Memory verses for children

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.SONY DSC

It is important to teach our children the word of God and the earlier the better. I taught my first son the first memory verse when he was about two and a half. It was “One Lord, one faith, one baptism- Ephesians 4:5”. It was such a joyous moment to hear him recite it. I must confess, I had taught him that verse with the hopes that he would be able to recite in the children’s week of that year (in front of the whole church) because children in the church I attend often do Bible recitations. When it became apparent that He would not be able (and would not even be steady) to recite in public, I decided to wait another year till when he would be a little more mature. This year, I resumed with the memory verses and it has been fantastic. The best part is, my second son who is two years old memorizes the verses too. I love how excited they are about each new verse and how they excitedly recap the verses of the previous week.

And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.Deuteronomy 11:19

When I was a child, my parents taught us in this way too. Believe me when I say, it never departs from your children. To this very day, I remember most of those verses. Sometimes, when it seemed we could not memorize certain verses, my mum made it into a song to enable us learn faster.God is awesome and I am thankful for the opportunity God has given me to raise future members of His army. Children have so much trust in their parents that they will learn whatever we teach them. Read Bible stories to them, make it fun and exciting, read to them over and over again and make it interactive. Stimulating their interest in God is for your own good (well…and theirs too).

I realized that when I recite the memory verses with my children over and over again, It also helps me learn the verses i never knew. So get on board. From time to time, I will post some of the verses my children have learnt and are learning as guide for those who are willing to introduce memory verse learning to their children. Stay tuned!!!

We will not hide them from their children,
shewing to the generation to come
the praises of the Lord, and his strength,
and his wonderful works that he hath done. Psalm 78:4

To the envious mom…

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 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:26)

 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying (Romans 13:13)

A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones (Proverbs 14:30)

Envy is the desire of something that belongs to someone else, this desire often causes resentment and discontentment. Harold Coffin said envy is when we count our neighbour’s blessings instead of our own. I find that to be pretty accurate. Envy is typically a negative emotion and all the biblical references of envy or envious emotions point towards negativity.

Becoming a mom got me thinking seriously about envy as a sin I have often overlooked. The thing is, I have often found myself in situations like what I described in the previous paragraph. Wanting what the children of other people have etc as opposed to realising that my life is different and my children have their own needs which may not necessarily be the same as other people’s needs. In this age of social media, it is even more common and easier to get stuck on the lives of others while forgetting that we have our own lives to focus on.

Envy is one of those sins that begets several other sins such as covetousness and strife(which God specifically warned against). Unaddressed envy can ruin lives, marriages and even our relationship with God- I know this for certain because I have been there, It is really hard to focus on God when you are too busy daydreaming about having the life you think someone else has and detesting them for having a ‘good life’. Many people have gone as far as finding ways to outshine the other person or wishing ill towards the person they envy (1 Corinthians 3:3, Colossians 3:5, Exodus 20:17, Mark 7:21-23)

Envy is a sin!!! (Galatians 5:21, 1 Peter 2:1, )

Thankfully, we have a remedy for sin.

Repent!!! (1 John 1:9, Romans 12:21)

Talk to God about this demonic spirit (James 3:14-16).

Envy would make you aspire to be like someone else so much that you struggle to measure up. So many people are ‘competing’ with people who really have no idea about them. I guess in a way, this can be idolatry because someone else has become the standard. Remember the first commandment? (Exodus 20:3, Ephesians 5:5).

Many times, the people we envy are unbelievers and the word of God has strictly warned against that. (Proverbs 23:17, 24:19).

If you want your marriage to work, envying another person’s marriage does not help.

If you want obedient and responsible children, envying another person’s seemingly well adjusted children is definitely not the answer.

I have heard several people say envy can be a good thing or a good motivataor, unfortunately the Bible does not say so. Time and time again, believers have been warned against any form of envy.

Her children call her blessed – Proverbs 31:28

I know people talk about Proverbs 31 a lot however, the first part of verse 28 caught my attention a few days ago. 

Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

Proverbs 31:28 KJV 

My children do not call me blessed. Well, they are 3 years old, 2 years old and 2 months old. When I lived with my parents, I never called my mum blessed despite the fact that she is a good mother. Maybe I was too stuck up or too stupid but as an adult I can proudly say my mother is a blessed woman. 

The truth is, as mothers, a lot of the stuff we do may go unnoticed but you know something? A day will come when they will look back and understand everything you have done. They will call you blessed. 

Do not give up!!! Even when you feel discouraged. Cast your burdens upon the Lord, Jesus is the affirmation you need.
PRAYER GUIDE:

Thank You Lord for my family, help me to serve them with love and joy. In my weakness, be my strength. Comfort me when I feel discouraged. Help me to appreciate good days and to remember such days when I feel overwhelmed In Jesus Name. Amen. 

10 prayers for your newborn

It is always an exciting thing when a child is born.  As believers, we are supposed to take everything to God in prayer and we commit everything into God’s hands including the future and lives of our children.

My guess is if you are reading this, you probably just had a baby or someone you know just did and you want to lift them up in prayer. Well look no further. Here are 10 bible areas I think are worth praying over your newborn like I did for mine.

1. For God’s presence to always be with her. 

Pray that in all her endeavours the presence of God will be with her. No circumstance shall break her communion with the Lord in Jesus Name.

Psalm: 145: 18. The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.

Exodus: 33: 14. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
Jeremiah: 29: 13. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
1 Corinthians: 3: 16. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
2. For salvation and an eternity with God

Salvation is not transferable from parent to child. That being said, we can pray for the Lord to touch the lives of our children or pray that they have an encounter with God just like Apostle Paul did. The end result of being saved is that their eternity with God is guaranteed. It is important that our children hear the voice of God and open up their hearts to Him.

Matthew: 7:13-14. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Romans: 10: 9-10. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Revelation: 3: 20. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 

3. For Godly wisdom and discernment

In all areas of life, we need the Godly wisdom to guide us, we need to be able to discern what is God’s will and what is not God’s will. This is a very important area to pray on because our children will grow up and will be faced with daily decisions. It is important that they remain in God’s will.

Proverbs: 3: 13. Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

Proverbs: 24: 13-14. My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste: So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.

James: 1: 5. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

James: 3: 17. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

Proverbs: 16: 16. How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

Philippians: 1: 9-10. And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 

4. For an obedient and teachable spirit.

Pray that your child will allow herself to be corrected by the word of God and that she will submit to Godly authority, advice and counseling. Pray for the Holy Spirit to convict her whenever she goes wrong and that she will take correction well.

Ephesians: 6: 1-3. Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.  Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
1 Peter: 5: 5-6. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Proverbs: 12: 1. Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish. 

5. That she will fulfill her days

It is the prayer of every parent that their children will live long. We do not know God’s will but we know His grace, His mercies and His compassion. You can pray that God should show mercy on your child and let her live to fulfill her days, let her not die young and let God perfect everything that concerns her.

Psalm: 91: 16. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

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

Psalm: 138: 8. The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands. 

6. Family unity and togetherness

Pray that your child will be a source of joy, peace, unity and togetherness to your family. Pray that because of her, God will strengthen, renew and restore love and unity in your family. Also pray that she will be a source of joy and hope to everyone who comes in contact with her, Let the glory of God radiate through her.

Psalm: 133: 1. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

Mark: 3: 25. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

7. For God’s Blessings and Grace (Favour)

God’s blessings are like no other. The blessings of God do not cause sorrow. Pray that your child will continue to find favour in the sight of God and that she will be blessed in all her endeavours.

Psalm: 45: 2. Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.

Genesis: 6: 8. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

Psalm: 67: 1. God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.

Numbers: 6: 24-27. The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:  The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:  The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.  And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.

8. For God’s protection 

God is the only sure source of protection, No one can watch over your child more than the Lord can. So commit your child to Him, Ask God to be her guide. To protect her from evil people, bad friends, bad decisions and anything in general that is not of God.

Nahum: 1: 7. The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

Psalm: 91: 7. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. 

9. A loving and compassionate spirit

Jesus is our example of love. Pray that your child will be as loving and compassionate to others as Jesus was. Pray that she will be guided by the love of God and she will extend this love and compassion to others.

John: 13: 34. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

1 Corinthians: 13: 4-5. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,  Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Colossians: 3: 12-13. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 

10. For her health

God does not only care about our souls, He cares about our bodies too. As long as we are alive, our bodies must glorify Him. Infirmities and the rest can be prayed against. The same God who gave life to your child will keep her in health, pray that whenever sicknesses arise, God will defeat them and renew her health.

3 John: 1: 2. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

Proverbs: 17: 22. A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Jeremiah: 33: 6. Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.

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How to know if you are a Lukewarm Christian


1. You see Jesus as Saviour but not as Lord. Acts 2:36, Luke 9:57-62

2. Coming to God only when you need something

3. You rarely evangelise or talk to others about Christ. Religion is a private thing to you. Matthew 10:32-33

4. You compromise with the world. You do things because other people are doing them not because of what God says. Luke 6:26, Revelation 3:1, Matthew 23:5-7

5. You want to be saved from hell but not necessarily from sin. You are not truly sorry for your sins. Romans 6:1-2, John 10:10

6. You rarely think about eternity. Life on earth means everything to you. Philippians 3:18-20

7. You often think those who obey in full and live as God expects are radical and too extreme. You are content with being “average”. James 1:22-25, James 4:17, Matthew 21:28-31

8. You find ways to justify sin and call people who keep biblical doctrines “law keepers” Galatians 5:19-21, Hebrews 10:26, Revelation 22:19

9. You frequently say “do not judge” even when the Biblical stance on certain issues are clear as day. 1 Corinthians 2:15, Proverbs 31:9, Leviticus 19:15, Ezekiel 22:2, John 7:24, Matthew 7:1-5

10. You think good works make you born again or could be the same as salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, John 15:6, Isaiah 64:6

Maintaining the ‘Gold Standard’

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I am not one for new year resolutions because I never keep to them but as I grow in the Lord, I know for sure that I want to know him more and more and to live for him in the best way possible.

Our just concluded annual camp meeting was a fantastic time in God’s presence and I taught my first youth seminar class on ‘The Religion of Rehoboam’. This lesson got me thinking about how so many Christians let down their standards. I know for sure that I do not want to go down that path!

The story in I Kings 14:25-28 is pretty simple, Rehoboam inherited the throne after the death of his father, Solomon. In that time, Shishak the king of Egypt defeated Israel in war and all the golden vessels in the temple which Solomon made were taken away. Rehoboam replaced the stolen golden vessels with vessels made of brass.

Rehoboam could not keep up the golden standard. Gold is really valuable. Remember Solomon built the temple not by his wisdom but according to God’s specifications. Brass looks a lot like gold but is not gold, it is man-made. Brass shines like gold but is a substitute religion of men that cannot buy salvation. Brass signifies man’s religion which is noisy, cheap, does not regard God’s commandments and revelations. More so it operates by an ‘it does not matter’ ideology where there is really no standard.

It is common to see salvation being substituted for church membership, Joy in the Holy Ghost is being substituted for entertainment, the word of God is being substituted for slangs and motivational speeches, volume is also being substituted for quality. It is important to note that salvation, holiness,sanctification, repentance, heaven and the Holy Ghost cannot be substituted.

If with all your religion, you are not washed from your sins then what you have is substitute religion (Read Proverbs 30:12-13).

We must:

  • repent and be saved
  • receive the grace of God
  • sins must be washed away not covered
  • the two eternal options are heaven or hell and there is no substitute
  • resurrection into life or judgement which cannot also be substitute

The above options are pure gold and should not be substituted for brass irrespective of what the worlds thinks or says. In Proverbs 23:23, the Bible says we should buy the truth and not sell it for anything. Do not let down your standards for anything. In your walk with God, strive for gold and not brass.

This is how I plan to approach 2017. I will not let down my standards like Rehoboam did, I will not be a weak Christian and above all, I will contend earnestly for the faith!!!!! This is my only goal.

How do you plan to approach 2017? Do you have goals?

Opening up to the word of God…

I think I will be approaching this verse from a slightly different angle than we are used to.

A few days ago, certain events got me thinking about how wrong or inappropriate it is to refuse correction or wise counsel from someone just because we think the person kids or friends or siblings do not behave well.

Let me give an example:

Person A: I think you should try doing this, you know the Bible says…..

Person B: you should teach that to your kids or how can you advice me when your own kids do not……

How wrong! How inappropriate! I have often been caught in this ungodly behaviour but you know something? A person does not have to be obeyed or respected by his family to be used by God. God doesn’t work based on human sentiments. The fact that that friends and family do not respect a person’s Christian work or faith doesn’t mean you cannot take that person seriously when it comes to the things of God.

If there are certain preachers you refuse to take seriously simply because the behaviours of their children do not reflect the scripture then you may be judging too quickly. Understand that your leaders in church are not perfect and often times, the devil tries to get at them through their families.

My advice would be to pray for them rather than write them off.

For this child I prayed…

One of the verses I had written down to pray on for my unborn. It is also a commitment to bring up that child in the ways of God and let God use the child however he pleases. 

The Bible tells us that Hannah handed Samuel over to God without hesistation. Considering the fact that she had prayed for so long for the fruit of the womb. Many of us did not exactly pray for that long for a child, but at the point of marriage, we probably agreed to have kids or were prayed for (prayers of fruitfulness etc). Either way, we owe it to God to bring up our children in the way of the Lord. 

Allow your children participate in church activities, outreaches and general service to God. There is nothing more rewarding. 

Praying through your pregnancy

Proverbs 3:5-6(KJV)

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

 

There are a vast number of reasons to pray during pregnancy. Most times, people get stuck on praying for protection only that they forget to pray about other stuff.

Here is a list of other areas to pray on during pregnancy:

  1. Prayers of thanksgiving
  2. Prayers for safety
  3. Prayers for baby’s growth and development
  4. Prayers for baby’s character
  5. Prayers for baby’s future
  6. Prayers for your medical team
  7. Prayers for financial stability
  8. Prayers for family unity
  9. Prayer for parenting
  10. Prayer for happiness and contentment
  11. Prayer for attitude during pregnancy
  12. Prayer against moodiness and mood swings
  13. Prayer for peace and stability
  14. Prayers against bad dreams and the spirit of fear

This is just a guide on how to pray during pregnancy, there is a lot to pray about. God id the giver of children and we need to seek his face for every aspect of our unborn children’s lives.