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 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.
Devotion for Saturday August 12, 2017
Topic: Divinely Inspired
Text: Matthew 16:13 – 20
If we must make wise decisions that will please God and affect humanity, we have to rely on divine inspiration. Solomon showed such inspiration in the historic judgement between the two harlots claiming a child (1 Kings 3:16ff). It takes walking with God to have divine inspiration. If you are living in sin and disobeying God and His word, you cannot be inspired divinely. Sin drives the spirit of God from us and denies us blessings of His fellowship.
Peter is impetuous and impulsive in character. He is always at the forefront when questions are asked or actions needed which shows his faith. Jesus had asked the disciples a question to know what they think of Him (Matthew 16:15). Peter’s reply, expressed his faith. His confession was an inspiration from God because by then, Jesus had not been transfigured where the voice confirmed that He is the Son of God (Matthew 17:1 – 6). The confession of Peter is the Christian confession and the foundation of the church, into which all saints are built as living stones of the temple (Matthew 16:17 – 19).
Have you sincerely made this confession that Jesus is the Son of God? It is the confession upon which our baptismal creed was made. It we are to rightly apprehend divine truth and absolutely regard it, we should allow God to give us inspiration. We can get inspiration as we study the scriptures, and from direct teaching of God on our minds. How often do you draw inspiration from God by studying your bible? See Joshua 1:8
Food for Thought: “There never was a great soul that did not have some divine inspiration” – Marcus Tullius Cicero.
Memory verse: Matthew 16:16
Prayer: God, grant me the understanding always as I study your word and inspire me to live out all I read in Jesus name.
MY DAILY COVENANT WITH GOD DEVOTIONAL
Devotion for Wednesday May 17, 2017
Topic: The Imperative Of Inward Beauty
Text: 1 Peter 3:4
God created us in His image. The beauty we portray shows how awesome our God is. He made us beautiful and handsome for His glory but these days, I wonder if being beautiful is a crime. The way most people use their beauty in wrong ways is a cause for concern. Most people spend time and enormous resources trying to beautiful themselves. All these are good only if they are targeted at glorifying God (1 Peter 3:4b).
Here, Peter challenged us especially women whose concern is always what to wear, style to sow, style of hair do, etc, to ensure that we are also “beautiful inside in our hearts, with the lasting charm of a gentle and quiet spirit which is precious to God” – Living Bible. John Wesley Notes gives insight into why this is precious in the sight of God when he said that “A meek spirit gives no trouble willingly to any: a quiet spirit bears all wrongs without being troubled.” Meekness is one virtue that is expected of us as Christian.
Do you attach the kind of importance, time and resources you give to your outward beauty to inward beauty? Beautifying our heart is through constant meditation on the word of God. This helps us overcome temptations and trial (Psalm 119:11), and also accommodate the Holy Spirit (1Corinthians 3:16). How beautiful is your heart? Have you corrupted yours with malice, anger, bitterness, evil thoughts etc? If so, repent today. Let the beauty of your heart matter most to you than your outward beauty.
Food for Thought: The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express. –Bacon
Memory verse: 1 Peter 3 verse 4
Prayer: God, make me beautiful within and help me to maintain inner beauty than my outward beauty in Jesus name.
MY DAILY COVENANT WITH GOD DEVOTIONAL
Devotion for Saturday April 22, 2017
Topic: A Living Hope
Text: 1 Peter 1:3 – 5
The Christian’s hope is a living principle, and sustains his spiritual life. Our hope is lived out. It is something that is live out for others to see. This hope gives life and looks for life as its object. We are now born again for a wonderful expectation of life to come but not of this world because we are pilgrims and foreigners here. This expectation we have is based on the assurance that God will keep His promise to raise us because Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Christ has made necessary power available for our resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:22). His resurrection makes us certain that we too will be raised from the dead.
This assurance is what makes our hope lively. It keeps us going, striving against all odds so as to gain that which God has promised us. What the resurrection of Christ has done for us is that it has inspired hope and grace in us. It has brought the conviction that we are going to be resurrected. The onus on us now is to live our lives with that inspired hope from the resurrection of Christ. It should make us to be heavenly conscious as we read yesterday. It should inspire a more strong faith in us that God is ever faithful to His promises. Our hope for eternal life promised us shouldn’t die.
We may be experiencing some negative things that are currently challenging our faiths. That notwithstanding, if we know our God, our hope will be renewed every day. We can achieve this by daily searching out God’s promises and laying hold of them as we pray. Don’t allow uncertainties of life deem your hope rather rekindle it daily basis.
Food for Thought: Our hope for eternal life promised us shouldn’t die. Rekindle it on daily basis as we await the return of our Saviour.
Memory verse: 1 Peter 1 verse 3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
Prayer: Help me, O Lord, to keep the hope of eternal life lively in me in Jesus name.
MY DAILY COVENANT WITH GOD DEVOTIONAL
Devotion for Tuesday (Holy Week) April 11, 2017
Topic: Have Faith In God
Text: Mark 11:20 – 26
The next morning, Tuesday of the Holy week, Jesus and His disciples passed by the same fig tree they had passed the previous day (Mark 11:13-14). Jesus had cursed the tree, saying that no one would ever eat from it. By the next day, in the morning light, they could see that the tree had withered. The sight of the withered fig tree was a surprise to the disciples and Peter was quick to point that to Jesus. In response, Jesus charged them to have faith in God.
The response of Jesus could be interpreted to mean the coming judgment on spiritual laxity in Israel and they could only be safe if they had faith in God. Their faith should not rest in a kingdom they hoped Jesus would set up, in obeying the Jewish laws, or in their position as Jesus’ disciples. Their faith should rest in God alone. Jesus then taught them a lesson about answers to prayer. He explained that they could ask anything of God and receive an answer. Jesus’ point was that in their petitions to God they must believe and not doubt (not wavering in their confidence in God).
The kind of prayer Jesus meant was the prayer that the disciples would need to endlessly pray as they faced mountains of opposition to their gospel message in the years to come. Such prayer for the advancement of God’s Kingdom would always be answered positively at God’s own time. Daily, we are faced with challenges that seem mountainous. We should have unwavering confidence in God if we hope to overcome them.
Food for Thought: Do you have the confidence in God and strong faith which is able to accomplish things that are most difficult?
Memory verse: Mark 11 verse 22
Prayer: Grant me the confidence in you, O God, so I can accomplish difficult things with ease.
Following Christ’s example to live for others may lead to suffering. We shouldn’t avoid it rather we should with patience, calmness, and confidence pass through it knowing that God is in control of our future.
MY DAILY COVENANT WITH GOD DEVOTIONAL
Devotion for Sunday April 2, 2017
Topic: Price of Godliness (Suffering)
Text: 1 Peter 2:18 – 25
As Christians, we may suffer for many reasons. Some suffering is the direct result of our own sins; some happens because of our foolishness; and some are the result of living in a fallen world. Another reason for suffering may be as a result of our willingness to live godly lives. Peter wrote here about suffering that comes as a result of doing good.
Jesus Christ never sinned, and yet He suffered so that we could be set free. He suffered because He allowed the will of God to take precedence. Peter had learned about suffering from Jesus. He knew that Jesus’ suffering was part of God’s plan intended to save us (Matthew 16:21–23; Luke 24:25–27, 44–47). He also knew that all who follow Jesus must be prepared to suffer (Mark 8:34–35). He learnt these truths from Jesus and passed them on to us.
In 1992, Christian Education Movement organised a crusade in Issele Uku for towns Aniocha North. As we were going from the crusade ground inside a lorry, a teenager threw a big stone into the lorry. As the stone was coming to land on a 6 months old baby, a brother saw it, blocked it, and redirected it, and it landed on my face. I had a cut above my eye and on my nose. We went back to Ajulu Clinic where the cut was stitched. This is one way we suffer to preach the gospel.
Missionaries trekked long distances, suffered attacks and rejections before the gospel came to us. Following Christ’s example to live for others may lead to suffering. We shouldn’t avoid it rather we should with patience, calmness, and confidence pass through it knowing that God is in control of our future.
Food for Thought: 1 Peter 4:14 – 16
Memory verse: 1 Peter 2 verse 19
Prayer: Lord God, grant me the grace to endure suffering as I live for you.