Devotion for Saturday August 19, 2017
Topic: Hypocrisy Destroys The Church
Text: Galatians 2:11 – 18
Hypocrisy is a very dangerous character that can lead to betrayal, gossip, pretences, falsehood and many other evils. Anyone who is hypocritical can even kill. Hypocrites are deceivers and tempters (Mark 12:15). They are always deceptive in their words and actions. Beware of such people who are hypocrites in nature.
Paul, speaking in defence of Christians and circumcision gave instance of how Peter and some Jews played hypocrisy by refraining themselves from eating with the Gentiles when James sent some Jews from Jerusalem to Antioch. They separated from the converted Gentiles and acted to convince the Jews that they still believed the law to be of moral obligation. They followed Peter and disguised their sentiments. They knew that the Jewish ceremonial laws was done away by the gospel, and had practically acknowledged it by eating with the Gentiles, however, they were afraid to avow their true convictions. This was hypocrisy at the highest level and more worrisome is the fact that it came from Peter who was adjudged a leader of the church. This made Paul to challenge him (Galatians 2:14).
There are many ways people play hypocrisy in our present day Christianity. Some claim they are born again Christians but don’t trust God to protect and care for them. Thus they depend on other sources for their protection and providence. Some people are still living in obvious sins and deeply involved in church programmes and activities. They are hypocrites and in such cases, the spirit of God can hardly dwell in such a church where they claim to be worshipping. If you are not done with sin, why take a seat at the centre of church services and programmes? Why will a church leader see a member of his/her church living in obvious sin and keep mum? Such inaction destroys the church too. To enjoy the presence of God in our churches, we must do away with hypocrites.
Food for Thought: “Of all the things in the world that stink in the nostril of men, hypocrisy is the worst” – Charles Spurgeon.
Memory verse: Galatians 2:13
Prayer: God heal me of any spirit of hypocrisy in me through the mercies of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
Devotion for Friday August 18, 2017
Topic: Jairus Came To Jesus
Text: Luke 8:40 – 42
Kings and Rulers hardly make out time to serve God. The most some of them can do is to send messenger to the Prophet or Servant of God. Maybe the case of his only daughter made Jairus to come to Jesus. If not that his daughter was dying, would Jairus have come to Jesus? Think about that? Some people are so self-centered that they only do good when it affects them.
When Jairus came to Jesus, he fell down at His feet. It may be an evidence of his faith in our Saviour Jesus Christ or maybe he believed Him to be God or hero worshipping because he wanted something from Him; the healing of his daughter. Whatever may be his reason, Jesus demonstrated His love and passion to save souls by going immediately with him. When he came to Jesus, He (Jesus) did not reject him or deny his request. Jesus exhibited great humility, suffering Himself to be thronged with much people who followed Him.
Why are you following Jesus? Why have you come to Jesus by becoming a Christian and being in the Church? Is it because you need healing, protection, a good spouse, deliverance, salvation, where to ease off tension after the weeks work, etc? God knows our hearts; those who are sincere in coming to Him and those who are not. We should love God because He first loved us (1John 4:9). Again, we should be ready to go to Christ when we are in distress because He is so ready hear and help us, if we seek Him in sincerity, though our faith maybe weak and feeble. Ask Him today and He will answer you.
Food for Thought: What motivates you to go to Christ? Is it because you love Christ?
Memory verse: Luke 8:41
Prayer: Lord, may I always come to you with sincere heart.
Devotion for Thursday August 17, 2017
Topic: It Shall Be Well With You
Text: Isaiah 3:1 – 11
At times there is the need for re-assurance from God in the course of our heavenly race. Most people used by God in the scriptures at one time or the other cried out to God for re-assurance. When Jesus Christ was in agony and pain on the Cross of Calvary, He cried out (Mathew 25:46). David also did it as we can see in Psalm 22:1. Paul did as we have in 2 Corinthians 12:9. Have you asked God for re-assurance once? Share your experience if you are studying as a group.
This encouragement to the righteous was aimed at making them to trust Him, and for sinners to repent and return to Him. This is so because it was time for the Lord to show His might (Isaiah 3:1 – 9). It is an assurance to the godly that God will defend them in the midst of these troubles. “It shall be well with the righteous,” is in all ramifications of life; prosperity, adversity, sickness, health, death, judgement, and through eternity. In every case, occurrence and circumstances, the righteous shall eat of the fruit of his labours.
Beloved in Christ, I bring you re-assurance again that despite the problems of sickness, delayed conception, getting a spouse; a job, admission, any many other human needs we might be facing at this moment, God is saying today that your righteous life is not in vain (Hebrews 6:10). There is a reward for you and you will certainly eat the fruits of your labours and righteousness. Read Psalm 1:1 – 3
Food for Thought: Ecclesiastics 8:12
Memory verse: Isaiah 3:10
Prayer: Lord God, as I follow your ways in righteousness, grant that it shall be well with me in all I do in Jesus name.
Devotion for Wednesday August 16, 2017
Topic: Allow Them To Discern
Text: John 4:16 – 26
Some people are fond of telling others who they are by their words and actions. They will always want people to acknowledge them by introducing themselves even though the occasion does not demand or warrant such. This is common attitude of the Pharisees. Such attitude is opposed to God, no wonder Jesus always rebuke them (Luke 11:39 – 44). Are you one of those who would always introduce yourself to people so as to be recognised? Know that unwarranted introduction is an act of pride.
Jesus met this woman of Samaria at Jacob’s Well and as their discussion ensued, the woman made the statement in John 4:19. She perceived that Jesus is a prophet from His manner and His knowledge of her of her history. The word prophet here denotes one who knew her heart and life, and who must therefore have come from God. Every word that Jesus had uttered excited her to wonder more and more, and when He lifted the curtain off her life, she was convinced at once of Jesus superhuman knowledge. Jesus didn’t tell her He is a prophet rather it was through His word, the woman came to understand.
How do you present yourself to others? Do you allow people to discern that you are a child of God by your actions and words?
Food for thought: “Those that are truly desirous to be owned and accepted by God will likewise desire not to be taken notice of nor applauded by men.” – Henry
Memory Verse: John 4:19
Prayer: Grant me the spirit of humility, O Lord, that people will know me by the fruit I bear
Devotion for Tuesday August 15, 2017
Topic: Christianity Breaks Barriers
Text: John 4:4 – 15
The ancestors of the Samaritans were introduced into the land of Israel by the King of Assyria, after he had led the ten tribes into captivity (2 Kings 17:24 – 41). When the Jews returned from captivity in Babylon and began to rebuild their temple, the Samaritans asked for permission to build with them, and when this was refused, an enmity arose between the two people which never died out (Ezra 4:1 – 5; Nehemiah 2:10; 4:1 – 3).
There was no familiarity nor friendship between Jews and Samaritans before Jesus came into the world. However, this may not affect business as the disciples of Jesus Christ had gone to buy food in the town. This woman of Samaria knew that Jesus was a Jew. The antipathy between the Jews and Samaritans was so bitter that they will never want to ask any hospitable rite. The woman’s reply is not a refusal of the Jesus’ request anyway, but an expression of astonishment that a Jew should ask a favour of a Samaritan. However, Jesus had come to set example for us that Christianity should break barriers, build bridges and not walls.
Jesus taught us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:24; Luke 6:27 and 35). Jesus did not want to follow the status quo maintained by His people. He was distinct and that is what He expects from us. A Christian shouldn’t join his/her family to maintain enmity with another family. Do you use your Christianity to break barriers and mend fences? Do you seek for avenues to reconcile people in enmity? This is what Christianity is all about; making peace and reconciling people, and people with God (2 Corinthians 5:17 – 19 and Matthew 5:9).
Food for Thought: 2 Corinthians 5:18
Memory verse: John 4:9
Prayer: Lord God, make me an instrument of peace in my generation in Jesus name.
Devotion for Monday August 14, 2017
Topic: A Voice Crying In The Wilderness
Text: Isaiah 40:3 – 8
Preparation matters so much in everything we do and hope to be successful therein; be it our personal businesses and endeavours or in the things of God. When we prepare ourselves before embarking on any project, it helps to avoid lapses, makes us more efficient and productive. This chapter of Isaiah is titled ‘Comfort for my people.’ It speaks about the set time to favour Zion which demands that the people of God must be prepared through repentance and faith. Our text is a call for preparation for what the Lord will do in Zion (Isaiah 40:4 and 5).
The way of the Lord is prepared through:
1) Repentance from sin; that was what John the Baptist preached to all Judah and Jerusalem (Matthew 3:1 – 6) and thereby made ready a people prepared for the Lord (Luke 1:17).
2) Confidence in the word of the Lord and not in any creature. The mouth of the Lord has spoken it; the voice as this further to cry he that has ears to hear let him hears it. The word of our God shall stand forever (Isaiah 40:8, compare 1 Peter 1:25).
How are you preparing for the return of Jesus Christ? If there is a revival programme or crusade, how do you prepare for it? A prepared heart will always meet God’s blessings in any personal or church programme, crusade or revival services. Have you repented? Remember the warning of John the Baptist when the Pharisees and Sadducees came to him in Matthew 3:7 – 12. Do not be complacent that you were born into the church or you can read and preach the bible. It is better to search yourself today and start preparing now before it will be too late. Jesus Christ is coming very soon.
Food for thought: “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success” – Alexander Graham Bell.
Memory verse: Mark 1:3
Prayer: Help me O Lord, my God to prepare the way for you to meet me always and for your return in Jesus name.
Devotion for Sunday August 13, 2017
Topic: The Vulnerability Of Man
Text: Matthew 16:21 – 23
In our bible reading yesterday, we read how Jesus Christ praised Peter for a divine inspiration expressed when he answered His question. In today’s bible reading, Peter in his impetus and impulsive manner came up again but this time, it was no praise for him but rebuke. This shows the vulnerability of man. We do similar things at times by acting according to our emotions which result to problems. When God insprires us to act or react, it can never result to problem. The word Satan means literally, an adversary, or one that opposes us in the accomplishment of our designs, dreams or goals. It is applied to the devil because he opposes us as our adversary (1 Peter 5:8). There is no evidence that the Lord Jesus applied this term to Peter, as signifying that he was Satan or that he used the term in anger. Rather, He meant that Peter was trying to hinder the redemption of mankind by giving Jesus the advice that opposes his mission on earth. We should note that Satan uses our closest allies, family members or best friends to tempt us. When they give us such advice, we should be careful or they will make us to lose our salvation. Jesus accused Peter of not being mindful of the things of God, but the things of men. Beloved in Christ, are you vulnerable beyond control? Are you only mindful about the things of the flesh that you undermine the things of the spirit? Ask God to help you overcome your vulnerability.
Food for Thought: “You cannot run away from your weakness; you must sometimes fight it out or you perish” – Robert Louis Stevenson
Memory verse: Matthew 16:23
Prayer: Lord God, help e to deal with my weaknesses before they deny me entry into heaven in Jesus name. Amen.