Seeing Is Believing , Hebrews 13:1-8

James and Lucy were just married. They did not have their own place , but were renting half of a house. They did not have a lot, but were thrilled with the carpet and furnishings by their friends.
CHRISTIAN24 LIBRARY

One day they came home to find the longue flooded. Water was pouring through the ceiling where the people upstairs had left a tap on. The  new carpet was ruined and they just stood in despair. A Christian friend chose that moment to call round and see how they were doing. He took one look at the situation and said , “ Get your coats , we are going out for a meal!”

“ We cannot leave this mess!” they both wailed. But he insisted, and took them to a good restaurant and they gradually relaxed in his company. By the time he paid the bill, they were filling much better.

He turned to them and said ,  “OK , let’s go and tackle the problem!”

Between the three of them , they dragged the carpet onto the lawn outside and dried it out.

Afterwards, James said to Lucy , “ I think we have just seen a sermon in action !”

Hebrews 13: 1-8 reminds us to care for each other in many different ways.

Bible Text
Hebrews 13:1-8

1NIV:Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.
2NIV:Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
3NIV:Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
4NIV:Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
5NIV:Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
6NIV:So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
7NIV:Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
8NIV:Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Questions to Consider
  • How did the Christian friend’s attitude compare with the passage?
  • Which of these teachings apply to your own life?

Motion Points
  • Phoning someone who has done something for you lately to let them know you appreciate what they have done
  • Doing something in need , such as gardening, or running an errand.

Further reading
  • Matthew 6:1-4
  • Acts 4:32-35
  • Luke 7:1-10

Hymn for Today

Alleluia Sing to Jesus by William C. Dix

Musica

Alleluia! sing to Jesus! His the scepter, His the throne.
Alleluia! His the triumph, His the victory alone.
Hark! the songs of peaceful Zion thunder like a mighty flood.
Jesus out of every nation has redeemed us by His blood.

Alleluia! not as orphans are we left in sorrow now;
Alleluia! He is near us, faith believes, nor questions how;
Though the cloud from sight received Him when the forty days were o'er
Shall our hearts forget His promise, "I am with you evermore"?

Alleluia! bread of angels, Thou on earth our food, our stay;
Alleluia! here the sinful flee to Thee from day to day:
Intercessor, Friend of sinners, Earth's Redeemer, plead for me,
Where the songs of all the sinless sweep across the crystal sea.

Alleluia! King eternal, Thee the Lord of lords we own;
Alleluia! born of Mary, Earth Thy footstool, heav'n Thy throne:
Thou within the veil hast entered, robed in flesh our great High Priest;
Thou on earth both priest and victim in the Eucharistic feast.


Stay Focused

I have met thousands of people who told me that they want to be used by God but who will never be used by God. Why? They are too busy. They have got their own agenda going. They have got their plans , dreams and ambitions, and the they don't have any time! In the midst of their busyness, they try to carve out a little silver from pie of life and say, “ I’ ll give this to God.” But it doesn't work that way.

If you're serious about being used by God , you have to say, “Lord , what do I need to let go of ? What do I need to cut out?  What barriers are holding me back and keeping me from running the race you have for me?”

Lots of different barriers will hold you back from God's plan for your life. One of the biggest categories is distraction. Jesus said in Luke 9:62, “ Anyone who let's himself be distracted from the work I plan for him is not fit for the kingdom of God.” (TLB)

However, here are few of the many things that could distract you from your mission ;


1.THE EXPECTATIONS OF OTHER PEOPLE
You have got to decide whom you are going to please first and always in life. You can only have one number one. You cannot please men and God at the same time.

2. HOBBIES
There is nothing wrong with these things ; watching television, surfing the internet, going for sports , etc but if they distract you from the most important things , then you need to let go of them.

3. YOUR PAST
Maybe you refuse to let go of your past -whether it's guilt or resentment or grief. But if you are stuck in the past, you cannot get on with the present , and you certainly cannot get on with God's future for you. Your past is past! It is over ! You need to let it go.

4. YOUR CAREER/ PROFESSION/ BUSINESS
As legitimate as these are , they are major distraction from God's plan for many saints today. There is nothing wrong in giving due time, attention and diligence to your career , business and profession.

However, when they start taking the place of God and His plan for us which is the Salvation of Souls and our spiritual growth , then something must be done. If it is becoming an habit two skip weekly bible study and prayer meetings, then it is time to re-strategize and let some things to go.

What do you need to let go of? The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:23, NIV:“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.

If the devil cannot make you bad , he will make you  busy. He will get you so busy that you do not have time for the important stuff -time alone with God , ministry, and mission.

You need to simplify your life and eliminate distractions so God can use you. Do not try to do it all. Do what matters most!.

Be Others Centered

As the new year begins and gradually goes the way of history, it's important that we prepare to encounter and overcome inevitable, healthy conflicts within our spheres of influence. Let's consider the scripture in Philippians 2:3-4; “ Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

The following story will definitely buttress the truth in this verses: A father left seventeen (17) camels as an asset for his three sons. When the father passed away, his sons opened up the will.

The will of the father stated that the eldest son should get half of seventeen (17) camels. The middle son should be given one third ( 1/3rd ) of 17 camels.

Youngest son should be give one ninth (1/9th of 17 ) camels. As it is not possible to divide 17 into half or 17 by 3 or 17 by 9, the sons started to fight with each other.

So, they decided to go to a wise man.

The wise man listened patiently about the will. The wise man, after giving this thought, brought one camel of his own and added the same to 17. That increased the total to 18 camels.

Now, he started reading the deceased father's will.



Half of eighteen is equal to nine. ( 18/2 = 9 )
So he gave 9 camels to the eldest son.

One third of eighteen is equal to six ( 18/3 = 6 )
So he gave 6 camels to middle son.

One ninth of eighteen is equal to two ( 18/9 = 2 )
So he gave 2 camels to youngest son.

Now add this up;
9+6+2= 17 and this leave 1 camel, which the wise man took back.

Lessons to Learn
The attitude of negotiation and problem in solving is to find the 18th camel I.e the common ground. Once a person is able to find the common ground, the issue is issue is resolved. The common ground is that selfish perspective that puts others into consideration.

The 18th camel represents the attitude of looking beyond one's personal interests to accommodate the interest of others. And of course the 18th camel is unusual input geared towards making even a seeming odd situation. It promises to work for all forms of collections in the year! It's my prayer that this shall be for you a year of pleasant surprises as you put the others first. Stay bless!

Sarri Faces An Uncertain Future At Chelsea


Sarri faces an uncertain future at Chelsea, with the club understood to be considering potential replacements for their head coach and fans growing frustrated with his tactical approach.

He said: "The situation is a little bit different. In my first year, the club never doubted me. It was never in the media that I'd be sacked if they lose this game or the other game. It never happened.

"Sometimes the situation is difficult and it needs time. The first season with Maurizio is the same. You need time but the people supported me here.

"The players knew who the manager was and everybody is in the right situation. After that you can win or lose but it is stable. That is the best way to build something for a long time, not just a short period."

Manchester City manager Guardiola, who was an admirer of Sarri's Napoli team, offered his support for the Italian earlier this month, saying his tactics had been misunderstood at Chelsea.

2019 Election Predictions With State Voting Percentages

Here are the predictions for the forthcoming elections;

1. SOUTH WEST- (6 States) 0ver 18m votes
Oyo - Buhari 70%, Atiku 30%
Ekiti - Buhar 65%, Atiku 35%
Osun - Buhari 75%, Atiku 25%
Ondo - Buhari 65%, Atiku 35%
Lagos - Buhari 75%, Atiku 25%
Ogun - Buhari 55%, Atiku 45%

2. NORTH CENTRAL - (6 States with the FCT) over 13m votes
Niger - Buhari 85%, Atiku 15%
Kogi - Buhari 70%, Atiku 30%
Benue - Atiku 55%, Buhari 45%
Plateau - Atiku 55%, Buhari 45%
Nassarawa- Buhari 52%, Atiku 48%
Kwara - Buhari 55%, Atiku 45%
FCT - Buhari 51%, Atiku 49%

3. NORTH EAST- (6 States) 0ver 14m votes
Bauchi - Buhari 90%, Atiku 10%
Borno - Buhari 90%, Atiku 10%
Taraba - Atiku 65%, Buhari 35%
Adamawa - Buhari 51%, Atiku 49%
Gombe - Buhari 55%, Atiku 45%
Yobe - Buhari 92%, Atiku 8%

4. NORTH WEST- (7 States) over 18m votes
Zamfara - Buhari 75%, Atiku 25%
Sokoto - Buhari 80%, Atiku 20%
Kaduna - Buhari 70%, Atiku 30%
Kebbi - Buhari 85%, Atiku 15%
Katsina - Buhari 92%, Atiku 8%
Kano - Buhari 75%, Atiku 25%
Jigawa - Buhari 80%, Atiku 20%

5.SOUTH EAST- (5 States) over 9m votes
Enugu - Atiku 85%, Buhari 15%
Imo - Buhari 51%, Atiku 49%
Ebonyi - Atiku 75%, Buhari 25%
Abia - Atiku 85%, Buhari 15%
Anambra - Atiku 80%, Buhari 20%

6. SOUTH SOUTH – (6 States) over 10m votes
Bayelsa - Atiku 80%, Buhari 20%
Akwa Ibom - Buhari 53%, Atiku 47%
Edo - Buhari 60%, Atiku 40%
Rivers - Atiku 60%, Buhari 40%
Cross River - Atiku 65%, Buhari 35%
Delta - Atiku 70%, Buhari 30%

Europa League Round 16 Starts on 7th of March

The Europa League round 16 commences on the 7th of March 2019. The match schedule is as follows;

7 March: Round of 16, first leg  
14 March: Round of 16, second leg  
15 March: Quarter-final and  semi-final draw
11 April: Quarter-finals, first leg  
18 April: Quarter-finals, second leg  
2 May: Semi-finals, first leg  
9 May: Semi-finals, second leg

The three time Europa League winner and ambassador of the competition Andres Palop was in charge of the draw. However, here  are the matchups:

Chelsea vs Dynamo Kyiv

Eintracht Frankfurt vs Inter Milan
Dinamo Zagreb vs Benfica

Napoli vs Salzburg

Valencia vs Krasnodar

Sevilla vs Slavia Praha

Arsenal vs Stade Rennais F.C.

Zenit vs Villareal

More over, the final will take place on Wednesday 29 May at Olympic Stadium, Baku.

Leading a Just Cause

On 1 November 1872, Susan B. Anthony walked into a polling station , demanding to be registered vote. She voted in the national election. Two weeks later a US Marshal arrested her for “voting without lawful”. The judge wouldn't allow a jury trial. Her sentence was to pay a fine and the cost of the trial.
“Your Honour,” declared Susan Anthony , “ I shall never pay one dollar of your unjust penalty .”

Susan had long been familiar with the controversy and conflict of reform movements.

Years later, she had worked for the American Anti-Slavery Society. She regarded slavery as evil and un-Christian. She published the first women's newspaper and organised the first women's union. Now Susan was at front of the National Women's Suffrage Movement, working tirelessly for women's voting rights.

The work was often discouraging. The press mocked her. She was denied entry into meetings. She was attacked by angry mobs. But these persecutions didn't stop her. She lobbied Congress and organised petitions

In 1929, her efforts helped to change the law, making sure that everyone had the right to vote regardless of their sex. But Susan never had the chance to vote. She had died fourteen years.

Those who lead movements for justice usually suffer ridicule, persecution, and sometimes death. Read in Matthew 23:34-39 what Jesus thinks about those who presecute the prophets of God.

Bible Texts
Matthew 23:34-39

34KJV:Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
35KJV:That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
36KJV:Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
37KJV:O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38KJV:Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
39KJV:For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Questions to Consider
  • Why do you think people fear and persecute leaders such as Susan B. Anthony and the ones Jesus describes?
  • When has your unpopular stance caused you to suffer persecution?

Motion Points
  • Reading through one of the prophets of the old testament such as Amos, trying to understand why his messages were ridiculed and rejected.
  • Listening to leaders who have differing options, keeping your mind open for truth -even if it's uncomfortable.

Hymn for Today

Further Study
  • Ezekiel 20:13-20
  • 2Timothy 3:1-9
  • Jeremiah 3:11-13

Summary of Leviticus


If you were a boy in an ancient Israel and your great - great - great-grandfather was named Levi, you would be born with your career already planned. You would know where you live, what to wear, and exactly how to do your job. That is because the descendants of Levi -the Levites- were Israel's original priests and Leviticus was manual that they followed in the leading people in worship.

The priests were the religious leaders in the Old Testament. They served God by preparing sacrifices to God from people. People offered sacrifices to thank God and to ask for forgiveness for sins.

Priests were also responsible for maintaining the meeting place or “Tabernacle.” Many of the regulations in Leviticus deal with its worship in the Meeting Tent. -a portable sanctuary used as the Israelites that wandered in the wilderness after being freed from slavery in Egypt. The worship regulations also applied to the the Temple when it was built in Jerusalem about 350 years later.

This book is sometimes difficult for us to follow nowadays. It's filled with detailed ( sometimes repulsive ) instructions about animal sacrifices, building the Temple, and celebrating various religious festivals. It also contains explicit guidelines for all people about  diet, sexuality, personal relationships and other areas of live.

Why read this book
  • It helps to discover how worshipping God today is different from how it used to be (Leviticus 1-7)
  • It helps to learn about the ancient laws people followed to obey God ( Leviticus 18-20)
  • It helps to find out how people used to be punished for disobeying God's laws ( Leviticus 24-26)

Kepa Is A Concern For The Wembley Final


Kepa is a concern for the Wembley final, with Blues boss Maurizio Sarri admitting he is hopeful but not convinced he will be available for selection.

"We have some problems at the moment," said Sarri.

"We have Zappacosta with fever, we have Pedro with a very strong stomach ache, and then we have a problem with Kepa, with his hamstring."

Moreso, the Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is in danger of missing the Carabao Cup final with Manchester City on Sunday because of a hamstring injury.

The Spaniard is one of three players - along with Pedro and Davide Zappacosta - who are rated doubtful for Europa League game with Malmo at Stamford Bridge.



Samsung Launches New Phone That Folds Into Tablet


Samsung recently unveiled a phone that folds into tablet.

The features of the phone are as follows;
1.When its folded, the phone has a 4.6 inch display. Once it's opened, it boasts a 7.3 inch screen.

2. It has two batteries, one on each side of the device.

3.It has six cameras.

4.When using an app like Google Maps on the smaller screen, you can open it up to see a bigger more detailed version of the map.

5.The device lets you multi-task on the bigger screen.

Additional users can do things like text friends, search for something on Google and watch a YouTube video simultaneously.

Follow Your Dreams

Jane loved to dance. She had been doing it ever since she was little and now she was older she was starting to think that maybe she could make a career out of it. However, many of her school mates thought dancing was silly and would regularly make fun of her, her dancing anything else they could in order to make her feel small.

“It's a waste of time,” they'd say, “you ‘ll never be good enough.”

Though the comments really hurt Jane, she was determined to carry on because she knew how much fun dancing was for her and how good it was for keeping her fit.

After she finished school, she went to college to train as a dancer , and years later, after lots of her first professional performance, she smiled with pride, knowing that all her hard work and perseverance had paid off. Thank goodness she hadn't given in to the taunts back in school, otherwise she would have missed out on all this.

Jane had  to battle through people judging her and making fun of her because they didn't understand something that she was so passionate about.

Bible Text
Psalm 69:6-15

6KJV:Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.
7KJV:Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.
8KJV:I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children.
9KJV:For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.
10KJV:When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.
11KJV:I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them.
12KJV:They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkards.
13KJV:But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.
14KJV:Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.
15KJV:Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
16KJV:Hear me, O Lord; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.

Questions to Consider
  • Jane's passion was dancing. What was it in Psalm 69:6-15 that David was so passionate about?
  • What is similar in a way that both Jane and King David coped with their situations?

Motion Points
  • How you’ll feel if you were misunderstood and mocked by people around you because of something they didn't understand? Consider whether you've ever done the same to another person. If you have, go to them and say sorry.
  • Writing a list of things you are passionate about and that you will be prepared to preserve through difficult situation for.

Hymn for Today

Further Study
  • Romans 4:18-25
  • James 5:7-16
  • Hebrews 12:1-3

You can also read next;
Leading a Just Cause