ARE YOU IN DOUBT? Devotion for Thursday October 13, 2016

God knows and understands why we pass through trials, temptations, hardship and even imprisonment. In this devotion, He gives us the freedom to ask questions when we are in doubts

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ARE YOU IN DOUBT? Devotion for Thursday October 13, 2016

Text: Jeremiah 33:1 – 9       Memory verse: Jeremiah 33 verse 3

There are many things that can challenge our faith and make us question if the promises of God are real. It can only take a man of faith to endure the hardship, trials and even imprisonment without questioning God. An average Christian in a prison (33:1) for a long time simply because of his faith and commitment to God will surely ask if God and all His promises are real. The person will question the love God promised, the protection and deliverance He assured us.

This happens when we come to a cross road and are perplexed. When there seems to be no way out of seemly difficult problem and having fasted, and prayed without an answer, we will act like John the Baptist (Matt 11:2, 3). Before his imprisonment, he announced that Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God and the Messiah (John 1:29–36). Unfortunately, while in prison, he questioned the truth that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and had to send his disciples to inquire from Jesus Christ if He is the Messiah. What he saw and passed through led into such doubt. Again, he had a wrong understanding of Messiahship of Jesus Christ. However, in all our doubts, fears and apprehensions, God understands our plight when we come to crossroads.

God saw the ordeal Jeremiah was into and asked the prophet to call upon Him so He might clarify every fears, doubt and apprehensions, and reveal secret things to him. Are you in doubt if indeed God called you as a Christian, a missionary, a Pastor, etc? Are you in doubt if God was the one that gave you that spouse, job, sent you to that mission field, etc? Are you in doubt if your Christianity is real as things are not moving on well with you despite your commitment? It is time to call on God and He will answer and make it clear to you on why you are facing hard times in your call and ministry, and what you will gain by passing through it faithfully. He has reasons for everything happening to you.

Food for Thought: “Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt” – William Shakespeare

Prayer: Almighty God and my Father solve every problem that led me into doubting your love and reveal hidden things to me in Jesus name. Amen.

God’s Love For The Unfaithful: Devotion for Wednesday October 12, 2016

God hates unfaithfulness. Unfortunately, that was one major problem with His people Israel. Despite this problem with Israel, today’s devotion tells us that God still loves them. We have been unfaithful to God in so many areas but His love for us has not changed.

Gods Love For The Unfaithful: Devotion for Wednesday October 12, 2016

Text: Hosea 2:13 – 23         Memory verse: Hosea 2 verse 19

Baal, Covenant, Daily, Devotion, God, Hosea, Idolatry, Israel, Justice, Love, Marriage, Righteousness, Unfaithful

In the book of Isaiah chapter five, we have God’s lamentation of unfruitfulness of His vineyard, Israel. The nation of Israel is not only unfruitful but also unfaithful to God. The unfaithfulness of Israel to God is the central message of the book of Hosea. The book of Hosea is a love story, which is true, real and tragic, used to describe Israel and God. It tells of God’s love for His people and their response to Him.

In our text for today’s bible reading, is a marriage engagement from God to His loved one Israel. He had shown them righteousness, justice, unfailing love and compassion, not minding her unfaithfulness. Unfortunately, the Israelis failed God in all ramifications. They were easily enticed by the ungodly lifestyle of their neighbours who worship idols especially Baal. This action attracted God’s anger (Ezek. 15:8). The attraction to the worship of Baal started before they settled in the Promised Land. You can recall how Aaron made the golden calf in the wilderness to reflect the gods some other nations worship. Idolatry had been a long time problem with the nation Israel.

Ironically, all efforts made by God to draw them back seem fruitless. However, He was not willing to let His chosen ones go like that hence this message from Hosea. Today, many of us have been unfaithful to God in many areas of our lives and relationship with Him. Don’t just jump to conclusion that you are not. Rather, search your conscience and find out the areas you have been unfaithful and repent of them. Remember what 1 Jn. 1:8 says. God’s decision here is a challenge for us Christians who will not want to forgive our enemies. Do we show compassion to those who are unfaithful to us? We should be considerate and compassionate on all who ‘offend’ us and love them. We are called to be like God (1 John 3:1 & 2). God forgives us not by our own merit but by His grace (Romans 5:8 & Galatians 2:5). Are you will to accept that forgiveness He is offering you today?

Food for Thought: How faithful are you to God as required in the New Covenant with Him?

Prayer: Almighty God and my Father, help me to be faithful always to you in all things in Jesus name.

OUR ALL-SATISFYING PORTION: Devotion for Tuesday October 11, 2016

Having God as his portion, guaranteed and secured his lot. Such secured lot can become yours if you give your life to Jesus accepting Him as your Lord and Saviour. He does not abandon whatever is entrusted to Him. Entrust yourself to God and believe in Him. He will keep you safe and satisfy you with the best portion from His lot.

OUR ALL-SATISFYING PORTION: Devotion for Tuesday October 11, 2016

Text: Psalm 16:1 – 7        Memory verse: Psalm 16 verse 6

Of what use will it be to God after blessing you to see those blessings being taken away from you either by devil or by his agents? God’s intent is never to bless us and we lose them to the devil. His intent is never to add any sorrow to the blessings He gives to us. No wonder the bible was clear and emphatic about this very truth that God’s blessings don’t add any sorrow to us (Proverbs 10:22). This should be a source of hope and courage in our work with God as we expect His provisions for our daily needs.

When God is your portion and inheritance, He shields, shelters, provides and protects you. God as our portion offers us all we need or desire depending on His will for us and those things that will benefit us even as John Wesley asserts. In his expression, he rejoices in God as his portion, and desires no better, no other felicity. This is purely a true understanding of God we serve and all He can do for us. About our protection, Jesus testified in John 10:28 and John 17:12.

The Lord’s portion as used in Psalm 16:5 according to Family Bible Notes are, “Those whom He set apart especially for Himself, treated as His peculiar treasure, and from whom He might rightfully expect special revenue of glory.” This is what God expects from us always. Are you one of His portions? Remember that He didn’t call us without endowing us.

We should understand the whole of Psalm 16:6 not literally saying of David’s earthly heritage in the land of Canaan, but figuratively of God Himself, as his All-Satisfying portion. This made his lot secured. Having God as his portion, guaranteed and secured his lot. Such secured lot can become yours if you give your life to Jesus accepting Him as your Lord and Saviour. He does not abandon whatever is entrusted to Him. Entrust yourself to God and believe in Him. He will keep you safe and satisfy you with the best portion from His lot. The choice is all yours now – take it or leave it.

Food for Thought: Is God your All–satisfying portion?

Prayer: Help me, O Lord my God, to depend on you as my portion and lot now and forever in Jesus name. Amen.

BLESSEDNESS OF THE RIGHTEOUS 2: Devotion for Monday October 10, 2016

This devotion tells us about another blessedness the righteous enjoys. He is not shaken by problems of life like sickness, threats of the enemies, temptations, trials, persecutions, wants, etc. Read and enjoy.

BLESSEDNESS OF THE RIGHTEOUS 2: Devotion for Monday October 10, 2016

Text: Psalm 112:6 – 10    Memory verse: Psalm 112 verse 6

Blessedness, Covenant, Daily, Devotion, Enemies, Established, Heart, Righteous, Satan, Shaken, Threats

A man of faith who loves God is fearless and he overcomes (1 John 5:4 & 5) just as we read yesterday. David was fearless when he confronted Goliath and he overcame a well known warrior and champion. If you are afraid, you cannot triumph. Anyone who is afraid will always fail as Saul and other Israelis soldiers failed to have their names written in gold. Anyone who is fearful will easily be shaken. Such person is never stable in his thoughts, faith and actions. Do you want to be victorious and triumph in that spiritual or physical battle you are currently going through? Then fear God and not the devil or man. Sacred Songs & Solos (Sankey) 561 is a great source of insight on how you can be courageous and fearless in your Christian race.

Another blessedness of the righteous is that the person is not shaken. Sometimes, Satan and his agents will try by all means to move the person, but because his foundation in the Lord is firm, he shall never be moved, at least not moved for ever; if he is shaken for a time, yet he settles again quickly. He regains himself like the story I told in yesterday’s devotion.

Beloved, are you easily shaken by threats of the enemies, lack of basic necessities of life, fear of the unknown, etc? You should always have the words of Christ in mind. He said, “Let not your heart be troubled … (Jn. 14:1). Of a truth, many times I do shake over things that God had done for me previously. However, when I remember what God did previously for me, I will regain myself. That shows the vulnerability of man. Things can move us but when we hide the word of God in our hearts, we can dig them out and strengthen ourselves.

A righteous man will have a good reputation, and that gives him satisfaction. He strives for a good name; a name for good things, with God and man. These will make people to remember him forever (112:6b). His heart is established because he fears the Lord and he is never afraid. What can be said about you? Is your heart established in the Lord? Are you easily shaken by problems? Then trust the Lord for in Him, you will be established and not be shaken.

Food for Thought: An established heart in the Lord can never be shaken.

Prayer: God, establish my heart in you so that problems of life will not shake me.

BLESSEDNESS OF THE RIGHTEOUS: Devotion for Sunday October 9, 2016

This devotion teaches us that fear comes as a result of sin and that the righteous are fearless. It teaches us that the heart of the righteous is established in the Lord and cannot be moved.

BLESSEDNESS OF THE RIGHTEOUS: Devotion for Sunday October 9, 2016

Text: Psalm 112:1 – 5     Memory verse: Psalm 112 verse 1

Blessedness, Righteous, Devotion, Fear, Fearless, Psalmist, Love, God, Daily Covenant, Sin,

Few days ago, I travelled to Abuja with my wife and baby in a public transport. On our way after Okene and before Lokoja, we had a flat tyre. The spare tyre in the vehicle was not good. We saw a cyclist and requested that he should take the driver to the nearest town to effect repairs on the tyre. As the cyclist packed near me, he asked, “Baa Hausa – Do I hear Hausa” and I responded negatively. He muttered English by saying, “This place e no good – This place is not good” Immediately he said that, I became afraid and many thoughts came into my mind about the enemies attacking us. After some few minutes, I came to my sense and started binding the devil and his evil thoughts. That was how I overcame the fear.

Someone once said that fear is devil’s strongest weapon of war. The moment he succeeds in putting fear into you, all other things like doubt, intimidation, anxiety, worries, despair, etc, will follow. Jesus warns us not to fear anyone who can’t kill the soul (Matt 10:28). Most importantly, we should understand that we can overcome fear when we trust in God just as the Psalmist posited here in our bible reading for the day. In the opinion of Family Bible Note, “Trust in God keeps the souls of His people in peace, while others are quaking with apprehension of evils that are coming upon them.” Trust in God, grants us boldness and authority for exploits.

Who are these fearless people the Psalmist mentioned in 112:1? What are they known for as we have in 112:1b? When we fear God and obey His command, we cannot fear any man rather we can respect them if they deserve it (Lk 12:4 & 5). Sin brings fear. The heart of the righteous is established as Treasury of David asserts here, “His love to God is deep and true, his confidence in God is firm and unmoved; his courage has a firm foundation, and is supported by Omnipotence. He has become settled by experience, and confirmed by years. He is not a rolling stone, but a pillar in the house of the Lord.” Do you love, fear and obey God?

Food for Thought: Psalm 1:1 and 2

Prayer: God, grant me the heart to fear and obey your command in Jesus name.

TO MY IGBO BROTHERS AND SISTERS

Let us build our place so that Nigerians can depend on us. We should stop accusing successive government of marginalizing us when we can do something that will make us sought after.

TO MY IGBO BROTHERS AND SISTERS
 
For example, we have abandoned our cities for other cities in search of where to do business. We have developed cities like Kano, Kaduna, Lagos, Ibadan, Benin City, Abuja, etc. We forgot that one thing government considers in siting projects is populations. They also consider markets. Of all cities and towns in the Igboland only Onitsha, Aba and Nnewi are the ones where things are happening in the east.
Why can’t we develop our land and make it tourist destinations within Nigeria? Must we wait for our own country before we begin to develop? Let us build our place so that Nigerians can depend on us. We should stop accusing successive government of marginalizing us when we can do something that will make us sought after. We have the manpower, we have the financial power but one thing lacking is leadership. We lack leadership because of our selfishness and greed. We should put them aside and begin to think of how best we can make our Igbo nation the envy of other parts of Nigeria.
Who says people from Kano, Sokoto, Maiduguri can’t constantly come to our land to buy things they need? Who says people from neighbouring countries can’t come to patronize us? Must we go there to establish before we think of making it.
Let us think of coming to develop our place and stop waiting for someone else which may never come. The earlier we start thinking about that, the better for us.

AWAKE FROM YOUR SLUMBER: Devotion for Saturday October 8, 2016

The warning in our bible reading by Paul is very apt and timely. It is a call to wake up from sleep of ignorance, lack of commitment to the service of God and humanity. This warning is necessary because the things happening in this our age are pointers to the fact that the end is near. Read the devotion and take this warning to heart.

AWAKE FROM YOUR SLUMBER: Devotion for Saturday October 8, 2016

Text: Romans 13:11 – 14      Memory verse: Romans 13 v 11

Ability to read time and understand is very important not only in the Christian race but also in all our endeavours in this life. Romans 13:11 states, “And do this, knowing the time …” There, Paul was speaking about love and in this verse he wants believers to realize their constant need to show love, especially considering the time that Christ’s return is near.

Most passages that teach or warn us about Christ’s return centre on our responsibility to be morally prepared, spiritually alert, and diligently serving God and humanity (1 Pet. 4:11; Jas. 5:8; 1 Jn. 2:18). The warnings found in these passages are essentially necessary for our growth and development as Christians. Believers must be vigilant, alert, and not caught unaware and unprepared when Christ returns. Jesus Christ gave us similar warning when He warned us in these passages; Matthew 24:14, 25:13; Mark 13:33 and Luke 12:40.

The reason for this moral preparation and spiritual alertness giving to us by Paul in our text is because the old sinful nature (Romans 13:13) will still cause problems from time to time, but he (Paul) requires believers to wake up from slumber. Clothing ourselves with Christ means we should put on His character; allowing Him to take control of us in all ramifications (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10), and taking over our thought from where our actions originate. Sinful actions and attitudes all start with a single thought. This is the reason behind the admonition in Proverbs 4:23.

Beloved, are you asleep in negligence, works of darkness, revelry and drunkenness, lewdness and lust, strife and envy? Many things are pointers to the fact that we are sleeping. Some of them are seen in us when we find it hard to pray; when we can’t open our mouths to preach the gospel, when our love and commitments to the things of God has waxed cool, etc. Paul is warning you to wake up and put on the armour of light (Isaiah 60:1; Ephesians 5:14) and to righteousness (1 Corinthians 15:34). Remember the return of Christ is certain and inevitable. It is now closer than when we first believed. Be prepared!

Food for Thought: Are you awake or still sleeping?

Prayer: God, help me to be alert and watchful as I await the return of Jesus.