You Are Surrounded By Wolves

MY DAILY COVENANT WITH GOD DEVOTIONAL

Devotion for Saturday June 10, 2017

Topic: You Are Surrounded By Wolves

Text: Matthew 10:16 – Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

When God calls us to a duty, He makes known to us the intricacies and implications. When He called me into full time ministry, He gave me Isaiah 43:1 – 10 which I see as what I have passed through since my ordination. When God called Paul, He told him about what he would suffer (Acts 9:10–16).

In our text today was the commission Jesus gave His disciples and present Christians on evangelism. Jesus Christ sent the disciples into the world as sheep among wolves; He intimated them that the enemies of the gospel in this wicked world have a great inclination, from their nature, to devour and destroy the ministers of the gospel and Christians alike. This is just as wolves have, from their natural temper to devour sheep. What a metaphor!

Despite all these challenges, Jesus recommended ways they can overcome them. He recommended prudence and innocence; saying you shall be as wise as serpents, to avoid the world’s injuries, and harmless as doves, in not revenging against them. What a good counsel from Jesus who actually wants us to succeed in our Christian race! Christians must not be altogether doves, lest they fall into dangers or serpents, lest they endanger others. This teaches us that wisdom and innocence should dwell together. How wise and innocent are you?

Food for Thought: “For as piety without policy is too simple to be safe, so policy without piety is too subtle to be good” – William Burkett Notes.

Memory verse: Matthew 10 verse 16 – “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”

Prayer: God, fill me with the spirit of wisdom and innocence in my Christianity.

The Gospel Mandate

MY DAILY COVENANT WITH GOD DEVOTIONAL

Devotion for Saturday April 29, 2017

Topic: The Gospel Mandate

Text: Luke 10:8 – 11

Evangelism has its mandate. Jesus who commissioned the Apostles, disciples and we the present day Christians gave us a mandate on what we should do. We are not just to go out for sake of going out. The first instruction was that we should value our welcome to any home by staying there and accepting whatever is offered to us. In the mandate Jesus stated that we should preach, healing the sick and telling them that the kingdom of God is at hand. We should shake off the dust on our feet against places where we are not welcomed.

The healing of the sick, casting out demons, etc are signs that the kingdom of God is near (see Luke 10:11; 21:31). This nearness of the kingdom has two interpretations; already here and soon to come. The kingdom Jesus established was not aimed at overthrowing any government. Rather, it was a kingdom that began in people’s hearts and was as near as people’s heart who are willing to make Jesus king over their lives.

In Matt. 24:14, Jesus asserted that the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the world as a witness to nations before the end will come. How are you carrying out this mandate to preach the gospel? Are you among those who are calling on Jesus to come back for the saint militants when you are not willing to preach the gospel to souls dying without Christ? It is time to wake up to our call and mandate to preach the gospel because God will obviously demand their souls in our hands.

Action: As you go out today, ensure you exercise your mandate today.

Memory verse: Luke 10 verses 8 and 9

Prayer: Lord God, grant me utterance I go out to preach the gospel.

Price of Godliness (Imprisonment 2)

MY DAILY COVENANT WITH GOD DEVOTIONAL

Devotion for Friday March 31, 2017                

Topic: Price of Godliness (Imprisonment 2)

Text: Act 4:1 – 4

When you have a message from God and preach it raw as received, there is every tendency it will hurt some people and puncture their ego. I have incurred the wrath of many people because of my messages. I thank God that so far, they have not arrested or sent me to prison. The Sadducees don’t believe in resurrection and for the disciples to be preaching that Jesus resurrected was not acceptable to them. They instigated the arrest of the Peter and John.

These men (Apostles Peter and John) had spoken to the people during the afternoon prayer time. The Sadducees moved in quickly to investigate. They were understandably disturbed with what the Apostles were saying because they were refuting one of their fundamental beliefs and thus threatening their authority as religious teachers. Because of their unlimited power over the Temple grounds, they were able to arrest Peter and John for no other reason than teaching what contradicts their beliefs.

Preaching the gospel can offend some people because of their tie with the devil and it can even lead to imprisonment. Though it is not always that preaching can lead to problem but we run risks in trying to win others to Christ. The risks may include attack of the enemies of the cross, rejection, persecution, imprisonment, denial of rights and privileges. Whatever risk we may face, we should note that people of God in the past suffered same and we should be willing to suffer for the sake of Christ. Whatever the risks, realize that nothing done for God is ever wasted. You will surely receive your reward.

Food for Thought: You can bind and imprison a preacher but you cannot bind or imprison his message.

Memory verse: Acts 4 verse 3

Prayer: Lord, grant utterance to your people to enable them preach no matter the risk and consequences in Jesus name. Amen.

Don’t Be Intimidated

MY DAILY COVENANT WITH GOD DEVOTIONAL

Devotion for Monday March 27, 2017

Topic: Don’t Be Intimidated

Text: Acts 4:23 – 31          

Sometimes we may exercise boldness and courage over issues but when we leave there, people may talk fear into us and discourage us. When Peter and John got back to the other disciples, they narrated what happened at the council. These disciples didn’t exercise any fear too. Rather they joined hands to pray for more utterance and boldness to preach the gospel. They never asked God to silence their enemies. They didn’t pray for their death neither did they ask God for protection against their threat and persecution. All they were after was how to preach the gospel. Is there any lesson for us in the reaction of the other Apostles and their prayers?

Their prayer was centred on the will of God to get the gospel to the uttermost part of the earth as their master charged them. The direction of their prayer and what they asked for are very important which we should take note of. Observe how they prayed. There was unity and they were of one mind (Acts 4:24). Nobody had ulterior motive. First, they praised God; then they told God their specific problem and asked for His help. They did not ask God to remove the problem but to help them deal with it.

This is a model for us to follow when we pray. Those who query God about problems should understand that they can overcome problems and that will strengthen their faiths. God may choose to remove our problems, when we ask but we must recognize that often He will leave a problem but give us the strength and courage to deal with it.

Food for Thought: Psalm 2:1 – 4

Memory verse: Acts 4 verse 24

Prayer: Lord, grant that I will not be intimidated by threats of the enemies of the gospel in Jesus name. Amen

Obey God Rather Than Men

MY DAILY COVENANT WITH GOD DEVOTIONAL

Devotion for Saturday March 25, 2017

Topic: Obey God Rather Than Men

Text: Acts 4:19 – 22     

One of the commands the disciples received from Christ at His ascension was to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8). The death and resurrection of Christ convinced them about the truth of the gospel which they should testify to people. As the council demanded that they should stop preaching in the name of Jesus, Peter and John did not waste time in rejecting any such ban on speaking in the name of Jesus, saying it is better to obey God rather than men.

What the response of the apostles means is that the members of the council are at odd with the will of God which is to obey Him rather than men. Thus they asked the council members to judge whether they should obey the council’s orders or God’s. Being with Jesus had actually transformed their lives because they lived with Him; witnessed His resurrection and experienced the filling of the Holy Spirit. These had tremendous effect on them so they asserted that they cannot stop speaking about the things they have seen and heard. The response from the disciple was act of courage which can only come from someone filled with the Holy Spirit.

There are times we face such challenges. We may be tempted to yield to such challenge but here is an example for us to follow. Do not give in to such challenges because He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world. We should choose to obey God no matter what the threat will be. God was with the Apostles and He will be with you if you stand for Him. Obeying Him will bring blessings and peace rather than obeying men.

Action: As you go out today, be determined to obey and please God in all things rather than men.

Memory verse: Acts 4 verse 19

Prayer: Lord God, help me to obey and please you instead of men in Jesus name. Amen.

They Cannot Deny It

MY DAILY COVENANT WITH GOD DEVOTIONAL

Devotion for Friday March 24, 2017

Topic: They Cannot Deny It

Text: Acts 4:15 – 18

The Council was in a dilemma on what to do with the Apostles as they had performed an undeniable and widely publicized miraculous healing of the man born lame. This miracle and others done by the Apostles made the masses to gravitate toward Christianity abandoning the Jewish religion. Their problem now was how they could save their faces (in light of the obviously healed man), discourage further teaching and healing in the name of Jesus, and preserve the status quo.

Their solution to the above concerns was to order them not to speak to anyone in Jesus’ name again. Unfortunately, their power and position could not convince them to be silent. When God’s will is unfolding, no one can stop it (Acts 5:34 – 39). Again, His works do not leave traces of doubt behind. The healing of this man was so obvious that the Council couldn’t deny it. They attested to it.

Most unbelievers question our salvation too when they discover that our lives do not reflect the confession we make. We give unbelievers room to doubt our faith when we compromise and live carelessly. Can people in your office, school, neighbourhood, and other places where you may be found say that your salvation and faith are undeniable? Can people actually vouch that you are a true Christian? Ponder on these questions and where there is need; amend your ways now by repenting of your sins before it will be too late.

Food for Thought: Can people question your credibility as a Christian?

Memory verse: Acts 4 verse 16b

Prayer: Help me, O Lord, to live well so that people can’t deny or question whether I am a Christian indeed.

They Had Been With Jesus

MY DAILY COVENANT WITH GOD DEVOTIONAL

Devotion for Thursday March 23, 2017

Topic: They Had Been With Jesus

Text: Acts 4:13 – 14

Any Christian whose life has not been thoroughly transformed is a mistake. There must be an all-round transformation of the life of a Christian in his thoughts, actions, reactions, words, etc. Jesus doesn’t abandon His halfway. After Peter had addressed the gathering as we read yesterday, they saw the boldness of the disciples and realized that they had been with Jesus.

Despite the fact that Peter and his colleagues didn’t receive formal education or training, yet they were bold, composed, confident, and undaunted as they defended their act of healing the man born lame. As the apostles stood there with the healed cripple, speaking with authority, the members of the council recognized them as men who had been with Jesus. Their boldness was possible because they were filled with the Holy Spirit.

Being with Jesus should be seen in our lives. These men stayed only three years with Jesus. Some of us have been in the church for over three years and above. What have we to show that we have been with Jesus all these years? How bold are we when telling others about our faith? There should be an all-round transformation of our lives; our words should be reformed, our emotions, temperament, desire must be moderated and brought under control or else people will not see us as Christians. Let our lives shine as light for the world (Matt. 5:13 – 16).

Food for Thought: When people hear you speak, can they say, you have been with Jesus?

Memory verse: 1 Corinthians 1:27

Prayer: Make my life, O Lord, to reflect the true nature of Christ through my words and deeds.They Had Been With Jesus