RCCG HOUSE FELLOWSHIP LEADERS’ MANUAL 28 AUGUST 2022
TOPIC: END OF FOURTH QUARTER / INTERACTIVE SESSION
HOUSE FELLOWSHIP ANTHEM:
1. I Love This Family Of God,
So Closely Knitted Into One,
They Have Taken Me Into Their Arms
And `am So Glad To Be
A Part Of This Great Family
2. I Bless This Family Of God,
So Greatly Prospered By The Lord,
They Have Taken Me Into Their Arms
And ´am So Glad To Be
A Part Of This Great Family
3. I Know This Family Of God,
So Deeply Rooted In The Word,
They Have Taken Me Into Their Arms
And ´am So Glad To Be
A Part Of This Great Family
4. I See This Family Of God,
So Highly Lifted Above All,
They Have Taken Me Into Their Arms
And ´am So Glad To Be
A Part Of This Great Family
5. Come, Join This Family Of God,
So Highly Favoured By The Lord,
They Have Taken Me Into Their Arms
And ´am So Glad To Be
A Part Of This Great Family
Today’s devotional: Open Heaven 28 August 2022
Powerful Declarations: Powerful Declarations For Today 28 August 2022
Today’s Prayer Points: Prayer Points For Open Heavens 28 August 2022
Teens Devotional: Open Heavens For Teens 28 August 2022
*SUMMARY OF LESSONS (40 – 51)*
*TOPIC: RESTITUTE YOUR WAYS BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.*
*MEMORY VERSE:* “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.” Luke 19:8
*BIBLE TEXT: LUKE 19:1-10*
1. And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
2. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
3. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
4. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
5. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.
6. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.
7. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
8. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any
What is restitution? It’s a way of returning or retracting what was forcefully taken or wrongly said. Today’s memory verse is explicit on this issue. Zacchaeus was a tax collector, in his line of duty, might have taken people’s properties (those who did not have money or delayed payment) forcefully, and in turned the properties became his own. For the real salvation to come to him, restitution must be done, which he did.
THOSE WHOM CONSEQUENCE OF REFUSAL TO RESTITUTE CAUGHT UP WITH IN THE BIBLE.
1. ACHAN: Joshua 7:19:26. Achan, his family and property were destroyed for late restitution.
2. DAVID: 2 Samuel 24:14-17. David numbered the Israelites despite warning, the Lord killed seventy thousands people amidst David’s restitution.
3. JUDAS ISCARIOT: Matthew 27:3-5. Judas returned the thirty pieces of silver he sold Jesus for; he went and hung himself. Late restitution.
4. ANANIAS AND SAPPHIRA: Acts 5:1-11. They did not have opportunity to restitute their ways.
*ACTIVITY:* Discuss how we can know that we need to make restitution in any wrong thing we have done in the past before and after becoming a believer?
*SUMMARY:* As a believer, we need to check our lives daily so as to make restitution.
*CONCLUSION:* Zacchaeus immediately restituted his ways when he got the opportunity to do so. However, Ananias and Sapphira were not given such opportunity. On this note we advise that to be a copycat is dangerous, for you may not know whether your own will catch up with you while others escape it. Please, restitute your ways before it is too late.
*TOPIC: THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HOLY COMMUNION.*
*MEMORY VERSE:* “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” John 6:53.
*BIBLE TEXT: MATTHEW 26:26-28*
26. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
27. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28. For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Holy Communion is a spiritual meal that was initiated by God, in the Old Testaments a Feast of Passover, through Moses, Exodus 12:1-6. The coming of Jesus Christ, in the New Testament, also brought with Himself grace. And, one of the attributes of this grace is that the killing of unblemished lamb, for the Feast of Passover, was replaced with the flesh (Bread) and blood (Wine) of Jesus Christ. As we continue to dig deep into this important topic, we pray that Holy Spirit will help us to do justice to it adequately.
PURPOSES OF HOLY COMMUNION:
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HOLY COMMUNION INCLUDES:
1. DIVINE STRENGTH: The supply of the needed spiritual energy and its renewal can be got by taking Holy Communion. Matthew 26:18-24, 26-28.
2. DIVINE RESTORATION: All the Israelites had labour for 430 years were divinely rewarded after the Feast of Passover. Exodus 12:36
3. DIVINE DELIVERANCE: The Israelites were spared the agony of losing their first born when the angel of destruction passed through Egypt. Exodus 12:1-13
4. DIVINE HEALING: Holy Communion acts as catalyst that will facilitate manifestation of wonders of God. The Israelites were in the wilderness for 40 years and there was no single reported case of sickness. Exodus 15:26, Isaiah 53:5
5. DIVINE FULFILMENT: Jesus knew what He came for but when His mission was unfolding, He became nervous. He needed that extra energy. Holy Communion provided easy landing for both. Without God supplying the strength, fulfilling ones callings will be an impossible task. Matthew 26:39.
HOW THEN DO I TAKE IT AND MAXIMISE IT’S BLESSINGS?
1. Obey all the rules and regulations guiding Holy Communion. Isaiah 1:19.
2. Do not take it unworthy. 1 Corinthians 11:26-30.
3. Take it regularly in remembrance of the death of Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:24-25.
4. Always take it in evening. Matthew 26:20.
5. When you eat the Communion, believe that you will never lack and thirst again. John 6:32-35.
6. It must be well prepared for. Exodus 12:9-11
7. No underage person must be allowed to take it.
8. You are not expected to harbour any grudge against anybody.
9. It is meant for Believers who have been baptized by water immersion.
*ACTIVITY:* Class mention personal testimonies relating to the Holy Communion.
*SUMMARY:* No man who approach or take the Holy Communion in godliness ever remain the same for good, vice versa.
*CONCLUSION:* The significance of Holy Communion cannot be over emphasised. All Christians involved in this Heavenly race must come to term with the reality that it is neither by power nor by might but by the special grace of God which is regularly made available through Holy Communion.
*TOPIC: DO NOT CHOOSE YOUR PARTNER BY SIGHT ONLY.*
*CASE OF SAMSON AND DELILAH.*
*MEMORY VERSE: “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” – Colossians 3:20.
*BIBLE TEXT: JUDGES 13:7-14; 14:1-4; 16:1,4.*
7. But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.
8. Then Manoah intreated the LORD, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.
9. And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband was not with her.
10. And the woman made haste, and ran, and shewed her husband, and said unto him, Behold, the man hath appeared unto me, that came unto me the other day.
11. And Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said unto him, Art thou the man that spakest unto the woman? And he said, I am.
12. And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?
13. And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware.
14. She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe.
1. And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.
2. And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife.
3. Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.
4. But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.
1. Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her.
4. And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.
Marriage is a lifelong union between a male and a female, to fulfill one of the mandates of God for mankind – procreation. Genesis 1:28. In addition, the Bible in Genesis 1:27 said “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” meaning that for every male child, given birth to, God has created his wife with him, and vice versa. The problem now is searching and getting right the particular heavenly match for everyone.
Holy Spirit, please, open up Your words the more for us and sharpen our understanding for comprehension, in Jesus Name. Amen.
RECIPE FOR A SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE.
The general recipe for a successful marriage is that as you are stepping into it, you go back to the “manufacturer” who has the manuscript of your marriage. Psalms 37:5-6, Proverbs 3:6,5. What actually, does He want to achieve with my marriage and who exactly has he carried has he created for me. The next thing is to wait patiently for His instruction and then follow His directives.
LESSON FROM SAMSON AND DELILAH.
1. Samson disobeyed his parents – Father and Mother. Colossians 3:20.
2. He also disobeyed God. 1 Samuel 15:22
3. The soul that sinneth shall die, Samson disobeyed God and he died both spiritually and physically. Romans 6:23.
4. Samson allows the physical beauty of all the three ladies he came across, including Delilah to misled him. Proverbs 31:30b, 1 John 2:16.
5. Samson could not fulfill destiny because he allowed his flesh to dictate to him against the spirit of God. Galatians 5:16-21, Judges 16:28-30.
6. Manoah and his wife could have gone back to God (Samson’s Manufacturer) on their kneels for Him to remold Samson according to His original plan, which is to deliver the Israelites from the Philistines. Jeremiah 18:4, Romans 9:21.
*ACTIVITY:* Discuss why marriages are being destroyed?
*SUMMARY:* You can choose for yourself a partner but God knows the best for you.
*CONCLUSION:* When it concerns choosing life partner, none of whatever consideration is much more important than bringing the Initiator of marriage, as the number one consideration.
*TOPIC: YOUR CHILDREN WILL BE GREATER THAN YOU*
*MEMORY VERSE:* “And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
*BIBLE TEXT: EPHESIANS 6:1-4*
1. Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
3. That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
4. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
God is a God of multiplications and He hates stagnation or a cyclical life. What do we mean? We meant when a father was in a particular spot and the child or children came and remained the same spot as the father, as the father, God dislikes it with passion. Conversely, God will rather encourage a child or children to be greater than their father in all Godly ramifications. For example; Genesis 24:35 says that Abraham was great, while Genesis 26:13 says that Isaac was very great and Jacob according to Genesis 30:43 was exceedingly great. From today the example will be the portion of your family in Jesus Mighty Name.
WHAT MUST I DO FOR MY CHILDREN TO BE GREATER THAN ME?
1. Give them the right training. Proverbs 22:6
2. Discipline them when they err. Hebrews 12:9-11
3. Teach them to honour elders. Exodus 20:12
4. Teach them to hate sin and love righteousness. Hebrews 1:9
5. Teach them to love their neighbours. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
6. Teach them to love God. Matthew 22:37
7. Teach them to take their studies seriously. 2 Timothy 2:15
ANY BENEFITS FOR THE PARENTS?
There are several benefits if the above and more are followed strictly. The following and more will be obvious benefits.
1. God will dwell in such family. Revelation 3:20
2. The parents will live in peace tranquility. Isaiah 9:6
3. The parents will be highly regarded. Psalms 127:3-5, Exodus 2:9
4. The family name will not bring reproach. Joshua 5:9
5. The parents will receive honour in return. Ephesians 6:1-3
*ACTIVITY:* Discuss other benefits for parents if their children are greater than them.
*SUMMARY:* God will rather encourage a child or children to be greater than their father in all Godly ramifications.
*CONCLUSION:* It is no doubt that any family that put God first in training their children will receive rewards of their children becoming greater than them.
*TOPIC: RE-IGNITING LOVE IN YOUR MARRIAGE*
*MEMORY VERSE:* “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13:1
*BIBLE TEXT: 1 CORINTHIANS 7:1-7.*
1. Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
2. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
3. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
4. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
5. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
6. But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.
7. For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
Almost every marriage starts with a huge celebration, together with their family and friends, each couple is full of hopes and dreams for their future life together. But the road to a happy marriage is far from easy. And as today’s divorce statistics demonstrate that all is not well with many marriages.
It would be easy to blame our high rate of marital failure on things like not spending enough quality time together, allowing bitterness and resentment to build in our hearts and failing to keep communication lines open. There are lots of books, articles and seminars that tell us how to improve these and many other aspects of our relationships.
FEELING BITTERNESS AND RESENTMENT GROWING TOWARDS YOUR PARTNER
The answer is Love and Prayers. When was your last time you brought him or her before the Lord in prayer and truly thanked God for your relationship? Struggling to find quality time together? How about praying with your partner and asking God how he would like you to use your time?
As you begin to do these things, you will notice that your focus automatically starts to shift away from you and your desires and over to God and your partner. As a result, communication problems begins to improve, anger and resentment fade away and you naturally want to spend more time together. Of course, you can’t expect such changes to happen overnight.
Relationship is also bound to face financial pressures, child-rearing issues and other problems that are beyond our control. But if you commit your relationship to God and make a conscious decision each day to put God and your partner first, your marriage will be able to weather any storm. Not only that; you will also have plenty of fun together along the way!
If our love and marriage is to be restored, Jesus must be invited.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE WAYS THAT JESUS CAN STRONGLY IMPACT OUR RELATIONSHIPS.
1. He gives us power to be Christ-like. Ephesians 3:16
2. He directs our lives on a daily basis Romans. 8:14
3. He convicts us of sin. John 16:8
4. He empowers us to fight sin in our lives. Galatians 5:15-16
5. He causes our marriages to glorify Christ. John 16:14
6. He produces the “fruit” of the Spirit in our lives; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Galatians 5:22-23.
CONSIDER THESE STEPS THAT CAN LEAD YOUR MARRIAGE TOWARDS RENEWED SENSE OF INTIMACY:
1. Believe that God loves you and that He desires to walk with you in oneness through the power of the Holy Spirit.
2. Confess to God your utter dependency on the Holy Spirit for power. If there is any known sin in your life, confess it by agreeing with God that it is sin and is displeasing to Him.
3. Draw upon God’s power by faith and obedience. Begin walking by the Spirit in your daily life.
4. Admit You are powerless over your spouse and your marriage.
5. Put everything into the hands of God who alone can save us. 2 Corinthians 1:9
6. Pray for Your Spouse, Your Marriage and Yourself.
7. Begin to pray everyday for your spouse. Believe in God for a miracle in your marriage. Psalms 77:14, Matthew 9:29
8. Adjust your expectations.
9. Resist the enemy.
i. Members should mention things that can cause the love in marriage to go cold
ii. Members should discuss or mention how to avoid or resolve the things mentioned.
*SUMMARY:* Love is the life of a marriage, when it is cold the marriage is cold and sickly, when it is hot the marriage is hot and healthy.
*CONCLUSION:* The source of all marital problems can be traced back to the Garden of Eden with creation’s first married couple. Genesis 1 and 2 tell us that Adam and Eve lived in perfect union with God, and with each other. Without fear or shame, they instinctively delighted themselves in creation, in each other and God.
*TOPIC: HELPING THE YOUTH TO GROW SPIRITUALLY*
*MEMORY VERSE:* “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18
*BIBLE TEXT: HEBREWS 5:11, MATTHEW 21:18-21*
11. Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
12. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13. 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.
18. Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.
19. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
20. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!
21. Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
There must be a sincere desire in the heart of every child of God to want to grow and get closer to God to discover the secrets that will enable him leave the realm of spiritual defeat and come to higher grounds of spiritual victory. Spiritual growth is the process of becoming more and more like Jesus. We are always concerned when there is no growth in any area of our lives. When a child is not growing, the parents are bothered and want to do everything to make the child grow. Same way the Lord is bothered when we are not making spiritual progress and not growing closer to Him.
WHEN THERE IS NO GROWTH
Spiritual growth is as important as physical growth. As our days increase in the Lord, So should our knowledge of God, wisdom, righteousness and commitment to Him continuously increase. There are telltale signs of spiritual stagnancy, some of them are:
1. Spiritual ignorance Hebrews. 5:12
2. Inability to offer essential Kingdom service. 2 Chronicles 25:2
3. Lack of spiritual revelation and insight. Ephesians 4:14
4. Superficial obedience and satisfaction
5. Weak attachment to Christ
6. Spiritual dullness and blindness. Matthew 12:15
7. Immaturity and instability
8. Sin and backsliding
STEPS TO GROWTH
1. A genuine desire for spiritual growth. A holy dissatisfaction with our present state.
2. Proper feeding on the Word of God.
3. Prayer – constant, fervent prayer not just for mundane things
4. Consecration unto The Lord. Let’s lay everything on the altar.
5. Change of spiritual diet. Develop a taste for the strong meat of the Word
6. Separation from things that hinders spiritual growth.
SIGNS OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH
1. More love for the things of God and for God himself.
2. A stronger faith.
3. Better fellowship with the Lord and brethren.
4. More submission and obedience to the Word of God
5. Greater zeal for the Lord and concern for the lost.
6. Hatred for sin and any appearance of evil.
7. Greater understanding of God and His Word.
8. Brighter hope and Greater expectation for the coming of the Lord.
*ACTIVITY:* Discuss how the church is helping the youth in the aspect of spiritual growth.
*SUMMARY:* The youth can grow spiritually if they have a close relationship with God.
*CONCLUSION:* Believers who desire to spiritual growth must be ready to go the extra mile. It is the Lord’s desire that we become more and more like Him in our daily lives.
*TOPIC: DEALING WITH PROCRASTINATION.*
*MEMORY VERSE:* “And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.”
*BIBLE TEXT: ACTS 24:22-25, ACTS 26:28.
22. And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter.
23. And he commanded a centurion to keep Paul, and to let him have liberty, and that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister or come unto him.
24. And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.
Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
“Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” Proverb 27:1. This explains the fact that time is of essence in all decisions of life.
Procrastination is willfully delaying a required action until a future time. It means to defer, to postpone until tomorrow, what should have been done, a day before tomorrow. It is an enemy of success. We trust the Lord to deal with this vice in our lives in Jesus Name.
CAUSES OF PROCRASTINATION
1. Excuses – I need time to think, let me relax a little and start later.
2. Personal Convenience – Acts 24:25.
3. Laziness – Proverbs 26:13-16
4. Slothful – Proverbs 12:24
5. Environmental Distractions – Ecclesiastes 11:4
6. Pleasure and worldly entanglements – Genesis 19:16, Matthew 19:22
7. The erroneous belief of “working better under pressure”
EFFECTS OF PROCRASTINATION
1. Promising yourself that you will start tomorrow mighty be soothing and harmless while taking the pressure off temporarily, but the consequences can be disastrous to say the least. Some effects of procrastination include:
2. Loss of trust from peers and colleagues due to missed deadlines
3. Constant anxiety and being caught off-guard
4. Guilty conscience due to incessant failure
5. Missed opportunities
6. Strained relationships
7. Failure due to lack of preparation
8. Shoddy jobs and incomplete outputs.
9. Self-confidence erosion.
10. Lost time and unnecessary delay.
11. Lost souls if we procrastinate in witnessing Jeremiah 8:20.
DEALING WITH PROCRASTINATION
1. Proper planning and constant reminder Luke 14:28
2. Set priorities right Ecclesiastes 3:1
3. Recognise that success never comes without discipline and diligence Pro 22:29
4. Avoid distractions by applying self-discipline in legitimate pleasures like eating, gisting, visits, TV, movies etc.
5. Get disciplined with the use of mobile phones. Studies reveal that people spend averagely 5 hours daily on social media.
6. Always remember we don’t control tomorrow.
7. Work on one goal at a time
8. Start small and be specific
9. Join an accountability group where goals are followed-up and checked for accuracy and completion.
10. Find suitably-qualified mentors who can call you to question on life assignment.
*ACTIVITY:* Discuss why believers always find themselves in the Act of “Procrastination”?
*SUMMARY:* Procrastination is a bad habit, you can stop it through the help of God.
*CONCLUSION:* Rosie O’Neil once said “Procrastination is the arrogant assumption that God owns you another chance to do tomorrow, what He gave you the chance to do today.” Do it today, do it now. Just do it.
*TOPIC: BE EARTHLY RELEVANT AND HEAVENLY FOCUSED*
*MEMORY VERSE:* “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” – 1 Corinthians 9:25
*BIBLE TEXT: 1CORINTHIANS 9:24-27.*
24. Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27. But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Heaven is in dare need of a generation that is balanced. God is in search of people; He will not be ashamed to be call His own Hebrew 11:6. Now, is the time for a mind shift to identify God’s plan and purpose and God’s expectation from those He calls His own 3 John 1:2, Matthew 6:33.
In today’s Bible text, God we can see that wants us to know and live His plan, purpose and Will to the extent of been intentional about it. As we continue in today’s study, we will see why we need to run with a vision and never to loose focus. God wants t5be proud of you, don’t just exist without relevant, you are the salt of the Earth, ye are gods.
YOU HAVE AN EARTHLY MANDATE
GOD HAS A CLEAR AND SPECIFIC THOUGHT OF HOW YOU SHOULD LIVE ON EARTH. GENESIS 1:28.
1. BE FRUITFUL: You are a seed that should fall to the ground, find his root, germinate, with a broad leave enough to receive light to produce its fruit. Your fruit should be pleasant to the eye and to taste. Your fruit should not be hidden. Deuteronomy 28:4.
2. MULTIPLY: Your fruit should abide and yield increase. Hebrews 6:14.
3. REPLENISH: You are a Co-Creator with God on earth. Psalms 82:6
4. SUBDUE: You are more than a conqueror. The earth is subjected to you. Psalms 91:13, Isaiah 14:16.
5. FILL THE EARTH: As far as your eye can see. You are without limit. Genesis 13:14-15.
6. HAVE DOMINION: You are in charge over everything that Earth holds. Psalms 155:16
Keep your eye single, the earth is not your Home. Jesus has gone to prepare a better place for you. John 17:12-16.
7. NOT OF THIS WORLD: You were never created for the earth, but rather the earth for you. So don’t lose control, keep your eye on the ball. FOCUS.
8. NOT A HOME: You deserve a place better, Jesus has gone ahead for you. John 14:1-4.
*ACTIVITY:* Class should mention things that they can do to be earthly relevant and not loosing the focus of Heaven?
*SUMMARY:* Our stay on earth must be full of relevance even as eternity in view.
*CONCLUSION:* Never lose a touch of your home at the expense of this world.
*TOPIC: NO REPENTANCE IN THE GRAVE*
*MEMORY VERSE:* “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”
*BIBLE TEXT: LUKE 16:19-31*
19. There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21. And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23. And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
27. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
28. For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
The English Dictionary describes Repentance as a feeling of pain or sorrow being sincerely affected by a sense of guilt and resolved on amendment. It can simply be said to be a process of making a turn-around from previously existing way of life here on earth.
In the text above, it is true that the rich man eventually was remorse and felt guilty but there was no opportunity to make an amendment any longer. The claim of repentance after death is not defended by any part of the Bible, Old or New Testament.
THREE STEPS SHOWS THAT REPENTANCE CAN TAKE PLACE ONLY IN LIVING.
1. Conviction through the word of God.
2. There will be no Bible in Heaven.
3. The feeling of guilty/remorse.
4. The physical nature of feeling will have left this this earthy space.
5. Abandoning/rejecting the sin and embracing a new lease of life.
6. Like the rich man even when he refreshed for his own on health was turned down.
These three steps if genuine refines only a living soul, the steps can work for all kinds of sinful condition and will really require the physical contribution of the conscience of the individual and not a dead person.
*ACTIVITY:* Discuss why we find repentance hard to do when we know we are guilty?
*SUMMARY:* We can die at any time, so we must check ourselves as believers.
*CONCLUSION:* Repentance can take place just before you give up the ghost but NEVER when you have died. Hence it is also said that there is hope for a living soul no matter what the level of sin may be, but there cannot be any opportunity when you have died or in the grave as explained in our text today.
*TOPIC: TRUE BIBLICAL CHURCH GROWTH IS STILL POSSIBLE*
*MEMORY VERSE:* “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” – Acts 2:47
*BIBLE TEXT: ACTS 2:42-47*
42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
44. And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45. And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
46. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Much of contemporary church is concerned with structures and finances of the church but the heartbeat of the church, which is soul winning and welfare of souls won is rather played down. It should be noted that the churches is the building and money that comes in but God places premium on the souls and how they are natured into maturity in Christ. When soul winning, nature and development (Discipleship) of souls are given priority with connection to the mainstream of the churches for care in all the ways churches will grow naturally.
In the first church by the Apostles, five important ingredients made it biblical church and there were evidences of church growth. This template is for all seasons and generations if our churches will judiciously follow the steps, there will be biblical growth.
1. Sound doctrine, verse 42.
2. Fellowship of the brethren, verse 42.
3. Breaking of bread, verse 42. Prayer, verse 42
4. Had all things in common, verse 44.
One other comment about the Church is that they had favour with all the people around, they sold their properties and shared among brethren.
*ACTIVITY:* Discuss why true biblical doctrine is not that strong in the church any more?
*SUMMARY:* True biblical church growth is still possible if souls are nutured into maturity in Christ.
*CONCLUSION:* Church is the assembly of called out believers and this special people can become the pillars of growth to the amazement of all if the biblical principle of the first church as stated are followed to the latter, we have been promised a true biblical church growth by our Lord and Saviour when he said, I will build my church. Matthew 16: 18-19.
*TOPIC: TRUE BIBLICAL CHURCH GROWTH IS STILL POSSIBLE*
*MEMORY VERSE:* “And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Beth-lehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.” – 1 Samuel 16:1
*BIBLE TEXT: 1SAMUEL 16:1-13*
1. And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Beth-lehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.
2. And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD.
3. And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee.
4. And Samuel did that which the LORD spake, and came to Beth-lehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably?
5. And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the LORD: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.
6. And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’S anointed is before him.
7. But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
8. Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.
9. Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.
10. Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these.
11. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.
12. And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.
13. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.
What is substitute? Several meanings have been postulated but we think this meaning will fit in to our write up. “Someone who serves as a replacement for another person.”
Any position given to man by God, He (God) must have prepared someone else, peradventure there is any misconduct by the original occupier of the position. For example, when prophet Elijah requested that he be killed by God from the life threat of Jezebel, 1 King 19:1-4. God told him (Elijah) to choose Elisha in his stead,1 Kings 19:14-16. Also, King Saul disobeyed God. God immediately told Prophet Samuel to anoint David as Saul replacement, 1 Samuel 16:1.
THOSE THAT WERE REPLACED BY GOD IN THE BIBLE AND THEIR OFFENSE.
1. ADAM AND EVE: They disobeyed God and ate the fruit that God instructed them not to eat. They were replaced with Jesus Christ. Genesis 3:14-15.
2. VASHTI: She disobeyed her husband, and Esther became her replacement. Esther 1:11-12; 2:15-17.
3. ELIJAH: He was afraid of Jezebel. Elisha became his replacement. 1Kings 19:14-17.
4. KING SAUL: He disobeyed God’s instructions and he was replaced with David. 1Samuel 16:1.
5. JUDAS ISCARIOT: He sold Jesus to the Jews and he was replaced with Mathias. Acts 1:20-26.
AS A CHRISTIAN WHAT SHOULD I DO TO AVOID REPLACEMENT?
1. Always acknowledge the saving grace of Christ in your life. Romans 1:28.
2. Eschew sin completely. Romans 6:12-13.
3. Give yourself wholly to fasting and prayer. 1Thessalonians 5:17.
4. Don’t be a person of many words. Matthew 12:36.
5. Make God your center focus in your worship. John 4:23-24.
*ACTIVITY:* Mention things that can lead to replacement?
*SUMMARY:* God is a respecter of no man and can replace anyone who does not comply to His will and plans.
*CONCLUSION:* Nobody is above replacement by God, “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” Acts 10:34-35.
FEAR THE LORD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENT. This is how to escape being substituted.
*TOPIC: CHURCH WITHOUT SPOT OR WRINKLE*
*MEMORY VERSE:* “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” – Ephesians 5:27.
*BIBLE TEXT: HEBREWS 12:10-17*
10. For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
11. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
12. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
13. And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
14. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
15. Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
16. Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
17. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
*LESSON INTRODUCTION:* It is certain that Jesus Christ is coming back, whether we believe it or not. And He (Jesus Christ) is coming to take the believers in Him to Heaven. See John 14:1-3. The believers in Christ must lead a blameless life before they can access the beautiful place prepares for Christians by Him (Christ). Please let it be known to everyone of us that Christ is not coming for Church goers but only those believers in Christ without spot or wrinkle.
WHAT MUST WE DO NOW THAT WE KNOW THIS?
1. Be holy in all manners of conversations. 1 Peter 1:15-16.
2. Love righteousness and hate iniquity. Hebrews 1:9
3. Confess your sins and forsake them. Proverbs 28:13
4. Make and follow peace with all men Hebrews. 12:14
5. Do not be scared of light affliction. 2 Corinthians 4:17
6. Give yourself to the study of God and prayer. Acts 6:4
7. Be thankful to God always. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
8. Have a childlike heart. Matthew 18:1-3
9. Show love to everyone. Matthew 25:40
10. Control your tongue. James 3:6
*ACTIVITY:* Class things that can lead to spot or wrinkle in the Church?
*SUMMARY:* God wants us to be holy like Christ but only those believers in Christ without spot or wrinkle.
*CONCLUSION:* “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11. If we steadfastly follow the above ten points and every other Godly instructions, the grace of God will enable us to be spotless and wrinkle waiting for His appearance.
GOLDEN DIET FOR THE WEEK
MONDAY: Psalms 150:1-6 Praise God with every breath in you.
TUESDAY: Look unto Jesus Hebrews 12:2
WEDNESDAY: Be accommodative enough today Hebrews 13:2
THURSDAY: Remember your creator in the days of your youth Ecclesiastes 12:1
FRIDAY: Intercede for at least one person
SATURDAY: A call to serve 1 Peter 5:2
SUNDAY: Praise God with understanding Ecclesiastes 8:4.