Jun 19

Breaking The Yoke

Breaking-The-yoke

An old believer once testified that what has kept him through in his moments of adversity was an ever-recurring phrase in the scripture, which says, “It came to pass”. His belief was that whatever problem that came his way would surely pass away… and it came to pass.

 

Israel was chastised of God with the rod of His anger – Assyria. But with a  few out of many returning to God in truth and righteousness, God was to remove the burden and yoke of the oppressors from the neck of the remnants and then turn His anger on Assyria, just as He once did to Egypt and other enemies of His people.

 

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing” (Isaiah 10:27).

 

Sin in the life of any believer attracts the indignation of God. Consequently, He may permit the devil to buffet the backslider with sickness, problems and even calamity. Whenever the penitent backslider is restored unto God, the yoke of the devil upon him will be taken off and even destroyed.

 

If you have erred from the faith, and as a result you are going through a difficult time, why not come back to the Bishop and Savior of your soul, Christ the anointed! He was anointed to break the yoke. He will surely destroy all the works of the devil in your life.

 

His invitation to you now is, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). You need to respond to this great invitation.

 

Whatever the “Assyrians” have done in your life to punish you for your sins, God says the yoke shall be destroyed and that can be now!

 

Beyond this however, saints must believe that we will not live a trouble-free life on this side of eternity. The Savior left no one in doubt also that saints will pass through tribulations as He did.

 

His assurance however to all is “be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Anointing breaks the yoke.

 

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Spread The Word
Jun 18

Salutations To Saints Alive!

Ephesus was one of the five major cities in the Roman Empire, along with Rome, Corinth, Antioch and Alexandra. It was a commercial, political and religious center for all of Asia Minor and was also the location of the temple of Diana, the goddess of Athens.

 

At this time, Paul the apostle had been a Christian for close to thirty years. He had undertaken a trip to Ephesus during his second missionary journey. He wrote to the Ephesians while he was under house arrest. As was usual with him, he warmly saluted them, and desired for them the best spiritual blessing.

“Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Ephesians 1:2,4).

“All spiritual blessings in heavenly places” means all the good things God has provided for His followers. These include salvation, the gifts of the Spirit, the power to do His will while here, and the hope of eternal life with Christ hereafter.

 

God’s choice of saved believers is entirely by His grace. No one takes credit for his salvation. Salvation makes us new creatures in Christ, willing to obey Him and do His will. Our old life was characterized by disobedience, sin, condemnation and death.

But God has graciously shaped our lives and destinies in conformity with His will.

Are you one of those the Lord has chosen? Do not spurn God’s invitation; neither drive rough over the sacrifice offered by His Son. Accept His salvation with a grateful heart and you will be glad you did.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: To be chosen, you have to willingly surrender your life to Him today.

 

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Jun 17

Your Decision Determines Your Destiny

The book of 1 KINGS 12:1-15 gives an insight into the effect of Rehoboam’s decision on the kingdom of Israel, after the death of Solomon. The leaders of the northern tribes of Israel met Rehoboam at Shechem to iron out some issues.

Though they were willing to make him their king because they wanted the kingdom to remain united, they were not comfortable with Solomon’s high-handedness and they wanted Rehoboam to review it.

Rehoboam asked for time to enable him seek for advice. He ought to have prayed about this and seek for God’s advice, but he never did. He did not even ask a prophet or a priest to advise him. He possibly was afraid that God would tell him something contrary to his plan – not to rule the northern tribes.

 

The elderly men who served Solomon, with better experience, knew certain things which Rehoboam probably did not know. They had respect for Solomon because of his godly wisdom and fair judgments which they possibly believed Rehoboam did not have.

They thus advised him to agree with the people’s demands. But the younger men, whose advice he equally sought, never had any experience on the act of governance.

They thought the Israelites could be controlled with strong words.

Unfortunately, Rehoboam rejected the advice of those elderly leaders and chose the advice of his peers. This proved disastrous.

He who sows the wind, must reap the whirlwind and whatsoever a man sows, he reaps. Rehoboam sowed utter foolishness and reaped disaster.

Those given to impulsive decisions, without mediation and prayers, must be prepared for the dire consequences.

“Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat” (1 Kings 12:15).

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Eternal values, not temporal ones, should determine a believer’s decisions.

 

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Jun 16

Reflect On Your Past

King Hezekiah had 15 years added to his life by reminding God how he had served Him faithfully all his life. If his past had been a mess, he would not have gotten the divine favor.

Taking a look at the past at times has a lot of advantages, especially when it is not intended to make one just dwell in the past glory. The past, we are often told, helps us to understand the present and charts the path for the future.

 

“Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him” (Job 29:12).

Job, in his present suffering condition, reflected on his past. He recalled his past prosperity, glory, honor and security, and found out that all these were tied to his character, because he put on “righteousness and it clothed me, and my judgment was a robe, a diadem”, and because he lived for the cause of others – the poor, helpless, widow and downtrodden. His was a righteous and selfless life.

This exercise then explains that his present condition of suffering and trial is not as a result of a past life of unrighteousness, selfishness and wickedness.

 

Recalling our past lives has a lot of advantages. It helps us to understand our present condition. We are able to find out if our present unpleasant condition is as a result of a past life of sin and wickedness.

If this is so, the way out will be genuine repentance and restitution. It helps us to gauge our present spiritual life by asking such questions as: are we better than who we were in the past or have we lost our first love, gone cold or lukewarm? It provides a check for our spiritual life.

Remember your humble beginning, how that you were little and nothing in your eyes before the Lord found you and made you who you are today.

 

In moments of trials, temptations, difficulty and hardship, recalling past testimonies of God’s faithfulness, gives us the assurance and confidence that He will yet deliver us.

Reflect on your past today and receive solace and comfort in the goodness of the Lord.

 

Thought for the day: The totality of a man’s present life is determined by his past.

 

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Jun 15

Hope Is Here Again

A missionary went to some Indian villages with the gospel message. One day, after preaching in an open market, a Muslim gentleman approached him and said: “You must admit we have one thing you have not, and it is better than anything you have.”

The missionary smiled and inquired: “I should be pleased to hear what it is.” The Muslim said: “You know when we go to Mecca we at least find a coffin. But when you Christians go to Jerusalem, which is your Mecca, you find nothing but an empty grave.”

The missionary smiled again and replied: “That is just the difference. Mohammed is dead; Mohammed is in the coffin. And false systems of religion and philosophy are in their coffins, but Jesus Christ, whose kingdom is to include all nations and kindred and tribes, is not here; He is risen. And all power in heaven and on earth is given unto Him. That is our hope.”

That hope, which is still alive in us, is why Jesus is not in the coffin. For the Israelites, the Lord knew what would give them hope at the hour of their needs. Against the backdrop of his struggle with incurable false prophets at home, Jeremiah addressed a letter of hope to the exiles at Babylon.

 

“For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place” (Jeremiah 29:10).

Jeremiah’s letter was intended to calm their nerves and bring them hope from the living God. He mentioned that the Lord had thoughts of peace towards them and not of evil.

God’s plan was to give them an expected end, that is, a future and a hope. They must, therefore, forsake the counsel of false prophets, who had been prophesying an immediate end to their captivity. Rather, they should be praying for the peace of the city wherein they were taken captives.

As Christians, God’s thoughts for us should be our only concern. We should not be bothered about what other people may think of us. The Lord wants to give us the desire of our heart, if only we let Him reign supremely in our life.

 

Thought for the day: Do not look to your hope, but to Christ, the Source of your hope.

 

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Jun 14

Superiority of Prophecy

It simply boggles the mind how vain men easily turn God’s glory into vanity fair.

God’s gifts are not for showmanship; they are for edification. Wonderfully enough, the folly of man can never subvert God’s standards.

Here was a very seemingly thorny issue that Apostle Paul had to deal with in the Corinthian Church. Speaking in tongues has been preferred and lifted to a point of making a show of it. To speak in tongue is to speak in an unknown language.

It is unintelligible and makes no sense to an unlearned hearer except it be interpreted and understood. When the disciples first spoke in tongues, it was principally to act as a convincing sign to the unbelievers who became “amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” (Acts 2:7,8).

Words that are devoid of meaning will make no impact upon the mind. To speak in an unknown tongue without due interpretation in an assembly is to reduce both the speaker and the hearer to barbarians.

 

In churches today, the central objective should be the understanding of every aspect of worship. Obtaining applause for oneself in preference to ministering to the souls of the members, is not a mark of a true Christian. We should rather “speak five words with understanding than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue” “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church” (1 Corinthians 14:4, 19)

Speaking in tongues or even praying in tongues when Christians come together for worship is out-of-place when ministering one to another. Christians today should covet the more earnest spiritual gifts of charity and prophecy. But the gift of prophecy in its use should not be an invitation to confusion.

Prophecy from the Lord should be for the edification of the body of believers. We ought to watch carefully over the gifts we think we have and how we use them. How we need to pray that the Lord will guide us in the use of the gifts He has given us.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: A meaningful word is better than ten thousand words without meaning.

 

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Jun 13

Nothing But God Sent

god-sent

The Great Commission makes it the business of every Christian in every place to tell others about Jesus and to do his best to bring others to the Savior. The bringing of one soul to Jesus is therefore the highest achievement possible to any believer. Those who have answered the Savior’s call to salvation were brought in many ways.

Some were brought by a friend, a neighbor or a colleague. Others were introduced by parents early in life, while some were invited by the voice of an anonymous herald on radio or the city bus service. Yet, some others were brought in through a miracle of healing by a minister. However the invitation came, the channel used is undoubtedly, God-sent.

 

“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” (Luke 5:18).

The men mentioned in our text were God-sent, to introduce the helpless, sick fellow to Jesus for the healing of his diseased soul which was reason for his bodily infirmity.

These men knew they had not the power to help their friend in his predicament, but they obviously knew the Savior and they believed He could heal him.

The perseverance with which they carried the sick man in his couch and let him down through the opened roof to the place where Jesus was seated is the evidence of their faith.

Sinners are helpless in the hands of Satan and the flesh. They have no hope of eternal life if somebody does not tell them about Jesus who died to atone for their sins.

Every true believer is God sent to go and preach the gospel of salvation to every creature within his reach. And because we are sent to a people weakened, paralyzed and sick with sin, we must be willing to lend ourselves to be used as the hands, arms and feet to lovingly hold, carry and bring sinners to Jesus.

Nothing reveals our faith in Him better than perseveringly leading sinners into a lifetime of relationship with Him. There is the promise of reward for every work done faithfully in His name.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Be a channel of blessing to others.

 

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Jun 12

Lepers In Need Of Cleansing

The Old Testament is replete with the message of cleansing as the first condition for any relationship or reconciliation with God. The physical cleansing we come across in the law and the prophets, whether for the leper, menstrous or defiled through contact with dead bodies foreshadows spiritual redemption through Christ’s atoning death.

The consistency of the word of God about the pre-eminence of forgiveness of sin over healing of sickness is borne out of the passage in Mark 2:1-11, where Jesus unequivocally told a man sick of paralysis, first of all that his sins were forgiven before He pronounced the man healed.

The ignorant bystanders, who thought they were religious, questioned Jesus’ action then. Today, many who are desperately in need of spiritual cleansing and healing would hear none of the message of salvation.

How can a person reasonably expect God to heal him with whom he has not sought reconciliation? Of what benefit is the healing which does not take the beneficiary beyond this side of eternity?

Although Hezekiah got additional years after receiving healing and Lazarus was raised from the dead, they did not remain forever on earth.

A cleansed leper was to be presented to the Lord with his offering. We have read of the gracious provision made for the poor lepers. The poor are as welcome to God’s altar as the rich.

His desire is for every spiritual leper to be cleansed. Are you one? Then, come to God’s altar today. Delay no longer. He will cleanse you of all your unrighteousness.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Jesus Split His blood for our cleansing.

 

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Jun 11

Tell Me Who Your counselor Is?

There are miserable counselors all over the place. They are not in short supply. They cost collateral damage in societies. They are in government, work places, business arenas, and are also in the church of God. Those who give in to their lies are easily destroyed.

“Wherefore he did evil in the sight of the LORD like the house of Ahab: for they were his counselors after the death of his father to his destruction” (2 Chronicles 22:4).

The book of 2 Chronicles 22:1-12, Ahaziah, son and successor of Jehoram, and grandson of Jehoshaphat was made king over Judah. His reign, like that of his namesake of Samaria, was very brief, lasting but a year and characterized by idolatry and departure from the precept of God.

Being related to the royal house of Israel through his mother Athaliah, the daughter of Jezebel and Ahab, he was fully in sympathy, politically and religiously with all the idolatry and witchcraft practiced therein.

Joram, the king of Israel, having been wounded in battle, returned to Jezreel to recuperate. Ahaziah also left the field of conflict in Gilead, and came to Jezreel for a conference with Joram. Meanwhile, the great uprising under Jehu had begun. Joram was slain.

Ahaziah fled by way of the “house of the garden.” He was overtaken by Jehu’s soldiers and wounded in his chariot; but the stroke was not immediately fatal. Ahaziah escaped southward, and died on reaching Megiddo. His body was taken to Jerusalem and buried in the royal sepulcher there.

In the multitude of evil counsellors there is destruction. Having such counsellors as Athaliah, the daughter of Omir, and the evil faculty of the idolatrous house of Ahab was a recipe for paralysis.

No wonder Ahaziah did evil in the sight of the Lord. His counsellors kept him out of the ways of God until he met his untimely death. The anarchy, which followed the death of Ahaziah, greatly weakened the monarchy of Judah; but it was a necessary step in the purgation of the kingdom from the taint of Baal-worship.

The counsel of the ungodly ruins many young persons’ when they are setting out in the world. Ahaziah gave himself up to be led by evil men. Those who advise us to do wickedly, lead us to destruction; while they pretend to be friends, they are our worst enemies.

Avoid the mischief of bad company for that will not profit you. Cling to Christ and follow His steps.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: A man is deceived when he walks away from God’s principles.


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Jun 10

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God

The world has made many attempts to deny the existence of the Living God who is in charge of the whole universe and to Whom everyone is responsible and accountable. In spite of the very many undeniable evidences of the existence of God, modern-day atheists through their secularism, liberalism and modernism, have refused to acknowledge Him. They have tried, though with no success at all, to disprove all that points to His reality.

“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good” (Psalm 53:1).

The scripture above reveals that this denial of the existence of God is not new and only describes such people as fools. It further shows the reason for such denial and the obvious outcome of a world and life without God.

Those that deny the existence of God do so because they don’t want to be answerable to Him. They are obviously afraid of a God that would hold them accountable for all their deeds and practices.

This is an attempt to free their minds from the thought of a possible future judgment where they would have to account for their sinful lifestyle. Denying the existence of God means that man is only accountable to himself and so is at liberty to live whichever way he chooses.

The ever increasing rate of sinful practices today is an evidence of a God-rejecting age. The world may call it “civilization”, “liberalism”, “enlightenment”, or whatever but it is nothing but sheer backwardness and a movement to the primitive age of bondage.

What makes this even sadder is that many Christians who seem to profess faith in the existence of God also live as if He does not exist.

As Christians, we need to continue to prove to the world that our God is real and in charge of our lives and universe by making the world see God in us and through us.

When we manifest an incorruptible life of holiness and righteousness in the face of the wanton decay and pollution that mark our world, they will come to believe.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Those who deny the existence of God only do it to their own hurt.

 

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