Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Beware Of This Enemy: Procrastination - 1/9/2014

Beware Of This Enemy: Procrastination - 1/9/2014

MEMORISE: Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Proverbs 27:1
READ: Luke 9:59-6259 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
One of the worst enemies of progress in life, business and ministry is procrastination. To procrastinate is to put off a currently required action until a future time. It means to defer or to postpone. Procrastination is an attitudinal problem. It is a character flaw that affects millions of people in every walk of life. While it is regarded as normal for people to procrastinate, it can become a problem that hinders progress in life. It affects critical decisions such as accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and many other important things. It is dangerous for a Christian to procrastinate because procrastination can result in loss of fellowship and opportunities. It can also cause loss of souls which should have been won. The dangerous effect of procrastination is lamented in Jeremiah 8:20:
“The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”
KEY POINT: The best way to do things is to do them at the proper time. Stop procrastinating.
BIBLE IN A YEAR: 1 Samuel 10:17-13:7

MESSAGE:
There are many reasons why people procrastinate. First is because of their personal convenience (Acts 24:25). This is a major reason many people fail in life, education, business, family and ministry. It is also the reason many do not give their lives to Christ immediately they hear the word of God. Laziness is another reason for procrastination (Proverbs 26:13-16). Many people put off indefinitely what they could have done presently as a result of indolence. A slothful man has many flimsy excuses for procrastinating. These range from imaginary fear to complaints that he or she lacks encouragement. Another reason for procrastination is worldly entanglements (Genesis 19:16, Matthew 19:20-22). Consideration of family pressure at the expense of God’s business could also lead to procrastination of God’s business. A reader of this devotional, who has the call of God upon his life, finds it difficult to surrender his all to God and go into full-time ministry because of family pressure. God should be topmost on your scale of preference at all times. Family pressure, as serious as it could be, should not be considered at the expense of God’s business. Learn a lesson from Elisha. As soon as the mantle fell on him, he ran after Elijah, turning his back on his family business (1 Kings 19:19-20). Another cause of procrastination is environmental distractions. Procrastination can be solved through proper planning and constant reminders (Luke 14:28). Priorities should be set right. Self-discipline could also help against procrastination when applied in areas such as eating, talking, watching TV or movies, use of telephones and other sources of distractions. It is always better to seize the moment and maximize every given opportunity to complete tasks and achieve goals.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Fear Not! -30/9/2014

Fear Not! -30/9/2014

MEMORISE: Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. Jeremiah 33:3

READ: Isaiah 43:1-7
1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. 
2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
3 For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 
4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. 
5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; 
6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; 
7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

BIBLE IN A YEAR: 1 Samuel 8:19-10:16

MESSAGE:
Everyone has someone he or she turns to in the time of trouble. When trouble comes, some people turn to their friends, while some turn to their family. Some turn to witch doctors while others turn to idols. Some even turn to false prophets. In 1 Kings 18:26-29, the Bible tells us how some people called on the idol of Baal, but he did not hear them. Do not turn to idols that have mouths but cannot speak. Do not put your trust in a man of God. Put your trust in God only. The moment you trust in the prayers and powers of man, you are putting a curse on yourself (Jeremiah 17:5). Those who trust in the Lord when trouble arises are the ones who triumph. Long after the trouble is gone, they will still be standing (Psalm 125:1-2). It is only the Almighty God that is available at all times. Once in a while, we find ourselves in a situation where there seems to be no way out. If you are a true child of God, there is always a way out. God will make a way where there seems to be no way. When there seems to be no way, turn to the One who is the Way, and He will take you through locked doors, as He did in the case of Peter in Acts 12:10.

Whenever you call on the Almighty God, He does not delay in answering. There is only one reason why you may call and He will not answer; that is if there is sin in your life and you refuse to let go of that sin. David said in Psalm 138:3:
“In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.”
This is the way of God. God does not delay. He does not enjoy seeing His people in poverty, sickness or sorrow. He does not want you to suffer. If you let go of sin, there is no reason why your prayer will not be answered immediately. In today’s Bible reading, twice the Lord says to you: “Fear not”. This can mean several things. It could mean that there is something that can produce fear but the Almighty God is saying that you should not pay attention to it. Fear comes from something you can see or hear.

In 2 Corinthians 5:7, the Bible says we walk by faith and not by sight. In order words, we refuse to look at things that bring fright. Faith also comes by what we hear (Romans 10:17). When others are bringing their evil reports from the devil, you are to hear the report of the Lord. You will have to decide on which one to choose. The report of the Lord is that, with Him, nothing shall be impossible. Therefore fear not.

ACTION POINT: Make this proclamation: “It doesn’t matter what may happen tomorrow, all will be well with me”.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Next Level - 29/9/2014

Next Level - 29/9/2014

MEMORISE Matthew 23:12: And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

READ: Psalm 40:1-3
1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

MESSAGE:
The world operates at various levels, so do the people living in it. When we talk about health, there are those who are healthy, there are those who are sick, there are those who are seriously sick and there are those who are dying. When we talk about wealth, there is the destitute, the poor, the comfortable, the rich, the very rich, the wealthy, and the flourishing.

The flourishing are those who according to the Bible, can afford to lend to nations. There are also those who have such abundance that it is difficult to imagine. In 2 Chronicles 1:15, we read that in the days of Solomon, silver and gold were like stones. When we talk about joy, there are also various levels of joy: there are those who are sad, there are sympathisers, there are those who have joy and those with great joy, there is the fullness of joy available in the presence of God (Psalm 16:11), and then there is “joy unspeakable” (1 Peter 1:8). Similarly, there are various levels of victory. There is victory obtained from a fight, there is victory obtained without a fight, there is a victory where the enemy miraculously disappears. Then, Psalm 23:5 reveals another dimension of victory:
“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”
There is nothing as glorious as rejoicing before incapacitated enemies while they watch.
We have seen that there are different levels with respect to different things in this world, and that everyone is at one level or the other. It doesn’t matter what your current level is, there is a higher level you can go to. The question you should therefore ask yourself is: “How do I move to the next level?” There are three possible scenarios you may encounter when trying to move from one level to another. First, you may try to move to the next level unassisted. Secondly, you may move to the next level assisted. In the third scenario, you may be resisted while trying to move to the next level. Those trying to move to the next level unassisted will face problems because you need a hand to help you up. You need Jesus to get to the next level, and He is ready to help you if you will surrender your life to Him. If God decides to assist you, He can take you from the prison to the throne in one night as He did for Joseph in the Bible. If you get assistance from the devil, you will pay dearly for it. But when God is the one assisting you, the sky is not your limit; you will go beyond the sky. Thus, surrender your life to Christ now so that He can take you to the next level.

ACTION POINT: Think of the next level you will attain to make stagnation become history in your life; then call on the Name of Jesus for divine assistance.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Children Of Light Or Darkness? 28/9/2014

Children Of Light Or Darkness? 28/9/2014

MEMORISE: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15

READ: 1 Thessalonians 5:4-10
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.


BIBLE IN A YEAR: 1 Samuel 3-5

MESSAGE:
It is unfortunate to observe that sobriety is no longer a common feature in the lives of many twenty-first century believers. Instead, the characteristics of the night or darkness are the common trademarks of many so-called Christians. Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:6 does not only admonish us to be sober-minded, he also warns us to beware of the sleep of death. We should not engage in spiritual slumbering, so that the coming of the Day of the Lord may not catch us unawares. We should not engage in the works of darkness as he enjoined us in Ephesians 5:4-5:
“Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”
Why do we have thieves in the Church today? Why are harlots singing in the Choir? Why are extra-marital wanderings common among both the laity and the clergy? The answer is not far-fetched: children of light are becoming children of darkness. Also, children of darkness are disguising as children of light. Furthermore, the children of light are making the spiritual environment (the Church) too comfortable for evil doers. The love towards the ungodly that they may be saved has been over-stretched to the point of deadly compromise. Sobriety is no longer popular. If you live soberly nowadays, you belong to the “old school”. You are looked upon as an idiot if you refuse to be fraudulent to get rich. Worse still, when you cannot dole money out like those who are fraudulent, you are inconsequential. How can we get out of our spiritual black-out? The answer is simple; the Bibles says,
“Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” Ephesians 5:7-8
The Bible also says that the night is far spent and the day is at hand. As a matter of fact, the Day of the Lord is at hand. So let us walk like children of light (Romans 13:12-14). May the second coming of the Lord not catch you unawares in Jesus’ Name.

PRAYER POINT: Father, please give me the spirit of vigilance so that the coming of the Lord may not catch me unawares.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

KNOW YOUR CALLING- 27/9/2014

KNOW YOUR CALLING- 27/9/2014

Memorise 1 Corinthians 7:20: Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

Read: 1 Corinthians 12:1-7
1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR : 1 SAMUEL 1-2 and PROVERBS 2:20-3:12

Message
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, wrote to tell us in today’s Bible reading that he would not want us to be ignorant of the truth concerning our calling as children and workers in the vineyard. It is needless to emphasise the danger of ignorance as stated in Hosea 4:6. Our Lord Jesus Christ also emphasised the importance of knowing the truth for perfect freedom when in John 8:32 He said:
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
In other words, falsehood can hold people captive! In Proverbs 22:29, we read that a man who is diligent in business shall stand before kings. In what business did the Bible refer to? In his own business of course! What happens if a person is found in other people’s business? No doubt, it will be an exercise in futility or an unprofitable venture. You have to be diligent in your own business, which is where you will be rewarded. The Bible in Songs of Solomon 1:6 says:
“…my mother’s children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.”
Take to heart the following lessons from today’s Bible reading. First, it is possible for Christians to be ignorant of facts about spiritual gifts. Secondly, there are many gifts in the body of Christ, but no one can or should lay claim to having all of the gifts. Thirdly, it is the Holy Spirit who distributes gifts to every believer as He chooses. Fourthly, as there are differences in administration of the gifts, so also is there division of labour among those these gifts are administered to. A believer should therefore beware of arrogating all the activities in the Church to himself because it will be counter-productive. Fifth, though there are differences in operations from believer to believer, the same Holy Spirit works in all genuine believers. Sixth, the Holy Spirit gives different assignments to different believers to profit with. This means the gift is for the edification of the entire Body of Christ. It is not for the fun of it that believers are endowed with one gift or another; neither is it for self-gratification. The seventh lesson is that no gift is superior to another; neither is any inferior to another. For this reason, Paul further wrote to warn us against discriminating in the use of spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:15-17). Therefore beloved, let us work together as many members, but as one indivisible Body of Christ, with everyone playing his or her role as enabled by the Lord. We shall not miss our reward in Jesus’ Name.
Action Point:
Examine your life and find out what area of the ministry the Lord as endowed you with gifts for. Dedicate yourself and be diligent in it.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Consistent Christian Living - 26/9/2014

Consistent Christian Living - 26/9/2014

MEMORISE: Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. John 15:4

READ: John 15:4-8
4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

BIBLE IN A YEAR: Ruth 1-4

MESSAGE:
Today’s scripture reading reveals a great secret of not only fruitfulness but also of God being with us.

Emmanuel is not real to many so-called children of God because they are on their own. This is why they are caught in many horrible acts, and terrible things attend to their daily living. This scripture reveals the part we need to play for us to experience God as the present help in times of need (Psalm 46:1). He has promised not to leave nor forsake us. We must remember that the Almighty God is forever faithful. Though the world may deny Him, He cannot deny Himself. Though the whole world may be unfaithful, He remains faithful to His words and even to His creation! What is our part in this bargain? We must abide in Him. In other words, we must consistently live our lives as Christians. We should never take a break from living holy.

In light of this revealed truth, it is pertinent for all children of God who want to enjoy the presence of Emmanuel, to abide in Him so that the ever-willing Heavenly Father may be with them. How do we abide in Him? Ecclesiastes 12:13 says:
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”
We must fear God and keep His commandments. Today, some people overstretch the grace we enjoy in the New Testament. Mischievously, they often say that we are no longer under the dispensation of the law, hence they can now do whatever they like. They seem to be saying: “Let us commit sin the more so that we can make maximum use of the available grace!” They are ‘practical atheists’ who believe in God with their mouths but fail to acknowledge Him and His Holiness. They do not see Him as the Consuming Fire. Paul in Romans 6:15 asked:
“What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.”
When we experience God as “God with us”, this attracts multiple blessings. One of these is the opportunity to pray and receive instant answers to our prayers. Jesus in John 15:7 said:
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
Thus, let us abide in Him because He is willing to make His abode with us and give us comfort.

PRAYER POINT: Father, help me to be consistent in my Christian living in Jesus’ Name.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

DEFEATIST VOICE - 25/9/2014

DEFEATIST VOICE - 25/9/2014

Memorise Numbers 13:30: And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. 

READ: 1 Samuel 17:33-39
33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. 
34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:
35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. 
36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. 
37 David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee. 
38 And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. 
39 And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.

BIBLE IN A YEAR: Judges 20-21

MESSAGE:
A backslider is known by his or her language. When you listen to the vocabulary of someone who is no longer with God, you will know very quickly that the fellow is a backslider. King Saul had become a backslider when he met David and God had already rejected him. When the problem of Goliath came, as big as he was, he could not stand before Goliath (1 Samuel 10:23). He felt that since he could not face Goliath, this would be true of everyone else. He however received the shock of his life when David showed up. For somebody reading this devotional, the Lord will make you a standard where others have compromised, in Jesus’ Name. In Numbers 13:31-33, we have the story of the ten spies. When they came back from the land flowing with milk and honey, they said “The land is good; however, we cannot take it because of the presence of giants there”. Backsliders always think negatively. There are people who for example believe it is not possible to enjoy divine health all the days of one’s life. There are some people who believe God cannot supply all of their needs without the need to cut corners or play smart. Whenever you hear someone saying “We cannot go forward, let us go back”, you should know you are listening to a backslider. Whenever someone decides to change from doing good to doing the opposite, the person has backslidden.

You must stay away from anything that can annoy God. The more you see His miracles in your life, the closer you must draw to Him. When you separate yourself from God, you will see how vulnerable you can be. You will not be a victim of situation and circumstances in Jesus’ Name. Caleb followed God fully and therefore he could say “We are able”. The song of the steadfast is always full of words like: “I can do it”, “It is possible”, “There is hope”, “I know with God on my side, there is no mountain I cannot climb”. When a man is in contact with God, he sees problems as stepping stones to testimonies. Everyone who is linked with God will be able to say as Paul said in Philippians 4:13:
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Those who are close to God are always singing songs of victory in the face of trouble. They will prefer to go through fire than to bow to compromise, because they know they can’t burn.

ACTION POINT: Check in what areas of your life you have a defeatist attitude; arise and proclaim what the word of God says about it.