OVERLOOK THE CIRCUMSTANCES

Scripture: Isaiah 45:1-4; 1 Kings 17:2-6

 “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” Isaiah 43:19 (KJV)

God is sovereign, all knowing, all powerful and everywhere at the same time. No circumstance escapes his notice or gets out of his control. Nothing happens by chance because no detail of our lives eludes him.

OUR CHOICES HAVE CONSEQUENCES

Scripture: Deuteronomy 30:11-20

 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live” Deuteronomy 30:19 (NLT)

God created us in his own image and likeness but he also gave us a will and the freedom of choice. His desire, however, is that we choose the part that leads to life (Jn. 3:16)

MAKING GODLY CHOICES

Scripture: Genesis 13:5-12

“But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve…but as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD” Joshua 24:15 (NLT)

 Feedback: Share how you encouraged someone this week

The word of God helps us make godly choices in our lives. Abraham and Lot made different decisions in a conflict situation and they experienced different outcomes based on their decisions. Lot did not see the spiritual danger

SOW IN THE RIGHT FIELD



Scripture: Galatians 6:1-10

 "My experience shows that those who plant trouble and cultivate evil will harvest the same" Job 4:8 (NLT)

Reaping what you sow is great news for people who sow good deeds but a scary one for those engaged in evil deeds. Some people sow in the flesh while some sow in the spirit. You sow in flesh when you indulge and feed your fantasies like giving in to your anger, bitterness, and lust (Gal 5:19-21).

BEWARE OF TIME WASTERS

Scripture: Judges 19:1-9

 “Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days” Ephesians 5:16 (NLT)

Time is a natural phenomenon that God has apportioned to everyone in equal proportion. The old, the young, the poor, and the rich all have 24hrs in a day. But what makes the difference is the ability to manage this time well. Time is a resource that needs to be wisely and rightly invested.

WHOSE APPROVAL?

Scripture: Judges 2:6-14

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” Galatians 1:10 (NIV)

Many people appear active and hardworking in service or their jobs whenever their leaders or bosses hover over them. They act diligently with the hope of winning the appreciation or applause of men.

UNDERSTANDING THE TIMES

Scripture: Matthew 17:9-13

“So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.” Ephesians 5:15 (NLT)

In our quest to meet our daily needs and desires in life, we can become insensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. The thoughts and pursuit of a better and more satisfying life engulf our minds at the expense of our spiritual growth and well-being.

LEVEL OF FAITH

Scripture: Judges 1:16-20

 “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, be taken up and be put into the sea; and has no doubt in his heart, but has faith that what he says will come about, he will have his desire.” Mark 11:23 (BBE)

Certain phases or experiences in life can be very puzzling and unsettling but no matter the heat, faith in God will bring you out. No matter the situation in which we find ourselves,

BOLD STEP TO BREAKTHROUGH




 Scripture: Ruth 1:6-18

“Only be thou strong and very courageous…that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest” Joshua 1:7 (KJV)

Boldness is an attribute of the Holy Spirit. It does not depend on how much you have or who you are, but on who you are in Christ Jesus. When Ruth left Moab with her mother-in-law, she had no clue what the future held for her.

SPEAK LIFE, ALWAYS



Scripture: Judges 12:4-7

“And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech betrayeth thee”. Matthew 26:73 (KJV)

 Feedback: Share how waiting on the Lord renewed your strength.

The people of Ephraim had their own regional pronunciation for the word ‘Shibboleth’ which means flowing stream or floods.

SELF GLORIFICATION




Scripture: Judges 12:1-3

For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay [them] on men’s shoulders; but they (themselves) will not move them with one of their fingers.” Matthew 23:4 (KJV)

The displeasure of the men of Ephraim against Jephthah was motivated by pride. They wanted to be recognized and given the place of glory as conquerors. But where were they when the people were being oppressed by the Ammonites?

OVERLOOK NO ONE




Scripture: Judges 11:1-11

He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.” Proverbs 21:21 (NIV)


 For 18 years, the sons of Israel were greatly distressed and afflicted in Gilead. The solution to their freedom,peace and comfort was in the hands of the son of a prostitute and a fugitive – Jephthah. In the same way, the solution to our challenge could be with someone we consider inconsequential.

ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR SOURCE




Scripture: Judges 11:9-11

“Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalms 124:8 (KJV)

 Jephthah acknowledged God as his source of victory. He knew that his victory over the Ammonites would not have been possible if he had relied on his human power and strength rather than on the power of God.He was confident of what God could use his leadership to achieve

SHARPEN YOUR TALENT



Scripture: Judges 11:4-6

 "I have bestowed strength on a warrior; I have exalted a young man from among the people. Psalms 89:19 (NIV)

God has given to everyone a measure of natural ability; a unique skill or ability that will enable you stand out in your world. Jephthah, despite being the son of a prostitute, was a mighty warrior. God had bestowed in him “strength”

WEALTH TRAP



Scripture: Proverbs 11:4, 28

 “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” 1 Timothy 6:17(NIV)

The desire to have wealth is not a bad one but wealth should not be the driving force of your life. Today, money seems to be all that man aspires to possess because he believes that with money, all problems will be solved but what can money do for your soul? Money does not guarantee a place in heaven, it might provide comfort and earthly cares but the most important thing, which is the security of your soul, cannot be guaranteed by wealth.

Do not put your trust in money instead of Christ because your riches can go away the next second but God will always be there. It is only your trust in God and living in accordance with his statutes that can guarantee you eternal life. Do not compromise your salvation in a bid to get rich. This does not mean that you must not work hard while on earth but also be aware that you brought nothing into this world and you will take nothing out of it.

While you strive to get wealth and riches, do not get consumed by that desire. Don’t fall into the trap meant for those who allow wealth to be their driving force. Secure your soul and your place in heaven by investing in the Kingdom of God and walking according to His will. Do not put your trust in riches but in God because He alone can give you everlasting life.

PRAYER: Lord, please help me to trust only in you and not in riches, in Jesus name

FAITH BYTE: I put my trust in God only; I will not be controlled by riches or the desire to get rich.

OPPOSITIONS WILL ARISE



Scripture: Judges 8:1-17

 “For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” 1 Corinthians 16:9 (NKJV)

Many Christians believe that because God has called them to do something, then everything should work out smoothly and without hitches, but this is far from the truth. In reality, when God calls you and you step out in faith,

THE BATTLE IS THE LORD’S




Scripture: Judges 7:16-22

“…Thus says the LORD to you: 'Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's.” 2 Chronicles 20:15 (NKJV)

 Gideon and his 300 men defeated the enemy despite the odds against them. They defeated them not because of their power, wisdom or skill but simply because God was with them. It was God who set the Midianites against themselves

BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS




Scripture: Judges 7:9-15

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NKJV)

God cannot work with people who are afraid to move. That is why when God commissioned Joshua he told him three times to be courageous (Jos. 1). Fear is a doorway the devil exploits to prevent us

MANY CALLED, FEW CHOSEN

Scripture: Judges 7:1-8

 “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14 (NKJV)

Alot of people answer the call of God but only a few meet the criteria of whom God will choose. It is not enough to merely answer the call of God, we must show ourselves approved for the assignment at hand. God will not send someone who has not been tried and proven to war with the enemy

BUILD GOD AN ALTAR

Scripture: Judges 6:25-32

“And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.” 1 Kings 18:30 (KJV)

 After Gideon tore down the altar of Baal, he built an altar to God and then made a sacrifice. It is not enough to tear down the demonic altar, you must also build an altar to God. This action renounces your allegiance to the devil and declares your allegiance to God. The altar of God standing in the place the altar of Baal used to be was a direct

TEAR IT DOWN

Scripture: Judges 6:25-32

“Now it came to pass the same night that the LORD said to him, “… tear down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the wooden image that is beside it; Judges 6:25 (NKJV)

Many Christians today have altars in their life that are not of God. These altars continue to speak against them and hinder progress in their lives. Some of these altars were built by parents or ancestors. Some were built due to past experiences, mistakes, or ignorance. These covenants

THE ENEMY’S STRATEGY

Scripture: Judges 6:1-6
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.” John 10:10 (KJV)

 The Bible warns against giving room to the enemy because he will take full advantage of the opportunity T(Eccl. 10:8). This warning is to protect you from the devil whose aim is not just to trouble but to destroy you. He steals what you have, kills your potential and

YOU SHALL BE REMEMBERED

Scripture: Genesis 41:8-14
"Surely he shall not be moved forever; the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance." Psalm 112:6 (KJV)

Feedback: Share how studying the bible impacted your life this past week.
It is our nature as humans to always strive for better living, hope for a blissful life and more blessings. This is what drives us to work hard and pray that one day; God will remember us and bring helpers our way. We are also very expectant by nature; we expect the good deeds we do to someday be repaid especially when we are in need.

DESPISE LAZINESS

Scripture: Proverbs 24:33-34
”I must work the work of him that sent me, while it is day…..”  John 9:4 (KJV)

Laziness is not a trait humans are born with. It is a bad habit that people develop from procrastination and lack of discipline over a period of time. God has created us in his likeness of creativity and fruitfulness, therefore, laziness is a trait that God does not endorse because it does not lead to the progress that will cause us to be fruitful like God wants us to be.

INVOLVE YOUR FAMILY

Scripture: Acts 10:1-8
“A devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always”.Acts 10:2 (NKJV)

Devotion to God is a way to fellowship with God. In most Christian homes, parents often insist that the family come together to pray in the mornings and evenings. This was a way of bringing the family together and communing with God as one.

OBEY GOD PROMPTLY

Scripture: Judges 6:25.32
“So Gideon took ten men from among his servants and did as the Lord had said to him. But because he feared his father’s household and the men of the city too much to do it by day, he did it by night.” Judges 6: 27 (NKJV)

Obedience is critical to sustaining our relationship and intimacy with God. He is constantly speaking and instructing us. Sometimes we obey promptly, but at other times, we fail to so do. When we obey immediately, we often reap breakthroughs. However, when we delay, we give room for discouragement by the devil.

WHAT MATTERS TO GOD

Scripture: Judges 6:11-16
But Gideon replied, “Sir, how can I save Israel  My family is the poorest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least thought of in the entire family!” Judges 6:15 (TLB)

Sometimes, great opportunities come to us dressed as challenges. When we look at them, we rarely see the opportunities for what they are. After some struggles, we finally recognize the challenges as disguised opportunities and we then attempt to match our abilities to the challenges. If we feel we do not measure up, we refuse to take on the challenges (explore the opportunities).

CALL, HE WILL ANSWER

Scripture: Judges 6:1-10
“Call to Me and I will answer you, and tell you [and even show you] great and mighty things, [things which have been confined and hidden], which you do not know and understand and cannot distinguish.”   Jeremiah 33:3 (AMP)

God is more eager to communicate with us than we are, with him. It does not matter how far we have fallen, he seeks every opportunity to take us back. Though we may be slow to return to him, he is never slow to respond. When we cry out to him, he moves in mercy and love towards us. The wonderful thing about God is that anytime we call on him, he answers.

BE INTIMATE WITH GOD

Scripture: Matthew 17:1-9
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” I Corinthians 2:9 (KJV)

When someone is a close friend, it is easy to confide in them certain matters that would not usually be shared with others. Amongst the disciples of Jesus, Peter had this great privilege when he accompanied Jesus to the mount of transfiguration.

WE NEED GOD

Scripture: Judges 6:1-6
… I trust in you, my God! Do not let me be disgraced, or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.” Psalm 25:2-3 (NLT)

People tend to forget God’s place in their lives when they are comfortable. The Israelites did the same. Once they prospered in peace and plenty, they became self-sufficient, forgot God and did evil in his sight, so he handed them over to the Midianites.

THE ALL- SUFFICIENT GOD

Scripture: 1 Kings 3:3-14
“…and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.” 1 Kings 3: 5 b (KJV)

Here on earth, people do not always fulfill every promise they have made. This is because there is so much that is beyond our human capacity and ability. But this is not so with God. He has everything in his possession and he can provide for his children as he wills. With God, there is no fear of your request being too big, great or small. He has the ability to give as much as you want. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; therefore there is nothing on earth that our heavenly father cannot give to you if you ask. His power reaches from the spiritual gifts to every material gift you can think of.

GREAT FAITH

Scripture: Luke 7:1-10
"…Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word and my servant will be healed." Luke 7:7 (NKJV)

Faith is believing God without wavering. This belief propels physical manifestation of that which has been received in the spiritual realm. There are so many who profess to have faith, but their actions negate what they say. When faced with crisis and challenges, they run helter-skelter seeking for a solution because they do not have a good understanding of whom and what they believe.

STAY CONNECTED

Scripture: JOHN 15:1-8
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (KJV)

Everything on earth, whether spiritual or physical, has a source. This source gives it life and productivity. Therefore, for anything to prosper, it must remain connected to its source. To create fishes God spoke to the seas, fishes have to be connected to water to prosper. God spoke to the earth to make animals and the earth is the source of their sustenance. When God made man he spoke to himself, and man must remain connected to God to prosper.

YOUR COMFORTER

Scripture: John 14:22-26
“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me;” John 15:26 (KJV)

Jesus came to earth with the goal of reconciling mankind back to God. To do this, he came bearing the gospel of truth and righteousness. He reached out to many with signs, miracles and wonders. With his touch, the blind saw, the lame walked and the dead came back to life.

PREVAILING GOSPEL

Scripture: JOHN 15:18-21
“But the Jews incited the devout women of prominence and the leading men of the city, instigated a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district.’’ Acts 13:50 (NASB)

Over the years, the gospel has faced different kinds of oppositions and challenges. Jesus prepared the minds of his disciples, so when the persecutions started, they would not be surprised and it would not stop the gospel from advancing.

DO YOU HATE HIM ALSO?

Scripture: JOHN 15:22-25
“He that hateth me hateth my father also.’’ John 15:23 (KJV)

Some people in the world today just hate to hear the name “Jesus” as a result of their religious beliefs. Some others have no genuine reasons for their resentment, but just despise hearing anything about the saviour of the world. Some have sealed their heart against the light of the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus that could have penetrated through their heart to make them a new person in Christ Jesus.

DO NOT TAKE OFFENCE

Scripture: JOHN 16:1-4
“And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.”  Matthew 11:6 (KJV)

One of the enemy’s strategy is to cause believers to take offence either with God or servants of God in authority over them. Taking offence denies believers the opportunity of receiving their blessing from God through his servants. This is because the moment people believe they have been offended by others, they cease to function at their best for that person or for God.

PARTNER WITH CHRIST

Scripture: JOHN 15:7-8
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.’’ Matthew 28:19 (NJKV).

Avine is a climbing plant that produces grapes. Jesus said he is the true vine, we are the branches and God is the husbandman or gardener. In reality, the branches take their nutrient from the main plant and the farmer ensures that everything is made available for the plant to guarantee it’s well-being.

GOD’S LOVE

Scripture: John 15:12-17
“My command is this: love each other as I have loved you” John 15:12 (NIV)

Feedback: Share how you share the love of God to others this past week.

The love of God is very powerful. No power in existence can tamper with the love of God over His children (Rom. 8:37-39). Your victory in life lies in his love for you. When you receive and walk in God’s love, it becomes easier to share and spread the love of God yourself. A person that has not recognized the love of God can hardly give it out himself. The depth of love and affection you develop for God will thoroughly equip you with the capacity to guide others into his love.

SPIRITUAL COLLABORATION

Scripture: John 15:1-3
“Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. John:15:2 (KJV)

This scripture often draws a parallel relationship between divinity and man. God is the head of the trinity which includes Jesus Christ, who in turn  is the head of the church; we are the church. Thus, Jesus is our head. He uses an analogy in our text here calling himself ‘the vine’ and believers ‘the branches’.

LIVE WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

Scripture: John 16:7-14
“My soul, wait in silence for God alone for my expectation is from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation…” Psalm 62:5-6 (AMP)

Jesus did not abandon us to ourselves when He left the earth, He sent another One, who is like Him, to be with us, in us and for us. The Holy Spirit is our comforter, the one who convict the world of sin and exposed them to the provision of redemption. His office also involves convincing the world of Christ’s righteousness, justification and salvation. The Holy Spirit is our guide today. He shows us the way and continually aids and influences us. What would we do without him?

VENGEANCE IS THE LORD’S

Scripture: Romans 12:17-21
“To me belongeth vengeance, and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.” Deut 32:35 (KJV)

It is natural for the human flesh and mind to feel hurt when abused, insulted or betrayed. It is also natural to want to strike back at the one who has caused the hurt or simmer in bitterness. These responses make us human, however, God expects differently from a renewed mind.

THE APOSTLE OF HOPE

Scripture: ACTS 2:22-41

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” Matthew 28:19 (KJV)

Peter was very efficient in bringing many to the knowledge of Christ. He did not just tell them how they crucified the Master, but he also share the good news of how they can reconcile with him. He became an Apostle of hope to the Gentiles and preached to them on several occasions, telling them about the love of God. Despite being put in prison and asked not to preach again, he continued, causing many to receive the gospel and get baptised. As a result, many were added to the church daily.

DO NOT TAKE OFFENCE

Scripture: JOHN 16:1-4

“And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.”  Matthew 11:6 (KJV)

One of the enemy’s strategy is to cause believers to take offence either with God or servants of God in authority over them. Taking offence denies believers the opportunity of receiving their blessing from God through his servants. This is because the moment people believe they have been offended by others, they cease to function at their best for that person or for God.

BUILD A RELATIONSHIP

Scripture: Luke 7:1-5
"And a certain centurions' servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die...beseeching  him that he would come and heal his servant". Luke 7:2-3 (KJV)

Relationships oil the engine of life. As humans, we cannot afford to isolate ourselves from engaging and interacting with others. The key, to maintaining good relationships is how we treat others. Some have taken to the habit of treating others harshly and without empathy. This does not please God as his desire is that we treat others with care and love because we are all created in his image and likeness.

DOING GOOD ALWAYS


Scripture: 2 Samuel 21:1-9
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not  give up.” Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

Our actions today are seeds for the future. Every good thing we do has its reward. Some may be in our life time while others may be in the lives of our children. Keep doing well irrespective of the timing of the circumstance, for good deeds outlast their performers.

FORGIVENESS; NOT DENIAL


Scripture: 2 Samuel 3:23-27
“…. Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him quietly, and smote him there…”
2 Samuel 3:27 (KJV)

It is commonplace for us to say we have forgiven those who hurt us when in reality, we still harbor the emotions, the hate and the hurt in our heart. We tell the offender that he or she has been forgiven, but whenever we see the person that hurt us we are filled with resentment and all the bitterness and pain rise up within us leading to anger and revenge.

SERVING WITH REVERENCE


Scripture: 1 Samuel 6:13-20
“Ye shall keep my Sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.”Leviticus 19:30 (KJV)

In our society today, a lot of people know exactly what the law says, yet, they go ahead to break it thereby attracting judgment. Some find themselves in prison, others end up being killed. In like manner, Christians who know what God’s word says but do contrary will face God’s wrath in their lives.

WAITING FOR GOD


Scripture: Exodus 32:1-4; 35
“Look to the Lord and his strength, seek His face always” 1 Chronicles 16: 11(NIV)

It is human nature to want a quick fix to every situation. What we usually forget is that there is a time and season for everything and God does not always work according to our time. We must be careful not to let our impatience and quest for instant gratification lead us against the will of God.

PLAN AHEAD


Scripture: Genesis 6:13-22
“Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he” Genesis 6:22 (KJV)

To achieve success in anything, proper planning is a must. It is very wise to plan ahead and be prepared for every task. By planning ahead, you will be able to spot obstacles before they come, make hay while the sun shines and make the most of every opportunity.