New Year’s message from the Archbishop of Nigeria

Welcome to the year 2022.  We thank God for his mercies and we give glory to Him the God of all the years.

Let us pray.

God our father we give you thanks and praise, that Lord you have been our dwelling place from generation to generation you remain the same and God you are the God of this generation. This year belongs to you and it has pleased you to bring us into it that we may honor and glorify you and at this very beginning of the year 2022, we speak to the womb of 2022 to yield its increase unto God’s people, unto God’s children and to unto this Nation in the name of Jesus Christ and Lord as we proclaim and declare your word. We pray that you will grant us the understanding mind and the willing heart. Speak to us, we pray in the name of God the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, amen.

Turn with me to Genesis chapter 28 as we read from verse 16. ‘Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said surely the Lord is in this place and i did not know it and he was afraid and said how awesome is this place this is none other than the house of God and this is the gate of heaven’. The word of the lord, thanks be to God.
At the beginning of the year 2022, the word of God that is coming to us is that the year 2022 shall be to us a year of fresh encounter, encounter with the living God that opens up the future to us. The year of fresh encounter and as we look at the text that we have just read, it is about Jacob’s encounter with God and i know that as Jacob was in a journey so we are.

We thank God that the lord has brought us from the year 2021 into the year 2022. A year that He has made that we will rejoice and be glad in it.

God is saying to us that we should not carry into the year 2022 the baggage’s, the excess luggage’s, the problems, the challenges, the sins and the weights of the year 2021 and incidentally for us as Anglicans, today is not just the first day in January but it is also the day of the circumcision of Christ the feast of the circumcision of Christ which means that every year we are starting with the covenant event of circumcision and I’m praying that the Lord will bring us into fresh covenant with Him in which He will circumcise our hearts, our lives and we will start the year in covenant with God and i pray that God will meet us at such a time as this.

May we learn to trust God for a fresh touch and move. He has made times and seasons in order to glorify Himself and so 2022 shall be for the glory of God, Amen.

As we look at the year 2022, we are considering that by the grace of God it shall be a seminal year, a seed year, a year of sowing and of investing in things that shall speak into our future as individuals as families and as a nation. As we may know, 2022 will be preparatory for 2023 election year and therefore politically it shall be strategic for the 2023 elections, economically, it will be strategic in growing our national GDP and our economy but as we may know, Nigeria is not lacking in policies. Policies for growth have been well intended but the monster of corruption and bad implementation shall continue to impede our growth and progress but we are going to see some implementations that will reposition us as a nation.

We thank God that in spite of our failures, God will still remain faithful. Trade relations will have great impact on our nation and we are trusting God that the leadership of our nation and people will pay close attention, security challenges which still linger with us until there is a political will to tackle them and dispassionately seek justice for all and in whatever situation we may find ourselves it shall be well with us by the grace of God.

God’s earnest and glorious desire for us is to bring us to a secure future, to give us stability and build us up as individuals and as families, as a church and as a society. Like Jacob, God shall take us into a journey from the confrontations and challenges of our present into a future with great possibilities but that future is rooted in fresh encounter with the living God that will bring us closer to Him, get us rooted and built up in Him, renew our covenant relationship with Him and make Him to own us and we to surrender to Him in totality and walk with Him personally and collectively as a people.

This sovereign Lord shall reign over our lives and therefore prepare your heart for a fresh encounter which will open up the future before you as the scripture says Isaac blessed Jacob, the son of God’s favor and choice and i pray that you will share in this grace of God in Christ Jesus that makes you a favorite son and daughter of the living God. As Isaac did to Jacob calling him, blessing him, charging him not to contaminate himself with the Canaanites and worldly enticement and alluring’s but to go to Padanaram, to Laban.

It was a charge unto faith and unto consecration to a living God and remain in covenant relationship as God has chosen him and I’m praying that as sons and daughters of the living God, as people of God who put their hope and trust in the living God as we rise up in this journey of 2022 that God will help us to consecrate ourselves and remain focused on Him.

You are chosen to be a covenant with the living God in Christ Jesus. You are chosen to be blessed and to be a generational blessing to this very generation and I’m praying that this year 2022 will be the year of unlocking the future which God has called us into. You shall not be rebellious like Esau, a man that was gluttonous such that temporary enjoyment made him to sell his birthright.

As we journey through this year, may we never be distracted by the alluring’s of this world that the enemy will not steal from us the good thing that God has given us, that we lose not our portion, as Hebrews chapter 12 verses 16 and 17 has said, lest there be a fornicator a profane or gluttonous person like Esau who for over a muzzle of food, sold his birthright for you know that afterward when he wanted to inherit his blessings, he was rejected for he found no place for repentance. He sought for it diligently with tears. I pray that we will not sell our birthright that we will surrender unto the living God in Christ Jesus and follow Him.

2022 is a great year for the generation of Jacob of those whose hearts and mind are set upon the Lord and i pray that it shall be a great year unto you and your family in the name of Jesus Christ. As we look at Genesis chapter 28, we can see there an encounter that Jacob had with God. Jacob was known to be the son of Isaac and he has inherited faith from his father but he took this encounter in order to position him to belong to God and to have a claim. Jacob left Beersheba and he left behind a caring father and mother, he left behind his comfort and everything but more importantly he left behind the confrontational brother Esau to journey to Padanaram and i am praying that whatever we have experienced that be left behind us. But as he left home he found himself in the midst of the bush, no person to turn to and nowhere to go and he laid down in the bush to sleep. It is within this uncertainty that he encountered God. Don’t be afraid of what may come your way in the year 2022, but as you place your heart and faith in God within the uncertainties that may come our way, we shall see God beyond whatever may come we shall see the awesome and living God.

It was a revelatory encounter. Jacob had been bequeathed with faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac his fathers but he needed the spirit to experience this God in order to have a personal faith and I’m believing God that even though you have a personal faith, this year you will grow closer, you will walk closer with God, you will come to know him better, you will hold on to God.

God will manifest Himself unto you and your family and if you have not known Him, this is the time to draw closer because it will take the awesome, the sovereign Lord to take you through this year you have not been through it and as you look up to him, may grace be granted unto you in the name of Jesus Christ and as we may see in the tiredness and weariness of his journey, in the midst of nowhere in the thick of darkness God appeared to him, God will appear to us. God will appear to you, God will stand by you. God will encounter you and as we may see in that scripture and behold the Lord stood above it in verse 15 and said i am the Lord your God the God of Abraham your father and God of Isaac and i am believing that this God will once again stand before us, encounter us afresh.

It was an epiphany the moment that he opens up the eternal glory and power of God to us beyond what we are experiencing and I’m believing God that God will so encounter us that He will open up, He will open up. There are great things that God is bringing your way and He says what has not entered the heart of man nor be seen or conceived or understood by any man the great things that God has for us He shall release unto us in the name of Jesus Christ and indeed the bible says behold a ladder was set up on the earth and at its top reaches the heaven and there are the angels of the Lord coming up and going down and God shall encounter us as we look up on to Him, there will be a revelation, an encounter, an opening that will help us to see afresh the glory of heaven in the name of Jesus Christ.

It shall be an encounter that will bring you better understanding of who this God is and also of yourself as it happened to Isaiah in Isaiah chapter 6 verses 1 to 8, it will be an encounter that will bring a sincere conversion, a true conversion, a conversion of our heart, a touch of our lives, a touch of our lips, a deeper knowing and a commitment to the living God, and i pray that as we enter into the year 2022, God of heaven and earth will encounter us in order to bring us to the place of His appointment and purpose in our lives in the name of Jesus.

This year shall be a year of an encounter that will bring us to covenant relationship and pledge with God. God said to Jacob and He is also saying to you and me, behold i am with you and will keep you wherever you go and i will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until i have done what i have spoken to you. As we journey into the year 2022, we can also see that this God not only made a promise to Jacob, but Jacob also responded to the promise of God and he said if you will be with me and keep me in this journey that i am going and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, then the Lord shall be my God and this pillar this stone on which he led he said shall be God’s house and all that i have, i will give a tenth unto you and I’m believing God that as God is bringing us into this year, i am trusting Him that he will so draw us unto Himself, we will be willing to respond, be open to respond to this living God and as He reveals Himself to us, may it be that we will surrender totally unto Him in faith, in commitment, in pledge and indeed God has promised and He has backed up His promise that His presence will go with us and I’m assuring you as a son and daughter of the living God in this covenant with God, the Lord will go with you. His presence will surround you; His hand will uphold you and it shall be well with you in the name of Jesus Christ.

There are two things that God will never lie about; his promise and his oath and by these two immutable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have flare to take refuge to take hold of that hope that is laid before us.

It shall be an encounter that will bring us God’s assurance and his presence and companionship in this life’s narrow way and i pray that as we journey into the year 2022 the Lord will go with us as individuals as families as a church as a nation and his hand will surround us and uphold us.

But more so, let this year bring us to the place where God has destined for us, God’s own destination and the destiny that is secured in Christ. I pray that as we enter into this New Year that the glory of the Lord will cover us and our hand will be stretched out to be in the hand of God and we will follow him who knows the way, the living God.

Do not be distracted or be discouraged by anything around you whether good or bad. 2022 will bring its own challenges and its own goodies and beauties and wonderful things but the quality of what you live for will be measured by the eternal value that awaits at the end of your efforts and journey. In whatever way you go may it be that you will consider the eternal purpose of God in your life. Hebrews 11:13 to 16 speaks of the heavenly hope of the patriarchs of our faith who confessed that there were strangers and pilgrims on earth but now they desire a better and indeed a heavenly country and the scripture says therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God for he has prepared a city for them. I pray that we will journey in hope with assurance in the living God, he who has brought us thus far is able to take us to the end and he will bless us. God shall bring you to the fulfilled destination and the sure future that He has prepared for you and your family and as He did unto Jacob, He shall do for you.

Jacob arrived in Laban’s house and the future that God prepared for him opened up. God will bring us to His expected end as He said in Jeremiah 29 verse 11, i know the plan i have for you, it is of good and or not of evil, it is to bring you to an expected end to give you a hope and a future and I’m praying that that future and assured hope will be opened up unto us in this year. It is strategic as we open up to the Lord, the Lord opens the future unto us and it shall be well with us in the name of Jesus Christ.

As we look up unto Him, as we trust Him, as the Psalmist says in psalm 31:15, my times are in thy hand. W.F Lloyd in 1835 composed a hymn in which he said, my times are in thy hands, my God i wish them there, my life my friends my soul i live entirely to thy care. My times are in thy hand Jesus the crucified. The hand my cruel sins had prayer said is now my God and my guide.

And i pray that God will be our guide and our guard. He will be there with us and he will take us to his own destiny and destinations and that which He has purpose to do in our lives in this year 2022, nothing will abort it.
The journey with God demands that we live in faith; we totally submit and surrender to this living God that we walk with Him uncompromisingly in obedience. The situation will be challenging but the faithfulness of God will keep us.

This may be perilous time but the awesome God will stand by you as Paul said, yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution, but evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse deceiving and being deceived but you must continue in the things which you have learned and have been assured of knowing what the scripture is for you, that the scripture which are able to make you wise for salvation is there with you. Hold on to it, hold to your faith and the Lord will keep you, He will bless you, purpose in your heart to obey God, to trust Him to honor Him just as Daniel and his friends proposed not to defy themselves but to hold unto the Lord.

This year will bring you the goodness and mercy of God. God’s protection will be over you, He will surround you on all sides and His hand will uphold you to the end. God bless you, have a blessed and a prosperous new year as God encounters you, refreshes you, guides you, guards you into the year 2022. Believe, trust, obey and follow him. It shall be well with you. Happy New Year 2022. God bless you.

Let us pray.
God our Father, you have made times and seasons and again you have brought us into this new time and season of 2022, a year you have made that we will rejoice and be glad in it. We pray that you will come in your glorious majesty and power and father that you will show yourself glorious on our behalf. Protect your children, heal your children, provide for your children, lift up your children from every barrenness and burden of the enemy and we speak to the womb of 2022 to yield its increase unto God’s people and Lord i pray that your eternal blessings shall be upon your people as they look up to you in this year, may be indeed a year of fresh encounter with you. May it be indeed a year of opening the future onto your own and bringing to pass all that you have promised unto us. Lord, let it be for the honor and glory of your holy name. This we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

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