Hypocrisy Destroys The Church

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.

The Unchangeable God

Devotion for Sunday July 30, 2017

Topic: The Unchangeable God

Text: Malachi 3:1 – 6

What led God to say He us unchanging (Malachi 3:6)? It was the impending judgement which He had vowed to bring upon the Israel (Malachi 3:5). Malachi proved that God is just. He discussed the fact that the people of Israel were unjust in the way they robbed God of what rightly belong to Him. That was the reason for these social abuses in Malachi 3:5.

The people who committed them had no fear of the Lord. They thought that God was like themselves, that He would close His eyes to their sins and wouldn’t judge them for breaking His laws (see Psalm 50:21). God was not happy the way His people, Israel had cynically twisted His truth. He would punish those who insisted that because God was silent, He approved of their actions or at least would never punish them. God would also punish those who professed a counterfeit faith while acting sinfully (Malachi 3:5). When God says a thing, He performs it to the letter. He told His people that He will not change His decision to punish them for their crimes.

There are some ways we undermine the basic truth about our Christian faith and commit all manner of sins. Some of us feel that God understands and would forgive if they repent after committing those sins. It doesn’t work like that. The grace of God may not be sufficient for you. On the other hand, because our God is unchangeable, He can still meet you at the point of your need no matter how long it has persisted. Trust Him to do it for you as you wholehearted trust and believe Him.

Food for thought: Lamentation 3:22

Memory Verse: Malachi 3:6

Prayer: May I not undermine you, O Lord my God because what you have determined to do, no one can stop you.

Enemies Of The Cross

MY DAILY COVENANT WITH GOD DEVOTIONAL

Devotion for Saturday July 15, 2017

Topic: Enemies Of The Cross

Text: Philippians 3:17 – 19

In our bible reading for the day, Paul speaks of nominal Christians who used their liberty as a clock for licentiousness. They are enemies of the Cross according to Paul. Their evil lives bring shame upon the religion of the Cross. Paul criticized self-indulgent Christians, people who claimed to be Christians but couldn’t live up to Christ’s model of servanthood and self-sacrifice.

These enemies were professed believers who were corrupting the gospel by their immoral lives and false teachings (Galatians 1:7, 6:12 and Philippians 1:15 – 16). They were not opened and avowed enemies of the Cross nor did they deny that Jesus Christ didn’t die on the Cross to make atonement for our sins rather; they were living in a manner inimical to pure gospel. An immoral life is an enemy of the Cross of Christ who died to make us holy.

Someone becomes an enemy of the Cross when there is no evidence that the heart is renewed. Similar people are found in the churches today. Some are even in the altars. How are you living your life as a Christian? Are you among those that commit all forms of sins because they are no longer under the law (Romans 6:14 and 15)? Are you in the church keeping malice, committing fornication, practicing masturbation, you are still involved in corrupt practices, etc? You are an enemy of the Cross Repent before it would be too late

Food for Thought: Freedom in Christ doesn’t mean freedom to be selfish but taking every opportunity to serve and to become the best person you can be.

Memory verse: Philippians 3 verse 18

Prayer: Lord God, help me to avoid any sin that will make me an enemy of the Cross.

Time Heals Wound

MY DAILY COVENANT WITH GOD DEVOTIONAL

Devotion for Sunday June 11, 2017

Topic: Time Heals Wound

Text: Genesis 33:4 – But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.

Sin is not good, whether it is supplanting, lie, cheating, stealing with gun or pen, killing, bribery, etc. Apart from eternal consequence of going to hell fire, it makes one uneasy and to run when no one pursues. The person loses peace and for every little thing, his heart condemns him.

With the aid of his mother, Jacob cheated his brother Esau and ran away (Genesis 27: 6 -29). The result of this action of Jacob is in Genesis 27:41 because he falsely took away his brother’s blessings. Hatred and murder are intimately connected. If you indulge in one, it leads to the other. Actually Esau’s aim was to prevent Jacob or his seed from having the dominion, by taking away his life. It is very possible for men to fret at God’s counsels, but they can never change them.

In order to prevent mischief or killing of Jacob, Rebecca warned him of the impending danger. She counselled Jacob to flee for his safety and life (Genesis 27:42). “Time heals wound” is a popular saying. When Jacob was returning, his sin started hunting him which made him devise means to appease Esau. However, Esau had overcome his bitterness and welcomed Jacob with open arms.

We must overcome bitterness. Paul admonished us to be at peace with all people (Romans 12:18; Hebrews 12:14). Indeed, you might have been offended, abused, mocked and ridiculed without cause. As children of God, we have it as a duty to avoid bitterness which leads to other sins. Be the light – Romans 14:19 and Hebrews 12: 14.

Food for Thought: Mark 9:50

Memory verse: Genesis 33 verse 4 – But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.

Prayer: God, uproot every form of bitterness, hatred and unforgiving spirit in my heart.

Consequences Of Famine

MY DAILY COVENANT WITH GOD DEVOTIONAL

Devotion for Friday May 26, 2017

Topic: Consequences Of Famine

Text: 2 Kings 6:29

In June 2016, I read a story of how a woman used her child as a surety to get garri (a staple food in Nigeria made from cassava) from a trader in Osun state, Nigeria because she is being owe 7 months’ salary. This is the level people can be desperate to get food in time of crises.

The famine that led to our text was the greatest and worst famine in the history of Israel. It was so severe that people were killing and eating their children. This came as a result of God’s judgment. When we deliberately commit sin, God punishes us and it is usually very severe. Many things can lead to famine – sin, disobedience, for divine purpose, natural disaster like drought and invasion of an area by locust, etc. From what happened in the following verses, it seems the famine was pronounced by Elisha (2 Kings 6:30 – 31).

When the famine came to the level of people eating their children, Elisha went to the Lord and He spoke to him (2 Kings 7:1ff). When we come to crossroad on issues that confuse us, we should go to God for He has solutions to our problems. Elisha knew God was the source of all solution that defies all human wisdom. What would have led to the agreement to kill their children? Indeed, Moses foretold that this very evil shall come upon them if they forsake God (Deut. 28:53 & 57). This evil also came upon them when Nebuchadnezzar besieged Israel (Ezek. 5:10). Killing and eating of fellow human being as one of the consequences of famine is inhuman and against God’s commandment. Let us avoid whatsoever will bring famine by carefully obeying God.

Food for Thought: Sin and disobedience has grievous consequences

Memory verse: 2 Kings 6 verse 29

Prayer: God, remove anything that will bring famine and its consequences in my life and family.

Reckon Yourselves To Be Dead

MY DAILY COVENANT WITH GOD DEVOTIONAL

Devotion for Thursday April 20, 2017

Topic: Reckon Yourselves To Be Dead

Text: Romans 6:8 – 11

Yesterday, we saw that one of the implications of our baptism is that we are to die to sin and be alive unto righteousness. Apostle Paul therefore, advised the Romans and we the present readers by extension that we should reckon ourselves to be dead to sin. A dead man is in a state of numbness and inactivity. The body does not do anything and thus is not prone to sin. Such state of numbness makes it impossible to commit sin because in that state it is emotionless without feelings.

What this means is that we should regard our old sinful nature as dead and unresponsive to sin. If you strike a match and place it on a dead body, he will not feel the heat because the body is in numbness state. By considering ourselves dead to sin, Paul wants us to be like Christ in  dying to sin and living to God; living a new life of holiness devoted to God’s glory, in imitating Christ’s resurrection-life.

As people who are now identified with Christ, we should distant ourselves from the kind of life we were used to before we repented. We should no longer want to pursue our old plans, desires, and goals. Those desires must be put to death (Col. 3:5, 6). We should begin to live for the glory of God. This will be a battle between the flesh and the spirit. However, if you are willing and obedient, God will grant you the enabling grace through the power of the Holy Spirit who will help you become all that Christ wants you to be. Your salvation should produce “A change not of state and condition only, but of character and conduct. It leads a person to live not unto himself, but unto Him who died for him and rose again” as posited Family Bible Notes. Is it so in your life?

Food for Thought: What positive change can be seen in your conduct and character as a Christian?

Memory verse: Romans 6:2 – Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

Prayer: Lord God, help me to mortify my body so I can die to sin in Jesus name.

The Implications Of Our Baptism

MY DAILY COVENANT WITH GOD DEVOTIONAL

Devotion for Wednesday April 19, 2017

Topic: The Implications Of Our Baptism

Text: Romans 6:1 – 7

Misconception and misunderstanding of our basics of faith can affect our relationship with God badly and make the foundation of our faith shaky. Paul realized that his teaching in the previous chapter about God’s kindness to sinners could be interpreted to suggest that people ought to keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more kindness and forgiveness. Hence the question Paul asked in Romans 6:1. He also answered by emphatically saying, “Certainly not!” Paul’s idea here is that the gospel of grace was not aimed at finding an excuse for sin, but to give freedom from sin. He clarified this with the following illustration that the believer has died to sin.

Using the burial of Christ as a reference point, Paul stated that our baptism implies we have died with Christ. Our baptism connotes death to sin and exchange of our sinful life for Christ’s resurrection life. Paul speaks of this death to sin as a fact and concludes, therefore, that believers cannot continue to live in it. This is what is expected of us in our baptism.

From this teaching of Paul, the usefulness of our baptism does not lie on the place or means by which we were baptised as some lay credence to immersion. What matters is the repentance from sin and resurrection to a new life in Christ Jesus. This was the point Peter raised in 1 Pet. 3:21. It is not just enough to be baptised, we should strive to live out the life required of us who have been baptised. It should be lives that are dead to sin and alive unto righteousness. Do you manifest a life that is dead to sin and alive unto righteousness?

Food for Thought: Are you living the life required of someone who has been baptised?

Memory verse: Colossians 2:12

Prayer: Lord God, cause me to die to sin and live unto righteousness as required of me in Jesus name. Amen.