Ministry of Prayer at Ameh Street – 7th Oct.
We thank the Lord for the life of bro Amos. He is an elderly man with balanced commitment to the ministry of the word and prayer. His prayer life refreshes and encourages me. It reminds me that “unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” [Ps.127]. Paul may plant while Apollos waters, but God alone gives the increase [I Cor. 3:6].
“Without Me, you can do nothing,” says the Lord. Hence, “if you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you” [Jn. 15:5,7].
On the 7th of October, about 10am, bro Amos, a sister and I gathered in the name of the Lord to pray with thanksgiving concerning the gospel work in Idoma Land. We prayed the Lord to send more laborers, and we also pleaded for Him to bless the ministry of His word in the hearts of the hearers.
Brethren, let’s pray that the Lord would secure this land for Himself.
Ministry of the Word: the Church at Ameh Street 5th & 11th [Mon. & Sun.]
I was with the church at Ameh Street, Otukpo, on the 5th and 11th of October. My brief teaching on the evening of the 5th was based on the topic “Till I Come” [I Tim. 4:13]. The message was in view of the Lord’s return.
He knows we will be distracted with many things before His coming, so He has given us many spiritual exercises to be occupied with which will surely help us in faithfully waiting for Him. Out of these many instructions [Phil.1:10; 1 Tim. 6:14; Jas. 5:7; Rev. 2:25; Heb.3:14; 1 Cor.4:5; Mt.24:13; Lk.19:13], I pointed out three which the church should give attention to: reading, exhortation and doctrine [1 Tim.4:13], persistent prayer [Lk.18:8], and “the breaking of bread” [1 Cor.11:26].
Above all, we should keep in mind that the Lord Himself is keeping us until He returns [Phil.1:6; Eph.1:14; 2 Cor. 5:5; 1:22; 1 Pet.1:5]; “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” [Phil. 2:13]. The 11th of Oct. was the Lord’s Day, and it was with the brethren at Ameh Street that I broke bread.
The meeting was opened with prayer at 9am as we spoke to one another in hymns and spiritual songs. I couldn’t participate in some, as they were in the Idoma dialect. Brother Amos admonished us to keep awake spiritually because it is the dark hour of the night in Egypt. The Lord is about to visit the world in His fury and to set His church free out of this wicked world [Ex.12:12,29-31].
“Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober…putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” [1 Thess.5:6,8,9].
I also led the brethren through a devotional reading of the book of Haggai as I paused to apply some of the verses to the brethren. The main thrust to all was that “the time has…come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built….Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruin?” [Hag.1:2,4].
The church is the temple of the Lord [1 Cor.3:9.16]; we are the house of God [1 Tim.3:15] that must be built according to divine pattern [Heb.8:5; Zech.4:10]. The Lord is displeased with us when we do not
care about the state of the church [Hag. 1:6,9-11; 2:12,13,17].
We are to seek first God’s kingdom; not our own comfort. We should have a sense of indebtedness to the Lord for all He has done for us and so be concerned to see the church built up as His holy habitation.
King David was dwelling in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around [2 Sam.7:1]. Similarly in our own time and life, “what do you have that you did not receive?” [1 Cor. 4:7]. How many times have our spirits being troubled to say, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains” [2 Sam.7:2]?
Where are men and women after God’s own heart today? The Lord was pleased with David for his desire to build Him a house, “so He made a lasting covenant with him” [2 Sam.7:4-16]. He also took pleasure in the children of Israel when “they obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet” [Hag.1:12]. Therefore the Lord promised them, as He does to us today, if we will yield to His word, “from this day I will bless you” [2:19].
There are yet untold blessings untapped by God’s people in bondage to men’s denomination and ecumenism. The Spirit wants to reveal these to us, but only in “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” [Eph. 4:3] experienced in the New Testament gatherings of the brethren.
“’The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts” [Hag.2:9]. When the resurrected and glorified Christ becomes the center around which all things revolve in Christian worship, and His life-giving death on the cross is why we gather to often remember, He will take His place of Headship in our midst and bestow His peace to gladden our hearts [Read Jn.20:19-20].
May the Lord give His people understanding.