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TOPIC: EXCEL KNOWING YOURSELF

Text: Jer. 18:1-6

Objectives: To lead learners to:
-    Start speaking positively about themselves.
-    Be empowered to see themselves the way God sees them.

Memory Verse: Ps 139:14
    I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your words are wonderful I know that full well.

Introduction
    Self – acceptance is of vital importance to everyone. I heard Shasha say “I hate myself. I hate my size and my looks. I hate the way I am made” I encouraged her that, “When God was making you, he saw a piece of clay in His hand but in His mind is a beautifully finished vessel like you”.
    There is no limit to what God can do to transform a woman/man inwardly and make his/her life fulfilling outwardly if only he/she gives him/herself over to God.

Lesson/Discussion
    If you have to excel yourself positively you must adhere (remain faithful) to the following instructions;
1.    Stop listening to accusing voices.
To become better than you are now learn to feel good about yourself. Stop listening to wrong voices which tell you what you didn’t do and what you should have done. Rev. 12:10 states that the devil is the “accuser of the brethren” who wants you to live guilty and condemned lives. He reminds you of past mistakes and failures such as, “You caused an abortion” You were raped” You stole” Your offering was not enough” You messed up” You are a debtor” You are to blame”
    Yes, we have all sinned, failed and made mistakes but remember you can receive God’s mercy and forgiveness. Nothing you have done is too much for the mercy of God.
    Even the apostle Paul once struggled in this regard when he said “The things I know I should do, I don’t. The things I know I should not do, I do (Rom 7:19). That should encourage you that God does not disqualify you merely because you don’t perform perfectly.
    Do not do wrong on purpose. Sometimes you may make mistakes but don’t beat yourself or condemn yourself but know that God is still working on you. More to that, you are growing, learning and becoming better. Beloved in the Lord, I have made up my mind that, “I will not live a condemned life”.
    Remember the story of the Prodigal Son. After wasting time and resources he did not yield to the accusing voice of “No hope again” guilt and condemnation but he said, “I will arise and go to my father’s”.
    So, stop listening to the accusing voice of your past mistakes, guilt and accept God’s love, mercy, forgiveness and a bright future for your life.

2.    Be learning to like yourself.
    God wants us to feel good about ourselves. He knew that you were going to have weaknesses, mistakes and wrong desires but still loved you and sent His Son Jesus Christ to redeem you.
    In Matt. 22:39 Jesus said “Love your neighbor as yourself”. Before you love your neighbor, respect, feel good and accept yourself. Thus, cease to say “I am a failure, I am not attractive”. I am not qualified” and start saying, “I am a success”, I am attractive”. “I am qualified”.
    Remember that if you don’t love yourself, it will affect every other relationship you have with other people and even with God. Many people who are enemies to themselves need to know that God loved us while we were yet sinners. So, as God approves you, why don’t you approve yourself?
    In the same way as you won’t condemn your children to outsiders, God too doesn’t. Get in agreement with God on how He feels about you and start feeling good about yourself.
    Every morning as you look at the mirror, declare boldly “I am approved, I accept myself because God accepts me. I am the righteousness of God. I am more than conqueror. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I can be what God wants me to be”.

3.    Making your words work for you.
    God did not create us to be average but to excel. In Eph 1:4-14 God chose and equipped us with everything we need to live an abundant life.
    Many people today, feel inferior or have poor self-image than seeing themselves as God sees them. One of the ways to improve on ourselves is by our words. Words are like seeds. They have creative power. The Bible states in Prov. 13:2 “We will eat the fruit of our mouth/words.” Everyday we should speak positive words over our lives, “I am blessed. “I am prosperous, healthy, strong, beautiful young etc.” Change the way you speak about yourself and you can change your life. The positive words permeate (pass into every part of) our hearts and mind and begin to change the way we see ourselves. Every morning a school child can say, “I excel in school. I am a quick learner. I have good study habits. I am a good student, full of God’s wisdom”.
    James 3:10 says with our tongues we curse or bless. Some of us have cursed our future without knowing. Imagine some of us saying “I don’t have. I will never have a child. I will never get well of this sickness. I am getting old and wrinkled. I will never be loved. I will never get married. My marriage is not working”. Even if in the physical realm and natural all seem impossible, call in what God has promised you after fulfilling your part or condition of the promise. “I am blessed. I am chosen. I am anointed. I will be a lender not a debtor I am strong I am blessed with the fruit of the womb.
    Be careful what you say about yourself, husband, children and others. May be other people have been saying negative things about you, from today change or erase those words by speaking faith – filled words from the Bible to yourself.
    How do people call you? How do you call yourself? What is your name and its meaning? Story: Joe and his wife could not have more children after the first one, she always had miscarriages. When he realized his full name “Joseph” meant “God will add”, he informed all who knew him about the change from “Joe to Joseph” as “Abram to Abraham” Each time he was called “Joseph” he heard, “God will add”. Not long after that his wife became pregnant and bore a baby boy. (no more miscarriages).
    Beloved, do you know that your negative words can stop God’s best plan for your life? (Num. 14:28) So, use positive words – confessions, declarations and names to bless and excel your life.

4.    Have Confidence in Yourself.
    Each one of us has an inner conversation inside us. We talk more to ourselves within than we talk to others. Most times it is negative thoughts battling with the positive.
    Discoveries have shown that most wrong thinking started when we were children, may be when maltreated, rejected, raped etc. Reprogram (renew) your minds. Don’t lie in bed thinking only about wrong things. Believe what you say about yourself than what people say about you. People may encourage you but if you don’t believe or have confidence in the encouragement and receive it, it won’t work.
    Talk to yourself in the right way “I can do it through Christ who strengthens me. I am able. I will fulfill my destiny. I have a bright future in Christ. I am a child/wife of the most High God” then you will rise to a new level of confidence. Philemon 1:6 says our faith (believe in Jesus and ourselves) is made effectual (brings about results) when we acknowledge (agree) everything good which is in us in Christ Jesus. Do not walk into a gathering, fellowship or group timidly – (shyly) unsecured – (not to be relied on) thinking “Nobody will listen to me. I will not be able to speak well or do it. They are talking about me - my dress, my hair” Have confidence in yourself. Determine that you will be confident about yourself, reject negative thoughts and meditate on thoughts like “I am able to do or be what God has called or chosen me to be or do.

Application
    Let us, God’s children refuse to live guilty and condemned lives because of past mistakes. Jesus Christ redeemed us by dying on the cross for us. Choose to speak positively and call in what God has promised us. Then, be determined to have confidence in yourself as you declare what God thinks about you.

Teacher, let the women confess “I have a positive opinion about myself because I, not only know who I am, but I know whose I am – I belong to the Almighty God.
Questions
1.    What can you do to excel yourself positively?
2.    What will you declare if naturally you are sick, financially down, weak, feel inferior, barren, your marriage is shaken etc?