We arrived at Jubilee Christian Church International. Their tagline is Release, Resources, Rest, and Restoration. Since we have enjoyed attending international churches, we wanted to attend an international church in the USA.
This church consisted of people from African nations. We definitely stood out as visitors. At the end of the service, they asked all visitors to come forward. We didn’t hear what they said, but it was obvious that we were visitors, and they beckoned us. We were applauded and ushered out to an area complete with snacks and goodie bags where they could get to know us better.
They were very friendly and made us feel welcome. The pastor prayed for our new granddaughter, Lucy!
Rob and I discussed how the most segregated hour of our world is in the church and what could be done to change that. Of course, it is most comfortable to meet with people that look like us. That is human nature. It is hard to be the token white family in a black church or the token black family in a white church.
How about having sister churches and families commit to swap for a three months to have a good mix for both churches! It will take something radical like that for change to happen. “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Gandhi
When we started to go into the worship service, it was so loud that we needed to ensure that we had earplugs before entering. The ushers at the door were very friendly and the ones leading us to our seats were dancing and leaping in the aisles. There is a party going on in here!!
Fortunately, the next song turned to a quieter one entitled Holy Spirit. Here are the lyrics:
There’s nothing worth more that could ever come close
Nothing can compare, You’re our living hope. Your presence, Lord.
Holy Spirit, You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your presence, Lord.
I’ve tasted and seen of the sweetest of loves
Where my heart becomes free and my shame is undone
In your presence, Lord
Let us become more aware of Your presence
Yes we need more awareness of Your presence. It is more precious than silver and gold. Exodus 33:14
And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.
Then he said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.
Moses said that I will not go unless You are with me. We are God’s ambassadors and this year is a leap year and we have an extra day to proclaim the Good news! Praise the Lord!
Series: Em-Power-Ed For Progress
Sermon Title: Designed for Progress
Pastor Bisi Tofade who is originally from Nigeria was wearing all white clothes.
Scripture: Proverbs 4:18
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.
Scripture: Genesis 26:13-14
And the Lord blessed him, and the man became rich, and continued to grow richer until he became very wealthy; for he had possessions of flocks and herds and a great household, so that the Philistines envied him.
You are designed to make progress. If things are not moving forward, engage in prayer.
Progress was impossible until God intervened in the life of Jabez.
1 Chronicles 4:10
Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested.
God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue.
I am made to be better, to prosper.
Progress means going forward, advancing, increasing, promotion, advancement.
Stagnation is painful. God designed your life to move forward. We are like an airplane which is like no other mode of transportation. An airplane is not designed to move backward or to be still in the air.
We are designed to grow. If we are crawling, we should be starting to walk. If we are running, we move toward flying. Something in your life is growing.
Spirit, soul and body.
- Physically & Materially
2 Peter 3:18
but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
Take spiritual growth very seriously: Faith, Fervency and Faithfulness.
Develop the mind in order to grow in knowledge. Readers are leaders. Update your mind, upgrade your life or you will be outdated.
The Lord our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain.”
The Israelites had been in the desert too long. Forty days turned into forty years.
They were close to the Promised Land. Often where you start is where you end. Dead end, stagnation, blocked roads, closed doors, moving around in circles.
3 John 1:2
Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.
God’s goal is to advance you and add value to your life.
Let them shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my vindication; And let them say continually, “The Lord be magnified, Who delights in the prosperity of His servant.”
We don’t think of prosperity of a servant. Humbleness is not sound doctrine.
Progress brings joy and impacts the world. Lack of progress brings stagnation.
Approach life with boldness. Be a victor not a victim. The Spirit of the lion dwells in you. The lion may not be the biggest animal or the fastest, etc, but he is the king because of his attitude.
Take charge. Knock on doors. Ask. You receive not because you ask not.
If you don’t progress, there will be no progress. No progress=No progress.
While the offering was taken up, we watched a cute video. I found something similar in YouTube to share. It is taken from an advertisement to take the bus. Our lesson is that it is smart to travel in groups. Watch here:
There were about fifteen minutes of announcements. These were taped earlier. We watched on the large screens at the front. There is a lot going on:
- Deaths and their life celebrations
- Upcoming Social Justice Symposium
- Tax Preparation Assistance
- Jobs Assistance
- New Leaders Class
- Outreach Meeting
- Pastor Appreciation Activities
- Mid week service
- Rides requests to church
- Invite someone to church.
- Worship and prayer encounter this Friday at midnight.
- Multicultural celebration throughout February with each country showcases between the 9 and 11 services. This group is from Ghana.
- Culinary Journey of all countries will be a culminating event at the end of the month. There is strength in diversity.
“And that’s your Jubilee News.” The congregation applauded.
As I was attending the service, and later writing about our experiences, it seemed like the message was about prosperity. There wasn’t much mention about Jesus. For me, Sunday fellowship is all about gathering as servants at the feet of our King, Jesus.
The only thing that is promised to the Christian believer is living eternally with our King in Heaven. Now THAT is prosperity and something that money can’t buy. Everything else, good and bad are superfluous.
Ironically, as I was writing this, a friend sent me an article about African nations accepting a prosperity gospel. Read about it here.