It is indeed our pleasure to welcome you all to the 2013 Divine Commonwealth Conference in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen. We thank the Lord Almighty for bringing us all here together again for another time of fellowship, communion and re-union. We are glad to bring to mind that we are already in the 3rd edition of DIVCCON. May the name of our Lord be praised.
We are also pleased to note that there is increased participation, warmth and zeal in this conference as can be seen in the number of participants this year. We commend all our church fathers, Provincial coordinators, members of the Central Steering Committee and various sub committees for good grass root mobilization and a job generally well done.
Our prayer is that we will all encounter the Lord Jesus Christ in this conference and so have an unforgettable experience that will bring a new dawn in our lives and endeavours. Let us be open to the Lord to receive what He has for us and He will not pass us by.
The theme of this year’s conference, “GO FORWARD” has been prayerfully chosen to encourage Christians in the face of current difficult circumstances and seemingly insurmountable challenges daring our faith. This theme obviously is a follow-up of last year’s theme, “Contending for the Faith”.
The theme is taken from Exodus 14:15 “And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto Me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward”. In the Christian life, you are either an overcomer or you are overcome, a victor or a victim. After all, God did not save us to make statutes out of us and put us on exhibition. He saved us to make soldiers out of us to move us forward by faith to claim our inheritance in Jesus Christ. Too many of God’s people have the mistaken idea that salvation is all that is involved in the Christian life; but salvation is only the beginning. The Lord is charging us to “Go Forward” in the face of a myriad of temptations, persecutions, challenges and trials we go through on account of His name. We look forward to each new day with great anticipation but sometimes we are left with disillusionment. This tends to drain all of our excitement and zeal but we must learn to apply faith to cross our “red seas” and pull down our “Jericho walls” for us to “Go Forward” and take possession of our promised land.
But one may ask, how can one go forward in the face of opposition and constant attack to the church? 1 Peter 4:12-14 says, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” God’s message to us if unexpected opposition has weakened our zeal for Him is: Go Forward! Continue moving forward with the vigor and zeal you originally had for Me!
We need to operate the kind of faith that Joshua and Caleb exhibited when they silenced the faithless people and affirmed: “we should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it”. That is the kind of faith we need in order to “Go Forward”. God is looking for people who will defy the current global challenges to our faith and carry the gospel to the uttermost parts of the world. We must adopt a “no retreat and no surrender” orientation in our walk with God so as to “Go Forward” for with God on our side we are more than conquerors. It is our prayer that in this 2013 DIVCCON God will give you a “forward ever” spirit for “there are still very large areas of land to be taken over”. Joshua 13:1 As you participate in this conference, it is our earnest prayer that the Lord will enlist you in His “forward going” end time army.
May the Lord make this conference a blessing that will make a lasting positive impact in your life and family in Jesus name. Amen.
Once again, we welcome you all to DIVCCON 2013
The Most Revd. Nicholas D. Okoh MA, Fss, Mss, LLD
Archbishop, Metropolitan & Primate of All Nigeria