Monday, 24 November 2014

When Gentleness is Misapplied - 24/11/2014

When Gentleness is Misapplied - 24/11/2014

Memorise: The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. - Luke 16:16

Read: Matthew 11:11-12
11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 1:1-5:1

MESSAGE:
Gentleness and meekness are fruit of the Spirit which must be found in children of God.

However, some children of God have misunderstood gentleness as demanded by scripture to mean tolerating everything, including the enemies that they should get tough with. The Bible says that right from the time John the Baptist appeared to preach the kingdom of God, obtaining the kingdom of God has required violence. This is so because, just as God has made provision for us in Christ to enter into the kingdom, there is an opposing kingdom of darkness that want to do everything it can to prevent us from accessing the kingdom of God and its benefits. Hence, you have to be violent with the enemy. You are not meant to go softly with Satan and his emissaries, no! The scripture gives us a clearer picture of this in Luke 16:16, which says:

“The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.”

Pressing into a place implies using force, the force of God. This implies going violent against every opposition. This is why you must be strong in the Lord (Ephesians 6:10-13) so that the enemy would not gain the upper hand and press you out of God’s good plan and provision for your life.

Satan, demons and all that they stand for must be treated violently. Satan is to be resisted (James 4:7) and demons must be cast out (Mark 16:17). Hence, all their manifestations in the form of bondages, sicknesses, diseases, sorrows, death etc, are to be stopped. Besides, we are not to take it lightly with the flesh at all, the flesh is an ally of the devil and it does not want to please God but itself. Therefore, no pampering of the flesh; we are to deny the flesh its cravings and indulgencies. Can you see why you must be strong in your spirit man so that you can subject the flesh to the will of God? What about the world system of evil? We must not allow it to draw us into its embrace. A child of God must know when and how to bluntly say No to an invitation to sin irrespective of who is involved, even without blinking an eye, like the three Hebrew boys before that great king, Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 3:16-17).

Prayer Point: Father, help me never to tolerate nonsense from the devil and his cohorts, but to always deal with them as you commanded in Jesus’ Name.


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Stay Focused - 23/11/2014

Stay Focused - 23/11/2014

Memorise: Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. - Ephesians 5:1-2

Read: Ephesians 5:1-8
1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
5 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.
6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 28-29

MESSAGE:

God’s ways are clearly not the ways of men. What men hold dear and crave after are usually not what matters to God. We human beings like to blow our own trumpets. We like to be addressed by big titles and we want the office we hold to be identified with us wherever we go. These are not important things before God; as a matter of fact, they are the expressions of self which if allowed to thrive by a child of God, will lead to carnality. Romans 8:7 says, a carnal mind cannot please God.

In John 13:33, Jesus called His disciples “Little children”. Among them were some men like Peter, who was physically older than Him. Much later still, after His resurrection in John 21:5, He called out to them on the sea: “Children, have ye any meat?” They answered him, “No”; this was after they had been with Him for years. They never out grew being called children, and none of them protested to Him for being called a child.

Some years ago, at the conclusion of a seminar at the University of Ibadan (south-west Nigeria), I had asked the students if they were ready to become like a child in order to receive their miracles, then the Lord asked me the same question. He asked me if I was not already considering myself an adult.

This really shocked me. It made me to give myself a serious self-examination. I realised that I had allowed my new status as the General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God to come between me and God. Prior to my becoming the General Overseer, with a two-minute prayer, I got results, but after I became the General Overseer, it took efforts of binding and loosing, praying in tongues and resisting the devil for me to obtain personal miracles. In light of this, I started to crave seriously to become like a baby once again. It is an easy thing to lose focus if one is not watchful. Humility is the key thing here.

Many people have missed it on this point today because they love to flaunt their titles, positions and achievements. When they talk, you think they are the ones behind their achievements. When addressed as brother, they will immediately correct you, “I am Pastor, Apostle and Doctor so and so”.

Yet, at many times, they themselves address the great apostles of old as Paul or Peter etc, without using any prefix.

Prayer Point: Father, please help me to always see myself as a child before you.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Fellowship – How vital!- 22/11/2014

 Fellowship – How vital!- 22/11/2014

Memorise: That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. - 1 John 1:3

Read: Mark 3:13-15
13 And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.
14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,
15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:
MESSAGE:

God desires to fellowship with His people on earth, despite the fact that in Heaven, there are four (4) living creatures and twenty four (24) elders round about His throne, with thousand of thousands of angels worshipping before Him (Revelation 4:2-6, 5:11). God has a special place for us in His heart in spite of all that is going on in heaven. May you not fall short of giving satisfaction to God in the area of fellowshipping with Him in Jesus’ Name.

The first motive of Jesus for calling the twelve disciples was fellowship (Mark 3:14). Also, rooted in the call He made to us all in Matthew 11:28-29, is the desire for fellowship. He said:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
This is a call to keep company with the Lord, a call to communion. Learning of Him occurs in His presence. His presence is a point of directing your attention to Him without distraction, in His presence, your whole being is engaged with Him. As you can see from this call, it is from the place of His presence that your derive fulfilment. Joy, peace and victory all come from the presence of the Lord.

Some children of God are first and foremost full of activities. Coming into God’s presence is secondary to them; it is a “by-the-way” thing. No, this is not supposed to be so. Note the order of events in today’s Bible text: having settled on the mountain, our Lord Jesus called the twelve disciples up to Himself so that they should be with Him – communion, and thereafter, that He might send them out to preach – Service. Our service will have no meaning if He doesn’t have access to our souls in fellowship. It would not be pleasing to Him if we are not carrying His presence to the point of service delivery. We fellowship with Him when we spend time alone with Him and when we come together in worship, praise, prayers, studying and learning of His word (1 John 1:3). However, some children of God don’t have a personal quality time alone with God, such are depriving themselves of so much.

Prayer Point: Father, please help me to always love your presence. Let my heart always seek you in Jesus’ Name.

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 25-27

Friday, 21 November 2014

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 22:2-24:31

You Can Stand Out II - 21/11/2014

Memorise: And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. - Luke 19:5

Read: Luke 5:17-20
17 And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.
18 And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him.
19 And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.
20 And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 22:2-24:31

MESSAGE:
Due to the current challenges confronting the life of some believers, they wonder in their hearts if they can ever make it. They wonder if life will just pass them by. They wonder if they can ever stand out among their contemporaries. If you belong to this class, I have good news for you: yes you can become outstanding among others in spite of your current situation. There were many sons of the prophets in the days of Elisha, but only he stood out, so much so that the king of the land acknowledged him, calling him my father. To this end, as previously learnt yesterday, you need to have a vision of what you want to become in order to stand out. You need to choose to change because your choice in life determines your chance. You must be prepared for new ideas. You must maintain good relationships, as the greatest poverty is to not have good friends. Also, you must be informed on current happenings around you.

Besides all these, you must be teachable. From our scripture reading, the man sick of the palsy and his friends, came to the teaching service of Jesus; this shows that these men were teachable. When you stop learning, you stop growing and then you begin to degenerate. It is either one is moving forward or else one is drawing back. You will ever move forward in Jesus’ Name. You cannot be reached if you are not teachable. So many of God’s people are just too full of themselves, they are self-conceited and are impervious to corrections. This will not help you become a success; it is the deceit of the devil to rob you of a good future.

Furthermore, the sick man and his friends were determined. Determination is the route to distinction and excellence. With their determination, they broke every barrier that was on their way. You also must be a barrier breaker. Sternly confront every obstacle on your way and pull them down by the power of God in your life. This power is generated through a life of holiness and prayers. Finally, the friends of the sick man positioned him before the Lord. You must position yourself also before the Lord for your miracles, just like Zacchaeus did to gain the attention of Jesus (Luke 19:3-5).

Prayer Point: Father, every barrier standing against my getting to the top, let them be demolished in Jesus’ Name. Lord, help me to stand out among my peers.


Thursday, 20 November 2014

You Can Stand Out I - 20/11/2014

You Can Stand Out I - 20/11/2014

Memorise: And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: - Deuteronomy 28:13

Read: Luke 5:17-26
17 And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.
18 And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him.
19 And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.
20 And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.
21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?
22 But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts?
23 Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?
24 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.
25 And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.
26 And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day.

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 19:1-22:1

MESSAGE:
Our heavenly Father is looking for people that will do the uncommon things required to become uncommonly successful, thereby showing forth His greatness. Looking at the story of the man sick of the palsy in our Bible reading for today, you will learn some things that are essential to attaining this height. This man had a vision of what he wanted to become in life, though he was lame. Vision means beginning with the end in mind. Vision is superior to ambition because while ambition is what you want to happen, vision is what God wants to happen. Furthermore, he realised he needed a change and he chose to change. In 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, we see that Jabez chose to become different and he got it. You also will obtain the necessary transformation you need in accordance with what you have chosen in Jesus’ Name.

The sick man was ready for new ideas. For him, getting an alternative meant getting to Jesus.

This is where some people need to watch it. This man was wise enough to know where solution lies for him, but in the case of some children of God, instead of waiting on God under their God-appointed spiritual leaders, they continue to patronise different prayer mountains. This man also kept good relationships i.e. good friends. He could not walk, but his friends could. You have to be good yourself to be able to have and maintain good friends. Don’t be a lone ranger; not only in terms of marriage is this relevant, it also applies to you having good dependable friends.

The sick lame man also had current information. You need to keep the channels of receiving information open in your life. It is when you are current that you can be correct, and then you can collect what you need, which will eventually stand you out in success. Elisha was current on the things going on in his time (2 Kings 2:1-4). By this information, he kept following Elijah until finally he collected a double portion of Elijah’s anointing that subsequently made him to stand out.

Action Point: Father, whatever it will take for me to stand out, please do it in my life and grant me the grace to co-operate with you.


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

For Christ’s Sake Don’t! 19/11/ 2014

For Christ’s Sake Don’t! 19/11/ 2014

Memorise: Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. - Galatians 5:1

Read: Psalm 137:1-4
137:1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
137:2 We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
137:3 For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
137:4 How shall we sing the LORD'S song in a strange land?

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 16:8-18:17

MESSAGE:
A negative change is generally abhorred by men. Everyone craves progress. We always desire to keep ascending the ladder of success. No one wants to make a u-turn in the journey of greatness. The greatest journey whose end has the greatest significance is the journey to Heaven. This journey is only made in Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life. Only through Him does man have access to God.

Some individuals, who have truly started this glorious and wonderful journey to heaven, handle the race too leisurely and with levity. Otherwise, what shall we say of a Christian sister or brother who toy with sins like fornication, lying, dishonesty and fraudulent practices. Some sisters and brothers still in courtship are already having sex. This is an example of making a u-turn while on the journey to the greater glory above. In line with today’s scripture reading, the implication for such people is that they will fall prey to the enemy. Such people lead themselves into the captivity of the enemy, contrary to the admonition of today’s memory verse. Such individuals become like Samson who when God’s presence was with him, he was a terror to the enemy, but by the time he pushed God away from him through his unabated lust, he became a laughing stock with his two eyes gone. Why, why, why would you allow such regrettable acts to cause you such pain? Such was the condition of the entire nation of Israel in Psalm 137. They went into captivity in the hands of their enemies. Hear their wailing in Psalm 137:3-4:
“For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the LORD’S song in a strange land?”
Some people deceive themselves or allow the devil to deceive them. They live in sin and they claim they can always confess their sins; it is either such people are not saved at all, or they have already backslidden. What a dangerous thing it is for a child of God to toy with sin. Five to six years ago in Lagos - Nigeria, the case of a pastor was reported in the newspapers. A portion of a wall fell on him while he was on top of a woman; they died together on the spot, what judgment! Where would the destination of such a pastor be in eternity? For Christ’s sake don’t toy with sin!

Action Point: Flee every appearance of evil. Don’t say I will do it only once; your “only once” escapade could lead you to an eternity in hell.


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

There for a Purpose - 18/11/2014

There for a Purpose - 18/11/2014

Memorise: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28

Read: 2 Kings 5:1-4
5:1 Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper.
5:2 And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman's wife.
5:3 And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.
5:4 And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel.


Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 13:1-16:7

MESSAGE:
Known unto God are all His works from the foundation of the world (Acts 15:18). One of the arguments some philosophers put up for the existence of God is that, the Cause of all things must be a rational and intelligent being because to everything the Cause caused to be, is a purpose given. This so-called Cause is God and there is nothing He created that has no purpose.

Whatever God permits to come to you or to come your way has a purpose. There is a purpose behind you being an African, European, Asian or American. Far beyond the superficial things you may be looking for in that your exalted position in that organisation, God may have something in mind for you to accomplish. Maybe you got sponsored and supported to occupy a political office or maybe you are in government, have you found out why He opened that door to you, or are you busy seeking mundane things for yourself like the ungodly and unpatriotic ones?

In some cases, God’s purpose might bring you into an unpleasant or undesirable situation, just like the young girl in today’s Bible reading. She was taken captive from her native land in Samaria to the far and strange land of Syria. However, see what great effect the quiet little counsel she gave her mistress had in the life of the great but leprous commander of the Syrian army, and by extension the entire nation of Syria. Beyond the healing of her master, she projected the God of her fathers among the heathen, so that He might be feared and honoured.

It is a pity that some Christians today do things that bring shame and reproach to the name of God. Such people misrepresent God through their compromising acts among sinners. Hear what the little girl said in 2 Kings 5:3:
“And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.”
It was just this one-minute piece of information God was waiting for to orchestrate a chain of events that would culminate in His name being glorified among the heathen. From this story, we also learn why it is good to be nice and kind to those who are around us, even servants, housemaids, gardeners, drivers etc. Some bosses despise and treat their subordinates inhumanely. Some housemaids, drivers and workers are treated as though they are not human beings (Colossians 4:1). If Naaman and his wife had been maltreating this maid, she probably would not have given them the counsel that led to the removal of their shame and reproach.

Action Point: Objectively identify what exactly you are living for.