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Cebu House of Prayer | A Ministry of Youth with a Mission

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West Africa: a tale of two oceans

West Africa is the tale of two oceans: the Atlantic to the west and the great Sahara Desert to the north. These oceans provided access to the region’s more than 300 million inhabitants. Europeans began arriving from the Atlantic in the 15th century to stake out trading posts from which they would gather slaves and gold, eventually building colonies from what is today Mauritania in the north to Nigeria in the south. The other ocean, the Sahara Desert, one that we often fail to see, had already provided passage for northern conquerors centuries earlier. As early as the eight century the Sahara yielded passage to Arab and Berber invaders from North Africa on camel caravans, rightly called “ships of the desert”, seeking the same prizes – slaves, ivory, and gold – while leaving behind their Islamic faith. In the 1960s, independence movements swept West Africa, but the older conflict between Christian and Muslim communities increased. Today, West Africa is divided between Muslim populations in the north and east and Christian populations along southern and western Atlantic coastal zone. The earlier allure of slaves, ivory and gold has been supplanted by other attractions, such as the diamonds that led to genocidal wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia (1980-2002) and the rich oil fields that have generated both wealth and conflict in Nigeria. Christianity has grown rapidly in West Africa over the past century, and much of the region’s wealth has been under the control of Christian communities living near the coasts. Muslims in the arid interior have seen their fortunes deteriorate as global warmings and the expanding Sahara have depleted...

The Supremacy of Jesus (Hebrews 1:1-3)

Turn to Hebrews 1. Father, we thank You in the name of Jesus for the glory of Your Son, that You gave Him to us. We thank You for the ministry of the Holy Spirit. We ask You, Holy Spirit, to magnify Jesus in the human heart even now. In Jesus’ name. Amen. SEVEN FACETS OF HIS MAGNIFICENCE Well, today I want to talk from Hebrews 1 on the supremacy of Jesus. I just want to give one paragraph here in the notes of review from last week, for those who are with us for the first time. I am teaching a series on the magnificent obsession of Christ Jesus. Our goal is to be obsessed with His magnificence. Because He is worthy of it, number one, and number two, because that is what makes our spirit vibrant. It makes our spirit strong so we can walk out the destiny that God has called us to. Paragraph A, just by way of review, there is no aspect in the grace of God that more powerfully transforms the emotions or satisfies the heart than when God the Holy Spirit reveals God to our spirits. When God reveals God to us, when the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to our spirit, it satisfies us. It transforms us. There is a deep connection between what we see and how we feel. A lot of people try to change the way they feel without changing the way they see or the way they think about God. In Philippians 3:8, which is the theme verse for this series, Paul says, “I count everything loss because...

Loving God: The First and Great Commandment

OUR INHERITANCE: LOVING GOD FOREVER Matthew 22:37 says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul, and all of your mind” (paraphrased). Now the gospel of Mark adds, “And with all of your strength” (Mk. 12:30). It adds a fourth distinction there. We will look at that a lot throughout the course, those four distinctions that are all complimentary to one another, though they do have some very definite distinctions. But here is the part that I want to focus on tonight. Jesus said, “This is the first . . . commandment” (Mt. 22:38): the one that is first priority to God, first priority in the kingdom, the first emphasis of the Holy Spirit. And He said it is the great commandment. It is the commandment that has the greatest impact on God’s heart, the greatest impact on your heart, the greatest impact on the people to whom we minister. So Jesus gives this commentary on the great commandment. Now He is quoting from Deuteronomy 6:5, which we will look at many times throughout the course. The important point tonight I want to highlight is that Jesus is giving His own commentary on this passage that He is quoting from Moses. Of course, He is the One who gave it to Moses, but He is adding something that Moses did not receive. He said, “It is the first commandment; it is the great commandment” (Mt. 22:38, paraphrased). This commentary from heaven has been greatly overlooked and dismissed by the Body of Christ throughout history. What we are committed to doing as...