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Wednesday, May 25 2022

Contributor: Ngozi Roberts

INTRODUCTION
Since the beginning of this year in our studies, we have been focusing on God’s plan for us. And in doing this we have been able to explore how to identify His purpose for us and live that purpose. As it’s a daily affair, we went further last week to discuss how to function in living out His purpose for us. We delved into the three important requirements that will enable us function in God's plan. We discussed extensively about these functions - Diligence which is hard work, Fervour and Service. We understood that for us to be able to function effectively and diligently in our service to God in every area of our living, we to have the zeal (fervour) to serve Him.
Now that we know all the requirements needed to function in God's plan. Today we are pushing further in our studies towards an area that will make our effective function a lot easier. This aspect allows us to be led by the Holy Spirit. By the grace of God, we will be able to understand the need to totally rely on the Holy spirit in our daily living and find out how easy and stress free such life will be. 


Be Led By the Holy Spirit
When we say to us ‘Be led by the Holy Spirit’, for me by implication it means that there are also other kinds of spirits but we are not going into in these other spirits today. We are having our discussion on the Holy Spirit. Essentially we are to understand that when we got born again, the Holy Spirit came in to dwell in us. It is in the fellowship with this Holy Spirit that we are lead into fulfilling effectively the life of the purpose that God has called us into. So there is a need for us to have a little understanding of who the Holy Spirit is.

So Who is this Holy Spirit?
He is a person. So if we are to be led by someone, it would be wise for us to know who that person is. Yes, the scriptures has confirmations for us that he is a Person. A person is meant to have intellect, Mind and Will and this is confirmed of Him in 1Corinthians 2:10-12 -12
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us."

So as a Person, He is able to search the Mind of God for our benefit. Also as a Person He has emotions. In Ephesians 4:30 , it says that:
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

Above all, this Person is also known as Jesus Christ because in Matthew 1:18 the scriptures says:
"18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[d]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit."

So we know that the Person we are to be led by, is God Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that made the word flesh.

Benny Hinn once said that the Holy Spirit is Jesus without Limits. Why, because, he said when Jesus was in the world, he was limited, in that he could not be physically present in many places at the same time. So with the Holy Spirit, He can live in everyone that accepts him, He is therefore limitless!
Our Text for today Romans 8:14:
"14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

We now know who our leader, the Holy Spirit is. Who then does He lead?

Sons of God
To be qualified as a Son of God, entails quite a lot. Let us consider who can call himself or herself a ‘son of God’. I believe that when there is relationship between an offspring and a father then one can say there is a son/father relationship. It could be through a natural descent or by adoption. Our Text today Roman 8:14-16 confirms this:
"14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children." (NIV)

How can we then be led by the Holy Spirit?
I have drawn out some of the ways that the Holy Spirit can Lead us from the below scripture. The idea is that in our daily living towards fulfilling our purpose, we ought to rely on this Peron, the Holy Spirit, to lead us aright.
The scripture tells us in John 14:15-26 that this Person is:

  • The Spirit of Truth
  • He is our Advocate
  • He is our Teacher
  • He is our Reminder of all things.

“If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be] in you. 25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

From this scripture, we can draw out how the Holy Spirit leads us:

  • Telling us the truth at all times
  • Being our advocate
  • Teaching us all things
  • Reminding us and revealing all things

In our todays’ text, Romans 8:14: 14 "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

We have a reassurance as believers that once we are led by the Holy Spirit, we can consider ourselves as sons of God.
To be led can be defined as to show the way by going in advance; to guide or direct one on a course. A child can easily be led or guided or directed to do something. Why is that? Because a child by nature is not yet knowledgeable enough to guide him or herself. A child at this stage might not even know what is good or bad for him/her. That is why the child has to depend on someone to guide him or her. The scriptures emphasis on this in Matthew 18:3 He said:
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven"

So, to qualify to be called a ‘son of God’, we ought to be like little children. Now as children, so long as we are steadfast and develop the habit of holding on to the Holy Spirit guidance, then we will be able to grow into maturity. It is at this stage that one can look at us and attest that we are sons of God. When you allow others to lead you, one can say you are matured. When we mature as sons, we would have developed through the teaching of the Holy Spirit in such a way that some particular attributes becomes our nature. Attributes like:

Followership – It is our responsibility as sons to follow and it is the responsibility of God to make us. Matthew 4:19
"19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him."
Also 1 Corinthians 11:1 also confirms this. “ Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”

So as followers, we must be willing to buy into His ideology. It is trust. You follow him blindly knowing that He is your Father. You see, it takes a childlike approach to be follower. You must forsake somethings like your ambition, ego etc. just like Abraham left everything to follow him. Just like the disciples left everything to follow Him.

Total Dependence – Another attribute that must be seen in us as sons is total dependence. You see in the kingdom of God Independence is equal to rebellion. John 5:19 Jesus said:
"19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise."

So you see Jesus was not able to do anything on his own independence. He was totally dependent on His Father. Thus, whenever we see someone’s life glorifying God, it is a proof that the lifestyle of God is being followed and we can easily say such a person is a son of God.

Empowered - Another attribute that should be seen in us as sons is the ability to Say and it comes to pass. The ability to declare a thing and it becomes so. We come into a dimension of power that Jesus exhibited. Note that the real power is from the authority that is over us. In Matthew 8:5-10 we read the story of the Centurion that wanted Jesus to come and heal his servant and when Jesus wanted to go to him, the man restrained him but said -
"9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it."

This is a man that understood the law of submission.

You will always manifest the power of the submission you are under.

CONCLUSION
To be led by the Holy Spirit, requires that one must have gone through the levels of development into maturity by the Holy Spirit. When we get born again, we go through the school of the spirit. During this stage of development, we learn how to let go of our old self and nurture that spirit of God that we received. We do this through our communication and fellowship with the Lord, digesting the word and allowing the Holy Spirit through the word of God to prune us and develop us. By the time we do this day in day out, we apply what we have red in our daily living. Sometimes we fail, but we pick up and learn from our mistakes through the direction of the Holy Spirit. As we do this daily, it becomes a habit. We then come to a stage where before we say something to anyone, we pause and ask the Holy Spirt for guidance on what to say. Same thing on what to wear, where to go etc. until this becomes our true nature.
At this stage one can see us and point out that we are being led by the Holy Spirit. It will be obvious. I believe that this is the stage of sonship. It is the state that we become strong. It is at this stage that the word of God lives in us. It is at this stage that we overcome the evil one. Why? Because, no one can be strong, have the word of God living in them, overcome the evil one without the help of the Holy Spirit.
The scripture confirmed that the Holy Spirit is a Revealer. 1 Cor. 2:9 –12 - 9

However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” [—the things God has prepared for those who love him— 10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us"

Therefore, in every area of our lives, in our Marriages; In our studies; In our business dealings; In our family relationships / parenting / child; Friendships, the Holy Spirit will always guide us. He is our revealer. In living through the fulfilment of the purpose of God in our lives, it is important for us to understand that the key is depending on the Holy Spirit, through our fellowship with Him.

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 01:44 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, May 18 2022

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION

In the first quarter of the year the study was focussed on understanding what God’s plan is for us, identifying His purpose for us and living out that purpose. Since the beginning of the second quarter we have been considering how we can function in God’s Plan; treating topics such as: “Except the Lord Build the House”, “Remain connected to the Source”, “Align Your Plans with God’s”, “Walk in the Light of God’s Word”, “Walk in Love”, “Consecration to God’s Plan” each of them revealing requirements for functioning in God’s Plan. This is important because it is not just only about knowing God’s plan and purpose but living it out by functioning in it. Today we shall be identifying a three-in-one way of functioning in His plan – “Diligence, Fervour & Service”

Romans 12:11: [1]Not slothful in business; [2]fervent in spirit; [3]serving the Lord”

TPT says: “[1]Be enthusiastic to serve the Lord, [2]keeping your passion toward him boiling hot! Radiate with the glow of the Holy Spirit and let him fill you with excitement [3]as you serve him.”

Our text identifies three vital requirements for functioning in God’s Plan. There is a very interesting connection between these three parts of our text as it relates to functioning in God’s plan. To function in God’s plan requires diligence (hard work) and service. But for these two be meaningful, effective and productive, it needs fervour.

1. Not Slothful In Business
The NASB renders this statement as “never lagging behind in diligence.” Not lagging is a phrase translated from a Greek word that means “lazy”. It is the same word Jesus used to describe the lazy servant in Matthew 25:26 who hid his talent. To function in God’s plan requires action from us. That is why we must be engaged in His service. In one of the parables of the Kingdom, Jesus in Luke 19: 11-13, invites us to occupy till He comes.

"11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. 12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come."

Not to be slothful in business means we must be diligent in whatever we are doing. Proverbs 22:29

2. Fervent In Spirit
The word translated "fervent in spirit" means to boil with heat, be hot. It is used of boiling anger, love, and zeal for what is good or bad. As used in our text, it means to have a burning zeal to do the will of God.
To be fervent means to exhibit particular enthusiasm, zeal, conviction, persistence, or belief. It is to be sold out; not half hearted, passionate, fully committed & consecrated

Solomon had the heart to be a wise ruler (1 Kings 3:1-15),Moses had a heart for his people (Exodus 32:30-33), Nehemiah had a heart for Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 1:1-2:9)
Let your heart always be in whatever your hands find doing!

John 2:17, says of Jesus: "Then His disciples remembered that it was written, 'Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.'"
Fervour and enthusiasm are the keys to success in the Lord's work. The church at Laodicea was chastised because they were lukewarm (Rev. 3:14-16).
The TPT says: “keeping your passion toward him boiling hot! Radiate with the glow of the Holy Spirit and let him fill you with excitement”

How can we achieve this? Romans 12:1 (MSG) spells it out:
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.”

3. Serving The Lord
One of the purposes why God made us is for service. (Ephesians 2:10) MSG says:
“God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.”

The first two parts of our text in Romans 12:11: (not slothful in business and fervent in spirit) tell us how we should serve the Lord. Diligently, passionately, enthusiastically. (Colossians 3:23)
1 Cor. 15:58a says: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord”

a) All believers are called on to serve the Lord. (Romans 12:4-8).

The Apostle Paul creates an analogy of the church as the body of Christ. Every part of the body is valuable and useful to the overall functioning of the body. Even so, every believer has been given spiritual gifts to use for the building up of the body of Christ. There is no such thing as a non-serving member of the body. If you’re not serving, you need to ask the Lord how He wants you to serve and begin doing it.
1 Peter 4:10 says, “God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings” (TLB).

Ephesians 4:16 says: “He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”

b) We serve the Lord as His slaves, not as His volunteers. (Luke 17:7-10)

Volunteers choose when and how they serve; slaves are on call day and night, whether they feel like serving or not.
First, make sure that your motivation is right. You serve Him because of His great mercies toward you in the gospel. That motivation moves you not to be lazy, but diligent in serving Him. Serving Christ becomes your passion, so that you do it fervently. And, remember that you’re serving none other than the Lord Himself.

Two verses of scripture lay a solid foundation of the kind of service that pleases the Lord.
• Ephesians 6:7 (AMP) says:
“Rendering service readily with goodwill, as to the Lord and not to men,”
To render service readily means to render service enthusiastically, gladly and cheerfully. And to render it with goodwill refers to rendering service with willingness, concern and kindness. So let’s rephrase our Ephesians text:
“Rendering service enthusiastically, gladly and cheerfully and with willingness, concern and kindness, as to the Lord and not to men,”

The second verse of scripture we will consider is
• Colossians 3:23 (KJV)
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;”
To render service heartily means to render service whole heartedly, enthusiastically, etc.
So let’s rephrase our Colossians text:
“And whatsoever ye do, do it whole heartedly and enthusiastically, as to the Lord, and not unto men;”

CONCLUSION
Our text today refers to people who are motivated and passionate in their service for the Lord. So we must ask ourselves this question: “Am I diligent and fervent in spirit in my service for the Lord?” Or, like the church in Laodicea, whom the Lord threatened to spew out of His mouth, could I be lukewarm?
The last thing anyone of us will want is that these year’s series of Bible study “Following God’s plan for Your Life” ends up being only a cliché in their lives. You can be following God’s plan for your life in your secular job; nothing wrong with that. But if you limit it to only that and be indifferent to the Lord’s business, you miss out on certain perks that come with the service of God (Exodus 23:25) and secondly, you will not be a functioning part of the body of Christ (Romans 12:4-8 & Eph. 4:16). That is why time and again, we have encouraged ourselves to become useful in the body of Christ. Also, our call to service does not end in church alone but everywhere we find ourselves, our lights must shine (Matt.5:16). The MSG version of Colossians 3:23 says: “Servants, do what you're told by your earthly masters. And don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best.”

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 02:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, May 11 2022

Contributor: Okwudili Prince-Isaac

INTRODUCTION
Consecration is the amount of our unconditional surrender to God! Consecration is a process or practice of making something or someone sacred. Dedicated and set apart for the Lord. It also means the devoting or setting apart of anything or anyone to the worship or service of God (Exodus 28:41).

In Matthew 26, we see Jesus praying the prayer of dedication. These verses give us an example of His devotion to consecrate Himself to do the Father’s will.
“36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:36, 39)

What was Jesus talking about when He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane? He knew the cross was before Him. He knew He was about to be made the sacrifice for sin on our behalf (Heb. 9:26). Jesus battled the temptation to draw back from what was to come and prayed, “If it be possible, let this cup pass from Me!”

It wasn’t easy for Jesus to fulfill the Father’s plan. But He knew the outcome of redemption meant salvation for mankind. So, for the joy set before Him, He surrendered to His Father’s will (Heb. 12:2). Jesus’ prayer of consecration was “O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done” (Matt. 26:42).

God is looking for believers who will consecrate themselves entirely to Him to carry out His plan for their lives, just as Jesus did at Gethsemane and throughout His earthly ministry. God is looking for believers who will say as Jesus did, “Not my will, Father, but Your will be done.”
The prayer of consecration is not a one-time prayer. Jesus virtually prayed the same prayer three times (Matt. 26:39, 42, 44). It is a prayer we pray throughout our lives. We will only be able to follow God’s plan if we always maintain an attitude of consecration and surrender to His will, whatever it might be.
God is looking for believers who will say as Jesus did, “Not my will, Father, but Your will be done.”

Other Texts: Romans 6, Romans 12, Exodus 28:41, Heb. 9:26, Heb. 12:2

Five Stages of Consecration
•Salvation [Romans 7:6, Col 1:13]
•Self [Eph. 4:22]
•Surrender [Gal 2:20]
•Servanthood [Col 3:23]
•Slave (Finish Line) – [Romans 6:18, Jn 21:18]

Be Willing to Do Anything for God
It’s important to be willing to do anything God asks. We need to commit ourselves to obey Him and do His will every day for the rest of our lives. Unwillingness to obey God can hinder or delay His plan for us from being fulfilled.
We will only experience the fullness of God’s plan and the full measure of His anointing and blessing on us if we are willing to obey Him in every area of our lives. We’ve all had to “drink some cups” that we would rather have passed up. But when we know that the cup is God’s will, we can rest assured the outcome will be for our good and to God’s glory.

Many Christians have never surrendered everything to the Lord. They only are willing to make Jesus Lord of part of their lives. But sometimes they aren’t willing to give up control of certain areas their carnal nature holds dear.
It’s critical to make a quality decision to follow God’s plan for our lives. That decision becomes an anchor to our souls that keeps us in His perfect will when the devil brings temptations to distract us from the plans of God. If we’re never fully surrendered to Him, we stand in danger of being persuaded by the devil’s temptations to pursue our will and desires. As a result, we lose out on God’s best.

The Crossroad of Decision
Many Christians are at a crossroad. They face decisions that will influence the course of their lives. The road of obedience is what we must choose if we want to follow God’s plan. Although it seems hard to say ‘no’ to our will and plans, the result of obedience will cause our spirits to rejoice. We will make our way prosperous and be fulfilled beyond anything we can imagine.
No comparison can be made between a life of walking in the flesh and one of living according to God’s perfect plan! As we choose daily to obey the Lord’s will, we will be a blessing to many. And God will lead us to places of abundance in every area of our lives!

Outcome of Consecration
The first result is described in Romans 6, and the second result is described in Romans 12.
• Our Benefit (Romans 6)
• God’s Benefit (Romans 12)

Our Benefit

The consecration in Romans 6 is for one’s own benefit; it is to bear the fruit of righteousness. The result of consecration in Romans 6 is deliverance from sin to be a slave of God in order to bear fruit unto sanctification. This is what it means to live out the overcoming life day by day. Our hands, feet, and mouths belong to the Lord. We dare not use them ourselves. Every time temptations come, we have to say that we do not have our hands with us. When we consecrate ourselves this way, we will be sanctified and bear the fruit of sanctification. Hence, consecrating ourselves is the first thing we should do after the overcoming experience, and it is also the firstfruit of the overcoming experience.
There is a true story of a Christian brother who had consecrated himself fully to the Lord. When he was on a train ride, a few friends decided to have a card game. Three people were present, and they were short one person, so they invited him to join in. He answered, "Sorry, friends. I do not have my hands with me. These hands are not mine but Another’s.” While the friend still struggled to understand his response, he continued “They are merely placed on my body. I dare not use them."

God’s Benefit  

The consecration in Romans 12 is for God’s benefit; it is for the accomplishment of God’s will and for acceptable service to Him. The result of the
consecration in Romans 12 is not just God’s pleasure but the proving of God’s good, well-pleasing, and perfect will.

The result of the presenting is in Romans 12:2. "Do not be fashioned according to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and well pleasing and perfect."

This is our ultimate goal today. God has an eternal purpose, which is accomplished through His Son. God created everything through Him for this purpose. Redemption is for this purpose, the defeat of Satan is for this purpose, and the salvation of sinners is for this purpose. We have to know God’s eternal purpose before we can accomplish what God wants us to accomplish. We are not here merely for the salvation of sinners; we are here for the accomplishment of God’s eternal purpose. Every kind of work must be linked up with God’s eternal purpose.

“There the true story Asian Preacher coming back home from short visit to part of town. He was about to board a bus but the driver told him to “get off”. Stunned, he looked carefully, and realised that it was not an ordinary bus, but a chartered bus. The Spirit used the incidence to teach him lesson - Every Christian should be a "chartered" person, and not a "public" Christian. We are not public, but "chartered," fully reserved for God’s will and separated.”

Lack of Consecration in Believers
In our days many believers seem willing to lay some things on the altar, but not all! God’s plan for their lives is hindered. Many of His blessings are withheld because they haven’t wholly consecrated themselves to do His will instead of their own.

Benefits of Consecration
1.Overflowing blessings (Exodus 32:29).
2.Overflowing anointing (Hebrews 1:9;10:38; Acts 5:12).
3.Becoming a chosen vessel of God (II Timothy 2:21; Acts 9:15).
4.Ever abiding presence of God (Psalm 91:1; Matthew 28:19-20).
5.Outstanding victory without a fight (Proverbs 16:7; II chronicles 20:15-19).

Summary
Every Christian should consecrate himself; it is wrong to assume that only special Christians should consecrate themselves. His blood has purchased us, and we are His. His love has constrained us, and we live for Him. Let’s consider how consecrated we are to the Lord. Let’s consider whether we’re able to say from our hearts, “I’ll do whatever You ask of me. I’ll go anywhere You send me. I’ll stay wherever You want me. No matter where You lead me, I’ll carry the Good News of Jesus Christ to others.” We must ‘let go’ in order for the Lord to mature us and lead us deeper, like he did to Prophet Ezekiel –Ezek. 47:2-5

Closing
If we do not consecrate ourselves, we will never realize that this will is good. God’s will is not only good but also perfect. All of God’s will toward those who love Him is profitable. If we know this, we will not reject His will. Presenting our bodies to Him is holy and well pleasing to Him. Christ ultimately lived out John 21:18 “Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go”
May we find His will well-pleasing to us and find that His will is good and perfect. Amen

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 02:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 05 2022

Contributor: Esther Alajiki

INTRODUCTION
In today’s study, we will be studying about the fourth way we can function in God’s plan by considering the topic “Walk in Love” If we wish to function in God’s plan, we must walk in love. The word “walk” in the Greek language, peripateite, is defined as to go, walk about, or be occupied with. In Hebrew, it means to live. In other words, to walk in love is to live in love. We are exhorted as Christians to be motivated by, and focused on love. To have a Biblical mind set, focused on obeying God by following the example of Christ, willingly giving ourselves daily to Him and obeying His Words, it also entails growing in intimacy with God and getting to know His heartbeat.

Scriptures
1 Cor. 12:3 But earnestly desire and strive for the greater gifts [if acquiring them is going to be your goal]. And yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one of the choicest graces and the highest of them all: unselfish love]. AMP
2 John 1:6 And this is love: that we walk in accordance with His commandments and are guided continually by His precepts. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should [always] walk in love. AMP

Mandate: Imitate God by Walking in Love (Ephesians 5: 1-2).
Be imitators of God - We are commanded to imitate God, to be like Him. This is the only place in the NT where Paul uses the language of imitating God by walking in love - walking is the metaphor for living.
To walk in love is to tell the truth, control your anger, work to share with others, speak edifying words, put away all forms of relationship destroying attitudes and actions, practice kindness, compassion, and forgiveness, let your actions provoke others onto love and to good works (Hebrews 10:24)
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. (1 John 4: 11-12). To live a life of love to others is to imitate God. It is our mandate.

Motive: Walk in Love because You Are Loved by God as His Child (Ephesians 5: 1)
As dearly loved children. We are to walk in love because we have been loved. Eph. 1:4-5 tells us in love God predestined us to adoption into His family. Romans 5:5 tells us that the love of God has been poured out into our hearts by the Spirit. When John reflected on this idea of our being loved by God and made His children, he said, “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us that we would be called the children of God” (1 John 3:1). By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35
Since we are dearly loved children, recipients of the love of God, we must also walk in love. There must be a family resemblance. We are to look like our Father in the sense that we ought to be able to say “any resemblance to God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ is
purely intentional. We are motivated to walk in love be remembering that we are loved by God and His love is poured out in our hearts.

Model: Walk in Love as Christ Sacrificially Loved You (Ephesians 5: 2).
Christ is our model for love. To imitate Christ is to imitate God for Christ is the ultimate revelation of God. He is God in human flesh. We are to model our lives after the love He has already displayed. The love that is selfless and sacrificial. He gave Himself up. His will His desires and ambitions for helpless, godless, wicked, and hostile sinners (see Rom. 5).
It is selfless and sacrificial love for the unlovable. Loving the way Christ loves places us in a position of vulnerability. It is costly and often painful to love the way Jesus loves. We must be willing to make sacrifices. We must be willing to risk the pain of loving those who will not return our love.

C.S. Lewis describes it in this way.
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to be sure of keeping your heart intact you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries, avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safely in the casket of your selfishness. And in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will not change, it will not be broken. It will become unbreakable, impenetrable and irredeemable. The only place outside of heaven where you can be perfectly safe from the dangers of love is hell.” (C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves)

Love makes you vulnerable, as you must love those who oppose you and will not return your love, forgive those who wrongfully abuse you, have compassion on the weak and powerless, serve others with no thought of being repaid, befriend those who are downtrodden and discouraged, share the good news of life with those who are dying in sin, a call to love is a call to a sacrificial life.
If we are going to cultivate this kind of love, we must keep Christ and His cross before our eyes. He was not coerced. He gave Himself. The depth of His love was sacrificial to the point of making His life an offering on the cross. It was an offering given to God as a substitute for hostile sinners like us. It was a sin-bearing offering. It was an offering that was pleasing to God like a fragrant aroma wafting toward heaven.
If you want to love like Jesus, think often of Jesus’ love and draw deeply on his grace. Remain in the shadow of His cross where you can see the One who did not shield himself from the ravages of sacrifice but freely gave Himself for the sake of others. Don’t only think what would Jesus do daily reflect on what Jesus has done

CONCLUSION
To imitate God is living and loving like Jesus loved. Mankind is born with the tendency to think and act selfishly, but the agape love of God is deposited within your heart when you became born again. Once a believer develops in love, power becomes available, but walking in love is a process that requires sacrifice and intentional growth. But it is by this process that we find we are functioning in God’s plan.

Deuteronomy 10:12-13 “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear [and worship] the LORD your God [with awe-filled reverence and profound respect], to walk [that is, to live each and every day] in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul [your choices, your thoughts, your whole being], 13 and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?”

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God; for God is love. (1 John 4: 7-8)

Love is a verb! It’s main characteristic is action. It propels us to act; and because God is love, when we are propelled by His agape love we remain constantly aligned with and functioning in His plan,

And now abideth faith, hope, love; and the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Love is the greatest. So we are to walk in love.

Further reading: 1 John 4, Ephesians 2:1-10, Luke 10:27. Mark 12:30, Matthew 22:37, Deuteronomy 6:5, Deuteronomy 11:13, Joshua 23:11

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 08:25 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, May 04 2022

Contributor: Peter Folikwe

INTRODUCTION

In last week’s study, we treated the second sub topic of how we can function in God’s Plan titled: “Align Your Plans with God’s”
In today’s study, we will be considering the third way we can function in God’s plan by considering the topic “Walking in the light of the Word of God.” This topic will be approached by first defining key words in the topic for today, understanding why we need to walk in the light of His Word and the benefits of walking in it.

1. Key Words To Be Defined Are:
a) Walking (daily taking a journey to an expected destination) - in our case a journey with an expectation to ultimately make heaven.

b) Light: Any devise serving as a source of illumination. Gospel of John 8:12 tells us “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Jesus here introduces Himself as the Light of the world. The one who gives spiritual awareness and illumination in every circumstance.

c) Word of God. John 1:1-5 tells us that
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

• Jesus is the Word of God.
In V14 of John 1, the bible says “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us”. Meaning each day we read and meditate on the Word of God, we take in a piece of Christ with us.

2. Why Do I Need To Walk In The Light Of His Word?
a) So as not to stumble and fall when the trials of life confront us:
Our anchor scripture in Ps 119:105, says “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” speaks to this.
In this dark world, it is too risky to grope in the dark. The Word of God ensure our feet do not stumble when confronted by obstacles of our journey in life. At the same time it makes our vision clear in order to choose the right path to take in life in order to overcome the obstacles.

James 1:2-3 AMP encourages us saying: “Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace].”

b) To become light in this dark world
Jesus addressed us - his protégées - as the light of the world in Matt 5:14 “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.”
With the light in His Word, we are equipped through the name of Jesus to cast out devils; speak with new tongues; take up serpents; and if we drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt us; when we lay hands on the sick, they shall recover. Mark 16:17-18.

c)We are able to command the heavens and the earth:
Matt 18:18-19 categorically states that “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
Rather than live in fear and uncertainty, we confidently approach the issues of life with boldness premised on His Word in 2Tim 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

3. Hindrances To Walking In The Light Of His Word:
a) Sin is our No 1 hindrance.
Except Jesus Christ, The Light cleanses us from all sin, we remain in the darkness of sin. Our 2nd anchor scripture 1 John 1:7 alludes to the fact that it is only the blood of Jesus that washes our sins.

The Bible tells us in Rom 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”.
Prov. 14:34 tells us “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people."
Is 59:1-2 affirms that “Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

b) Remaining a nominal Christian: A dangerous position to be in.
Some have made being born again a cliché.
• They receive salvation and go to sleep. They remain stagnant, refusing to grow in their most Holy faith. Rev 3:15-16 “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
• They continue to feed on milk of the word and not the meat and grow to chew bones.
• They remain complacent with the word of God.

Eph. 4:14a says “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine”.
Heb. 5:13-14 says “For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

c) A wavering faith in God: those not sure of the salvation power they carry.
Some hop from place to place seeking miracles, signs and wonders, instead of seeing themselves as carriers of His miracles, signs and wonders. John 4:48 is my witness, when Jesus spoke to a nobleman whose son was sick. “Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.
• Some are like Job’s wife in Job 2:9 who requested that her husband curse God and face the ultimate consequence of death; when challenges of life become overwhelming. They begin to doubt the efficacy of the word of God to overcome.

James 1:5-7 tells us “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.”
Heb. 10:23 admonishes us: “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)”
There is a popular saying in: Happy moments, Praise God; Difficult moments, Seek God; Quiet moments; Worship God; Painful moments, Trust God & In every moment... Thank God.

4. Benefits Of Walking In The Light Of His Word:
a) Equipped with accurate word in season:

Our Lord and Saviour Jesus exemplified this when He was led into the wilderness by the spirit to be tempted of the devil in Matt 4, from V1-11. He kept repeating “It is written”. The Bible tells us the devil is an accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10); accusing us before God day and night, therefore we must be abreast of the light in the word of God to silence the accuser.

Secondly, when we apply the light in the word of God by praying in unknown tongues, we confuse the accuser, because we speak to God with the help of the spirit; we speak mysteries 1Cor 14:2

b) We become a terror to the camp of the enemy.
The word of God in Heb. 4:12a says “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword”.
There is power mighty in the Word. There is power mighty in the name of Jesus. There is power mighty in the blood of Jesus.

c) It engenders our relationship with God. John 1:1-5 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, .........”
Only through Jesus are we qualified to have a relationship with the Father.
Daddy G O recently thought us about praise and worship. When we praise God, we reel out God’s CV. And worshiping Him is telling Him what He is capable of doing - this leads us to holy of holies.

d)Revelation of His hidden secrets. Deut. 29:29 “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, …”.
We are able to know what He loves or hates:

Prov. 6;16-19

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud LOOK, a lying TONGUE, and HANDS that shed innocent blood, 18 An HEART that deviseth wicked imaginations, FEET that be swift in running to mischief,……”
Ps 92:12-14 says “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;”

CONCLUSION:
Walking in the light of God enable us to fulfill the purpose of God for our lives: Ps 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 01:56 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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