Saturday 5th January 2019

Theme: God brings Good out of Evil

Texts: Gen. 15:13-16,
13. And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14. And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. 15. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. 16. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

Genesis 45:4-8
4. And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. 5. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. 6. For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. 7. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 8. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

MESSAGE
God does not operate by luck or chance. He knows the end of everything from the beginning. The Lord knows all things about the past, the present and the future. As far back as when He called Abram, the Lord knew that his descendants would go and later be in captivity in Egypt and had pre-planned how they would be delivered. (Gen. 15:13-16)

God also knew that there would be famine in the land of Canaan where His people dwelt, in the land of Egypt and it’s environs, and Joseph being sold into slavery to Egypt by his siblings. Unknown to them again was part of God’s plan to install him as their leader. The siblings thought that they had scuttle that plan of God by selling him into slavery, but alas, it was the Lord’s purpose in progress. (Gen. 45:4-8). God is not a joker as some thinks. God is real, all-wise and all powerful. St. Paul said of God’s wisdom thus, “where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has God not made foolish the wisdom of the world..? For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength” (Gen. 1:20, 25).

The thing with God is that even when Satan or people are acting in very evil and wicked ways as if they will truncate God’s plan, right from within the bad situation emerges gold. Some orphans , some adopted children and some so-called ‘illegitimate children’ came out as most brilliant people among Christian, political and business leaders, far more than some of ‘noble birth.’ It is a marvel that Rahab the harlot, and David the adulterer, form essential part of Jesus genealogy. (Matt. 1:2-17)

Far above any other consideration, in Christ Jesus the circumstances of your birth or the situation you are in at the moment does not matter. What matters is that through the grace of God we have been saved, reborn and recreated in Christ Jesus for every good work (Eph. 2:8-10). Just be open and surrender to Jesus Christ and have your identity in Him and surely the best will come out of you.

HYMN EMHB 28
1: ALL creatures of our God and King,
Lift up your voice with us and sing:
Alleluia, Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam:

O praise Him, o praise Him, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

2: Thou rushing wind that art so strong,
Ye clouds that sail in heaven along,
O praise Him, Alleluia!
Thou rising morn, in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening, find a voice:

3: Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
Make music for thy Lord to hear,
Alleluia, Alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright,
That givest man both warmth and light:

4: Dear mother earth, who day by day
Unfoldest blessings on our way,
O praise Him, Alleluia!
The flowers and fruits that in thee grow,
Let them His glory also show:

5: And all ye men of tender heart,
Forgiving others, take your part,
O sing ye, Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on Him cast your Care:

6: And thou, most kind and gentle death,
Waiting to hush our latest breath,
O praise Him, Alleluia!
Thou leadest home the child of God,
And Christ our Lord the way He hath trod:

7: Let all things their Creator bless,
And worship Him in humbleness,
O praise Him, Alleluia!
Praise, praise, the Father, praise the Son,
And praise the Spirit, Three in One:

MEMORY VERSE
Gen. 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives”

PRAYER
According to Your Word, mighty and Everlasting God, let everything work out for my good, for I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

THURSDAY 3RD JANUARY, 2019

THEME: GO WITH GOD 2

TEXT: PSALM 37:1-9
1. Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 2. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. 3. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 6. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. 7. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. 8. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. 9. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

MESSAGE
By nature, God created humans with abilities and power to make things happen –‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over …’ Genesis 1:28 NKJV. So we are not dummies and robots to be remote controlled. God has given us brain to think and strength to work. We also have ability to sleep –rest, and wake up –to be active. Hence, you do not require God to raise your legs for you to walk neither raise your hands to work. Does it mean that we do not need God anymore? No!

As Nicodemus acknowledged in our passage (John 3:1-8) on Tuesday, Jesus Christ manifested divine authority by His deeds, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him” (John 3:2 NKJV). Though Jesus is one with God the Father and God in human flesh, He acknowledges Him and did nothing of His own.

It is therefore an act of worship to commit our ways to God and ask Him to GO WITH US. Though God has provided us with everything we need to become great and prosper, it is an act of worship to acknowledge Him and do all things to His glory. God has the power to pull the string at any time if we think that we have so much powers by ourselves. Remember how the Lord pulled down the Tower of Babel, the first sky scrapper in our world, Genesis 11:1-9. And in our world, we have seen Nations rise and fall, men and women rise and fall, at God’s stroke.

We should therefore let God be our guide as we embark on our businesses, work, travel and academics in this New Year and be sure, ‘Your righteousness will shine like the dawn and justice of your cause like the noonday sun.’

HYMN: EMHB 610
1: LEADER of faithful souls, and Guide
Of all that travel to the sky,
Come and with us, even us, abide,
Who would on Thee alone rely,
On Thee alone our spirits stay,
While held in life’s uneven way.

2: Strangers and pilgrims here below,
This earth, we know, is not our place;
And hasten through the vale of woe,
And, restless to behold Thy face,
Swift to our heavenly country move,
Our everlasting home above.

3: We have no abiding city here,
But seek a city out of sight;
Thither our steady course we steer,
Aspiring to the plains of light,
Jerusalem, the saints’ abode,
Whose founder is the living God.

4: Patient the appointed race to run,
This weary world we cast behind;
From strength to strength we travel on
The new Jerusalem to find;
Our labour this, our only aim,
To find the new Jerusalem.

5: Through Thee, who all our sins hast borne,
Freely and graciously forgiven,
With songs to Zion we return,
Contending for our native heaven;
That palace of our glorious King,
We find it nearer while we sing.

6: Raised by the breath of love divine,
We urge our way with strength renewed;
The church of the first-born to join,
We travel to the mount of God,
With joy upon our heads arise,
And meet our Captain in the skies.

MEMORY VERSE:
PSA. 37:5-6 ‘Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun’ (NIV).

PRAYER: O Eternal Pity, I commit all my life and ways to you for guidance in Christ’s name. Amen

FRIDAY 14TH SEPTEMBER, 2018
THEME: POWER TO BE LIKE HIM
TEXT: PHILIPPIANS 3:7-11
MEMORY VERSE: PHILIPPIANS 3:10 “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death”.

In the world, over the years I have seen musicians giving birth to children who take after them in the field of music. Presently, we see terrorists recruiting teenagers and youths in order to train them in acts of terrorism. Some of these youths and children are even used as suicide bombers in certain cases. As Christians, God expects us to be like Him. He didn’t stop at that; He provides us with the power to become like Him. How? (John 1:12-13). In order to get the power to become like Him, faith is very essential (Hebrews 11:6, Philippians 3:9). To also get this power, humility is very important (Philippians 3:7-8). Another essential requirement for this power is righteousness which comes from God as opposed to our own self-righteousness. (Philippians 3:9).

This same power enables us to be conformed to His image i.e. to become Christ-like which is the primary essence of Christianity. It is God, through the power of His Holy Spirit that bestows on us the power to be like Him. Halleluyah!

HYMN: EMHB 553 -COME, HOLY GHOST, ALL QUICKENING FIRE …
PRAYER: Faithful Lord, grant me the grace not to take Your resurrection with levity in Jesus’ name I pray.

MONDAY 10TH SEPTEMBER, 2018
THEME: WISE OR FOOLISH?
TEXT: MATTHEW 25:1-13
MEMORY VERSE: MATTHEW 25:8 “And the foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out”

Too much familiarity brings too much contempt” is a popular saying. Such is the plight of these foolish virgins (Matthew 25:2-3). They were too familiar with the workings of the bridegroom to the extent that they abandoned the right thing they ought to have done. (Matthew 25:3-4). The bridegroom was Jesus Christ, our Lord, who is coming back again to judge the quick and the dead (Matthew 25:6).

The ten virgins represent Christians. Note that the mere fact that they are all virgins signifies a level of purity and piety. But five of them were wise while five of them were foolish; hence we have wise Christians and foolish Christians. Wise Christians never take God for granted like the foolish virgins did. (Matthew 25:4). The oil represents the grace to walk in the strength of the Holy Spirit. It is either you have the oil or not. It can not be bought, it can only be sought and put to use so that the lamp of God’s Word keeps burning in our hearts to always please God (Matthew 25:8-10, Psalm 119:105).

As we journey towards the end of this year, let us be wise in seeking the Lord at the right time. The time that the foolish virgins went out was ill-timed for them (Read Isaiah 55:6-9 and compare with Matthew 25:10-11). We need to be prepared for the Lord’s second coming which may be every near than we expect (Matthew 25:13).

HYMN: EMHB 638- TO GOD, THE ONLY WISE
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help me not to be wise in my own eyes and in preparing for Your second coming, let me neither fail nor falter.

SUNDAY 9TH SEPTEMBER, 2018
THEME: WHERE ARE THE DORCASES?
TEXT: ACTS 9:36-43
MEMORY VERSE: ACT 9:39 “Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made while she was with them”

One good turn deserves another,” is an age-long saying. No wonder Dorcas after she was declared dead, was brought back to life by Peter, through the power of the Holy
There are some lessons to be learnt from this Bible text. They are as follow:
(i) Dorcas was a born- again disciple (She was born-again).
(ii) She was also full of good works and charitable deeds (Acts 9:36).
(iii) When there was a problem with Dorcas, the other disciples did not waste time in assisting her. (Act 9:38)
(iv) Peter also did not delay in going with the other disciples when he heard of the evil that befell Dorcas (Act 9:39).
(v) Even in death, the good works of Dorcas were evident (Act 9:39).

How wonderful will this world be if it were full of Dorcases? As parents, how are we raising our children, especially the females? I say this because Dorcas was an epitome of the virtuous woman (Proverbs 31:10-31). Her life was full of service and dedication to others (Act 9:39).

Where are the Dorcases of our time? As a man or woman God has blessed, how many people have you helped? Have you even spent your wealth for the propagation of the gospel? Remember, we are to help the needy and put smiles on their faces and not to mock or oppress them.

HYMN: EMHB 599 – SOW IN THE MORN THY SEED…
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, give me the grace to show kindness to people everywhere I find myself.

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.

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.

SATURDAY 25TH AUGUST, 2018
THEME: RENEWAL OF MIND
TEXT: PHILIPPIANS 2:1-11
MEMORY VERSE: ROMANS 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Philippians 2:5 talks about the mind of Christ. ‘Mind’ is another word for ‘attitude’. When you talk about both interchangeably, you are talking about the way you think or do things. Renewing our mind or attitude means we should change the way we do things or the way we think. Looking at the passage we read, we see that our Lord Jesus has attitudes that should be followed.

Let us seek out from various scriptures each of the attitudes portrayed by Jesus. As we find each attitude we compare how we are different from it. One of these attitudes, as shown in our text, is humility. Jesus exhibited humility throughout his life. John 1:3 says all things were made through Him yet He did not appropriate anything to Himself. Another attitude is compassion. This is borne out of love. Jesus never only had pity on those around Him; He also did something about it. He healed, he fed and he related with all those He came into contact with.

Another attitude is thankfulness. Jesus never took anything for granted but was always thankful to God who made it possible. These are all commendable attitudes that should be copied by all who truly believe in Him. Due to our fallen stature, we are unable to exhibit these attitudes on our own without the help of the Spirit of God. But our resolve to follow these ideals should be a conscious decision that can only be taken by every believer.

HYMN: EMHB 549 – LORD THAT I MAY LEARN OF THEE
PRAYER: God, create in me a mind of humility, compassion and thankfulness in the likeness of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

FRIDAY 24TH AUGUST, 2018
THEME: CRUCIFYING THE FLESH
TEXT: ROMANS 8:1-11
MEMORY VERSE: ROMANS 8:8 “Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.”

When Paul was writing Romans.6:1-14, he had a vivid picture of the event at Calvary on his mind. The event of crucifying Christ was the act of taking a life away. He, however, did not stay at Calvary; his thoughts moved on to three days after when Christ rose triumphantly. This metaphor of being dead and rising again he now applied to our spiritual existence to fulfill God’s purpose. When God gave the created flesh His spirit, the Spirit of God in man was to dominate the flesh (Gen 1:26-28).

However, at the fall of man, the reverse occurred. The flesh and its desires took over. The spirit was relegated to the background. All desires of the flesh such as fornication, pride, and others made man to sin. So the flesh is the entrance of sins to the soul.

Jesus advises us that, if any part of our body would cause us to stumble we should do away with it. So it is very crucial that we kill (crucify) the flesh and its desires so as to restore God’s purpose. The spirit in us should be controlled by the Spirit of the living God. So the spirit becomes alive. When the spirit is now alive, we are restored into communion with God as we enjoy the grace of Jesus in increasing perfection. Our fasting, our reading of the Word and our communion in prayers with God are the rich reward of our act of crucifying the flesh and resurrecting in the spirit.

HYMN: EMHB 547 – THE THING MY GOD DOTH HATE
PRAYER: Teach me, O Merciful God, to let Your Spirit inspire my spirit and live according to Your dictates.