Sep 02

God’s Immense Love

A teenager, Arthur Hinkley, was said to have lifted a 3,000- pound tractor with his bare hands, when a friend of his, Lloyd Bachelder, 18, was pinned under it on a farm near Rome, Maine. Hinkley was not a weight lifter, but because of the love he had for his friend, he could, somehow, lift the tractor well enough for Bachelder to wriggle out.

God, because of the love He had for the Israelites, delivered them from the evil devised against them by their enemies.

In PSALM 75:1-10, which was clearly expressed in symbolism, was a deep appreciation for what He did for His people. Their enemies had fought against many nations near Judah and won, but when they came against Jerusalem, the capital city of Judah, God fought for His people and the enemies lost the battle; God kept the temple and His people that lived near it safe.

In a moment of ecstasy, the psalmist used symbolic expression to appreciate God’s wonderful help. The victory was an indication that God was still with them. The psalmist recounted that when the enemies came against Judah, the Israelites felt as if “the earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved.”

This, figuratively, indicated that they were terribly afraid. But God assured that even if it was an earthquake, He could stop the ground from moving because He could “bear up the pillars of it.” This symbolic expression equally showed that even in a war, God can stop the fighting.

The psalmist further disclosed that their enemies could not use their horns, which symbolized power, because God cut them off, while the righteous became stronger and powerful. God has placed high premium on believers. Love motivated Him to do it. He sent His only precious Son to the cross so that our sins could be forgiven.

As you acknowledge Him in total repentance of sin and accept Jesus as Lord and personal Savior, God will make you the apple of His eyes and fight for you in every battle of life.

Thought for the day: God is the Defence City of the righteous

 

Prayer: “All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted” (Psalm 75:10).

 

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Aug 27

Giant Rants Of A Bully

There is wisdom in William Scott Downey’s observation: “The dog who barks the loudest is not always the best watcher; neither are braggadocios the most valiant.”

 

This truth notwithstanding, it is customary for people to brag about their strength before any contest. Sports men and women do it in their pre-game speeches. Nations preparing for war spend a lot of money on propaganda.

The chief aim of all these is to intimidate and weaken their opponents while boosting their self-image. However, many times, it backfires or ends up as empty rants.

Israel and Philistine pitched camps against each other in what was going to be a decisive battle. Goliath, the champion of the Philistine army stepped forward and did a pre-battle speech that had a crippling effect on the army of Israel and Saul.

With bravado, he treated the army of Israel with contempt and demanded for a soldier from them who could dare fight him one-on-one to decide the battle. What else could anyone expect from an egotistic 11 feet 4 inches tall and heavily-built giant reputed for war mastery and armed with deadly weapons?

 

We have an enemy that employs similar bullying tactics. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The devil’s aim is to intimidate by barking, and if anyone in the army of the Lord gets terrified, he springs on him to ruin him. His first weapon is fear.

“And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together” (1 Samuel 17:10).

 

Are you hearing threatening or bragging from Satan’s camp? Are you worried about the roaring of the restless lion? If the Lion of the tribe of Judah lives in you, you will heed neither the giant rants nor intimidating looks of the enemy. Firm up your grip on Christ, fight and resist Satan.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: When Satan sends you an arrow of fear, respond with a shield of faith.

 

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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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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 26

The Guide We Need

In today’s world, many people parade themselves as role models. Among those who call themselves role models are divorcees, polygamists, men and women who cannot organize their homes.

The definition of ‘role model’ appears misconceived nowadays that many of those who make the list are bereft of morals. The idea of role models in our society is that a man/woman can sing, dance or act in movies etc. What do the world celebrate other than vain things?

But the word of God is a sure guide; it ever remains the same no matter the changes in values and in society. The word of God does not change to accommodate the excesses of a highly placed person in society. And those who desire to walk in the old path must see a dependable ally in the law of God.

 

From the passage before us today Psalm 119:105-112, we discover that to walk safely in the thick forest at night, we need a light to avoid stumbling over the roots or falling into holes.

In this life, we walk through a dark forest of evil. But the Bible can be our light to show us the way ahead so we won’t stumble as we walk. It reveals the entangling roots of false values and philosophies.

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).

Three simple habits – reading the scriptures, spending time in prayers and sharing with others – are basic to the Christian life. Through the scriptures, Life speaks to life. And because God has inspired the writing of His word, when we read it, God speaks to us through the Word.

 

Yet, reading the word of God is not enough; it is more important to obey the word of God because it is in doing that that we grow. The prayer we must always offer is for God to give us the mind to understand His word, the heart to believe and the willingness to obey.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: It is impossible to stumble while following the law.

 

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Jul 21

Stand On The Rock Of Ages

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 undergirding 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 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 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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Jul 02

Christ Supplies All Needs

A global increase in population, especially in developing nations with rising prices of goods, is a serious threat to survival. Severe drought in numerous nations of Africa has made many families to go hungry or at least compromised their diets. In the midst of hunger and scarcity, God has always provided for those who trust in His ability to change difficult situations and provide their needs.

 

“So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets” (Mark 8:8).

MARK 8:5-9 focuses on the compassionate nature of Christ to always find enduring solution to the plight of those who come to Him. The preceding chapter captures different categories of people with diverse ailments and challenges who were healed and delivered.

They were astonished beyond measure, “saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak” (Mark 7:37). Christ provided food for the hungry and fainting people, to support them and to sustain the spiritual blessings they had received.

Sometimes, we ignore the physical needs of others in pursuit of the spiritual alone. Yet, the two are necessary. Although the multitude did not complain or tell Jesus of their hunger, He nevertheless, recognized the need and supplied food. Sometimes, we are too slow to recognize people’s needs, and even when we do, nothing is done about it.

 

Are there hungry people in your local church? You may not be able to heal the sick but you can provide something for somebody in your local assembly. Identify a needy person today, and allow the compassion of God to move you to meet their needs and lighten their burden. On that score, you will be a true follower of Christ.

 

God cares for every minute detail of our lives. He is not too busy with important matters alone; He is also interested in every minor or major areas of our lives.

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you“ (1 Peter 5:17).

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Christ will supply all your needs, if you trust Him.

 

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