MONDAY 19TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: PRAY FOR UNDERSTANDING
TEXT: 1 KINGS 3:5-10
MEMORY VERSE: 1 KINGS 3:9 “Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil for who is able to judge these great people of Yours?

If it were you what would you choose if God offered to give you anything you asked for? King Solomon was face to face with that delightful dilemma when God presented to him every opportunity to become whatever he wanted to become in life. “Ask what I shall give unto you”, God told him in a dream at night when he went to Gibeon, about 61/2 km from Jerusalem. (1 Kings 3.5).

Solomon’s answer to this golden opportunity to ask for anything was that God should give him the understanding to lead the people of Israel. Because of his unselfish request, God gave him more than he asked for.

Many Christians today engage in warfare prayers, battle-to-finish arrow prayers and series of prayers of entreaty for selfish reasons. Many people ask for long life, prosperity, success, fortune and every good thing they can make use of but they failed to ask for the most important thing –UNDERSTANDING.

The most important thing Solomon requested for at that time was understanding. The most important thing God wants to hear you request for is understanding of the divine opportunity and position He has placed you. Have you requested for such? Remember your riches, position and all that you have need divine understanding on how to handle them successfully. Therefore, pray unto God today for understanding. Proverbs 3:5 encourages us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts, and lean not on our own understanding. Proverbs 19:8 encourages us “to keep understanding so that we can find good things”. Only a fool will not have delight in understanding but a wise man will always seek for it.

Understanding is sometimes used with wisdom so when you get one, you get the other. Prov. 4:7 says “Wisdom is a principal thing; therefore get wisdom and with all thy getting get understanding.”

Pray today for both.

HYMN: EMHB 291 – GRACIOUS SPIRIT, DWELL WITH ME!
PRAYER: All-wise Father, open my eyes and sense of understanding to know what and how to pray in Jesus’ name.

SUNDAY 18TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: NOURISH AND CHERISH EACH OTHER
TEXT: EPHESIANS 5:1-30
MEMORY VERSE: EPHESIAN. 5:29. “For no one ever hated his own flesh but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does for the Church”

In Ephesians 5, Apostle Paul continues dealing with evils and virtues that unbelievers and Christians respectively do in their different walks of life. These 8 contrasts he deals with, beginning with falsehood and truth in 4:25ff. In our text for today, he deals with sexual immorality and purity (5:3-14); foolishness and wisdom (5:15-17); drunkenness and joy (5:18-21); duties of wives (5:22-24); and duties of husbands (5:25-33). We should study each command and let them be part of us on daily basis. As believers, we should not be identified with fornication, covetousness, immorality, vain words, etc. We must have no fellowship with “unfruitful work of darkness;” rather, “we are to remove them.”

As for our domestic lives as Christian, we must “nourish and cherish” one another as members of the body of Christ (verse 29). Wives are to submit to their husbands while husbands are to love their wives. It is very sad, the way marriages are broken these days between Christians. Why? Because of several reasons including infidelity; Lack of respect for each other; anger; etc. We are to love our wives as “our own bodies” because “he that love his wife love himself”. The same goes for the wife and other family members. If a father nourishes his family, it is expected that each member of the family reciprocates.

When the ground provides water for a tree, the tree provides manure by the leaves dropped on the ground. Life is give and take – nourish and cherish. When you are fed, it is important you show an appreciation to who fed us. Check verse 29 again and see what Christ did for the Church..

Beloved as you set out on your daily endeavour, remember that ‘Nourish and cherish’ is an important aspect of life to keep the world more habitable for you and me. Let us nourish and cherish one another in the fear and love of God. ‘for love is from God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God, but he who does not love knows not God, for God is love’

HYMN: EMHB 431 –LOVE DIVINE, ALL LOVES EXCELLING
PRAYER: My Father and my God I lift my eyes unto Thee, grant me the grace to be able to nourish and cherish others in every aspect of life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

SATURDAY 17TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: HOW TO GET YOUR PRAYERS ANSWERED
TEXT: JOHN 15:1-10
MEMORY VERSE: JOHN 15:7 “If you abide in Me and My Word abides in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”

Prayers today are not wanting in churches, homes and different other places. Have you ever given it a second thought at the end of every prayer session how many of the prayers actually come to pass? It is not a matter of attending too much prayer sessions – but how to get your prayers answered.

Jesus, in verse 7 of today’s text made it clear that if we remain in Him and He in us, we can ask for anything we want and He will do it. There is a lesson to be learnt here; we must learn to remain in Him. If we refuse to remain in Him, it could be a hindrance to our prayers. Any river that ignores its source will dry up.

How can we remain in Him? We must first be saved by giving our life to Him completely. We must learn to live our life according to His will. With that, you have the assurance to ask for anything from Him and He will do it. I remember the story of a man who had six children; one of them had never lacked anything. Once he asks; the father gives him: money, beautiful clothes or any request. At a family meeting, the other children asked him: “Daddy you have a favourite among us”. The father said No: They accused the bewildered man of being partial. “You always give all to a particular one without minding the rest of us,” one of them added.

The father answered, “I don’t have a favourite, but the fourth child does much of my will and I must do his will too,” the man said. The simple lesson is this as we read in our scripture today: “Remain in Me and I will remain in you”. If you do this, whatever you ask He shall grant to you.

Disobedience to God’s Word will always hinder prayers. Disobedience here includes all manner of sins -telling lies, stealing, shedding of human blood, fornication, adultery, secretly or openly doing evil, etc. If you do any one of these, even if you pray for hours days and weeks, God will not answer.

HYMN: EMHB 535 – LORD, TEACH US HOW TO PRAY ARIGHT….
PRAYER: Father, grant to me the grace to abide in You and to obey Your Word and Commands in Jesus’ name. Amen.

As youths in this time and age, sex appeal has become a norm. Yes! We see, live and breathe sex and for all we care, it seems like a lifestyle to be proud of.

Undeniably, our culture and current society is unapologetically sex-obsessed. Even as we try to shy away from discussing it in public, it is very evident especially where sales or profitability is tied or linked to it.

Unfortunately, it is quite natural that ‘sex sells,’ and any advertiser seen not to flow with the trend is likely to become redundant and ultimately tagged foolish for not exploiting such a powerful drive. As a result of its ‘fast selling syndrome’, we see it everywhere: on billboards, in movies, on TV shows and commercials. In magazines, pop-art, radio and all over the internet. It surrounds us. It is so ubiquitous we no longer notice it, or the subtle effect that it has on our mood and hormones, and how it seeps into our subconscious and informs our assumptions about the world.

Modern day Christians are not left out of this ‘end time’ lifestyle as they effortlessly flaunt their sexualities in the house of God.

There was the story of a certain young man who shortly after he got married alleged that everything he was told about sex was wrong. He attributed his assertion to the fact that not only popular culture but also the Church had misled him in his expectations.

Moving forward, some terrible lies have been told since time immemorial about sex, therefore, we highlighted below some of these insidious lies.

1: Sex is no big deal: This is so wrong and because we are Christians who strive to live like our master, sex is a huge deal. Genesis 2:24 says that sex ties two people together forever. You might want to say, “but we don’t see or talk again”, but the truth is one can’t escape the memories of sharing the most intimate act of all. That’s why God wants us to save sex for the person we commit our lives to—that is, the person we marry.

2: You can be a “technical” virgin: This is one term that is so common at this time and you find young champs justifying why they can indulge in immorality. Truth is, in God’s eyes, staying a virgin means more than just not having sex (Matthew 5:27-28). It means keeping your mind, body, and spirit sexually pure. Messing around, touching each other in private places and doing “everything but” just doesn’t fit into that picture.

3: Sex equals love: This is a ‘big fat lie’ the enemy has sold to our generation so to get unsuspecting youth to be entwined in the web of sexual immorality. It’s true, at least for many, that sex equals an emotional tie of some sort—one that might seem like love. But here’s a news flash: many treat sex as more of a physical thing than an emotional one. Sex is meant to be the ultimate expression of the ultimate commitment which is marriage. In the right sense, love should come first, marriage second and sex third.

4: Sex fulfills me: This is another lie the enemy has sown into the hearts of men and it’s so unfortunate that so many destinies have been wasted just because they think there is a link or tie to getting completion through intercourse. This creates unrealistic expectations, which are in no way abated by the things we see around us. Along with this impossibility, we should not forget the contrapositive: no sex = no fulfillment. This is the real killer for abstinence and celibacy. The effective message is, “If you haven’t had sex, you haven’t lived.”

5: Having sex is just like any other sin: This lie is usually sugar coated with the popular saying that “Sin is sin, “ which is very misleading. Indeed, God definitely forgives sexual sin the same way he forgives all sins but the reason the Bible pays close attention to sexual sin is that sex affects people in a way that no other sin does (1 Corinthians 6:18-20). Most sins involve mainly your actions, but premarital sex involves your heart, mind, and body as well. That kind of internal damage is very hard to get beyond.

6: Everybody’s doing it:This is what the enemy wants us to believe but it is so not true. World over, there are plenty of cool, happy people who have chosen to follow God’s plan and save sex for marriage. And they’re also saving themselves all kinds of heartache. So not only are they cool; they’re equally very, very smart.

Therefore, we must guard our hearts against all the lies that easily slips into our minds and subconsciously frame our thoughts. We don’t live for pleasure, and we don’t live for ourselves. We live for Christ. God gave us pleasure and it is right to enjoy it, but it is not pleasure or sex that fulfills; it is Christ. He is our husband and God, in whom we find our true fulfillment. He is the fulfillment of all things, so it is possible to shun sexual immorality and live a life Christ would be proud of.

FRIDAY 16TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: BE CONSIDERATE OF THE WEAK
TEXT: 1 THESSALONIANS 5:5-22
MEMORY VERSE: 1THESSALONIANS 5:14 “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those
who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.”
Since the time of our forefathers there had been the weak and the strong, the rich and the poor, as well as people of the lower and the upper classes. Whichever class you are, the Bible has something to say about you.

In our scripture, this morning verse 14 of the reading emphasizes the need to be considerate to the weak. In the church, at home, in our society or the country, in general, there are those that can be described as the weak. The weak are those people at one time or another who can’t do what others are doing; either physically, morally, financially or even spiritually. People usually oppress them because they are poor or underprivileged.

The weak is the man or woman close to you who doesn’t have something to eat, he or she can’t afford to pay children’s school fees when others can pay comfortably. He or she is the one in the church who can’t afford a single offering at the offering or thanksgiving time. Sometimes the weak is the man without clothe to wear when it is bitingly cold. The Bible encourages you and me to do something about them all the time.

What have you been doing about the weak around you? Are you treating them like the Nigerian politicians who see themselves on top of the ladder and are carefree about the poor and the needy? Remember, when you care about the weak you are doing the will of God and building your home in heaven above. Start today and be considerate to the weak. There are other things in the text that Christian must do to meet the day of the Lord. We are to watch and be sober, comfort and edify one another, show love, respect and honour ministers of God, rejoice evermore, pray always give thanks, and so forth. Do them too.

HYMN: EMHB 338 – RESCUE THE PERISHING
PRAYER: Lord God open my eyes to see and understand the need of the weak around me; most especially those whom you have designed that I should help.

THURSDAY 15TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: YOUR CORE VALUES
TEXT: 2 CORINTHIANS 7:1- 16
MEMORY VERSE: 2 CORINTHIAN 7: 2 “Open your hearts to us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have cheated no one.”

The core values of a man are those things he considers so important to him and places high premium upon. They are the things he cannot do without.

Paul evangelized the city of Corinth but before the people heard the gospel of the resurrected Lord, the core values of the city were:
i Idolatry (I Cor. 10: 14) ii sexual immorality (I Cor. 5: 1)
iii life of revelry (I Cor. 8: 4; 11: 34)
iv formal education which they thought gave them wisdom (I Cor. 2: 6 – 7)

Paul made the Church to understand that their core values were valueless to God and His Kingdom, hence his letter to them to condemn those values. He told the Church that the core value which God expected from them was repentance from the works of the flesh. The Bible says Paul made them sorrowful through his letter “For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it, though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though for a while” (II Cor. 7: 8).

The reason for listening to messages in the Church, the electronic media and through tracts is for you to know that wealth, fame, power, position, beauty, fashion and certificates, which preachers condemn, are NOT the proper core values of life. Rather, the core value which God expects from you is a Godly sorrow which produces repentance that leads to salvation. Apostle Paul gave reasons why the Corinthians should embrace him and his team rather than allowing their false teachers to put them into the bondage of Satan while exalting themselves (the false teachers). Many so-called preachers today are like those false teachers of Paul’s time. Let the kingdom of God and His righteousness be your core values and all other things will be added to them (Matt. 6: 33).

HYMN: EMHB 386 – O THOU WHO CAMEST FROM ABOVE
PRAYER: God, give me the grace to make Your Kingdom business my core value in Jesus’ name.

WEDNESDAY 14TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: WHAT DO YOU SEE?
TEXT: PROVERBS 29:12 – 18
MEMORY VERSE: PROVERB 29: 18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

God gives man eyes to see all He has created. Man looks at things, but does he choose the right things? What man sees determines the level of success he achieves or failure he records. Some people always see negative things, things that are not edifying. They see failure instead of success; death instead of life, etc. Verse 18a of the text says, “Where there is no vision the people perish” KJV. God always reveals what will take man to his glory, either while awake, asleep, at work, market, etc. Do you pay attention to what you look at to see that God is leading you to your glory? In the society where you are, do you see those that are making success by making use of their little potentials and becoming great in the process or those that are complaining of government policies and making excuses? The Bible says, “He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap” (Ecc. 11: 4). In the Church, do you see those that testify to the goodness of the Lord in their families, businesses, studies or those that make jest of the minister’s sermon, his bad grammar, etc, or the man or woman whose dress is old, torn and not fashionable?

God is challenging you to always see what will lift you up, what will make you the head and not the tail. Always see around you what will make you fulfil your aspirations and not what will keep you down the bottom of the ladder. Look at things positively and not negatively. Speak good things to your life rather than murmuring and blaming your parents/wife/husband and your foundation. Murmuring adds to one’s sorrow. Forget the failures of the past and move to greater things of the future. Heavens help those who help themselves. Stop looking down, lift up your eyes up on things above where your help comes from. (Ps. 121).

HYMN: EMHB 282 – SPIRIT OF WISDOM, TURN OUR EYES
PRAYER: Heavenly Lord, keep my eyes on the things above so that Your help will locate me in Jesus’ name.

TUESDAY 13TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: TRUE GREATNESS
TEXT: LUKE 22:25 – 32
MEMORY VERSE: LUKE 22: 31 – 32 “And the Lord said, Simeon, Simeon! Indeed Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.

Everyone aspires to be great in life, but we often misconstrue the right way to greatness. At times we think that we can be great through influence we have, our certificates, the profession we belong to and certain talents we possess. In the real sense of it all, these do not make one to be great. The Biblical principle of greatness is to live a life of selfless service. One thing that makes a child of God to be recognized as so is when he /she gives himself/herself to serve his/her subordinates. Jesus, the Master and Lord of lords, showed this example when He washed the feet of His disciples. He said to them “I am among you as the one who serves (Luke. 22: 27b).

Towards the end of Jesus earthly ministry, the disciples argued among themselves who should be the greatest, having been aware that He had inner caucus among them. The argument might have arisen with the hope that if Jesus should know of it He would appoint someone as their leader before He left them finally. But the thought of Jesus was not in tandem with that of His disciples and His ways were not their ways. The disciples were looking at being great on earth whereas Jesus was looking at being great in heaven.

Your being great on earth is limited, but your greatness in heaven is limitless and unending. If you are great on earth and your name is not in the book of life that greatness is of no value and it is meaningless. Aspire to be great in the Kingdom of God both here and hereafter.

The real source of your greatness is to serve God and humanity while alive.

HYMN: EMHB 356 – GREAT GOD OF WONDERS
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, give me grace to live my life to serve You and humanity so that I can be great here and in Heaven in Jesus’ name.

MONDAY 12TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: KEEP YOUR ANGER IN CHECK
TEXT: PROVERBS 19: 1 – 11
MEMORY VERSE: PROVERB 29: 11 “A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back.”

Anger is “little madness”. It is an emotion in every man regardless of status, sex, age and spiritual life. Every day there are things that come on our way that can make us upset. Someone may be rude to you; a child may disobey your instruction, plans may not work out as you think; your wife/husband may offend you one way or the other. Anger can arise as a result of stress. The Word of God recognizes it as an expression which man cannot do without (Eph. 4:26) but be careful your anger does not lead to sin.

The effects of anger are:

It deprives one of making the right decisions;
It causes strife and dissension (Prov. 30:33);
It destroys relationship either martial or between friends;
It causes bad utterances;
It kills the Spirit of God in man.
Owing to the negative effects of anger the Bible admonishes us to restrain from it (James 1: 19 – 20). The antidotes for anger are:
Pray for the ability to quick listening habit and slow to respond (James 1: 19).
Pray for the Holy Spirit to take control of your heart because out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
Always pray against the spirit of anger.
Watch your temperament.

It is normal to be angry but you have to keep it in check to avoid its negative consequences on your family, work and Christian life. Eph. 4:26 says “Be ye angry and sin not”

HYMN: EMHB 291 – GRACIOUS SPIRIT DWELL WITH ME
PRAYER: Father, give me the spirit of meekness to always be in tune with You in Jesus’ name.

SUNDAY 11TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: CAST YOUR CARES ON HIM
TEXT: 1 PETER 5:1-8
MEMORY VERSE: 1 PETER 5:6–7 “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. Casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.”

There is no doubt that God gives man the ability to have knowledge through formal education. With the knowledge acquired, man has done great exploits like going to the moon and other planets. The advancement in science and technology, which has made man to conquer some parts of nature, creates in man the sense that he is independent of God. Man thinks that he has the knowledge to care for his physical and psychological needs.

In the passage read, the Bible indicates clearly that man’s knowledge is inadequate to meet his needs hence the Bible admonishes us to cast all our cares upon Him, for He cares for you (1 Pet. 5:7).

Today, which is the second Sunday in November, it is certain that you have some cares which are necessary for you to meet. As you prepare to leave your house for the church, pray and cast all your cares-material, business, academic, fears, betrayals, and cankerworms in finances-upon Jesus Christ; because He cares for you. All the cares that are giving you sleepless nights, He has finished them on the cross where He declared it is “FINISHED” Therefore, I admonish you not depend on your limited knowledge and wisdom, but to cast them on Jesus, the all-powerful and caring Lord.

One Christian song says,
Are you weary and heavy-hearted
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus;
Are you grieving overjoys departed
Tell it to Jesus alone

Chorus:
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus,
He is a friend that’s well known
You have no other such a friend or brother
Tell it to Jesus alone

Go through the text again and take note of the 14 commands to Christians and seven to spiritual leaders and act them.

HYMN: EMHB 548 – ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE TO HIM
PRAYER: Eternal Father, thank You for caring for me and my family, Give me grace, I pray, to depend on You totally in Jesus’ name.