16. April 2017 · Comments Off on THE ENEMIES PLAN BACKFIRED · Categories: Easter, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Restoration, Sacrifice, Trusting God

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (1 Corinthians 15:55 KJV).

Beloved, A VERY HAPPY EASTER TO YOU.

We serve a living God who cannot be found in the grave. His enemies crucified Him and thought it was all over. They thought they could get rid of Him; that that was the end… but God raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death, because it was IMPOSSIBLE for death to keep its hold on Him (Acts 2:24 NIV).

Beloved, if God knew He was going to raise Jesus from the dead, why did He allow them to crucify Him in the first place? Why does God give the enemy any chance to carry out his evil plan? Simple! It is because God is using him to accomplish His own plan. All those that crucified Jesus did not realise that they were a big part of God’s ultimate plan to save mankind.

God allowed the enemy to think he was in charge for a while. They tortured Jesus and gave Him the death sentence hoping that it would silence Him once and for all but… none of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory (1 Corinthians 2:8 NIV).

I can only imagine the look on their faces when they realised that they had been played. There’s nothing worse than knowing your carefully thought out plan backfired. A typical… ‘you intended to harm me, BUT God intended it all for good’ (Genesis 50:20) moment. Isn’t it very humiliating to know that you were the one that got played in your own game? Jesus… having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross (Colossians 2:15 NIV).

More than 2000 years ago, the enemy thought he was smart by trying to kill Jesus but he didn’t realise that it wasn’t actually death but the birth of many. Jesus said… 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 NIV).

As Christians around the world celebrate the risen Lord today, let this be an encouragement to you. The enemy would be taken unawares when it comes to a sudden change in your situation… as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:8-9 NIV).

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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27. March 2016 · Comments Off on THE ENEMY GOT PLAYED‏ · Categories: Easter, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Trusting God, Victory

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (1 Corinthians 15:55 KJV).

Beloved, we serve a living Jesus who cannot be found in the grave. His enemies crucified Him and thought it was all over. They thought they could get rid of Him; that that was the end… but God raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death, because it was IMPOSSIBLE for death to keep its hold on Him (Acts 2:24 NIV).

But the question is; if God knew He was going to raise Him from the dead why did He allow them to crucify Him in the first place? Why does God give the enemy any chance to carry out his evil plan? Simple! It is because God is using him to accomplish His own plan. All those that crucified Jesus did not realise that they were a big part of God’s ultimate plan to save mankind.

God allowed the enemy to think he was in charge for a while. They tortured Jesus and gave Him the death sentence hoping that it would silence Him once and for all but… none of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory (1 Corinthians 2:8 NIV).

I can only imagine the looks on their faces when they realised that they had been played. There’s nothing worse than knowing your carefully thought out plan backfired. A typical… ‘you intended to harm me, BUT God intended it all for good’ (Genesis 50:20) moment. Isn’t it very humiliating to know that you were the one that got played in your own game? Jesus… having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross (Colossians 2:15 NIV).

More than 2000 years ago, the enemy thought he was smart by trying to kill Jesus but he didn’t realise that it wasn’t actually death but the birth of many. Jesus said… 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 NIV).

Dear friend, as Christian around the world celebrate the risen Lord today, let this be an encouragement to you. The enemy would be taken unawares when it comes to a sudden change in your situation… as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:8-9 NIV).

A VERY HAPPY EASTER TO YOU

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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19. April 2014 · Comments Off on TO BELIEVE OR NOT TO BELIEVE? · Categories: Easter, Faith, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Patience, Promise

Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn Him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. ON THE THIRD DAY HE WILL BE RAISED TO LIFE!” (Matthew 20:17-19 NIV)

Someone said that Jesus never promises the obvious. Jesus would not promise you that you are a man or a woman because it’s obvious to you. However, He makes promises of things to come in the future and most times, at the time He makes those promises, you have no clue what He is on about until you are actually faced with the challenge.

This was the case with the disciples. Whilst still with them, Jesus told them that a lot of terrible things would happen. He would even be put to death but… ON THE THIRD DAY HE WILL BE RAISED TO LIFE. They couldn’t understand what He was talking about but true to His words, He was crucified. It wasn’t a secret. It was done in the public for everyone to see so there was no question about it. He died but the question now is… would they believe that He would BE RAISED TO LIFE?

Isn’t this what many of us face? After the Lord makes a promise, things normally go from bad to worse and looking at the situation, it always seems like there’s no possible way out.

After His death… the high priests and Pharisees arranged a meeting with Pilate. They said, “Sir, we just remembered that that liar announced while He was still alive, ‘After three days I will be raised.’ We’ve got to get that tomb sealed until the third day. There’s a good chance His disciples will come and steal the corpse and then go around saying, ‘He’s risen from the dead.’ Then we’ll be worse off than before, the final deceit surpassing the first.” Pilate told them, “You will have a guard. Go ahead and secure it the best you can.” So they went out and secured the tomb, sealing the stone and posting guards (Matthew 27:62-66 MSG).

It looked like there was no way out. The waiting period must have been the most uncomfortable period of their lives. They were so devastated that they confessed to a stranger… we were hoping that it was He Who would redeem and set Israel free. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things occurred (Luke 24:21 AMP).

But what they didn’t know was that the stranger they were talking to was Jesus. But then… He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe…” (Luke 24:25 NIV)

Do you believe Him?

God bless you
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18. April 2014 · Comments Off on HOW HAVE YOU RESPONDED TO HIM? · Categories: Easter, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Restoration, Salvation, Suffering

Now My soul is troubled and distressed, and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour [of trial and agony]? But it was for this very purpose that I have come to this hour [that I might undergo it]. (John 12.27 AMP)

Right from when I can remember, it was a tradition in our household to always watch the death of Jesus Christ every good Friday. You couldn’t avoid it anyway because it was always shown on TV so it is safe to say that I have watched it quite a few times. While the scenes of the torture and crucifixion were troubling to watch, nothing I have ever watched comes close to how His torture and crucifixion what depicted in Mel Gibson’s, ‘The Passion of the Christ’ movie. Oh my God that was unbearable. I have only watched it once and not sure if I can ever bring myself to watch it again. I can remember watching some of the scenes and seeing the way and the length of time Jesus was being tortured, I couldn’t help but scream, “isn’t it enough?”

Now that was just a movie but it was a movie based on a true life story. No one can ever imagine what it was like for Jesus Christ to go through what He went through for you and I. I think because He is also God, we think becuse He has supernatural powers, He may not have felt the pain the way we would feel it but He came in the flesh with feelings just like you and I.

It is indeed difficult to comprehend what He went through but I’m thinking of the song by Cece Winans titled ‘IT WASN’T EASY. In it she tries to get us to see things from Jesus’ point of view and the lyrics goes like this…

Don’t think for a moment I never felt the pain
You can’t imagine the hurt and the shame
They put the nails through my hands, pierced my side…
Please understand, It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it

I didn’t have to do it but I did it anyway because I really love you so much I took your place
I died for your sins; Yes I’m the one. Don’t take it lightly what I’ve done
It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it

I left my throne. My purpose was the cross. Shed innocent blood. I paid all cost
It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it…

Jesus didn’t have to do it but He did it anyway. He said… MY SOUL IS TROUBLED AND DISTRESSED… what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour [of trial and agony]?… But it was for this very purpose that I have come… because I really love you so much.

Now the question is how have you responded to Him? As you go through this Easter season, I believe it is a period to reflect on this.

God bless you
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WELCOME TO THE MONTH OF APRIL

I pray that for someone, it marks the month of restoration and new beginnings.

Reading Simon Peter’s story, it’s amazing how the Lord can pick you up regardless of how low you sink and say “You know what…it doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past…It doesn’t matter that you denied me 3 times…All that’s in the past…I STILL WANT TO USE YOU.

Jesus had previously told him…you have no idea how much the devil wants to destroy you…But I have prayed for you, Simon that your faith may not fail. AND WHEN YOU HAVE TURNED BACK, STRENGTHEN YOUR BROTHERS (Luke 22:32 NIV).

But Peter thought nay…I’m the man…not me…I’m ready to die with You.

So it’s no surprise that when it happened, Peter decided in his heart…I’ve blown it…I’ve denied Jesus…It’s all over. “I’m going back to fishing” he said and the others agreed to join him. But just like before, they caught nothing all night until Jesus came to their rescue. Then it was a big catch (John 21:3-6).

“SIMON DO YOU LOVE ME?” Jesus asked him 3 times. Yeeeeeessssssssss Peter said…“Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep (John 21:15-17).

Peter got restored and it marked the beginning of his ministry.

After the death and resurrection of Jesus, Jesus ascended into heaven and on the day of Pentecost, his followers all received the Holy Spirit like Jesus had promised and they started speaking in other tongues. Everyone came running when they heard. They were completely amazed by what they saw but some concluded that they were just drunk (Acts 2:1-13).

Then Peter seized his moment. He stepped forward and started preaching to the crowd…

Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”…Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all (Acts 2:37-41 NLT).

3,000 CONVERTS IN ONE DAY…That’s what happens when the power of God is on you.

I found it interesting that Jesus did not tell Peter that the devil would not succeed. He didn’t say I’ll bind the devil on your behalf. Instead, He said…I have prayed for your faith…AND WHEN YOU HAVE TURNED BACK…meaning when you have been restored…STRENGTHEN YOUR BROTHERS…

In many countries, the month of April marks a new financial year…The old is reconciled and the new budget starts… I pray that everything that has gone before you is in the past and you receive a new budget for your new life and just like Peter received restoration and new release of power and was able to do mighty things for the Lord…you too are able to operate in a mighty dimension. In Jesus mighty name. Amen

God bless you
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Imagine being known as the one that hangs around Jesus. You have made sacrifices and given your all to follow Him and everybody knows it. You are very proud to be associated with the One that you have seen perform many wonderful miracles including raising people from the dead. You just know that things would be different now… I’ve found Jesus. But then, things take a different turn. You can’t understand it. It appears the One you looked up to for help is not able to help you.

It looks like He is in trouble Himself. His name is at stake. You hear people say…He rescued others from death; Himself He cannot rescue from death. He is the King of Israel? Let Him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in and acknowledge and cleave to Him (Matthew 27:42 AMP).

Somehow you still have hope that something can still happen. After all it is Jesus we are talking about… There’s still hope. But then the very One that raised people from the dead, He himself dies and it seems like all hope is lost. Everything He has ever told you does not make sense anymore. Nothing adds up. Why have you left me like this?

After Jesus died, His followers were confused. They thought that everything had failed…But we were hoping that it was He Who would redeem and set Israel free…(Luke 24:21 AMP).

To them all hope was lost. In between the time Jesus died and the time He resurrected, there was complete silence. In fact, they hide from their enemies (John 20:19) because they felt that the enemy had the upper hand now and was out to finish them. The enemy also thought he had the upper hand. He thought his plans had worked out. The disciples were left all alone with no Savour to come to their rescue. They couldn’t see the Lord anymore but then what they didn’t know was that Jesus had gone to fight the ultimate battle on their behalf behind the scenes. And on the third day…at the appointed time, Jesus shows up…and He was like…tell me what’s the latest gist in town…what are you guys discussing? (Luke 24:17)

There are times when everything seems silent in our lives. It seems like nothing is happening. It may seem like Jesus has forgotten you but know that that’s when He is most at work; digging deep and reaching depths that no one else can reach; fixing things right from the very foundation and restoring your life.

The fact that you can’t see or sense Jesus working in your life does not mean He is not working. He is working behind the scenes to perfect every that concerns you. Be patient and wait for Sunday morning when you would realise that He has been perfecting all that concerns you…Oh so that’s what You’ve been up to?

For as many that are living out the silent scene right now, my prayer is that you faint not. Jesus is bound to show up and surprise you in ways you never even imagined possible. Just hang in there. You shall have a great testimony in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. Amen

God bless you
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Paul said…I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. I want to suffer with Him, sharing in His death, SO THAT ONE WAY OR ANOTHER I WILL EXPERIENCE THE RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD! (Philippians 3:10-11 NLT)

ONE WAY OR ANOTHER… KJV SAYS…IF BY ANY MEANS…THE AMPLIFIED SAYS…THAT IF POSSIBLE I MAY ATTAIN…You almost get the sense that Paul is speaking as if there’s a danger of missing and coming short of it and so was desperate to do whatever he needed to do. Please note that this is not because he thought he could do anything to gain his salvation. NO!…He knew that Jesus Christ had paid the ultimate price for that but this is a holy fear of short comings and probably why he urges us to… continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).

Paul knows that there is some pressing forward to do. He has got to keep on going and needs whatever help he can get from our high priest who has been there, done it, got the victory and has made help available for our own journey (Hebrews 4:15-16).

The whole purpose why Paul makes this statement in Philippians 3:10-11 is to know and associate with Jesus in a way that transformed him both spiritually and morally. He knew this could not be done in his on strength so was willing to do and suffer anything to gain access and experience the mighty power that raised Jesus from the dead. That same power dwells in us and is working in us to change us (Romans 8:11).

Why do we need this change? Romans 8:13 (AMP) says – For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever.

For me…this is the message of Easter…Jesus Christ making available for me the power I need to change me into His image and likeness and I don’t want to dance around that power but tap into it and see it working in my life…I want to know and experience all of Jesus and I’m not deceived…It may take some tears, some suffering, letting go of things and dying daily to self.

Finally my dear brothers and sisters…as I round up this 5 part series…

…Not that I have already attained this—that is, I have not already been perfected—but I strive to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus also laid hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this. Instead I am single-minded: Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead, with this goal in mind, I strive toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus Philippians 3:12-14 (NET).

We would not reach complete perfection until when Christ returns to take us into His eternal kingdom but it is my earnest prayer that we ask for the strength and grace to press on and strive towards the price. I pray that God opens our eyes to understand what we need to do to know Him more…the strength to surrender to His will in our garden of gethsemane, carry our cross and to allow what needs to die die so that we can live for Him.

I really hope you’ve been blessed?

God bless you
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Paul said…I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. I want to suffer with Him, SHARING IN HIS DEATH, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! (Philippians 3:10-11 NLT)

Today, let’s focus on ‘SHARING IN HIS DEATH…’

How can one SHARE IN THE DEATH OF CHRIST?

2 Corinthians 4:10-11 (NLT) tells us – 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus SO THAT THE LIFE OF JESUS MAY ALSO BE SEEN IN OUR BODIES. 11 Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies.

We covered suffering yesterday…Paul wanted to…share His (Jesus) sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death…

Here we see why?…SO THAT THE LIFE OF JESUS MAY ALSO BE SEEN IN OUR BODIES…

I’ve suffered…YES…indeed I have suffered and YES some of my sufferings were as a result of my own stupidity. However for some of them, I know Satan was out to get me just because I belong to Christ. He has special plans to sift me out. So I can say I’ve suffered a tiny little bit (compared to Paul) for Christ. But then in my head I am wondering, how much of the life of Christ is seen in me?

Do people look at me and recognise the life of Jesus? How much of His humility…obedience…love…do I carry?

As we celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ in this season, let’s remind ourselves of this… Romans 6:10-12 (NET) says – 10 For the death He died, He died to sin once for all, but the life He lives, He lives to God. 11 So you too consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore DO NOT LET SIN REIGN IN YOUR MORTAL BODY SO THAT YOU OBEY ITS DESIRES…

It’s one thing to celebrate with someone but its another thing if that person is actually joining in the celebration…Can Jesus look at our lives and say YES I can actually celebrate with them because My death and resurrection is evident in their lives…SIN IS NOT REIGNING IN THEIR MORTAL BODIES…THEY DO NOT OBEY ITS DESIRES…

Someone recently said… ‘Just because you are saved does not make you SINLESS but you ought to be SINNING LESS… Are we SINNING LESS?

When we see someone successful, we want to draw close to them because we want to know what they did to make them successful. This is so that we can apply the same principles and be like them but then they would always ask …are you prepared to go through what I did? This was what Paul was prepared to do…I want to share Your experience so I can be successful like You. I want to know Christ… so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead…stay tuned…

God bless you
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Paul said…I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. I WANT TO SUFFER WITH HIM, sharing in His death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! (Philippians 3:10-11 NLT)

Today, let’s focus on ‘I WANT TO SUFFER WITH HIM…’

Unlike many Christains that only want to be friends with Jesus because of what they can get from Him, Paul wants to know what it feels like to suffer like Jesus so they can share something in common. I’ve observed that I relate more with people when they share their experience and I can say I’ve been there and done that. There’s a kind of bond because we share something in common.

Growing up, I bonded more with my siblings in times of suffering. I was raised by parents that believed ‘spare the rod and you would indeed spoil the child’. Mum was very quick with her hands but dad would wait until he was really provoked and then EVERYBODY would get a taste of his special belt even if you didn’t do anything wrong that day…just know it’s beating for something you must have done in the past.

Then there was peace for the rest of the day…no quarrelling or fighting. We would all sit together in one place recounting the experience, comparing notes and laughing at how we cried and ran around the house.

We also bonded when we were hungry. On a full stomach, everybody went about doing their own thing but when hungry and there was no food, we came together to reminisce about the good times…times we had roost chicken… My brothers would mime to Boys to Men…Although we’ve come to the end of the road…We would share jokes and laugh until we fell asleep… Those were fun times.

Paul sees suffering as a way of bonding with Christ and someone jokingly said when Paul arrived at a city, the first thing he wanted to know was where the prison was located because he knew somehow he would end up there. To Paul that was a small price to pay. It even gave him more time to spend with Jesus because he got inspiration to do most of his writing from prison.

What’s more…? The Amplified Bible says…I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even]…so Paul’s thinking was…Jesus, since You learned obedience from the things You suffered (Hebrews 5:8)… I too can learn obedience if I go through a similar process until I become like You.

So every betrayal, false accusation, rejection or hurt you experience is really an opportunity to draw close to Christ to learn how He handled the situation and through it, you progressively become like Him.

Paul said we have been given the privilege of suffering for Christ (Philippians 1:29). We would probably need a whole lot of renewing of the mind (Roman 12:1) to be able to see suffering as a privilege but I’m reminded of a time when the apostles were flogged because of Jesus and…they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name (Act 5:41).

As Easter draws near, can you think of a time you SUFFERED FOR JESUS? What was the result? Did you see it as a worthy cause? Has it transformed you in anyway? Remember, this whole process like Paul said is so that one way or another You will experience the resurrection from the dead…stay tuned…

God bless you
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This happens to be the week leading up to Easter and many are looking forward to the bank/public holidays. Children are looking forward to Easter eggs. There’s going to be a lot of religious activities in this season and many churches would be recounting stories of Jesus’ triumphant entry to Jerusalem; how He made His way to the cross, died and was resurrected.

However, striping off all these layers, how should we really respond to the death and resurrection of Christ experience?

In one of Paul’s profound statements, he said…I WANT TO KNOW CHRIST and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. I want to suffer with Him, sharing in His death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! (Philippians 3:10-11 NLT)

Today, let’s focus on Paul beginning phrase…I WANT TO KNOW CHRIST…

Paul’s first step in wanting to know Jesus was to forget his past. Actually, it’s more than that…he had to unlearn everything he knew from childhood (renew his mind). Paul looked at his education, his tradition, his religious background and said…I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.

How much of your past have you left behind? What or who do you need to let go off?

Now, I’m not saying some of these things don’t have their value but when you really experience Christ, you start to see things differently. Zacchaeus, the wealthy tax collector climbed up the sycamore-fig tree and after seeing Jesus from that height, he was ready to give half of his possessions to the poor (Luke 19:2-8). The sycamore-fig tree produces a fig-like fruit of an inferior quality to the real fig fruit so maybe he caught a bug from the tree and saw everything he once had as inferior compared to the real value of knowing Jesus.

Paul said…the very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by Him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness. (Philippians 3:7-9 MSG)

Paul also said that after he became born again, he didn’t consult with anyone about Jesus. He went to Arabia where he spent some years in the wilderness getting to know Christ (Galatians 1:15-18).

Somehow, I’m finding that you can’t separate really experiencing Christ from a wilderness experience. Show me a person that has really been converted by an experience with Christ and I would should you a person that has spent time in the wilderness…just them and Jesus. This is normally characterised by a period of loneliness, separation and brokenness. It involves long periods of waiting on the Lord for something to happen but CHRIST says get to know me first.

As Easter draws near, let’s take time to reflect on our knowledge of CHRIST and how we have responded to His death and resurrection. This is the first step to experiencing the mighty power that raised Him from the dead…stay tuned…

God bless you
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