Jul 20

Don’t Doubt The Most High God!

The man who appeared to Daniel after his 21 days of fasting and praying told him that a king in the north would be more powerful than that of the south. But later, they would enter into a peace treaty, which would make the southern king to give him his daughter to marry. The lady would be exalted but she would later lose her position.

The woman, with her husband and their children, would be killed. But her brother, who would eventually emerge as the king of the southern kingdom would stage a revenge. He would capture some cities in the northern kingdom and carry their idols and valuable things to Egypt. The king of the north would launch unsuccessful attack on the south. Also, his sons would attack the southern kingdom again and fail.

 

God’s word will always stand.

“But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail” (Daniel 11:7).

This prophecy was fulfilled about 350 years later when Philadelphus, the king of Egypt, from the south and king of Syria, from the north, engaged themselves in a serious war. When they settled, Philadelphus gave his daughter, Bernice, to Theos, the king of Syria, as wife. The king of Syria divorced his wife, Laodicea, and married Bernice. Somebody eventually murdered her with her husband and children.

When her brother, Euergetes, heard of her death, he launched an attack against Syria and defeated Callinicus, who later became the king.

Soter, who succeeded Callinicus attacked Philopator, the new king of Egypt, and lost the war. The sons of the king of Syria, after gathering a large army, went again to attack Egypt, but they were defeated. The king of Egypt, consequent upon this feat, became very proud.

 

The prophecy was fulfilled to the letter and this gave credence to what Christ said that “till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18).

Do you still doubt the Second Coming of Jesus, the rapture and Great Tribulation? Do you still doubt that all sinners will go to hell? Repent before it becomes too late.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven”.

 

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Spread The Word
Jul 19

How Much Do You God?

In an age of distressing crises and sundry pressures of life, many people are often hesitant in relating with strangers. Some even adopt the extreme position of showing suspicion towards those they do not know.

In fact, conventional wisdom tells us that the more aware and acquainted you are with a person, the more likely you are able to relate well to him. It follows then that spiritually speaking, the reason many people do not have a flourishing relationship with God is because they really do not know Him.

 

Bible writers were different. They knew only little about God, of course, for no one can ever successfully unravel all there is about the Almighty. Yet, they spoke about Him with so much reverence and awe.

“The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted” (Psalm 47:9).

The Psalmist in PSALM 47:1-9 best illustrates this. In obvious wonderment, he urged all people to clap their hands, shout with the voice of triumph in praise and worship of the almighty God, the great King over all the earth.

He points out that God has power to subdue nations and peoples under Him;

  • He desires to be praised, honored and worshipped.
  • He reigns and rules in holiness over both good and bad people.
  • He has power over all. No wonder the people who know Him, “even the people of the God of Abraham” unite in extolling His greatness and exalting His Name.

 

God, indeed, is so awesome; we can never capture all His essence in words. But this must not stop us from describing Him in glowing terms.

We should excitedly tell others about Him, especially what He has done for us, and what we know personally about this “God of Abraham”. And like Abraham, what we know about Him should make us obey Him without reservation.

This way, we can become, not just God’s children but His friends and spiritual inheritors of all the promises that He made to Abraham.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: If you know God more, you’ll trust Him more.

 

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Jul 18

Killing For Position

Stella Nickell, a Washington state woman, a few years ago, was convicted for poisoning her husband, Bruce, 52, with cyanide-filled extra-strength Excedrin capsules because she wanted to collect $176,000 in life insurance.

She was accused of tampering with over-the-counter pain pills by planting cyanide in them, just to kill her husband. Her daughter, Cynthia Hamilton, who heard Nickell talking about killing her husband, invited the police. Investigation revealed, through fingerprints, that she had consulted four books about cyanide in her local library. Two of them she read, shortly before her husband’s death.

 

Nickell’s issue was one out of many, who killed because of greed.

Several years after the death of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who was king of Israel, many successive leaders took to evil to register their relevance in the scheme of things.

“For Menahem the son of Gadi went up from Tirzah, and came to Samaria, and smote Shallum the son of Jabesh in Samaria, and slew him, and reigned in his stead” (2 Kings 15:14).

In our today’s text, Menahem, the son of Gadi, who ruled Israel for ten years in Samaria, did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam. Pekahiah also followed the footsteps of his father, Menahem, and the vicious circle continued.

 

Curiously today, the situation is getting worse. In offices, there are those who have employed diabolical means to eliminate the lives of their colleagues, just because of position. Others use gossip and backbiting to curry favor and run down their colleagues.

Regrettably, this desperate quest for position has crept into the church. Some Christians now think that their position will determine their place in heaven, failing to realize that without peace with everybody and holiness, they cannot see God.

God has called us to good works so that our activities here will endure to the good of humanity and in furtherance of the gospel of repentance from sin and dead works.

No matter where we find ourselves, we must be a salt; we must be the light and we must leave a good footprint in the sand of time.

 

Thought for the day: A glorious lifestyle is a treasure for posterity.

 

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Jul 17

At The Lord’s Table

at-the-lords-table

It is often the lot of man to turn God’s sacred practices to fads and fashion. Yet, God’s standards remain unalterable. The wise keeps to it and rejoices.

 

The Lord’s Supper is a practical demonstration of the gospel, a vivid illustration of the death of Christ, for the sin of mankind. Through it, believers are reminded of the death of the Savior and of the imminence and hope of His return.

 

The celebration of the Lord’s Supper in the early Church also incorporated a love feast. This was a form of sharing and caring which preceded the actual celebration and in which all believers freely participated.

Sadly, the Corinthian Church soon lost this admirable tradition. It was replaced by wanton discrimination between the rich and the poor. Paul promptly rebuked this anomaly and again, presented to the Church the significance and process of conducting the Lord’s Supper, as given by the Lord.

“Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:27).

The bread and wine (emblems used at the Supper) are symbolic representations of the Body and Blood of the Savior. It took the sacrifice on the cross to make our new relationship anchored not on the law, but on the amazing grace of God’s love.

 

Partaking in the Lord’s Supper shows that we are remembering Christ’s sacrifice for us and renewing our pledge of service to Him. Taking the ordinance unworthily portrays ignorance of the implications of Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary.

 

How then do we partake in the Lord’s Supper?

  • First, we do so prayerfully and thoughtfully, mindful of Christ’s death and sacrifice for our sins.
  • Secondly, we partake, not presumptuously, but with honor and due reverence to God.
  • Thirdly we yield ourselves to critical self-examination, so that no sinful attitude is found in us.
  • In addition, we partake with due deference to the body of Christ, celebrating it in an orderly, decent and co­operative manner.
  • And finally, we do so with humility and contrition of heart.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Christ in His flesh bore our sins and paid our ransom.

 

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Jul 16

Avoid Vainglory

Undue confidence in one’s intellectual, physical, material and financial acquisitions is a clear manifestation of the pride of life. Man is prone to boast of his achievements as if they were gotten by his power.

The human society is replete with vain and arrogant fellows who parade their so-called accomplishments contemptuously and want men to worship their exaggerated sense of self-worth.

 

“Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches” (Jeremiah 9:23).

These vaunted portraits irritate God. In our text, God told Prophet Jeremiah all that He was going to do against Israel because of their sin. Obviously, there were those in their midst who bragged about their achievements in life. JEREMIAH 9:12-26. But God told Jeremiah that they should only glory in the fact that they understood and knew God experientially. But they did not.

The almighty God hates swelling words, especially when He knows that man is nothing without Him.

This is a wake-up call for every believer today that no matter what we may have acquired or our societal, spiritual, academic or financial attainment, we must be humble in heart and in deed. We must not make a boast of such things as if we were better than any other person. If we do, we are liable to punishment from God.

A pompous disposition irks God; His mercy is for those who recognize the source of their blessings and accord respect to the Giver of such blessings.

 

When Satan asked Jesus, “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down…”, he had wanted Jesus to demonstrate physically that He is the Son of God. But Jesus knew it was not Satan’s opinion about Him that matter but the view that the almighty God held about Him.

A sincere believer must not engage in unethical or sinful behaviors to prove his worth. It is the net worth approval of God that counts.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Without God, earthly acquisition is chaff.

 

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Jul 15

Penitent heart

Charles H. Brent, an American clergyman, who served in the Philippines and western New York, once stated: “The happy sequence culminating in fellowship with God is penitence, pardon, and peace – the first we offer, the second we accept and the third we inherit.”

 

“Then Ezra rose up from before the house of God, and went into the chamber of Johanan the son of Eliashib: and when he came thither, he did eat no bread, nor drink water: for he mourned because of the transgression of them that had been carried away” (Ezra 10:6).

The prophet, Ezra, as our text reveals, was a man with uncommon contrite spirit. When he heard of the transgression of his people who came back from exile, he became very sad. He felt they had not learnt their lesson.

God allowed them to go into captivity as a form of chastisement to enable them fully evaluate their shortcomings and repent of them in order to have good relationship with Him. Unfortunately, they continued in their old order of sin which attracted the wrath of God upon their lives.

Ezra moved away from the front of the house of God to Johanan’s chamber which was situated in the temple. Johanan was the son of Eliashib, the priest, and he was a man of note. While there, Ezra did not eat any food nor drank any water. He was absolutely sad because the people who returned after the exile were not loyal to God.

 

It takes a man with uncommon burden to achieve uncommon vision.

Today, many Christians have lost the vision to rebuild their lives, families and church to achieve God’s purpose. Some believers are no longer perturbed about the misconducts of their wives, husbands and children, let alone other brethren in the church.

They have lost the sense of burden to rescue sinners and backsliders from the claws of sins; they allow them to have comfort in sin.

God is counting on us to have the vision of Ezra and become the motivation through which His righteousness can be imparted into others.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: An honest heart seeks to please God in all things.

 

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Jul 13

A Sad End

The history of the Church is full of stories of men and women whom God picked up from their lowly state and used greatly for the salvation of men only for them to turn around in the latter days of their lives and die in such a miserable state.

One of such was a known American who had such a powerful and healing ministry. When he died at the age 59, he was found to have been an alcoholic. The sad end of notable men of God calls today’s Christians to a more careful and sober walk.

 

“So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it” (1 Chronicles 10:13).

Our text 1 Chronicles 10:1-14 presents us with the story of the death of Saul and his sons. Saul had had a wonderful start. When he was picked to be the first king of Israel, he displayed a great sense of humility and obedience to God. But as his reign became strong and powerful, he derailed to a life of selfwill, stubbornness and disobedience to God’s word.

He went to the point of practicing necromancy that is, seeking divination from spirits of the dead. Unfortunately for him, it was in this sad state that he died.

 

While success in life and ministry is something very desirable, it can become the source of one’s eternal undoing if it is not properly managed. Many people become so blinded and obsessed with success that they forget their humble beginning and early vows and consecration. Others become so arrogant, proud, self-willed and incorrigible.

There are those that allow their success to lead them to wrong companies and associations which result in many compromises and unthinkable sinful practices.

And there are those who in the bid to sustain their success, look away from God to indulge in satanic and occult practices.

 

To properly manage our success, we must constantly keep the word of God before us and see that it guides and directs all our actions and decisions. We must also maintain a humble disposition that will help us to seek and receive counsels from those who can help us.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: It is not enough to begin well; we must also end well.

 

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Jul 08

Bribe The Enemy?

Having encouraged idolatry among his subjects and put down Zechariah the son of the High Priest, Joash appeared to have squandered whatever remained of the promising beginning he had when he first ascended the throne of his father David.

“And Jehoash king of Judah took all the hallowed things … and his own hallowed things, and all the gold that was found in the treasures of the house of the LORD, and in the king’s house, and sent it to Hazael king of Syria: and he went away from Jerusalem” (2 Kings 12:18).

With the hedge of protection thus removed, the Syrians came in to take the city. He then decided to bribe them by taking down all the hallowed things from the Temple and the king’s house and sending them to the king of Syria.

But the peace proved to be short lived for the Syrians returned and Joash, having no more treasures, was obliged to risk a battle, which he lost along with the principal part of his nobility. Judah was totally ruined and Joash himself slain in his bed by his servants (2 Chronicles 24:17-27).

Let us review the character of Joash, and consider what we may learn from it.

When we see what a sad conclusion there was to so promising a beginning, it ought to make us look into our spiritual state. Backsliding has always brought evil and sad consequences and it robs the saints of their standing with God along with their authority in prayer.

 

Joash, knowing that he was a spent shell, had to settle for paying instead of praying, and bribing instead of binding. He dearly bought a peace which was of short duration, for the next year Hazael returned.

The devil will not stop his onslaught though you give him a thousand talents of gold. If he suspends his activities now, he will surely return tomorrow to hunt for your soul.

As this week progresses, let us trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). The settlement option may work for the moment, but it will only postpone but not proscribe the evil day.

You do not need the services of modern day Hazaels; the arm of flesh will fail you. Only God can effectively defend us and all that are ours.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Never negotiate with Satan.

 

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Jul 06

Beware Of The Pharisees And Sadducees

Of all vices, hypocrisy is the most subtle – and therefore, most damning.

 

The Lord Jesus Christ was armed with this truth when He warned His disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod. The Pharisees constituted themselves into archenemies of Christ.

Their grouse stemmed essentially from the fact that Christ authoritatively reproved them for their contradictions. They could not bear Christ’s fame that was rising exponentially. Therefore, they tried by all means to get rid of Him.

“And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod” (Mark 8:15).

Here, they came tempting Christ by requesting a sign from Him. He declined and sighed at the extent of their insincerity and wickedness. His numerous signs could not change them. He left them and got over to the east shore. There He warned His disciples against the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod.

 

This has nothing to do with bread as the disciples thought, but the corrupting doctrines and influence of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

  • The Pharisees were noted for hypocrisy (outward righteousness), pride and religious showiness.
  • They equated the tradition of men and rituals with God’s word and were legalistic.
  • The Sadducees, represented here by Herod, were promoters of free thinking, skepticism, worldly-mindedness and political exploitation.

The Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus’ days have since expired. But the present age is full of modern Pharisees and Sadducees of whose “leaven” we must beware. They wield powerful influence in society, even in religious circles but their professed worship of God lacks spirituality, sincerity, sobriety and simplicity. Instead, they are selfish, sinful, showy and stubborn.

If you are Christ’s, you will have nothing to do with such except to grieve over their state.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: BEWARE means: Be Ever Watchful Against Religious Error-mongers.

 

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Jul 05

Child Training

The burden and passion for child training and development in the heart of Manoah, Samson’s father, is what is deficient in the world today. And like a sore thumb, the consequences are evident.

 

“And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?” (Judges 13:12).

In Manoah’s absence, an angel had prophesied about the conception and birth of Samson to his wife. When his wife related the encounter to him, he was so concerned as to go to the Lord in prayers to ask for a confirmation of the prophecy.

This act set Manoah apart as a spiritually-minded man who understood the value of prayers in resolving controversies and mysteries. It also showed his concern for the welfare of his wife and that of the baby yet to be conceived.

If all the fathers emulate Manoah in terms of prayer and care, marriage and family life will indeed be heaven on earth.

The angel reiterated his earlier instructions to the wife, that is, her diet should be restricted to that of the Nazarites, as a Nazarite from the womb was to be born of her.

 

Mothers also have crucial roles in the upbringing of their children, as their work start at the conception of the baby in the womb. The health of a baby depends so much on the diet and lifestyle of the mother. A gluttonous mother will give birth to an obese child whose future could be ruined by excess sugar levels. A child could develop cancer from the womb of a mother who is a smoker and drunkard.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

The world is filled with such delinquent acts as thuggery, cultism, prostitution, armed robbery, assassination, kidnapping, examination malpractices, terrorism and such like because the world is in short supply of fathers like Manoah.

The world needs godly parents who would be models to those permissive parents in the world.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God knows how best to raise your children. Seek His wisdom.

 

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