Text: 1 Peter 4:14-19
Memory verse:
“And one shall say, “Heap it up! Heap it up! Prepare the way, Take the stumbling block out of the way of My people.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭57‬:‭14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

One of the most effective weapons used in the satanic kingdom against the brethren but which the church is ignorant of, are gossip and slander. Satan releases his most deadly poison through these. No one is immune from these attacks, whether young or old, follower or leader, student or teacher, church member or pastor. It is terribly painful to be slandered. Many victims have slipped into bitterness, backslid and some have fallen away from the faith. We must therefore, carefully guard our hearts not to allow the enemy to cause us to stumble in our Christian race through these sins ‭‭(Prov‬ ‭4‬:‭23‬)‬‬. Today, we shall consider two ways to respond with grace and wisdom.
Firstly, don’t allow bitterness to take its root in your heart. Hurts that are not released will cause bitterness. Remember that God will never excuse any sinner because someone caused him or her to sin. Forgive and pray for your offenders. Don’t pray for them to die but that God will show them mercy. You will never pray for mercy for someone you still haven’t forgiven. See behind the slander to the main goal of the devil, which is to cause you to fall through bitterness (Eph 4:31; Heb 12:15).
Secondly, trust God to defend you. Never struggle to answer to every slanderous words nor seek for human defense (Mark‬ ‭15‬:‭4‬-‭5‬)‬‬. Don’t sponsor people to speak on your behalf. Acting in the flesh will rob you of your peace. I have come to know that God is not only more than enough to provide but also more than enough to defend us! Hallelujah! He will raise up defenders for you. Even if you have to defend yourself, be at peace, don’t panic or burst nor act out of fear. Don’t become too defensive about yourself. Most times, we think that we must just say our own side of the story, so we could correct the wrong things people have heard from the slanderers and then win them back. No, don’t be motivated by the fear of the people but by the fear of God and the truth.
Friends, let truth be your greatest advocate. Truth will always prevail over lies at last. Truth is relentless and unyielding. It’s the master of come-from-behind victories. Like Charles Spurgeon said “A great lie, if unnoticed, is like a big fish out of water—it dashes and plunges and beats itself to death in a short time.”

Prayer points
1. Father, please, help me never to act in the flesh but to respond wisely to gossip, slander and lies against me in Jesus name.
2. I release every hurt, unforgiveness and bitterness from my heart and I clear the stumbling blocks from my way in Jesus name.

Today’s declarations
1. I don’t respond in the flesh to gossip, slanders and lies against me because God is more than enough to defend me.
2. I keep forgiving my offenders and release all hurts lest satan should cause me to stumble in my Christian walk.

Contact: pastor@thf.org.ng