Saturday, 25 October 2014

Closing the Door against Evil - 25/10/2014

Closing the Door against Evil - 25/10/2014

Memorise: Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19

Read: Isaiah 49:25–26
25 But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.
26 And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.

Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 8:22-9:28

The world is full of evil. Just listen to the news today and you will hear all manner of stories of horrors such as armed-robbery, looting, kidnapping, betrayal, persecution, terrorism, ritual killing, cannibalism and a host of others. There is hardly a nation on earth where heinous crimes are not committed on a daily basis. Evil is manifested in different shades and colours. Some are violent, crude and horrific while others are subtle, mild and deceptive. They may be emotional or psychological; physical or spiritual. Evil is perpetrated at domestic, community, local and international levels. The situation is perplexing. Peace is a scarce commodity nowadays. Many people live in fear, torment, horror and anxiety. However, for a heaven-bound Christian, the story is not one of hopelessness. We have reasons to rejoice because there is light at the end of the tunnel, Colossians 2:15 says:
“And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ paid the supreme price for our peace. His death, resurrection and ascension to heaven were all geared towards our peace. Through His death and resurrection, He obtained permanent victory over the devil and his cohorts. The author of all evil is the devil. He is assisted by principalities and powers. Since Christ has destroyed the devil (Hebrews 2:14), and has triumphed over principalities and powers, the easiest way for a person to close the door against evil is by surrendering his or her life to Jesus. Be born-again. Jesus is more than enough to take care of your fears and anxieties. You can also close the door against evil when you abstain from all appearances of evil. Evil has the tendency to boomerang. Those who do evil, end up attracting evil to themselves. To close the door against evil therefore, do good to others. Be good and kind to members of your family, relatives, friends and acquaintances. Be kind, even to those who persecute you and perpetrate evil against you. There is a user of this devotional, who has been betrayed severally by friends and loved ones. You can close the door to all the evil in your life by forgiving all your offenders and being nice to them. Many people are living under a curse. The good news is that the anointing destroys curses.

You can also close the door against evil through aggressive prayers. Pray aggressively against witchcraft attack and destiny destroyers.

Action Point: Close the door against all evil by putting on the whole armour of God and confronting evil headlong. Begin today.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Turning Weaknesses into Blessings 24/10/2014

Turning Weaknesses into Blessings 24/10/2014 

MEMORISE: And said unto him, hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise? Matthew 21:16

READ: Exodus 4:10–12
10 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?
12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

BIBLE IN A YEAR: 1 Kings 7:1-8:21

Our God is a God of miracles. He moves in mysterious ways and He still calls people to His side today. Many people have the call of God on their life but do not know. Some people believe they are too weak to be used of God, while some others, who are already in a position of service, are facing frustration or even failure. God is not the author of confusion. He calls His own into blessings and glory. There are times in the service of God when we have to move, and there are other times when we have to wait patiently for His move. Proverbs 3:5 says:
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
Are you weak and confused? Trust in the Lord. God has not forgotten the weak. When God calls a person to His service, He doesn’t chose Him on the basis of how clever, talented or educated he is (1 Corinthians 1:26). God had to strip Paul of all his pride vis-à-vis his qualifications, status and achievements before sending him to the ignorant and outcast people called Gentiles (Philippians 3:8).

Paradoxically, God used the ignorant and unlearned Peter in proclaiming the Good News to the elite Jews of the Roman Empire (Acts 2:5&14). The good news about weaknesses is that, the Holy Spirit is available to qualify for God’s service, the weak who puts his or her trust in the Lord.

To turn weakness to strength, you should be meek and humble. This does not imply that you should give in to a sense of inferiority complex, self-pity, self-hatred or self-consciousness (2 Corinthians 12:10). Weaknesses and inadequacies can become blessings if they press us to depend on Christ (2 Corinthians 12:9). Another step to turning your weaknesses to strength is to exchange your strength for His strength. To do this, you must acknowledge your weaknesses, limitations and great need for God. You must also present yourself as a living sacrifice to Him (Romans 12:1). Learn to wait on God (Isaiah 40:31). Patiently wait for His time. Ensure that you do not take any major decisions or major actions until He shows you that it is time to act (Luke 24:49). Don’t get ahead of God, neither should you lag behind Him. Wait patiently on Him in prayer and fasting (Psalm 69:6). Spend quality time each day to read the Bible and to pray. Finally, you should develop a strong devotional habit and expect opposition and trials. You should know that when you try to go deeper and higher with God, the world, your human nature and demonic principalities will oppose you.

KEY POINT: When you wait patiently on the Lord, He purges the dross of sin and flesh away from you and His power begins to work in you and through you, with supernatural results.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

BIBLE IN A YEAR: 1 Kings 4-6

Answering a Missionary Call - 23/10/2014

MEMORISE: And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. - Mark 16:20

READ: Acts 13:1–5
1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.

BIBLE IN A YEAR: 1 Kings 4-6

Missions can be defined as God specifically sending a person to reach the unreached for him.

The unreached are those people who have not heard the gospel sufficiently enough to be taken over for Christ. The sender is God, and the personality sent is the missionary. The unreached can be within the environment of the missionary or in faraway lands. A Call is imperative for missionary work. The missionary call is just like any other call to Christian service. Many people have shipwrecked their lives because they were not sure of God’s call upon their life. If you are sure of God’s call upon your life, you will not be tossed to and fro by all shades of doctrine.

Being called to be a missionary is by God’s grace; it does not follow a stereotyped style. Factors underlying God’s call include acknowledging and receiving a claim of ownership by Christ. You must acknowledge divine ownership upon your life and develop an understanding of God’s will and have the willingness to do it. You should also develop sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s voice by having an open mind, an attentive ear and a pure heart. In addition, you should be active in God’s service. A missionary call does not necessarily come through a special revelation. The call can come through a casual remark by a friend or neighbour about the heathen. It can be through a letter received from a missionary or through reading extracts from an article, book or periodical. It can be through a hymn, an anointed message, counselling from an anointed leader or through divinely orchestrated circumstances. Are you prepared to answer the missionary call?

A missionary should be physically fit to withstand adverse situations such as mosquitoes, bad climates, diseases, poor public sanitation and poor medical services. Also, a prospective missionary should at least be at the level of his or her audience. In other words, a missionary must be adequately educated to reach the highest of all the educated folks in the mission field and should be able to meet and discuss with other missionaries at their level. To excel as a missionary, you need a charming personality that is emotionally stable. You should also be able to adapt to the culture and food of other people. There is equally the need for you to be patient and persevering. A missionary should be versatile. He or she should also be submissive to God, the mission board and to his or her superior officers. Finally, whoever wishes to be a missionary should have a thorough experience of salvation, sanctification and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

ACTION POINT: For success on the field, every missionary should ask for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Go ahead and ask for these gifts now.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Ready for the Great Harvest?- 22/10/2014

Ready for the Great Harvest?- 22/10/2014

MEMORISE: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Matthew 28:19

READ: Acts 13:38–39
38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

BIBLE IN A YEAR: 1 Kings 2:13-3:28

Our God has so many wonderful attributes. Some of these attributes, such as omnipotence, omnipresence and being omniscient are unique to Him alone. There are other attributes which God as a wonderful Father, shares with His children. These include holiness, mercy and love. God is love. John 3:16 says:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
One of the ways God demonstrated His love to mankind was by making adequate provision for salvation (1 John 1:8-9). As a child of God, you can demonstrate the love of God to the world through evangelism and missions. The term ‘evangelism’ denotes sharing good news from a loving God to a lost world. The Great Commission is binding on all Christians (Matthew 28:18-20). The need to fulfil this mandate is ever so urgent, especially with the imminent return of our Lord. Every child of God is called to be a “reaper”. Are you ready for the great harvest? As a child of God, you are expected to rightly divide the word of truth. There is no geographical limitation or racial restrictions to fulfilling the Great Commission (Mark 13:10, Acts 1:8).

To be actively involved in evangelism, it is required that you wisely utilise the different opportunities that present themselves to you in the course of your daily business, without appearing to be over-bearing. With the power of the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of God, even a newly born-again Christian can win souls on a continuous basis. Soul winning is one of the reasons God retained you on earth, and you should be particular about it. As a Christian, you can do effective evangelism in the vehicle you board, at social gatherings, birthday celebrations and send-off parties. You can also engage in hospital visitations to pray for the sick, give them provisions, befriend them – especially if they feel lonely and poor, preach salvation through Jesus Christ to them and bring Bibles and good Christian literature for them to read. You can also be involved in prison visitation. You can visit prisoners, write letters to them, send them good reading materials and give them gifts with the permission of the authorities. Other ways in which you can be involved in evangelism include, placing illustrated gospel tracts on your table after eating in a restaurant, around school campuses, on bus-stop benches and in departmental stores as you buy or sell. Additionally, you can be involved in house-to-house evangelism. Are you ready?

ACTION POINT: Make evangelism a habit, because it is uppermost on God’s heart.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Who Are You? - 21/10/2014

Who Are You? - 21/10/2014

MEMORISE: But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 1 Peter 2:9

READ: Isaiah 6:1–8
1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

BIBLE IN A YEAR: 1 Kings 1:1-2:12

Nothing destroys faster than ignorance. History confirms that ignorance has claimed many lives and destroyed more properties than any other factor. Half-hearted obedience is an act of ignorance. In today’s Bible reading, we learn of King Uzziah. Uzziah, king of Judah, was the son of Amaziah. His father did the right thing in the sight of God, but not with a perfect heart (2 Chronicles 25:1-2).

Uzziah followed the footsteps of his father, and he died a leper (2 Chronicles 26:1-5, 21). Half-hearted obedience is worse than outright disobedience. Pride, self-exaltation, disobedience and presumption always leads to sacrilege and results in death. It is good to start well, but it is far more glorious to end well. Ecclesiastes 7:8 says:
“Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”
Isaiah started his ministry as a preacher in King Uzziah’s court. However, it wasn’t until after King Uzziah’s death that he received a vision of the Lord’s glory. If you want to be victorious as a Christian, you should rely on God alone and know that the only throne which cannot be destroyed is the throne of the King of kings. As long as King Uzziah was alive, Isaiah saw nothing; but when King Uzziah died, he saw the glory of God and saw himself as dirty, wretched and despicable. He was broken. When you see the glory of the Lord, you will see yourself in your true state. Who are you? How does the Bible describe you? Are you patient in spirit or proud? Are you a Christian or an unbeliever? Christians are kings and priests (Revelation 1:6). We are a chosen generation, chosen before the foundation of the world. We are a holy nation; a nation of lights. We are the light of the world. Are you showing forth the light of Christ to people living in your neighbourhood? We are also called to show forth the praises of God. We show forth His praises through strength. We are not a nation of weaklings, but a nation of the strong. Where do we derive our strength as Christians? Our strength is drawn from seven main sources. The first of these is joy (Nehemiah 8:10). The second is the strength of the Lord (Ephesians 6:10). The third is the Spirit of the Lord (Acts 1:8). The fourth is the Name of Jesus (Philippians 2:9-10). The fifth is the blood of Jesus (Revelation 12:11). The sixth is the word of God (Hebrews 4:12), while the seventh is the mercy of God (2 Corinthians 4:1).

KEY POINT: If you do not know who you are as a Christian, circumstances of life will take you for a ride.

Monday, 20 October 2014

A Christian Youth At Home - 20/10/2014

A Christian Youth At Home - 20/10/2014

MEMORISE: Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; -Ecclesiastes12:1

READ: Ephesians 6:1–3
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

BIBLE IN A YEAR: 2 Samuel 23-24

A Christian family is a place for the formation of talents, aspirations and desires. It is a breeding ground of creativity and a place of safety and security. A Christian family is expected to be a place of bliss. It will only be so when the relationship between the parents and the children (especially the grown-up children) is cordial. This is possible when children have chosen the path of obedience. Are you a Christian child, teenager or adult, still living with your parents or on your own? You have certain responsibilities to perform, which might not be required of unbelieving youths. For example, it is a scriptural command that you obey your parents. It is a dangerous thing for children to disobey their parents, except when their instructions contravene scriptural commandments. It is also mandatory that you love your parents. It is disastrous to neglect either of them or play one parent against the other. Family devotional time should be lively, and it is the duty of a grown-up child to actively participate in this. Be busy for God and engage in productive activities and hobbies that will make your parents happy. It is your responsibility to help your parents and siblings. Be observant to identify the needs of your parents; if it lies within your ability to meet the need, you must be willing to help them out. Contrary to what many may think, one of the most basic needs of parents is self-esteem.

A Christian youth should be a model to others in love, kindness, productivity, holiness, godliness and obedience. Whenever you have to make serious and delicate decisions, don’t do it alone. Always seek for the advice of others, especially elderly and more experienced people. Seek for guidance so as not to falter. Be an example to others in prayer. Pray constantly for your family, love your home, have the interest of your family at heart and seek its welfare. Your good relationship should not be limited to members of your nuclear family alone. Seek to relate well with members of other families as well.

Your relationship should be cordial. Demonstrate love to them and find occasion to help them.

However, it is improper to divulge the secret of your family to outsiders. Do not criticise or condemn your family in front of members of other families. Furthermore, your relationship with God should be unquestionable. Love God and demonstrate that you love Him in speech and actions. To play your role successfully as a Christian youth, you must be committed to the Person of Jesus and to a pattern of living that befits His representative. You must also be committed to people and to God’s plan of showing Christ to the world.

ACTION POINT: Be Christ-conscious as a Christian youth because without Him, you are nothing.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Here Comes the Dreamer - 19/10/2014

Here Comes the Dreamer - 19/10/2014

MEMORISE: In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, Job 33:15–16

READ: Genesis 37:9–19
9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?
11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
12 And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem.
13 And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I.
14 And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.
15 And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou?
16 And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.
17 And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.
18 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.
19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.

BIBLE IN A YEAR: 2 Samuel 21-22

Dreams are important. Psychoanalysts believe that dreams are an indication of the dreamer’s inner longings, desires and cravings, released from the deep sub-conscious during the state of sleep.

Dreams can therefore be the manifestation of the inner yearnings of the dreamer’s heart let loose during sleep; they can also be spiritually induced. Dreams play a significant role in the life of human beings. Paul received direction on where to preach next through a dream in Acts 16:9:
“And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.”
Dreams are sometimes mysterious; such dreams convey revelations. To understand them, interpretation is required. Have you been having strange experiences in your dreams? My sincere prayer is that the Good Lord will grant you victory in your dreams and turn your God-sent dreams into reality in Jesus’ Name. Dreams can be classified by their features. One such classification includes: dreams as a message from God or the devil; dreams as the carrier of a message concealed in mysteries; and dreams as a result of activity or thoughts. Sources of dreams are God, the devil and the flesh. God relates with man through dreams for specific reasons. These reasons can be any of these: to instruct him to carry out an action (Matthew 2:13), to warn him of an impending danger (Matthew 2:22), to teach him (Job 33:15-16), to encourage him (Genesis 31:10-13), to rebuke him (Genesis 31:24), to correct him (Genesis 20:3-7) and to bless or make a covenant with him (Genesis 28:12-15).

The devil relates with man to cause fear and unbelief, to inflict man with sicknesses or death, to make diabolical covenants with him and to mislead him. Most dreams men have are from the flesh. A dream from the flesh simply means the revelation of the dreamer’s carnal longings and desires being let loose at the moment of sleep. Are you facing afflictions in your dreams? Please check your life.

How pure are your thoughts? How will you rate your prayer life? All these go a long way in determining the type of dreams you have. Moreover, many people dream and can be described as mere dreamers, whereas those who succeed in life are men and women with a dream. However, while the dreamer talks much but does little, the person with a dream talks little but does much. Which are you: a mere dreamer or a person with a dream?

ACTION POINT: Those who make it in life do something about their dreams. They attempt the impossible, thereby discovering what God can do. Do something about your dream today.