long time, will come to pass. Be patient with God, don’t be in a hurry. Don’t compare your wife or husband with another person’s wife or husband. Don’t be jealous of another person’s car, etc. Calm down, your own too will come, don’t because of that throw away your chastity.
4. To Believe and have Faith in Him (John 3:14 – 15): In this Bible passage, the bible interpreted what happened in the Book of Numbers. Believe in the Word of God (the Bible), it has never been known to fail, it can never fail and it won’t fail in your life. Whatever it says to you, believe it. God never fails. Friends, please, depend on the Word of God, it never fails. Anytime you hear the word of God, believe with faith in your heart, don’t doubt it.
Many years ago, I was talking about Grace in the church, saying look at what Grace has done and somebody was saying, “Is it grace that did all these, what kind of grace is that?” He found it hard to believe, he thought I made money ritual. The testimony you do not believe can never work for you. Believe! God is still doing wonders; He is still lifting people from the dust; He is still making barren women mothers of children. If you have not seen anybody healed, I am a living proof because God healed me of ulcer that was so bad that I could not even eat pepper anymore.
Why do you think God cannot take vengeance for you? Allow him to; believe Him to fight for you. Give him your tithe, He said you should test him with it, trust Him and give it to Him. Don’t joke with your firstfruit for he has said he will make your barn filled. For over 18 years, my wife and I have been giving firstfruits every January and for every other increase we have, yet we haven’t regretted it. Believe His word, He can give you speed in life. Whatever He tells you, believe it. He can give you the spirit of excellence. Believe it. Believe Him!
Let us pray.
1. Lord, help me to focus on you. I will focus on you this year. I will never be distracted. Help me never to look downwards, sideward or even at myself. Help me to always look at you this year. Let me focus on you and depend on you. Let my faith be in you, Lord. Increase my faith. Take me, Lord, to the place of dependence on you.
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