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RCCG Miracle Land Dundalk
Wednesday, April 10 2024

Contributor: Okwudili Prince Isaac

INTRODUCTION
The glory of God can be akin to the display of His magnificence. It could also mean praise and honour being showered upon His great name. Indeed, it is impractical to fully define God’s glory in human words simply because of His infinite perfection, infinite greatness, and infinite worth. It is the going-public of His holiness.
The scripture makes us understand that the glory of man is - at best, like the flower of grass, I Pet. 1:24, in fact Solomon (in his prime) did not compare favourably with lilies of the field, Mat. 6:28-29. Contrasts this with the glory of the Lord - a devouring fire, Exod. 24:17. If a sinner, not covered in the blood of the Lamb, should behold Him, the glory of His face alone will kill the sinner instantly, Exodus 33:18-23. But a saved soul will obtain a portion of this eternal Divine glory, II Timothy 2:10

The Brightness of Divine Glory
Saul of Tarsus saw the glory of God at noonday, and it was brighter than the noon-day sun. Apostle John saw Jesus in full glory and described His hair as whiter than earthly white, His eyes as flame of fire, His feet like brass in a furnace, His voice loud, deep and yet soft, His countenance as the radiance of the sun on a cloudless day. When the Apostles saw Him in glory, the very garments He wore changed colours, Acts 22:6, Rev 19: 11-12, Mark 9: 2-6

The Human Body is too Weak to Withstand His Glory
Whenever the glory of God appears to ordinary men, there are serious reactions. For example:
• I Kings 8:15-18; His glory drove out the priests in Solomon’s temple,
• Exod. 40:34-35: His glory prevented Moses from entering the tabernacle,
• Isaiah 6:1-5; It revealed the sinful state of Isaiah,
• Ezek. 1:26-28, Acts 9:3-4, Daniel 8:15-18, Rev. 1:17; His glory knocked down Ezekiel and Saul of Tarsus, and knocked out Daniel and John the Revelator.
• Leviticus 16:2; His glory can kill a careless priest.
• II Corinthians 4:17, Philippians 3:21; Indeed, our bodies must be changed to be able to fully enter His glory at His second coming.

Divine Glory Has Weight: The More Souls We Win The Heavier Our Glory
There are different kinds of glories, and one glory excels another. For instance, the glory of grace excels the glory of the law. Also, glory has weight, and some are heavier than other. And since one condition for obtaining glory is winning souls, it follows therefore that the more souls we win, the heavier will be our weight of
glory. I Cor.15:40-41, II Cor.3:5-11, II Cor.4:17, I Thess.2:19-20, Daniel 12:3, John 15:8.

Believers Can Share in the Divine Glory
Since everything about God is glorious, His holiness, His works, the honour of His majesty, His gospel, His liberty, His power, and His appearing, it follows that His church must be glorious too. Which means that believers, who constitute His Church, must share in His glory. But there are conditions to be satisfied before we can share in His glory apart from being born again. Some of them are - we must.
a) Be holy (Eph.5:27)
b) Suffer with Him (I Pet.4:12-14, Rom.8: 17, 21)
c) Win souls (Matt.19:28)
d) Be wise (Titus 2:13, Prov.3:35)
e) Be full of good works (Matt.13:43)
f) Keep our body, souls, and spirit pure (I Corin 6:20).

We Can Bring His Glory Down Today
To bring down the glory of God at any time, all we need to do is praise Him. But all who presents themselves must do so in one accord i.e. with one heart and mind and with the same purpose in view. In Spirit and Truth. Also, if we purpose to offer praise Him in the first instance, we must proceed gloriously. Ps.50:23, II Chron.5:13-14, Rom.15:6, Ps.66:2.

CONCLUSION
In the Old Testament after Moses’ encounter with God on Mount Sinai, he returned to his people and his face glowed from being in God’s presence. His face was glowed so much a veil had to be placed over his visage.
Today, we have access to the very presence of God, but in a better way than Moses. Moses experienced the glory of God for a moment and eventually that radiance faded away. However, we have God’s spirit indwelling us so that radiance never ceases. God’s presence doesn’t just visit and depart; God’s presence is ever ‘s with us because He’s indwelling. As we surrender more and more to the Holy Spirit we become more of the trophy of God’s grace and the evidence of God’s glory within us will radiate to everything (and person) around us.
Welcome to a glorious life.

Wednesday, April 03 2024

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION
In the first quarter of this year we have been considering the benefits of walking with God. So far we have considered the following: “Being known by God”, “Having access to God”, Enjoying the: “(Peace, Joy, Love) of God” and today, as we begin a new quarter, we will be considering “The Mercy of God”.
Mercy is underserved favour, it is a compassionate or forgiving attitude shown towards someone who deserves punishment or judgment. The mercy of God is an act of grace and love that encompasses understanding and compassion even when justice might dictate otherwise. The mercies of God are great according to 2 Samuel 24:14.
"David said to Gad, 'I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands.'"

BACKGROUND
In 2 Samuel 24:1-2, King David ordered a census of Israel and Judah, and God was not pleased. 1 Chronicles 21:1 tells us that it was the instigation of the enemy. It says: “Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel.”
God was displeased because a man only had the right to count or number what belonged to him. Israel didn’t belong to David; Israel belonged to God. (Exodus 30:12). And so God gave David 3 options for his punishment. Two out of the three options meant that Israel would either be at the mercy of neighbouring countries (as in seven years of famine) or attacked by enemies (Flee three months before your enemies). So he chose the third option, (Three days’ plague in the land) - This would mean the death of some in Israel, but anyone could be struck by this plague – rich or poor, influential or anonymous, royal or common. He chose this option because he knew that God was far more merciful and gracious than man.

This brings us to the first summation, that there are two categories of mercy, God’s (Divine) Mercy and Human Mercy.

PART 1: GOD’S MERCY
1. God’s Mercy is in Abundance

Ephesians 2:4-5 says: "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved."
As a matter of fact His mercy is so plenteous, it fills the whole earth and goes beyond the heavens in height. (Psalm 119:64) The earth, O LORD, is full of Thy mercy: Teach me thy statutes.”

2. God’s Mercy Never Comes to an End
To keep us alive, God renews His mercy day by day, because none of us really deserves to live due to our numerous sins. Lamentation 3:22-23 says: "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."

Just imagine if God’s mercy one day comes to an end, what will be the fate of man? But thankfully, the mercy of God upon us lasts forever, (Psalms 106:1) “Praise ye the LORD . O give thanks unto the LORD ; for he is good: For his mercy endureth for ever.”

3. God Delights in Showing us Mercy
He enjoys being merciful and hence forgives easily. None of us deserved to be saved and live eternally but for the mercy of God. (Micah. 7:18) “Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy”

God’s Mercy Manifests in:
1. Forgiveness of Sins: Walking with God allows individuals to experience His mercy through the forgiveness of sins. 1 John 1:9 states, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

2. Protection and Deliverance: Those who walk with God often experience His mercy through protection and deliverance from harm. Psalm 91:4-5 affirms this: "He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day."

3. Renewed Strength and Comfort: Walking with God enables individuals to experience His mercy through the renewal of strength and comfort in times of difficulty. Isaiah 40:31 states, "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

4. Guidance and Wisdom: Those who walk with God receive His mercy through guidance and wisdom in making decisions. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

PART 2: HUMAN MERCY
Matthew 18:23-34 tells us about the parable of the unforgiving servant. Verses 32-34, reveals God’s expectation “32 Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt"
James 2:13 says “For judgment will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment”

We are expected as humans, not just being recipients of God’s mercy only, but to be merciful to others as well. Walking with God, requires that we become like Him. (Luke 6:36.)

Mercy obeys the law of harvest: if you sow mercy, you will reap mercy. If you show no mercy you will receive none. Each time you let offences committed against you go unrevenged you will inherit a blessing. Besides, being merciful is a sign that you are a true Son of God. (Matthew 5:7)

Showing mercy doesn’t always come naturally. So how can we be merciful as we walk with God? By:

1. Being patient with people: How do you become more patient with your kids, spouse, coworkers, or friends? Ask God for His wisdom. The Bible says in James 3:17, “The wisdom from above is . . . peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy” (NLT).

2. Helping anyone around you who is hurting: You cannot love your neighbor as yourself without being merciful. Proverbs 3:27 says, “Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it” (GNT)—and “do it cheerfully” (Romans 12:8 NIV).

3. Giving people a second chance: When somebody hurts us, we normally want to get even or write that person off. But the Bible says, “Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others . . . Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ” (Ephesians 4:31-32 CEV).

4. Doing good and being kind to those who hurt you: Mercy is giving people what they need, not what they deserve, because that’s what God does with us: “Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back . . . Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:35-36 NIV), Jude 1:22-23 says, “Show mercy to those who have doubts . . . even though you are afraid that you might be stained by their sinful lives” (GW).

You’ve got to be more interested in winning people to Christ than in winning the argument.

OBTAINING MERCY
1. Approach God’s throne with confidence in the Blood: Hebrews 4:16 "Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
2. Show Mercy to Others: Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy."
3. Cry Out for Mercy: Luke 18:35-38 “As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. 37They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!

CONCLUSION
When we walk with God, we become candidates of this plenteous mercy of God! (Psalm 103:8). “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. We receive forgiveness of sins when we repent, we experience protection and deliverance from harm, we received renewed strength and are guided by His wisdom.

Wednesday, March 27 2024

Contributor: Dolapo Olaoye

INTRODUCTION
In the last bible study, we looked at “The Joy of the Lord”. We learnt that only those who love the Lord and obey the Lord in all things can express the Joy of the Lord. We also learnt that the Joy of the Lord is our strength and saw how we could experience the fullness of the Joy of the Lord. We concluded that God did not promise that circumstances and situations will not arise that could try to rob us of his Joy but that he would overcome the world (John 16:33).

This week, we will look at The LOVE of God - we’ll be looking into God’s love, and the meaning of true love and its advantages. As we cannot define God, we cannot provide an inclusive account of who he is - Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us…” 1John 3:1. So, since God is incomprehensible, then so is his LOVE (a divine love). While we may and must speak truthfully about his love, we can never measure it. God’s love is unique, universal, unmerited, and personal. It’s saving, sacrificial and giving yet requiring only one thing - our faith.

John 3 Verse 14-17:
“14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”[b] 16For 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. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

What is Love?
Love is complicated, it could be very difficult! Paul wrote a whole chapter about Love alone (It endures all things, it seeks not its own, …. greatest of things is love) – Faith, hope and love – the greatest of these is Love. And while you can get Faith good and hope good, sometimes we can get trouble with the Love.
Love will make you do things that you said you will never do. Love will make you ignore things that you thought you could never ignore because love has a way of surviving pain.
Even though the heart is strong, God knew to protect the heart. The heart is designed in such a way that the rib case helps to protect the organs in the chest such as the heart, the lungs from damage. God knew to protect the physical heart – even though the heart is strong, it is vulnerable.

God’s Love.
If I am to become the heart of God, that means I must be as strong as I am vulnerable! If I lose either one of them, I cease to represent the heart of God, if I go for the strong and don’t reflect the vulnerable, I do not reflect the heart of God! Am mistaken on the wrong identity of been a strong woman, a strong man – yes, but you are hard! And if we are hard, we are not like God because God gives us the hint that you must be strong enough to keep pumping but vulnerable enough that you have to be protected!

In the spirit realm, God wants us to guide our hearts for out of your hearts flows the issues of life and what he is talking about is “guide your spirit” because he doesn’t have a rib cage around your spirit! So, you have to stand guide over your heart! Who you let in and who you let out, what you let flow out of your heart. That’s where your creativity comes from, that’s where your endurance comes from that’s where the power to fulfil your vision come from. Out if your heart! Not your head, not your degree, not your intellect, not your vocabularies but out of your heart, flows the issues of life!

Who Exactly Does God Love?
When John wrote here about God, he says “God so loved the world” It would have been enough to say God love because God is Love! But he says that God so loved.
Peter said, I pray that you might know the love of God which passes all understanding. God said, I have loved you, with an everlasting love – I loved you when you were drunk, I loved you when you were high, I loved you when you were wicked, I loved you when you were evil, I loved you when you were stealing, I loved you when you were in the homeless shelter, I loved you when you were in jail, I loved you when you didn’t have food to eat, God so loved the world! It didn’t say that God so loved the church, it didn’t say God so loved the Christian, it didn’t say God so loved the believers, it says that God so loved the world!
God’s love will climb over on top of walls! It will grab a ladder up and reach them! It doesn’t matter what we think, we may not like the person, we may lock them out! But God loves even your enemies because they are God’s child too and GOD LOVES THEM! God feel in-love with the world whom he says its heart is continually wicked and every imagination in it is evil and still! God so loved the world!
We didn’t earn God’s love – God doesn’t love you because you are smart, or because you are talented. God told Jeremiah, before I formed you in the belle, I knew you and ordained you and sanctified you. Before you opened your mouth to cry or learn your first note or read the bible, God loved you! While you were living in sin, God loved you! While you were in the gutter, God loved you.

God so loved the world – It is the heartbeat of the gospel. If you don’t understand this, then you have arms, and legs and feet and toes and eyes and head but no heart – the heart of the gospel itself is in John 3:16: God so loved the world.

Having a Deeper Look at the Love of God.
The truth is Satan, knew the love of God so he wanted to get against God because he knew God loved man and hated sin and as long as what God loved (which is man), was separate from that which God hated (which is sin), God had no problem in his own emotions but if he could get man to sin, then man would be filled with what God hated and put God in a dilemma that if he reacted to what he hated, he would kill what he loved. That if reacted to what he loved, then he would have to love what he hated! The devil basically put what God hates (sin) in what God loves (us – the world) and literally asked God “how do you like them now?”

God warned Adam – he said the day you eat of the tree; you will surely die! And so now God is in a dilemma: “Do I come into the garden now and kill him? – but I love him!”. So, the doctrine of substitution was born in the dilemma that Satan placed God in. God spent time trying to figure out how to save what he loves and kill what he hates. God called and said, “Adam where art thou?” but Adam is hiding….

God still had to fix it, He knew man couldn’t fix the mess man made (by listening to Satan instead of listening to God)! He knew they couldn’t get themselves out of this, Adam couldn’t sew anything that would cover him well enough to make him righteous enough and so even in his sin, God helped him to cover up. God didn’t want to kill Adam because He loved him and of course there was consequences for his sin which he face.

What to do with the Love of God
GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD – According to Hebrews 10:3-10 (read): God’s blood is God’s Love. The price he paid to Love you! When we think of passion, we think of pleasure! when God thinks of passion, he thinks of pain! When I think of love, I think of wonderful feelings, when God thinks of love, he thinks of bruises – bruised for our iniquities… and by his stripes we are healed. Not just healed but made whole. To go from healed to whole, you must come back! Coming back to say thank you, thank you for how you changed my life, thank you for how you picked me, thank you for how you looked over my sins, thank you for how you made a way of escape, thank you for how you loved the unlovable, touched the untouchable, redeemed the unredeemable – I owe you the praise! God took BRUISES for you! – he took my bruises!! There is a love that endures all things! – It will never back away, it is The Love of God!

The Love of God is shared in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. The only way to love like God, is to be filled with God and when you get filled with God, you can love like God. When you are really filled with the Holy Ghosts, its not just you speaking in tongues. Some of the real sign of been filled with the Holy Ghost is:
• when you love your neighbour.
• when you love people who mistreated you.
• when you people after they have done you wrong.

You may have to love people at a distance, but you still love them! You don’t become God’s disciple by wearing long dresses, by not wearing makeup etc.
• You are God’s disciple when the LOVE of God affects how you treat the people around you.
• You are God’s disciple when you learn how to forgive!
• You are God’s disciple when you can’t hold a grudge.
• You are God’s disciple when you love people who you have nothing to gain from.
• You are God’s disciple when you don’t get anything back out of it but you still do it anyway!
• You are God’s disciple when you serve!
• You are God’s disciple when you carry the bruises of LOVE!

CONCLUSION
John 3:16 is a famous verse and it is important because it tells us about the unconditional love that God has for his creation, it teaches us about the sacrifice God made for us, and it helps us understand the eternal implications of being a follower of Jesus. The verse affirms who Jesus is, why he came to earth, and what belief in him results in. This verse depicts how great God’s love for the world is that he would be willing to offer up his son for us, which was a huge sacrifice on God’s part. It is because of God’s sacrificial love that believers gain eternal life.
True love always gives. Not only did God give His Son Jesus Christ, in Him also He gives a new life - eternal life. Everlasting life doesn’t just refer to our life without end, but a life with God in heaven for-ever. It is the life of God one possesses, new life that can relate to God. That is what we need -we were dead in sins and trespasses but made us alive together with Christ by His grace (Eph 2:1, 5).

Wednesday, March 20 2024

Contributor: Ayomide Oladipo

INTRODUCTION
Last week we looked at the topic “The peace of God”. In the study we learned that ‘the peace of God is the calmness that the body, mind and spirit experience through the trusting in the power and grace of God.’ During the discussion we learned that one of the characters of God is peace - Roman 15:33, and the way live experientially a life of peace is to submit everything to God in prayer according to Philippians 4: 4-7.
Today we would be looking at the topic “The Joy of the Lord”.
The word JOY is versatile in its meaning. Its versatility means that it is not limited to a single definition, it encompasses a wide range of emotion, experience and interpretation and the form and intensity by which it manifest is dependent on individual perspective. However, literally, JOY is generally defined as a feeling of gladness, happiness, and great pleasure.
There are different types of Joy for example, true joy, false joy, lasting joy, ephemeral joy (joy that is transient/ temporary), but the best and most enduring type of JOY comes from the Lord.’

Today we would contrast all other types of JOY with ‘the JOY of the Lord’, also discuss the link between ‘the JOY of the Lord’ and ‘the peace of God’.

The JOY of the Lord
1 Peter 1:8-9: “Though you have not seen him, you love him, and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls”.

The JOY of the Lord can simply be defined as the kind of JOY that ‘The Lord’ gives. Unlike other types of JOY, the Joy of the Lord is not a feeling, it is an expression, this type of Joy is not transient, it is a product of an acceptance of the God’s love to mankind.

Who can express the Joy of the Lord?
1.Those who love the Lord: According to (John 14:28) “You have heard how I saidunto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice,because I said, I go unto the father, for my father is greater than I”, the joy of the lordis available to those who love the Lord. Who loves the lord? Those that have acceptedJesus as their Lord and saviour.

2.Those who obey the Lord in all things: According to (John 15:10-11) “10. If yekeep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my father’scommandments and abide in his love 11. These things have I spoken unto you, thatmy joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full, the fulness of the Lord’sjoy is in those who obey him in all things.
What role does the Joy of the lord plays in a believers live?

The Joy of the Lord is our strength.
Nehemiah 8: 10
“Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy unto our LORD: neither be ye sorry, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
The primary role of the JOY of the Lord in the life of a believer is to strengthen us. Other forms of JOY can excite, can cause someone to be cheerful but only the JOY of the Lord strengthen. The source of this JOY is Christ himself, As earlier established that the JOY of the lord is not a feeling but an expression, believers that have accepted the finished work of Jesus are able to express it because they no longer depend on their own righteousness or circumstances around them to have JOY, and because of the absolute finished work of Christ, this believers are always strengthened.

2 Corinthians 12:9 “And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
It is important to know that it is not by power or might or human works are believers strengthened by ‘the JOY of the Lord’ it is by accepting that it is in him we live and move and have our being, so even when we are weak or fall short, we still can rejoice as apostle Paul say that he glory in his weakness, so that he can experience the power of God.
Zechariah 4:6 “So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts.”
The Spirit of God is the source of our Joy and strength, nothing qualifies us to express the JOY of the Lord but by receiving of the Lord as our Saviour.

Discussion: Can a believer share ‘The Joy of the Lord’ with another person? Isaiah 61:1

Experiencing the fullness of the JOY of the Lord
Psalm 16:11 “11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life, in thy presence is fulness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
The presence of the Lord is where fullness of Joy is. In Psalm 122:1 “I was glad when they said to me, let us go into the house of the Lord.”, the psalmist here understood that the presence of God is a place where he experiences the fulness of JOY of the Lord. God does not intend for us to only experience fullness of Joy when we converge within the walls of a church alone, it is his desire that our Joy is always full. How do we have this fullness of JOY every time, anywhere, it is by dwelling in the secret place of the most high - Psalm 91.

There is no place more delightful than the secret place of the Lord. Through consistent prayer, we are transformed to not only dwell in the presence of the Lord, but to carry the presence of the Lord within us that everywhere we go as believers, people can physically connect to the presence of God within us. Jer.15:16 “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.” Jeremaiah here testifies of what meditating on the word of God did to him (Gave him JOY)

Can this JOY be lost?
Psalm 24:3-6: “3. Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart, who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”
A believer can indeed lose the JOY of the Lord in them when they yield to sin. As earlier established our source of JOY is the Lord through His spirit that works in us, however the devil does not want a believer to enjoy this JOY permanently, he is always looking for ways to rob a believer of access into the presence of God where we enjoy fullness of JOY. According to Psalm 15, a sinful and impure heart cannot ascend into the presence of the Lord.

Psalm 45:6-8: “8 But unto the Son he saith, thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”

When a believer love iniquity and hates righteousness, such believer will anoint themselves with the oil of sadness.

How can it be restored?
Jeremiah 33:7-9 “7 And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first. 8 And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. 9 And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise, and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.”

Our God is a Restorer, He is committed to forgive and restore His Joy unto anyone that lost it as He did to Judah, if they humble themselves, repent and turn back to God – 2 Chronicles 7:14. "14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
Discussion: Can someone have “the peace of God’ without having ‘the Joy of the Lord’?

CONCLUSION
John 17:13 “And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” These was Jesus’s prayer before he left the world, which clearly shows that it is will and his prayer that we his children have his JOY in us.
He did not promise that circumstances and situations will not arise that would want to rob us his JOY, he however told us that he has overcome the world- John 16:33. Jesus paid the price for our JOY in him, this is the reason why it is not circumstance dependent, we can express it anytime any day by having faith in his finished work. While the peace of God is the calmness the body, mind and spirit experience through trusting in the power and grace of God, the JOY of the lord is an expression of gladness we experience as a result of our faith in his strength and grace.
Finally, we are also commissioned to show unbelievers the source of this JOY -Mark 16:15-16 “15 And he said unto them, go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

Prayer: Father let your JOY continue to grow stronger in me in Jesus name.

Wednesday, March 13 2024

Contributor: Ngozi Roberts

INTRODUCTION
The previous study we focused on Psalms 15:1-5 which emphasizes on the character of those who abide in the Lord. We were reminded of the character of the person whom God receives which starts from having intimacy with God and in the process we are enabled by His Spirit to conform to His Will in all that concerns us either physically or spiritually. Today we are going a little bit deeper to discuss the topic Peace of God. When we talk about the Peace of God, we must first acknowledge that there is another kind of Peace which is not of God.
Peace in general encompasses both external circumstances and internal well-being. In a broader sense, peace can refer to absence of war or violence, when nations or communities coexist without hostility. It can also refer to inner calmness, which is a sense of quietness and contentment within oneself. It could be referred to as relational harmony which is when individuals or groups interact without strife or discord. It also refers to when one experiences Spiritual serenity. This is having a deep sense of connection with a higher power. This is where our topic for today falls under. God’s kind of Peace.

What is the peace of God?
The Bible made us to understand that the peace of God is the calmness that the body, mind and spirit experience through the trusting in the power and grace of God. It is the experience that we get when we choose to rest on Him in prayer. When we choose prayer and trust in Him during our anxious moments then it is said that we have the Peace of God. It is a supernatural and unexplainable experience that guards our hearts. How do we know these?

Philippians 4: 4-7
4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Now this scripture sums it all up. It guides us into how to experience the Peace of God:
• Rejoice always
• Be careful for nothing – don’t be anxious
• Prayers
• Thanksgiving
Then be sure to experience the peace of God and note this kind of peace, no one will understand it except you!

God of Peace
We serve a God of Peace. Heb. 13:20 "20Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,"

In Isaiah 9:6 "6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
When Jesus was born the angels came to sing in Luk 2:14 - "14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
And when Jesus was leaving the earth he promised Peace. He said in John 14:27 - 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

He explains that there is a difference between other people or the world kind of peace and His kind of peace. His kind of peace is experienced when we do not let our heart be troubled or when we are not afraid. This tells you that you can have everything but if you do not have the prince of peace you do not know anything about peace.

Types of Peace
Peace of God can be in different categories or degrees
1. Great peace
2. Multiplied Peace
3. All round peace
4. Peace like a river
5. Peace of God that passes all understanding
6. Absence of Peace, No peace
All these kinds of peace can be found in our God.

Great Peace - If you have children according to Isaiah 54:13. If you teach your children the way of God then great shall be your peace. Example in Gen 18:17-19 God was confident that Abraham will bring up his children in Gods ways. Can God vouch for you like that? This was evidence in Gen. 22:1-18 when Isaac was going to be sacrificed, he did not fret. He was not afraid because he had been trained to believe in His father and God. He believed that God will provide even unto death, by not resisting when he was tied up for the kill. He had great Peace that can only be experienced by children brought up in the way of the Lord.

Multiplied Peace - In Daniel 4: 1 Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. It is used as a royal greeting. 1 Peter: 1-2 , …. Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. Also in 2 Peter 1:2 2Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
So as long as we have peace it can be multiplied. Wherever you go you can contaminate them with the peace of God. That is when you multiply the peace of God in you. This can be gotten through the knowledge of God.
All round Peace

• Could be physically. When God brought out the children of Israel from Egypt, He promised them all round health 26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

• Could be materially, He said in Psalm 92:12-15 that 12 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

• Could be Spiritual. In Mark 5: 2- 15 a story was told of a mad man in the country called Gadarene. This man was possessed by many demons such that he was always hurting himself and living in the grave yard amongst the dead. Yet when he met with Jesus, He was delivered and when the people heard and came to see what happened, they met this formerly mad man sitting quietly at the feet of Jesus at Peace. Amazing!
An example of one that experiences this all round peace was King Solomon. 1 king 4:24 24 For he had dominion over all the region on this side the river, from Tiphsah even to Azzah, over all the kings on this side the river: and he had peace on all sides round about him
Spiritually, God loved him. Physically, he did not experience any sickness until he was dying and Materially, he was the wealthiest in the world.

• Peace like a River – this can be experience when we harken unto His voice. 18 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:
o When you have peace like a river, you will be singing praises in the day of trouble like Paul and Silas –Acts16:16-34 when they were put in prison.
o 22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. 23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: 24Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks 25And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

• Peace that surpasses all understanding – Phil 4: 7. This is the one you do not have understanding of. No one understands this. It is usually based on experience. Acts12:5-11 – a story was told of Peter in prison, and there he was snoring away! So much so that when the angel woke him up, asked him to tie the lace of his shoes and put on his garment and took him past the first gate, second gate, until in he came into the city, he thought he was dreaming! He could not understand what has just happened to him until he was physically knocking on the door of his brethren. It was like a dream. The God that has the key of David that opens doors where no one can and shut doors where no one can, this same God opened the gates of the prisons and led him out in Peace. So when you experience this kind of deliverance and peace from this God, it gives you the confidence and re-assurance that since he has done it before, he can still do it again and from there your Peace that surpasses all understanding comes in.

• Lost Peace – This is the experience you get especially when making decisions, a child of God wants to embark on a journey or take a business project or carry out an assignment. God speaks to such people mostly by removing their Peace.

• No Peace - Isaiah 48:22 the bible says there is no peace for the wicked - "22 There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked." So If you are not one of his children and you are praying for peace, His peace will not come. But if you are still not sure that you are His Child, and want to experience His kind of peace, then cry to him right
now. 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

How to Experience God’s Peace
When you genuinely give your life to Jesus Christ is when the Peace of God steps in. It is one of the fruits of the spirit that steps into your life when you genuinely give your life to Christ. Nothing offends you – Psalm 119:165
1. Submission and Trust: To experience God’s peace, we must humbly submit to and trust His commandments.
2. Moving Closer to God: As we draw near to God, we encounter more of His peace. Psalm 24:3-4 emphasizes the importance of a pure heart and clean hands.
3. Growing in Knowledge: Our relationship with God deepens as we grow in our knowledge of Him. 2 Peter 1:2 encourages us to seek more grace and peace through this knowledge.
4. Restful Faith: As we understand God’s love and wisdom, our minds and spirits develop a restful faith in His power and grace.
5. Assurance: God’s peace assures us that He works all things together for our good and accomplishes His purposes.

CONCLUSION
The Scripture describes God’s peace, as a profound and transformative experience that transcends earthly circumstances. It is characterized by harmony and calmness of body, mind, and spirit. It surpasses all understanding, meaning it goes beyond what our human minds can comprehend. It is rooted in trust—specifically, trusting in the power and grace of God. Peace is considered a blessing from God and is consistent with His character. God’s peace is not merely the absence of conflict; it is a profound inner tranquillity that comes from trusting in Him and aligning our hearts with His will.
As we submit and trust in God, move closer to him, grow in knowledge of him and restfully have faith in him, we will be rest assured that Gods kind of peace will be our portion in every area of our lives.

Sunday, March 10 2024

Contributor: Alex Kokobili

INTRODUCTION

The previous study of Psalms Chapter 1 showed us the blessings the God and the consequences of ungodliness. The Godly are blessed with God’s presence and are sustained by the law of the Lord both day and night while the ungodly are condemned to be judged because of their unrighteousness. Today’s discussion focuses on Psalms 15 which emphasizes the character of those who abide in the Lord. Character is virtue or essential good conduct that should portray goodliness which we can also relate with 2 Peter 1: 2-8 “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”.

VERSE 1: Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?

The Holy Hill represents God’s presence. This is not a physical hill, mountain, or elevated piece of land but God’s dwelling place which is our lives. This can also be manifested in a place where people are gathered in God’s name for His purpose, but the emphasis as a new creation in Christ is that our bodies should be available to carry His presence (1 Corin 16: 9 Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit).

The gathering of the saints is also portrayed in this limelight of God’s tabernacle (Mathew 18: 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them).

The significance of the holy hill reminds us of the hill of Zion which was the point in Jerusalem where the temple was located. However, as believers, this now has a spiritual connotation of God’s manifest presence in Jesus Christ in us through the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 12: 22-24 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel).

To abide in His holy hill. Such a person must:

• Receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (John 3: 16)

• Have clean hands and a pure heart; who hath not lifted his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully (Psalm 24:4)

• Live righteous, and those who have faith in God (Isaiah 26: 2)

• Live a sanctified life in holiness with a pure conscience (Hebrews 10:22, Hebrews 4: 8, Isaiah 6:1-5).

• Have the revelation and manifest knowledge of Jesus as the door of salvation (John 10:9). Having peace in God through Christ and dwelling in His grace (Romans 5: 1-2). Understanding God’s eternal purpose in Christ (Ephesians 3: 11-12)

• Depend on the Holy Spirit for divine ability and presence to comply with His will (John 16: 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth). The gifts of the Holy Spirit must be at work (1 Corin 12). Our lives must portray the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5: 22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law).

VERSE 2: The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart. “Walking uprightly and blameless before God”.
God expects us to live in accordance with His commandments whether we think it is philosophical or not but to trust Him to direct the affairs of our lives.
As a Christian apart from pleasing God with your life, business, family, etc. We are advised to:

• Avoid being cruel to others (Proverbs 11:17-18). Have a pure conscience!

• Be aware that whatsoever you sow even as a child of God, you will also reap (Galathians.6:7-8).

• That God watches us and sees our actions both in secret or in the open (Psalm 34: 5 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry).

• Watch your association or manner of communication. (Psalm 119: 63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts, 1 Corin 15: 33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners).

• That God will always come through to help the righteous even in times of afflictions (Psalm 34: 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivered him out of them all).

• The one who works blameless will be an ambassador to proclaim God’s goodness to others (Psalm 26: 7 That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, And tell of all Your wondrous works).

• Depend on God’s wisdom at all times (Psalm 51: 6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom).

• Be truthful (Ephesians 4: 25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another).

VERSE 3 He who does not backbite with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend. “Watch Your Tongue”.

• We have to understand the power vested on the tongue and be guided (Psalm 18: 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit).

• A Christian must be guided while speaking both to Christians and non-Christians (James 1: 26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless)

• A filthy heart will speak filthiness (Psalm 5:9, Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with malice), Matt. 12: 24 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth).

• The unfaithful man’s mouth is a snare for bitterness (Romans 3: 10-14).

• Don’t slander people even if they wrong you (Leviticus 19: 16 Do not go about spreading slander among your people).

• Our mouth is used for all manner of prayer (1 Thessalonians 5: 17 be unceasing and persistent in prayer)

• Our mouth is for praising God and not complaining (Psalm 145:21 My mouth will declare the praise of the LORD; let every creature bless His holy name forever).

• Use your mouth to bless others and not curse them (1 Kings 8:14-15 Then the king turned around and blessed the whole assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel was standing. 15 And he said: “Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who spoke with His mouth to my father David, and with His hand has fulfilled it, saying).

VERSE 4: In whose eyes a vile person is despised, But he honors those who fear the LORD; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change. “Honor God and those who honor Him”.

A vile person has no regard for Godly virtue or a righteous lifestyle and hence things to consider:

• We must hate what God hates which is sin and do not be aligned with those who mock God’s righteousness (2 Peter 2: 5-8 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; 7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8 For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

• Vain thoughts dishonor the Lord. Let’s be careful (Psalm 119: 13 I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love)

• Caution your speech and never compromise your thoughts by being politically correct (Proverbs 8: 7 For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips), 2 Peter 2: 7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked).

• Let the Word of God comfort and guide our disposition of life (Colossians 3: 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord).

• Don’t be in a rush to make a promise or vow and if you have made a vow examine it because God keeps account of all things (Numbers 30: 9 But any vow of a widow or of a divorced woman, anything by which she has bound herself, shall stand against her. let it be fulfilled).

• Fulfill your vows to God (Ecclesiastics 5: 4-5 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. 5 It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it).

• All vows, oats, or alliances that are not connected to God’s alignment must be prayerfully discounted (Romans 8: 1-2 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit).

VERSE 5: He who does not put out his money at usury, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved. “Integrity before God”.

Usury means a place where people lend money at an unreasonable rate. Bribery means collecting money as a form of inducement that compromises your righteousness. Integrity is required if we would stand before God and have access to His presence and blessings.

• Imbibe integrity and desist from shady business deals, bribery, making profits out of greed, or partaking in any dealings that involve compromising our faith (Jeremiah. 17:11 Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay are those who gain riches by unjust means. When their lives are half gone, their riches will desert them and in the end they will prove to be fools).

• Avoid greed when dealing financially with the poor or vulnerable people (Proverbs 22: 22-23 Do not rob the poor because he is poor, Nor oppress the afflicted at the gate; 23 For the Lord will plead their cause, And plunder the soul of those who plunder them). • Riches made honest give peace (Proverbs 21: 6 A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare).

• Little profit with contentment is righteousness than a bounty gained by injustice (Proverbs 16: 8 Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice, 1 Timothy 6: 6-11 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs)

• Christians must ever forget that financial wealth and economic elevation come from God and it must never be derailed from this reality (1 Chronicles 29: 12 Both riches and honor come from You, and You are the ruler over all. In Your hands are power and might to exalt and give strength to all).

CONCLUSION

The discussion reminds us about the character of the person whom God receives which starts from having intimacy with God and in this process we are enabled by His Spirit to be conformed to His will in all that concerns us either physically or spiritually. Character is also referred to as virtue and portraying any character without goodliness means we would always be ensnared to the dictates of the flesh and its struggles making us unfruitful before the Lord.

2 Peter 1:3-8 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Also, Galatians 5: 22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Wednesday, February 21 2024

Contributor: Folashade Morakinyo

INTRODUCTION
In a world consisting of millions upon millions of people, how is it possible for God to differentiate good people from bad? How can He know those in Africa and the same time those in America, Europe, India, China, the near and far East? What type of brain does God have? Isaiah 40:28 answers these questions.
“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.”

There are further questions and answers to guide our understanding of today’s study.

1. How intimately does God know His own?

  • John 10:3 - He knows them by their individual names
  • John 1:48 - Even in the offices or farms
  • Nahum1:7 - Also in the time of trouble

What conclusions can we draw from 1 Corinthians 8:3, 2 Timothy 2:19-20?

Does He know the sinners too? Amos 9:3, Zephaniah 1:12, Jeremiah 17:10.

2. How can you know that He knows you and recognizes you as His own?

1 John 2:3-5, 1 John 3:14, I John 3:19, 1 John 4:13, 1 John 5:9, John 15:14.
If we find it easy to obey His commandments and find pleasure in doing it, then we can have the witness in us that He knows us as His own. Also, a deep love towards all His children is another determining factor.

3. Who else knows the saints as special people of God?
Acts 19:15, Acts 16:16-18. All evil spirits recognize saints for what they are.

4. How do saints know themselves?
How can you recognize a true child of God if you meet one?
Ps. 119:63, Malachi 3:16, Acts 2:42, I John 1:17, Proverbs 17:17.
All true children of God enjoy fellowshipping together and live a holy and blameless life.

5. If I want to become a saint what must I do?
What benefits are mine if I become someone who is recognized by God as His own? Psalms 34:18, Acts 17:27, Ps. 145:18, Ps.16:8, Genesis 25:24, Revelation 3:4.
If you want to become a saint, the first thing is to be truly sorry for your sins and humbly come to God for forgiveness. When you become accepted of Him there is hope of eternal life and eternal glory for you.

CONCLUSION
How glorious is it to walk with Jesus! How wonderful to be recognized as a friend by God Almighty even when the State Governor does not know you. Imagine the glory of one day dinning with the King of kings and of Lord of Lords!
And all it takes is to live a holy life! Is that too great a price to pay! Are you willing to pay the price? Talk to Him about it now.

Wednesday, February 14 2024

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION
Throughout this year, we will be studying various topics under the theme: “A Closer Walk with God”. To walk with God is to continuously have an awareness of His presence. There are numerous benefits that await those who walk with God and in today’s study we shall be considering one of them. The Blessings of God. Today’s study is in three parts. The first part will look at The Blessed Man, the second will consider The Benefits of the Godly, and the third, The Woes of the Ungodly.

PART 1: THE BLESSED MAN (VERSES 1-2)

The word Blessing is from the Hebrew root word Barak which means “to bless”, “to invoke divine favour”, “to empower”, “to prosper”, or “to make successful”. To be blessed means to be “empowered for success.” In Genesis 1:28, we see this empowerment accompanying the blessing God declared.Although man lost this blessing, but by Christ, every believer now has access to the power and wisdom that will override the curse through faith in The Blessing of the Lord. Finally, to be blessed is to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:17-19 “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Characteristics of the Blessed Man

Verses 1-2 of this Psalm lists the characteristics of the blessed man. And these characteristics are divided into 2 main sections. Separation and Occupation. Separation

  • He Does not Walk in the Counsel of the Ungodly. He does not take advice or live his life based on the opinion and recommendation of the world systems. The ungodly “warn” against being too strict and extreme, to be broad-minded and to "make the best of both worlds". But they have no "fear of God" before their eye and are driven by self-will and self-pleasing, and dominated by what they call "common sense". 1 Kings 12:8 tells us that Rehoboam took on bad/ungodly counsel that ended up splitting the nation of Israel.
  • He Does not Stand in the Way of Sinners. He does not fellowship/hangout orassociate with sinners. His best friends are not unbelievers. Evil communicationcorrupts good manners. (1 Corinthians 15:33)
  • He Does not Sit in the Seat of the Scornful. To not sit in the seat of the scornful,means that the blessed man does not take his ease, nor seek his joy in the recreationsof the world. He does not laugh at jokes that undermines the Almighty God! Exodus23:2 tells us that we must not follow the crowd in doing wrong or subscribe topopular opinion.

Occupation

  • But He Delights in and Meditates on the Word of God. God's Word is the dailybread of the "blessed" man. It is not simply that he is interested in "the Law of the Lord," but he delights in it! Joshua 1:8 tells us that reading, meditating on the Word of God and obeying it is the key to making our ways prosperous and having good success!

Categories of Blessings
There are three categories of blessings:- Physical, Soulish and Spiritual.

A. Physical Blessings: Physical blessings are for God’s children. They include among others, money (Amos 9:13), property (Isaiah 30:32), health (Exodus 23:25), wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18), protection (Isaiah 25:4), sleep (Psalms 127:2), Genesis 24:35. He intends for us to have the very best – Ps. 34:110, Ps. 103:5.

Obtaining Physical Blessings

Physical blessings don’t simply happen to us. God is a God of grace and mercy, but He mostly deals with us by certain biblical principles. There are many conditional promises of the Lord's blessings you and I can capitalize on. We will simply consider only 5 ways we can obtain physical blessings. By:

  • Letting the Lord dwell in your home. 2 Samuel 6:11 tells us that when the ark ofthe Lord remained in Obed-Edom’s house for 3 months, the LORD blessed himand his entire household.
  • Giving God tithes and offerings – Malachi 3:10 – Here God promised that Hewill open the windows of heaven to us and bless us until there shall not be roomenough to receive it.
  • Giving to others – Luke 6:38. Give and it shall be given unto you. Good measure,pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be poured into your lap.
  • Serving the Lord - Exodus 23:25 says: And you shall serve the Lord and He will bless your bread and your water and drive sickness away from you.
  • Obedience to God - Deuteronomy 28:1-2. If we fully obey (not partial obedience), then the Lord will set us high above all the nations of the earth and His blessings will come upon us and accompany us!

B. Soulish Blessings: In 3 John 2, the Bible says: “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” A prospering soul is a blessed soul. There are three parts of the soul, the mind, will, and emotion. These soulish blessings include among others, honour, fame popularity, (l Kings 3:13), promotion (I Samuel 2:7), rest of mind (Matthew 11:28), wisdom (Daniel 2:21), etc.

Obtaining Soulish Blessings
As it is with Physical blessings, Soulish blessings don’t also simply happen to us. However, it is important to note that the prospering of our souls is solely dependent on the prospering of our spirits. A prosperous soul is a soul where a person's mind, will, and emotions are under the rule of their spirit and the Word of God
Here are 4 ways among many others by which we can obtain soulish blessings.

  • By studying the Word of God: Proverbs 2:10 tells us that knowledge is pleasantfor our souls. The Word of God is our instruction manual, or our road map, for life.It contains wisdom, encouragement, comfort, and life-changing power thatprospers our souls.
  • By Following Righteousness and Mercy – Prov. 21:21 tells us that if we earnestlyseek righteousness and loyalty, we will find life, righteousness, and honour.
  • By Humility – Prov. 22:4 (AMP) says: “The reward of humility [that is, having arealistic view of one’s importance] and the [reverent, worshipful] fear of the LordIs riches, honour, and life.”
  • By Serving God – John 12:26 “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where Iam, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.”

C. Spiritual Blessings: Spiritual blessings are any blessings administered in the realm of the spirit; specifically, the blessing of the Spirit in introducing the believer into “the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3) Spiritual blessings can be, A glorious name (Isaiah 56:4-5), Ability to know God (Jeremiah 24:7), A soft heart (Ezekiel 11:19), The Holy Spirit and His gifts (Luke 11:13, I Cor. 12:4-20), Eternal Life (John 10:28), etc.

Obtaining Spiritual Blessings
Spiritual blessings can be obtained:

  • By Giving our lives to Christ: Ephesians 1:3 tells us that God has blessed us inthe heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
  • By Living a Holy Life – Isaiah 58:8-11 tells us that if we live a holy life, our lightwill break forth like the dawn
  • By Faith – Mark 9:23 tells us that “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

PART 2: THE BENEFITS OF THE GODLY (VERSE 3)
Living godly has benefits that money cannot buy. It causes you to live in satisfaction, joy, and tranquillity, because you know that God is on your side. Here, the Bible likens the godly to a tree planted by the rivers of water. Isaiah 61:3 says they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD. Psalm 1 verse 3 (TPT) lists out the benefits of the godly:

  • They Stand Firm Like a Flourishing Tree Planted by God’s Design, (Isaiah61:3) A tree planted by the Lord will not fear when heat comes, it will notexperience damage from the blazing heats of summer, its leaf remains green, andit will yield fruit in season.
  • They are Deeply Rooted by the Brooks of Bliss, (Hosea 14:5) Like a cedar ofLebanon. The cedar wood is rot-proof. Because of its characteristics (size,diameter, lifespan), it is a symbol of greatness, of nobility, of strength and ofincorruptibility.
  • They Bear Fruit in Every Season of Life. (Exodus 23:26). There is no time or room for barrenness
  • They are Never Dry (spiritually or materially), Isaiah 58:11 tells us that Godwill guide, satisfy, and keep us strong and we will be like a garden that has plentyof water, like a spring of water that never runs dry.
  • They will Never Faint. Isaiah 40:31 promises the godly that they shall run and notbe weary, and they shall walk and not faint.
  • Ever Blessed, Deut.28:2 tells us that God’s blessings shall come on us and overtakeus
  • Ever Prosperous. (2 Corinthians 9:8, Philippians 4:19), Deut.26:12 tells us that God will open the heavens, the storehouse of His bounty, and to bless all the work of our hands. To the extent that we will lend to many nations!

PART 3: THE WOES OF THE UNGODLY (VERSES 4-5)
Psalms 32:10a tells us that the woes of the wicked are many. Here in verses 4-5, the Bible contrasts the godly and the ungodly. The passage starts off by saying: “The wicked [those who live in disobedience to God’s law] are not so . . .”[AMP]
Then continues further to list out the woes of the ungodly/wicked
They are worthless and without substance (like the chaff which the wind blowsaway.) Psalm 37:10 tells us that the wicked will soon disappear. Isaiah 14:20
The wicked will not endure the day of judgment (but will be punished). Proverbs11:21 tells us that the wicked shall not go unpunished.
Nothing they do will succeed or endure for long. Isaiah 14:20 says the seed ofevildoers shall never be renowned.

CONCLUSION (VERSE 6)
Verse 6 tells us the advantage the godly have over the ungodly, God!
It says: “For the Lord watches over all the plans and paths of godly men, but the paths of the godless lead to doom.”

There are thousands of blessings in the scripture laid up for you and I to claim, that the ungodly are not qualified to claim. A typical example is Psalms 91 where we learn that a thousand shall fall at our side, and ten thousand at our right hand; But it shall not come near us! Only with thine eyes shall we see the reward of the wicked.

We must however, be conscious of the fact that there can be no true walking with God, until we separate from the world, and forsake the paths of sin. We must observe that it is a downward spiral to yield to the ways of the ungodly. We must acknowledge the privileged positions we possess as God’s children and not relinquish it by envying the wicked or adopting their way of life.
In Psalm 73, the end of the wicked was contrasted with that of the righteous. Where David considered the lives of the wicked ones - They never have to lift a finger, living a life of ease while their riches multiply. (Vs.12) He thought he was being foolish playing by the rules and keeping his life pure (Vs.13). When he tried to understand the situation, it gave him a splitting headache (Vs.16) MSG. Until one day God showed him their lives and in the light of glory, his distorted perspective vanished. (Verse 17) when he saw that they were on a slippery slope and heading for destruction that will bring to end all their life of ease; in a blink of the eye and they will be swept away by sudden calamity! (Vs.18-19)
We must continue to remain faithful. Proverbs 28:20 tells us that “A faithful man will abound with blessings!”

OUR SERVICES

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First Service @11AM

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OUR LOCATION

The Redeemed Christian Church Of God
Miracle Land Parish Castletown Road, Castletown,
Dundalk, County Louth,
Ireland

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