FRI. 8th FEB., 2019

THEME: MERCY SEAT

PASSAGE: EXO. 25:17-22
17. And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. 18. And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. 19. And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. 20. And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. 21. And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. 22. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

MESSAGE
Mercy is kindness, pity, forgiveness or compassion to another. God made a provision of mercy to the people of Israel. In spite of the abundance of sins committed by the Israelites, God asked Moses to make the Ark of Covenant which was to be a symbol of the presence of God among them. By design, a mercy seat was to be incorporated upon it. The Mercy Seat was to be a place where God will meet with the people in a compassionate mood and have mercy on them by forgiving all their sins. It was to be an atonement made for man by God Himself.

However, before man can benefit from the mercy or forgiveness from God, he must come with a heart of confession and repentance. That was why the Israelites must come to the priest to offer a sacrifice for their sins. The step portrays a heart of penitence or repentance before the promise of mercy could be extended to the man who offered the sacrifice.

Today, Jesus Christ is our Lamb of atonement; He is the ‘Mercy Seat’ where all our sins are forgiven and remitted. Remember, the Scripture says, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Whoever desires forgiveness and pardon from his or her sins must come to Jesus, the Lamb of God; confess the sins, repent and accept Him as his or her Lord and Saviour. That is the only way today by which can meet with God on the ‘mercy seat’ and be pardoned and justified.

Are you still in your sins and burdened with the load of guilt? You can come to Jesus Christ today. He has the power and authority to forgive your sins and rescue you from all your guilt and consequence of sins. Accept Him into your life today, tomorrow may be too late.

HYMN: EMHB 364 (SM)
1: AH! whither should I go,
Burdened, and sick, and faint?
To whom should I my troubles show,
And pour out my complaint?

2: My Saviour bids me come;
Ah! why do I delay?
He calls the weary sinner home,
And yet from Him I stay!

3: What is it keeps me back,
From which I cannot part,
Which will not let my Saviour take,
Possession of my heart?

4: Some cursed thing unknown
Must surely lurk within,
Some idol, which I will not own,
Some secret bosom sin.

5: Jesu, the hindrance show,
Which I have feared to see;
Yet let me now consent to know
What keeps me out of Thee:

6: Searcher of hearts, in mine
Thy trying power display;
Into its darkest corners shine,
And take the veil away.

7: I now believe in Thee
Compassion reigns alone;
According to my faith to me
O let it, Lord, be done!

MEMORY VERSE: Exodus 25:22 “I will meet with you there and talk to you from above the atonement cover between the gold cherubim that hover over the Ark of the Covenant. From there I will give you my commands for the people of Israel.”

PRAYER:
Merciful God, grant me the access to the ‘MERCY SEAT’ in Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who came into the world and died for our sins through Whom our sins are forgiven and atoned. Do this in His most wonderful name I pray. Amen.

THU. 7th FEB. 2019

THEME: AVOID HUMAN APPLAUSE

PASSAGE: MATT. 6:1-8
1. Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4. That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. 5. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

MESSAGE
The Scriptures admonish us to give to the poor and the house of God for therein lie great rewards from God who pays back to those who are faithful. However, we are to keep ourselves from proclaiming on mountain top what we have done for people as if it was by our power. Whatever you are able to do for people was given to you to do by God’s grace and not by your own power or ability. Jesus taught us to give secretly without blowing a trumpet to announce what we have done (verses 1-3). If you do, you have already received your reward? What reward! The applause of men is the earthly reward, not of God. The earthly reward of men is temporal but that of heaven is eternal.

In the exercise of prayer, Jesus also warned that we should not pray as if we want applause from men. Our prayers are to be offered to God without the invitation of men as spectators. If we request men as spectators when we pray, the applause of men will be our reward. We are also not to practice vain repetition of words which makes us sound like fools because our God is not deaf. He hears us and understands our needs and feelings, even before we bring them to Him in prayer

Some kind of vain and repetitive prayers have become so common today that many believers have been deceived into thinking that you sound more spiritual when you do so. The kind of prayers where you repeat same word over and over, or shout Amen three times, fire three times and Holy Spirit three times are only to attract the applause of people and not of God who hears even the most silent prayers. Such might have become a norm in many churches but they are really not God’s desire or show you are spiritual.

Jesus said, “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!” (verse 7-8). Let God applaud you. GROW UP! Follow the advice of our Lord Jesus Christ in this all-important matter.

HYMN: EMHB 328 (7.6.7.6.D)
1: COME unto Me, ye weary,
And I will give you rest!
O blessed voice of Jesus,
Which comes to hearts oppressed!
It tells of benediction,
Of pardon, grace, and peace,
Of joy that hath no ending,
Of love which cannot cease.

2: Come unto Me, ye wanderers,
And I will give you light!
O loving voice of Jesus,
Which comes to cheer the night!
Our hearts were filled with sadness,
And we had lost our way;
But Thou hast brought us gladness,
And songs at break of day.

3: Come unto Me, ye fainting,
And I will give you life!
O quickening voice of Jesus,
Which comes to aid our strife!
The foe is stern and eager;
The fight is fierce and long;
But Thou hast made us mighty,
And stronger than the strong

4: And whosoever cometh
I will not cast him out!
O welcome voice of Jesus,
Which drives away our doubt,
Which calls us very sinners,
Unworthy though we be
Of love so free and boundless,
To come, dear Lord, to Thee.

MEMORY VERSE:
Matt. 6:4 “Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.”

PRAYER:
Lord, God, grant me the grace to pray according to Your divine wish and don’t allow me to attract the applause of people but of You in my prayers, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

WED. 6th FEB., 2019

THEME: HASTY CONCLUSION

PASSAGE: GEN. 44:1-9
1. And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man’s money in his sack’s mouth. 2. And put my cup, the silver cup, in the sack’s mouth of the youngest, and his corn money. And he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken. 3. As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their asses. 4. And when they were gone out of the city, and not yet far off, Joseph said unto his steward, Up, follow after the men; and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good? 5. Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, and whereby indeed he divineth? ye have done evil in so doing. 6. And he overtook them, and he spake unto them these same words. 7. And they said unto him, Wherefore saith my lord these words? God forbid that thy servants should do according to this thing: 8. Behold, the money, which we found in our sacks’ mouths, we brought again unto thee out of the land of Canaan: how then should we steal out of thy lord’s house silver or gold? 9. With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let him die, and we also will be my lord’s bondmen.

MESSAGE
This bible story of today is of great lesson to us on how we need to react to false accusations. Joseph deliberately did what he did to get his brother, Benjamin, arrested and detained so he could have close contact with him. Joseph arranged for his golden cup to be packed in his brother’s bag so he could be framed for stealing it (verses 2). It had been a long time Joseph had sought for Benjamin, and he had longed for that brotherly fellowship with him. Of course, it is good to declare one’s integrity anywhere, anytime but we must be careful to avoid cursing or making a hasty statement that may boomerang. The brothers of Joseph were trying to prove that they were innocent, holy and irreproachable. They have quickly forgotten that they were liars, evil conspirators and murderers.

“What are you talking about?” the brothers responded. “What kind of people do you think we are that you accuse us of such a terrible thing? Didn’t we bring back the money we found in our sacks? Why would we steal silver or gold from your master’s house? If you find his cup with any one of us, let that one die. And all the rest of us will be your master’s slaves forever” (Gen. 44:7-9). Unknown to them, the cup was hidden in Benjamin’s bag and that brought about their arrest.

Have you ever sworn, ‘if I ever do this or that, let God strike me dead?’ or ‘if I do not come tomorrow, let me sleep and never wake up?’ Remember you are not God! Even James warned us not to boast of tomorrow, what will be, because we don’t know what tomorrow may be (James 4:13-16). Also read Judges 11:30-39; 21:5-6, Acts 23:12.

So learn to say. ‘It is not me’ rather than say. ‘If it is found to be me, let so and so happen.’ Don’t lay a curse on yourself to prove your innocence. Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ to be ‘No!’

HYMN: EMHB 442 (CM)
1: HAPPY the heart where graces reign,
Where love inspires the breast;
Love is the brightest of the train,
And perfects all the rest.

2: Knowledge, alas, ’tis all in vain,
And all in vain our fear;
Our stubborn sins will fight and reign,
If love be absent there.

3: ’Tis love that makes our cheerful feet
In swift obedience move:
The devils know, and tremble too;
But Satan cannot love.

4: This is the grace that lives and sings,
When faith and hope shall cease;
’Tis this shall strike our joyful strings
In the sweet realms of bliss.

5: Before we quite forsake our clay,
Or leave this dark abode,
The wings of love bear us away
To see our smiling God.

MEMORY VERSE:
Gen. 44:9 “If you find his cup with any one of us, let that one die. And all the rest of us will be your master’s slaves forever.”

PRAYER:
Almighty God, help me to bridle my tongue and spirit so I will not make hasty pronouncements that will stand against me or my house in Jesus’ name. Amen.

TUESDAY 5th FEB., 2019

THEME: DO NOT IMITATE EVIL

PASSAGE: DEUT. 12:30-32
30. Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. 31. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. 32. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

MESSAGE
The word ‘imitates’ means, “To use or follow as a model; to copy; to copy exactly; reproduce” (Falex). In this present world of competitions, many manufacturers have tried to copy other manufacturers’ inventions or products so that they can make a lot of undue gains, which is a punishable offence. That’s stealing of intellectual property or company secret.

God warned the Israelites to desist from imitating the heathens who were their neighbours either in traditions, customs or religion. God had made it clear to them from the beginning that He is a jealous God. The nation of Israel was under the direct control of Jehovah and it would be a gross disobedience for them to go after other gods to worship or inquire from them.

On many occasions, the Nation of Israel had played the ‘harlot’ in following the gods of the nations around them. Some of the forbidden heathen gods were Baal, Ashtoreth, Dagon, Chemosh, etc. Some of the time, God delayed in His response to Israel’s requests because of their sins or because of His good purpose which they might not understand. Due to delay in God’s response to their requests or expectations, they sought support or assistance from heathen gods they felt might answer them speedily (although with bitter repercussions). For instance, Israel requested for a king and wanted to be like other nations and God gave them what they wanted but with bitter repercussion. King Saul became a whip God used to chastise them for their rejection of Him (1 Sam. 8:7-20).

Are you considering visiting a heathen god for a solution to your problems? Are you considering joining in going back to your old ways of life because of your new worldly friends? Are you considering befriending your male lecturers so that you can pass that course after some failures? It is definitely NO WAY OUT! Trust in God who can give a lasting solution that does not bring regrets. Wait for the Lord!

HYMN: EMHB 565 (CM)
1: I KNOW that my Redeemer lives,
And ever prays for me;
A token of His love He gives,
A pledge of liberty.

2: I find him lifting up my head,
He brings salvation near,
His presence makes me free indeed,
And He will soon appear.

3: He wills that I should holy be;
What can withstand his will?
The counsel of His grace in me
He surely shall fulfil.

4: Jesus, I hang upon Thy word;
I steadfastly believe
Thou wilt return and claim me, Lord,
And to thyself receive.

5: When God is mine, and I am His,
Of paradise possessed,
I taste unutterable bliss
And everlasting rest.

MEMORY VERSE: Deuteronomy 12:30 “Do not be trapped into following their example in worshiping their gods. Do not say, ‘How do these nations worship their gods? I want to follow their example.”

PRAYER: Almighty God, do not allow the ways of the world to ever get my attention or desire, for You alone are the True and Omnipotent God. Grant me the patience to depend upon You and wait for Your time, in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

MONDAY 4th FEBRUARY, 2019

THEME: NO EXCUSE FOR SIN

PASSAGE: GEN. 3:17-19
17. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

MESSAGE
After the creation of man, God gave the first man and woman (Adam and Eve) the right to eat of the fruits of the garden (Eden) except the fruit of the tree in the midst (centre) of the garden. God warned that if they ate of the fruit in the midst of the garden, they would die. While the warning was standing, the serpent deceived Eve into eating the forbidden fruit and gave it to her husband. The eating of the forbidden fruit from the midst of the garden became the first sin committed by man.

When God came and queried Adam for the disobedience of the eating of the forbidden fruit, Adam gave an excuse that it was the woman God gave him that made him commit the sin. What do you think that implied? Was it the fault of God in giving Adam a wife as a suitable helper? What query are you giving God because of the situation you find yourself? Was it God that was responsible for your not getting married in time that led to your marrying an ungodly person? Was it God’s fault that you were not employed with a good job that led to your joining the internet fraudsters? Was it God’s fault that your wife travelled abroad now for almost a year that led to your sleeping with strange women?

Sin is sin, no matter what excuse you give to cover it up or rationalize it. The Scripture says, “Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure,… Let everyone that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:19). “…Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid…” (Rom. 6:1-2). You cannot say that because your wife failed to give birth to a male child you desire that gave you excuses to commit adultery. Or because your husband was caught with another woman that gave you the liberty to cheat back on him.

Don’t run away from God’s presence like Adam and Eve did. Run back to Him with sincere confession and a heart of repentance!

HYMN: EMHB 557
1: What is our calling’s glorious hope
But inward holiness?
For this to Jesus I look up,
I calmly wait for this.

2: I wait, till He shall touch me clean,
Shall life and power impart,
Give me the faith that casts out sin
And purifies the heart.

3: This is the dear redeeming grace,
For every sinner free;
Surely it shall on me take place,
The chief of sinners, me.

4: From all iniquity, from all,
He shall my soul redeem;
In Jesus I believe, and shall
Believe myself to Him.

5: When Jesus makes my heart His home,
My sin shall all depart;
And lo, He saith: I quickly come,
To fill and rule thy heart.

6: Be it according to Thy word!
Redeem me from all sin;
My heart would now receive Thee, Lord,
Come in, my Lord, come in!

MEMORY VERSE: Genesis 2:17 “But of the tree of knowledge of the good and evil, thou shall not eat of it. For in the day that thou eat thereof, thou shall surely die.”

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, because You are our only Justifier, forgive all my sins and grant me a new heart that I may sin no more. Amen

SUNDAY 3rd FEBRUARY, 2019

THEME: LIVE TO LIFT OTHERS

PASSAGE: ROM. 14:13-23
13. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. 14. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. 16. Let not then your good be evil spoken of: 17. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 18. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. 19. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. 20. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. 21. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. 22. Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. 23. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

MESSAGE
Today’s passage enlightens believers in Christ about our right to eat whatever we choose either from rice to beans, fish to chicken, ‘gari’ to ‘fufu’, fruit drinks to wine, and so on. However, in whatever we choose to eat or drink, the righteousness of God must be acknowledged.

Although what we choose to eat must be good, healthwise, but whether you eat pork or snake it must not be seen as commission of sin. In the Old Testament, there were two classes of foods: clean and unclean ones. Those that were termed ‘unclean’ were considered as forbidden for those who claimed to be holy (Lev. 22:8-9). However, in the New Testament, foods considered in the Old Testament as unclean have been declared clean and the right understanding about it inculcated. All we need do is that whatever we eat or drink should be done to avoid making others to fall (Rom. 14:13).

When you do things that could mislead younger believers to err, you sin against God. When you don’t care what you do or whoever stumbles at what you do, you become a snare to others around you. God expects us to be our brother’s keeper or lifter. We should not be the cause of their down fall or demotion

We are therefore enjoined to do and teach one another things that will edify and promote godliness and not to please ourselves. This act of self-control does not stop with food but also extends to what we wear, say, or allow. Check again, what are the things you have done or allowed that have the tendency to make others fall or be discouraged about the Christian faith? Exercise restraint and seek to do things that will build up rather than things that will pull others down.

HYMN: EMHB 336
1: IN loving-kindness Jesus came,
My soul in mercy to reclaim,
And from the depths of sin and shame
Through grace He lifted me.

From sinking sand He lifted me;
With tender hand He lifted me;
From shades of night to plains of light,
O praise His Name, He lifted me!

2: He called me long before I heard,
Before my sinful heart was stirred;
But when I took Him at His word,
Forgiven, He lifted me.

3: His brow was pierced with many a thorn,
His hands by cruel nails were torn,
When from my guilt and grief, forlorn,
In love He lifted me.

4: Now on a higher plane I dwell,
And with my soul I know ’tis well;
Yet how or why, I cannot tell,
He should have lifted me.

MEMORY VERSE: Romans 14:20 “Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, there is nothing wrong with these things in themselves. But it is wrong to eat anything if it makes another person stumble.”

PRAYER: Everlasting God, by Your power, make me a channel of promotion for others and lift me up, too, for pray in Jesus’ name.

SATURDAY 2 FEBRUARY 2019

GET FILLED UP!

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
(Matthew 5:6, TLV)

TODAY’S WORD
Sometimes, it’s easy to get wrapped up in taking care of the people around us. You may find that you’re always giving, taking care of the children, working overtime at the office, or helping that friend who is struggling. And that’s all good. But if you’re not careful, you can end up feeling rundown. That’s why you have to take time every day to get filled back up. Your first priority should be taking care of yourself and making time to get into the presence of Jesus. Throughout Scripture, we see that in God’s presence there is fullness of joy, fullness of peace and fullness of victory. In His presence, you’re refreshed and restored. That’s why it’s so important to take time every day to read your Bible and meditate on His promises. We have to be diligent to have that quiet time with Him. Today, take time to get alone with God and just say, “God, I love You today. Thank You for my life, for my family, for the opportunities You have given me. Lord, I know every good thing comes from You.” When you live like that, with your mind filled with His Word and His thoughts toward you, you will be refreshed, restored, re-energized and filled up for the journey of life!

PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank you for filling me with Your strength. Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, so that I can be righteous in You. I hunger for Your truth and seek You first. Draw me to You and keep me close to You always in Jesus’ name. Amen.

FRIDAY 1st FEBRUARY, 2019

THEME: PRAISE IN TROUBLE

PASSAGE: 2 COR. 1:3-6
3. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4. Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 5. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. 6. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

MESSAGE
For men today, praise to God seems only practicable in times of celebration or testimonies of good things. It seems difficult to praise God at times of persecution and sufferings. There is this church chorus that the original composition seemed unpalatable to many Christians today and they have changed it to; “Today o, I will lift up my voice in praise (x2), for I know (x2), You are always there for me. Almighty God, You are my all in all, no matter what I face, when success comes my way, I will praise the Lord.” Whereas, the “when success come my way” was originally “when trouble comes my way” That is to tell you that many believers are saying they cannot praise God when they are in ‘ugly situations’.

The story of Paul and Silas in Acts 16:16-26 is an evidence to show that praise is possible in times of trouble especially when you have absolute trust in God. Paul and Silas were put in prison for preaching Jesus. Instead of being sad, they were singing and praising God. Why? Because they knew the God they were working for would never abandon them. And of course, God miraculously sent an angel to set them free of their bounds.

Are you a child of God and you seem to be in a situation of distress, struggle or suffering? As you focus and trust in God, be certain He will surely come for you. While waiting for His intervention, why not try, like David, Paul and Silas, worshipping and praising Him and see what great and marvelous things He will do.

May be you don’t know Christ yet and you are in trouble, why don’t you submit your life to Him and see as you begin praise all the way!

HYMN: EMHB 408
1: MY God, the spring of all my joys,
The life of my delights,
The glory of my brightest days,
And comfort of my nights.

2: In darkest shades, if Thou appear,
My dawning is begun;
Thou art my soul’s bright morning star,
And Thou my rising sun.

3: The opening heavens around me shine
With beams of sacred bliss,
If Jesus shows His mercy mine
And whispers I am His.

4: My soul would leave this heavy clay
At that transporting word,
Run up with joy the shining way
To see and praise my Lord.

5: Fearless of hell and ghastly death,
I’d break through every foe;
The wings of love and arms of faith
Would bear me conqueror through.

MEMORY VERSE: ACTS 16:25 “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.”

PRAYER: Lord, rescue me from every trouble that surrounds me. Teach me to praise You while I trust in Your divine intervention in Jesus’ name. Amen

PRAISE GOD FOR 2ND MONTH OF 2019! THIS IS THE MONTH OF ABUNDANCE!

THURSDAY 31st JANUARY, 2019

THEME: UNTAMED PASSION

PASSAGE: GEN. 34:3-8
3. And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel. 4. And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife. 5. And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter: now his sons were with his cattle in the field: and Jacob held his peace until they were come. 6. And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him. 7. And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob’s daughter; which thing ought not to be done. 8. And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife.

MESSAGE
We are created with the sun not to go down upon our wrath. God is angry with the wicked. So to be angry is perfectly sinless in itself but the misuse of it is what God condemns. Anger can kill if not managed properly. Matt. 5:22 says”… whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgement.”

I therefore invite you to come to Christ because in Him alone you can tame every faculty, including anger, in your nature. The Scripture say “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me” (Phil.4:13). God frowns at misuse of all our faculties. “To set the mind on the flesh is death but to set the mind on the Spirit is life “(Rom.8:6). It is always good to run away from anger which you may regret in the end.

The children of Jacob might have intended to obey the purity of marriage by Israel which should be the ideal for every culture but the uncontrolled nature truncated the good intention. Unless you are born again, you cannot tame the passion called anger.

HYMN: EMHB 345
1: DRAWN to the Cross which Thou has blessed
With healing gifts for souls distressed,
To find in Thee my life, my rest:
Christ Crucified, I come!

2: Stained with the sins which I have wrought
In word and deed and secret thought,
For pardon which Thy blood hath bought:
Christ crucified, I come!

3: Weary of selfishnesss and pride,
False pleasures gone, vain hopes denied,
Deep in Thy wounds my shame to hide:
Christ crucified, I come!

4: Thou knowest all my griefs and fears
Thy grace abused, my misspent years;
Yet now to Thee with contrite tears:
Christ Crucified, I come!

5: I would not, if I could, conceal
The ills which only Thou canst heal,
So to the cross, where sinners kneel:
Christ crucified, I come!

6: Wash me, and take away each stain,
Let nothing of my sin remain;
For cleansing, though it be through pain:
Christ Crucified, I come.

7: To be what Thou wouldst have me be,
Accepted, sanctified in Thee,
Through what Thy grace shall work in me:
Christ crucified,I come!

MEMORY VERSE: James 4:1 “What causes war and what causes fighting among you; is it not your passions that are at war in your members?”

PRAYER:
Lord, deliver me from this passion called anger. Give me a new spirit where anger will have no abode at all in Jesus’ name.

PRAISE GOD FOR ENDING JAN 2019 IN GRACE

WEDNESDAY 30th JAN. 2019

THEME: RIGHT TIME FOR THE DEVIL

PASSAGE: LUKE 4:1-13
1. And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2. Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. 3. And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. 4. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. 5. And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. 7. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. 8. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 9. And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: 10. For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: 11. And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 12. And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 13. And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

MESSAGE
Rites of passage are special ceremonies and celebrations which mark the most important progression from one stage in one’s life to another. Sociologists call such ceremonies ‘rites of passage.’ In Christianity, rites include baptism, confirmation, marriage and funeral. During such rites of passage, the person may be exposed to danger in order to test whether he or she is mature enough to face his new life. It is essential that such a person be initiated into the new group and society with the least possible delay in order that he or she may once again have a normal place in the community.

Only people, who have passed through all the strains and problems of human life and no longer fear anything, are qualified to officiate at rites of passages. In the case of Jesus, the devil tested Him in order to determine whether He (Jesus) was truly human and truly the Son of God. During the temptation, Jesus demonstrated His worthiness to bear the titles of Saviour, Christ and the Lord, and that He was totally loyal to God, His Father. Those who bear “Christian” names without passing the test of worthiness (Circumcision of heart) cannot be true children of God.

HYMN: EMHB 821
1: STAND up, stand up for Jesus,
Ye soldiers of the cross;
Lift high His royal banner,
It must not suffer loss.
From victory unto victory
His army shall He lead,
Till every foe is vanquished,
And Christ is Lord indeed.

2: Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
The trumpet call obey;
Forth to the mighty conflict,
In this His glorious day.
Ye that are brave now serve Him
Against unnumbered foes;
Let courage rise with danger,
And strength to strength oppose.

3: Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
Stand in His strength alone;
The arm of flesh will fail you,
Ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the Gospel armor,
Each piece put on with prayer;
Where duty calls or danger,
Be never wanting there.

4: Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
The strife will not be long;
This day the noise of battle,
The next the victor’s song.
To those who vanquish evil
A crown of life shall be;
Him with the King of Glory
Shall reign eternally.

MEMORY VERSE: Luke 4:13 “And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.”

PRAYER:
Lord, give me an assurance of salvation in order that the devil will know that I am more than a conqueror in Jesus Christ’s name