Bible Passage(s): John 10: 1 - 31
Memory Verse: “This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out all fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us.'' 1 John 4:17-19.
This is the month when we remember the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. His resurrection has a great impact and validates our faith as Christians. The sacrifice made by Jesus on the cross served as payment for our sins. God raised Him up on the first Easter morning to show the world that the way had been made for us to be with him forever. The face of Grace is reflected in the empty tomb of Jesus Christ. Jesus came and gave His life, was crucified for the sins of mankind. ‘ At Christmas we celebrate the moment when Goodness, Truth, and Beauty himself was born of a virgin’, at Easter we remember the act of love and grace by the one who knew no sin, but was crucified for our sake.
In Times Like This
In Times Like This
Memory Verse: \"Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?\" Esther 4; 13-14 NIV
Bible Passage(s): John 10: 1 - 31
Bible Passage(s): Luke 1: 57 - 58
Memory Verse: “Now Elizabeth's full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son. When her neighbours and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her.'' Luke 1:57-58
The story of Elizabeth and Zacharias her husband, and the events leading to the birth of John the Baptist come to mind this month of February. I believe God wants to re-emphasize to us His presence and relevance in our lives.
Bible Passage(s): Isaiah 35: 1 - 10
Memory Verse: "The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, Even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the excellence of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the Excellency of our God." Isaiah 35: 1 - 2
I always take delight in watching plants grow in my orchard at home, especially the orange and mango trees, when they are in bloom and blossom into beautiful flowers, producing fruits. During this period, I go every morning to watch them. There can be no fruit without the plant first blooming into a bud and then blossoming into beautiful flowers.
Bible Passage: Luke 7: 36 – 50
"There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged." Luke 7: 41 - 43
When a woman in the city learnt that Jesus was eating at the house of a Pharisee, she went there and stood at the feet of Jesus weeping ( Luke 7:38). This woman, a sinner, heard that Jesus was eating in the house a Pharisee, also a sinner, took advantage of the window of mercy that she perceived had been opened at the Pharisee’s house.
Bible Passage: Luke 5: 1 – 10; Jeremiah 29: 11 - 15
Memory Verse; "Behold I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?." Luke 32: 27
Simon the fisherman had a frustrating night at sea. He, along with other fishermen, toiled all night without a catch. However on this occasion, he had an unusual visitor. Jesus entered his ship and asked that he surrender it for Him to teach the people who have come to hear the Word of God. Simon willingly obliged and rowed his ship a little from the land as Jesus requested. Jesus was able to teach the people from the ship. After He had concluded teaching the people, Jesus directed Simon to row his ship into the deep and launch his nets ‘for a draught’. Apparently Jesus must have noticed the empty ship, meaning that Simon and company were not successful at their trade on that day. Simon again obeyed and he had a ‘ship breaking miracle’.
Bible Passage: Proverbs 6: 1 – 35, 5: 1 - 22
Memory Verse; "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee; she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee." Proverbs 4: 7-9
Wisdom is knowing the prefect will of God and walking in it day by day. By wisdom, we are led in the path of righteousness and live a life of integrity and purpose, not only for ourselves, but the people we lead. We become ambassadors of God’s Kingdom on earth showing forth His grace and glory.
Our memory verse says, with thy getting, get understanding. Understanding is the twin sister of wisdom; both of them help us to live a life that is pleasing to God, exalting His Holy name and doing things that bring glory and honour to Him. By the duo of wisdom and understanding, we no more live a selfish life, but we come to know the will and purpose of God for our life. We will be able to pursue and live it out on a daily basis and no more fret and worry about what to eat, put on, or what the future holds for us. With wisdom we will know the future as God outlines it for us.
Bible Passage(s): Psalm 136
Memory Verse: “And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.” Exodus 33: 19
I like Macmillan English Dictionary’s definition of mercy. It says “mercy is the act of forgiving someone or not treating them severely, especially someone who have the authority to punish”. When I consider the mercy of God, I see this definition as being inadequate to describe it. The mercy of God towards us is unsearchable and no one can fully understand and imagine the length, depth and breadth of it! Despite man’s continuous disobedience, always going his own way, God still makes His mercy available without measure.
Bible Passage(s): Deuteronomy 8: 6 - 18
Memory Verse: “And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.” Deuteronomy 6: 10 - 12
Some years ago, I bought a poster with the following quote,
‘‘Lord, you have given me so much!
But there is one thing more I ask from you:
A grateful heart’’ - Anonymous
Ever since and over the years, this quote has been a recurring decimal in my life as I contemplate the workings of God in my life. This month, the Lord brought it again to me as I read through the passage for the month’s Message of Grace and He wants me to also share it with you.
Bible Passage(s): Genesis 13: 1 - 18
Memory Verse: “After Lot was gone, the Lord said to Abram,‘‘Look as far as you can see in every direction. I am going to give all this land to you and your offspring’’ as a permanent possession. And I am going to give you so many descendants that, like dust, they cannot be counted! Take a walk in every direction and explore the new possessions I am giving you." Genesis 13: 14 – 17 NLT
When Abraham and his nephew Lot returned from Egypt on their way back to Canaan, the Bible recorded that the land was not large enough to support their livestock with both of them living close together. This is so because they both had too many livestock. There were always arguments between their herdsmen. Therefore Abram talked this over with his nephew, Lot that these arguments should stop! They agreed to separate and go in different directions to allow for peace to reign.
Bible Passage(s): Acts 13: 1 - 4
Memory Verse: “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said,
Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away." Acts 13: 2-3
People of God have fasted for various reasons throughout history. Some of the reasons include repentance, mourning and freedom for a whole nation or people.
What lessons can we learn from the New Testament?
1) Anna fasted in worship to God in expectation of the Messiah (Luke2:37). The early believers also fasted in the act of worship (Acts13:2). We can decide to fast in worship of God and to be in His presence and enjoy intimacy with God without distractions. Acts 13:2 tells us that the Apostles gathered, ministering to the Lord as they fasted. No wonder they could hear instructions from the Holy Ghost