Weekly Uplift - Enlarge Your Capacity
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Enlarge Your Capacity

pastor michael

 

 

 

 

By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London 

 

 

 

Foundation Scripture: John 10:10, John 6:1-14

Sunday 15th January 2017

 

 

Today, we begin a new series titled: ‘Living In the Overflowing Abundance’, and today’s message is titled: ‘Enlarge Your Capacity’.


Here is our foundation scripture for this series, in John 10:10; ‘The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)’ (AMPC). This scripture confirms three things namely: (a) Christ capacity and His ability to deliver overflowing abundance. (b) God is a natural giver who gives beyond measure, till it overflows. (c) Christ is willing to supply us with overflowing abundance. He is the Lord, who gives beyond average, more than enough - an overflowing abundant Giver. So we must recognise that there is no shortage with God.


The scripture also tells us that Christ came. When we understand the reality of the person who has come, it will help us in positioning ourselves to receive from Him. Our attitude towards God is determined by our understanding of who He is. We cannot receive from God, beyond our knowledge of Him – Knowing God determines the extent and the outcome of our lives. As we fellowship with Him, we attain a deeper relationship with Him.


John 1:10-13 reads: ‘He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God’ (NLT). Here is Apostle Paul’s desire about knowing Christ from the Amplified translation in Philippians 3:10; ‘[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]'. Our knowledge of God determines the level of our faith, confidence in Him and the capacity we present to receive from Him.


Luke 6:35 speaks of our capacity. ‘Give (our capacity) and it will be given to you (what God gives to us): good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” The capacity we present to God will determine what we receive from Him – this also includes our giving to others. Stinginess ultimately affects what we receive. 2 Corinthians 9:6 put it this way: ‘Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop’ (NLT). Our faith and giving demonstrates our trust in God and our capacity to receive.


Ephesians 1:3-14 reveals to us God’s enormous wealth. ‘All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.  Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.  God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.  So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan. God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.  The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him' (NLT).


Ephesians 2:4-10 goes even further: ‘But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago’ (NLT).


Out of His riches and wealth, He gave us His eternal life. This life is both His nature and substance. It is His ability, power, grace, wisdom, love and strength. It is inexhaustible. The eternality of Zoe life is expressed in its endlessness. In order to enjoy it, we must access it by faith. Romans 5:2 reads: ‘Also through him and on the ground of our trust, we have gained access to this grace in which we stand; so let us boast about the hope of experiencing God’s glory’ (CJB).


Faith gives us access to what God has already provided – whether it is healing, deliverance, victory, breakthrough, prosperity and the fulfilment of destiny. The main issue with believers is our ability to receive. Unfortunately, our experiences, background and circumstances inevitably determines our capacity – and this is one aspect that as believers we must address. Here is how Jesus addresses this issue in John 15:7, which reads: ‘But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!’


The story in of the feeding of the five thousand in John 6:1-14 reveals some principles about capacity, which we would identify shortly: ‘After this, Jesus crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick. Then Jesus climbed a hill and sat down with his disciples around him. (It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration.) Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.  Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!” Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?” “Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted.  After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.’


The author of overflowing abundance in the person of Jesus displayed the power of God in this story, despite the misgivings of his disciples. We must remember that nothing can limit God. Usually, it is our capacity that needs alignment to His inexhaustible ability to give. The disciples displayed those misgivings based on their past experiences – our negative experiences must also be laid aside whenever we come in contact with the manifest presence of God. The miracle of feeding the five not only took place, but there was so much left, that it all had to be gathered in twelve baskets!


God’s power is limitless; He is the God of overflowing abundance. Our part in seeing His power displayed in our lives is to expand our hearts to receive from Him and enlarge our capacity – We must never measure God by the size of our needs. He can handle all needs, presented to him in faith. He has abundance to pour out into our emptiness, provided we present it to Him.


 

 

 

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As we continue the on-going series ‘Experiencing the Power of Multiplication’ today, here is a brief summary of the message: ‘Empowering the Next Generation’ from a fortnight ago. We agreed that God is generational in His thinking and deals with us from that standpoint. All God gives to us is meant to be passed on to upcoming generation. Our lives are a channel, a means by which God reaches out to our young ones.

God’s word, the bible is full of accounts of people who lived, thinking of the young and the unborn. Abraham in Genesis 17 aptly fits this description, with God reminding him of this truth. Bearing this in mind, Abraham was able to prepare adequately for Isaac’s future as we discovered from these seven points, namely: (1) He dedication Isaac to God, by circumcision (2) He celebrated Isaac (3) The bond woman and her child were sent away (4) He taught Isaac to obey God (5) He set the stage for Isaac’s future (6) He empowered Isaac (7) He sent away the children of His concubines.

Today as we examine this message, titled ‘Make Your Life Count for a Divine Purpose’, it is the crux of this series. Let me start by reminding us that it is vital that life flows from us to the next generation, and I intend to encourage us in this message to embrace a purpose beyond our personal life’s goals and aspirations. Within the timeframe that we have been given by God, it is important that we use it wisely and intentionally, serving His purpose on earth.

I have often wondered if coming to church, and engaging in the various forms of spiritual exercises – giving, praying, studying the scriptures and so forth, and having our needs met are an end in themselves? All these are good but they are simply a means to an end – and not an end in themselves. We’ve been created for a purpose bigger than the meeting of our needs. We experience healing, empowerment, and blessings for a purpose beyond us. Hence, life ought not to end with us. Ephesians 1:1 reads, ‘This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus’. Being chosen is not an end, but the choices made after the calling of God is more important. Unfortunately, the present day church has made the means, an end and disregarded the real end. Our personal victories, blessings and successes are meant to encourage us towards that end.

The essence of our faith is wrapped up in the first statement made by God to mankind in Genesis, and the last words of Jesus to his disciples before His ascension. Here they are, Genesis 1:28 reads thus: Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”  Matthew 28:18-19 reads: ‘And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’. Here is the reason why God has created us to live on earth; to make disciples of all nations. Our desires for comfort and pleasures are delightful, but they must not impede us from fulfilling God’s mandate for our lives.