Wednesday, May 18 2022
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
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: “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord”
TPT says: “Be enthusiastic to serve the Lord, keeping your passion toward him boiling hot! Radiate with the glow of the Holy Spirit and let him fill you with excitement 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;”
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.”
Wednesday, May 11 2022
Contributor: Okwudili Prince-Isaac
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)
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."
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).
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
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
Thursday, May 05 2022
Contributor: Esther Alajiki
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.
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
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
Wednesday, May 04 2022
Contributor: Peter Folikwe
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:
“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;”
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.”
Wednesday, April 20 2022
Contributor: Wale Abiona
Our life becomes meaningful and fulfilling when it is in line with God’s plan for us. Until this happens, progress and success in the life of a genuine child of God is at a standstill. Therefore, many experience frustration, and do not get satisfaction in their endeavors
- Have you ever wondered where God is calling or leading you?
- Have you ever asked yourself if you’re on the right path?
These questions are very important because God is interested in the work that we do. He wants to use our work as a tool to bring light to those in darkness. Yes, that’s His calling for us.
It makes sense to ask where God is calling and leading us in life. And where else can we find the answer to the question than to go to Scripture.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
This passage shows how precious we are to God, and how he had planned it all out before we are born. We only need to understand the value that that heaven place on us and how we more than just a number on the surface of the earth.
What Does It Mean To Be God’s Masterpiece?
We are uniquely designed individuals and set apart from others with a divine purpose. We are one of a kind, special and beautifully made in his image. Psalm 139:14
God never makes a mistake, there are no imperfections in us. We therefore need to value ourselves as He does, and others will begin value us too.
“The value of life is not in its duration but donation. You are not important because of how long you live; you are important because of how effective you live.” -- Myles Monroe
Why Did God Have Me Here At This Point Of Your Life?
It can be anything from a stay-at-home mum to a career person or an entrepreneur etc. And this can change from time to time or at different points in our life’s journey.
The work we do is so important to God because we were commissioned to share the Gospel, bringing light to the dark world through the work of our hand.
1 Peter 2:9 - But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
Psalm 145:10 - All of your works will thank you, LORD, and your faithful followers will praise you.
Each opportunity that we have been called to can be a mission field that brings glory to His kingdom.
What a joy and privilege to live in alignment with God’s purpose! And know that He will be with us every step of the way.
7 Ways to Align Your Plans with God’s
• Discover Who You Are in Christ
Your purpose as a believer is to build the Kingdom of God. Your role in His Kingdom will require your natural gifts and talents. As Christians, it’s important to start the exploration of calling with the call to follow Jesus. The call to belong to Christ is everything. When we belong to Jesus, we’re finally able to make God look glorious in our lives. This will also empower you to live a greater life in Christ. There’s no way you can follow God’s purpose in your life if you don’t know who you are in Christ. Allow the Holy Spirit to dwell in you and draw you closer to Jesus. The Bible tells us that we will receive the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus and the eyes of understanding will be enlightened (Ephesians 1:17-18). God reveals a calling only to those who accept Jesus as Savior. Knowing Him intimately will change you.
• Allow the Holy Spirit to Lead You
Romans 8:14 says, “For all those who are led by God’s spirit, these are God’s sons.” One of the greatest gifts God offers us is the privilege of being led by the Spirit of God. As children of God, we can expect to be led by the Holy Spirit which will provide us with the wisdom of God to make the right decisions. Our ability to tap into our calling is much easier when we make decisions based on the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit. This wisdom will allow us to make decisions today based on knowing what will happen tomorrow. What many people fail to realize is that you can develop a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit just like you already have with God and Jesus. John 14:26 says, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit is not only a personal guide but also a teacher in this life.
• Let Go of Distractions
In this world, it’s so easy to get distracted but if we want to fulfill God’s calling for our lives, we must refuse to be distracted, particularly by advances made by the enemy. The Bible tells us, “Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of you own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:16).
When we’re trying to build up things like our careers, our families, even our finances, it is so easy to get sidetracked. It’s important that we keep the most important things in focus so that we are not distracted. One great way to do this is by designating time for prayer and meditation daily. Before you rush out in the morning, spend time with God and pray that His Will be done in your life.
• Trust God’s Judgment
God knows what’s best for your life, even when you can’t understand His plan for you. This is why it’s so important to trust God’s judgment. The Bible tells us, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Trusting God needs to be the first steppingstone on your faith journey. God had a plan for you before you were even born, and His plans will always be greater and more beautiful than all your disappointments. We can follow His plan by believing that He has everything in control and that His dominion will guide us exactly where He wants us to go.
• Discover Your Talents
God gives us each unique talents and passions. These are used to help us live in alignment with His purpose. Set aside time to pray and write about what brings you joy and what you are naturally good at. It is a good practice to reflect on what God has given us and how we can use it to live out His purpose. No matter what, if God called you, He will qualify you!
God may be revealing His plan for your life, but you may not be able to align with it because you’re not paying attention to the signs around you. You may also be quenching the Holy Spirit and what the Spirit is trying to reveal to you. The Bible tells us, “Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His presence continually” (1 Chronicles 16:11). Prayerfully seek God and ask Him to discern His calling for your life. Ask Him to give you faith and courage to follow Him wherever He leads you. This will enable you to follow God’s greater call and better advance His Kingdom on earth.
• Align Your Values and Mission
To find out what our purpose is, we must do the reflective work of what our values are in life. Where you place your time and energy will determine if you are aligning with God’s purpose or not. Spend time in prayer and ask God what He values so that the desires of your heart will be aligned with His.
Then investigate whether you’re living your life in alignment with your values and mission. It’s up to you, with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, to change your ways and live life on purpose.
Aligning your values and mission will allow you to set healthy boundaries
• Give God Your Best
The plan God has for your life can only be accomplished when we give the best of our time, efforts, gifts and focus to our specific task. God brings out the best in us when we give Him our best. The Bible tells us, “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:12). Just as Timothy was focused and committed to God’s call, and not distracted or distracted by those around him, we too should model this in our own lives. As you grow in your relationship with Christ and separate yourself from the distractions that hold you back from being related to Him, it’s only natural that you will want to give God your best.
To fully appreciate the journey God has predestined, you and I must be willing to trust and obey, and then align ourselves with his plans.
When we walk with the Lord
in the light of his word,
what a glory he sheds on our way!
While we do his good will,
he abides with us still,
and with all who will trust and obey
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
The key to unlocking God’s plan for our life and live to our full potential is the ability to take Him at His word.
'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, "Thus saith the Lord!"
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I've proved Him o'er and o'er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!
Tuesday, April 19 2022
Contributor: Clem Roberts
The book of John gave several insights of our Lord Jesus proclaiming Himself as I AM in various occasions. One of such of occasions is in our text here today where He declares “I am the true vine”. These few verses show us how our relationship with Christ and the Father should be.
Starting with Verse 1 Jesus said “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser."
Every one of us should pause and ponder on this very first verse. If there is a true vine, then there is also a false vine. And if God is the dresser of the true vine, obviously we know who the dresser of the false vine is. The true vine is genuine and holy.
Verse 2: Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
• God takes away so that the affected branch does not affect the other branches
• For those that bear God takes care of them, so they keep bearing more fruit.
What is this fruit?
• Our Character
• Our attitude
• Soul winning - You are saved but have you led anyone to Christ?
Verse 3: You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
How are we clean?
• we are already clean by the written word of God and
• by the spoken Word of Jesus Christ
verse 4: Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
Verse 5: “I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned."
• The secret of fruitfulness is achieved by remaining connected to the source, and not in the branch making any kind of effort to produce the fruits.
• The branch is entire useless on its own.
• The branch is only to bear fruit.
Benefits of fruitfulness
• To give glory to the almighty God
• To bear more fruit
• God is honoured
• Evidence of being a true disciple
Disadvantages of not staying connected to the source.
• Get cut off from the source
• No more nutrients
• Dries up
• Thrown into the fire and they are burned
Verse 7: If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
There is absolute power in obedience. It opens the door of the kingdom without delay.
• What is your ask? It shall be done God Jesus emphasized
• Do you have unanswered request or prayers? Check your obedience, are you abiding?
• Abiding cannot come without obedience
• Our obedience should be in Jesus Christ not people, not denomination or organisation.
• It is not a legal obligation. Obedience is the response to our love for God as He first loved us. It is borne out of our love for Him because He first loved us.
Verse 8: By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
• Fruit of Holy Spirit - character
• Fruit of holiness - conduct
• Fruit righteousness
• Fruit of the lips – our conversation
• Fruit of our Hands –service
God’s purpose is for us to flourish in His plans and our plans and bear fruits. Ps. 1:1- 6
Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper. The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Monday, April 11 2022
Contributor: Alex Alajiki
Last week we looked into living a life of purpose based on Matt. 5:13-14; "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavour, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Is very interesting that our calling to be light and salt in this world is embedded in every Christian purpose for living.
There are two major ways we can use to find our purpose based on our teachings last week
1. Ensure you are spirit filled and prayerful
2. Believe in the purpose and Submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit
Finally, if we miss it, God is so gracious that he can He can make all things to work together for our good according to Rom. 8:28.
Today, we are looking at another important topic in line with our series on Purpose; Except the Lord build the house, Ps.127:1; Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman wakes but in vain.
We shall be focusing on the fact that God is the master builder of all things and we must work with His plans if we are going to achieve His intended purpose in life.
Most of our labours in life can actually be a waste when we are not mindful of God’s plan.
1. God the Builder; Heb. 3:4,
For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God God the builder does not imply that the Lord has a hammer and nails and actually performs construction work. Rather, it speaks metaphorically of the Lord’s direct involvement or development in the building of our lives. The Hebrew word for “house” in Psalm 127:1 appears nearly a thousand times in the Bible. It is used literally to refer to temples, palaces, and homes, and figuratively to refer to households and families—all of which are important structures in a person’s life. But, we can narrow it down to the building of our individual lives and families. So, we cannot hope to live a purposeful life without the help, guidance and protection of the master builder.
There are 3 major factors that are very important in any building project; Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding.
Wisdom is the correct application of knowledge and understanding. Prov. 23:3-4; Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; 4 By knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches
If we are going to construct a great building that can stand the test of time, then the builder must have latest, not outdated, knowledge of building engineering and proper understanding of materials needed for the construction. So, wisdom to build a house is the combination of proper engineering knowledge and understanding of necessary materials for the construction.
God is the only one with the wisdom of building our lives according to His original intention. He has the intricate knowledge and understanding of what He want to achieve with our lives. Jer. 1:5; Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations
2) God build according to His plan; Prov. 19:21, Prov. 3:5-6, Jer. 29:11
There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel that will stand.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
For I know the thoughts(Plans) that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts(Plans) of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope
A plan is a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something. Only God can boast of a detailed proposal (God’s original road map) for the building of our lives according to His own purpose. You cannot build a great building without a standard plan.
God developed a detailed plan both in our creation and the full content of our existence on earth according to Ps. 139:15-16; My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skilfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.
God completed His plans for each of us before we were even conceived in our mother’s womb. In every building construction site, the building will always be making reference to the original plan in consultation with the architect that designed the building to make sure they are not deviation from the original plan. We cannot build our lives, family, ministry, business and any project ordained from God without God’s involvement by the guidance of His Holy Spirit.
3) Following God’s Plan to Build; Ps. 32:8, Isa. 30:21, Rom 8:11,
Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left. – Isa.30:21
The promise of God is to guild us in our journey through life but how can we know and follow His plans to build our lives according to His purpose;
a. we need to seek His face in prayers. Jer. 33:3
b. we need to understand His plans: Ps. 119:144
c. we need to take actions to build according to His plan; Matt. 7:24-27
d. we need to constantly check if we are building according to plan; 2 Cor. 13:5
CONCLUSION; Eccl. 1:2
“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”
Trying to build anything without God’s plan and wisdom, is foolish. It leads to futility in the end and to the lament of Ecclesiastes 1:2: “Everything is meaningless.”
If you want the ultimate success in life and be satisfied at the end of the race, then we must build according to God’s plan for our lives.
Wednesday, March 30 2022
Contributor: Ngozi Roberts
In our last lesson, we learnt about the hindrances to knowing Gods will and understood that for us to accomplish Gods will in our lives we are not to allow Sin, or our Will hinder God’s Will from being accomplished in us.
So today we are continuing our quest for knowledge in our Christian living by attempting to understand what Living a Life of Purpose all is about. In his book The Purpose driven life, Rick Warren gave us a design for Christian Living. He explained to us what is meant by living a lifestyle-based on God’s eternal purpose and not cultural or social values.
Our topic today is about living a life of purpose. I want to believe that from our last lessons we now have an idea of what our purpose in life is. So today we are going to explore how to live that purpose. I have attempted to simplify this topic by breaking down into bits the words and into sections so as to bring out a basic meaning to this topic. I pray that this way our understanding of the topic will be better enriched.
What is Living? Miriam Webster defines Living as
(i) having life, (ii) the condition of being alive
What is Life? Miriam Webster defines Life:
•as the sequence of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence ofan individual.
•as any system capable of performing functions such as eating, metabolizing,excreting, breathing, moving, growing, reproducing, and responding to external stimuli.
Another definition says:
- it is the state characterized by the ability to get and use energy, reproduce, grow, andrespond to change: the quality that plants and animals lose when they die.
- the period during which a person or thing is alive or exists.
What is Purpose? Miriam Webster defines Purpose as:
- The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.•INTENTION, INTENT, PURPOSE, DESIGN, AIM, END, OBJECT, OBJECTIVE,GOAL
- Mean what one intends to accomplish or attain
If we put all these together one can then say that Living a Life of Purpose is the condition of being alive during which period, one has something to accomplish.
Therefore, I can say that when one is Living a life of Purpose, the person is alive for a period to accomplish something.
So, the question is, do I know the purpose for which am alive for? Do I know the goal for which I am supposed to accomplish while I am alive?
If I then know the reason or the gaol for which I was created to be alive for, then the next question is am I on the right track? In other words, am I living out the life? Am I carrying out the steps that will lead me to fulfil the goal or purpose? Lets look at purposeful living.
I know that in the circular teachings we get all the steps of achieving goals, purposes in life. Usually these are set out by either oneself or the institutions we are under or the projects that we undergo. For example, we are advised to set our new year resolutions, or organisations could ask you set out the goals for achieving a particular task or project. Or even goals are given to you and either your team or self to achieve within a set time. OR an institution that gave the goal would usually set out steps to achieving these goals. Ultimately once these steps are followed through, it will lead to the accomplishment of the set goals. Interestingly, enough when we are in the right course through these steps we are appraised and scored excellently well, and we are happy. In the same manner on the larger scale, when we were created Jeremiah 1:5 confirmed that we were known before we were born.
"Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
God created you and I having known us first. In knowing us I believe, it’s because he had an assignment for you and myself. That is why we were given birth to a particular area of the earth, and through a particular woman/man. He has a purpose for us. Now, having by His spirit guided us into being born again, He expects us to lay hold on the manual for living and find the part that will guide us into fulfilling our purpose on earth. So, there are steps to follow for us to live that purpose fulfilling life. When we lay hold of these steps, and follow it diligently, automatically, passion follows with fulfilment, joy and contentment and the ease with which we go through life will be so amazing that we eventually end up living a life of purpose. As we go through this study my prayer is that we will be able to know where we are at so as to realign ourselves into fulfilling our purposes in Jesus Name Amen.
Text - Matthew 5:13-16
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavour, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Supreme Goal - From the above scripture, we know that our goal is to be the
a.Salt of the earth.
b.Light of the world
c.Glorify our Father
Therefore, whatever we find our selves doing in our pursuit in life, it has to fulfil the above three things. Earlier on we established that God has a purpose for everyone from the scripture Jeremiah 1:5 - 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
Note that Job said in Job 42:2
“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted”
God’s purpose cannot be reversed. Therefore, Once God has established His purposes for our lives—no one can change it. Remember Pharaoh?
In Exodus 9:16, the scripture said that “But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth”
God put Pharaoh in the place of being an Egyptian leader for His purpose. God has a purpose for everyone—including those who resist Him.
FINDING OUR PURPOSE
We were thought in school that to fulfil your goal and mission, one must make plans and follow the steps in the plan. Remez Sasson categorized these into 10 steps as below:
1)Be specific about what you want to achieve
2)Draw up a plan of action
3)Make a list of steps
4)Act do not be passive
5)Read and listen to advice
7)Examine your goals periodically
9)Visualize your goal
Interestingly though, I find that in the fulfilment of life’s purpose we also need to follow some steps.
Proverbs 20:5 says that “The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out”.
We all are made in the image of God, and we have established that we all are born with a purpose. However, the truth is that we can either discover it or completely miss it. Thank God, provisions have been made for us the believers, so we do not miss it. So, I have below the 2 main steps that can lead us into living a life of purpose.
1.Ensure you are spirit filled and prayerful
The Holy Spirit is the one that helps each believer and gives us the insight to God’s purpose for us. We find peace and courage when we sense the confirmation of the Holy Spirit that we are in the right place at the right time of our individual purpose. Therefore, for each step that we take, the Holy Spirit is there to witness that we are walking in the right direction.
So, in our pursuit to fulfilling our purpose, we carry out plans, make mini goals, follow the steps in each of the mini goals and if we are double checking with the Holy Spirit to ensure that we are walking in the right direction we will fulfil our purpose.
Proverbs 19:21 the message translation says,
"We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but GOD’s purpose prevails."
In finding your purpose, God’s purpose is the one that lasts. We can make our plans and set out to see them accomplished but only if it is in alignment with the purpose of God for us would it last. We can make our plans and set out to see them accomplished, but if we don’t pray and seek God’s direction—we could find ourselves drifting in an ocean of challenges without a sail. Every plan should begin and end with God in mind first.
2.Believe in the purpose and Submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit
Once we acknowledge the purpose, we should then believe in the purpose. It is when we start believing in the purpose that it becomes easier to submit to the guidance of the Holy spirit in obedience. As long as we are working in total obedience and submission to his plan, we will surely fulfil our purpose. Take the life of Mary for example, when the angel told her that she was going to be the mother of the son of God, what did she say in Luke 1:38: 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. Mary believed. And in her belief, she knew her purpose, and allowed the Holy Spirit to take over her life so that she was able to live a life of purpose for her. She fulfilled her purpose when she gave birth to Jesus.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE MISS IT?
Yes, sometimes we might miss a step (Romans 8:28). - “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”.
God works through all situations to fulfil His purpose. You see, the enemy is not happy that we are in the right track doing what God has ordained us to do. So sometimes he brings challenges that seems too difficult to handle and when we get beclouded, we tend to lose it. Hard times can make it difficult to see God’s purpose especially when we only feel pain and grief. Many times, we don’t want to be reminded that God is working our difficulty for our good. However, if we practice living our lives with the mindset that God is working things out for us, we can have smoother transition of accepting this truth during challenging times. The key is being very conscious of the presence of the Holy Spirit and with practice He will always guide us through. You see when we genuinely work in error and miss the step. The Holy Spirit will always find a way of bringing the right step to where you are so that you can become re-aligned to the original purpose. They key is working in partnership with the Holy Spirit.
John 16: 7 "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you."
Vs 13 - "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew your things to come."
Isaiah 30:21 says - "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, this is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left."
We are designed to take advantage of the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit. Being aware of his presence is good but when we allow him to minister to us is better. The Holy Spirit is the strengthner, revealer, preserver, anointed, comforter of all of us as believers.
if we are in partnership with the Holy Spirit, as a revealer, He will always reveal to us the truth of what our purpose is in life. He will guide us through all the steps required to living a life of purpose.
To ensure that we live a life of purpose, we must ensure that it is not a living of power and might. We must acknowledge that we can only live this life in partnership with the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy spirit which knows the mind of Christ. Jesus Christ left us with the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide us. When he lived in this earth, he knew all the ups and downs that can block and hinder us from fulfilling our purpose. But He in the end overcame and was able to fulfil his own purpose. That is why He left us with a Helper in the person of the Holy Spirit so that we are certain to make it and fulfil our own purpose also. Jesus Christ in fulfilling his own purpose was able to fulfil the goal of Matthew 5:13-16 being:
a. Salt of the earth.
b. Light of the world
c. Glorify our Father
In the same manner with the help of the Holy Spirit, we are meant to live a life where we are seen as the Salt of the earth, light of the world and ultimately a life that brings glory to God. My prayer is that we all will let the Holy Spirit lead us into living a life of purpose in Jesus’s name Amen.
Wednesday, March 23 2022
Contributor: Dolapo Olaoye
The Bible tells us that God’s will is good, acceptable, and perfect in every way (Rom. 12:2) so of course there will be hindrances stopping us from this. Knowing what God wants us to do at each particular time can be difficult at times. However, God himself does want us to know His will and so once we learn to recognise His leading, it’s a lot easier than we think. I think sometimes God doesn’t answer our prayers right away perhaps because they do not align with His Will for us.
"Call to me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know." (Jer. 33:3)
Text: Mark 11: 24-26 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
1. SIN/The Devil
Sin is a blocker of communication with God (Ps 66:18). We have a very real enemy (The devil). He does not want God’s will for your life because the devil doesn’t like anything good/perfect. The devil wants to break up the church, break up your home, break up your business, and many more. God gave us the whole Armour of God to stand against the tricks of the devil. The devil cannot stop us from doing God’s will but he can hinder us to the point that we quit and don’t get God’s will done. We need to fight, if need be, like a good soldier, to accomplish God’s willing for your life. You cannot stop just because you have an enemy.
Our feelings sometimes can interfere with clear thinking – Do we really want to know God’s will, or are we just trying to get Him to approve ours? We are our own biggest obstacle; you cannot do your will and God’s will. To follow God’s plan, we need to surrender our rights to Him and embrace His ways. We must choose every day to let Him rule over our thought life, emotions, families, work, and decisions.
The feeling of fear is a normal part of being human. Choosing to dwell in fear, however, will always hold you back from knowing God’s Will. Sometimes we choose to live in fear because of terrible pain or rejection that has come into our lives. Fear can be our way of protecting ourselves against further pain. But it never works. It only serves to shield us from the love of the Father. Let go of all fears (fear of rejection, failure, the future, intimacy, authority etc. and allow God (love) in. 1 John 4:18 - There is no fear in love…
4. Not applying the Word of God
Disobedience – not acting on what God has shown us. Fear of the unknown when we want to know all the steps before we follow God’s step, but he isn’t obliged to show you all remember that – just the next step.
5. Expecting answers immediately
No one likes the waiting but sometimes we need to wait as God has his perfect time for everything and he will answer – What do you do in your “waiting period”. We can easily get in such a hurry that we forget that God’s plan. God is not only positioning us for a certain task or career but is actually helping us become the people He wants us to be in the meantime. The way of faith is often the way of patience as we trust that God will, in His time, not only reveal but also position us where He wants us to be.
WAYS OF OVERCOMING HINDRANCES
1. Confess your sins:
1 John 1:9. In other to be in right standing with our maker, there is a conscious need to renounce our sins, it helps remove whatever hindrance that prevents or withholds God’s will from manifesting in our lives.
God commands us to cultivate humility in all our endeavors, by humbling ourselves before God and accepting His word and providence without grumbling even if it sounds or looks foolish by human standards. Humility and the fear of God works alongside each. humility is attributed to the fear God and in turn knowing what His plan for our live is. The reward for humility and fear of God is “riches and honor’’ these are the things God promised Abraham, Solomon, and Jesus promised Peter.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 the bible encourages us to be thankful. Taking time to recognize what God has done and expressing our gratitude is important to developing our relationship with Him. In any situation we find ourselves, we need to be thankful. Gratitude makes us less self-centred. We stop focusing on ourselves so much. It takes us outside of ourselves and focuses our attention on God and draws us closer to Him. The expression of gratitude to God plays a key role in our relationship with Him. Gratitude is like a glue that binds us to God. Gratitude develops endurance and trust in God. We must look for God’s grace in all circumstances. This must become a constant habit.
Practicing patience, when God has you waiting because He is not a magician. Sometimes, it is very difficult to be patient. When we’re bringing our concerns to the Lord again and again, we grow tired of waiting. We can begin to feel like our prayers are falling on deaf ears. Often our desire is to take control and just “do the best we can’’ even though we know Galatians 5 lists patience as a fruit of the spirit. When this dawn on us, we might confess our desire to rule our own lives, inviting the Holy spirit to direct us and empower once again as we continue to wait on the Lord is important in knowing God’s will and plan for our lives.
One of the many ways in discovering God’s plan for us is through living in obedience to God in all things, Obedience, is a great way to show your love and respect for him. Obedience is also a suiting way to draw near to him and grow in your relationship with him. For many reasons, obedience is an important part of a Christian’s relationship with Christ. Thus, helps in revealing God’s ultimate plan for one’s life
Another way to know that you are in tune with God's plan for your life is by praying; Take time each day to devote yourself to the Lord and His will. If you are giving each area of your life to God, then He will bless it and be able to work through it abundantly.
If you want to accomplish God’s will then you cannot let sin, the devil, your own will, fear or eagerness hinder you to the point that God can’t get his will done in your life. If God has shown you an area in your life that is hindering your ability to do God’s will, then address that hindrance tonight, so that God can get his will done in your life.
Wednesday, March 16 2022
Contributor: Alex Kokobili
To seek His will is to know His purpose and surrender God to be involved in the affairs of their lives. This means our expectations must be harmonious with God’s will in our lives. Also, this is an attempt to uncover something that is not visible which could involve a process that results in finding a solution, knowledge, or an answer to a question, concerning our purpose in life
Text: Proverbs 3: 5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
TYPES OF WILL
1.God’s Absolute Will for Humanity. This is God’s supreme desire for us His esteemedcreation.
Ephesians 2: 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them”
For instance, the salvation to all people (John 3: 16-17), Life of Holiness (Hebrews 12: 14, without Holiness, we cannot seek or see God), Life of Thanksgiving as God’s will for humanity (1 Thessalonians 5: 18), To prosper humanity (3 John 2), etc.
2.God’s Permissive Will Borne Out of Human Persuasion to Have Their Way
Psalm 81: 11-12, “But My people would not heed My voice, And Israel would have none of Me. 12 So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, to walk in their own counsels.
3.The Human Free Will (But God Expects Us to Synchronize our will to His Absolute Will to Guide Our Choices
Psalm37: 5 "Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass"
Deuteronomy 30: 15-16 says:
“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;16 In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.”
Seeking God’s Will Does Not Mean You Are A Religious Fanatic As Many Assume!
A. God understands our needs, feelings, and humanity, so don’t live in delusion or fear about involving God in every area of your life.
Hebrews 4: 15
For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin.
B. When we seek God’s will, it is a sign that we are not just earthly residents but also thirst and hunger for the kingdom.
Mathew 6: 33
Seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness and all other things shall be added unto you.
C. As long as your expectation is with God’s word, He will bring it to pass.
Proverbs 23: 18 For surely there is an end, and your hope will not be cut off.
Psalm 16: 3 Commit they work unto the Lord and He shall bring it to pass
D. Never be afraid to pray for God’s will to be done (Surrender to His will).
Mathew 6: 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven
Isaiah 55:8-9 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
How Do We Seek God’s Will In Pursuance Of Our Purpose In Life?
1. THE WORD OF GOD.
The Word of God is the revealer of all truths and mysteries of life. Don’t make vague decisions, but study to know the mind of God on all things.
Psalm 119: 105 “They word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path”
2 Tim 2: 15 ”Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Daniel 9: 1-3 “In the first year of Darius the son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom 2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years.
Through the Word of God, you would find the need for wisdom, knowledge, and direction.
a. The Word of God gives us an understanding of life.
Ephesians 1:18 “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,”
b. The Word of God is wisdom
Proverbs 4:7 “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”
c. The Word of God is knowledge.
Hosea 4: 6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
2. FAITH IN GOD.
Once you study God’s word in relation to any area you need answers in your life, be ready to accept His will and believe (have faith) that he will never mislead you.
Hebrews 11: 1-3
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
3. FASTING, PRAYER, AND PERSONAL RETREAT
Acts 4:31 “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”
(i) Pray all manner of prayers
Ephesians 6: 18
And pray always with all manner prayer and supplication in the spirit: and watch thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all Saints.
1 Corinthians 14: 14-19
14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. 16Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? 17 For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.18 I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all; 19 yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.”
(ii) Add fasting to the prayer from time to time
Mathew 17: 20-21
“Because of your little faith,” Jesus told them. “For if you had faith even as small as a tiny mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would go far away. Nothing would be impossible. 21 But this kind of demon won’t leave unless you have prayed and gone without food”
4. COMMUNAL FELLOWSHIP WITH OTHER BELIEVERS.
Don’t isolate yourself from a Bible-believing Church as the experiences of the believers have a way of pointing us towards God’s will. Unfortunately, lots of people don’t realize the harmony in fellowship as a church. We learn from ourselves, pray and study God’s word, provide counselling, etc.
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! 2 It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe.3 It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.”
Hebrews 10: 25 “not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching.”
5. SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY/ MENTORSHIP AND DISCIPLESHIP
It is dangerous to live yourself without the guidance of a shepherd. Even a true shepherd also looks up to another Shepherd. (Avoid being critical of your pastor or a spiritual shepherd who can guide you).
Hosea 3: 7 “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing unless He revealed His secret unto His servants the prophets.”
1 Corinthians 11: 1 “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ”
6. THROUGH THE MANIFESTATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We have to be spiritually sensitive and deliberate because God can reveal His purpose to us through diverse manifestations
1 Corinthians 12:4-11 e.g., Word of Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith, Healing, Miraculous happenings, Prophecies, Spiritual discernment, Praying in Tongues.
However, be careful not to be a prophecy seeker, but if you seek God in a genuine fellowship, he would send a word of hope, healing, power, assurance, etc., to you.
7. IN DREAMS AND VISIONS
Don’t be quick to trivialize certain dreams or visions because that might be God speaking about His purpose for your life.
Judges 7: 13-15
“When Gideon came, behold, a man was relating a dream to his friend. And he said, “Behold, I had a dream; a loaf of barley bread was tumbling into the camp of Midian, and it came to the tent and struck it so that it fell, and turned it upside down so that the tent lay flat.” His friend replied, “This is nothing less than the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel; God has given Midian and all the camp into his hand.” When Gideon heard the account of the dream and its interpretation, he bowed in worship. He returned to the camp of Israel and said, “Arise, for the Lord has given the camp of Midian into your hands.”
Daniel 2: 19
“Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.”
The bedrock of discovering God’s will starts from knowing Him and building a genuine relationship with Him. We will discover from the main text that it is easier to seek God’s will if we surrender to our will to Him. An example was David who inquired of the Lord after becoming King concerning the Philistines despite being skilful in the act of war.
2 Samuel 5: 17-19
Now when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. And David heard of it and went down to the stronghold. 18 The Philistines also went and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. 19 So David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand? “And the LORD said to David, “Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.”
We are advised to always seek God’s will regardless of our mood, or assurance of decisions, wealth, spiritual might, etc. because His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8), and He is not unfaithful to forsake those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11: 6).
Wednesday, March 09 2022
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
God has a plan and purpose for us; one we can find by following His plan for our lives. Learning how to follow this plan is the reason for these series of studies. In the second and third lessons we studied His Original Plan – to have dominion (Genesis 1:26), and what He expects of us, to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly (Micah 6:8)
And in the last four, we have looked at four vital plans He has for man. Abundant Life (John 10:10), Health & Wealth (3John2), Fellowship, to love Him and love people (Matthew 22:37-39) and finally, Eternity, to be with Him in heaven (John 14:3)
Why these topics are important as a foundation is that they keep us aligned and guided in His will. And it is true that by looking into what God’s original plan for mankind, and walking in it, many have found their purpose in life!
In today’s study we are taking a closer step to following His plan for our lives by looking at ways of identifying our purpose in life. There are several different examples in the Bible of the many ways people have found and fulfilled their purpose in life. One of them is by making use of the gifts and talents you have been blessed with and getting the Lord’s approval as we see in today’s text.
1. MAKE USE OF YOUR TALENTS/ABILITIES
“The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. . .” Matt 25:21a
From this text we can also infer that this parable teaches that some of us are five-talent people, some are two-talent people and some are one-talent people. Matthew 25:15 says: “And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability”
And even more importantly, that a “no talent” category does not exist. So you and I have been blessed with at least one talent, or an ability.
In Genesis 1:28, when God blessed Adam and Eve saying “Be fruitful and multiply.”, He empowered them to prosper. God’s plan for us is to be productive! And in no small measure!
He did not make anyone "empty". He created and wired us to be fruitful and implanted the ability we need to multiply in us by pronouncing His blessing!
We can be fruitful in one or all of the following
• Our Mouths - The fruit of our mouth (Prov. 18:20)
"From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied." (E.g. Motivational speakers, and other orators)
• Our Lips - The fruit of our lips (Heb. 13:15)
“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” (E.g. worshippers and singers)
• Our Minds - The fruit of our thoughts (Jer. 6:19)
“Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it." (E.g. Inventors, designers, etc.)
• Our Hands - The fruit of our hands (Prov. 31:31)
“Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.” (E.g. Everyone who works!)
This list is not exhaustive. Can you mention any?
a) HOW CAN I IDENTIFY MY TALENTS/ABILITIES?
There are two types of talents: Inborn and Learned
Inborn: This comes naturally to people; like running, singing, drawing, painting, etc. Exodus 31:1-6, Bezalel and Oholiab gifted craftsmen, Daniel 1:17b “And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds”
Learned: Abilities acquired by learning; the ability to learn is also God given. Daniel 1:17a
“To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning.”
Some gifts that do not come naturally, can be learned; in that case, it becomes an ability.
Your talent represents your gifts, skills (inborn or acquired), time, energy, education, intellect, strength, influence and opportunities. So everyone definitely has something to offer to God.
There several ways to identify your talents; but for the purpose of today’s study we will consider just three.
• Identify Your Interests
• Identify What You Love to Do
• Identify What You Find Easy to Do (what feels like second nature)
2. DIFFERENT WAYS OF IDENTIFYING ONE’S LIFE’S PURPOSE
In our quest of identifying our purpose in life, history has proven time and time again that there is no one size fits all approach that is remotely applicable. So in this section, we will consider a few
a. By Prophecy
Some people may have theirs spelt out to them right from birth and they simply walk in it.
• Samson, in Judges 13:2-5 gives us this account
“2 A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was childless, unable to give birth. 3 The angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, “You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son. 4 Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean. 5 You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”
• John the Baptist (Luke 1:5-25)
• Jesus (Luke 1:30-33)
b. By Divine Intervention
• Saul of Tarsus who was yanked from his self-appointed life purpose onto his God given purpose. Acts 9:1-6 gives this account
“Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” 6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
• Abraham was pulled away from his uneventful way of life in Genesis 12:1, 4
• Cyrus king of Persia in Ezra 1:1 was moved by God Himself to make a proclamation
In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:
And then the Lord declared of him in Isaiah 44:28 & 45:1
“who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid."’
“This is what the LORD says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut:”
c. By Following the Lord
There were others who found theirs by simply following Jesus. Peter and the other faithful disciples of Christ. Matthew 16:17-19
“17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by My Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
d. By Serving the Lord
Others still by simply serving the Lord diligently.
• Joshua, Moses’ aide who served faithfully in Joshua 1:1-5
“After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
• Elisha who served the prophet Elijah in 2 Kings 2:9-10
“After they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken away from you?” “Please, let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. 10“You have requested a difficult thing,” said Elijah. “Nevertheless, if you see me as I am taken from you, it will be yours. But if not, then it will not be so.”
e. By Revelation
God revealed His purpose for Joseph through his dreams. Genesis 37:6-7, 9
6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7 We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”
9 Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
f. By Asking in Prayers
Saul of Tarsus, when he encountered Jesus on the way to Damascus asked in Acts 9:6a; And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?
And the response was in Acts 9:15
“But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel”
And confirmed in Rom. 1:1
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God”
g. The Wild Card
If at this point there is still no clarity of your purpose in life, don’t despair! Just go ahead and continue to serve the Lord with sincerity of heart; not religiosity or show off but instead in uprightness and fairness (Amos 5:24). This is important because there are many that have walked in their life purposes without realizing it because they served the Lord with sincerity of their heart! The story unfolds of Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus in John 12:1-12 & Matthew 26:6–13
“6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. 8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9 “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” 10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
Finding one’s purpose is one of life’s greatest blessings. It helps a person live a guided, focused and purposeful life. But the quest for it should not be treated as a “ticking the box” exercise or completing a check list. Because it is not about knowing God’s plan and purpose alone, but walking in it, fulfilling it and finishing well!
The Bible gives us examples of those who knew their life’s purposes but didn’t finish well; Samson, King Saul, King Solomon, just to name a few.
There are many today that have also missed the mark because what they want is to be in the lights, they want the front row seats, to be applauded, to be seen, and to be known; but this pursuit of life’s purpose is not meant to be an exercise of being in the lights but being the light
Matthew 5:16 “. . . let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
So the light we shine is not for our glory but for His! You have been created for His Pleasure (Revelation 4:11). What greater way then is it to fulfil one’s purpose in life other than to give Him pleasure?
Wednesday, February 23 2022
Contributor: Okwudili Prince-Isaac
Eternity to Eternity is the study of God’s plan for man through the ages from eternity past, through eternity present, to eternity future. I believe that this study of God’s plan for man from eternity past to eternity future is the most important subject of human existence. The study of God’s plan for man through the ages may be called the backbone of the Bible because it takes in all the ages and dispensations and all the important subjects of the Bible from eternity past to eternity future.
Text: John 14:3
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also”.
Reference Scriptures: Ephesians 1:1-10, Ecclesiastes 3:9-11, Ephesians 3:10-11, 2 Timothy 1:9-10, I Timothy 6:6-7, Matt: 6:19-24, James 5:1-3, Rev 22: 1-5
To have a clear understanding of what God's Purpose is for us would certainly change our whole outlook on life (and eternity) and our commitment to God's service. Our life would take on a whole new dimension!
Ecclesiastes 3:11: “He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.” -AMP Version
1. Predestined Adoption - Ephesians 1:1-6 (NIV)
Paul, in writing to the Ephesians, starts, not with the fall of man, but with the “Eternal Father.” And, he states that God's purpose began “before the foundation of the world.” Paul goes on to teach that God’s purpose for the entire universe is to be realized through, and centering in, His Son, Jesus Christ! To get a grasp of God’s eternal purpose, spoken of by Paul, we must realize that it was determined in God's “Father-heart” – not because man sinned, but before the world was made. In Ephesians 1:1-6 (NIV) we read:
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Chris! For He [God, the Father] chose us in Him [Jesus Christ] before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will - to the praise of His glorious grace, which He [Father] has freely given us in the One He loves” (verses1-6).
2. Conform to Image of His Son - Ephesians 1:7-10 (NIV)
Let’s consider this purpose that was in the Father's heart before the foundation of the world! The fellowship between God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, in the eternities past was so prized, so amazing, that God desired to have many sons conformed to the image of His Son. With great anticipation, God planned that His “eternal Son” would become the incarnate Son, robed in flesh, and share His vital life with the human family, yet to be created! God planned to visit planet Earth, by the incarnation of His Son, not because man sinned, but that Jesus became the very life of man. Paul does points out in verse 7 that, because man would sin, he needed redemption and this provision was also in Christ Jesus. He writes, “In Him [in Christ Jesus] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace.” Verses 8-10 continue,
“He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment--to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ."
Don’t miss this all-important fact, God, the Father, determined that His Son should become mankind incarnate as the means of bringing a vast family of sons into the glorious measure of full stature.
3. Display His wisdom for All Eternity - Ephesians 3:10-11
Apostle Paul sees the eternal Father yearning for a vast family of sons conformed to the image of the eternal Son, in whom He found such delight. Just think of it, from very beginning, “before the foundation of the world,” the Father planned to share His life, through His Son, and express Himself throughout the universe during all ages to come! Ephesians 3:10-11 states that, “His intent [God’s intent] was that now [in this day and age] through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to His eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus or Lord.” God's eternal purpose and intent is to display to the entire universe, for all of eternity, His matchless wisdom by conforming “many sons” into the image of His Own dear Son, Jesus Christ. This is addition to the obvious: displaying man as the master-piece of His creative power as earlier seem in creation (garden of Eden) and redemption (garden of Gethsemane).
“What difference does it make?” The ‘problem’ is that we have placed the emphasis on the “crisis act” of believing that, “Christ died for our sins,” and have neglected to understand the continuous work of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life. “Salvation” is a crisis act and necessary because of man’s sin. However, a “process of growth,” is God's eternal purpose! God's plan and eternal purpose was to share His life with man and to bring him to perfection, spiritual maturity. It was not man's sin (or, defection) that determined this purpose of God sharing His life, but rather, it was in the Father's original (eternal) planning. “Before man was ever created, before he ever sinned,” God determined to share His life through His Son. When man “turned to his own way,” God did not suddenly change His plan. He still would share Himself through His Son, only now He would provide “redemption” by way of the Cross (in pursuit of His eternal plan for man). When God redeems man out of his predicament, it is a crisis act. Here man “believes” in the finished work of the Cross, and receives the divine life God intended for man! Interesting, that is not the end of the story. God designed a continuous work of the Holy Spirit, making possible a daily, receiving, or “sharing,” of God's life – having a continuous and present participation of God’s life! Growth.
Redemption is only the initial step in realizing God's ultimate intention for mankind. 2 Timothy 1:9-10 teaches, the [God, the Father] has;
(1) Saved us, and
(2) Called us to a holy life
None of the above (salvation, and call to holy living) could be attributed to anything we have done but “because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, [vs10] but it has “now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” When God created man, He had an ultimate purpose in mind, which did not necessitate man’s fall into sin. However, man did sin and, therefore, must be lifted from “fallen condition”
and brought back to the position Adam lost. 2 Timothy 1:9-10 tells us that God's called is twofold:
(1) The first issue; God dealt with the gateway to bring man back to God’s original holy calling. God must deal with man’s fallen condition!
(2) The second issue; God's original desire for a family, “before the world began,” to impart the life of His Son, and conform man into His image.
Rev 22: 1-5 – “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever”.
Think about this, “When God created man and placed him in Garden of Eden, was Adam, freshly created, all God intended for man? Was Adam the Full Stature” that God wanted man to become?” i.e. complete without God? His design for man, was that Adam become a son in full stature, through inner spiritual development. Like a flower bud moving to full blossom, God designed Adam for development. This, in no way, necessitated sin for its accomplishment. Man was given the choice between two trees in Garden of Eden, representing two ways. He could choose God's way or he could go his own way. Opportunity for development was along two mutually exclusive lines. He could go his own way (soulishly - refers to man living only by the powers of his soul – his mind, will and emotions); by eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, choosing the development of his soul powers, independent of God or (spiritually), he could choose God's way by being in union with the tree of life, and thus, develop spiritually.
May God help us to see His eternal purpose is to develop us into Full Stature. Hence our walk of perfection with the Father should be an eternal endeavour.
Closing Scripture: Matt: 6:19-24 “Lay up for yourselves”, “Lay not up for yourselves” – Contradiction or contrast? With the consciousness and awareness of greater prospects in eternity;
1. Where are our resources being invested? Matthew 6:19-20
2. How do we use some of our resources for living life? I Timothy 6:6-7
3. What is our attitude toward our resources here on earth? - James 5:1-3
4. Do we hoard all income for our own temporal existence or invest much of it in eternity & eternal things for God’s glory?
5. Where are our desires being invested, bearing in mind that what we desire in life we will make room for, and this will ultimately be the focus of our lives? - Matthew 6:21-23
6. The desire of our hearts is what all of life are made of? - Proverbs 4:23-27
7. Where are our lives being invested in, bearing in mind that serving, worrying and seeking all requires about the same energy and time? Matthew 6:24-34
As it were, we were placed here (earth) to train for eternity. Our bodies were (each) only intended to be a house for our immortal spirit. It’s ignorant to think we are physical beings headed for a spiritual place. But the reality is, we are spiritual beings living temporarily in a physical place. Are we busy preparing for our rewarding experience in eternity (heaven)?
Jesus stated “….. prepare a place……,come again…….receive you to Myself; .. where I am, there you may be also”
Wednesday, February 16 2022
Contributor: Martins Olubiyi
Introduction: What is biblical Fellowship? The word fellowship is derived from the Greek word Koinonia. Koinonia can be defined as “holding something in common” and is specifically used 20 times in the New Testament (e.g., Phil. 2:1-2, Acts 2:42, 1John 1:6-7). Freddy Cardoza maintained that Koinonia is the unity of the spirit that comes from Christians’ shared beliefs, convictions, and behaviours. When those shared values are in place, genuine Koinonia (biblical fellowship) occurs. However, going by today study text, we may conclude that what is capable of sustaining these shared values is rooted in the love of God that bind believers together. Therefore, our focus will be on love as exemplified in our reading text.
Text: Matthew 22:37-39
"37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
The root of the word Love- The word love is shrouded with misconception in many languages. Love is communicated deeper in Greek words (Eros, Storge, Philia, and Agape). These four unique forms of love are found in the Scripture. They are characterised by romantic love, family love, brotherly love, and God's divine love.
Eros: Love in the form of Eros seeks its own interest and satisfaction—to possess the object of love. God is very clear in the Bible that eros love is reserved for marriage. (1 Corinthians 7:8–9). Eros love should be within the boundary of marriage, eros love is to be celebrated and enjoyed as beautiful blessing from God: "Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love." (Proverbs 5:18–19; see also Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 7:5; Ecclesiastes 9:9).
Storge: Storge is the Greek word that describes family love, the affectionate bond that develops naturally between parents and children, and brothers and sisters. Many examples of family love are found in Scripture, such as the mutual protection among Noah and his wife, the love of Jacob for his sons, and the strong love the sisters Martha and Mary had for their brother Lazarus. Rom. 12:10 portrayed Storge love clearly
Philia: It originates from Greek term Philos, meaning beloved, dearly loved intimate way; a trusted confidant held dear in a close bond of personal affection. It expresses experience-based love. For instance, the love between David and Jonathan in 1 Sam. 18: 1-3.
Agape: Is the highest of the four types of love in the Bible. It defines God's immeasurable, incomparable love for humankind. It is the divine love that comes from God. Agape love is perfect, unconditional, sacrificial, and pure. Jesus Christ demonstrated this kind of divine love to his Father and to all humanity in the way he lived and died: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16). After His resurrection, Jesus asked Peter if he loved him (agape). Peter replied three times that he did, but the word he used was phileo or brotherly love (John 21:15–19). It is important to know that Peter was incapable of agape love because he had not received the Holy Spirit baptism. But after Pentecost, Peter was so full of God's love that he spoke from his heart and 3,000 people were converted.
What is Love in the Bible?
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others. It is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away”. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
The personality of God: God is love (Agape). God is omniscience (all knowing), omnipotence (all-powerful), and Omnibenevolence (supremely good). His attributes are: God is a Spirit, is eternal, is infinite, unchangeable, is wisdom, is power, is holiness, is justice, is goodness and is truth.
Love is sacrificial: Agape love is sacrificial. It is putting yourself in a position where you are easily taken advantage of by another person. John 3: 16; John 15: 12-14
The covenant aspect of love: Agape love is unconditional. However, elements of covenant are involved: commitment, mutual respect, promises or oaths, witnesses and seal. John 3:16; Luke 22:19-20; Rom. 8:32; Heb. 9:13-14; Heb. 5:8; Luke 1: 68-73. As we partake in His blood via communion, we are sealed with Holy Spirit of Promise. 2Corin. 1: 21-22. Therefore, Agape love is more than feeling of emotion.
The nature of God of God is love: But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love 1 John 4:8. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in His love. God is love, and all who live in God are in love, for God lives in them.
1 John 4: 7-21 reveals God’s loving nature. God’s sole make up is love. His love is complete and perfect. Loves come from Him. He is the source. Since God is love then, we, His redeemed children must also love one another. In other words, a genuinely born again who is saved by love and filled with God’s love, must live in love toward God and others. God’s love is unconditional. It is not based on feelings. The Lord taught us how to show His love to others, to our friends, to our enemies, and to our families. God does not love us because we please Him. But He loves us just because He is love personified.
We are partakers of His divine nature. (2 Pet. 1:4). This means that the characteristics of God’s nature become my own- through His creating work in me. Love is the hallmark of Christianity. Our character and disposition must be rooted in love. We receive God’s love in our relationship with Him. We experience God’s love in our relationship with others. God’s love is a gift. God’s love is a life-giving, energizing force. It was demonstrated in Christ Jesus. We are commanded to abide in His love John 15:9. See John 15:13; Romans 5:8; Eph. 2:4-5; 1 John 4:7-88 (NLT); 1 John 4:17-19; Jere. 31:3
The contention- my human nature: In James 1:13, Scripture says God cannot be tempted by evil. Human being as a corporeal substance, has a flesh containing lusts and desires, or the inclination to sin, which causes us to be tempted. That is our Adamic nature. However, if I am faithful to overcome when I am tempted to sin, step by step I can develop, so the sin in my flesh is put to death. Then these Godly characteristics, which are pure and perfect, can be created in my life by the creator. It is a process of transformation. As I progress, the fruits of the Spirit, which is divine nature, starts to replace the sin in my flesh (Gal. 5:16-26).
You can disarm sin. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these…. (Gal 5:20) But God said, “do not let sin reign in your mortal body to fulfil the lust thereof. Rom. 6:12. He further commands, “be ye holy, for I am holy”. 1 Pet. 1:16. Lev. 19-20. The word for holy in Heb is “qadash”, which means to be sanctified, consecrated, and dedicated or to be separated from the world and worldliness. However, if holiness is not a possibility, it will make God to be an unjust God. But holiness is attainable if we are ready to pay the price! How? Lay aside every weight, and the sin which do so easily beset us…” Heb. 12:1. We must consciously die daily (1Corinth. 15:31) by crucify the flesh (Gal. 5:20, 24). In other words, by mortifying the deeds of the flesh (Rom. 8:13; Col. 3:5). By building yourself in the most holy faith by praying in the Holy Ghost (Jude. 20).
Remain in Fellowship with Him- When we remain in fellowship with Him, we shall continually walk in love. “If we say we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanse us from all sin”. 1 John 1:6-7.
Conclusion: Love is one of the most powerful emotions human beings can experience. For Christian believers, love is the truest test of genuine faith. Through the Bible, we discover how to experience love in its many forms and to share it with others as God intended. To walk in love is not a choice! It is a command we must obey. However, it is a matter of willingness. (Isa. 1:19). The power to become is already vested in us. (John 1:11-13). We ‘ve got to yield our vessel in an honourable way to Him so as to eat the fruit of the land. (Phil 2: 13).
Reference: message partly culled from: www.active.org ; www.seminary.grace.edu. Reference (Addendum)- Dynamics of holiness. (Dr. David O. Oyedepo); Radiating His glory. (Zac Poonen); Four Kinds of Love. (C.S. Lewis); Confession. (St. Augustine of Hippo); Leviathan. (Thomas Hobbes); Love is a feeling to be learned (Walter Trobisch).
Wednesday, February 09 2022
Contributor: Esther Alajiki
When we talk about prosperity and health, 2 things immediately come to mind, money and physical health.
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”
Health: is defined as the state of being free from illness or injury, a person's mental or physical condition, there are different spheres of health, physical, emotional, spiritual, health is God’s will for his children.
Wealth: is the state of being rich, prosperous, having plentiful supplies of a particular resource, a plentiful supply of a particular desirable thing:
Prosperity: From our definitions we can deduce that there are different spheres or realms of prosperity, the prosperity of the soul is spiritual prosperity (as your soul prospers) and material prosperity (that you may prosper in all things and be in health) “All” connotes more than one instance.
Prosperity of the soul: Man is made up of the Body which is our flesh, the soul which is our conscience our reasoning that carries our character and personality to a degree. And the spirit which is the spirit “inner man, the invisible part of man.
The Soul is your decisive part – the deciding factor of our thought process, it is to be controlled by the “New Man” the regenerated spirit, your soul must be saved, sanctified, dominated, and influenced by the regenerated spirit of Man that is regenerated by the Holy Ghost and the Word of God. But our souls determine a lot of our influence. Your character is a reflection of how much influence our soul has.
Our soul can prosper, when we deliberately infuse the Word of God into our spirit man, the stronger our spirit, the more it influences the capacity of our souls to make godly decisions and vice versa. Our souls will begin to align with the truth of God’s Words and it will begin to prosper. We must receive the Word of God, submit under the authority of God’s Word, whatever it says we obey, we must believe that this Word of God has the power to perform what it says it would perform, and exercise our faith in the Word of God. The reason many don’t prosper is because many don’t believe. The word is activated by faith, and then your soul prospers.
We must proclaim the blessing of God over the facts of life. The truth of God’s word will always prevail over the fact of man’s word and situations.
Evidence of Spiritual Prosperity: You live in truth , you dwell in God and God in you. The Bible refers to this as good Success Joshua 1:8. You walk in truth Psalm 1:1-3. You are a doer of the Word and not a hearer only.
Evidence of Physical prosperity: relates to material possession, the Bible also recognises the prosperity of the wicked,
Psalm 73:3 - For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
Proverbs 23:17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always continue in the fear of the LORD.
It is God’s will to bless our physical bodies, our families, our homes, our jobs, our nation, His eyes are not dim, His hands are not short and He can never run out of resources.
When our pursuit is spiritual prosperity, physical prosperity will follow.
Matthew 6:33 says: seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
2 Chronicles 26: 5. And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.
When the glory of the Lord is upon you:
Isaiah 60:5 “Then you will see and be radiant, And your heart will tremble [with joy] and rejoice Because the abundant wealth of the seas will be brought to you, The wealth of the nations will come to you.
It is the will of God for us to be healed and whole.
The Lord wants to make us whole in every area of our lives, spiritually, physically, emotionally/mentally/psychologically, maritally, relationally, vocationally, socially, nationally in every sphere you can think of. The Lord wants to make us whole . He wants to minister total healing to us.
The Lord wants to heal us spiritually
We must be prepared and willing to receive His healing. Jesus asked the man who was an invalid for 38 years whether he wanted to become well. We should not allow prolonged suffering to rob our hope, confidence, dream and desire. Once we are delivered by God we will have to take responsibility for our life. We will face drastic changes in our life. And once God delivers us, we must be careful to walk in obedience to God lest a worse tragedy occurs in our life. He wants to heal our backslidings. He wants us to live in close fellowship to Him.
The Lord wants to heal us physically.
The Lord is a healer. When we walk in obedience to Him, He promises to heal our sicknesses. we must claim the promises of God and experience His healing in our lives.
The Lord wants to heal us emotionally.
He wants to heal our broken hearts and wounded emotions and painful memories. We must not live all our lives with a broken heart because of a painful experience in the past. The Lord wants to reassure us that He will do a new thing in our lives and therefore we should be willing to forget the past and face the future with confidence.
The Lord wants to heal us relationally.
He wants to mend our broken relationships. The Lord wants us to be free from bitterness and anger and malice. He wants us to be kind and tender hearted towards each other and forgive one another. Just as God has been merciful to us and forgave our sins , we must be willing to forgive others . When we obey His commandments we will experience loving relationships in our life.
The Lord wants to heal us vocationally.
He wants to bless the work of our hands and cause us to prosper in our endeavours. The disciples had tried all night to catch fish and failed to catch any . But the Lord gave them instructions to fish and they caught more fish than they could handle and had to get help from others. The Lord wants to bless us in our vocation and bring healing in the areas where we have failed in the past.
The Lord wants to heal us socially.
He wants to use us to bring healing to our society and community. The prophet Elisha healed the waters of the city and brought healing to the community. The prophet Elijah prayed for rain and brought prosperity to the land. The Lord wants us to carry a burden for our society and community and use our spiritual authority to bring the blessings of God upon it.
The Lord wants to heal us nationally.
He wants to bring healing to the nation. When God’s people humble themselves and pray and seek the face the God and turn from their wicked ways , the Lord will hear their cry and heal their land. Our prayers for the nation can bring peace and prosperity to our land.
But 3 John 2 goes beyond money and health. 3 John 2 talks about God’s desire to make you a complete individual, if your soul does not prosper, you will not have a good testimony as a Christian - 1Timothy 6:18,19 -That they do good, that they be rich in good works. It is his will for us to be prosperous, spirit soul and body. Ps 35:27 Let the LORD be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.
When you prosper and you are in health you will be able to do more exploits in the kingdom. Never adjust yourself to a life of paralysis, spiritually, physically or emotionally.
Do you want to prosper and be in good health? God is right here in our midst. He's prepared to hear our requests and heal our afflictions if we are willing to receive and follow Him.
John 5:6 -Wilt thou be made whole?
Wednesday, February 02 2022
Contributor: Peter Folikwe
As we know we are treating the series “Following God’s plan for your life". The sub-theme for tonight’s study is “abundant life”. God’s purpose for our existence is to extend his kingdom here on earth. Ps 24:1 says: “The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” Gen 1:28 reiterating what other speakers on the topic had emphasized in the last 3 studies. God created us to dominate our world.
Anytime we tend to lose our domineering nature, we are uncomfortable and sometimes act abnormally. E.g. Loss of financial independence
Proverbs 22:7 attests to this “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”
No one wants to serve ‘another of equal standing’.
The fight for dominance is from our mother’s womb.We were created to achieve divine purpose; our dreams. Until purpose is discovered, life will be a struggle.
Text: John 10:10
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Back to Gen 1:28 God commanded us to be fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth, subdue and have dominion.
Man started very well at the beginning: with abundance of resources and the authority to dominate his world. Read Gen 2:13-20.
In the course of our second study, we were given an expose of the thief. Sin came in Gen 3:1-6. Man and wife hid themselves from God in verse 8 (‘shame’ took hold of these glorious creation of God). Then came ‘fear’ in verse 10 (they were afraid of God). From verse 14 and 16-19 heavy burdens of curses came upon them and they became homeless in verse 24.
Since God is a loving and kind God, in Gen 3:16 despite their sins, He made provisions for restoration. He promised that the son of man (Jesus) shall crush the head of the devil. Despite the authority and power were lost to sin in the garden of Eden & God sent Jesus for the singular purpose to restore our dominance over all of God’s creatures.
2 Cor. 5:17 says “If may man be in Christ. . . .
Satan realized the restored plan of God for man on resurrection day. Satan is doing everything to return man back to our adamic nature. 1Jn 3:8 says “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”
Back to the “thief” in Jn10:10. The context in which Jesus spoke these words were preceded by Him painting a picture of a true Shepherd (Jesus) and false/fake shepherds (thieves/robbers). In verse 1 the true shepherd enters through the door of the sheepfold, thieves climb over the wall or through the window. In verse 3 the sheep knows the voice of the true shepherd. In verse 4 the sheep follows the true shepherd as he leads them, but in verse 5, Jesus stated that the sheep will not follow, but flee from strangers. By the time we get to verse 9 Jesus stated “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture”.
As children of God, we have the responsibility to discern between the thief (false teachers) and the good shepherd. Some so-called Christians who are loyal to false teachers don’t know the true Shepherd.
Heb. 10:26 says "For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,"
2Pet 2:20-22 concluded that it is dogs that return to their vomit.
Long before the coming of Christ, God spoke through several of His prophets, one of whom was Joel.
Joel 2:25-27 says: "And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. 26. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. 27. And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed."
God promised restoration of blessings ‘thief’ has stolen, dreams he has killed and the destinies that have been destroyed.
James 4:7 says "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
One of the oldest tricks of the devil is creating an illusion of fear, just like it happened in the garden of Eden to deprive us of abundant life in God.
1Jn 4:4 "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."
We are told the word “Fear not” appeared 365 times in the bible. One for each day.
2Tim 1:7 says “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and a sound mind”. The power to rule our world in soundness of mind.
We also need to exercise the authority we have in the redemption blood of Jesus to enjoy abundant life.
Job 22:28 “Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways”.
Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
3rd John 2 says “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
God Almighty desires for us to live in prosperity: physically, spiritually, financially, emotionally and indeed in every facet of life.
Wednesday, January 26 2022
Contributor: Wale Abiona
Last week, while studying God’s Plan for Man, we understood that His original plan for man and location He placed man was to replicate what was present in heaven here on earth. The Lord’s Prayer in Mat. 6:10 gives us this insight …“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”
Rev 4:11 also tells us that God created all things for His pleasure
Gen. 3:8 revealed to us that God walked with man in the Garden for fellowship, and after the fall of man, He didn’t put man off but He sought to keep His original plan by giving us instructions on how to maintain the fellowship.
The book of Micah revealed three things that will help us with that and continue to give God the pleasure He desired in our daily fellowship with Him.
As we go through this verse of scripture, I want us to ask ourselves one question and as we progress in today’s today, we should individually answer the question
What does God want from me?
Text Micah 6:8
“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?"
A. TO DO JUSTLY
Acting justly, or doing justice, is “the quality of being impartial or fair.” Our world is full of injustice and God wants you and I to be different. This could be achieved by questioning our actions
1. Who will suffer the consequence(s) of my action(s)?
2. At what cost am I getting this done?
The 4 way test of the rotary club comes to mind
• Is it the TRUTH?
• Is it FAIR to all concerned?
• Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
• Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
In Proverbs 12:3 the Bible says: “Wickedness never brings stability, but the godly have deep roots..”
Proverbs 12:19 also says: “The truthful lip shall be established forever, But a lying tongue is but for a moment.”
Perhaps some people try to accomplish things and advance in life through deception. But it is clear that it will not last! What is done right is what will stand at the end.
Jesus spoke about the two houses, the house that was built on the sand and the one built on the rock. The house on the rock was not shaken when the storm beat against it. Everybody encounters the storms of life, the elements of life, both the righteous and the ungodly. But the house of the righteous is built on a rock; it is built on righteousness and it stands firmly.
So, what does the Lord require of you?
To choose righteousness and goodness in all your ways! To try and gain something for yourself in an ungodly way never pays. There is no blessing in that.
Doing justice is helping the needy around us. Jesus said the poor you will have with you always. Mat.26:11
In Proverbs 21:13 we learn that God’s Word shows no impartiality. It says, “Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need”
B. LOVE MERCY
The next command offered by God in Micah 6:8 is “to love mercy.”
This means to show compassion. It is a combination pity and love that produces a kind reaction towards others.
Mercy refers to God’s loving kindness to us. It is interesting to note that God wants us to show mercy—having compassion for those in need. This is not always easy, as we see so much human need; it is on our streets and are bombarded daily by social media. It is easy for our hearts to harden and our minds to judge.
“As one of my people, I hope you love mercy—for that is what you have received.”
There is the story of the founder of Food for the Hungry Organisation (Dr. Ward) whose core value is mercy. He had learned that 10,000 people worldwide were dying of hunger every day and was distraught over the number, begging God for an answer to how he could help. “I’m just one person,” he prayed.
He sensed God saying to him, “But they die one at a time, my son, they die one at a time.”
Dr. Ward realized that if people die one at a time, we can help them one at a time. He founded FH on the concept that mercy can be shown to one person at a time, by one person at a time.
Moved by compassion, each of us can take the step of showing tangible mercy to a person in need.
One of the challenges we face is the thought of the numbers needing mercy and this has prevented us from doing what is expected of us. One at a time, that is all that is required. We cannot solve the world problem, but you can help one person. And he will later help one person and so on and so forth.
C. WALK HUMBLY
The third command in Micah 6:8 is “to walk humbly with your God.”
The “walk” is used often in Scripture to describe the overall direction one’s life is heading. The adverb “humbly” moves us away from arrogance and the egocentric need to always be better than others, to the simple acceptance of the gifts that God has placed within us
In Deuteronomy, there are a number of references to walking in the way of the Lord, several psalms refer to a walk being blameless, and 1 John 1:7 encourages us to walk in the light.
This gives us an insight into what type of relationship God is calling us to, a life that fits into that path. Humility is what helps us to trust and obey God.
Humility is the hallmark of our walk with Him. To acknowledge that without God’s grace, we are nothing, we are poor but He is rich and became poor so that we may become rich in His love. To understand that we’ve been saved by His grace is a sign of humility.
Walking humbly with God is of key importance when relating with people especially those who are below us. On many occasions, we often forget that we were once in their shoes and it was only by His grace that we are who we are today.
The hymn “Trust and Obey” comes to mind as the first verse reads
“When we walk with the Lord in the light of his Word, what a glory he sheds on our way! While we do his good will, he abides with us still, and with all who will trust and obey.”
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
1. What does the Lord desire for me?
These we have seen through our study today
2. What gifts and abilities has He given me for that?
The power and ability to make right choices and the Holy Spirit is available to guide us
3. How can I step outside my comfort zone to other areas the Lord may be desiring for me? (obeying God rather than my flesh)
By taking a step of faith, trusting God by holding unto His Word
4. What are ways I can make Micah 6:8 an action in my life?
By purposefully doing what we learnt today, always desiring to do His will.
John 1:12 tells us that for as many that believes, to them He gave power to become what they desire in line with His plan, according to the power that work in us.
Ephesians 3:20 says: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,”
God’s expectations are actually very simple, there is no beating around the bush with Him. His desire is that His children should be like Him, have the same mind, the same thoughts, and the same life, and the same godly sorrow over unrighteousness in our hearts. The same honesty and straightforwardness in every areas of our lives.
Disciples of Christ are characterised by integrity and honesty. There should be no deceitful, or hidden agenda in our behaviours. Everything should be direct and straightforward, as we follow in His footsteps.
God’s desire; what He requires from us is to do what is just, show mercy and be humble.
Wednesday, January 19 2022
Contributor: Clem Roberts
God has knowledge that will bring results in our lives. Knowing His plan will yield tremendous outcomes to our journey that He has predestined for us all. When God created Heaven and Earth in Genesis 1:1, He created the heavens and the earth because He wanted two places where He could have fellowship. A place to Fellowship comfortably in Heaven and also comfortably on the earth. You are on this earth to become better, to know God, and to find happiness. And as you follow God’s plan and His commandments, you can experience joy now and throughout your life.
Text Gen 1:28 -
"Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
•God's will is what He desires;
•His plan is what He desires we follow.
•His will is that we keep His commandments
•So that we can become like Him and experience everlasting joy
God's Original Plan Was For Man
•To live forever on earth
•Live without sin
•Be in perfect health
•Of a sound mind and body
God's Wants To Talk - He Craves Communion
That why He says in Isaiah 1:18
18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool."
Man's Deviation From The Original Plan Brought:
•Loss of communion and fellowship with God Isa. 59:2, Eph.2:11-12.
•Death - Spiritual (Rom.6:23a); physical (Heb.9:27); Eternal (Rev.20:15).
•Received the nature of sin and debt to sin Gen.1:27 and Gen.5:3.
•Transferred our fatherhood to the devil (Jn.8:44).
•Slavery to Satan (Col.1:13, 2 Tim.2:26).
•Loss of God-given authority to the devil – Jn.14:30, Lk.4:5-6; Eph. 6:10-18
•Loss of Dominion over all the works of God’s hand Gen.1:28.
•Loss of freedom from diseases, sorrow, hardship and sufferings, Gen. 3:16-19.
God's Plan Does Not Include:
•Being religious or churchy – Acts 10:1-9, Jn. 3:1-3
•Keeping the Law – Rom.3:20, Gal.2:16-21
•Being self-righteous – Isa. 64:6, Phil.3:8-9
•Educated and cultured – 1 Cor.1:18-25, Matt.15:2-3, 8-9
These things are good and important but they will not Substitute for the plan of God
Salvation – God’s Realignment To His Original Plan
•It is the redemptive process put in place by God to rescue man from theprecipice of eternal separation from Him.
•It is God’s life-line to save His creation from the helplessness and devastationof man’s treachery against his Creator.
•Salvation therefore is the comprehensive road map designed by God to redirectman from his fallen nature to the embrace of the newness of life.
God’s original plan made provision for joy and eternal bliss. The more you understand and follow His plan, the more you realize you can only make it back to Him not by following your own plan by His own plan alone.
•He made it possible for every sin and every mistake you make to disappear
•He made possible for your sin be forgotten through Jesus Christ.
How To Follow God's Plan
•Baptism and Receiving the Holy Ghost.
•Constant and Continuous Effort to Return to God.
•Acknowledge that Jesus Christ and only Jesus is the Center of God’s Plan
Benefits Of Salvation
•You become a new creature in Christ Jesus. 2 Cor 5:17
•You receive the spirit of adoption into the beloved sonship of God - Rm 8:15;Eph 1:3-6
•God makes His domain in you - 1 Cor 3:16
•You become Heir with Christ - Rm 8:18
•You are entitled to all of the blessings heaven has - 1 Cor 3:21-23
•Demons flee from you- Mark 3:15, 16:17-21
•Angels assist you - Heb 1:14, Psalm 91:6-7
•Your name is written in heaven - Heb12:23
•Eternity awaits you as a priest and as a king - Rev:1:5-6
•You have access to the throne of grace - Heb 4:14-16
•You carry divinity in your humanity - 2 Pet 1:3-4
Proverbs 19:21 says:
"There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand."
The Bible directly tells us that no matter what our plans are, the Lord's plan is what will come to fruition. And the conclusion of the whole matter is for us all to fear God and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty(“plan”) of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
Tuesday, January 18 2022
Contributor: Alex Alajiki
4 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah. 1:4-5
Welcome to our bible study sessions for 2022. I strongly believe that the Lord will use this series of studies to help us know Him better for ourselves, allow God to take note of us and eventually make God known to our world by shinning His light through Christ Jesus. I will encourage us to take the studies of this year more seriously than we have ever done, because this will practically affect the directions of the rest of our lives, individually and collectively. Let us be like the Berean believers in Acts 17:10-11
“Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”
The studies will practically be focusing on God’s purpose, plan and pursuit. This will take us into different aspects that will help unfold the mind of God through scriptures to us.
God’s Big Picture; Matt. 6:10
Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
The above scripture gave us insight into God’s supreme agenda in our world since the beginning and the fall of man. We need look no further than Jesus, who was in every way the complete and full expression of God’s will in action. In the Lord’s Prayer Jesus prayed,
“Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”
The propagation of God’s kingdom and the doing of His will on earth can only be perfectly realised when each one of us can discover his/her purpose, embrace His plan and be willing to pursue His plan to the end. Jesus Himself discovered God’s purpose, embraced His plan and followed it to the very end.
Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” John 18:37
Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, 8; I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. Ps. 40:7-8
1. Understanding God’s Purpose; Jer. 1:5
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
The purpose or reason why anything exist can only be defined by the creator. Our purpose was already programmed into every creature of God and nobody can discover purpose outside the creator. Our complete identities, compositions and assignments were in God before we were created, and nobody can change that original intention of God except Him. There are two reasons why it is important for everyone to discover their purpose in life;
a) Your sense of purpose is important to your well-being; Ps. 82:5
"They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are unstable."
Our individual identity is rooted in our purpose. Maybe you know someone who bases their identity on the things they own, their partner or even a job, what happens if they lose any of those things? Their sense of self quickly crumbles and they’re left trying to figure out what to do. Our well-being and self-acceptance is rooted in discovery of purpose. Finding your purpose in God doesn’t carry that risk. God never changes and so we can be sure that when we ground our identity and purpose in Him, the foundation remains firm.
b) It is God who gives you purpose; Isa. 43:7
"Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory, I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”
God specifically created everyone of us for His glory and only the people who discover and fulfil that purpose can bring glory back to God. Every man must find out their purpose from God.
2) Embracing God’s Plan; Jer. 29:11
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peaceand not of evil, to give you a future and a hope"
A plan is a product of several thoughts. God’s plan is His thought-out steps, with details of timing and resources to accomplish our purpose in life. His ways are not always the way we like to go, but only His plans can take us to His desired destination for our lives.
3) The Pursuit of God’s Purpose and Plan; Prov. 3:5-6
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."
When we embrace God’s plan, then we have simply put our trust in Him. We must now be ready to pursue that plan of God for our lives. The Holy Spirit is ever committed to lead us all the way through the journey of our individual destinies.
Ps. 32:8-9 says:
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. 9 Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you.