Today’s Scripture: 1 John 4:19
We love Him because He first loved us.
A husband and wife did not really love each other. The man was demanding, so much so that he prepared a list of rules and regulations for his wife to follow. He insisted that she read them over every day and obeyed them to the letter. Among other things, his “do’s and don’ts” indicated such details as what time she had to get up in the morning, when his breakfast should be served, and how the housework should be done. After several long years, the husband died. As time passed, the woman fell in love with another man, one who dearly loved her. Soon they were married. The new husband did everything he could to make his wife happy, continually affirming her and showering her with tokens of his appreciation. One day as she was doing her normal daily chores, she found tucked away in a drawer the list of commands her first husband had drawn up for her. As she looked it over, it dawned on her that even though her present husband had not given her any kind of list, she was doing everything her first husband’s list required and more. She then realised she was so devoted to her new husband she would willingly do anything to please him. Love got much more than obligation could ever dream of. This is the kind of response God’s grace draws from us.
A fervent desire to please God is what follows an understanding of the grace bestowed upon us in Christ Jesus. We love Him because He first loved us, and loved us in spite of how much we had offended Him. And if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. Apostle Paul, after a lengthy exposition on the grace of God to the Roman church, identifies the continued sacrifice of our carnal desires as a reasonable response to receiving the grace of God (Romans 12:1-2).
Take some time off today to make an inventory of God’s grace toward you, and let it inspire a renewed commitment to please Him. We cannot truly embrace the grace of God and continue wilfully in sin. Grace facilitated our adoption as sons; therefore, we obey, not under compulsion or under the law, but because it is in the nature of sons to imitate their fathers. Today, determine to respond adequately to the grace that has been shown you. God will multiply His grace to you, in Jesus’ name.
Memorise & Meditate:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
Thank You, Father, for Your grace and for first loving me. I yield myself to do Your will today, and always. Help me, Lord, in Jesus’ name.
Today’s Scripture: Romans 5:1-2
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
When Clara Barton was involved with the Red Cross in Cuba, during the Spanish-American War, Colonel Theodore Roosevelt came to her desiring to purchase some supplies for the sick and wounded men under his command. His request was refused. Roosevelt was troubled; he loved his men, and was ready to pay for the supplies out of his own pocket. “How can I get these things?” he asked. “I must have proper food for my sick men.” “Just ask for them, Colonel,” said the surgeon in charge of the Red Cross headquarters. “Oh,” said the Colonel, “Then I do ask for them.” And he got them at once. What Roosevelt sought to purchase with money, was freely available. That was grace.
The grace of God is one of the most difficult concepts for the human mind to grasp, because it runs contrary to human understanding of merit and exchange. The truth is, we do not need money or good works to earn God’s intervention, or access His resources. We only need to ask. Therefore we must not let our limited purchasing ability or perceived demerits prevent us from boldly approaching the throne of grace and asking for help in our time of need. We received the salvation of our souls not by purchasing it through good works, but by faith in God’s grace available to us in Christ Jesus. This same grace is available to meet not just the need of our soul, but of every other area of our lives as well. So let us meet the grace of God with faith today. Bring your needs before the throne of grace, ask, and you shall receive.
God, speaking through Isaiah the prophet, says: “You who have no money, come, buy, and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price” (Isaiah 55:1). Let us accept this invitation of grace by faith. Ask what you need in the name of Jesus. The grace of the Lord will satisfy the longings of your heart, in Jesus’ name.
Memorise & Meditate:
“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14
Father, I thank You for Your grace. I ask, in the name of Jesus (make your needs known). Thank You, Father, for answering my prayers. I receive that which I have asked of You, in Jesus’ name.
Today’s Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:4
I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus.
The novelist, Dr. A.J Cronin, told the following story: At the end of World War 2, Mr. and Mrs. Adams decided to open their home to an Italian refugee with the name Paul Piotrostanalsi. The Adams’ had a six-year-old son named Sammy, who became inseparable friends with Paul. Little Paul turned out to be a difficult child, and often disobeyed the Adams. One day, Paul went swimming in some contaminated water and became very ill with a high fever. The doctor suggested he slept in an attic bedroom. But little Sammy missed his friend so much that one night he crept up the attic stairs and into bed with Paul. Paul’s contagious breath fell on Sammy’s neck all night, and in the morning, Sammy, never a strong child, became deathly ill. Paul recovered his health, but Sammy died within three days. It was a terrible tragedy for the Adam’s family.
But as Dr. Cronin pulled into their driveway weeks later, he was amazed and then angry as he saw Paul, the refugee boy, working in the garden with Mr. Adams. He got out of his car and angrily approached Mr. Adams. “What’s this Paul Pio… whatever his name is, doing here after what he did to your family?” Mr. Adams looked at the doctor and then said quietly, “Dr. Cronin, you won’t have any more trouble with Paul’s name. You see, he’s Paul Adams now. We’ve adopted him.” Dr. A.J Cronin met firsthand, a vivid illustration of God’s grace.
The grace of God is simply unfathomable. Jesus, His Son, was led to an excruciating death by, and on behalf of our sins. But not only did God forgive the multitude of our transgressions; He went one step further and adopted us as sons. The wonder of grace is that nothing qualifies us for God’s benevolence. If there is anything we were qualified for, it was judgement and condemnation. Grace saved us in spite of ourselves, and our primary response can only be gratitude. Even in human relations, a gift, most especially when it is undeserved, is often met with expressions of gratitude from the receiver. So why not take out time this morning to specially say thank you to God for His saving grace. Better still, why not make it a habit to be grateful to God for His grace that saved and sustains us? Let the grace of God reassure you today of His unfailing love and care. By grace we stand blameless before the Lord, in Christ Jesus. So let us be grateful as recipients of God’s unfathomable grace, and let us be confident as sons in His house.
Memorise & Meditate:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8
Father, I am grateful for Your grace. I thank You for the gift of salvation in Christ Jesus. I rejoice in Your grace. Thank You, Lord, in Jesus’ name.
Today’s scripture: Matthew 7:3-4
And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?
“Everybody thinks of changing humanity nobody thinks of changing himself.” That was the renowned Russian author Leo Tolstoy, taken from his work, On Anarchy, a pamphlet written in 1900 and dealing with the quarrelsome notion of revolution. His words couldn’t have been truer. Change has since become a contemporary buzzword. We all understand the imperative of bringing about change in the world around us. We have flashes of ideas of what those in government can do better and at every turn. In lesser arenas, we seem to understand why those around us should change and how. What we are often blind to is how we should change and why.
There is no underestimating the impact our individual change contributes to change in the larger context. Change is a big thing and yet a small thing; as big as the world and as small as us. Change starts with us. We should first be concerned with the log in our eyes than to be effective in removing the spec elsewhere.
We have spent the most of the week exploring the constancy of change and our role in an ever evolving world. What we must realize as we draw the curtain on this topic is that the greatest changes ought to happen in us. Our experiences as Christians are by no means static. We are ever reaching forward toward perfection, ever changing in understanding and character. The Bible urges us to keep renewing our minds, to keep beholding the Lord with unveiled faces, and to keep transforming into His image. To lose our grip on the Word of God is give ourselves over to gradual retrogression.
To embrace all the more tightly, reading, mediating and applying, is to experience continued, transformational change. This is what the world needs. This is what heaven commands. Our contributions to the world are in direct proportion to our commitment to personal growth and development at all levels. We must keep changing for the better. Let us make such a commitment today. God’s grace is available to help us; to help us be better wives, husbands, fathers, mothers, children, friends, entrepreneurs, workers, etc; to help us be better Christians. He will help you today. You transform all the more into His image. You will be a blessing to the world around you, in Jesus’ name!
Meditate and Memorize:
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18
Father I receive the grace and the boldness to be the light you have called me to be. I thank you because I can do all things through you and from today, I pursue the change I desire as the Holy Spirit helps me in Jesus name. Amen.
PASTOR NOMTHI’S WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT @THURSDAY SHOWERS
Dwelling on the account of the three Hebrew children and the fiery king with his fiery furnace recorded in Daniel 3:25 at the April 20 Thursday Showers service, Pastor Nomthi said that no believer should allow the challenges of the world change their sonship, positive mindset and faith in Jesus Christ as these are what will reveal to the world the greatness and delivering power of Jesus Christ just as it happened for the Hebrew children.
According to her, just as King Nebuchadnezzar and those around him recognised Jesus in the furnace, so shall the world see and recognise Jesus in the lives of believers if they remain steadfast. “If only you would trust and hold on to Him whatever you are going through in life, the Fourth Man will do wonders for you and you will not be hurt just like He did for the Hebrew children,” she said.
Pastor Taiwo @ Sunday Service
Pastor Taiwo at the April 2 Sunday service said that one vital thing believers should ensure to always have in their lives is the presence of God because that is what guarantees favour. “When you see yourself in the light of God’s Word, you will see and understand that you have His favour on your life because His presence naturally attracts His favour,” he said.
Taking his main texts from Luke 1:30 and Psalm 102:13, Pastor Taiwo noted that the moment a Christian sees him or herself the way God sees him or her, there will be joy unspeakable and victory over the devil. According to him, God’s presence brings about the miraculous in the lives of His children and when that happens, victory and songs of praise are the result.
“Each time God arises on behalf of His children, the enemies are bound to be scattered. And when His hand is seen in any situation, it will only result in praise,” he said.
The full message and other Pastor Taiwo’s messages are available on CDs and DVDs at The Fountain of Life Church Tape Shop.
1) Psalm 124:1-3
Let us pray for Nigeria; thank God for her economy, and especially for keeping and sustaining us through the downturn. Also thank Him for the gradual recovery we are experiencing.
2) 2 Timothy 1:6
Pray for the Body of Christ; ask the Holy Ghost to stir up every dormant gift in the Church.
3) Psalm 1:3
Let us pray for ourselves; thank the Lord and give him praise for His many blessings upon us, and confess this scripture–His promise for us this week–over our lives.
Today’s scripture: John 3: 17
God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
The book, “The Cure of All Ills,” tells the phenomenal story of Phoebe Palmer. Palmer was the wife of a Holiness Methodist Physician in New York. Despite her affluent background, Palmer developed a passion for the poor, and unfortunate. For years she gave herself to consecrated prayer and emerged filled with the Holy Spirit. She started a Tuesday prayer meeting in her home which became a catalyst for a movement that would go ahead to shape American Protestantism for years to come. Denominations such as the Church of the Nazarene, Salvation Army, and Assemblies of God amongst others can be traced to Palmer. She had a burden and decided to do sometime about it. What emerged was sustainable change that has impacted millions. Phoebe Palmer was a catalyst for change. You should be one too.
We are all witnesses to man’s daily inhumanity to man. We hear of random shootings, ritual killings, corruption, and several other vices and the impact they have on humanity as a collective. Perhaps the worst of all is the indifference of man towards his fellow men. This is where we must be different.
As believers we have been called to be the light of the world. We have been called to be the change the world desperately needs. The greatest disservice we can do to the world and to the plans and purposes of God is to put our light under a bushel; to be indifferent to the plight of the world. We have a responsibility to let our light shine. We have a responsibility to be catalysts of change. This responsibility is enshrined in the Lord’s charge to go into the world and make disciples of all men. The greatest effect we can have on the world is by bringing about change in hearts of men; to be God’s representation of hope and help; to show others the way and be an example, to inspire others unto righteousness.
So let us go out today more determined to help others know the Lord. Let us give ourselves to intercession. God will grant us the power to be catalysts of change. Posterity will celebrate you, in Jesus’ name!
Meditate and Memorize:
“You are the light of the world; a city set on a hill cannot be hidden” Mathew 5: 14
Thank You Lord because You have made me the salt of the earth. I thank You for the passion and the grace to be relevant in the world and influential to your Kingdom agenda here on earth in Jesus name.
Today’s scripture: Romans 12:2
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
It is hard to believe now, but the potato was once a highly unpopular food. When first introduced into England by Sir Walter Raleigh, newspapers printed editorials against it, ministers preached sermons against it, and the general public wouldn’t touch it. It was misconstrued to sterilize the soil in which it had been planted and cause all manner of strange illnesses–even death.
There were, however, a few brave men who thought about potatoes in a different way. They instead saw it as an answer to famine and as a healthy and beneficial food. It took quite some time before they were able to change the perspective of others towards potatoes and thus their circumstances. Change begins in the mind. Positive responses to change cannot be effected except we change our mindset, neither can we effectively change our circumstances and chart a new course without first thinking differently. Transformation demands a change of mindset. This applies to every facet of life.
The Israelites were on the cusp of the greatest change in their lives – the transition from slavery to liberty. But for thousands of them that possibility ended in the wilderness. Why? Their minds where still in Egypt. If life is in a constant state of flux, and we indeed rise or fall to the extent that we are able to master change, then it is important we understand the role our minds play in dealing with change. Our opening scripture becomes extremely profound in the light of this. It commands us to line up to the reality of our changed status as Christians by changing our mindsets. How? The Word of God inspires a change of mindset which translates to life realities. Embrace the Word and be a positive change agent in your generation. The Lord Himself will help you, in Jesus name!
Meditate and Memorize:
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:1-2
Father I thank you, because Your precious Holy Spirit teaches me all things and guides me into all truth. I thank you because your Grace is made richly available to me to discipline my mind and break away from faulty thought patterns In Jesus name. Amen.
Taking the promise of the week from Amos 9:13, Pastor Nomthi at the April 16 Sunday service emphasised that blessings are part of the daily life of every Christian.
She prophesied, according to the scripture, that things would happen so fast for them this week that everyone’s head would swim.
She then urged the congregation to be full of hope and expectation of God’s blessings everywhere they turn.