DATE: TUE. 29th JAN, 2019

THEME: CHOSEN AND PROTECTED

PASSAGE: JER. 1:11-19
11. Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree. 12. Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it. 13. And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a seething pot; and the face thereof is toward the north. 14. Then the LORD said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land. 15. For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the LORD; and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah. 16. And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands. 17. Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them. 18. For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. 19. And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.

MESSAGE
When God chooses anyone, He takes responsibility for what such person does in His service. He gives such person wisdom, protection, strength, etc to do it. He protected the three Hebrews, Daniel in lion’s den, Moses before Pharaoh, all to glorify His name.

In the text, Jeremiah is shown two inaugural visions. The first is that the prophet was watching to make sure that all the words God will ask him to speak in His name are established (1; 12). The second vision is of a boiling pot tilting away from the north so that its contents would spill over towards the south (1:13). This vision points to the Babylonian invasion from the north.

The Lord urges Jeremiah to prepare himself for battle He is to be faithful in announcing the oracles of God and is not to fear anyone. The people would oppose him but God promised to be with him and protect him (1:18-19). And our Lord assured that “But even the very hairs of your head are numbered, fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Lk.12: 7).

Whatever God intended to do, He always made it known to His chosen people. He made His plan to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah known to Abraham and the destruction of Judah to Jeremiah. If you are a true child of God, He will always reveal things to you in visions and dreams. He will neither allow your enemies to overpower you nor harm you. One with God is a multitude.

HYMN: EMHB 402
1: FATHER of our fathers, living still
In spite of dungeon, fire and sword,
O how our hearts beat high with joy
Whene’er we hear that glorious word.

Faith of our fathers! Holy faith!
We will be true to Thee till death.

2: Our fathers, chained in prisons dark,
Were still in heart and conscience free;
And blest would be their children’s fate,
Though they, like them, should die for thee.

3: Faith of our fathers! God’s great power
Shall win all nations unto thee;
And through the truth that comes from God
Mankind shall then be truly free.

4: Faith of our fathers we will love
Both friend and foe in all our strife,
And preach thee, too, as love knows how,
By kindly words and virtuous life:

MEMORY VERSE: Jeremiah. 1:19 “They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you for I am with you,” says the Lord, “to deliver you”

PRAYER:
As you were with the saints in the Bible, Heavenly Father, let Your hedges of protection always be around me in Jesus’ name.

MONDAY 28th JANUARY, 2019

THEME: AVOID DIVIDED LOYALTY

PASSAGE. 1 COR. 7:28-35
28. But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you. 29. But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; 30. And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; 31. And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away. 32. But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: 33. But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. 34. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 35. And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.

MESSAGE
An adage states: “A doubting animal often falls a victim of death in the hands of a hunter.” The adage corroborates James 1:8 which states: “For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord”.

Paul does not say that marriage is wrong but he considers it unwise in view of the approaching persecution of Christians by the Roman authorities (1Cor.7:28-31). He points out that those who marry will face many difficulties. As too many Africans know from personal experience, family responsibilities weigh heavily in times of violence and persecution. He is giving guidance for the coming of the Lord is short. He wants them to have a single focus and to be devoted to the Lord in both body and Spirit (7:34) without the distractions but to free them to serve God wholeheartedly (7:35)

Indecision in Marriage often results (for some people) in Polygamy, Divorce, single motherhood and Polyandry…. and which adversely affects the vow to serve the Lord faithfully and fervently. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, said in Matt. 6:24 that “No man can serve two masters… Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Avoid divided loyalty. God demands whole hearted love to serve Him.

HYMN: EMHB 484
1: SOLDIERS of Christ, arise,
And put your armour on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies,
Through his eternal Son;
Strong in the Lord of Hosts,
And in his mighty power:
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts
Is more than conqueror.

2: Stand then in his great might,
With all his strength endued;
And take, to arm you for the fight,
The panoply of God.
That, having all things done,
And all your conflicts past,
Ye may o’ercome, through Christ alone,
And stand entire at last.

3: Stand then against your foes,
In close and firm array;
Legions of wily fiends oppose
Throughout the evil day:
But meet the sons of night;
But mock their vain design,
Armed in the arms of heavenly light,
Of righteousness divine.

4: Leave no unguarded place,
No weakness of the soul;
Take every virtue, every grace,
And fortify the whole:
Indissolubly joined,
To battle all proceed;
But arm yourselves with all the mind
That was in Christ, your Head.

MEMORY VERSE:
1 Cor. 7:35 “I say this for your own benefit not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.”

PRAYER:
God, remove every weight of sin that prevents me from flying high, and let me run with perseverance the heavenly race through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

SUNDAY 27th JAN. 2019

THEME: GIFT FOR SERVICE

PASSAGE: GAL. 4:6- 16
6. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. 8. Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. 9. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? 10. Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 11. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. 12. Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all. 13. Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. 14. And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. 15. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. 16. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

MESSAGE
Some people are often careless with the gifts they have. They say that since the gifts cost them nothing, they can use them anyhow. Beloved Brothers and Sisters, Spiritual gifts are not so; they should be used responsibly to serve the Giver and humanity. Remember the lot of that unprofitable servant who did nothing with his own gift and received eternal punishment.

But Apostle Paul laid an exemplary example of love to Galatians. In the past, the attitude of the Galatians to Paul had been very warm; they did not treat him with contempt or scorn but “you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God or as if I were Christ Jesus Himself” (Gal. 4:13). So deep was their concern that I can testify that, if you could have done so you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me (4:15). The Judaists had attempted to turn the hearts of Galatians against Paul.

Paul used the characteristics of love in 1Cor 13: 4-13 without compromise, in appealing to the Galatians, who were going back into the world the second time, to embrace the gospel of Christ as they did when he first preached to them love, patience and kindness. Love is neither jealous nor boastful. It is neither arrogant nor rude. Love does not insist on its own way. It is not irritable nor resentful.

Let us apply love in the exercise of our talents or gifts in serving others to God’s glory. What an excellent gift with which to serve God and men!

HYMN: EMHB 314
1: COME let us sing of a wonderful love,
Tender and true;
Out of the heart of the Father above,
Streaming to me and to you:
Wonderful love
Dwells in the heart of the Father above.

2: Jesus, the Saviour this gospel to tell,
Joyfully came;
Came with the helpless and hopeless to dwell,
Sharing their sorrow and shame;
Seeking the lost,
Saving, redeeming at measureless cost.

3: Jesus is seeking the wanderers yet;
Why do they roam?
Love only waits to forgive and forget;
Home, weary wanderers, home!
Wonderful love
Dwells in the heart of the Father above.

4: Come to my heart, O Thou wonderful love.
Come and abide,
Lifting my life till it rises above
Envy and falsehood and pride;
Seeking to be
Lowly and humble, a learner of Thee.

MEMORY VERSE:
Gal. 4: 13 “You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first.”

PRAYER:
God of love, kindly instil Your divine love into my heart so that I will always live a Christ-like life to the end. Amen.

Consciously keeping a daily appointment with God will help make observing your quiet time become an important part of your day. Little wonder I often meet people who want to begin a daily quiet time but aren’t sure how. Well, it really isn’t as complicated as we often make it out to be because the main thing is simply to do something.

From the Bible, we’ve been made to understand how to spend quiet time with God. Jesus gave us examples in the scriptures where He stepped away from the limelight, retreating to a quiet place to commune with His Father. These quiet times spent with God had some very important elements in common.

We, therefore, need to rid ourselves of the thought that the time we set aside for our “sacred habit” is one that must be monotonous and boring, because, having a quiet time should not be seen as a duty but as a delight. It takes discipline and should be guarded selfishly. The benefits of maintaining it far outweigh the effort.

When we spend time with God in this way, it helps us to know Him better, we learn more about His thoughts on issues bothering on love, friendship, business, marriage, purity, communication skills, priorities, money, and other matters relevant to our everyday life. It will reshape our view of life and people through His eyes, and our perspectives would mature as we freely allow His thoughts pervade ours.

Sometimes, I wonder if there are other people who feel guilty when they don’t “feel” like having a quiet time with God?

 

Yeah, we should spend time with God not just because our Pastors or Sunday school teachers say so but with the knowledge that we need to fill our hearts with God’s Word, and because we know it’s important for us to talk to God and listen to Him in prayer.

 

Let me use myself as an example, when my alarm clock screeches at 4:00 a.m. (the time I allocated for my daily quiet moment with the Lord) and my bed is warm and cosy, or when I come home from a crazy day at work and just want to watch a movie on TV, sincerely, my first desire is not always to open my Bible and start praying. And that usually makes me feel really bad.

 

So, which would you say is better – to have a quiet time when you’re not feeling it, or skip the quiet time altogether?

 

Irrespective of how we feel, I think we should come to God anyway. Even when it feels awkward, we can be honest with Him and tell Him how we’re feeling. Truth is, He already knows! The most beautiful thing is that we can ask God to change our hearts.

 

According to Psalm 37:4: “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (ESV). God is willing and able to come into the messy places of our hearts and clean us out, equipping us to live the best life He’s created for us.

 

What if each day, you decided whether or not to go to work based on if you “felt” like it? Or what if you ate whatever foods you “felt” like eating, even if that turned out to be pizza five times a week? This way of living would not be sustainable for long. Because God has called us into fellowship with his son, Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1:9), we, therefore, have been called to “share our lives in common,” to “become friends” of the most intimate sort.

 

The thing is even if we don’t feel like prioritizing time with God over other areas of our life, doing so is an act of obedience that shows God we’re serious about seeking Him.

 

In order to worship God properly, we need strength and consolation in the Christian life. Strength to faithfully obey and consolation when we fail. In particular, we need strength to pray, to meditate on the Scripture in Christ’s presence, and to obey what God makes known to us. We need mercy in our times of wandering from the Lord.

 

The book of Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (ESV).

 

If you are going through a dry spell in your quiet time, think about different ways you can interact with God’s Word and worship Him in prayer. Establishing a daily quiet time with God is transforming, and it will do the same for all who pursue this discipline of delight.

 

Here are a few suggestions to get started and to keep your quiet time with Him vibrant:

 

  • Go somewhere different, i.e., an area free of distraction;
  • Create your own “sacred space”;
  • God’s Word; try studying using a Bible version that’s easy to understand;
  • Express yourself; pray aloud if that’s what your spirit yearns for;
  • Listening to the Bible can be fun; you should consider getting the audio version of your preferred Bible version;
  • Prayer and thanksgiving: play an instrument if you have one, just have fun in His presence!

 

In conclusion, your quiet time is not just another thing to do on top of the already overwhelming list of things to do, but as an opportunity to deepen your bond of love with an ultimate Friend.

 

As believers, we should look forward to it like we did Christmas mornings as youngsters.

 

I hope your quiet time with God from now will be a duty of sheer delight.

SATURDAY 26th JANUARY, 2019

THEME: RESOLUTION FOR A WORLD

PASSAGE: Rev. 7: 13 – 17
13. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14. And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

MESSAGE
“But woe to you, o earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath because he knows that his time is short” (Rev.12: 12b). That was the beginning of rebellion in the world. Satan caused it and rightly received it from Adam during his fall. It went on and on in rebellion before the flood of Noah, before the burning of the Tower of Babel, the exodus of the Children of Israel in the wilderness, till the resolution made by the death and resurrection of Christ. The ultimate persecution of Christians will be witnessed during the time of the Antichrist which will eventually result in a new heaven and a new earth at the millennial reign of Christ.

‘White’ robes symbolise salvation and also the colour of victory while the palm branches they hold were often emblems of triumph (Rev. 7:9b, Matt. 21: 5-8). They are identified by the angel as those who have come out of the great tribulation (7:14) and who now worship in God’s temple (7:15). They will see God face to face and never again will these people experience any torment. They will enjoy the supreme protection of the living God Himself (Ps. 91: 1-2) and be like Christ. 1 John 3:2-3 says “Beloved, we are God’s children now—when He appears we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is and everyone who has these hope in Him purifies himself as He is pure.

In Him only is rebellion resolved. To meet Christ and to be like Him, we must be purified at all times. We must be dead to sin on daily basis like Apostle Paul (1 Cor. 15:31).

HYMN: EMHB 323
1: COME, sinners, to the gospel feast,
Let every soul be Jesu’s guest;
Ye need not one be left behind,
For God hath bidden all mankind.

2: Sent by my Lord, on you I call;
The invitation is to all:
Come, all the world; come, sinner, thou!
All things in Christ are ready now.

3: Come, all ye souls by sin oppressed,
Ye restless wanderers after rest,
Ye poor, and maimed, and halt, and blind,
In Christ a hearty welcome find.

4: His love is mighty to compel;
His conquering love consent to feel,
Yield to His love’s resistless power,
And fight against your God no more.

5: This is the time; no more delay!
This is the acceptable day;
Come in, this moment, at His call,
And live for Him who died for all.

MEMORY VERSE: Revelation 7:14 ‘I said to him, “Sir you know. And he said to me, these are they who have come out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

PRAYER:
Lord, keep me steadfast and purified till the glorious coming of our Lord, in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Friday 25th January, 2019

Theme: God’s Salvation Made Known

Passage: Luke 1:69-80

MEMORY VERSE: Luke1:77 “to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins.”

HYMN: MHB 59 –- GOOD thou art, and good thou dost

MESSAGE

Salvation is deliverance and preservation from destruction as a result of the commission of sin; it is deliverance from all curses and infirmities. To man, salvation is only known in the physical realm not until Christ came to demonstrate what salvation really means by His death and resurrection.

God’s salvation to man is neither hasty nor an afterthought but a well- thought out eternal plan revealed to the world after hundreds of years of prophesies by the prophets of old. Details of the conception, birth and naming of the child Jesus again indicate that He was destined for a significant career in the service of God (Lk2:8-35).

The hymn attributed to the Spirit-filled Zechariah in Luke (1:67-79) is a song of praise to God like the song of Mary in Luke 1:46-56. The subject of both songs is great day for Israel that comes with Jesus. The songs focus on God’s redemption of His people. His coming to the world announced by angels to the shepherds watching over their sheep in the night also testifies to the Gentiles through a bright star which appeared in the sky exactly on the house where the Child laid.

These records are made known to you in particular not to neglect so great a salvation (Heb.2:3). Jesus Christ is the salvation of the world that no right-thinking person should neglect.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, Your coming into the world is to bring salvation to the world. Don’t allow my life in this sinful world to work against my making heaven at last. Amen.

THURSDAY 24th JAN, 2019

THEME: IT’S NOT YOUR BATTLE

PASSAGE: 1 SAMUEL 17:32-47
32. And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. 33. And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. 34. And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: 35. And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. 36. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. 37. David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee. 38. And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. 39. And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him. 40. And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine. 41. And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him. 42. And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. 43. And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44. And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. 45. Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. 46. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hands.

MESSAGE
Some Christians are often tempted to think that they can fight their battles on their own. Hence they often rely heavily on their so-called spiritual weapons like prayers, fasting, Spiritual gifts like prophesy and past experience. Though these are good, relying on Spiritual gifts without relying on the Giver amounts to fighting a battle for God with the principle of Satan.

We must learn a lot from David, a man of God’s heart, humble and full of faith. Eliab his elder brother misjudged his motives and accused him of pride. David was humble in dealing with this battle. He was bold enough in his faith to confront the arrogant Goliath who wholly depended on his stature and armour. David demonstrated leadership as he declared words of courage and faith to Saul (17:32).

The secret of victory in every Spiritual battle is recognising that it is the Lord who will fight and conquer the enemy. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

David’s sling and stones were no longer ordinary weapons in fighting the proud Goliath who taunted the name and army of God. Like David, we must go to “battle” in the name of God to win the battle. Nothing can be done successfully without God who says “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5b).

HYMN: RMHB 822
1: ONWARD, Christian soldiers,
Marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus
Going on before.
Christ, the royal Master,
Leads against the foe;
Forward into battle
See His banners go!

Onward, Christian soldiers,
Marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus
Going on before.

2: At the sign of triumph
Satan’s host doth flee;
On then, Christian soldiers,
On to victory!
Hell’s foundations quiver
At the shout of praise
Brothers lift your voices,
Loud your anthems raise.

3: Like a mighty army
Moves the church of God;
Brothers, we are treading
Where the saints have trod.
We are not divided,
All one body we,
One in hope and doctrine,
One in charity.

4: Crowns and thrones may perish,
Kingdoms rise and wane,
But the church of Jesus
Constant will remain.
Gates of hell can never
‘Gainst that church prevail;
We have Christ’s own promise,
And that cannot fail.

5: Onward then, ye people!
Join our happy throng;
Blend with ours your voices
In the triumph song.
Glory, laud and honor
Unto Christ the King!
This through countless ages
Men and angels sing.

MEMORY VERSE:
1 Sam. 17:47 “And that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give you into our hands.”

PRAYER: O God, our Lord of hosts, help us to rest on You for all our battles of life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

WEDNESDAY 23rd JANUARY, 2019

THEME: CONSIDER YOUR CALL TO SALVATION

PASSAGE: 1COR. 7:17-24
17. But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches. 18. Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. 19. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. 20. Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. 21. Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. 22. For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant. 23. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. 24. Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.

MESSAGE
Calling for the Christian is different from religious conversion. The phrase “born again” has lost its meaning and become a fashion today. People speak of born-again Muslims, born-again Christians, born-again professionals, etc. However, being born again means acknowledging that one has repented of sin, Jesus now occupies his heart and Satan has been thrown out of it. God responds by declaring that the one who does this is His child.

Becoming a Christian does not mean a violent break from your past but rather serving God in a new and best way possible under God’s grace. One’s face, social position, education and so on are not important; what is important is the kind of life that is lived (1Cor7:19). Also obedience to God is more important than trying to change one’s circumstances or even seeking freedom from slavery. One’s relationship and standing with God matter far more than one’s position.

Do you still remember the 14 year-old girl, Leah Sharibu, from Yobe State? She refused to renounce her Christian faith in the face of death by Boko Haram. Her case has led to the spread of the gospel. What has your calling as a Christian done for Christ? Have you led others to Christ? Is your call to salvation leading others to Christ in your family, community, office or is it sending people away? Consider your call in whatever position you may be.

HYMN: EMHB 157
1: JESUS calls us! o’er the tumult
Of our life’s wild restless sea,
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth,
Saying: Christian ,follow me-

2: As, of old, apostle heard it
By the Galilean lake,
Turned from home and toil and kindred,
Leaving all for His dear sake.

3: Jesus call us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store,
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying : Christian, love Me more!

4: In our joys and in our sorrows,
Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still He calls ,in cares and pleasures,
That we love Him more than these.

5: Jesus calls us! By Thy mercies,
Saviour, make us hear Thy call,
Give our hearts to Thine obedience,
Serve and love Thee best of all

MEMORY VERSE:
Gal. 5:13 “For you were called to freedom, brethren, only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love, be servants of one another.”

PRAYER: Lord, don’t allow my calling to be in vain but the promotion of Christ’s gospel where ever You place me in Jesus’ name.

TUESDAY 22nd JANUARY, 2019

THEME: THE SIGNS
PASSAGE: MATTHEW 24:1-12
1. And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. 2. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. 3. And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 4. And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8. All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

MESSAGE
Compare this text with Luke’s version (Luke 21:1-11). While Luke says that the report was made in the temple, Matthew reports that it was outside the temple. However, the essentials of the report are the same.

The three questions, by His disciples on Mount Olives: “Tell us, when will this be and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” revealed the many signs from the discourse with their Master. He said there would be deceptions, fake Christs, wars and rumours of wars, famines, earthquakes, pestilences, betrayals, false prophets, persecution of Christians, apostasy, etc.

As Christians, we should not be worried or concerned today about what we shall eat or wear but about the things of the heavenly Kingdom. We are to be actively involved in spreading the gospel to all the people of the world as missionaries and we must not remain merely a receiving Church. Brothers and sisters, how concerned are you about spreading the gospel of Jesus? Are you prepared for His second coming?

Brothers and sisters, are you one of those who say that the world will not end? The signs of the time and the end of Age are already here. Let us get ready for the arrival of the Lord. Let us not be unaware. Jesus will surely come like a thief in the night!

HYMN: EMHB 306
1: COME, divine Interpreter,
Bring us eyes Thy Book to read,
Ears the mystic words to hear,
Words which did from Thee proceed,
Words that endless bliss impart,
Kept in an obedient heart.

2: All who read, or hear, are blessed,
If Thy plain commands we do;
Of Thy kingdom here possessed,
Thee we shall in glory view;
When Thou com’st on earth to abide,
Reign triumphant at Thy side.

MEMORY VERSE: Mark 13:4 “Tell us, when will this be and what will be the sign when these things are all to be accomplished?”

PRAYER: God Almighty, kindly rekindle the passion for evangelism in our church members in order not to be found wanting at our Lord’s second coming in Jesus Christ’ name

MONDAY 21st JANUARY, 2019

THEME: LOVE THAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE

PASSAGE: JOHN 13: 31-35
31. Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32. If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him. 33. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. 34. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

This was the last teaching of Jesus Christ at the Passover feast after Judas Iscariot had given himself to Satan by betraying the Lord. Jesus said both Himself and His Father, God, have been glorified, having fully fulfilled His work of redemption on earth, and His time of departure had come.

When Jesus talked of His departure, He meant there was need for the disciples to fill the gap He was leaving by loving one another in a new way of service as He had loved the world by surrendering His life to it as an atonement.

This new commandment “to love one another even as I have loved you” means that Christ more than fulfilled Mosaic precept. He not only loved His neighbour as Himself but He also loved His neighbour more than Himself for He laid down His own life for others. In this He called upon His disciples to follow His example; to be ready every time and on all occasions to lay down their lives for one another, even for their enemies if it would save them from hell (Rom 5:8-11). This surpassed, by far, all moral systems of all religions. No system ever prescribed anything so pure and unselfish. What a limitless love in length, width and height! What a holy, generous, joyous love in which people can only be partakers by abiding in Christ.

This pure and undiluted love is available to us by faith in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ. What a paradise on earth that will be! It makes the difference because it transcends self, lust of the eyes, lust of flesh and pride of life. Do you have such love? May it be your portion in Jesus’ name.

HYMN: EMHB 444
1: BELOVED, let us love:
Love is of God;
In God alone hath love
Its true abode.

2: Beloved, let us love :
For they who love,
They only are His sons,
Born from above.

3: Beloved, let us love :
For love Is rest,
And he who loveth not,
Abides unblest.

4: Beloved, let us love:
In love is light,
And he who loveth not,
Dwelleth in night

5: Beloved, let us love :
For only thus
Shall we behold that God
Who loveth us.

MEMORY VERSE: John15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

PRAYER:
Lord God, translate me into this limitless, pure and undiluted love of Christ in Jesus’ name. Amen.