MONDAY 3RD DECEMBER, 2018
THEME: OFFERING TO GOD OUR ALL
TEXT: ROMANS 12:1-8
MEMORY VERSE: ROMANS 12:1 “I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by God’s mercy that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

Our salvation through Christ is a free gift and we did not contribute anything to make it so. Though a free gift from God, we must know that salvation costs God the life of His beloved Son and there is nothing we can give that can equate the cost of our salvation. Once we accept this precious gift, it demands that we give everything – our lives first and our substance – to God not in repayment but in appreciation of what He did for us through our Lord Jesus. For our life to qualify as a sacrifice, it must be holy and honourable to God.

God is holy and will not accept sacrifices of sinners. He did not accept the sacrifice of Cain or Jewish sacrifice of animals with blemish as in Malachi 1:8. When God requires our substance in tithes and offerings, it is not because He lacks them for He owns everything (Ps. 19:10); it is only an act of worship from people who receive everything from Him. Our life, which is acceptable to God, is a life of service to Him and to humanity. To serve God is to love Him by keeping His commandments. This requires us to do all that God says and in the way He wants it done.

This is a reasonable service and an acceptable act of worship. Our worship must be from the heart with all reverence and sincerity. We must give God our best in service and in offering. Then, and only then, will we give God our all.

HYMN: EMHB 746 – I AM THINE OH LORD; I HAVE HEARD THY VOICE
PRAYER: God of mercy, help me to make use of the grace given to me in Christ Jesus to give You my all in appreciation of Your love. Amen.

SUNDAY 2ND DECEMBER, 2018
THEME: THE HEART OF WORSHIP
TEXT: REVELATIONS 5:1-14
MEMORY VERSE: REVELATION 5:12 “In a loud voice they sang: ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise!'”

The Christian year begins on Advent Sunday. Today, being Advent Sunday, is a celebration of the love of God, sending Jesus to the world and the expectation of His second coming to take His saints away to Glory.

Today’s passage affords us a glimpse into a great scene in heaven. In a very beautiful and awe-striking scene in which, the Lamb of God, Jesus, is portrayed as the only ONE worthy to break the seals in the right hand of Him (God) who sat upon the throne. The spontaneous response of the innumerable company of angels in verse 12 could only have come from hearts that are full of worship. Worship begins from the heart.

To worship is to ascribe great importance to a person or thing being worshipped. Therefore, a heart of worship is a heart that understands the worth of God according to His attributes, character and deeds. It is a heart that trembles before God and, like the angels in the text, speaks and acts in response to His majesty.

But, we can only worship aright when we see Him as He is (1 John 3:2b). Isaiah saw Him and realized his own filthiness. Anytime we see Him as He is, we cannot but react spontaneously like Isaiah in Isa. 6:5. So, have you had a revelation of His majesty? Have you given Him His rightful place in your heart, enthroning Him above every other person or thing? This is the heart of worship!

HYMN: EMHB 91 – ALL HAIL THE POWER OF JESUS.
PRAYER: Lord, let the revelation of Your greatness remain in my heart, that I may maintain a heart of worship, dethroning every other person and thing forever and ever. Amen.

SATURDAY 1ST DECEMBER, 2018
THEME: PLEASING TO HIM
TEXT: 2 CORINTHIANS 5:8-16
MEMORY VERSE: 2 CORINTHIANS 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due to him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad”.

You are welcome into a new month, the last in the year 2018 and into another great opportunity of unmerited grace of God in our lives. Every good gift we have has come from God, including job, life, children, accommodation, favour, academic excellence, healing, joy and the pleasures God wants to give us forever. In gratitude for all He does for us, what can we do to please Him? In our text today, Apostle Paul points to the Corinthian church that pleasing God should be paramount in the lives of every true believer. Pleasing God implies living a life in line with God’s instructions. It means living a life of righteousness which connotes genuine repentance. It is mandatory for us to please God while we are still on this planet earth. However, some of the ways in which we can please God are as follows:

1. Having faith in God (Hebrews 11:6). It is obvious that without faith no one can please God. Faith connotes belief in God and believing He will do what He says He will do. Enoch lived in evil world before the flood, but walked with God and hence, pleased Him. (Genesis 5:24). Though we acknowledge the change modernization has caused to the world, Christians need to maintain their faith in Christ Jesus.
2. Obedience to God’s Word (1 Samuel 15:22). Obeying God means trusting Him. God is always happy when we obey His commands.
3. Fear of God. The fear and respect of God will motivate us to avoid sins.
4. Being spiritually minded (Romans 8:6-8). The baptism of the Holy Spirit transforms our lives and helps us to abstain from sins.

Remember, if we fail to please God, we will not escape His wrath and the consequences. It is true that all of us will stand before the Lord and receive our reward according to our deeds, whether good or bad. Unquenchable flames and final death await those who refuse to accept Christ as their Lord. (Revelation 21:8). May God help us to trust and obey Him so that we can please Him.

HYMN: EMHB 516 – WHEN WE WALK WITH THE LORD
PRAYER: Great God of the whole universe, help us from today to live a life that pleases You so that when the trumpet shall sound we will receive our crown with joy in Jesus’ name Amen.

Simply put, temptation is a desire to engage in short-term urges for enjoyment, that threatens long-term goals. In Christendom, it is the inclination to sin.

Truth is that no one is immune to sin because as living beings, we face temptations at one point or the other of our existence, unfortunately, very few people deal with it effectively. Not dealing with temptations well shouldn’t be the case especially because we are believers. There are some simple and effective ways of dealing with temptation that you should know, and if you will put them into practice, we dare say, you’ll come out the winner.

As Christians, the enemy knows us. He has watched us. He knows our struggles and tries to exploit them. So, what can we do against so formidable a foe?

It is pertinent to note that temptation will be an ongoing problem for believers and non-believers alike until Jesus’ second coming. Be informed that temptation is not a sin nor is temptation a sign of weakness but it becomes a sin when we do not deal with it properly. It is how we deal with temptation that will determine whether we fall into sin or not. So, until Jesus returns, the Bible has highlighted 3 strategies for dealing with temptation to us – Praying, reading & fleeing.

It has been said, “Fail to plan and you’re planning to fail,” this statement could not be truer when it is applied to temptation. No one gets up in the morning and prays to fail when faced with temptation, but there are many people who get up each morning and fail to plan for what the Bible says we will all certainly face. So, importantly, you must always be prepared.

Our Lord Jesus prepared Himself. He spent 30 years getting ready for His encounter with the devil, and He started preparing early. At the age of twelve, He was asking questions of the doctors of the Law and astounding them with His answers. He had obviously spent many hours reading and studying the Scriptures. He was first anointed with the Holy Spirit at His baptism by John in the Jordan River before his temptation by Satan. While in the wilderness, the devil came to tempt Him, He was unperturbed because He was full of the power of the Holy Spirit.

We can deal with temptation by consciously doing the following:

1. Avoid and/or flee from Temptation. Discretion is the better part of valour.
2. Offer your mind and thoughts to God.
3. Identify areas of weakness in your life.
4. Expect and be ready for temptation. We need to be prepared for Spiritual battle.
5. Remind yourself of the consequences of sin.
6. Read and memorize the Word of God.
7. Cultivate a sense of God’s presence in prayer.
8. Take responsibility. You are responsible for what you do with temptations.
9. Understand who your true enemy is and his tactics.
10. Think of your heavenly reward and not just of this life.

No matter how strong our enemy’s offense, we have a defense in Christ that can defeat Satan every time. Satan is not limitless; deception is his only weapon. All he can do is try to deceive us into thinking that God really can’t or won’t fulfill our lives. Every single temptation of the enemy is packaged in the form of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life. But they’re all designed to entice us and cause us to doubt that God will meet our needs.

Temptation will come, but it’s hard for the devil to deceive you when your mind is stayed on those things. The enemy can only work with what you give him, so don’t give him any space in your mind. You’ll be able to avoid many of the temptations you face if you will put this into practice.

FRIDAY 30TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: GOD’S ATTRIBUTES
TEXT: NAHUM 1:2-15
MEMORY VERSE: NAHUM 1:6 “Who can stand before His indignation, and who can abide in the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire and the rocks are thrown down by Him.”

In our text for today, one of the 12 so-called “minor prophets” Nahum, the Elkoshite, gives us insight into the attributes of God in a vision God gave him concerning Nineveh, the then capital of Assyria, a country noted for its warmongering. Bible scholars will remember that God, about 100 years earlier, sent Prophet Jonah to this city to go and warn the inhabitants that He was ready to destroy the city unless they repented of their sins. Though Jonah initially refused to go to Nineveh to deliver the message all because he (Jonah) wanted God to destroy Israel’s enemy, God made a whale to deliver the prophet to the shores of Ninevah where gave Jonah the commission again.

Jonah delivered the message and the people went into prayers and fasting and God let them off the hook. However about 100 years after, Nineveh went into sin and Prophet Nahum wrote about it again. He gave several attributes of God. He says among others that: (1) God is slow to anger (2) God is Jealous (3) He revenges (4) God can be furious (5) He is great in power (6) He will not acquit the wicked (7) He is Omnipotent and (8) He can be fierce in His anger and none can stand before Him when He is angry.

There are lots more. You can mark them out in your bible. God honours those who honour and fear Him. He exalts the humble but debases, the proud. He is no respecter of persons, no matter your wealth, political standing and your position in the society. He is the self-existent God. Unfortunately, many people, like the Israelite, the people of Nineveh and the powerful Babylonians, take God for granted. Where is Nineveh today? Where is Babylon? Where is the 10 Northern Kingdom of Israel? Be warned. God is nobody’s equal. Let us honour Him because He deserves it.

HYMN: EMHB 821 – STAND UP, STAND UP FOR JESUS
PRAYER: God, be merciful to our nation and never allow her to go into oblivion in Jesus’ name.

THURSDAY 29TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: THE POWER OF TITHING
TEXT: MALACHI 3:9-12
MEMORY VERSE: MALACHI 3:11A “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground…..”

The teaching about tithe on church pulpit seems to have been misconstrued. The most recent awful teaching is this “Christ has paid it all there is no need for you to tithe” However, testimonies about payment of tithes galore for those who had been faithful to it – I am one of the victims who have seen the blessing of paying tithes faithfully.

Tithe is tenth of your income or produce, be it livestock or anything (Lv.27:30-32). Malachi Chapter 3 opens our eyes to all blessings and attached to behind tithing and non-tithing. The beauty of the blessing cannot be seen and understood until when you are faithful to God in it. I advise you to try it today and you will understand the power in tithing.

I was once a staff in a College of Education. Initially, I was discouraged to pay my tithes when I discovered the amount to be tithed out of my salary. I later summoned up the courage of payment and I received the attendant blessings. Sickness and all odds left me; I received mercy from my boss, promotion at an appropriate time came my way and all good things needed to make my life comfortable started manifesting in me and I know that God was at work.

As noted in the text, devourers will be banned from all your endeavours when you faithfully pay your tithes. Paying faithfully means paying exactly 10 per cent of your income to God. Non-payment of Tithes brings curses on non-payers. They work and nothing to show for it because devourer will enter their harvests.

Beloved stop deceiving your self FAITHFULLY PAY YOUR TITHES AND RECEIVE GOD’ BLESSING TODAY.

HYMN: EMHB 679 – PLEASANT ARE THY COURTS ABOVE
PRAYER: Lord God, give me the grace to faithfully pay to my tithe in Thy tabernacle and let the power of tithe manifest in all I do in Jesus mighty name.

WEDNESDAY 28TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: GOD’S DIVINE PLAN
TEXT: JEREMIAH 29:10-14
MEMORY VERSE: JEREMIAH 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Despite our daily plans, do you know that God also has His divine agenda or divine plan for us? Jer. 29:11 describes His divine agenda for you and me “His plan is to prosper us”. The question is how can one key to God’s divine plan? You can key to His divine plan by giving your totality to Him. When you give your life to Him, the Holy Spirit takes over your affairs and plans and executes them. Remember Christ said, “I shall go to the Father, but send to you a Comforter that shall lead you to all truths”.

The Holy Spirit teaches and guides, He leads us everywhere we go, and teaches us what to pray on. He also reveals to us the secret things of heaven. When you pray you must commit all your prayers to God’s hand through Jesus Christ, in whose hands our divine plans and agenda for our lives are.

In our limited and carnal knowledge, many of us jump into professions that fascinate us. Because we see Mr A as a successful engineer, we jump into engineering without asking for God’s divine plan and direction. A person who would have been a successful trader jumped into engineering until he returns to trading, he would not make it no matter how hard he tried. Many are in nursing whereas they ought to be in other professions – a square peg in a round hole! It is, therefore, necessary that when choosing a profession you must ask the all-knowing God, who knows the end from the beginning, to choose for you. Brothers and Sisters in Christ, your success in life is in God’s hands and NOT in any person’s hands. This is the truth.

Beloved, are you living under His canopy and operating His Divine agenda? Check yourself. When you are there, you struggle less and achieve more result.

HYMN: EMHB 684 – JESUS STAND AMONG US
PRAYER: Lord, I am ready to work and walk under your divine banner and agenda every day of my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

TUESDAY 27TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: WHEN GOD LEADS…
TEXT: ISAIAH 48:17-22
MEMORY VERSE: ISAIAH 48:21 “And they did not thirst when He led them through the deserts; He caused the waters to flow from the rock for them; He also split the rock, and the waters gushed out.”

The Bible tells many challenging stories of how God led His people during their 40 years of wilderness experience, the most fascinating being how He led the Children of Israel out of Egypt.

Our reading today is a reminder of how God leads. He leads through the desert; He leads through the valley, and He leads through the wilderness without you being harmed, and He leads through the shadow of death! Have you ever given this a thought in your heart? Our journey through the four corners of the world needs divine guidance to be successful and secured.

For example, in Nigeria and other, parts of the world, we hear of many strange happenings -bomb blast, violent attacks, kidnappings, corrupt practices, murders, rapes, plane crashes and various mishaps. The victims are usually innocent people. To be safe and enjoy your life unmolested, you need divine protection.

When God leads you, you shall never be thirsty even in the wilderness of life. When He leads you, you have in abundance. Psalm 23:4 says that when God leads – “Even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I fear no evil for Thou art with me”. Unfortunately, the Israelite (and many of us) did not allow God to lead them because of their stubbornness, stiff-neck and idol worshipping.

I charge you, dear reader, to commit your ways to His hand and He will lead you aright. Hymn EMHB 612 state it better:
Lead kindly light, amid the encircling gloom
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene: one step enough for me.

HYMN: EMHB 612 – LEAD KINDLY LIGHT, AMID THE ENCIRCLING GLOOM
PRAYER: Lord God, lead me on as I journey through the ups and downs of this challenging world in Jesus’ name. Amen.

MONDAY 26TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: GOD’S TIME, NOT OURS
TEXT: ECCLESIASTES 3:1-18
MEMORY VERSE: ECCLESIASTES 3:1 “To everything, there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”

In our text, the Preacher mentions 28 seasons around which all human activities revolve. However, whatever, a man will achieve in life is already predestined by God. What will happen will happen and human beings have no power to avert or change whatever God has planned for them. He also says human beings are like beast; they die as beast die. While human beings are appointed to die after all their labours in this world, once they die, they have to face judgment. In the case of beasts, however, no judgment is faced because they are not under death penalty like human being who commits sins. They (beasts) are created like plant for human enjoyment.

It is sad that human beings do not understand God’s plans for them. This is why they cannot fit appropriately into His plans. The preacher (King Solomon) asks a pertinent question in verse 9: “What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?” He says though life has meaning, human beings cannot understand its meaning. They go about labouring, not clearly understanding the result of their labour. For instance, had Lot known what would become of his choice of “the well-watered plain of Jordan” (Gen. 13), he would not have chosen it. He chose it and all he laboured for in his life perished. I pray that none of us shall build in Sodom.

From the foregoing, we need to fervently pray that God should show us the right way to go in everything we lay our hands upon to do. Unfortunately, people no longer wait for God’s time, hence failures galore here and there! Nobody knows what’s may happen the next minutes except the Almighty and all-knowing God. Therefore allow Him to direct your ways (Psalms37: 5) and you will have no regret whatsoever in Jesus’ name. Amen.

HYMN: EMHB 632 – BE THOU MY VISIO, O LORD OF MY HEART;
PRAYER: Self-Existing and Everlasting God, help me to always know the right time to undertake any activity that I may put my hands into and don’t allow me and my family to suffer loss in Jesus name. Amen.

SUNDAY 25TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: WINNING SOUL WITH WISDOM
TEXT: PHILEMON 1-25
MEMORY VERSE: COLOSSIANS 4:6 “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man”.

One needs the grace and wisdom of God in tackling explosive situations. Onesimus was a slave of Philemon, a believer in Colosse. He ran away from his master and came to Rome where he met Paul during his house arrest there. By divine will, Onesimus was converted by Paul and sent back to Philemon with his thought-provoking letter.

There are many things to learn from this 25-verse letter:

(a) About Philemon: (i) He has love and faith towards God. To have slave(s) was legal at that time.
(ii) Manifests his love to his slave by giving him some freedom which Onesimus abused.
(iii) Shows hospitality to saints and the body of Christ.

(b) About Paul: (i) Knows how best to tackle a delicate problem.
(ii) Always out to win soul for Christ despite his challenge.
(iii) Intercession for Onesimus without offending Philemon.
(iv) Refused to attack the issue of slavery in order for not to jeopardise the core issue of winning over an angry man.

(c) About Onesimus: He knew he was bound as a slave and needed spiritual freedom and ran to Apostle Paul for the freedom and spiritual cleansing.

Beloved, how often do you handle delicate matters? How often do you convert situations to Christ’s advantage? How often do you entertain members of the body of Christ? Area Boys, too, can be won over to Christ, depending on the way you approach them. Prostitute, like Rahab, can become born-again Christians if your approach is “seasoned with salt”. A Muslim fanatics can become an Apostle of Christ if your approach is laced with wisdom. Army robbers can be converted like Onesimus and made worthy for God’s Kingdom.

HYMN: EMHB 360 – HAPPY THE MAN THAT FIND THE GRACE
PRAYER: God of Wisdom, empower me the grace to approach every issue that comes my way with divine wisdom and understanding to win over the enemy to see eye-to-eye with You, Lord, in Jesus’ name. Amen.