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SPECIAL SUNDAY SERVICE WITH PASTOR (DR) MENSA OTABIL (GENERAL OVERSEER, INTERNATIONAL CENTRAL GOSPEL CHURCH (ICGC) CHRIST TEMPLE, ACCRA GHANA)
TOPIC: BE CONCERNED
DATE: 6TH AUGUST 2023
BIBLE TEXT: ISAIAH 42:8-10
Let us rise up together as we make our “DECLARATION OF GATHERING” in this “YEAR OF GATHERING”.
Are you ready? Say with me:
I Proclaim Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour.
The Lord is the Shepherd of my Soul, my Shelter by Day, my Light by Night.
In His Name, we Plough our fields, by His Spirit we gather the Harvest, in His Light we seek and find.
In this Year of Gathering, the Lord of the Harvest has commanded: Launch Out into the Deep. At His Words, we cast our Nets, we gather in Souls and Substance for God’s Kingdom.
The Lord is our Reward; in this Season I received God’s Portion set aside for me: Full Measure, Pressed down, Shaking together and running over.
Nothing is Lost and Nothing is wasted in Jesus Name – Amen!
This Morning I am not Preaching, I just want to have a Conversation – To share a couple of things on my Heart that can help us to receive in moments like this; and the Lessons we must carry with us from a moment like this.
Three (3) Things that I think are important; and things we must do if we want to do things for God:
Also see; cultivating-christian-character-guide
1. TAKE GOD SERIOUSLY.
In moments like this, we have to take God seriously. And it’s something we are to do as a Church – That is, to take God seriously.
2. TAKE GOD’S ASSIGNMENT TO US SERIOUSLY.
When God tells us to do something, we must take it very seriously.
3. TAKE GOD’S PEOPLE SERIOUSLY.
When God brings People our way, we don’t take them for granted.
That is, at the heart of everything we do – To take God seriously, to take His work or Assignment to us seriously, and to take His People seriously.
And not to Play with the things of God, not to joke with the things of God – If there’s something to be done for God, we put everything we have in it.
After a long Program, I became very tired; I just felt if I sleep, I am going to sleep for one year – You know one of those times when you feel like, “I need to sleep till my body knows it has slept”.
So I went to bed, I thought I was going to sleep for a very long time – I didn’t sleep that long really (I think I slept for about five (5) hours. And then I was up! And I was feeling Strong. I said, woooow! I don’t need one year sleep. I am feeling okay!
And in the Evening, I came around the Church and People were around Preparing for Sunday’s Service – The Sanitation, Choir, Praise Team, among others; all out, doing God’s work even though they were also tired!
And the reason we do these things is because we take God seriously – We take His work seriously and we take God’s People seriously.
We will never Compromise on taking God seriously, taking His work seriously and taking His People seriously.
The things that happen, they don’t happen by themselves; it takes a lot of hard work, a lot of Concentration, a lot of Commitment. And sometimes, you know, People don’t know any better – You give them rubbish, they will still take it.
Every Church Worker Prepares – The Praise Team, Choir, etc. Because they have to work with the Clock. And this is because we take God seriously.
And that’s something I want to be in the Spirit of every True Believer – That you take the things you do seriously. You don’t joke with your work.
That if it comes to your work, you take it seriously – You give everything, because you believe that is the work God has given to you.
If you are a Seamstress, take the work seriously, take your Customers seriously; because they are ‘God’s People to you’. And if you lose them, you lose everything.
Everything we talk about – The Overflow and the Breakthrough; it all happens in the context of a People. And if you joke with the People, you are going to lose everything.
And I have been a Pastor for many years – I was a Pastor before I started ICGC. I have been in Ministry effectively, from about 1975.
How many years now? Forty eight (48)! I have been fully involved in Ministry – Actively doing the work of God.
But one thing I have learnt: you never become an Expert! You never “arrive”.
You never get to a Point where you say, “Now I know how to do it; I don’t even have to try, I can do it.” Once you get there, you are done!
Because, whatever God gives to us, everyday it would demand time, focus and energy from us – Everyday!
So I just want to encourage you – God has shown up for us: We work hard, Prepare, do all of that. But you go to your world and you do something else. Take God seriously, take the Assignment He gives you seriously, and the People He brings your way, take them very seriously.
You know, when I was a Young Pastor, one of the things I was very scared of in the early Years of my Ministry; especially when I started Pastoring this Church (ICGC) was that one that I’ll show up and there would be Nobody in Church – It was a very scary thought.
Because we had just a few People. I said, “what if I go to the Classroom and Nobody is there? What am I going to do?”
You know, if you have a Church of twenty (20) People, you would be scared!
For instance, one day everybody says, “I went to a Funeral, I went to a Wedding Ceremony” and Nobody shows up.
I was so grateful when I go to that little Classroom and there would be People – Not many People: Twenty (20), twenty-five (25) People. But I was happy that they showed up!
… And I learned, “Don’t take them for granted!”
Because if they don’t Show Up, your Life will be Miserable.
Even if you have a Word to Preach, who are you going to Preach it to?
And that had been my attitude over the years – Never take anything for granted. Never take anybody for granted. Never take the Congregation for granted. Invest everything you have. Make sure you that everyday, you are making New Investment.
Never live on Past Investment – You live on Current Investment, Current Commitment, Current Decision.
My heart is always on God – I take His work seriously and I take His People seriously. And those of you who grow very quickly and all of a sudden you are Supervisors and you are telling others what to do.
That’s not a Good Practice!
Yes, Delegate, get People to do the job; but don’t take your eyes off the job, don’t take your hands off – You have to be involved!
Even if you are not doing it, your heart has to be there – So that for everything that God is giving to you, you don’t take things for granted.
Take God seriously, take the work He has given you seriously, take God’s People seriously. And don’t assume that People will always love you, that People will always Support you.
No, People have an Option.
For you to Show Up in Church:
I. You could have gone somewhere else. Probably even slept on Sunday Mornings and say, I am tired, I’ll watch Online. But you came!
I don’t take that for granted.
II. Whilst you came to Church here, you Passed a lot of Churches – You didn’t stop to go there, you came here.
I don’t take that for granted.
So take whatever God gives you seriously – No matter how Good you think you are, no matter how effective you think you are and no matter how Qualified you are.
Don’t take things for granted, don’t take God for granted, don’t take the work He’s given to you for granted, and don’t take the People He gives you for granted.
Because when you go to work tomorrow (Monday) you are going to meet the same People you met on Friday – Some of whom you don’t like.
You know, sometimes you go to work on Friday (Weekend) and you think by Monday, God would have array some People off!
So that by Monday you come and “Oh! Have you heard…?”
But then you go and see the same Person who is making your Life Miserable in the same Office.
They are the same Customers who are making your Life Miserable and making demands on you and all of that.
And you feel, I deserve better!
Yes, if you deserve better, do better.
Because the only time when you get what you deserve is if you invest in what you have.
If you don’t invest in what you have, you are not going to get what you deserve.
Some People work and say, you know, in other Places they would have paid me more.
Well, they will Pay you more if you are working better!
Take God seriously, take the work He has given you seriously and take God’s People seriously!
I just felt I should share that with you this Morning; because I don’t get to Preach like this – I always have a very elaborate Message.
But as I was thinking about what to Share this Morning; I have Planned this long ago and it’s in my Note – Everything I’m saying is there, written down.
Everything is Planned, because I don’t take you for granted – I take you seriously.
You are Intelligent People, Smart People. You are able to make Decisions, you can look at me and say “Ha! It’s a Mistake”.
So I have to take you seriously.
Alright! So I want to spend the next few Minutes talking about something in Isaiah 42:8-10 – And it says (NKJV):
8 I am the Lord, that is My name;
And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images.
9 Behold, the former things have come to pass,.And new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them.”
10 Sing to the Lord a new song, And His praise from the ends of the earth, You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, You coastlands and you inhabitants of them!
In Isaiah 42, is God talking about the Servant – Which talks about Jesus Christ, the Coming Messiah.
And in that Prophecy, God speaks to the People and talks about what is happening now.
He says, the former things are Passed away; the Old things are Passed away. So something is gone!
And then He says, I am announcing something New.
So something is gone, and God says, I am telling you about the New thing to come.
But before the New thing comes, I have to let you know that the New thing has come.
Anytime God announces something New, then it means that something that used to be is Changing.
And I believe that God is Changing a Season in our lives, as a Church and as individuals. And the Announcement of the New is what we have heard.
And then He says, when you share the New Announcement, you have to sing a New Song.
Everybody say: New Song!
So when God is doing something New in your Life, He says your response is – You sing a New Song.
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What does He mean by Singing a New Song?
Does it mean you go and create a New Song?
No, that’s not what He is talking about.
It means that you are going to respond differently from the way you responded earlier – You are going to sing a New Song.
A Song has Three (3) Parts:
1. It has got Rhythm – Which we call beat.
That’s what keeps you moving!
When we talk about Rhythm, we are talking about movement – How you respond, how you move.
When God says, I am doing a New thing, it also means that we have to move differently – We have to respond differently.
2. A Song has got a Melody.
That is what you Composed, what you put together.
God says you are going to Compose things differently, you are going to put things together differently.
3. And a Song has got Lyrics – Words.
You are going to talk differently!
So,, as we face the week, Monday, you are going to respond differently.
– The Rhythm would be different.
– The Melody would be different.
– And the Lyrics would be different.
And He didn’t say that everything else would Change.
In other words, you’ll go and meet the same situation but you are going to respond to it differently.
One of the things you have to get ready for is that many times when you have Major Spiritual moments like this, the devil would bring irritations – Don’t lose your focus!
I. Oh! You go to work and you see the same Old Person who irritates you. Don’t lose your focus because you have to sing a New Song!
The Rhythm has begun differently: Melody must be different, Words (Lyrics) must be different!
II. Or your Landlord comes to you and says, by the way, the rent.
Don’t lose your focus! Because God is still doing a New thing in your Life.
Although you are seeing some Old things happen and repeat themselves; or something irritating you, something distracting you – Don’t lose focus!
You have to respond differently – Instead of being depressed, you are going to say hallelujah, God is going to make a way.
I believe a New car is coming, I believe God is providing for me.
Of course you have to sing a New Song!
No matter the irritation, no matter the aggravation, you are going to sing a New Song – Amen!
You are going to talk differently:
– You are going to talk like somebody who has been blessed.
– You are going to talk like somebody that God has opened the Heavens to.
So if you believe the Heavens are opened over you, and there is Victory for you, then don’t talk defeat!
Because the same Country we were in Last Week, is the Country we are in this Week.
The same Country!
You hear the same News. And if you are not careful that would disturb your Spirit.
And all of a sudden before you realised you are going back to the Old – The Old Patterns are coming back. You are talking the same way, thinking the same way and everything you resolved to be is gone!
Be at alert, your Adversary is going to distract you – Stay on track!
You are going to sing a New Song – The Rhythm would be different, the Melody would be different, the Lyrics would be different (Amen)!
Because one of the ways that People lose what God has given to them is Distractions.
Sometimes after Great Meetings, you find, something would just come and distract you. You hear some News, and all of a sudden it takes you from this moment into a “Depressive Moment”.
And you wonder why?
I thought I was blessed, I thought I was going somewhere, and then this hit me!
But you are going to dance differently – Amen!
God did not say that things may not hit you – They will hit you. But you have to be determined:
I will sing a New Song, I am still in the Overflow, I am still going for the Spoil. I am still going to see dry bones come alive – Amen!
Nothing is going to Change that in my Life, no matter what! I am going to be what God says I’ll be, and my Song has Changed – Amen!
My experience may not have Changed, but my Song has Changed, my Dance has Changed, my Language has Changed – Amen!
My world is still Depressed, my body still feels the way it feels, the People are still the same; but my Song is New – Amen!
And that’s what God was telling the People of Israel – I’ll do a New Thing. And before the New Thing comes, I announce to you. And when I announce to you, you’ll sing a New Song.
The New Thing hadn’t happened – I just declared it before it happens.
But you’ll sing a New Song in Agreement to the New Thing:
– You are going to be tempted to lose everything you’ve got.
– You are going to be tempted to be disappointed, to be depressed, to despair;
– You are going to be tempted to talk Negatively to yourself.
– You are going to be tempted to do all of that.
on’t yield to the Temptation, alright!
You say, Pastor how do you know that?
I know because we have an Adversary called Satan – His tricks haven’t Changed. He walks in the same Old way – He is going to distract you.
So if all the meat you have in the freezer gets rotten, still sing a New Song. Alright!
Maybe God has to take all that meat away because there are Fresher meat coming your way.
Just sing a New Song!
No matter what hits you, sing a New Song – Talk about the Goodness of the Lord, talk about the Victory the Lord has given to you, talk about His Power that is at work in your Life.
Because I believe that from now till the end of the Year (2023), it’s going to be a Festival of Miracles!
It’s going to be Breakthrough upon Breakthrough; Favour upon Favour, Open Door after Open Door, Testimony after Testimony!
Every moment is going to be Victorious!
So stay Victorious, stay Positive, stay on Top!
Sing a New Song, Dance a New Dance, Compose New Things, and Declare New Things!
Amen! It’s going to be Good.
Somebody say: it’s going to be Good to me!
t’s going to be Good to all of us – Amen!
Let’s rise up together and just talk to the Lord for a moment this Morning:
Thank Him for the Victory He has for you; for the New Things He is doing in your Life, for the People He is bringing your way.
Just Thank Him for it.
Thank Him that He is giving you a New Song, a New Language. He is going to help you Compose New Things, put New Things together.
Oh, we Thank You Lord!
And I Pray Father for everyone here inclusive those reading now
That You will keep our Minds Settled on You, our Thoughts fixed on You – Not weavering; not turning to the Left or to the Right, but duly fixed on You.
Help us Lord to keep our Spiritual Focus and not lose our Spiritual Focus.
And I Pray Lord, for the Seasons that You have Predicted, to become Real in our lives.
And we declare Lord, that from this time till the end of December, we enter into a Season of Festival of Miracles.
Testimonies upon Testimonies; Victory upon Victory. And may the Joy of the Lord be our Strength and our Portion.
We Thank You Lord for Open Doors.
Thank You Lord for the Magnificent things You are doing in our lives.
In Jesus’ Name – Amen!
If you believe it, Celebrate the Lord Mightily!
Thank you so much for staying all through to read.