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.

THURSDAY 23RD AUGUST, 2018
THEME: HYPOCRITES!
TEXT: MATTHEW 23:1-33
MEMORY VERSE: MATTHEW. 23:33 – Ye serpent, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

Who is a hypocrite? A hypocrite is someone who pretends or feigns to be what he is not. He is a deceiver. Some of their characteristics are that they: teach what they don’t practise; self – glorification; like titles a lot; embrace falsehood but reject the truth; attract people’s attention when they give to the poor or to God’s work; they pretend to be holy; seek praises of men; criticise a lot without offering any better solution.

There are many hypocrites in the church today, even among the so-called “men and women of God”. In the text for today, Jesus rained eight “woes” upon them. Are you a hypocrite? There was a man who once lived in our village. He was fond of criticising whoever was appointed an officer of the Village Council but if you asked him to be one of them he would say “I have not enough time for that”. Many come to Church to criticise the Pastor’s sermon or to mark his grammatical errors and not to listen to the sermon, no matter how penetrating it may be. There are some, too, who attend the Leaders’ Meeting to puncture every decision. In the text, the Pharisees and the Scribes do what they criticise Jesus for. They always antagonize Jesus, oppress the poor, make false vows, display outward show, are self-righteous, undertake long prayers, self-conceited and so forth. In Matt. 23:33, Jesus warned them, saying “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of fire?”

You are not being asked not to criticise but do so constructively to put a person on the right way. The Pharisees only see bad things and they pretend not to see good things that Jesus did. Be positive at all times because whatever is in your mind the mouth speaks. Change before it is too late.

HYMN: EMHB 352 – OPPRESSED WITH SIN AND WOE
PRAYER: Take away every iota of hypocrisy in my life and give me a new heart that I may speak the truth at all times, no matter whose ox is gored in Jesus name. Amen.

WEDNESDAY 22ND AUGUST, 2018
THEME: ARISE, SHINE
TEXT: ISAIAH 60:1-7
MEMORY VERSE: ISAIAH 60:1 “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.”

The lotus is a plant that produces perfume whose aroma is reputed to be the best in the world. However, for such a sweet-smelling aroma, one would naturally expect that the plant would thrive in very clean surroundings. But this is not the case with the lotus. For the plant to produce such a desirable aroma, it thrives best in mucky places or surroundings. This is an irony.

This irony is also true about Christians and their existence in this evil world. The world does not have to be a good place before Christians can thrive (2Cor 10:5). The Christian is admonished to be a light in the dark world. What this means is that the world is prostrate with sin and cannot align with the values of God. Sin has completely made the world dark. However, Jesus urges the believer to shine as light to show the way to unbelievers. (Mt 5:14-16). When the believer follows this teaching he will rise and shine as light. We do not expect the world to allow us to change the values as we wish. They will resist us because they are ruled by the flesh. With the Spirit of God deposited in him/her, the believer can then shine as the Light of Christ who is the light of the world.

When the believer is true to his calling, he starts affecting his environment. When he does this through the grace Jesus supplies, the world takes notice as they did in Antioch of the early believers, calling them “Christians”.

So we have to stand up and shine to lighten up the world with the light of Christ.

HYMN: EMHB 378 – ETERNAL SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
PRAYER: Almighty God, let your light shine through me and be a source of blessing to others in this dark and sinful world through Jesus Christ our Lord and Redeemer.