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Topic: Overcoming temptations (Part 1)

Text: Judges 16:1-21

Rev. Dr. G.O. Bakare

Introduction

The passage before us is about the fall of Samson. It was the will of God for Samson to overcome temptations. But he failed to woefully.  As we look at this passage, I want to call your attention to the things that Samson did not do. Brethren, we must learn some lessons from the failure of Samson as we encounter all sorts of temptations today. There are six important lessons in this passage.

1. Be at the right place at the right time for the right reasons (verses 1-2, 4). Samson was in the wrong place for the wrong reasons. He went down to Gaza slept with a prostitute. He also went down to the Valley of Sorek and fell in love with a Philistine woman called Delilah. 

2. Be watchful (verses 5-14). The rulers of the Philistines instructed Delilah to investigate the source of Samson’s strength. They promised to give her eleven hundred shekels of silver each by the rulers (28 pounds or about 13 kilograms of silver). Delilah made three failed attempts to capture Samson but he ignored all the danger signals. 

3. Flee (verses 15-16). Delilah continued to nag Samson about the secret of his power. At this point, one would expect Samson to flee but he thought he could handle it. There are sometimes when all you just need to do is to run away from the scene. It is not because you are spiritually weak. 

4. Stop and think (verse 17). Samson told Delilah everything. He did not stop to think about the implication of the secret he was about to reveal. He told her everything. 

5. Renew your mind with the word of God (verse 17). One important question that must be asked is about the spiritual level of Samson at that time. There was no record that he meditated on the Torah. There was no record that he visited the Tabernacle to pray or offer sacrifices to Yahweh.

6. Seek Help (verses 18-20). Samson failed to seek for divine assistance at the point of temptation. God would have delivered him. Unfortunately, Samson did not pray. 

Conclusion

It is possible for you to succeed where Samson failed. It is possible for you to overcome the temptations.

 

Overcoming temptations (Part 2)

Topic: The Consequences of Sin

Text: Genesis 3:1-19

Rev. Dr. G.O. Bakare

November has been declared as the month of holiness. We want to continue today by looking at the consequences of the sin of Adam and Eve.

1. Sin brings Shame (Gen. 3:6-7): The first consequence of the sin of Adam and Eve was that they were ashamed. Immediately, their eyes were opened and they realised that they were naked. They made covers out of fig leaves to cover their nakedness.

2. Sin brings fear and insecurity (Gen. 3:8-10):  There was joy, peace, confidence and trust in the Garden of Eden before the appearance of sin. These were eventually replaced with fear, guilt and insecurity. The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion (Prov. 28:1).

3. Sin affects human’s relationship with God (Gen. 3:8-10): They were no longer exited with the relationship that they once craved for. Adam and Eve lost their relationship with God. 

4. Sin brings blame (Gen. 3:11-13): Adam and Eve both loved each other in a way that a man and woman should before their sin. They saw each other as God’s special gift.  There was no record of conflict between them. However, they began to blame each other when sin entered their lives. Adam blamed his wife. Eve blamed the serpent. The serpent probably turned around to blame them (as ungrateful people). 

5. Sin brings judgement (Gen. 3:14-19): Everyone that was involved received a specific judgement from God (the serpent, Eve and Satan). The nature too was cursed in the process. Brethren, every human tear of sorrow we ever shed can be traced back to the fall of man. All the pains, sickness and natural disasters in our world are results of 
sin. 

Conclusion

God wants us to be holy because he is a holy God (the holy one of Israel). God wants us to be holy so that we can show the light of Christ to people around us. God wants us to be holy so that we can remain rapturable.

 

Topic: Crossing Over to your Canaan Land (Crossover Service)

Text: Joshua 3:1-6

Rev. Dr. G.O. Bakare

After 40 years in the wilderness, God took the children of Israel to their Canaan Land. However, they must first get past one final, major obstacle: the Jordan River. God brought them to the Jordan River at the time of harvest (4:15). It was over 50 times wider than it normally would have been. There was no way they could cross this river on their own without a supernatural assistance. As you prepare to enter the new year, remember that you cannot go into it successfully without a supernatural help. Therefore, you must do what the Israelites did in this passage.

1. Let God’s presence go before you (verses 1-3): The Ark, symbolises the presence and power of God. It represents God's presence in the midst of His people. In the new year, seek for God’s abiding presence. Don't take any step without God.

2. Choose to follow God (verse 4a): When they saw the Ark of the Covenant moved, they went after it. In 2014 when God moves, you must move. When God stops, you must stop. You must be more sensitive to the move of God in and around your life in the new year. Get God’s direction for every area of your life. This may require you to leave your comfort zone. Following God may not be the easiest thing to do, but it is be the best thing you will ever do.

3. Reference God (verse 4b): Notice that the Israelites were told to stay at about two thousand cubits (least 3000 feet) behind the Ark. You must have holy reverence and fear for God in .

4. Sanctify yourself (verse 5a): You must be sure you are as clean and holy as possible in the new year. You must examine yourself and put away anything that may be displeasing to the Lord in the new year.

5. Expect to see wonders (verse 5b): You must get ready for the Lord to do something great in your life in the new year. In other words, what you expect from the Lord is what you will get in the new year.

We are in a similar situation like the Israelites in this passage as we prepare to cross over to the new year. May the presence of the Lord go before us, with us, and follow us in 2014 and beyond in Jesus name. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

Topic: The efficacy of prayer

Text: James 5:16–18

Rev. Dr. G.O. Bakare

1. The efficacy of prayer for yourself

A. The story Jabez who prayed an unusual prayer (1 Chro. 4:9–10).

B. King Hezekiah prayed for healing (2 Kings 20:1–11, Isaiah 38:1–8).

2. The efficacy of prayer for your family 

A. Praying for your spouse. Isaac prayed for Rebecca (Gen. 25:21).

B. Praying for your children. Jacob prayed for all his children (Gen. chapter 49). 

  • Praying for your children

  • Praying with your children

  • Prayer from your children

3. The efficacy of prayer for others

A. Jesus prayed for Peter (Luke 22:31–32). Jesus said, ‘I have prayed for you.’

B. Jesus prayed for the disciples and all the believers (John chapter 17).

C. Paul prayed for others (Phil. 1: 9–11).

4. The efficacy of prayer for the Church

A. The Church prayed for Peter (Acts 12:5)

B. Prayer preceded most of the revivals and re-awakenings in Church history. For example, 1 million people were converted in Great Britain after about 200 Churches prayed together for some months in 1860.

C. Pray enhances evangelism. ‘Evangelism without prayer is like an explosive without a detonator. Pray without evangelism is like a detonator without exclusive.’

5. The efficacy of prayer for the nations

A. Samuel prayed for the nation of Israel (1 Sam. 12:23).

B. King Solomon prayed during the dedication of the Temple (1 Kings 8:22–61).

C. Elijah prayed for the nation of Israel (James 5:16–18).

D. Nehemiah prayed for the peace and restoration of Judah (Neh. 1:5–11).

Conclusion

God is looking around for those who could touch the heavens on their kneels. We also need to pray.