- Different Ways The Holy Spirit Leads 5 - In Dreams and Visions Text: Matthew 2:12-13
- Different Ways the Holy Spirit Leads 4 -The Authoritative Voice of God Text: Acts 8:29
- Different Ways the Holy Spirit Leads 3-The Still Small Voice Text: 1 Kings 19:12-13
- Different Ways the Holy Spirit Leads 2 - Inward Witness Text: Romans 8:16
- Different Ways the Holy Spirit Leads 1- Personally Speaks to You Text: John 16: 13
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- THE GREAT SHEPHERD (20)
Wednesday, February 23 2022
Contributor: Okwudili Prince-Isaac
Text: John 14:3
Reference Scriptures: Ephesians 1:1-10, Ecclesiastes 3:9-11, Ephesians 3:10-11, 2 Timothy 1:9-10, I Timothy 6:6-7, Matt: 6:19-24, James 5:1-3, Rev 22: 1-5
Ecclesiastes 3:11: “He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.” -AMP Version
1. Predestined Adoption - Ephesians 1:1-6 (NIV)
2. Conform to Image of His Son - Ephesians 1:7-10 (NIV)
Don’t miss this all-important fact, God, the Father, determined that His Son should become mankind incarnate as the means of bringing a vast family of sons into the glorious measure of full stature.
3. Display His wisdom for All Eternity - Ephesians 3:10-11
Wednesday, February 16 2022
Contributor: Martins Olubiyi
Introduction: What is biblical Fellowship? The word fellowship is derived from the Greek word Koinonia. Koinonia can be defined as “holding something in common” and is specifically used 20 times in the New Testament (e.g., Phil. 2:1-2, Acts 2:42, 1John 1:6-7). Freddy Cardoza maintained that Koinonia is the unity of the spirit that comes from Christians’ shared beliefs, convictions, and behaviours. When those shared values are in place, genuine Koinonia (biblical fellowship) occurs. However, going by today study text, we may conclude that what is capable of sustaining these shared values is rooted in the love of God that bind believers together. Therefore, our focus will be on love as exemplified in our reading text.
Text: Matthew 22:37-39
The root of the word Love- The word love is shrouded with misconception in many languages. Love is communicated deeper in Greek words (Eros, Storge, Philia, and Agape). These four unique forms of love are found in the Scripture. They are characterised by romantic love, family love, brotherly love, and God's divine love.
Eros: Love in the form of Eros seeks its own interest and satisfaction—to possess the object of love. God is very clear in the Bible that eros love is reserved for marriage. (1 Corinthians 7:8–9). Eros love should be within the boundary of marriage, eros love is to be celebrated and enjoyed as beautiful blessing from God: "Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love." (Proverbs 5:18–19; see also Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 7:5; Ecclesiastes 9:9).
Storge: Storge is the Greek word that describes family love, the affectionate bond that develops naturally between parents and children, and brothers and sisters. Many examples of family love are found in Scripture, such as the mutual protection among Noah and his wife, the love of Jacob for his sons, and the strong love the sisters Martha and Mary had for their brother Lazarus. Rom. 12:10 portrayed Storge love clearly
Philia: It originates from Greek term Philos, meaning beloved, dearly loved intimate way; a trusted confidant held dear in a close bond of personal affection. It expresses experience-based love. For instance, the love between David and Jonathan in 1 Sam. 18: 1-3.
Agape: Is the highest of the four types of love in the Bible. It defines God's immeasurable, incomparable love for humankind. It is the divine love that comes from God. Agape love is perfect, unconditional, sacrificial, and pure. Jesus Christ demonstrated this kind of divine love to his Father and to all humanity in the way he lived and died: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16). After His resurrection, Jesus asked Peter if he loved him (agape). Peter replied three times that he did, but the word he used was phileo or brotherly love (John 21:15–19). It is important to know that Peter was incapable of agape love because he had not received the Holy Spirit baptism. But after Pentecost, Peter was so full of God's love that he spoke from his heart and 3,000 people were converted.
What is Love in the Bible?
The personality of God: God is love (Agape). God is omniscience (all knowing), omnipotence (all-powerful), and Omnibenevolence (supremely good). His attributes are: God is a Spirit, is eternal, is infinite, unchangeable, is wisdom, is power, is holiness, is justice, is goodness and is truth.
Love is sacrificial: Agape love is sacrificial. It is putting yourself in a position where you are easily taken advantage of by another person. John 3: 16; John 15: 12-14
The covenant aspect of love: Agape love is unconditional. However, elements of covenant are involved: commitment, mutual respect, promises or oaths, witnesses and seal. John 3:16; Luke 22:19-20; Rom. 8:32; Heb. 9:13-14; Heb. 5:8; Luke 1: 68-73. As we partake in His blood via communion, we are sealed with Holy Spirit of Promise. 2Corin. 1: 21-22. Therefore, Agape love is more than feeling of emotion.
The nature of God of God is love: But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love 1 John 4:8. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in His love. God is love, and all who live in God are in love, for God lives in them.
We are partakers of His divine nature. (2 Pet. 1:4). This means that the characteristics of God’s nature become my own- through His creating work in me. Love is the hallmark of Christianity. Our character and disposition must be rooted in love. We receive God’s love in our relationship with Him. We experience God’s love in our relationship with others. God’s love is a gift. God’s love is a life-giving, energizing force. It was demonstrated in Christ Jesus. We are commanded to abide in His love John 15:9. See John 15:13; Romans 5:8; Eph. 2:4-5; 1 John 4:7-88 (NLT); 1 John 4:17-19; Jere. 31:3
The contention- my human nature: In James 1:13, Scripture says God cannot be tempted by evil. Human being as a corporeal substance, has a flesh containing lusts and desires, or the inclination to sin, which causes us to be tempted. That is our Adamic nature. However, if I am faithful to overcome when I am tempted to sin, step by step I can develop, so the sin in my flesh is put to death. Then these Godly characteristics, which are pure and perfect, can be created in my life by the creator. It is a process of transformation. As I progress, the fruits of the Spirit, which is divine nature, starts to replace the sin in my flesh (Gal. 5:16-26).
You can disarm sin. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these…. (Gal 5:20) But God said, “do not let sin reign in your mortal body to fulfil the lust thereof. Rom. 6:12. He further commands, “be ye holy, for I am holy”. 1 Pet. 1:16. Lev. 19-20. The word for holy in Heb is “qadash”, which means to be sanctified, consecrated, and dedicated or to be separated from the world and worldliness. However, if holiness is not a possibility, it will make God to be an unjust God. But holiness is attainable if we are ready to pay the price! How? Lay aside every weight, and the sin which do so easily beset us…” Heb. 12:1. We must consciously die daily (1Corinth. 15:31) by crucify the flesh (Gal. 5:20, 24). In other words, by mortifying the deeds of the flesh (Rom. 8:13; Col. 3:5). By building yourself in the most holy faith by praying in the Holy Ghost (Jude. 20).
Remain in Fellowship with Him- When we remain in fellowship with Him, we shall continually walk in love. “If we say we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanse us from all sin”. 1 John 1:6-7.
Conclusion: Love is one of the most powerful emotions human beings can experience. For Christian believers, love is the truest test of genuine faith. Through the Bible, we discover how to experience love in its many forms and to share it with others as God intended. To walk in love is not a choice! It is a command we must obey. However, it is a matter of willingness. (Isa. 1:19). The power to become is already vested in us. (John 1:11-13). We ‘ve got to yield our vessel in an honourable way to Him so as to eat the fruit of the land. (Phil 2: 13).
Reference: message partly culled from: www.active.org ; www.seminary.grace.edu. Reference (Addendum)- Dynamics of holiness. (Dr. David O. Oyedepo); Radiating His glory. (Zac Poonen); Four Kinds of Love. (C.S. Lewis); Confession. (St. Augustine of Hippo); Leviathan. (Thomas Hobbes); Love is a feeling to be learned (Walter Trobisch).
Wednesday, February 09 2022
Contributor: Esther Alajiki
When we talk about prosperity and health, 2 things immediately come to mind, money and physical health.
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”
Health: is defined as the state of being free from illness or injury, a person's mental or physical condition, there are different spheres of health, physical, emotional, spiritual, health is God’s will for his children.
Prosperity: From our definitions we can deduce that there are different spheres or realms of prosperity, the prosperity of the soul is spiritual prosperity (as your soul prospers) and material prosperity (that you may prosper in all things and be in health) “All” connotes more than one instance.
Prosperity of the soul: Man is made up of the Body which is our flesh, the soul which is our conscience our reasoning that carries our character and personality to a degree. And the spirit which is the spirit “inner man, the invisible part of man.
The Soul is your decisive part – the deciding factor of our thought process, it is to be controlled by the “New Man” the regenerated spirit, your soul must be saved, sanctified, dominated, and influenced by the regenerated spirit of Man that is regenerated by the Holy Ghost and the Word of God. But our souls determine a lot of our influence. Your character is a reflection of how much influence our soul has.
Evidence of Spiritual Prosperity: You live in truth , you dwell in God and God in you. The Bible refers to this as good Success Joshua 1:8. You walk in truth Psalm 1:1-3. You are a doer of the Word and not a hearer only.
Proverbs 23:17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always continue in the fear of the LORD.
It is God’s will to bless our physical bodies, our families, our homes, our jobs, our nation, His eyes are not dim, His hands are not short and He can never run out of resources.
When the glory of the Lord is upon you:
It is the will of God for us to be healed and whole.
The Lord wants to heal us spiritually
We must be prepared and willing to receive His healing. Jesus asked the man who was an invalid for 38 years whether he wanted to become well. We should not allow prolonged suffering to rob our hope, confidence, dream and desire. Once we are delivered by God we will have to take responsibility for our life. We will face drastic changes in our life. And once God delivers us, we must be careful to walk in obedience to God lest a worse tragedy occurs in our life. He wants to heal our backslidings. He wants us to live in close fellowship to Him.
The Lord wants to heal us physically.
The Lord is a healer. When we walk in obedience to Him, He promises to heal our sicknesses. we must claim the promises of God and experience His healing in our lives.
The Lord wants to heal us emotionally.
He wants to heal our broken hearts and wounded emotions and painful memories. We must not live all our lives with a broken heart because of a painful experience in the past. The Lord wants to reassure us that He will do a new thing in our lives and therefore we should be willing to forget the past and face the future with confidence.
The Lord wants to heal us relationally.
He wants to mend our broken relationships. The Lord wants us to be free from bitterness and anger and malice. He wants us to be kind and tender hearted towards each other and forgive one another. Just as God has been merciful to us and forgave our sins , we must be willing to forgive others . When we obey His commandments we will experience loving relationships in our life.
The Lord wants to heal us vocationally.
He wants to bless the work of our hands and cause us to prosper in our endeavours. The disciples had tried all night to catch fish and failed to catch any . But the Lord gave them instructions to fish and they caught more fish than they could handle and had to get help from others. The Lord wants to bless us in our vocation and bring healing in the areas where we have failed in the past.
The Lord wants to heal us socially.
He wants to use us to bring healing to our society and community. The prophet Elisha healed the waters of the city and brought healing to the community. The prophet Elijah prayed for rain and brought prosperity to the land. The Lord wants us to carry a burden for our society and community and use our spiritual authority to bring the blessings of God upon it.
The Lord wants to heal us nationally.
He wants to bring healing to the nation. When God’s people humble themselves and pray and seek the face the God and turn from their wicked ways , the Lord will hear their cry and heal their land. Our prayers for the nation can bring peace and prosperity to our land.
John 5:6 -Wilt thou be made whole?
Wednesday, February 02 2022
Contributor: Peter Folikwe
Text: John 10:10
Back to Gen 1:28 God commanded us to be fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth, subdue and have dominion.
In the course of our second study, we were given an expose of the thief. Sin came in Gen 3:1-6. Man and wife hid themselves from God in verse 8 (‘shame’ took hold of these glorious creation of God). Then came ‘fear’ in verse 10 (they were afraid of God). From verse 14 and 16-19 heavy burdens of curses came upon them and they became homeless in verse 24.
Since God is a loving and kind God, in Gen 3:16 despite their sins, He made provisions for restoration. He promised that the son of man (Jesus) shall crush the head of the devil. Despite the authority and power were lost to sin in the garden of Eden & God sent Jesus for the singular purpose to restore our dominance over all of God’s creatures.
Back to the “thief” in Jn10:10. The context in which Jesus spoke these words were preceded by Him painting a picture of a true Shepherd (Jesus) and false/fake shepherds (thieves/robbers). In verse 1 the true shepherd enters through the door of the sheepfold, thieves climb over the wall or through the window. In verse 3 the sheep knows the voice of the true shepherd. In verse 4 the sheep follows the true shepherd as he leads them, but in verse 5, Jesus stated that the sheep will not follow, but flee from strangers. By the time we get to verse 9 Jesus stated “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture”.
Heb. 10:26 says "For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,"
2Pet 2:20-22 concluded that it is dogs that return to their vomit.
Long before the coming of Christ, God spoke through several of His prophets, one of whom was Joel.
Joel 2:25-27 says: "And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. 26. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. 27. And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed."
God promised restoration of blessings ‘thief’ has stolen, dreams he has killed and the destinies that have been destroyed.