The Bishop of Sword of the Spirit Ministries, Wale Oke, has enjoined believers to continue to appropriate God’s mercy and grace in their lives if they truly desire to finish the kingdom race well.
He made the submission at a one-day Seminar in July which held at the Christian Pentecostal Mission, Ota Ogun State.
Oke who was accompanied with a couple of ministers to the event spoke at both the morning and evening sessions of the programme. The event also had in attendance Christians from other denominations who were quite excited to hear the Bishop preach.
At the evening session which was more of an impartation service, Oke reaffirms the scriptural passage where the Bible admonishes that the race is not for the swift neither the battle for the strong. He disclosed that many servants of God in the Bible survived on God’s mercy and grace.
While drawing from an experience in his church he said, “There was a time some of my ministers were leading prayers to usher in another year and they were praying and asking us to pray that God will make us strong and swift in the New Year. They were using the scripture where David talked about Saul and Jonathan that they were stronger than lion and swifter than eagle.
“But as we were praying the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, Though Saul was stronger than lion and swifter than the eagle yet he perished on the battle field. The Holy Spirit then made me to understand that the race is for neither the strong nor the swift but for whom God showed mercy”
While observing that great men of God in the Bible like David and Peter made mistakes in their journey with God, he said, “The difference in the life of David and Saul is that David knew how to appropriate God’s mercy but Saul did not. Peter and Judas also are good examples. Peter wept and repented. But then Jesus had interceded for Peter that his faith will not fail. But that was not the case with Judas. So, the grace of the Lord and His mercy is important if we are to make speedy progress in life”
Giving examples of some men of God in Nigeria like David Oyedepo and Mathew Ashimolowo, he said , “it is the grace of God that has largely enabled them to succeed in their ministry and they have become referral points. I remember in 1978 I was in London and I had the opportunity to preach in the little congregation Pastor Ashimolowo was pasturing and I remember him talking about starting a new work for God.
“Soon after he pulled out of the denomination to start what God has laid in his heart, he was able to pull a crowd that was unprecedented in the history of the United Kingdom. The last time that country experienced the kind of crowd that was attending his meetings was during the time of John Wesley. God has been using him to pastor the largest church in the UK. That is God’s grace at work. Bishop Oyedepo has also been able to tap on God’s grace and mercy. It is grace at work in Canaan Land. It is true God has given him a lot of wisdom but God’s grace has been the energy that is behind the church”
He observed that Christians may fall in the course of their race but it is disastrous to remain down. “No matter what you have gone through, no matter the tragedies or the mistakes you have made, don’t remain in your situation. Pick yourself again and continue to run the race. Learn to appropriate God’s mercy and grace. It is not in falling that is the problem it is remaining down.
“When Jesus was confronted with the woman who committed adultery he asked those who brought him to cast the first stone if they were not also culpable. And before he lifted up his eyes her accusers had moved out of the scene one by one and Jesus told the woman he would not condemn her but that she should go and sin no more. It is dangerous to continue in a mistake because it may get to a point that the grace will not work. We cannot continue in sin and asked that grace may abound. God expects us to pick ourselves from the ground and move on in our Christian race rather than continuing in a mistake.”