Jun 30

Israel’s Loss, Our Gain

It is no accident that the world’s eye is turned towards the Middle East. This part of the world is important, not only for its oil, but also because it is the stage on which the final act of God’s redemptive drama will be played out.

“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in” (Romans 11:25).

In the above passage, Paul summarized God’s dealings with Israel and with the Gentiles.

 

In order for God to facilitate bringing the gospel to the Gentiles, He had to deal with Israel corporately as enemies. They had rejected the message by His Son, and thus proved themselves His enemies even while they called Him their God. They actively opposed God by preventing people from hearing the gospel. Israel’s corporate stumbling, which is temporary, is called a mystery.

In the Scripture, a mystery is not a truth difficult to understand, but a truth previously unrevealed (and therefore unknown) which is now revealed and publicly proclaimed (Ephesians 3:9).

When Christ returns at the end of the Great Tribulation, a remnant who have turned from their transgression unto God during the Great Tribulation will be saved.

The salvation of anyone is a matter of God’s grace, not of their own merit and it will be the same for Israel. The salvation of anyone is because of God’s kindness and favor.

 

When God turned His gospel toward all the nations of the world, many believed it and received the righteousness provided by grace. It is important to point out however, that as God rescinded Israel’s relationship with Him as His chosen people, He will do the same to us if we do not “hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end” (Hebrews 3:14).

This nullifies and sets aside the doctrine of eternal security which states that once you are saved, you are forever saved. Be constant in Christ therefore, and continue to the end.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: It’s a new day, arise and embrace it.

 

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Spread The Word
Jun 29

Idols are worthless

Some cultures may no longer be erecting crude images of wood or metals in homes or streets as objects of worship as it was decades or several centuries ago like in the time of Nebuchadnezzar. But modern man has created idols through undue attention to his profession, science and technological devices, education, material possession, etc.

We put our confidence in them as the hope of mankind. They have become idols competing with God.

 

Idols are physical and sometimes non-physical objects of worship. But in a general sense, an idol is anything that comes between us and God.

“Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not” (Psalm 115:4-6).

The passage above enjoins us to put our confidence in God and not in idols, to give Him all honor and glory because He only is God. We must trust and praise Him for He is worthy to be praised.

Idol, the work of men’s hands, is anything to which we have given more love and affection than we have given to our Creator and Maker, God Almighty.

 

As Christians, we may be weak or wounded, the heathen may rage and rant, taunting us and asking: where is your God? Yet, we must continue to trust in our God who is powerful. We need to examine ourselves and plug all spiritual holes in our lives.

Blind, deaf and dumb idols cannot help anyone, not even their makers.

We must realize that the Lord will only bless those who fear and trust Him. He will be their help and their shield.

It is utter foolishness to elevate anything, however enchanting, above God. If God is not supreme in our lives, we are not better than idolaters.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Scientific and technological developments are fast becoming the idols of the day.

 

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Jun 28

Separation From Defilement

The cases of separation from defilement which we find recurring in the book of Leviticus must be correctly understood and interpreted in a wider sense of doctrinal teaching. The book is a record of the dealings of the priests with the people. Both groups are expected to be undefiled in their relationship with God, the Holy One of Israel.

Any speck of uncleanness led to separation from the assemble of the children of God, just as sin cuts one from God who cannot “behold iniquity.”

 

“And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even” (Leviticus 15:19).

 

Our text today LEVITICUS 15:19-33 reveals the levitical laws on uncleanness and separation from defilement. Running issue in women was regarded as a sign of defilement. Anybody who touched her bed would need to bath and wash his clothes and remain unclean till evening.

This is ceremonial uncleanness which women observe due to issues of blood. This made a woman unclean, and everything she touches unclean also.

God’s desire for all His creatures in every generation is to be holy and free from pollution and sin. This is because sin is deadly and damnable. It is clear that many people are defiled in our generation not because of their own sin alone, but because they are lured into sin by others.

Jesus Christ, the spotless Lamb of God, made full atonement for sin. Sinners and backsliders can come unto Him for cleansing and purification.

By this law, we are also taught to preserve holiness and purity of life and keep ourselves from all sinful and moral pollution.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Impurity separates us from God.

 

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Jun 26

Bad Habits Kills

Often, what makes people to persist in their reckless and indulgent lifestyle is the comfort they derive from their companions in the act. They refuse to see that they are in a slippery path, and are headed to a certain disaster.

They would not listen to good reason nor accept wise counsel, choosing instead to draw mental strength from their notorious companions.

 

“And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards” (Isaiah 19:3).

The Egyptians were like that. They had all become accustomed to their evil habits and lifestyle. They were incorrigible because of their renowned wisdom and great achievements in the field of science. They, therefore, did not see any need for God in their affairs. Before God, they lived as outlaws.

This was an assault on the Almighty, and He decided to sweep through the land of Egypt with His judgment. The idols in which they trusted shall be moved at the presence of God, and their hardened hearts would at last melt at the sight of the vengeance of The Lord. Their destruction shall come from within, for God shall set them against each other.

Rather than give comfort, they would destroy themselves. At that time, the widely acknowledged spirit of Egypt shall fail them, as would all their idols, charmers, familiar spirits and wizards. They would be hit by natural disasters. They would find help from nowhere, and instead, they shall be governed by a cruel and fierce king, who would show them no mercy.

 

It is foolish to think that you can make do without God in this life. You may think that you have succeeded having escaped danger on numerous occasions or having benefited from God’s mercies.

But evil lurks in the corner for all those who would not listen to the counsel of God to turn from their wicked ways. The thing to do is to retrace your steps from your sinful habits and receive Jesus Christ today as your Savior and Lord.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!

 

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Jun 25

Strength For The Weak

The frontiers of God’s grace can hardly be comprehended by finite human minds.

Victories attained in life are not directly attributable to man’s inputs, even though it may be so to some extent. Such victories are derived through divine intervention.

“And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host…” (Judges 7:11).

God’s explicit command eventually came to Gideon to storm the vast army of Midian that was spread like grasshoppers in the valley. Yet, it was not a command without the enabling grace. God understood that in spite of all assurances, Gideon would further require demonstrable proofs that He had indeed delivered the hosts of Midian into his hand.

 

On getting closer to the enemy’s camp with his servant, Phurah, Gideon became aware of the startling disclosure from the lips of a Midianite, that God would deliver Midian into the hand of Gideon.

This revelation came to pass with pinpoint accuracy. It was more than enough to strengthen Gideon and to send him on his knees in worship and adoration of a peculiarly faithful God.

As we march through life, it is possible to come across emotional, spiritual and physical battles that we have little or no strength to contend with. In such situations, we need to be persuaded of the ability of God to supply the needed strength to overcome every battle.

God hardly gives a command without the corresponding grace. He appreciates the frailties of man and readily provides power to the faint and strength to the weary.

 

Those who choose to wait on Him can always renew their strength in the power of His might. God’s interventions come through various channels. When they come, ours is to be spiritually sensitive and be willing to follow the Lord as He leads.

It is only through obedience and trust that we will find the courage and boldness to surmount every difficulty.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God is our refuge and strength.

 

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Jun 24

Retributive Justice for The Proud

Many people today believe that “success is hard work plus opportunity”. They do not think that God has any role to play in their achievements in life. No wonder Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Herod, and Goliath etc. could not help but defy the God of Israel.

Consequently, they all fell from glory because “pride goeth before destruction” and God hates pride and arrogance (Proverbs 16:8; 8:13).

 

“Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks” (Isaiah 10:12).

In the bible passage above, we see how God determined to use the king of Assyria to punish the rulers of Israel for their oppression of the poor and their hypocrisy. Unaware that God was just using him as a rod of chastisement, the king of Assyria determined to totally destroy the people of God, which was not part of God’s plan.

He even thought that it was by his own might that he was able to conquer all his enemies. This pride attracted God’s indignation against Assyria and determined to severely punish her.

 

Whatever pleases God to allow us to do or achieve in His service, we must remember that it is not by our might nor power but by His grace. Everyone that is put in a position of authority should watch not to overdo what God expects him to do. Let us learn to give glory to God for every success in His service, as He hates pride.

Believers should be wary of the sin of pride which sometimes appears subtle, but has the capacity to destroy an otherwise buoyant spiritual life.

At the summit of accomplishment, watch out for that disguised trait of Lucifer, which has the capacity to separate you from God.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God resisteth the proud but giveth grace to the humble.

 

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Jun 23

The Peerless Physician

God bless our medical doctors the world over for their assistance to mankind. To the best of their knowledge and ability, they have handled the treatment of various diseases and have carried out the transplant of various organs to help those who have suffered due to the malfunctioning of their original organs.

However, opening the eyes of a totally blind man through surgery or any form of therapy is probably not in any medical record. That comes up under miracles – the exclusive preserve of God through His Son Jesus Christ.

 

In today’s discourse in MATTHEW 9:27-38, we see the compassion of Christ, the test of faith and the call for more laborers.

 

The two blind men were particularly fortunate to be alive during the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ for “Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind” (John 9:32). They had never seen Jesus physically but only heard of what mighty works He has been doing. Their faith was built up on what they heard.

 

“And Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord” (Matthew 9:28b).

 

Jesus wanted to know how much they really believed and He asked them, “believe ye that I am able to do this?” They answered in the affirmative. Their answer was not just based on what others had told them. They must have learnt from the Old Testament scriptures of the Messiah hence they cried-out “thou Son of David, have mercy on us.” Jesus touched their eyes with His compassionate hands and healed them instantly.

 

Today, the physically and spiritually blind can exercise faith in the finished work of Christ and receive deliverance.

 

Sin puts the sinner in the dark and he is actually unable to see the danger of hell that he faces. If he would hear the word of God, appreciate his nothingness and need of a Savior, and believe that Christ paid the price for his redemption, he will be saved.

 

Jesus still heals today as before. His compassion is still the same. All you need do is to repose full and unfettered trust in Him and sooner than later, He will demystify all fearsome challenges of life

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God has no impossibility.

 

 

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Jun 22

Life, Not Religion

Israel had been a backslidden nation. Several years back, a righteous king, Josiah, had arrived the stage with sweeping reforms to restore righteousness in the land. He enthroned true worship by removing the idolatrous priests who had been burning incense in high places at the instance of the past kings of Judah.

He broke in pieces the images of idols and drove away the workers with familiar spirits and wizards to enable the people return to the true God and His worship. Sadly, at the death of King Josiah, the people returned to their old ways.

In the book of Jeremiah 9:1-11, Prophet Jeremiah itemized the abominations prevalent in Israel for which God was not pleased. The prophet said that the people were “all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men” (verse 2).

Today, our society is in the same lamentable situation Israel was at that time. There is corruption in high and low places, idolatry of all kinds, and immorality is at its peak.

The values that were held sacrosanct years ago have been thrown overboard. Even in unlikely places, worship centers, evils abound. These things that made Jeremiah shed tears are also the concern of genuine men of God today who labor day and night to draw men from the scourge of sin.

The redeemed of the Lord must warn sinners of the imminent judgment of God as did Jeremiah. The purity of one’s Christian faith should be seen by doing what is right; loving others and ceasing from sin.

So, the practice of the Christian faith must not be limited to a mere church attendance. Our changed lives must be righteous and holy, a sure signpost for others to take after.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: The reality of man’s religion is evident in his character.

 

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Jun 21

The Holy Call

Fishing, as an occupation does require much training, teaching, guidance, commitment, consecration and hard work. Soul winning is compared to fishing, except that the soul winner ‘catches’ souls into the kingdom of God.

“And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mathew 10:7).

In bible passage above, the time had come for our Lord Jesus Christ to try out the men He had chosen as disciples and pioneer soul winners. He thus sent them out, as it would appear that they had completed their probation.

The ministry of reconciling men to God is a great trust. Those chosen, therefore to carry out this task should only be those that are found fit.

The disciples had been with Christ for sometime. They had watched Him, observed His methods, received instructions and assimilated His teachings. They had asked questions on knotty issues and had obtained clarifications. It was now time to go out and put their knowledge into practice.

 

Though the manner and method by which believers are called today and commissioned may be different, the task of reconciling men to God remains the same. The urgency that Jesus communicated to the disciples as they were sent out has not changed either. Thousands today, die each minute and go to a Christless eternity in hell. How we need to urgently rescue the perishing.

When healing and deliverance follow the preaching of the gospel, repentance from sin and new life in Christ must not be relegated to the background. If men must make heaven and escape eternal damnation in hell, what they need is unrelenting warning against sin and its consequences.

Pastors, preachers and true believers must address themselves to this task as true disciples of Jesus Christ.

 

Are you a Christian, born again and cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ shed at Calvary? The commandment from the Master comes to you today ‘Go and tell men that the kingdom of God is at hand’. Persuade them to repent and believe the gospel.

This is a sacred call that true believers cannot lay aside.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Christians owe the world the gospel message.

 

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Jun 20

Approaching The Danger Zone

Every believer ought to use this true story to conduct a spiritual stocktaking. With the prevailing harvest of iniquities, there is the possibility that the careless and unfocussed believer might have pitched his tent near a Sodom. In that case, it is better to do a rethink and a clear return to God before the looming apocalypse. Remember, the enemy is always at the corner.

 

From the outset of the divine call on Abram, God had required him to get out of his country and from his kindred (Genesis 12:1). Abram responded in faith to God’s call and took Lot, his brother’s son, along.

Abram and Lot returned from their sojourn in Egypt, so greatly prospered that the land could not bear their cattle. In the event, strife ensued among their herdsmen (verses 6,7). Abram pleaded peaceably with Lot. In brotherly love and preferring Lot to himself, he asked Lot to choose the part of the land that suited him, after which he would be content with the leftover.

 

“…And Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom” (Genesis 13:12).

Attracted by what must have been a beautiful scenery of lush green vegetable and rich pasture, Lot chose the plain of Jordan which was well-watered (verse 10). Little did he know, that he would be pitching his tent near the danger zone.

Already in the mind of God, that land was scheduled for utter destruction because of the sin and wickedness of the inhabitants (verses 12,13); “For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds” (2 Peter 2:8).

Temptation is rife everywhere, lurking around even in the most unexpected places.

The danger zone is clearly marked by spiritual “live-wires”, but everyone needs the heavenly vision to identify it. We must resolve today to properly focus on Christ, and respond always, not to the allurement of the flesh and its dire consequences, but to the prompting of the Spirit and its eminent inheritances.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: The price of everlasting joy is unwavering vigilance.

 

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