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BIBLE PASSAGE: Psalms 95:1-6

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MEMORY VERSE: “And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped”. 2 Chronicles 29:30b
INTRODUCTION: Generally, people view worship as the slow and melodious songs that often require the closing of eyes and lifting hands in reverence to God. While praise is as the singing of songs, usually fast ones and dancing to God. However, these two words mean more than just singing, dancing or raising of hands. Praise and Worship have many things in common but they are not exactly the same. Understanding these two concept can take us to a new realm in our relationship with God.
A. Here are some Hebrew words in the Bible translated as PRAISE
i. “Yadah” meaning praise (Genesis 29:35), give thanks (Psalms 18:49) or confess (1Kings 8:35).
ii. “Zamar” meaning sing praise (Psalms 9:2; 92:1)
iii. “Hala” (the root of Halleluyah), meaning to praise, honour, or commend (Psalms 18:3; 159:6)
iv. “Barak” meaning to bless (Psalms 103:1-2)
The above terms contain the idea of giving thanks and honour to one who is worthy of praise.
B. In the Greek language, praise takes it’s root from the following words:
i. “Aineo” meaning to praise (Like 2:13)
ii. “Doxa”to give glory (Luke 17:18)
C. Praise is the expression of one’s gratitude and request towards a deity, especially in songs. Hence:
i. Christian praise can be defined as the expression of gratitude and respect towards God, especially in songs(1Chroniles 16:23-25)
ii. Christian praise is the joyful recounting of all that God has done for us (Psalms 48:1-2, 100:1; 2 Chron.20:30).
D. The reasons Christians must praise God include:
i. It is a prescription for God’s ‘righteous’ people (Psalms 22:23, 33:1) in fulfillment of their vows vows to their Maker (Psalms 61:8)
ii. It is a good means of letting the world know about the greatest of God (Psalms 145:11).
A. The root words for worship:
i. In Hebrew, it is “Shachah” which means x to bow low or to prostate oneself” (Genesis 18:2; Exodus 34:8; Psalms 29:2; etc)
ii. In Greek, the word that is most often translated as worship in the New Testament is “proskuneo”, which means to “fall down before or bow down before” or to kiss like a dog licking his matter’s hand or to prostate oneself in homage or reverence. (John 4:24; Revelation 22:9; Matthew 2:11; etc)
B. To worship is to show reference and adoration for a deity it to something that represent a deity.
C. Christian worship, therefore is:
i. An expression of reverence and adoration for God. (Psalms 95:6-7, 89:7).
ii. The solemn acknowledgment and appreciation of the personality of God (Psalms 100:3).
D. Christians should note that worship is an attitude of the heart (Matthew 15:8-9; John 4:23-24) because a person can go through the outcome motions and not be worshipping (Psalms 51:16-17; Matthew 6::5-6).
E. To truly worship God, we must:
i. Let go of ourselves.
ii. Be willing to humble ourselves before God.
iii. Surrender every part of our lives to His control (2 Samuel 7:18)
Similarities: Praise is part of worship and both are complementary in fellowship with God (Psalms 66:4)
Praise as well as worship is a lifestyle, not just an occasional activity (Hebrews 13:15).
Differences: There is a thin line between praise and worship.
i. Praise is ‘opening up’ (Psalms 100:4).
Worship is ‘entering in’ (Psalms 86:9)
ii. Praise is ‘boldly declaring’ (Psalms 197:22)
Worship is ‘humbly bowing’ in the presence of God (Psalms 95:6).
iii. Praise applauds what God has done (Isaiah 25:1)
Worship is honouring God for who He is (Psalms 29:2).
iv. Praise can be given to anyone (1 Samuel 18:7-8).
Worship should be reserved for God alone (Luke 4:8; Matthew 4:8-10).
v. Praise is intertwined with thanksgiving (Psalms 79:13).
Worship is intertwined with surrender (Psalms. 95:6).
SUMMARY: Praise as well as worship has deep meanings. Though, they are complimentary, there is still a thin line between them.
CONCLUSION: Praise and worship are part of the common goal of getting closer to God. As we draw near to God, He draws near to us (James 4:8)
BIBLE PASSAGE: Psalms 105:1-7
MEMORY VERSE: “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;”. Ephesians 5:20
INTRODUCTION: People are other too brief and ignore details or too busy to glorify God and thank Him for His blessings (Psalms 103:2). Usually, many believers focus on what God has not done than on what He has done. Giving of thanks is the most distinctive marks of a true believer (1 Thess. 5:158). Therefore, knowing the basis of thanksgiving is a necessity for Christians.
1. Description of Thanksgiving
A. Thanksgiving is the act of appreciation or showing gratitude to someone especially for good deeds.
i. The bible commands believers to thank God(Psalm 50:14; Philippians 4:6).
ii. This is good (Psalms 92:1) and pleasing to God regardless of circumstances or conditions (1 Thess. 5:8).
iii. The call to give thanks to God is clearly expressed in the bible (1 Chron.16:8; Psalms 105:1, etc).
iv. Every believer must appreciate what God is doing and declare privately !Dan 6:10) and publicly (Psalm 35:18).
v. Thanksgiving should, therefore, be cultivated like a habit (Colossians 3:17).
The above terms contain the idea of giving thanks and honour to one who is worthy of praise.
*2. Thanksgiving is essential for the following reasons:
A. Giving thanks to God keeps us in the right perspective of our relationship with Him (Psalm 30:4; 106:1).
i. When our hearts are filled with thanksgiving, we keep the sins and temptations of greed, selfishness, and self-sufficiency away (Romans 7:23-25).
ii. As we thank God daily, we are reminded of all God has given us and that everything we have is from God (John 3:27; James 1:17).
B. The following are other important reasons for thanksgiving:
i. For the gift of Christ (2 Corinthians 9:15), His power and reign (Rev. 11:17).
ii. For the salvation of our souls (Psalm 103:2-4).
iii. We are also to be thankful, not only for the things we like, but for the circumstances we do not like (1 Thess. 5:18).
We do not thank Him for evil, but that He is sustaining us through it (James 1:12:13).
We do not thank Him for harm He did not cause, but we thank Him when He gives us the strength to endure it (1 Corinthians 15:57; 2 Corinthians 12:9).
iv. We should thank Him for His great promises, knowing that all things will work for our good (Romans 8:28).
v. When we give God our thanksgiving the way the bible tells us, we release supernatural authority over whatever situation we are facing (Romans 8:37).
1. Conditions for acceptable thanksgiving.
A. We must present ourselves as living sacrifices before God (Roman 12:1-2)
God must accept us before He can accept our thanksgiving/offerings (Gen. 4:3-5).
Only genuine children of God (John 1:12; Romans 8:1) with ‘clean hands and pure minds/conscience’ can give acceptable thanks to God (Psalm 24:3-5).
We must, therefore, live uprightly (Psalm 15:1-5).
B. Believe God for who He is and what He does with an assurance in our hearts of greater things He will do (Psalm 107:8. Hebrews 11:6; Ephesians 5:20).
1. Anyone with a heart of gratitude should not be coerced into thanksgiving (2 Corinthians 9:7). Rather, it should flow from the inner man to the outside (Psalm 95:2; 100:4).
SUMMARY: An understanding of the essentials of thanksgiving will enable a believer to thank God in an acceptable manner.
CONCLUSION: We should not give thanks only when we are told to but must make thanksgiving a daily and continuous attitude (Psalm 119:164).
BIBLE PASSAGE: Matthew 22:35-40
MEMORY VERSE: “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned”. Song of Solomon 8:7
INTRODUCTION: The bible says that “love is of God” and “God is love” (1John 4:7-8). In other words, love is a fundamental characteristics you of who God is. Everything God does is driven and influenced by His love (John 3:16). Our Lord Jesus Christ emphasised this by identifying the commandments to love God and the first and general law, after which He declared the directive to love fellow human beings as the second most important law (Matt. 22:25-40). The Holy Spirit sheds more light on the link between these two aspects of love (1John 4:20).
In Song of Solomon 8:7, love is said to be unquenchable and has more worth than all of one’s possessions because it satisfies like nothing else can.
1. Love is reciprocal in the sense that:
A. Our love for God is related to the fact that God first loved us (1 John 4:19).
B. It is also related to our obedience of Him (1 John 5:3; John 14:15).
C. God’s love for us enables us to obey Him freely, without the burden or guilt or the fear of punishment (1John 4:18).
2. To love God requires*:
A. Knowing Him and that knowledge begins with His word (1 John 2:5).
B. Worshiping and praising Him only (Exodus 20:3).
C. Making Him our priority (Mark 12:30).
D. Desiring Him: yearning for His righteousness, His word, and His grace (Psalm 42:1).
E Obeying Him (John 14:15, 23; 15:10; 1 John 5:3). However, this is not a matter of merely following rules and registering good deeds. It is about having God’s love written permanently on our hearts (Deuteronomy 6:5).
A. We can express our love for God through those who are created in His image – our fellow humans (1 John 4:20; Mark 12:31).
God’s kind of love is that which gives to those who did not deserve it including our enemies (Romans 5:8; Luke 6:32-35).
The bible says we are to love others the way God loves us (1 John 4:7).
We are to love the family of God (Romans 12:10).
As we show benevolent and selfless love, we reflect God’s love to a lose and dying world.
B. One practical way to love others is to imagine ourselves in their shoes (Luke 6:31).
C. Loving others does not mean agreeing with everything they say or do, not does it mean acting in ways that always gain their approval.
D. Loving our neighborhoods means attending to their needs both physical and spiritual (Luke 10:29-37).
E. We love our neighborhood best when we share God’s truth with them. Jesus alone can save (John 14:6; Acts 4:12), and He alone can meet people’s every need.
F. We love our neighborhood out of an overflow of God’s love for us and as a way of demonstrating our love towards God (1 John 4:7-12; Col. 4:5-6; 1 Peter 3:15-16).
SUMMARY: Love God and love your neighbour as yourself.
CONCLUSION: The love towards our neighbours is an evidence of love towards God. Let the love of God fill your heart. (Romans 5:5).
BIBLE PASSAGE: 1 Samuel 3:1-10
MEMORY VERSE: “And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth”. 1 Samuel 3:10
INTRODUCTION: You cannot hear, if there is no call from somewhere or someone. Also, you can only answer to a call that you hear. Throughout the days of the bible, God spoke to His people in diverse ways. In contemporary times, God still speaks. The basic questions are “how does God speaks?” and how do we hear?
1. Question: How did God speak to people in the past?
Answer: In times past, God spoke directly with people.
2. Question: Are there biblical instances that support this view? If yes, mention the instances.
Answer: Yes, For instance, God conversed directly with:
i. Abraham ( Genesis 13:2, 17:1)
ii. Moses (Exodus 3:4; Number 12:6-8)
iii. Joshua (Joshua 5:13-15)
2. Question: Did God speak to people through other means in the past?
i. Jacob heard from God through dreams (Genesis 28:12-13)
ii. Ezekiel saw visions (Ezekiel 1:1)
iii. Before the incarnation of God the Son, God spoke through the prophets ( Hebrews 1:1).
We heard from God through men such as Moses Isaiah, Ezekiel, Micah, Malachi, and the other prophets.
The relayed messages from God, and often their words were written down and so we would always know His promises, His law, and His redemptive plans.
4. Question: How did God speak to men during the ministry of Jesus on earth?
Answer: Through the ministry of Jesus, God spoke directly to us because:
i. Jesus “words are full of the Spirit and life” (John 6:63). Hebrews 1:2 says in these last days God has spoken to us by His Son.
ii. The “last day” is the current dispensation-the church age.
5. Question: How did God speak to men after the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ?
i. Under the inspiration of the Holy Sprit, some of the apostles of Christ were authorised by God to speak and record God’s words to the church so that all of the church can truly hear from God.
ii. We now hear from God through His written Word, which is the bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
iii. A pastor’s instruction from God’s word is one way we hear from God today (Jeremiah 3:15).
iv. A friend’s advice, tied to Scripture, is another way we can hear from God (2 Corinthians 13:1).
v. A directive issued by a God-ordained authority figure is another way we hear from God (Hebrews 13:17).
6. Question: How can we summarise the ways God speaks to man?
i. God can speak to us through audible voice (Acts 9:3-5).
ii. Inner witness (Acts 27:19-12).
iii. Small/still voice (1Kings 19:12; Job 4:16).
iv. Dreams and visions (1 Kings 3:5; Acts 10:2-2).
v. God’s anointed servants (2Kings 20:1,5).
7. Question: What is God’s ultimate means of speaking to His people in the dispensation?
Answer: Through His written word, the Holy Scriptures, and every other means of hearing God should conform to the written word.
1. Question: What are the fundamental required for hearing God voice?
Answer: Whosoever wants to hear God speaks must:
i. Be genuinely born again (John 10:27).
ii. As a believer, he/she must grow steadily into maturity to be able to recognize and adhere to the voice of (2 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 5:14).
*2. Question: How can a believer grow and mature in faith to hear God?
Answer Growth, as well as, maturity in the faith comes through:
i. Consistent fellowship with God in the place of prayers, studying of Scriptures, service, etc ( Luke 18:1; 2 Timothy 2:15).
ii. Obedience to God’s voice in little matters enhances the ability of a believer to hear more from God. (Genesis 12:1, 13:14).
iii. Ultimately, the voice you hear must be substantiated in the scriptures for confirmation (Acts 17:11).
SUMMARY: It is crucial for every believer to know how God speaks in this dispensation in order to clearly discern His voice.
CONCLUSION: God is still in the business of speaking to His children (Psalms 62:11). We need to learn how to hear from Him and obey His voice (John 10:4-5, 27).
BIBLE PASSAGE: Philippians 3:8-14
MEMORY VERSE: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord”. 1 Corinthians 15:58
INTRODUCTION: Commitment means been bound to a course of action or to another person or persons. There are numerous references in the bible addressing the Christians c in various aspects of life: to our families, neighbours, employers ,the church, our health and in all things we do or say (Eph.6:5; Heb.10:25). But the bible also teaches that the chef commitment of our lives is to God Himself (Matt. 22:37-38). God requires our complete devotion, all that we do and all that we can be.
A. There are several instances of commitment in the bible.
Abraham was ready to sacrifice his son, Isaac (Gen.22:2-3).
David’s men risked their lives to get water for their master (2 Sam.23:15-17).
Ruth stayed with Naomi during her hard times. (Ruth 1:11-18).
Esther was committed to saving the Jews from destruction (Esther 4:15-16).
Joshua demonstrated unwavering commitment to the worship and service of God (Joshua 24:15).
Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were resolute in their faith even in the face of threat to their lives (Daniel 1:8-16, 3:13-18).
Paul was ready to spend and be spent for the course of the gospel. (2 Corinthians 12:15; Phil. 1:21).
David was committed to praising God. (Psalm 57:7; 108:1).
These are for our admonition as Christians.
A. Commitment comes out of love, gratitude and passion. Here are some signs of commitment:
Willingness to obey and wholeheartedly surrender to the leadership of Jesus Christ (Matt. 16:25-25).
Willingness to give sacrificially (Gen. 22:2-3, 9-10).
Willingness to endure hardship for the sake of the gospel (2 Timothy 2:3).
Willingness to go extra mile or pay the ultimate price (Acts 12:10-13; Esther 4: 15-16).
Willingness to witness for Christ (1 Corinthians 9:16-17).
Willingness to spend quality time alone with God (Joshua 1:7-9; John 15:7-8).
A. The true cost of commitment to Christ is self-denial, cross-bearing and the continual following of Him (Luke 9:23).
C. Jesus tells us that our commitment to Him must supersede our commitment to even our families (Luke 14:26-27). Those who cannot make that kind of commitment cannot be His disciple.
SUMMARY: The numerous instances of commitment in the bible is a proof that any believer can be committed if they are willing and ready to pay the price.
CONCLUSION: As believers, our slogan should be: “For me to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21).
BIBLE PASSAGE: Psalms 1:1-3
MEMORY VERSE: The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Psalms 92:12
INTRODUCTION: Psalm 1 stands as a kind of introduction to the rest of the Psalms. It’s subject matter is very general and basic. It touches in two subjects that continually occur throughout the Psalms: the BLESSEDNESS of the righteous and the doom of the ungodly. In this lesson, we shall be doing an exposition of Psalm 1:1-3 which deals with the character of the righteous and the conditions for divine blessings.
1. Question: What is the character of a godly man?
Answer: The characters of a godly man are in three folds:
**One that does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly.
**He does not stand in the way of sinners.
**He does not sit in the seat of the scornful
2. Question: What does it mean to be blessed?
Answer: To be blessed means to be highly favoured by divine grace and enjoying the bliss of heaven.
3. Question: What are the conditions a man must fulfill in order to be blessed?
Answer: He must not walk in the counsel of the ungodly. The counsels of the ungodly are pieces of advice, plans and purposes that do not conform to God’s word (Prov. 1:10; 1 Kings 12:9-14; 2 Sam. 13:3-5, 14). The ungodly is one that lives or acts without consciousness of God – wicked and unjust. Therefore, the man (a believer in Christ) that will enjoy the blessings of God must not embrace ungodly principles, adopt their philosophies or encourage their practices (Eph. 5:11; Prov. 24:1; 2 Cor. 6:14-15; 2 Thess. 3:6).
He must not stand in the way of sinners (Prov. 1:11-15; 4:14-15). That is, he must not compromise, take side with or submit to the position of sinners (Matt. 26:14-16). A sinner is one who transgresses the law (1 John 3:4), engages in unrighteousness (1 John 5:17) or refuses to do what is good (James 4:17). Therefore, the man (a believer in Christ) that will enjoy the blessings of God must know his standing in Christ, be firm in his faith and flee from every appearance of evil (2 Tim. 2:19; Gal.5:1; 1 Thess. 5:22).
He must not sit in the seat of the scornful. The scornful are those who mock (set their mouths against) the heaven or anything that represents God. They openly defy all that is sacred, scoff at religion and make a jest of sin (Exo. 5:2; 2 Chron. 32:10-15; Nehemiah 2:19). Fools may think foolish thoughts (Ps. 14:1) but scorners go a set further and blurt them out proudly. Scorners are not reachable because they refuse to listen (Prov. 9:8; 13:1; 15:12). Therefore, the man that will be blessed does not relax himself with those that sit down secured in their wickedness. He does not associate himself with those that sit in close cabal to find out ways and means for the support and advancement of the devil’s kingdom, or that sit in open judgement to condemn the generation of the righteous (Ps. 69:12).
4. Question: What other lessons can we learn from Psalms 1:1?
Answer: The great lesson to learn from the whole of verse one is sin, is progressive; one evil propensity or act leads to another. He who Acts by bad counsel may soon do evil deeds ; and he who abandons himself to evil doings may end his life in total apostasy from God (James 1:14-15). As the blessedness of the man is great who avoids the ways and the workers of iniquity, so wretchedness is great who Acts on the contrary. X.homjt
1. Question: What must the man do to enjoy further divine blessings?
Answer: The condition for being blessed is stated in verse two.
He must delight in the law of the Lord. This means the man’s will, desire, affection, every motive in his heart and every moving principle in his soul are on the side of God and His truth. He takes up the law of the Lord as the rule of his life. The law of the Lord is the Word of God (Psalm 119:1, 47, 97; James 1:25).
He must meditate in God’s word. This is a discourse with oneself concerning the great things contained in it, with a close application of mind and fixedness of thought. Meditation must continue until one is suitable affected with those things and experience the savour and power of the word in his heart (Joshua 1:8; Ps. 119:11; Prov. 4:20-22).
2. Question: What are the rewards for being righteous?
Answer: He shall be like tree planted by the rivers of water. A man planted by the river is likened to a man who has regular supply of nourishment and refreshments (Jer. 17:8). The source of his blessings is the Word of God. He is intentionally positioned, cultivated by God and grows in the knowledge and service of God (Ps. 92:12-13).
He will experience irreversible fruitfulness and will not suffer loss of any kind (John 15:4-7).
He will be healthy all round, prosperous and enjoy the fruits of his labor (Isaiah 3:10; 3 John 2).
SUMMARY: The righteous man will be blessed in all ways.
CONCLUSION: To remain blessed, one has to abstain from every appearance of evil and live by the word of God.
BIBLE PASSAGE: Psalms 1:4-6
MEMORY VERSE: “For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish”. Psalms 1:6
INTRODUCTION: The first part of Psalms one (vs.1-3) addresses the blessedness of righteous while the second part (vs.4-6) addresses the doom of the ungodly. In this lesson, we shall attempt to describe the ungodly as well as look into his doom.
Teacher should ask the students the following questions:
1. Who is the ungodly?
A. The Psalmist describes the ungodly as the reverse of the righteous both in character and condition (Psalms 1:4). This means:
They are led by the counsel of the wicked (Prov.16:27).
They are in the way of sinners (Prov. 4:14-15).
They sit at the seat of the scornful (Prov.19:28).
They have no delight in the law of God nor even think of it (Romans 1:28).
They bring forth no fruit but grapes of Sodom (Romans 1:29-32).
B. Also, the ungodly are described like ‘the chaff which the wind driveth away’.
This means:
They are no of worth at all in God’s account, no matter how highly they value themselves (Isa. 17 13-14).
They are vain and empty without the knowledge of God. (Psalms 10:4; 14:1).
They have no substance in them (Nahum 2:10).
They are easily driven to and fro by every wind of
doctrine and temptation of Satan (Hebrews 13:9; James 1:14-15).
They have no steadfastness (2 Peter 2:14-15).
They have no root, moisture, greeness not fruitfulness (Mark 4:5-6).
They are destitute of all that is good (Romans 7:18; Proverb 17:20a).
They are sensual, not having the Spirit of God (Jude 19).
1. Question: What will be the end of the ungodly?
A. Answer: On the Day of Judgement:
The ungodly shall be found guilty (Psalm 9:17, Romans 1:18).
They shall bow their head in shame and confusion and all their pleas and excuses shall be overruled as frivolous (Psalms 44:15; Proverb 3:35).
Their future state will be determined by an irreversible sentence (Luke 13:27).
B Also, ‘….not sinners in the congregation of the righteous’ means:
They will be driven away from the presence of God into everlasting destruction (Job 21:17; Hosea 13:3).
2. Comparing the righteous and the ungodly.
Psalms 1:6 tells us that:
The righteous is blessed because God knows his ways. God approves and He is well pleased with the ways of the righteous because He leads, guides and orders all his steps under the influence of grace. (Psalms 37:23). Therefore, the way of the righteous shall prosper and end well (Psalms 37:18).
God is angry with the ungodly (Psalms 7:11) because the very way they have chosen and resolved to walk naturally tends towards destruction (Proverb 19:29, 14:2). All they do is offensive to Him, therefore, their way shall perish. (Psalms 37: 20; Jeremiah 12:3).
SUMMARY: Having understood who the ungodly is, believers should strive to remain godly in order to avoid partaking in the doom of the ungodly.
CONCLUSION: The activities of the righteous are wide open to God. He punishes the ungodly and rewards the righteous.
BIBLE PASSAGE: Acts 2:41-47
MEMORY VERSE: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers”. Acts 2:42
INTRODUCTION: The word ” church” is a translation of Greek word ‘ekklesis’, which is defined as “an assembly” or “call out ones.” The root meaning of a church is not that of the building, but of people (Rom.16:5). Paul refers to the church in the house not a church building (Rom. 16:5). The church is a body of believers (Matthew 18:17). The church is the body of Christ, of which He is the head (Eph. 1:22-23). The body of Christ is made up of believers in Jesus Christ for m the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4, 41).
A. As believers in Christ, we have our names written in the Lamb’s book of life which is important (Rev. 20:12). This scripture indicates that salvation is a prerequisite for being ‘added’ to the Church.
B. Biblically, we may regard the church in two ways: as the universal church or a local church.
The universal church consist of everyone, everywhere, who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (1 Cor.12:13).
The local church is the assembly of believers that come together within a settlement of fellowship (Gal. 1:1-2).
C. It is important to commit to a local church because is a place:
Where we can fellowship together with other believers in worship, give our resources, serve others and be accountable (Acts 2:42-47).
Where believers can fully apply the principles of 1 Corinthians 12: encouraging, teaching and building one another up in the knowledge and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 2:41 reveals they someone was keeping a numerical record of those who were saved and thus joining the church.
D. Membership in a local church is a way of :
Voluntarily placing oneself under the spiritual authority of a pastor.
Identifying oneself with a local body of believers and of making oneself accountable to a proper spiritual leadership.
Defining the Pastor’s responsibility who will give an account of the members of the church under his leadership (Heb. 13:17).
E. Believers in Christ are admonished not to forsake fellowshipping with other believers (Heb.10:25).
F. Churches today that require salvation before membership are simply following the biblical model (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
A. The commission given to the Church is :
To proclaim the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).
To teach biblical doctrines so that believers can be grounded in the faith. (Eph.4:14).
B. The church is a place of fellowship, where Christians:
Pray together (Acts 2:42).
Get devoted to one another (Romans 12:10).
Instruct one another (Romans 15:14).
Are kind to and compassionate with one another (Ephesians 4:32).
Encourage one another (1 Thess. 5:11)
Most importantly, love one another (1 John 3:11).
Observe the Lord’s Supper: remembering Christ’s death and the shed blood on their behalf (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
SUMMARY: In order for the church to fulfill her purpose, every believer must understand the role he/she has to play.
CONCLUSION: The Church is God’s hands, mouth, and feet in this world. The Church is the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-17). We are to be doing things that Jesus would do if He were here physically on the earth.
BIBLE PASSAGE: Matthew 18:18-20
MEMORY VERSE: “Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him”. Acts 12:5
INTRODUCTION: The church is God’s agency on earth that demonstrates His love, wisdom and power. Jesus said ,”… I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”. (Matthew 16:18-19). Prayer is a mighty weapon in the church with unprecedented outcomes upon the church, the world and God’s kingdom. Therefore, we must understand the role of the church through prayer and it’s resultant effects.
1. Question: Why does the Church pray?
Answer: The church employs prayer:
To make effective the word, the name, and the Spirit of God in fulfilling her divine mandate (Acts 2:42) because God listens to the church (Jeremiah 33:3; Matthew 18:19).
For constant fellowship with God and with one another (Acts 2:42).
For exhortation and edification, building of the faith of believers in God (Heb. 10:25; 1 Tim. 3:10)
To remind God of His promises to protect His Church from the attack of the enemy (Matthew 16:18).
For the demonstration of God’s power through miracles, signs and wonders (Acts 5:12; 12:5).
2. Question: What are the conditions for effective and result-oriented prayers?
Answer: For the prayer of the church to be effective and result-oriented:
The members must live in holiness as saints of God because the prayer of sinner is abomination unto God (Proverbs 15:8).
The church members must relate with singleness of heart and be united in faith (Acts 2:1; 4:25; 2 Peter 1:1).
Such prayer must be scripture-based (Dan. 9:2-3), specific (Acts 4:29-30), fervent (James 5:16), spirit-led (Romans 8:26; Jude 29) and with the assurance of response from God (Acts 4:31. 1 John 5:14-15).
1. Question: What should the Church pray about?
Answer: The prayer of the church should cover :
Sinners’ conversion (Acts 2:21).
Family needs (Acts 16:32).
Nation’s request (Romans 10:1-3)
People in authority and all men (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
Church leaders (Colossians 4:3-4)
Church work (Matthew 16:18-19)
Individual requests (James 5:13).
Wrestling territorial powers (James 5:13); etc
2. Question: What is the essence of prayer?
Answer: The earnest and sincere heart-prayers of the church, based upon the word of God, accomplish much. The results include:
God’s presence and power (Acts 4:31)
Boldness of the Saints to witness (Acts 14:3)
Empowerment of believers for exploits (Acts 4:33); Growth of the church (Acts 5:12-14).
Spiritual strength and maturity (Col. 1:9-11).
Prosecution of the world evangelisation through mission outreaches (Acts 13:1-3).
Miracles, signs and wonders (Acts 5:12).
God’s visitation to release incarcerated saints (Acts 12:5-11).
SUMMARY: The effectual fervent prayer of the Church makes manifest the power of God.
CONCLUSION: Prayer makes the church grow, glow and gracious. The major hindrance to the prayer of the church is sin and disunity.
BIBLE PASSAGE: Matthew 6:9-13
MEMORY VERSE: Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6
INTRODUCTION: Many people misunderstand the Lord’s prayer to be a prayer that we are to repeat word for word. It has been memorised by countless people throughout history and is often recited corporately. Rather, the Lord’s prayer should be understood as an example and as a model, of how to pray. Not that we are tied up to the use of this only l, or of this always; yet, without doubt, it gives us the “ingredients” that should go into prayer.
Teacher should do a verse to verse analysis of the passage on the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:9-10
“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” (Matt. 6:9).
Jesus begins His exemplary prayer by acknowledging God the Father.
God is our Father, meaning He cares for us.
God resides in Heaven, which implies He is above us (Isa. 55:8-9) and He is the one to whom our prayers should be addressed to.
We hallow His name, meaning we declare that He is holy and praise Him for who He is.
This opening line, therefore recognises that God is both our Father and our King. He loves us, and He is far greater than us (Rev. 1:6).
“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10).
This is a reminder to us that:
We are to pray for God’s plan in our lives and the world, not our own plan.
We are to pray for God’s will to be done, not our desires.
We are to pray for His purposes. God cares for us and is greater than us. (Jeremiah 29:11)
We are to submit our will to His (Matt. 26:39, 42; Acts 21:14).
We are to trust that His way is better and pray that His will be accomplished on earth. (Psalm 37:4-5)
Teacher should do a verse to verse analysis of the passage on the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:11-13
“Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matt. 6:11).
We do not only desire God’s will on a grand scale, but also on the smaller scale of our lives. (Prov. 30:8).
We look to Him for our daily needs;- spiritual, practical, relational, emotional, and physical. (Matt. 6:33)
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (Matt. 6:12).
Our biggest need is to be forgiven. Without God’s forgiveness we are dead in sin. (Eph. 2:1).
With His forgiveness, we are made alive in Christ. (Col. 2:13).
Because we are forgiven, we are called to forgive (Matt. 18:28-35, Mark 11:25).
Forgiveness restores our fellowship with God and others.
With forgiveness, we can obey the command to love God and love others. (Matt. 23:37-40).
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:13a)
This final request demonstrates that:
Our heart is eager to please God.
God will not lead us into temptation (James 1:13).
He is not the author of evil.
This prayer is an agreement with God that we do not want to sin against Him (Luke 22:40).
It is a plea for help in achieving victory over sin and a request for protection from the attacks of the devil (Psalm 141:4, 9).
We pray to be aware of the evil that tempts us and to readily see the escape that He has provided us (1 Cor. 10:13).
Temptation in this verse may also refer to trails of our faith. (1 Peter 1:7; 4:12).
We can conclude our prayers with a remainder of God’s sovereign control, His great power and that our life is for His glory. ” …..For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” (Matt. 6:13b).
SUMMARY: To pray in line with the pattern of Jesus, the major ingredient must be included.
CONCLUSION: The Lord’s Prayer is a model provided by Jesus for how to pray.
BIBLE PASSAGE: James 1:12-16.
MEMORY VERSE: There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be
tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1Corinthians 10:13.
LESSON INTRODUCTION: In the Bible, the word ‘temptation’ primarily denotes a trial in which man has a free choice of being faithful or unfaithful to God (Gen.22:1). Secondarily, it signifies allurement or seduction to sin. The latter is a desire to engage in short-term urges for enjoyment, that threatens long-term
goals. Temptation is one of the most familiar experiences of a true child of God and no one can totally escape from it. Even our Lord Jesus Christ was tempted (Matt.4:1; Heb.4:15). This is why the Lord taught us to include in our daily
prayer the petition, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”.
A. Question: Where does temptation come from?
Answer: God never tempts any man although He may:
i. Give permission to the devil to do so when He is certain that the end result would be to His glory (Jam. 1:13).
ii. In which case, He sets the boundaries (Job 1:1-12; 2:6).
The actual sources of temptation are:
•Satan (Matt. 4:1).
•The flesh (Jam. 1:14).
•Evil associations (Prov. 1:10).
•Carnal Christians (Matt. 16:22-23).
•Lust of the flesh (1Jn.2:15-17).
B. Question: When can God allow temptations to come our way?
Answer: i. When He wants to test our faith (Jam. 1:2-3).
ii. When He wants to test our obedience (Gen. 22:1).
C. Question: Why does God permit temptation?
Answer: God permits temptation to know
i. The depth of our love.
ii. The sincerity of our testimonies that we would obey Him in all things at all times.
iii. It is easy to say that we love God and that He can do all things. It is only at the
time of severe trials that we can discover if we mean what we say or not.
D. Question: Can a believer escape or overcome temptation?
Answer: Yes, according to 1Corinthians 10:13:
i. God is faithful and will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability.
ii. With the temptation, God will also make a way of escape for us to overcome.
A. Question: What are the avenues for temptation?
Answer: Temptation can come through many avenues such as:
•Poverty or prosperity (Prov. 30:8-9).
•Discouragement (Ps. 42:11; 1Kgs. 19:4).
•Pride, the case of Nebuchadnezzar’s fall (Dan. 4:30).
•Pleasure, that led Demas astray (2Tim. 4:10)
•Desire for power, that brought a Curse on Simon (Acts 8:19).
•Lust after women, that ruined Solomon and caused the anger of God against David (Neh. 13:26, 2Sam. 11:2-4).
•Love of money or greed for material possessions that ruined Achan and led to the
destruction of Gehazi and Judas Iscariot (Josh.7; 2Kgs.5; 1Tim. 6:9-10; Jn.13:21-30).
SUMMARY: Temptation is not from God. Lustful desires usually lead men into temptation.
CONCLUSION: To be tempted is not a sin. However, to yield to temptation s
BIBLE PASSAGE: Hebrews 4:14-16*
MEMORY VERSE: “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.” Hebrews 2:18.
LESSON INTRODUCTION: Just as we cannot stop birds from flying over our heads but can stop them from nesting in our hair, so also can we not stop temptation from coming. However, we need not accept them or allow them to take a stronghold. The consequence of yielding to temptation can be disastrous whereas resisting it births victory
A. Question: What are the possible outcomes of temptation?
Answer: i. We yield to it.
ii. We resist it and overcome.
B. Question: What happens when a Christian yields to temptation?
Answer: i. It becomes sin (1Tim. 6:9).
ii. The Christian’s testimony is badly affected.
ii. He becomes spiritually weak (Matt. 26:41).
C. Question: What happens when the temptation is resisted?
Answer: i. The Lord is glorified.
ii. The Christian grows spiritually stronger (in faith and maturity)
iii. He will be able to resist other temptations in the future (Jam.1:2-4)
iv. God is happy because the determination of the Christian to obey Him is confirmed (Gen.22:15-18).
A. Question: Teacher should ask the class to state how a believer can overcome temptation.
Answer: There are several ways of overcoming temptation:
– By relying on God’s faithfulness (1Cor. 1:9, 1 Cor.10:13) and on Jesus Christ who is constantly praying for us (Luke 22:31-32).
– By memorising, meditating and recalling the word of God like Jesus did in Matthew 4.
– By constant prayer and carefulness (Matt 26:41).
– By fleeing (2Tim. 2:22). When Joseph found himself cornered by Potiphar’s wife, he fled.
– By resisting (Jam. 4:7). Stay strong in the Lord and do not yield to sin (Eph. 6:10).
SUMMARY: A believer can either yields to or overcomes temptation.
CONCLUSION: Avoid falling into temptation whenever it comes. To fall is easy but the scars often remain. Remember, we can do all things through Christ, including resisting temptations.
1. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
O how I love Thee well,
I am happy, it makes me glad
To rejoice at Thy birth.
2. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
Thy friend friendship suits me well,
Both young and will sing Thy song,
We long for Sunday School.
3. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
Christ was Thy first teacher,
The Holy Spirit, great teacher,
Does manifest in thee.
4. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
This testimony is sure,
That God, the Father Almighty,
Poured His blessing on Thee.
5. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
Though the sun be so bright,
Or if the clouds be black with rain,
I’ll be in Sunday School.
6. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
I rejoice to see Thee,
Will thou pass over me today?
Without my being blest?

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Open Heavens Daily Devotional guide was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer’s Ministries. The Open Heavens devotional application is available across all mobile platforms and operating systems: iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows Mobile and PC.

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