BIBLE SCRIPTURES ABOUT THE NEW YEAR

Read what Scripture tells us about God’s promises to those who are obedient. Therefore – in 2015, be obedient and face the New Year with hope and faith in His promises, in Jesus Name – Amen

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Isaiah 43:19

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

Psalm 98:1

Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.

Malachi 3:10

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Lamentations 3:22-23

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Ezekiel 11:19

I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Ephesians 4:22-24

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;  to be made new in the attitude of your minds;  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Proverbs 23:18

There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

Isaiah 40:30-31

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

 

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GOD, OUR PROTECTOR AND DEFENDER

This week’s scripture is the fifth song in Psalm called the “Songs of Ascents” or “Songs of Degrees.” Yes – He will lift us from all our troubles when we lift Him. 

David is identified as the author of this psalm that looks to the deliverances God has provided in the past and expresses joyous praise for those times of deliverance. It also reveals confidence in God’s ability to help in times of trouble. The scripture tell us that Lord is capable of helping and His name represents His character and power. He created heaven and earth so nothing is more powerful than Him. 

     He will help us in times our trouble and rescue us from snares that trap and the jaws of death.  The scripture tells us that the Lord is on our side and He will help us to overcome our enemies.  Think back to the times God has brought you through this past year. Praise Him for your past experiences, both good and bad. Trust Him to bring you through again, and again, and again.

     Thank Him for all that His “name” implies (e.g., Elohim, Mighty and Strong; El Shaddia, Almighty; Jireh, Provider; Rapha, Healer; Shalom, Peace; Rohi, Shepherd; Shammah, Ever Present, etc.). With God, there is always a way out of our troubles, no problem is beyond His ability to solve and no circumstance is too difficult for Him to handle.  Our Creator will help us in our time of need because He is on our side. We must learn to trust Him.


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NOT BY MIGHT NOR POWER, BUT BY MY SPIRIT

Many believe that to survive in this world a person must be tough, strong, unbending and harsh.  When God said “Not by might, nor by power – but by My Sprit,” He was letting us know that anything of lasting value will only be accomplished through His spirit. Many Christians have become weak, harassed and torn down by their enemies, tired, discouraged and poor – not only in their pocketbooks but poor in their spirits.  As we live for God, Christians must learn to not trust in their own strengths and abilities.  We must depend and trust in God and learn to work in the power of His Spirit in all that we do. 

The lampstands in today’s scriptural reading symbolizes a Church that shines in splendor when it is filled with the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is illustrated as the oil that flows through the lampstand and it also represents the Church. The oil flows through appointed conduits into the bowl and through fixed channels outlined in the word of God (i.e., repentance, obedience, faith, etc.) connected by the main stem to the individual flames. It is through these fixed channels that the Spirit of God will flow to light up the church and its individual members. A lamp can only fulfill its function when it shines forth by the power of the fuel or oil that it has. The church fulfills her function not by man’s striving but by letting the Spirit shine through her to make her the light of the world!

With that being said – “not by might nor by power but by My Spirit” means the strength and power of the church that is found in God’s Holy Spirit that lives within each individual church member. In other words, the glory of a church is not acquired by human might and power but only by the Spirit of the Lord. God’s work must be by God’s Spirit. It is by the supernatural enabling of God alone that men can accomplish the work of the Lord. God’s Spirit is the only necessary resource on which we must depend (2 Cor. 10:3-5). Only work done through the power of the Spirit will glorify God and endure the fires of His judgment (1 Cor. 3:12-15). The secret to shining forth the light of God – ALL POWER AND SUFFICIENCY ARE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

God’s work is not done by our resources, intellect, wealth, enthusiasm, resoluteness of effort or by cleverness. Though some may be necessary, none of them, not all of them together, nor any human endeavor absent God, can do God’s eternal work. God’s method of victory is through His spirit. What we do for God now on earth may seem small and insignificant but God rejoices in what is right. Be faithful in the small opportunities that come along, do what you can and leave the rest to God.  In doing God’s work, we should always look to Him for His strength, guidance and divine help. He designed born again people to be empowered for His glory and service.


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BE AN OVERCOMER

When Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought a good fight, “I have finished my course, I have kept the faith,” He most likely remembered the experiences and battles he fought to finish his course. Beloved, we must all fight battles to finish our course well. These are difficult times but nothing new occurs under the sun. Someone – somewhere has been through it in the past and someone, somewhere has overcame what we are facing today.

Sometimes we become so overwhelmed by the issues of life that we almost give up.  We cannot faint or give up when the evil days come like in a battle or warfare.  We must realize that the devil does not want us to finish our course well as Paul did.  Finishing our course is a decision we have to make. You must choose to be an overcomer and be determined in your heart to stand against every assault from the devil. Refuse to be defeated by the devil, resist him and he will flee from you. The devil will not give up on your soul and you should therefore refuse to give up your soul to him. We must learn to reject all his antics.

As we participate in this upcoming fast and prayer for the next twelve days, let’s treat it as a sovereign call of God to repent and pray according to His word in 2 Chronicles 7:14.  “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

As we pray through to success in these next twelve days, open your mouth and declare in Jesus name:

 

  • I will fight a good fight, finish my course, increase my faith and finish well.

 

  • I will subdue the enemies of my success and joy.

 

  • I will experience divine peace, joy, gladness, and heavenly laughter.

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FASTING

Fasting is described primarily as the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink or both for a period of time.  The benefits derived from a fast according to Isaiah 58:6 are: “to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free and to break every yoke.” 

     In Matthew 4:2 and Luke 2, the Lord Jesus himself fasted for forty days and forty nights while in the desert, prior to the three temptations he faced by Satan.  Jesus defeated the devil when he refused to yield to temptations.  The bible recorded that “the devil left Him and behold, angels came and ministered to Him (Matthew 4:11).

     In Matthew17:14-21, a man came to Jesus and asked for mercy, so that his epileptic son could receive healing. He told Jesus that earlier on, he had taken his son to His disciples but they could not heal him.  Jesus rebuked the demon and it came out of the sick boy and he was cured.  In private, Jesus’ disciples asked why they could not heal the child and Jesus answered and said, “But, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

     As we come together as a church body to pray and fast next week (November 30 – December 20), I pray that we will benefit from the blessings of God as we subdue our flesh and become more receptive to the Spirit. The theme of our fast is “Pray Through to Success.”  In order for fasts to be successful and move the mighty hand of God and attract His rewards, we – as a church body, must learn to cry out for the Lord’s outpouring of His mercy. We must repent, confess and not any harbor sin before Him (Jeremiah 36:3,9 and John 3:5).  Every VLBC member is urged to participate in the fast and attend the nightly prayer at 6:00 pm on December 1-12.  We will seek a deeper fellowship with the Lord and pray for renewed strength, spiritual empowerment and restoration of total health – for both ourselves and the entire VLBC family. Come and experience God’s nearness to you and His divine help during your time of sincere fasting.


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Your Future is Secured

“For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11

 Every beautiful prophetic utterance upon you shall come to pass. This is because power follows the word of God. God knew you before you were born, he formed you even in your mother’s womb, and therefore you are not here by accident. He ordained you a prophet unto the nations of the world, an international evangelist and has equipped you with all you need to make it and be successful in life. There are several Prophetic books in the bible, for instance, the book of Isaiah has much prophesy about the coming of our Lord and savior, about his birth, his ministry, his legacy. It is amazing to say that all that was written about our Lord came to fulfillment. In order words if all this came to pass, your prophetic vision will also come to pass.

Daniel was a mere slave boy who rose to become a prime-minister because an excellent spirit was found in him. Therefore, he was preferred above the president and the princes. His life and destiny was harassed by the enemies, and even with all they did to Daniel, the Lord kept promoting him. Today, I see Gods invisible stone strike every strange alter and personality harassing your life and destiny. The God of Daniel is the God of gods, he is the King of kings, he is the revealer of deep secrets, and the God of Daniel is the giver of visions and knowledge and understanding. This season as we pray, every vision of your life will be revealed unto you, and every prophesy spoken into your life, shall come to pass.

The God of Daniel is the king maker, He brings one down and lift up another, beloved, in your place of assignment, you shall be lifted. The God of Daniel is a God that can make greatness out of your life, no matter the situation, location and appearance of impossibilities. Christ prophesies were fulfilled, Daniel and his three friends got to their destination; Jeremiah became all the Lord told him to become. David was anointed long before he sat on the throne. What can the Lord not do? Heaven has opened your books today and all limitations and impossibilities are melting away, every mountain shall become as plains and you shall seat on your rightful seat.


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GOD’S GOODNESS SHOULD MOTIVATE US

As we mediate on spiritual things, we should think deeply and longingly about God’s goodness, because such reflections can motivate us to live a better life. The book of Psalms extols us on the joys of obeying God and the consequence of refusing to listen to Him as well as listening to those who discredit and ridicule Him.

Have you asked yourself lately do my friends and associates encourage me in my walk with God or do they discredit or ridicule Him?  It is important to know that friends and associates can have a profound influence on us in very subtle ways. If we insist on being friends with people who mock or ridicule what God considers important, we may fall into sin by becoming indifferent to God’s will.  Children of God need to be around people who will help build up their faith and help them draw closer or God and not hinder their relationship with Him. Psalm 1:1-2 says, Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

            Many have stifled the truth about God and believe in anything that supports their self-centered life-styles. God cannot tolerate sin because His nature is morally perfect and He cannot condone or ignore willful rebellion. However, He will restore sinners as long as they do not reject or distort the truth.  God endowed us with freedom of choice, but he is not accountable for our abuse of this exalted gift. Contrary to popular belief, God is not responsible for the evil and suffering which plague our planet. Man introduced sin into this environment, and so death and all its attendant evils have followed in the wake of human rebellion.

Let’s stop blaming God and seek His out His revelation of Himself through the scriptures and His creations. Don’t fool yourself. When the day comes for God to judge your response to Him, no excuses will be accepted.  Generally speaking, God reveals Himself in nature as of a God of might, intelligence, and intricate detail, a God of order and beauty, a God who controls powerful forces. Through His Holy Word and the sacrifice of His son Jesus, He gives us a special revelation about His love, forgiveness and the promise of eternal life.


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LABOURERS IN GOD’S SERVICE

A survey of church goers indicates that a majority of them believe that a pastor’s most important duty is to preach and teach. In Acts 4:4-6, the apostles told their followers that their most important priority was prayer, and teaching and preaching the word to their multitude of followers.  Pastors are known to show their love to God and their congregations by preaching and teaching God’s word. It is therefore utterly important that pastors hear from God so they can accurately deliver God’s message to people. In order to do this, pastors must spend many hours in prayer and studying the scriptures. When church-goers hear the bible and Christian living seriously taught, they will be warned about sin, be encouraged in the faith, learn how to live the Christian life  and discover the true character of God.

In I Timothy 5:17, the bible tell us that the elders who rule well and labour in the word and doctrine are worthy of double honour.  That is why churches honor pastors during the month October, even though we should make it a habit to honor our pastors throughout the year.  Pastoral duties also consists of administrative activities such as church discipline, counseling, evangelism, visiting homebound and sick members, prayer, sermon preparation, conducting weddings and funerals, etc.  In the biblical days, the apostles requested that their followers find among themselves several men of honest report who were full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom who they could appoint to oversee these other church activities.

The appointed people served as co-labourers who assisted the apostles in building the Kingdom of God. Today, the co-labourers in the church and leaders and workers who can also help pastors build God’s Kingdom. In VLBC, we have several people who are appointed to serve over certain aspects of church business operations, i.e., administration, finance, media, music, hospitality, evangelism, publication, ushering, maintenance, transportation, etc. It is unrealistic for one individual to thoroughly conduct day-to-day activities in each of these areas of church business.

God’s work involves many different individuals with a variety of gifts and abilities. There are no superstars in VLBC and each team member should perform their special roles to the best of their ability. Each church member can become a useful member of God’s team by setting aside selfish desires to receive glory for what God has gifted each of us to FOR HIS GLORY. We should not seek praise from people but should seek approval from God in all that we do. When we build our lives on the spiritual foundation of Christ, then we can learn to build up others to that same foundation of Christ, and not to ourselves.


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Honoring Parents and Resisting Rebellion

Keep praying and don’t get tired.  Outside of prayer, the best thing you can do for your child is introduce them to Jesus. Keep telling your child how good God is to you and them.  If they make a mistake remind them that you forgive them and the Lord forgives them. Let them know that we learn from our mistakes. Teach them to apologize, say excuse me, I’m sorry or say “I made a mistake”. This will help them to learn repentance.

Explain to your child that grace and mercy is God’s love for us. Help your child to know how much you love God and that because you love God, you trust him.  Tell your child how you talk to Jesus thru prayer and tell Him about their troubles and problems.  Let your child know that they can also talk to you as well as pray. Prayer with your child “Lord Jesus, help (child’s name) trust you, hope in you, and follow you. Have mercy on my child and I pray your grace surround them.

ACTIVITIES

Take the scripture below and discuss with your child about following the ways of God and following friends and people. Talk to them about what it means to follow God. This is also chance to teach them about not following strangers or friends who are disobedient.  Remember age appropriateness, if your child is very young, you can make a dance/song or play a game.  For example, have your child follow you around the house while you say the scripture.  If the child is older you can give them scenarios and discuss the best choices, discuss what is the best choice and why. Discuss the consequences of following wrong choices.  It is importance to read the scriptures to them daily. Read and learn the following scripture with your child:

SCRIPTURES

  • Psalm 25:4 – Show me your ways, Lord teach me your path.

 

  • Proverbs 1:8, 9 – My son, hear the instructions of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother; for they will be a graceful ornament on your head, and chains about your neck.

PRAYER POINTS

 

  • Lord I pray you would give (name child) a heart that desires to obey You.  I pray that You would turn the heart of (name child) toward their parents and enable them to honor and obey their parents so that their life will be long and good. 

 

  • Turn their heart toward You so that all that they do is pleasing in Your sight. May they learn to identify and confront pride and rebellion in themselves and be willing to confess and repent of it. Make them uncomfortable with all sin.

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ESTABLISHING AN ETERNAL FUTURE

Praise the Lord, this week we will pray for our children’s salvation.  As our children grow and mature, at one point they will have to make their own decision to accept Jesus as their own personal Lord and Savior.  The bible says if we train our children in the way they should go (bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord), they will not depart from that teaching.

Parents should speak life and blessings into their child’s life.  We must understand that our prayer does not remain still – meaning that our prayers goes forth into the future and remains with your child and in your child until Jesus comes. The bible also says that the Word of God will not return void.  When we pray we take the scriptures, and by the blood of Jesus seal the promises of God upon, around and within our children.

We should pray with our children in a way they will understand.  Consider their age and ability to comprehend.  Make the prayer simple, within time and according to their attention span. Also, if you find your children are getting sleepy or tired during your morning study, make them stand, clap or sing a fun bible song before you start. Here is a suggested prayer to pray with your child. The Lord is your strength.

 

  • Lord Jesus, make (child’s name) ways secure in obeying you. Teach (child’s name) to obey and follow you. Psalm 119:5, 33-34

ACTIVITIES

Take the scripture below and discuss with your child, talk about what it may mean to them. Read and learn scriptures with your child. Make it a song, write it and post it on the refrigerator or bathroom door. Make it fun.  Remind them that it makes God happy when we obey Him.

SCRIPTURE

Ephesians 6:1(NIV) – Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

 

John 6:40 – This is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life and I will raise him up at the last day.

 

 

PRAYER POINTS

 

  • Lord, I bring my child before You to your throne of grace.  I ask in the name of Jesus that you would help them grow into a deeper understanding of who You are and that bring them to a full knowledge of the truth about You.

 

  • Lord, I cast down all imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and I bring into captivity my child’s thoughts to the obedience of Christ.

 

May my child call You their Savior, be filled with your Holy Spirit and acknowledge You in every area of their life and choose to always follow You and Your ways


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Bible Study | Every Wednesday @ 7:00PM
Divine Encounter | Feb. 24 - 26, 2017