Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams’ Message: Sunday Service March 13, 2011

12 April 2011, public by AWC Media

Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, visiting from abroad, brought an uplifting message on Sunday morning. He offered many eye-opening, down-to-earth examples of how taking offense can get you into trouble and even derail the destiny that God has in mind for you.

“I have seen things in my 35 years of ministry,” he said, even women who were so close to getting married but the man ended up with their best friend. Why? Because the fiancée was quick to take offense and reacted with indignation over something that could have been handled more smoothly, and things got derailed.

He said that just as the world is going through times of upheaval and uncertainty—look at the recent 9.0 earthquake in Japan, for example—so are many local churches. Inspite of that, don’t magnify what the Enemy doing because God will ultimately be faithful to His children. Difficulty, upheaval and chaos often stress us out and create occasions for offense. “It is impossible that no offences will come,” Jesus said (Luke 17:1). But the way we handle offenses will show our level of spiritual maturity, just as how we handle money and power also reveals our maturity level. God sometimes even uses offenses and crises to show us our heart.

In 1 Cor. 15:58, Paul urges believers to “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” Why steadfast and immovable? Because there are things that come to shake the foundations of churches. But through it all, remember that we are more than conquerors.

As Paul writes in Romans 8:38-39: “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Ultimately, it is God’s faithfulness to us that brings us through difficult circumstances, not so much our righteousness, personal consecration, discipline, organization, intelligence, the number of hours we pray, how often we fast, and other examples of personal effort. God’s covenant of mercy and grace is what keeps us healthy, protects our children, opens career doors, brings us prosperity, and preserves our life.

How certain and strong is the covenant God has made with us?

To answer this, Archbishop took us through the powerful words of Psalm 89, especially verses 3-4, 19-24, 28-29, 34-37. The words become especially powerful if you substitute your own name where the Psalm addresses David:

“I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn unto [you] My servant,

Thy seed will I establish forever, and build up thy throne to all generations.”

….

Then Thou spakest in vision to [me] Thy holy one and said: “I have given help to one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people.

I have found you My servant; with My holy oil have I anointed you:

With you My hand shall be established: Mine arm also shall strengthen you.

The enemy shall not exact upon you, nor the son of wickedness afflict you.

….

And I will beat down your foes before your face, and plague them that hate you.

But My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with you: and in My name shall your horn be exalted.

….

My mercy will I keep for you for evermore, and My covenant shall stand firm with you.

Your seed also will I make to endure forever, and your throne as the days of heaven.

….

My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of My lips.

Once have I sworn by My holiness that I will not lie unto [you].

Your seed shall endure forever, and your throne as the sun before Me.

It shall be established forever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in the heavens.

Archbishop ended by quoting Isaiah 40:2: “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her that her warfare is ended.” Learn to speak kind words and healing words to one another, he said. Learn to forgive and not to take offense too easily.

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