The Vulnerability Of Man

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.

Stop The Harassment Of The Enemies

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Devotion for Friday July 7, 2017

Topic: Stop The Harassment Of The Enemies

Text: 1 Samuel 17:31 – 54

Satan and his agents know how to harass the children of God. They intimidate Christians with laws against their faith as in the time of Daniel and his 3 Hebrews friends. Goliath’s harassing and intimidation of the Israelites for 40 days was embarrassing. Unfortunately, for the 40 days, no Israelite stood up to his challenge until a minor who had not even qualified and enlisted into the Israel’s army came into the scene and stopped the harassment from Goliath.

Goliath’s taunting revealed the level of faithlessness in the people of Israel. One man blocked the entire army of Almighty God, an army that had seen entire nation run before it in fear. The Israelites viewed the situation only in human terms, much like their forefathers had viewed with fear and faithlessness the giants in the land (Numbers 13:26 – 14:20).

Goliath was 9 feet, 9 inches tall and wore a coat of armour weighing 125 pounds; his bronze javelin weighed 17 pounds (1 Samuel 17:4 – 5). David’s confession in 1 Samuel 17:45 – 47 reveals a teen who knew God and what He can do. He knew that outward physical appearance were nothing when compared with the power of the unseen God. Thus he was determined to stop the harassment of the enemy. He stepped out and God honoured him.

This is how Satan and his agents harass us in our neighbourhood, offices, schools, etc., with laws against our faith. How do we treat such? Do we go into our shells or speak out for God? Or do we take a stand for God as the Hebrew boys did in the book of Daniel. Our God has ways of putting Satan and his agents to shame. Let’s not belittle Him when the enemies come, embarrassing us and defying His name

Food for Thought: Stopping the harassment of the enemies is best done in the spirit (2 Corinthians 10:14)

Memory verse: 1 Samuel 17 verse 12

Prayer: Help me O Lord my God never to close my eyes and mouth to the embarrassment of the enemies of the cross in Jesus name.

Price of Godliness (Sickness)

If living a godly life can attract such persecution and trials, do we avoid godliness? This devotion gives us answer and suggestions of the best thing to do in such case.

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Devotion for Wednesday April 5, 2017

Topic: Price of Godliness (Sickness)

Text: Job 2:7 – 10

Yesterday we saw how Job lost all his possessions because Satan was not happy that God had blessed him because he was a godly man; blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. Today we have the story of how Satan came back to afflict him with a sickness doctors can’t describe. What was his sin for this affliction? He refused to give up his godly life. He refused to curse God.

Some people would have concluded that he was not really a godly man if not why will these serial attacks come upon him. The comment of his friends who came to him proves this. Some people said such about me when within a period of 4 years; I underwent kidney transplant operation two times and a heart operation also. If not that we are reading the story of Job, we wouldn’t have known what transpired between God and Satan before the problem started.

If living a godly life can attract such persecution and trials, do we avoid godliness? No! What we stand to gain far more outweigh the immediate pains (2 Corinthians 4:16 – 18). Our body may wear away but our soul which will return to God is what matters. Job understood this too well when he said that he knows his Redeemer lives and that he shall see God even after his skin has been destroyed (Job 19:25 – 27). What an expression of faith! Job was a man of faith who confessed the resurrection of the dead. If we have such understanding as Job had, we will not fear sickness and death; rather sickness and fear of death will draw us closer to God.

Food for Thought: Job 19:25 – 27

Memory verse: 2 Corinthians 4:17

Prayer: Grant me the grace I need, O Lord, never to deny you in time of sickness in Jesus name.

Price Of Godliness (Loss Of Possessions)

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Devotion for Tuesday April 4, 2017

Topic: Price Of Godliness (Loss Of Possessions)

Text: Job 1:13 – 22       

Job 1:1 gives us a description of Job. He was a godly man; blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. For this reason, God made a hedge round him and all he had. This didn’t go down well with Satan who appeared in the presence of God to accuse Him for blessing Job. This conversation between God and Satan teaches us an important fact about God. He is aware of every attempt by Satan to bring suffering and difficulty upon us.

God knew Job and what Job can do. God vouched for him and when Satan was not satisfied, He permitted Satan to tempt Job but not to take his soul. The first series of attack was loss of his possessions including his children simply because God had blessed him and he was godly man; blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.

While God may allow us to suffer for a reason beyond our understanding, He is always compassionate with us. Job had lost his possessions and family in this first of Satan’s tests, but he reacted rightly toward God by acknowledging God’s sovereign authority over everything God had given him. Satan lost this first round. Job passed the test and proved that people can love God for who He is, not for what He gives to them.

Have you taken time to analyze that problem you are going through; that loss of job, loss of your benefactor, loss of car, etc? It may be a test of your faith and commitment towards God. It may be that Satan wants to use it to distract you. Never give up. Loss of possessions shouldn’t distract our focus on God.

Food for Thought: Love and passion for possession can make us deny God if they are destroyed as a trial of our faith.

Memory verse: Job 1 verse 21

Prayer: Lord God, may I not love possessions more than you in Jesus name.

No Excuse (VI)

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Devotion for Friday March 17, 2017

Topic: No Excuse (VI)

 Text: Revelation 3:7 – 13           

Philadelphia was a small church in a difficult area with no prestige and no wealth, discouraged because it hadn’t grown. But Jesus Christ had no words of rebuke for this small, seemingly insignificant church. From our bible reading, it was obvious that there was significant conflict between the Christians and the Jews in Philadelphia.

As in the letter to the church in Smyrna (Revelation 2:9), Jesus Christ referred to those who called themselves Jews as liars and those who belong to Satan. Though this church may have been small (you have little strength) and may have had little impact upon the city, but it had obeyed and had not denied God. They had been faithful in a difficult area. What a challenge to big churches of today who compromise their standard in order to accommodate some ‘rich’ people who are not ready to repent.

What are the challenges you face in your church? Is the small nature? Note that God didn’t commend any of these churches for building cathedrals and having the largest congregations. These are not what God judges. He is always after our spiritual lives. That your congregation is small should not be the basis of losing faith. God’s emphasis is not on multitude. You should not be discouraged by the small nature of your church or inability to build a big church. Sustain your faithfulness and righteousness and God will open doors of opportunities for you as He assured the church at Philadelphia. Do not be weakened by your little strength for God will not accept that as an excuse.

Food for Thought: Revelation 3:8

Memory verse: Revelation 3 verse 10

Prayer: Help me, O Lord, to hold fast what I have, that no one will take away my crown from me in Jesus name. Amen.

No Excuse II

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Monday March 13, 2017

Topic: No Excuse II

Text: Revelation 2:8 – 11

Pain is part of life, be you a Christian or unbeliever. It is never easy to suffer, no matter the cause. Persecution is of Satan, not of God. He causes believers to be denied of their rights, thrown out of their homes, offices, and schools, thrown into prison and even are killed. Believers under persecution need not fear death, because they will be rewarded with the crown of life. Again, Satan may terminate our earthly lives, but not our spiritual lives.

In our scriptural reading for the day, God commended the church at Smyrna for the tribulation they endured, the poverty they have suffered and the blasphemy from some of the Jews there. God called them “Synagogue of Satan” because they were serving Satan’s purposes, not God’s, when they gathered to worship. He concluded by charging them not to fear what they will suffer even unto death but they should remain faithful to the end in order to be rewarded with crown of life. This is the only church out of the seven that was not rebuked by God. What they suffered during the writing of this letter and thereafter were enough for them to have given up their faith. They had enough reasons to do so but they didn’t do that. They were steadfast.

What is your reason to compromise and backslide from faith? If it is persecution, can you compare it with what the members of the church in Smyrna suffered? If you have been blasphemed, what of these people in Smyrna? Beware because you do not have any excuse (Romans 2:1) for compromising your faith.

Food for Thought: Revelation 3:9

Memory verse: Revelation 2 verse 9 – I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

Prayer: God, as I come across blasphemers and persecutors grant me the grace never to compromise my faith in Jesus name.

An Encouragement For Us

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Devotion for Friday March 3, 2017 

Topic: An Encouragement For Us

Text: John 16:33

Jesus summarizes His teaching with an encouragement to His disciples by saying that they will enjoy peace through their union with Him because He would overcome the world by rising from the dead. The world and Satan are opposed to God and will definitely give Christians many trials and sorrows. But Jesus has defeated Satan, won the victory, and overcome the world. Jesus asserts that in the world His disciples will have problem but He also gave a remedy to the world’s problem which He says is peace in Him; the serenity of mind, a quiet and calm spirit within. This is the proffered solution to the troubles of the world. Jesus tied together themes from 14:27-29, 16:1-4, and 16:9-11.

With the words in John 16:33, He told His disciples to take courage because despite the inevitable resistance they would face, He would be with them. As the Father did not leave Him alone, so He will not abandon us to our struggles either. Christ’s blood has purchased peace for us.

Many of us are currently facing diverse challenges which include sickness, imprisonment, marital problems, hunger, challenges from people of different faiths, etc. This was predicted long before now. All we can do is to have the assurance Jesus gave us in our text behind our minds. He will not forsake you. Allow the inner peace which comes from knowing that He is always there for us, fill your heart. That was what sustained me while I battled for life. God will do it for you too.

Food for Thought: I John 5:4

Memory verse: John 16 verse 33b

Prayer: Lord God, let your words of encouragement cheer me up in time of difficulties of life.