FRIDAY 7TH SEPTEMBER, 2018
THEME: THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH
TEXT: 1 TIMOTHY 6:11-16
MEMORY VERSE: 1TIMOTHY 6:12 “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”

The word ‘fight’ appears over 100 times in the Bible but the one in 1 Timothy 6:12 is where the Bible encourages Christians to “Fight”. Behold, this “fight” is not that of strife, violence, hatred, competition or terrorism; rather it is a clarion call to stand and defend the faith, through our acts of righteousness.

Do you remember the three Hebrew young men? (Daniel 3:12-30)? They refused to bow down to the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. That is a good fight of faith. What about Joseph in Potiphar’s house? (Genesis 39:1-11). Do you also remember Daniel? (Daniel 6:1-23). This fight is not that which involves the needless shedding of human blood, nor the slaughtering of human beings, like animals, in the name of religion. It is not the fight of suicide bombing. It is a clarion call to stand for righteousness in the midst of this crooked and perverse generation, declaring the mind of God to everyone around us even when it may cost us our lives, work and comfort. Where are we as a church in this good fight of faith? What of our leaders in the church? Are they fighting the good fight of faith? It is our calling if truly we are Christians; it is also our confession if indeed we are children of God (1 Timothy 6:11-14).

You are to speak against injustice, oppression, corruption in all its ramifications, steer clear of evil and evildoers.

HYMN: EMHB 490 -FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT WITH ALL THY MIGHT
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help me to fight the good fight of faith till the end of my life’s journey (Amen).

THURSDAY 6TH SEPTEMBER, 2018
THEME: ZEALOUS BUT GUILTY
TEXT: 2 SAMUEL 6:1-8
MEMORY VERSE: 2 SAMUEL 6:7 “Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the Ark of God.”

Anyone going through this Bible text will question why God struck Uzzah (2 Samuel 6:7). The truth is that Uzzah committed a great error by touching the Ark of Covenant (2 Samuel 6:6). The Philippines carried the Ark of Covenant in Sam 5:7 but they were not killed. Why was Uzzah’s case different? The following points justify why God struck Uzzah;

(i) Uzzah was not supposed to touch the Ark because he was not a Kohathite who were mandated by God to handle holy things. (Number 4:1-15).
(ii) The Ark of God should not have been touched with bare hands. (Numbers 4:15, 1 Chronicles 15:15)
(iii) The Ark was in a wrong place. (2 Samuel 6:3, 1 Kings 8:6). It was carried in a new cart instead of being borne by priests according to the law.
(iv) The necessary purification/cleansing that was meant to be carried out initially was not done (1 Chronicles 15:12-14).

Beloved, you may be working in the house of God but are you just being zealous without having knowledge of what you are doing? Are you performing your assigned duties in the house of God carnally instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to help you? Not by might, nor power but by the Spirit of God. (Zech. 4:6)

Don’t forget Uzzah means “strength”, and human strength will fail. Holy things used in God’s worship must be used only for that purpose.

HYMN: EMHB 600 – O MASTER, LET ME WALK WITH THEE…
PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me not to be guilty while being zealous for You. Let me always follow Your laid-down rules in working for my God. Amen.

WEDNESDAY 5TH SEPTEMBER, 2018
THEME: BEHOLD, HE COMES
TEXT: REVELATION 1:4-8
MEMORY VERSE: REVELATION 1:7 “Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also who pierced Him: And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen”

“Wonder! Wonder! Wonder! Wonder! Wonder! Wonder!”/2ce
Till you turn to wanderer
Will Jesus ever come back again?”
Ever heard the song before? It was sung by a popular Nigerian artiste who was trying to ridicule Jesus’ second coming because of the way some Pastors were living “big” at the expense of their church members. I pray that God forgives him, and wins him over to Himself.

The truth has to be told; Jesus is coming back and all eyes shall see Him. This time He is not coming as a baby born in a manger but as King to judge the quick and the dead. Why should we not believe that He is coming again? The Bible tells us so in several passages. Even Jesus Christ Himself affirms it and that He is the faithful witness. (Rev 1:5, John 14:1-3, Acts 1:9-11).

Beloved, the second coming of Christ is nearer than you think. It may be today, next week or anytime. Are you prepared? Will you be raptured when He comes the second time? Be prepared every time so that you do not miss out because Jesus is coming soon. Be prepared because the signs of His coming have started manifesting.

HYMN: EMHB 264- LO! HE COMES WITH CLOUDS DESCENDING
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, remember me when You come again in Your glory to judge the living and the dead.

TUESDAY 4TH SEPTEMBER, 2018
THEME: THE PERILOUS TIMES
TEXT: 2 TIMOTHY 3:1-9
MEMORY VERSE: 2 TIMOTHY 3:1 “But know this, that in the last days perilous times shall come”.

Perilous times are here with us! It is only God that can save and deliver us. Things that have never happened before are now everyday experience. Terrorism is on the rampage everywhere! Famine is already taking its toll in South Sudan. All the signs are visible in various homes, societies, nations and all over the world. (2Timothy 3:1-4). The Church of God is not exempted as the church is getting worldly (2Timothy 3:5). Technology has advanced greatly; knowledge has increased tremendously but evil has also increased exponentially. War is devastating and ravaging many countries (Matthew 24:7-8).

There is so much knowledge but truth has been both elusive and evasive in the world (2 Timothy 3:7-8). We should not be surprised at all with all the happenings in these perilous times because we have been fore-warned by Christ (Matthew 24:6, 11-14). The steps we need to take are as follows:

(i) Do not be troubled or disturbed (John 14:1)
(ii) Do not be deceived (1 Corinthians 15:33-34)
(iii) Ask God for strength to stay with Him to the end (Matthew 24:12-13)
(iv) Continue your walk with the Lord (2 Timothy 3:14-15)
(v) Preach the gospel to as many that you come across (Matthew 24:14)
(vi) Embrace holiness and righteousness.
(vii) Always be prepared.

It is well with your soul!!

HYMN: EMHB 526 -O JESUS, I HAVE PROMISED ….
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help me not to fall into the dangers of these perilous times as I patiently await Your second coming and please uphold me to the end. Amen.

MONDAY 3RD SEPTEMBER, 2018
THEME: LOVE IS SACRIFICIAL
TEXT: JOHN 15:12-15
MEMORY VERSE: JOHN 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”.

Love is more than having a beautiful feeling. The world’s view of love, today, is basically lust because “love will always wait to have but lust can never wait to get”. The love we are talking of here is agape, God’s kind of love which does not attract any condition(s). Such was the love that Jesus demonstrated by sacrificing Himself on the Cross of Calvary for the remission of our sins (John 15:13). The hallmark of the Christian faith is love. That is why Jesus commands Christians to love one another (John 15:12).

Love also brings about obedience to please the one you love. (John 15:14). Love also brings about friendship. (John15:15). If you really love someone there is no length you cannot go in order to ensure that the person is happy. There will be no sacrifice too much to give just to ensure that such a friend is happy. Such is the love that Jesus displayed. God sent Jesus to die for our sins because He loves us so much (1 John 4:10-11). When we love, it is a proof that God lives in us and that we abide in Him and know God. (1 John 4:12-16).

In Matt 5:44, Jesus Christ tells us: ” Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you”. Jesus Himself demonstrated love on the Cross. He prayed for those who killed Him, saying “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing”. Are you ready to do so? Know that unless you have that kind of love, heaven may still be a no-go area for you.

HYMN: EMHB 52-OH LOVE OF GOD, HOW STRONG AND TRUE ….
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, give me the grace not only to love those who love me but also to love my enemies and pray for them.

SUNDAY 2ND SEPTEMBER, 2018
THEME: WAITING ON THE LORD
TEXT: ISAIAH 40:25-31
MEMORY VERSE: ISAIAH 40:31 “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint.”

What does it mean to wait on the Lord? It means trusting God and not giving over to worry about anything we so much desire even when we are experiencing a delay. Delay is not denial, but we tend to worry and become anxious when we have not received what we are expecting from God.

What are the steps to be taken when waiting on the Lord?
1. Trust in the Lord absolutely (Psalm 56:11, Proverbs 3:5-6)
2. Be rest assured that you shall not be put to shame (Psalm 34:5; Isaiah 50:7-9).
3. Allow God to guide and instruct you. (Psalm 32:8).
4. Believe that what you are expecting Him to do shall be done without fail. (Mk. 11:24)

Are there any troubles you are going through at this moment? All you need do is trust God and He will meet you at the point of your need. He may keep you waiting until the last moment but He will surely answer you at the most appropriate time. Wait on the Lord, pray and depend on Him without any doubt.

HYMN: EMHB 54- JESUS MY STRENGTH, MY HOPE….
PRAYER: Help me to wait on You, Faithful Lord, and renew my strength to mount up like an eagle, and to do exploit for God without being weary or tired, to fight for Him without minding the wounds.

SATURDAY 1ST SEPTEMBER, 2018
THEME: NO MORE BABES
TEXT: EPHESIANS 4:10-16
MEMORY VERSE: EPHESIANS 4:14. “That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, and cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive”

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ have brought very many benefits to us as Christians. His death and resurrection brought about what has been recognized as the five-fold ministry of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers (Ephesians 4:10-11). And what is the purpose of this five-fold ministry? For the equipping of the saints, for the work of the ministry and for the edifying of the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:12); to unify believers in the faith (4:13); to perfect the Church in Christ, and to bring members to maturity in Christ (v 13).

The church is expected to have in place all the five-fold ministry i.e. Ministers and their ministries have to be ordained by God to nourish our souls of converts to maturity (Ephesians 4:13) even as we nourish our physical bodies to maturity. When we are fully mature spiritually, then we are no more babes in Christ who are tossed up and down and carried about with every wind of doctrine (falsehood).

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, let us not do those things that unbelievers do (Gal.5:19-21), but bear the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).

HYMN: EMHB 164-BEHOLD A LITTLE CHILD….
PRAYER: Lord, give me the grace to grow in Your knowledge so that I may not be carried away by the affairs of the world nor by the craftiness of fake prophets.

FRIDAY 31ST AUGUST, 2018
THEME: PARTIAL OBEDIENCE
TEXT: 1 SAMUEL 15:13-23
MEMORY VERSE: 1 SAMUEL 15:22 “But Samuel replied: ‘Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.'”

In a football game, there are two teams in a contest to outdo each other. Each team is led by coaches who organize and determine the strategy for the contest. He instructs each player on the role to play for the overall success of the team. If, however, a player indulges in excessive dribbling in an effort to show off his skills instead of engaging in team play, the team might suffer defeat. Such lack of obedience or partial obedience has its consequence to the team and its players. One certain consequence is that the coach may end up dropping the offending player from the team. In the same manner, spiritual disobedience or partial obedience has its consequences. Saul was rejected because of his partial obedience to instructions due to personal reasons.

Let us look at why people do not obey instructions to the letter. Some of the reasons could be lack of trust in the leader instructing us. However, most times the major reason is selfish consideration. We try to impose our own selfish advantage over and above the collective good of the group we belong to. When we do this, we bring consequences, not only to ourselves when we fail to achieve the collective good because of our selfish motives but the whole group also ends up suffering for the wrong ambitions of a few. Today, God is saying we cannot place our own consideration above the collective good, especially when we are in a leadership position. It is a betrayal of trust.

HYMN: EMHB 403 – MY HEART IS FIXED, ETERNAL GOD,
PRAYER: When the joyful pleasures of the flesh beckon on me, Merciful Father, let Your Word always awaken my spirit to Your command in Jesus’ name.

THURSDAY 30TH AUGUST, 2018
THEME: GO FORWARD
TEXT: EXODUS 14:13-16
MEMORY VERSE: EXODUS 14:15 “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.”

In a recent newspaper news item, a successful Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.) of a company told his success story. He traced the root of his success to when he lost his well-paid job in another company. He thought at that time he had nothing more to live for.

Sometimes we find ourselves in a similar situation. We get to a crossroads in various parts of our life and we become confused about the way forward. Take the situation as it faced the Israelites in today’s reading. Because as human beings we lack foresight or we do not see into the future, we lapse into despair when we get to such inextricable positions. Like the Israelites, when we cry in despair to God, we expect God to solve the problem with our limited human intelligence. Walking through the sea on dry ground would have been the least expected solution Moses would have thought God would offer.

When we are at the cross-road of our life, whether in business, health, family life or even our spiritual life, the first decision is to call to God in FAITH. When we decide to trust God we totally submit to Him. We cannot call Him and suggest to Him solutions. If we know what will work in the first place why call Him into it? We have to trust Him and wait in expectation of His way of solving the problem. When God says ‘Move forward’, we should not let doubts rob us of moving to the next rung of the ladder of triumph in our challenging situation. We should trust and obey Him when He instructs us. It is only so doing that will see us to the end of our challenge.

HYMN: EMHB 516 – WHEN WE WALK WITH THE LORD
PRAYER: My God, I put my trust in Thee; choose for me the direction to follow in the crossroads of life and don’t allow me to be wise in my own eyes.

WEDNESDAY 29TH AUGUST, 2018
THEME: TRUST AND OBEY
TEXT: JOSHUA 6:10-20
MEMORY VERSE: JOSHUA 6:20 “When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city.”

Many times we are faced with confounding challenges life. These challenges test our faith in God’s capacity to deliver us. The Israelites were faced similarly with overcoming the people of Jericho, a city surrounded by imposing walls and a fierce army. Their response was trusting God’s words through Joshua by simply marching round the city of Jericho with the Ark seven times and shouting at the last stage of the march.

The Israelites did not rationalize the need to fight a battle by opposing God’s plan to simply march round the city for a week. This affirms that with God’s plan and obedience by the Israelites, they were guaranteed victory.

God’s plans may require us sometimes to do things that do not make sense in the first instance but ours is to trust and obey. God’s plans are perfect for the actualization of our salvation. Our “symbolic wall of Jericho” will come down only if we follow His plan methodically. Another lesson to learn here is that when we think we are in our comfort zone and rely on our own strength or earthly fortification for our protection, things may not work out the way we think. Wake up because as the people of Jericho found out ‘the arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own’. So when faced with life’s challenges trust only in God’s strength.

HYMN: EMHB 548 – ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE TO HIM
PRAYER: Dear God, with You providing the strength and direction, let our victory over our challenges be sure in Jesus’ name. Amen.