“Prayer is the Key”

Tuesday, March 12.

“And Hannah prayed…”

1 Samuel 2:1-10 is found two stories. One of the stories tells about Hannah praying before God because she was barren. As a barren woman, Hannah desired a child and life with a meaning. She was rescued from herself by God’s mercy. The second story is about the people of God who had gone to Shiloh to pray.

In many cultures around the world, barrenness is one condition of a man or woman that shows a broken world. In Israel, this condition put pressure on a person to produce a heir or insure an inheritance. This kind of condition describes not only a person physical condition but a persons spiritual and social afflictions. And so Hannah reasoned that only God could rescue her. She prayed to God and God answered her. In any situation we find ourselves, God can hear us. We just need to pray.

Memory verse: Matthew 7:7

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” Martin Luther

The Passover

“The Passover”

Monday, March 11.

“And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt”  (Exodus 12:13).

The account of the Passover is a unique experience for the Children of Israel. While its marks the beginning of the exodus of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, it speaks profoundly to God’s people. This central story of the Old Testament reminds us that unless God intervenes and cover us, we remain in our sinful condition. We remain a rebellious creation.As a rebellious creation, we remain under God’s judgment and condemnation.

The one thing God wants from us is for us to trust. It is important that we trust God. We must know that God is merciful and that He cares for us. He is the God who wants to save us and not condemn us. On this six day of Lent, let us trust God that he can deliver us from our sins.

Memory verse: John 3:16

“Mistakes are always forgivable if we have the courage to admit it.” Bruce Lee

“From Dust”

Friday, March 8.

“By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground. since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Genesis 3:19

In the passage found in Genesis, we encounter a God who respond decisively to sin committed by the first couple. God respond with a curse. This does not mean God is not a gracious God. God is gracious, but does not deal lightly with sin. Death entered the beautiful world God created through sin. All manner of sufferings and despair come through sin. To help humankind get out of this fallen state, one man had to pay.

Jesus Christ came thousand of years later to deal with the issue of sin. As Paul puts it, Christ came into the world and redeemed us from this curse by becoming a curse for us. During this season of lent, let us consider that we came from dust. Let us acknowledge our mortality and repent of our sins.

Memory verse: Galatians 3:3

“The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.” D. L. Moody

“A Call to Pray”

Wednesday, March 6.

Matthew 6:5-7.  5.And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others.  Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  6. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your father, who is unseen.  Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.  7. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.”

President Ronald Reagan on May 7, 1982, proposed to the Congress of the United States of America, a constitutional amendment to allow organized prayer in public schools.  According to a New York Times article published May 18, 1982, President Reagan believed the amendment would “restored the simple freedom of our citizens to offer prayers in public schools and institutions.”  The president asserted “that public expression through prayer is an integral part of the American heritage. “  What is most beautiful about President Reagan’s statement was that it would be of immense benefit for children of the United States to begin each day of school with prayer.  Prayer is the most fascinating thing a person can ever carry out.  Prayer is a sacred ordinance.  It is sacred because our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ spend a life full of prayer, setting Himself apart to pray.  Jesus Christ undertook a customary life of prayer.  Throughout the Gospel, especially the book of Luke, the prayer life of Jesus Christ is made evident.  In choosing the 12 disciples, Jesus Prayed.  During the transfiguration, Jesus Prayed.  When the disciples slept, Jesus went to pray.  Even on His dying cross, Jesus Prayed. Jesus Christ thread the sands of time as both man and God.  He had all attributes of God.  In his humanity he experienced the harsh realities of this world.  But he prayed in time of crisis(Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, John 18:2). Jesus went to pray every time He needed to pray.  If Jesus Christ, the anointed One of God engaged in many prayer rituals, don’t you think it is a divine command to pray? Yes, it is. Let us engage ourselves in a continuous prayer life.

Memory verse: Ephesians 6:18

“Prayer does not change God, it changes the one who prays.” Soren Kierkegaard

https://firstchurchnewton.org/daily-devotions/1947/

Lust and Envy

Lust and Envy.

Tuesday, February 5.

  1. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid servant, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s. 18. And all the people perceived the thunderings, and the lightnings, and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off.  19. And they said unto Moses, speak thou with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die. 20. And Moses said unto the people, fear not for God is come to prove you, that his fear may be before you, that ye sin not.  Exodus 20:17.

The issue of how we deal with our sins before God is very important.  The question continues to loom. How do we respond when confronted by our sins? How do we respond, when the Holy Spirit convicts us of our wrong doings?  Our response is depended largely on our awareness of the sins in our lives. It is important to know the sin that bothers us. The anonymous writer of Hebrews in chapter 12 puts it this way: …Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth easily besets us.”  This is the reason why during this time of Lent, we must identify the wrongs in our lives and confess to God.  We must consecrate ourselves. This morning we want to discuss one of the sins that is a hindrance to our Christian lives: Lust.

Most often the sin of lust is talked about in terms of sexual desires.  But lust is much more than that. The meaning and history of the word in Greek is “to be hot after something.” Using the word lust in this context simply tells us that it is any sinful desire that goes against the will of God.  It is our inordinate desire for something. It is that excessive desire for something which does not seems right. It can destroy us. Let us take heed.

Memory verse: Romans 23

“Some rise by sin, some by virtue fall.” William Shakespeare

“Pleasure for a Season”

“Pleasure for a Season”

Monday, February 4.

…And so Esau despised his birthright” Genesis 25:34

Reading the story of Esau and Jacob makes us wonder why the guy would sell his birthright. And the price is even worse to think about: A bowl of soup! We sometimes find ourselves in similar position. The question here is: Are we giving anything valuable up of things that worth little? What is our bowl of soup?

Are you pursuing career at the expense of your family? Are you so busy with your job or school that you have no time for God? Some people get involve in extra marital affairs at the detriment of their family. Others sacrifice their health for the consumption of alcohol or other drugs. In these cases, we make foolish choices that affect us.

Some of the choices we make robs us of the blessings God has for us. When we allow the devil to put us into temptation, we are actually allowing a pleasure for a season. We can not live carelessly basing our decision on our feelings and desires. Let us walk as wise people. Let us evaluate our choices to see what negative consequences it will bring us.

Memory verse: Proverbs 3:5

“The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.” Leonardo da Vinci

“Hills and Valleys”

“God is Good”

Friday, February 22.

“…And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, hope. And hope hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:1-5).

No one likes to suffer. No one wants to identify with people who are in pain. Every one wants to take pride in the good times. People identify with success. It is important to understand that suffering is okay in a sense because we learned valuable lessons from it.

Everyone goes through crisis. It could be divorce, illness, grief, loneliness, ect. Despite all that we go through, there is beauty in the faith we practiced. The beauty is that God helps us through all our trials. As we endeavor to reach the highest peak in life, God is always watching. He is good. He will see us through any trials.

Memory verse: Romans 12:11

“We don’t have the capacity to exaggerate God’s goodness” (Bill Johnson).

“God Works for those who loves him”

“God Works for those who loves him.”

Thursday, February 21, 2019.

“We know that all things work together for good to them that love the Lord” (Romans 8:28).

It is always good news when we hear testimonies of how God has been working in the lives of people. Reading the Upper Room, the story of how an amputee lost his family but rose up again. He remarried and restarted his career. Fanny Crosby wrote many songs as a result of her blindness.

We all go through afflictions. But those difficult time are meant for our good. God tests our characters. Job went through afflictions unimaginable. At the end of the day, he was successful. Everything work for good for the man Job because he loved God. He refused to curse. He held unto God’s unchanging hands. Let us always stand up to difficulties knowing that God is always going to be there.

Memory verse: Philippians 4:13

“God’s goodness is stronger than any evil” (Pope Francis).

“Praying for Church’s Finance”

“Praying for Church’s Finance”

Wednesday, February 20.

Luke 14.

Jesus’ example in Luke 14 helps us understand the importance of planning and using the resources of our church wisely. If the church does not plan and use its resources wisely, the money will run out and the church will be in trouble.

Any plan that is made ought to be made with prayers. Those involving finances should also be covered with prayers. It is always good to ask God for wisdom to understand his plan for wisdom in understanding his plan about money and how to apply it to our situation. Next, we must pray for clarity on how much is spent versus how much is earned.

God is always there and will lead his people on how to live within their financial means.

Memory verse: Luke 6:38

“All money is about belief” Adam Smith

“Fear”

“Fear”

Tuesday, February 19.

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self discipline.

Fear is an emotion. It can be helpful or harmful. For example, it helpful to reverend or have fear of the Lord. It keeps us from transgressing his way. It keeps us from sin. It is also helpful or beneficial to have a healthy fear which warns of danger. Most times we have a different fear which keeps us from obeying God’s laws. When we focus our thoughts on our self rather than focusing on God, that kind of fear takes root. In the scripture above, Paul writes about such fear, when he talks about us having a spirit of timidity (2 Timothy 1:7).

When we go through circumstances in Life, we feel inadequate because we feel we can not handle the situation. It is not the situation but an error in our thinking that is causing the fear. In times like these, it is important for us to remember that our adequacy is not in ourselves but it is in God. It is in God because God knows our situations. Let us put fear away and trust him.

Memory verse: 1 Corinthians 3:4

“Fear is the path to the dark side.Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” Yoda