Scripture: Matthew 10:32-39
“…No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62 (KJV)
Sometimes, we get so busy with the issues and cares of this world that we lose sight of our purpose on earth. We are caught up with our daily activities and relationships that we relegate what is most important to the background. As a Christian, your first priority should be to follow God.
Following God comes with focus and dedication. Sometimes, it may not be convenient for many
Scripture: Genesis 11:1-9
"... and this is only the beginning of what they will do. Nothing that they have in mind to do will be impossible for them!" Genesis 11:6 (ISV)
Feedback: Share your experience after sharing God’s word with another
At the beginning of each year, people make new-year resolutions. Some people decide to pursue a more serious relationship with God, pursue a career or work on a project. Some people even take it a step further by writing their decisions down,
Scripture: Matthew 18:15-17
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)
A s humans, we constantly interact with one another with the view of achieving some predetermined objective which may result in unavoidable conflict or provocation. How we deal with such provocation is of utmost importance to the sustenance of relationships and the attainment of divine objectives even as a church.
Sometimes, when we offend others, we let our ego get in the way and it becomes difficult to apologize.
“…For I am not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” Matthew 9:13b (KJV)
Jesus’ mission on earth was to save the lost and he acted strategically to accomplish it. He spoke to anyone even those widely considered unrighteous and unclean. His strategy yielded good results as many tax collectors and sinners came to Jesus and his disciples and accepted him as Lord over their lives.
Scripture: Matthew 8:5-13
“When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” Matthew 8:10 (NIV)
Many believers understand the reality of faith but lack the courage to walk by it. It is impossible to receive anything from God without faith. No wonder Jesus Christ was quick to attribute some of the miracles he performed to the measure of faith demonstrated by the receivers.
“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” Romans 12:16 (NIV)
The birth of a king should be one filled with a lot of pomp Tand pageantry but the circumstances surrounding the birth of the King of all kings depicts humility at its best. God could have sent his son Jesus into a royal family where he could have been surrounded by all the riches
Scripture: Matthew 1:18-23
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16 (NIV)
In the little town of Bethlehem a King was born that would change the course of the world. Under very unique Icircumstances God introduced his Son to the world to save mankind from peril. A virgin gave birth to a baby who would later be the savior of the world.
God loves man so much that he sacrificed his son for us,
Scripture: Matthew 10:24-28
“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel…” Ephesians 6:19 (NIV)
With the overwhelming advancement in modern communication technology, Christians today can easily reach out and preach to hundreds and thousands of souls but many believers fail to do so. Many are afraid that speaking up for Christ may have negative effects on their lives.
Scripture: Romans 5:15-21
“And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.” Romans 11:6 (NKJV)
Feedback: Share how it feels to earnestly praise God all by yourself.
lot of times, we are tempted to think that our righteousness is a function of our ability and perceived Aholiness. Our righteousness, however, is like a filthy rag before God. We are who we are by the grace of God who loved us and gave himself for us.
Paul reminded the Romans of the depth of God’s grace and the free gift of righteousness by contrasting the work of Adam and that of Jesus.
“And the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.” 1 Chronicles 12:32a (KJV)
We live in a time bound earth, hence, we are time bound. Time is governed by certain laws. You must understand and master these laws if you must maximise your time. Time is universal for everybody. 24 hours is same in length and quality in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, as it is in Kiev, Ukraine. Time cannot be reversed or paused.
Scripture: Hosea 10:12-13
“Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:8 (NLT)
Biblically, sowing means more than just an agricultural principle. It is a principle of give and take (Gal. 6:7).Those who sow in sin should expect to receive what sin naturally produces which is death. Whoever sows righteousness will reap what righteousness offers which is life.
Sowing is God’s principle.
Dear Children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions” I John 3:18 (NLT)
Practice what you preach” is a common phrase used by many to mean speak and act in unison. When you live “ contrary to what you preach, your words will have no effect. You may be unaware but there are people watching and observing your lifestyle.
Your complaint or anger at people’s behavior may not change their actions
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:21 (KJV)
Serving God with your money and possessions is an indication of a growing or mature Christian. This isimportant because God wants you to depend on him not on our money and possessions
The story of the rich man gives a clear indication of what God expects we do with our treasures. Although, the rich man observed all the laws,
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13 (KJV)
Humans are limited by time, space, the senses and knowledge. These limits make us oblivious to other things happening beyond our perception. Therefore, we need to believe and depend on the unlimited God to help us and then hope that things are working for our good (Jer. 29:11).
Hope is the patient anticipation of a favourable outcome.
For we are co-workers in God’s service...” 1 Corinthians 3:9 (NIV)
Paul told the Corinthian church that he had done his part by planting and Apollos had also done his part by watering the seeds he had planted, but it is God who ultimately gives the increase (l Cor. 3:6). This implies that we have to do God’s work before he can give the increase.
Scripture: Judges 20:26-37
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalm 126: 5-6 (KJV)
Feedback: Share how studying the word of God daily makes you feel.
After the children of Israel were defeated twice by the tribe of Benjamin, they turned to the Lord for the third time. But this time they went to the Lord with fasting and sacrifices and when they did, they received God’s promise of victory (v28)
“…And the LORD said, Go up; for tomorrow I will deliver them into thine hand.” Judges 20:28 (KJV)
The children of Israel went out to war against the tribe of Benjamin because of their atrocity. Even though they sought God’s face before going into battle, they lost twice to the tribe of Benjamin. They, however, refused to become discouraged and they did not relent because they knew they were doing God’s will.
In the same way, you must not give up in spite of the challenges you are going through.
Scripture: Judges 20:1-14
“Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” Romans 1:32 (KJV)
Iniquity abounds in the world today. People publicly and blatantly display evil yet many choose to support or stay silent about it. Some give the excuse that they do not wish to judge others and, therefore, fail to expose ungodly actions.
Scripture: Judges 2:1-5
“Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you, but they shall be thorns on your side, and their God shall be a snare unto you” Judges 2:3 (NKJV)
The Bible says “he who is often reproved but refuses to listen will be destroyed suddenly, without any remedy. (Prov. 29:1). This is the consequence of refusing to obey God. This is because God will not often strive with man and may let go when we refuse to submit to his will.
Scripture: Judges 14:19-20
“And He gave...for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” Ephesians 4:11-12 (KJV)
The Holy Spirit has deposited in every Christian talents and gifts. These gifts only make meaning when they are used to impact others positively. It is crucial to use our good gifts to build and grow the church of Christ.
God, in his infinite wisdom, has distributed varying gifts to us as he sees fit so that together we can bring his kingdom to bear on earth (1 Cor. 12:1).
“For Mordecai was great in the king’s house, and his fame went out throughout all the provinces: for this man Mordecai waxed greater and greater.” Esther 9:4 (KJV)
The events around which our lives are woven are subject to God’s control. God sometimes permits pain, but he is able to transform the pain into joy as we rely fully on Him
Mordecai endured the loss of relatives and homeland. He had to adopt his cousin Esther and brought her up as his own daughter.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:16-17 (NIV)
Purim is a Hebrew word meaning to cast lots. It signifies the day Haman had chosen based on the lots to wipe out the Jews. His plans were aborted by God after the Jews had sought the face of God. Their evil plan against God’s children became their personal experience.
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding”. Proverbs 4:7 (KJV)
Feedback: Share how favour declarations have impacted your life.
The need for information is very crucial in everything we do in life. Information is the building block for knowledge. With knowledge and understanding comes wisdom which is the principal thing (Prov. 4:7). God rejects those who reject knowledge (Hos. 4:6).
Scripture: Esther 4:10-16
"Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish." Esther 4:16 (NIV)
Fasting with prayers is a spiritual exercise believers undertake that helps to physically tune the spirit above the flesh. Fasting and prayers engages and empowers the spirit.
Esther risked her life when she came before king Xerxes in his inner court to plead for the lives of Mordecai and the entire Jewish nation.
Scripture: Esther 4:1-4
Rebuke a wise man and he will love thee.” Proverbs 9:8b (KJV)
Every human being desires to be accepted, loved and respected in their environment. This need for acceptance, most times, drives us into presenting what we believe to be ‘acceptable’ behaviour or attitude. In a bid to display our ‘good’ side, we tend to hide what we consider our ‘bad’ side.
Esther naturally tried to cover up the ‘unacceptable’ appearance of Mordecai by sending him some fresh clothes
Scripture: Esther 3:1-6
“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.” Psalms 95:6-7(NIV)
Mordecai refused to bow down and pay homage to Haman. This is similar to the case of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego who refused to bow to the golden image the king had set up (Dan. 3:1-6). To the Jews, bowing down is a duty owed to God and a form of worship. Therefore, it is a big deal for them to prostrate before any other god or man. Being a Jew, Mordecai held on to this tradition
Scripture: Psalms 139:14-16
“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 (NIV)
Have you ever seen one of those movies where the main character goes through series of painful ordeals and at the end of the film, all the challenges and struggles result in a happy ending? Everyone goes through seasons of disappointments and hardships. We all have unexpected setbacks.
Scripture: Esther 2:15-17
“Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.” Ephesians 5:10 (NLT)
Hegai knew exactly what the king wanted. While the other women were after what they could get, Esther went after what the king wanted. Esther asked for nothing more than what Hegai suggested (v15) This is the role the Holy Spirit plays in our life today.
Esther was able to recognize opportunities. She understood that Hegai should know
Scripture: Esther 2:8-15
“…and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” Romans 10:3 (KJV)
In the passage above, when it was the turn of a virgin to go before the king, she was given whatever she wanted and it was hers to keep. All the virgins asked for as much as they could have but Esther’s case was different. She asked for nothing other than what Hegai had recommended (v15).
Scripture: Esther 2:12-17
“So shall thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.” Proverbs 3:4 (KJV)
Feedback: How does it feel sharing the word of God with others?
What is it that makes people select you even when you aren’t the most qualified? It is favour. Though you might have all the connections in the world, it is favour that helps you dig out the treasure that exists in such relationships.
Scripture: Esther 2:8-12
“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of the law.” Deuteronomy 29:29 (NKJV)
Not everything is revealed to us immediately. Sometimes God hides things from us to protect us and other times he hides them to preserve them for us. Proverb 25:2 says “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and it is the honour of a king to find it out.”
Scripture: Esther 2:1-8
“…and make the most of every opportunity.” Col 4:5 (NLT)
Sometimes, we fail to recognize and utilize opportunities around us. Some may recognize the opportunity but refuse to take advantage of it because they are afraid of failure. Some wait for too long hoping for confirmation
Scripture: Esther 2:1-4
“But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.” Isaiah 64:8 (KJV)
Names in the Bible often tell us something about the bearers. Two meanings of the name ‘Hegai’ are “meditation and separation”. With an understanding of these words, we could say Hegai was given to detail and focused. Hegai ran a beauty finishing school
Scripture: Esther 2:1-9, 17
“If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land.” Isaiah 1:19 (NIV)
Before we see increase on the outside, we need to make room for it on the inside. If you have a small vision, you will limit your life. God’s supply is unlimited, his blessings and promises of good are for all believers
Scripture: Philippians 4:2-9
“Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's leading in every part of our lives.” Galatians 5:25 (NLT)
Sometimes, the intensity of our daily activities can distract us from noticing how much time we spend dwelling on spiritual matters. Some people go days without engaging with God
Scripture: Esther 1:10-17
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18 (NIV)
The name Vashti means goodness and beauty. A combination of these two qualities would suggest a concerned, thoughtful and humble nature. But Vashti is famously remembered for her pride
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:1-11
“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 3:11(KJV)
Feedback: Share how studying a chapter of the Bible daily empowered you.
Many people build on a foundation that is not Christ. Some build on the foundation of money; they will do nothing except it brings monetary gain to them. Some build on the foundation of their relationships or network; they bank and act on the words of individuals they trust even if they go against the word of God.
Scripture: 2 Timothy 2:14-19
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal; The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” 2 Timothy 2:19 (KJV)
The kind of structure or building we plan to put in place will determine the type of foundation to use. This is because the foundation itself will determine the strength, stability and longevity of the structure.
Scripture: John 10:22-28
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” John 10:27 (KJV)
The sheep is considered a very humble animal. It symbolizes meekness and that is why Jesus refers to his followers as sheep (v27). As his disciples, he expects that we follow his lead
Scripture: Matthew 6:25-34
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.” Matthew 6:34 (KJV)
There are many things in life that may cause us to worry. Decisions to be made on various crucial issues, bills to be paid, plans to be achieved and many others. The pressure to keep it all together can lead to worry,
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV)
Today, there are so many advanced technologies to give you directions when you need to get anywhere. They can give directions but cannot guarantee safety. God does not only give us directions to follow, he also guarantees our safety.
“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.
“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)
“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
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).
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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,
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.