New Year messages are not mere titles

Tendai Manzvanzvike Divine Appointments  —
IT is another grace-filled year, and just as the Lord has spoken to us since time-immemorial, it’s no different with 2017. What He says comes to pass for He “is not a man that He should lie; neither the son of man that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make good of it?” (Numbers 23:19, KJV)

As the prayer and fasting season continues, we bring you excerpts of some of the messages that the Lord gave for 2017. Information and communication technologies have become great enablers, where the prophetic messages are not confined to a congregation, and are reaching nations.

As we move with the prophetic word for 2017, let us do so taking into consideration that the Lord speaks to us through different men and women of God from various denominations. The declaration of themes is not a competitive process, but rather a manifestation of God’s mind for His people. This is why the word given to Mrs Tsitsi Togara, an intercessor we have featured on this column, is also included.

I like what the founder of Christ Embassy, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, said in his televised message on New Year: “When we say the message of the year, it’s not a title or topic. It’s what the Lord is doing with us and for us. There are people who do not care about that, but it does mean a lot to us.”

Year of manifestation of grace
AFM in Zimbabwe’s Amazing Grace Centre said their theme for 2017 is “Manifestation of grace.” Pastor Happymore Gotora said it’s a year of grace upon grace, whose theme is drawn from 2 Corinthians 12:9 where Paul confesses that Jesus said unto him: “My grace is sufficient for thee; my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Year of greater life
Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa of United Family International Church said 2017 is yet another beautiful year that God has bestowed on us: “I am very happy and excited, especially when you know that there are no elections in heaven, so God remains God. The God that we have today, will always be there forever.

“Our theme for the year 2017 is going to be simple but very powerful. It is the ‘Year of greater life’. I don’t know what to say, but I know what to do! Let’s see if the devil is going to survive this year. I believe that in other ways the devil also has his own theme and we know some few things as prophets. It’s going to be the year of his stress! With what we have seen so far in the past years, you could have died by now, but there seems to be something that keeps you alive because there are many people that we know who died and they didn’t go through half of what you went through.

“God doesn’t preserve a person for no reason. I am here to only make an announcement and teachings will follow. This ministry is going to be a different ministry with different membership, which means you have to bring a new life.

“You will notice that from the first month everything will become different. If the God of this house is small, then you shall be small but you shall become big because the God of this ministry is big. The God of this ministry, the God that I serve, the God that spoke to me, said in 2017, He is going to do something new. There are things that God told me to help you with. You are going to receive help from the God that started this ministry!”

Grace for the perfecting of the saints
Before announcing the 2017 theme, Pastor J.S.Z Chintokoma of Mufakose Assemblies of God Church asked the congregation: “What comes into your heart when you take stock of 2016 in your walk with Jesus Christ and your relationship with other brethren?”

He added, “So many things have happened as it was a difficult year financially, but praise God, regardless, we made some progress in the church… Thanks to you all for making it possible for the church to be alive, your dedication and commitment in attending services, giving your time and money.

“As we enter 2017, with our theme ‘Grace for the perfecting of the saints’, let us be ready for the Holy Spirit to take over and take faithfully what He is going to give us — His power, gifts, and His fruit. In 2017, we are not settling for less than the power of the Holy Spirit. As we preach Jesus, it must be followed by demonstrations — salvation to many, healings, miracles and deliverances. Pray, seek God that this power be upon you as a believer. Bear fruit so that God the Father may be glorified. (Ephesians 4:7; Romans 12:6; John 15:8; Mark 16:17-18)

The year to be distinguished
Pastor Anselm Mvenge of Christian Healing Ministries for all Nations declared 2017 as the ‘Year to be distinguished’ (Daniel 6:3).

Part of his message was: “Today, if you look around yourself and all over the world, the situation is not getting any better at all… All nations of the world have not been spared from economic meltdown and cash shortages.

“Drought has and continues to affect many people in different nations… Corruption has been on the increase with the rich feeding upon the poor. The spirit of stealing, killing and destruction has continued to be on the increase everywhere. All this, to children of God, who walk not by sight, but by faith does not come as a surprise, but is only a fulfilment of what is already written in the Holy Scriptures.

“Daniel, the servant of God, lived during similar times of uncertainty. However, what sustained him amidst all the evil around him was that he distinguished himself above all his contemporaries by living a life of obedience to God. God therefore imparted upon him His Spirit of excellence that made him a cut above the rest even to the extent that all his enemies envied him and plotted on how they could have him eliminated.

“Although Daniel was a foreigner, the king favoured him and sought to promote him… It was even the same for his three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 3:8-30. All four of them distinguished themselves by refusing to compromise their faith when they refused to bow to the idols of the kings of the time.

“Because they remained faithful to God and did not allow the situation of their time to dictate to them the direction of their faith, it therefore pleased God to rescue them from every plot by their enemy.”

Pastor Mvenge cautions: “From the day you believed in God and received His only Son Jesus Christ to be Lord and Saviour of your life, God gave to you that same spirit that worked in Joseph, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and in all His faithful servants in the Holy Bible. This was the same spirit that distinguished Jesus from the rest of the world… Refuse to be a victim of fear and anxiety as a result of challenges that your nation is going through, but look to Jesus and remain focused on Him and Him alone, for He is the sole author and finisher of our faith. “Once you are only conscious of His excellent spirit upon your life, you will see how His spirit will distinguish you above all your adversaries.”

The year of flourishing
Pastor Chris said there are not too many times when things in the spirit are in sync with a new phase in the calendar of God, and he declared 2017 the ‘Year of flourishing’ (Psalms 92:1-15).

He said planning is important in order to achieve this, and highlighted three key things important to note during the year:

  1. Luxuriant growth: “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lord [is] upright: [he is] my rock, Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age, they shall be fat and flourishing. To show that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. (Psalms 92:12-15, KJV).

“Notice it says the palm tree! The palm tree keeps growing irrespective of the season. There are different types and species. Some can get as far as 200 feet tall. That is amazing! Whether it’s rain or sun, it thrives. You are just going to grow! You grow upward literally.

  1. Significant attainment: “Like that palm tree that attains to a high height, get ready for significant attainment! God wants to do marvelous things!
  2. Persistent productivity: “The economy does not count, the country doesn’t count! We will have news-making attainment. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed!

Pastor Chris also made speaking in tongues a priority: “You know last year (2016), I said speak in tongues like never before. You got to speak in tongues even more… When you speak in tongues, you become sensitive to the spiritual realities. You will be greatly improved! You have got to speak in tongues more than ever, edify your spirit. Improve yourself. Why was Paul so successful? He said, ‘I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all’. (1 Corinthians 14:18 KJV)

Corruption a challenge
As people meditate and live these messages as unto Christ, there is need to reflect on the “Mene, Mene, Terkel, Parsim-like” word that Mrs Tsitsi Togara of Harare got, which she shared:

“The Lord was speaking to me about the corruption ravaging our country. The question which is being asked by God is as Christians aren’t we part of it? Aren’t Christians participating in shady deals? Aren’t Christians bribing?

“At first, I wasn’t moved, but later I began to see. Aren’t you part of it, and the Lord saying what are you doing about corruption? As my eyes opened, I found that when corruption is on the root level, it’s considered normal and Christians take it as normal, whilst the devil is taking the upper hand. He is the accuser of the brethren and he has snares on every turn. So, there is the question in bold letters: AREN’T YOU PART OF IT? Before we judge as Christians, let’s ask ourselves. Aren’t we part of it?”

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