Aug 07

Nearing 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.

 

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.

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

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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Spread The Word
Aug 06

A Worthy Investment

Hearing the Savior’s command to sell all and give to the poor, Peter, on behalf of the other disciples, tells Christ that they had left all to follow Him. It was the best bargain they could ever make in life. By leaving all immediately, and following Christ, they showed that they were willing to follow Him wherever He led them.

 

“Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee” (Mark 10:28).

A man wedded to the world will renounce Christ rather than the world. Little did the disciples know what awaited them when they “left all” to follow Jesus of Nazareth.

As believers, we cannot fully comprehend the blessings that await us until we meet with the Saviour face-to-face. Having been called out of the world, the Lord expects that we cheerfully and faithfully follow Him, willing to commit everything into His hand.

 

Christ gracious answer to Peter’s question reveals that every true child of God will surely receive reward for his obedience, consecration and commitment to the Lord. The rewards of faithful service are both temporal and eternal. While still on earth, the believer enjoys pardon for sin, divine favor, divine provision, protection, peace of mind, support in trials and persecution, among others. Above all, he will spend eternity with Christ in heaven.

 

You can make the best investment today in things that serve Kingdom purposes.

Therefore, invest your energy, time, talent, resources, wealth, etc., to promote the cause of the gospel. Every effort we make to bring sinners to Christ, help the needy and support the church will never go unrewarded, both now and in eternity.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: No one ever regrets his investment in God’s service.

 

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Aug 05

The Great Provider

The story of Hagar and her son is most instructive and evergreen. Thinking that every hope was lost, after she was sent away from Abraham’s house with her son, she wondered aimlessly in the wilderness of Beersheba expecting to die of thirst.

But the Lord saw her distress and heard the cry of the child; “And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink” (Genesis 21:19). God provides many things seemingly out of nothing.

 

In NUMBERS 11:16-23, Moses had by this time, seen much of God’s power. The miracles in Egypt were spectacularly beyond human understanding. Now freed from Egyptian bondage, they were worried about flesh to eat. They failed to learn from the consequences of their earlier complaints (verse 1). Even Moses forgot God’s power and all the miracles in a moment of frustration and undue pressure.

“And Moses said, The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand footmen… Shall the flocks and the herds be slain for them, to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them?” (Numbers 11:21,22).

 

Many people doubt God when they are faced with severe challenges. They forget victories already won through divine intervention, their level of spiritual maturity notwithstanding. Our victory is assured if only we can completely depend on God at all times. We must avoid the temptation of leaning on our understanding.

God knows all our trials and needs. He lessened the burden of leadership on Moses through the assistance of seventy elders. He knows the burdens you are called to bear in His vineyard and will support you all the way. “Lo, I am with you alway,” He says.

 

Are the challenges of life and ministry becoming heavier than you had hoped? Don’t give up. He who has called you is well able to provide all your needs as you faithfully serve Him. Soon, it will be over and we all will enter into His rest.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: The night is darkest when the dawn is near.

 

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Aug 04

Not By Bread Alone

Many fast food establishments in the world operate a franchise system, a concept that is very common in the industry. A parent company, such as McDonald’s or Mr. KFC, could permit its franchisees to operate branded restaurants in exchange for a franchise fee or a share of the revenue.

Franchisees are supplied with uniform ingredients by the parent company or its suppliers and are typically obliged to follow strict operational guidelines. Though many busy people take their meals regularly in fast food restaurants, there is a growing concern that fast foods may not be healthy to the body after all.

 

The Law of clean and unclean food, found in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, was in force long before Moses. Abel was a keeper of sheep, not of pigs (Genesis 4:1-5).

Jabal, of the line of Cain, specialized in raising cattle (Genesis 4:20). Noah was told to take unclean animals into the ark by twos, but clean animals by sevens (Genesis 7:1-3). After a safe arrival on Mount Ararat, Noah built an altar upon which he sacrificed every clean animal and clean fowl.

“And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray” (Leviticus 11:13).

From the Old Testament law, any warm-blooded mammal which had split hooves and chewed the cud was clean to eat. Other warm-blooded animals were considered unclean. Of the creatures that live in the waters, only the fish with fins and scales, were clean to eat; others were unclean.

God did not permit the eating of the flesh of fowls which were scavengers. All reptiles were unclean, as were all insects except locusts, grasshoppers and certain beetles.

 

Under the New Testament economy, the believer is set free from all the ceremonial, ritualistic laws and observances. However, he should be careful not to eat the type of food that can cause or promote illnesses and diseases.

Neither must he stretch his liberty to eat foods whose consumption might compromise the faith of others. In sum, a Christian must not live by bread or meat alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Remember, you are what you eat.

 

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Aug 03

Jesus’ Teaching On Adultery

Latimer was raised to the bishopric of Worcester in the reign of Henry VIII. It was the custom of those days for each of the bishops to make presents to the king on New Year’s Day. Latimer went with the rest of his brethren to make the usual offering; but, instead of a purse of gold, he presented the king with a New Testament in which was a leaf doubled down to this passage, “Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”

 

Christ’s Sermon on the Mount is one of the most well-known passages in the entire Bible. Many of its expressions are commonly used in everyday speech, often without people being aware of their biblical origins. Most people do not have trouble understanding the Sermon on the Mount.

This is because most of it is relatively straightforward, even for unbelievers, who may admire the general principles laid down therein, including love, non-retaliation, peace-making, kindness, and the Golden Rule.

However, many people do find this passage on adultery and prohibition of divorce for whatever reasons extremely difficult because they do not think they can live-up to the standard that Jesus set.

 

“But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).

Jesus said that adultery originates in the heart and is completed by acting upon that desire. Jesus did not say the Old Testament law against adultery was superseded, outdated, inapplicable or impossible to keep today. In fact, a few verses earlier, He stressed that He did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfil it.

Therefore, with a graphic metaphor, Jesus illustrated exactly how His listeners were to obey God in this area.

 

Sin is deadly, and believers should remove themselves from any situation where they might be tempted. If there is anything in your life that causes you to lust, or tempts you to consider indulging in any extra-marital activity, remove it from your life with a grim determination.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Escape sin rather than excuse it.

 

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Aug 01

Most Dependable companion

Nowadays, it is almost becoming difficult to have a dependable companion. Cases abound of people tricking their friends to be kidnapped for ransom. Some give up even their blood relations for money. Security has broken down in many countries, particularly in developing nations, so much that life is almost meaningless. And justice is a mirage.

 

Newspapers and electronic media inundate our ears and eyes with horrible news on a daily basis. There’s no comforting news anywhere. But the Psalmist tells us that the law of the Lord offers that hope. Reading and depending on it reassures the believer of the ever-present God to offer the desired help.

 

The Psalmist here acknowledges the efficacy of the word of God and of all His counsels. He also acknowledges the unchangeableness of the almighty God with whom is no variableness nor shadow of turning. “Thy word” by which the heavens were made, “is settled,” producing as evidence, the constancy of the course of nature.

The abiding faithfulness of the Creator from generations past till eternity lends more credence to the durability and reliability of His word. He said, “I am God, I change not” (Malachi 3:6). So also are His words. “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.”

 

This eternal quality is not subject in anyway to the elements of nature. The Psalmist ever found solace in the powerful influence of the word in his affliction, as it gave him delight in solitude and sorrow. The word of the Lord is a pleasant companion at all times.

The best evidence of our love for the word of God is never to forget it. David said: “I have sought thy precepts,” even in the midst of enemies and conspiracies against him. He confessed, “I will consider thy testimonies.”

 

The more of His word you have in you, the more His abiding presence is assured. We should, therefore, consciously endeavor to store more of His word in our hearts.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: A man is vulnerable when he forsakes God’s law.

 

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Jul 31

Wait On The Lord

The ungodly bid to make money is dominant in many societies nowadays. For many, it does not matter how the money is made, since the end justifies the means. It is usual to hear nowadays that a man killed his wife or child just to receive insurance. Parents sell their children for money; children arrange for the kidnap of their parents and relations for ransom. Easy money has become the in-thing.

A lot of unholy activities are daily going on in the society for the sake of money. This has also crept into the church as many so-called members are more carnally-minded than being heavenly-minded. They have joined the rat race, always comparing themselves with unbelievers.

 

In our PSALMS 73:1-28, the Psalmist says he saw such exhibition of ill-gotten wealth in his time and was envious. What he saw nearly affected his relationship with God as he confessed that his “feet were almost gone” and his “steps had well nigh slipped”.

“But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked” (Psalm 73:2,3).

Many believers who were vibrant for the Lord have denied the faith, owing to the allure of easy money. There are those who had served God faithfully until they began to compare themselves with others. They began to reason that there’s no need holding on to the promises of God. They let go of their faith in pursuit of material wealth.

 

Genuine believers must wait on God who has promised to provide all “our needs” according to his riches through Christ Jesus.

Even so, all believers must note that the so-called prosperity gospel is nothing but the devil’s creed to sway unwary pilgrims from their pursuit of heaven. Once the kingdom of God has been truly sought and earnestly gotten, with true righteousness appropriated and Christ’s glory eminently revealed, the lust and crave for money must wane.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: It pays to travel the success way through integrity road.

 

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Jul 30

Two Of A Kind

A few years ago, a sad event played out in a family in one of the states in Nigeria. The family had seven sons and the eldest went into armed robbery. He was caught and killed. The second followed in the steps of his elder and ended the same way.

The others followed in the same business of armed robbery and all seven died either by execution or mob action. None was able to see the need to turn away from the evil despite the destructions that befell the front-runners.

The story of the two sisters, Aholah and Aholibah in Ezekiel 23:1–21, is similar.

Aholah played the harlot, forsook her God and went after the gods of the Assyrians and Egypt and she was destroyed (verse 10). This result did not stop Aholibah the younger from following in the same way. She became worse than her elder, Aholah.

 

Samaria and Jerusalem which are represented by Aholah and Aholibah went into sin, turned away from God and went after the Babylonians. They became terribly polluted. The consequence was that God became also alienated from them (verse 18).

“Then I saw that she was defiled, that they took both one way” (Ezekiel 23:13).

The scriptures admonish us to be separated from the world and not to love the world. Friendship with the world is enmity with God. When Aholah and Aholibah, God’s chosen ones joined themselves to the Egyptians and Assyrians, they lost fellowship with God.

The love of the world comes gradually and before we know it, if we are not watchful, we would have been swallowed by it. Everyone has the tendency to get drawn into the world. Worldliness is spiritual adultery.

Aholibah followed the steps of Aholah. Anyone can mislead the other. The truth, however, is that Aholibah had the same inordinate desire for the world like her sister. They were two of a kind.

 

When you turn from God, you become alienated from Him and judgment follows. The two sisters were destroyed. Those who walk the same way end up in the same place. Examine yourself, repent and return to your first love and escape God’s judgment.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Sin will shorten your lifespan.

 

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Jul 29

Getting It Right From The Root

The dynamics of erecting an enduring structure in ancient times required a start with what builders called an alignment stone for the foundation. The stone lay at an extreme corner to set the parameters for a strong base. This angle of the cornerstone was very precise, determining all of the subsequent lines and other angles of the building.

It became a standard for the bearing of the beams and walls in the construction of the whole work. In other words, the strength and durability of the building derived from the alignment stone known in modern times as the cornerstone.

That exactly is what God is teaching believers in today’s study: Jesus Christ is the First and Foremost component of the under-girding structure upon which everything else in the Church is aligned.

 

Whatever we teach in the church must line up with the doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ. We must have concern for the eternal welfare of a spiritually lost world, as well as for the development of God’s people to full and perfect growth.

“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20).

Jesus is the Cornerstone of the foundation of the Church, and those who would build upon that foundation must be diligent to keep their eyes on Him. That is the way to get it right in the Christian race, since “without me (Jesus Christ) ye can do nothing” (John 15:5).

 

This is the reason why the leaders of the early Church jealously guarded against distraction from the teaching of the sound word of God when there was discontent over food administration to the Gentile widows (Acts 6:1-7).

Studying and abiding faithfully with the doctrine of Jesus Christ should form the center-piece of all activities in the church. All else should be secondary; the same way every element of a building is secondary and dependent on the cornerstone of the structure. Only that way can the believer abide.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Stand on the Rock of Ages, and you won’t be rocked by the crisis of ages.

 

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Jul 28

Don’t Forget The Mirror

Imagine yourself standing before your mirror in the morning dressed to go out. As you looked at the mirror, you observed your hair is not combed, your clothes not well adjusted and everything just looked rough and disheveled.

What would you do?

  • Would you ignore what you saw in the mirror and feel it is not important?
  • Would you think it would be okay to go out all the same and manage that shameful look?
  • Do you think you would be able to carry on with an air of confidence all through the day if you went out the way you looked without making every necessary adjustment?

Certainly not. When you take a look at the mirror each day, it is not just for the fun of it. It is to ensure you are looking good enough and well suited for the day.

 

That is the same thing we do each time we look at the word of God. The word of God is the divine mirror that tells us exactly how we look. It reveals our true spiritual state to us and tells what we need to add on or put away in order to have a perfect day.

“For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was” (James 1:23,24).

In our text today JAMES 1:16-27, we are admonished to receive the word of God with meekness. As we read the Word, we are to adjust our lives by it. This is what it means to be doers of the word.

We cannot really tell our true spiritual state until we take a deep and sincere look at the Bible. While it is possible for some mirrors to give us a distorted impression of ourselves, the word of God shows us exactly how we look. There is no defect in God’s word.

 

More than showing us how we look, the word of God has the power to set our lives right if we allow it. This is why we must make it a daily practice to take a look at the mirror of the word of God before we set out each day. This gives us the confidence we need and guarantees our success in all that we do.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: You are not ready for the day without a look at God’s word.

 

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