Scripture: Proverbs 6:1-11
“Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty! Proverbs 14:23 (NLT)
Ants are widely known as industrious, diligent and well organized animals. They are self-driven and can work without leadership or supervision. They work hard to gather for rainy days and so they are never in lack no matter the weather (v8). Humans are created with more developed and advanced abilities.
Scripture: Proverbs 3:1-12
“Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!...” Proverbs 3:3 (NLT)
Feedback: Consider what it will take to always say the right words
Many people stay committed to things or people simply because they believe and expect they will receive favours from them. They do not believe in going through the thick and thin in any matter or relationship. For these people, if there is nothing to gain, then there is no place for them. Our commitment to anything should go beyond benefits,
Scripture: Proverbs 2:1-13
“Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures” Proverbs 2:4 (NLT)
Knowledge is gotten through learning and experience but wisdom is a unique gift from God that can be gotten by earnestly seeking for it from God for He alone gives wisdom (v6). If, for example, you realize that your house is sitting on an oil well, nothing else will be relevant until you have dug and discovered the oil. This should be the mindset of any one whose desire is to acquire wisdom.
Scripture: Proverbs 20:1-12
“Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who always does good and who never sins” Ecclesiastes 7:20 (AMP)
The overconfident and self-righteous Christian is a source of constant offense to God (Proverbs 8:13). He is also a discouragement to other believers because they will find it difficult to relate with him due to his claim of perfection. When Christians act self-righteous, they push others away because their lifestyle appears unattainable and unrealistic.
Scripture: Matthew 26:47-56
“Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city.” Proverbs 16:32 (NLT)
Emotions are a very sensitive part of our lives. This is because, if not properly managed and controlled, it can have a detrimental impact on our lives. Not every situation deserves a reaction especially when aimed at belittling your faith.
Scripture: Judges 8:29-35
“But then I recall all you have done…” Psalm 77:11a (NIV)
Not long after Gideon died, the children of Israel forgot God and also did not remember the kindness that Gideon had shown them. They returned to the worship of Baal. They allowed the killing of all but one of Gideon’s sons and made the killer their king.
Scripture: Proverbs 22:1-18
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)
It is imperative to be a source of relief to the poor amongst us and to help them the best way we can. Unfortunately, many avoid this and shy away from obeying this God-given command. We often prefer to give to the rich, who themselves live in abundance, in the erroneous belief that giving to the rich will bring us favour and reward.
Scripture: 1 Timothy 4:6-16
“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace - as in all the congregations of the saints.” 1 Corinthians 14:33 (NIV)
Folklore and myths are traditional beliefs and customs of a community passed down through word of mouth across several generations. Some of these traditions can hinder our spiritual growth, therefore, God makes it clear that we must completely do away with these old and detrimental belief systems in our lives if we must live effectively as true Christians.
Scripture: Proverbs 15:1-24
“...And a word spoken in due season, how good is it!” Proverbs 15:23b (KJV)
Feedback: Consider what happen when you pray for others.
We communicate with people everyday as we go about our routine activities using words as our primary tool. Our choice of words in communicating is thus essential as it leaves specific impressions about us and trigger certain reactions from others.
Scripture: 1 Timothy 1:12-17
“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enable me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.” 1 Timothy 1:12 (KJV)
Certain persons today enjoy benefits and favour in positions they seem not best suited or qualified for. There are others whose past were totally in desolation but have found complete fullness in their lives today. This is evidence of God’s divine enablement and favour. One thing becomes clear when divine enablement is at work – it goes beyond your asking and ability.
Scripture: Psalm 91:1-6
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” Psalm 91:1 (KJV)
The secret place of the Most High is the place of prayer. Prayer is an intimate conversation between you and your Father the living God of heaven and earth. It is a place of interaction and bonding with God. It is a sure way of spending time with God and a means to abide under the Shadow of his protection (v1).
Scripture: 1 Timothy 3:1-16
“Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” 1 Timothy 3:7 (KJV)
The bible recognizes that in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver but also of wood and earth, some to honour and others to dishonour (2 Timothy 2:20). This implies that, although many come to church and profess to love and serve God, their actions may not please God or bring glory to him. This is why it goes on to warn that everyone who names the name of the Lord should depart from iniquity (2 Timothy 2:19).
Scripture: 1 Timothy 6:11-16
“But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.” 1 Timothy 6:11 (NLT)
We live in a society where nothing seems to be evil anymore. Perverse behaviours and actions that were unthinkable in the past are permitted and celebrated in the world. There is a high level of compromise even in the body of Christ. We must refuse to condone these or allow them corrupt and influence our thinking or perspective.
Scripture: 1 Timothy 4:6-16
“Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” 1 Timothy 4:14 (KJV)
There is absolutely no one in life that does not have a gift put in him by God. The challenge, however, lies in the fact that many do not realize that they have been given a gift. Others, on the other hand, neglect to put theirs to use. A gift that has not been discovered and put to use cannot benefit you or others.
Scripture: Proverbs 4:21-27
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23 (KJV)
There is something really special about the heart of man. The prophet Samuel revealed that God does not evaluate people by outward appearance, but he looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). The heart can also be blind thus apostle Paul prayed for the saints that "the eyes of your heart may be enlightened" (Ephesians 1:18).
Scripture: Numbers 27:1-11
“Let us review the situation together, and you can present your case...” Isaiah 43:26 (NLT)
Feedback: How refreshing was your study of the word of God?
God can play any role we desire him to in our lives. We can relate with him as Creator, King, Father, Lord, Provider, Healer and more. However, we sometimes forget that he can also be a righteous Judge (Psalm 97:2). It is this role that ensures that the upright receives justice and eternal blessing. As Christians, we miss out on a lot when we fail to relate to God as our righteous Judge.
Scripture: 1 Timothy 6:11-21
“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” Luke 12:21 (NLT )
The world’s advice for people who wish for financial freedom and stability is to ensure a portfolio of savings and investments that enables them to take care of present and future needs. Sometimes, in the quest to secure this good life, you can compromise to the standards of the world and rob yourself of the opportunity for true riches that comes from doing what really counts to God.
Scripture: Daniel 9:1-19
“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf…” I Timothy 2:1 (NLT)
The end time is near, and the Church, more than ever before, is experiencing many of the signs foretold in scriptures. Many false prophets abound in our midst. Innocent and naive Christians are deceived with false teachings and doctrines. Many other believers, who are mature and committed to the faith are intimidated, persecuted and even killed in various parts of the world.
Scripture: Proverbs 8:1-13
“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” James 3:17 (KJV)
In seeking for wisdom, every believer must know that there are two types - the wisdom from God and the wisdom of the world. Without a clear picture of this, the believer that begins with godly wisdom may end up influenced, operating and entrapped by worldly wisdom.
This issue can play out in the marketplace where Christians who start out honest and fair in their dealings become swayed by the seemingly successful ways of unbelievers.
Scripture: Proverbs 15:1-12
“There is severe discipline for him who turns from the way (of righteousness); And he who hates correction will die.” Proverbs 15:10 (AMP)
Many believers are practicing Christianity at their convenience. Many choose to ignore instructions from the church leadership; some take their leaders for granted, while others customize instructions to suit their self-interest.
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
“Again I say to you, that if two believers on earth agree [that is, are of one mind, in harmony] about anything that they ask [within the will of God], it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. Matthew 18:19 (AMP)
A tree cannot make a forest; it needs other trees to create one.. Similarly, your prayer alone is not enough to handle all the challenges that can confront you. You need to tap into the power of fellowship and agreement. You need to have believers who can join voice with you in prayer for an optimal and fruitful Christian experience (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
Scripture: Proverbs 11:24-31
“I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35 (KJV)
Many believers suffer from lack due to their disobedience to the most basic principle of wealth creation - giving. Obedience to God’s command to give is an act of submission to him. Giving is an affirmation of our love for God. It also symbolizes our acknowledgement that he is the provider of all we have (James 1:17).
The fear of lack and an uncertain future prevent many from keying into the blessings that come from giving.
Scripture: Matthew 17:14-21
“And Jesus said unto them, because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain,remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” Matthew 17:20 (KJV)
Feedback: How refreshing was your personal time with God?
Faith can be referred to as believing in God and what he can do, and acting on that belief. You cannot profess your faith when you do not act accordingly. It is important to recognize that the life of a Christian will amount to nothing without an unwavering belief in God’s ability to do the impossible because without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews. 11:6)
Scripture: Haggai 1:1-10
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)
It is common to see people give 100% to their careers but treat the work of God with carelessness and levity. They perform tasks at levels far below their potentials and capabilities, believing that their secular jobs are more important because they receive direct financial reward.
Scripture: 2 Timothy 2:1-6
“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” 2 Timothy 2:4 (KJV)
Every Christian is a member of God’s army with a core mandate to evangelize. Unfortunately many have lost consciousness of this mandate due to identity crisis. We have so blended in with and conformed to the world that we are no longer on fire for God.
Scripture: Genesis 5:1-2
“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex…” Psalm 139:14 (NIV)
A brand is a valuable asset for any organization. This is because organizations spend years developing how others perceive them. They spend even more resources deliberating crafting the image and impression they want left behind in the minds of people who engage and interact with them.
Scripture: Proverbs 4:1-7
“My son, pay attention to my words and be willing to learn;” Proverbs 4:20a (AMP)
There is such fierce competition in the face of changing technology and trends in the world that people cannot afford to be left behind in ignorance. People are forced to update their skills to stay relevant in the marketplace. Every believer needs to do the same. You are expected to update yourself daily in your knowledge of God’s word and direction for the current generation
Scripture: Exodus 22:14-15
“The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously.” Psalm 37:21 (NIV)
Valuable relationships have been broken and destroyed due to people’s refusal to repay debts owed others. Some people find it hard to return or repay when they borrow from others. When they need help, they persuasively get others to lend to them promising to repay.
Scripture: Ephesians 1:15-19
“I pray that the eyes of your heart be enlightened in order that you may know the hope of which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.” Ephesians 1:18 (KJV)
A heart that is not in tune with the spirit of God cannot hear or receive from God. To tap from God, your heart must be illuminated. An illuminated heart is that which is enlightened with God’s thoughts, visions and plans. An enlightened heart is also a heart that is not only transformed and renewed,
Scripture: Daniel 10:2-6, 12
“Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you” Proverbs 4:25 (NIV)
Feedback: Consider the length of time it took you praying this week.
God answers prayers. This means that your need for deliverance, salvation and healing is not an issue where God is concerned (Jeremiah 32:27). The challenge lies in how a believer acts to access these benefits. The answer is to connect or plug in to God’s omnipotent power. Just like the electrical appliances in your home need a power source to function,
Scripture: 2 Kings 6:8-18
“I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4 (KJV)
The world today is full of challenges ranging from joblessness, financial crunch, health and security issues. These challenges have plunged many into fear and moved believers to question God. They wonder why prophecies remain unfulfilled and prayers seem unanswered but God encourages you not to give in to fear because he has a plan for you.
Scripture: Matthew 26:47-56
“So be careful if you are thinking, “Oh, I would never behave like that” - let this be a warning to you. For you too may fall into sin.” 1 Corinthians 10:12 (TLB)
Judas was one of the disciples of Jesus. He walked with Jesus, saw the miracles that Jesus performed and deep down in Judas’ heart, he must have known that Jesus is the son of the living God. But this knowledge did not deter him from carrying out his evil plans against Jesus with the religious leaders of his time.
Scripture: Psalms 46:1-11
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:2 (KJV)
There are times in life when it may seem like our efforts hardly yield results. We may be limited by our finances, disappointed by people we respect or discouraged by the actions of people we trust. These painful experiences may come all at the same and we become weighed down and discouraged by our challenges. At such times, we may think of the phrase “when it rains, it pours”.
Scripture: Matthew 23:1-15
“Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Matthew 23:28 (NLT)
An ambassador is someone sent from his mother country to another as a representative. Ambassadors are put in place to enhance the image and reputation of their mother country with the ultimate purpose of positively furthering its course in the foreign land
Scripture: Philippians 3:1-11
“That I may know him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” Philippians 3:10 (NKJV)
In one of Paul’s most profound writings, he poured out his heart describing the significance of his life in Christ and his desire to discover more each day in his relationship with God. His goal was to persuade every believer to grasp the importance of knowing Jesus and the need to grow in their walk with Jesus
Scripture: Matthew 26:6-13
“...what this woman has done will be told as a memorial to her” Matthew 26:13 (NKJV)
No gift or sacrifice should ever be considered too big for God. God is everything good, and more to you and He deserves nothing but your best. You must therefore never hesitate to give God your best, and the first place in your life’s affairs. You may not be the wealthiest person around, or have all that you need,
Scripture: Matthew 24:3-14
“And Jesus answered and said unto them, take heed that no man deceive you.” Matthew 24:4 (KJV)
Feedback: Consider all the things you are grateful for
The 21st century church has largely yielded itself to the dictates and glamour of modernity. Many believers are increasingly being driven by their quest for wealth, pleasures, power and fame. To hunger for those things is to be carnal minded,
Scripture: Matthew 22:1-14
“Jesus answered, Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” John 3:5 (KJV)
The gospel has been offered freely to everyone without discrimination and so is the kingdom of God accessible to everyone. But you have roles to play to make these possible for you. It is not enough to hear the gospel; you must also live it and share it to with those who have not yet received it.
Scripture: Matthew 20:1-16
“Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.” Romans 14:4 (KJV)
Every one of us is called to serve a unique purpose in the house of God – the church. It is expedient that you focus on your core duty in the house of God; not comparing yourself with anyone else, or trying to do what everyone else is doing rather than what you are called to do. It does not matter how huge or minute your contributions are; or how much value others place on your work.
Scripture: Hebrews 11:30-40
“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” James 2:17 (KJV)
Most Christians today claim to be “faith filled” when their lives and actions show otherwise. There is nothing to show practically that they have faith because their mouths say one thing, and their actions exhibit the opposite.
Scripture: Matthew 20:25-28
“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” Philippians 2: 6-7 (NIV)
Leadership is about serving others. Many who seek positions of authority lack the basic requirements needed to function effectively in such positions. They seek to exercise power over their followers and
Scripture: Matthew 18:1-6
“By humility and fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life” Proverbs 22:4 (KJV)
One of the strongest traits of a child’s character is humility. Every child tends to love and trust everyone. They hold no grudge and seek a cordial relationship with everyone. This is the same attitude and lifestyle God expects from every Christian.
Scripture: Matthew 13:44-52
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 (KJV)
In many of Jesus’ teachings, the kingdom of God is compared to everyday events - activities and things we can relate to. A consistent theme across these illustrations is the truth that every believer has a part to play to enjoy the kingdom of God. The discovered treasure hidden in a field,
Scripture: 1 Timothy 6:3-10
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6 (NIV)
Feedback: Did you visit and encouraged someone this past week?
When we switch on our televisions, surf the internet or walk out into the streets, we are bombarded with advertising gimmicks from sellers to buy the next trinket or electronic gadget, attend the most exciting programme or send our children to the best school or programme in town.
Scripture: Matthew 15:32-39
“And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave them to his disciples and the disciples to the multitude” Matthew 15:36 (KJV)
Thanksgiving is a very powerful tool in the arsenal of Ta Christian. A heart of profound gratitude to God for what he has done and will do creates an atmosphere for answers to prayers (Phillipians 4:6b).
Jesus demonstrated the power of thanksgiving when he fed thousands of people with five loaves of bread and some fish.
Scripture: Matthew 16:24-28
“The Jesus said to His disciples, “if anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross…” Matthew 16:24 (AMP
What does it mean to be a Christian - a true follower of Christ? Many people can only be identified as Christians when you check up their bio-data on forms, other official documents or simply by their routine attendance of church services on Sundays.
Scripture: Matthew 18:21-35
“And forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” Matthew 6:12 (NLT)
When we keep a diary of the events that occur in our lives, there is a tendency to also keep a record of our hurt. We bury the pain deep in our hearts refusing to let go especially when it is caused by the ones we love and hold close to us.
Our scripture today recounts the incident of a servant who failed to pay his debt but was forgiven by the creditor when he pleaded for pardon.
Scripture: Matthew 11:16-19
We played the pipe for you and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.” Matthew 11:17 (NIV)
Success has many friends but can also buy you a lot of enemies. There will be people who will criticize and speak ill of you and your efforts no matter how good your intentions are or how well you perform. Your first thought may be to fight back but this is not always the best option
Jesus experienced verbal attacks and more during his ministry on earth.
Scripture: Matthew 16:5-12
“And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived.” Luke 21:8 (KJV)
A believer who is not firmly rooted in the knowledge of God and his word will become easily deceived. This is because the devil is always on the move in search of those to destroy. A scripture starved believer can easily fall prey to the deceptive schemes and teachings