TUESDAY 13TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: TRUE GREATNESS
TEXT: LUKE 22:25 – 32
MEMORY VERSE: LUKE 22: 31 – 32 “And the Lord said, Simeon, Simeon! Indeed Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.

Everyone aspires to be great in life, but we often misconstrue the right way to greatness. At times we think that we can be great through influence we have, our certificates, the profession we belong to and certain talents we possess. In the real sense of it all, these do not make one to be great. The Biblical principle of greatness is to live a life of selfless service. One thing that makes a child of God to be recognized as so is when he /she gives himself/herself to serve his/her subordinates. Jesus, the Master and Lord of lords, showed this example when He washed the feet of His disciples. He said to them “I am among you as the one who serves (Luke. 22: 27b).

Towards the end of Jesus earthly ministry, the disciples argued among themselves who should be the greatest, having been aware that He had inner caucus among them. The argument might have arisen with the hope that if Jesus should know of it He would appoint someone as their leader before He left them finally. But the thought of Jesus was not in tandem with that of His disciples and His ways were not their ways. The disciples were looking at being great on earth whereas Jesus was looking at being great in heaven.

Your being great on earth is limited, but your greatness in heaven is limitless and unending. If you are great on earth and your name is not in the book of life that greatness is of no value and it is meaningless. Aspire to be great in the Kingdom of God both here and hereafter.

The real source of your greatness is to serve God and humanity while alive.

HYMN: EMHB 356 – GREAT GOD OF WONDERS
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, give me grace to live my life to serve You and humanity so that I can be great here and in Heaven in Jesus’ name.

SUNDAY 11TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: CAST YOUR CARES ON HIM
TEXT: 1 PETER 5:1-8
MEMORY VERSE: 1 PETER 5:6–7 “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. Casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.”

There is no doubt that God gives man the ability to have knowledge through formal education. With the knowledge acquired, man has done great exploits like going to the moon and other planets. The advancement in science and technology, which has made man to conquer some parts of nature, creates in man the sense that he is independent of God. Man thinks that he has the knowledge to care for his physical and psychological needs.

In the passage read, the Bible indicates clearly that man’s knowledge is inadequate to meet his needs hence the Bible admonishes us to cast all our cares upon Him, for He cares for you (1 Pet. 5:7).

Today, which is the second Sunday in November, it is certain that you have some cares which are necessary for you to meet. As you prepare to leave your house for the church, pray and cast all your cares-material, business, academic, fears, betrayals, and cankerworms in finances-upon Jesus Christ; because He cares for you. All the cares that are giving you sleepless nights, He has finished them on the cross where He declared it is “FINISHED” Therefore, I admonish you not depend on your limited knowledge and wisdom, but to cast them on Jesus, the all-powerful and caring Lord.

One Christian song says,
Are you weary and heavy-hearted
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus;
Are you grieving overjoys departed
Tell it to Jesus alone

Chorus:
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus,
He is a friend that’s well known
You have no other such a friend or brother
Tell it to Jesus alone

Go through the text again and take note of the 14 commands to Christians and seven to spiritual leaders and act them.

HYMN: EMHB 548 – ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE TO HIM
PRAYER: Eternal Father, thank You for caring for me and my family, Give me grace, I pray, to depend on You totally in Jesus’ name.

SATURDAY 10TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: HOW IS YOUR SPIRITUAL APPETITE?
TEXT: PSALM 27:1-8
MEMORY VERSE: PSALM. 73:25-26 “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon the earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever”.

Appetite is yearning or eagerness for something. It is the desire to meet the demand which the body craves for. Man hurries to satisfy what the body craves for most of the time but slow or fails at meeting the spiritual appetite. The account of Jesus temptation shows that man cannot survive the challenges of life by obeying the dictates of the body only (Matt. 4:4). The spiritual controls the physical. Therefore man has to create a spiritual appetite to swim through the ocean of life.

The Psalmist (King David) in the text expresses total dependence on God and sees Him as his light and salvation. The significance of light cannot be overemphasized: it gives illumination. It reveals where danger hides. The importance of light manifested when God created light first (Gen.1:3) and gave Jesus to us as the Light of the world (Jn. 8:12).

Salvation here indicates deliverance from principalities, from powers and from the rulers of the darkness of this age, deliverance from spiritual wickedness in high places. (Eph. 6:12) Your spiritual appetite should, therefore:

Ignite your declaration of victory through your faith in Christ Jesus.
Make you recognize God as the sure and only source of your strength (Ps 27:1b).
Make you seek the Lord constantly and be in Him and with Him always (Ps 27:4).
Make Him your light and lamp unto your path and your Shepherd in all your endeavours.

As your body craves for physical food and you hurry to the kitchen or the restaurant, like-wise your heart should be made to crave for singing spiritual songs, reading and reflecting on the Word of God and praying always. When your spiritual appetite is alive and strong, the physical appetite will not have dominion over you again.

HYMN: EMHB 456 – FOR EVER HERE MY REST SHALL BE
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, let my heart always pant after You in Jesus’ name.

FRIDAY 9TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: THE BITTER PILL TO SWALLOW
TEXT: MATTHEW 5:34-48
MEMORY VERSE: MATTHEW 5:44 “But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use and prosecute you.”

The Bible states how Jesus highlighted for His disciples the Mosaic Law and the New Covenant Law which He came to enact. In many ways, the two Laws opposed each other. One can see that even the New Law is difficult for an ordinary person to obey than the Mosaic Law. For instance, how easy is it for one to be slapped and turn the other cheek to him (vs. 39) or to pray for one’s enemy and those who persecute us? To respond in a Christ -like way is:

Not to retaliate by responding to personal insult and injustice in like manner but with positive and aggressive acts of goodness designed to redeem the offender;
Do not give chance to unforgiving spirit which opposes the love God gives to man through Jesus Christ;
Do not take a fellow Christian to the law court so that an unbeliever who may be the judge will not have chance to ridicule your faith. Jesus laid down the principle of settling disputes among believers In Matt. 18:15-17. Read and digest it.
If your enemy is hungry, give him food; if thirsty, give him water!
Give to the poor and the needy.

Jesus showed the example of obeying this Law when Judas Iscariot brought the Roman soldiers to arrest Him. One of His disciples struck the servant of the High Priest and cut off his right ear, but Jesus touched his ear and healed him (Lk 22: 47 – 50). Therefore, respond in a Christ-like way to any form of insult you may receive from people.

This is a rather bitter pill to swallow but whoever is not ready to do so CAN NOT ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

HYMN: EMHB 549 – LORD THAT I MAY LEARN OF THEE
PRAYER: Lord God, let Your Spirit reign in me to overcome the spirit of revenge in Jesus’ name. Amen.

THURSDAY 8TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: BEING COMPASSIONATE
TEXT: MATTHEW 25:35-45
MEMORY VERSE: MATTHEW 25:35-36 “for I was hungry, and you fed Me, I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink. I was a stranger, and you invited Me into your home. I was naked, and you gave Me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for Me. I was in prison, and you visited Me.”

In the account of creation, the Bible says that human beings are created in the image of God (Gen. 1: 26). Though God has eyes to see, ears to hear, nose to smell, hands to take, legs to walk, mouth to speak, etc, this image of God does not depict that as we are physically, God is like that. The bible also tells us that God is spirit. The import of the image of God is that He shared with us His nature and attributes. One of the nature and attributes of God is compassion.

God expects us as human beings to be humane to one another. Jesus in the passage read said all acts of compassion should be shown to one another in the family, Church, neighbourhood, office and, of course, everywhere because they are also done to Him. God has His image in you. Therefore, know that every act of compassion to the stranger and other people is indirectly to God. In the same manner, every evil done to another person is also done to God! As you go out today, be compassionate to the needy, the less-privileged, the poor, the sick and those who offend you. Give to them from the substance which God gives you. As you give materials and money likewise support with your prayers. Benefits of being compassionate are:
It kills selfishness;
It makes you to receive more from God (Prov. 11: 24).
Read other benefits in (Ps. 41: 1 – 3).

HYMN: EMHB 720 – CHRIST, FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help me to always show compassion to others in Jesus mighty name. Amen.

WEDNESDAY 7TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: YOU CAN OVERCOME TEMPTATION
TEXT: 2 CORINTHIANS 2:1-11
MEMORY VERSE: JAMES 4:7 “Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Amen.”
Christians are surrounded by temptations. No matter your level of faith and spirituality you are not exempted from them. Temptation comes in various ways: lust of eyes, the pride of life, self-righteousness, in poverty. A Christian can be tempted not to be faithful in financial matters such as contract awards and execution and other ways. The Temptation that stares Christians in the face is not new because people of old were also tempted. Joseph was tempted by Potiphar’s wife (Gen 39:12). Though he overcame because the spirit of God was with him, Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, succumbed to temptation (Acts 5). The victory of Christians over temptation came through Jesus’ victory over Satan’s temptation in the wilderness (Read Matt. 4: 1 – 10).

The instruments with which to overcome temptation are:
Constant meditation in the Word (Ps119:9)
Memorizing and quoting the Word of God such as – “it is written” (Matt. 4: 4, 7, 10). When temptation comes.
Fleeing from the environment of temptation (1 Cor. 6:18; 10:14).
Praying always (1 Thess. 5: 17).
Begin fellowship with believers (Heb 10:25).
Sharing testimonies of the goodness of God who gives the grace to overcome temptation (Rev. 12: 11).
Pleading the blood of Jesus when faced with temptation (Rev. 12: 11).
Resist the devil (James (4: 7)
Reading Christian literature such as Pilgrims Progress, Tortured for Christ, etc.
Watching spirit lifting Christian motion Pictures/movies
Sitting as inspiring Christian drama and Opera.

HYMN: EMHB 475 – I NEED THEE EVERY HOUR
PRAYER: Lord, give me the grace to overcome any temptation that may come to me at any time in Jesus’ name.

TUESDAY 6TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: HOW TO PLEASE GOD
TEXT: 1 PETER 2:1-20
MEMORY VERSE: 1 PETER 2: 20 “For credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God”.

Before a man and a woman can decide to marry, there are traits which they will see in each other to unite them. Similarly, two people cannot agree to do business together if their interests are not the same or if they are enemies. The Bible says “Can two walk together, unless they agree?” (Amos 3:3). Before Angels can rejoice over you and have your name written in the Book of Life, there are traits which you must have to please God. The trait of pleasing God is what identifies you to be a child of God, a regenerated or born-again person.

The text enumerates the characteristics that should not be part of a child of God. They are malice, deception, hypocrisy, envy, evil speaking (1 Pet. 2:1; Gal 5:19-21). The Bible calls all these works of the flesh. And those who have these traits will not enter the Kingdom of God (Galatians 5:21).

What can make a man or woman to please God is the desire to feed on the Word of God constantly (1 Pet. 2: 2). The Word of God is the change agent God has given to man. After Peter preached in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost, the people were pricked in their conscience and were moved to ask Peter what they needed to do to be saved (Acts 2: 38ff; Also read Jos. 1: 8-9, Ps. 119: 9, 11 and 105). The Word reveals what God wants from you to do for your spouse (Eph. 5: 22; 28), employers, and employees (I Tim. 5: 18), members of the Church to their Minister (I Cor. 9: 11), citizens to leaders (I Tim. 2: 1–3), etc. The acts of goodness done to your fellow human being are done to please God, too.

HYMN: EMHB 413 – WHEN ALL THY MERCIES, O MY GOD
PRAYER: Father, give me a sincere faith through Your Word to please You in my relationship with others in Jesus’ name. Amen

MONDAY 5TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: WORKING TOGETHER IN UNITY
TEXT: 1 CORINTHIANS 12:1-27; PSALM 133:1-3
MEMORY VERSE: MATTHEW 18: 18 – 19 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”

There is a popular saying, ‘Together we stand, divided we fall’. In the coat of Arms of Nigeria, it is boldly inscribed “Unity and Progress.” The import of these two illustrations is that where there is no unity, there cannot be progress no matter the level of wisdom, knowledge, wealth and power applied.

The analogy of Paul on the relationship of the body of Christ to make fellowship bring glory to God is that all members have to make use of their spiritual gifts. There is no gift that is not important in the fellowship. All gifts have to work harmoniously to engender progress.

When Christians work together, there will be uncommon spiritual and physical achievement such as:
Presence of the Holy Spirit in their gathering;
God will answer their prayers speedily;
Signs, miracles and wonders will attend their worship;
Satan will not have the opportunity to deceive members;
Unspeakable joy will always fill their heart;
The works of the flesh will not manifest;
No member of the Church will be in want;
Revelation of God’s hidden treasure will be constant;
There will infrastructural growth, and
There will be evidence of numerical growth.

The unity which God expects in the Church has to begin from the family between husband and wife, parents and children, and among workers either as preachers, choir members, ushers, stewards and this has to radiate between Minister and all the members of the Church. It is unity that will make worship acceptable to God and make His glory to manifest as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are working in unity (Gen. 1: 26; Jn. 5: 17).

HYMN: EMHB 717 – HELP US TO HELP EACH OTHER LORD
PRAYER: Lord God, remove the spirit of disunity from the body of Christ in Jesus’ name. Amen.

SUNDAY 4TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: WHEN GOD CALLS
TEXT: 1 SAMUEL 3:1 – 11
MEMORY VERSE: MATTHEW 14: 28 – 29 “And Peter answered Him and said, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water. So He said, come. And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.”

When God calls, it is always for an important assignment which must be done without delay. From time immemorial, God has been calling human beings to be His mouthpiece, either to an individual, a group of people or nation for the purpose of preventing His wrath being ‘kindled’ against them. The call of God came to Samuel at his tender age when he was in the “theological school” at Shiloh under Eli. The call came to him at night and the voice was audible (I Sam. 3: 3). Samuel was young in age and faith to the extent that he could not differentiate the Voice of God from that of Eli. One of the reasons he did not know that it was God that was calling was that the revelation of God was rare. When Eli perceived at the third call that it was God calling Samuel, he told him to answer “Lord, speak for Thy servant heareth.” The Lord then delivered a message of doom to Eli and he gave it as the Lord told him.

The call of God can be through dreams, still small voice, trance or vision or listening to homily. The call of God is for a specific purpose, Jesus Christ, in the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20 calls all Christians and not only His apostles to evangelise. What do you do when God calls? Take the call like Moses who complained several times with flimsy excuses or like Isaiah who said ‘Here I am, Lord, send me’ or like Jonah who ran away from the presence of God? Are you still occupied with the things of the world? Delaying or rejecting the call of God always attracts punishment. Heed the call of God like Isaiah (Isa. 6: 8), Jeremiah (Jer. 1: 4 – 5), Paul Acts (9: 11: 16), or like our own John Wesley. One thing is certain: When God calls a person, He always backs up the person with everything he/she needs to succeed.

HYMN: EMHB 157 – JESUS CALLS US O’ER THE TUMULT
PRAYER: Lord God, give me that amazing grace to recognize Your voice when You call me in Jesus’ name.

SATURDAY 3RD NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE
TEXT: GALATIANS 4:1–3
MEMORY VERSE: JOHN. 8:32 “And you shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free.

The word ‘Truth’ in the Bible is different from honesty and faithfulness. Truth is personified in Jesus Christ. All the words He said are true. In life situations, there is nothing that can set man free like the Truth. There is a maxim that Truth is always constant like the Northern Star. Having and believing in the Truth set one’s path on the way of success and great achievement.

Paul stresses the fact of the law that came through Moses. The law became the school teacher in religion. Where there is no law there is no sin. But law lacks the power to set man free because it cannot take man to the point of Truth. The Truth appeared when the “fullness of the time” came in person of Jesus. Jesus came to fulfil the law and in Him man is set free.

Are you struggling with doubt, unbelief, fear of what tomorrow may bring, discouragement, disappointment? I admonish you to embrace Jesus, the all-wise and all-knowing God, who is the embodiment of Truth. He knows the way and has the power over all that troubles your mind. He knows the end from the beginning. He has passed through this world and experienced all the situations that you struggle with, even worse situations than yours. All these He went through, not because of His own freedom but for you to be set free. Remember Jesus was betrayed by His closet disciple, Judas Iscariot. King David was also betrayed by his adviser, Ahithophel, and his son, Absalom, waged war against him! Have you been deceived by people with sugar-coated mouth? Remember the temptation of Jesus by Satan. I counsel you, have the Truth and He will set you free and give you the discerning spirit.

HYMN: EMHB 635 – JESUS, MY TRUTH, MY WAY
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, set my feet and heart on the path of truth always in Jesus’ name