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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Spread The Word
May 13

The Compassionate Touch

palmtreeA palm-wine tapper was witnessed to by a local pastor for years to no avail. He would not receive the gospel nor come to church. No, not even on the Lord’s Day.

 

He esteemed the gain from his infamous trade more highly than the souls of many promising young men now turned drunkards in the small village; no thanks to the cheap liquor that was his stock-in-trade. He fell off a tall palm-tree as he went up to collect the product one Sunday morning and came down with injury to his spine.

 

Doctors pronounced his case to be hopeless. In hospital, he sent for the village pastor whose preaching he had spurned these many years.

 

The pastor arrived immediately, prayed for him and rallied church members round him in an intense prayer meeting for his recovery.

 

Three days later, doctors said he got better. About six weeks later, he was ready to go home. Christ had touched his soul and healed his pain not minding his shameful past.

 

“And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean.” (Luke 5:12,13a).

 

 

The leper in our text above must have heard of the ministry of Jesus for he knew He had power to heal him. However, he was not sure Jesus would be willing to touch him, probably because of his putrefying sores.

 

He was ignorant of the intense love, mercy and compassion of Jesus. Being humbled by his hopeless situation, he pleaded and cried out to Jesus for help: “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.”

 

The response from Jesus is ever so reassuring – “I will”.

 

That is Christ’s same answer to us whenever we turn to Him for help in our distressed, helpless state. He will never turn away those who penitently come to Him though they be untouchable sinners or diseased fellows.

Jesus is a compassionate and loving God. When you are suffering, remember that He feels your pain with you.

 

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: The Lord’s love and compassion are without parallel.

 

 

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May 11

What Do You Know About God?

what-do-you-know-about-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 the scripture above 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, honoured 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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May 08

The Mystery Of True Wisdom

TrueWisdomBeginsAndEndsWithGod

Ordinarily, wisdom is defined as the ability to assess issues and situations correctly, following the best course of action on the basis of sound knowledge and understanding.

 

This is clearly different from the wisdom of the world, which seeks to measure all forms of wisdom merely on the basis of human knowledge, understanding and rationality.

 

“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7,8).

 

The biblical concept of wisdom is quite different from the standard view which seeks to subject its understanding of wisdom to philosophical and rational thought in explaining the deep mysteries of human existence. This has been described variously in the Scriptures as the wisdom of this world, human wisdom, the wisdom of men, the wisdom of this age and God’s wisdom.

 

In our text above, Paul the apostle, in proffering answers to the questions of the Corinthian church, made it abundantly clear that there is a world of difference between biblical wisdom and the wisdom of the world. The first principle of biblical wisdom is that people should humble themselves before God in total obedience and reverential worship; and accept the message of the Cross as real and final.

 

Non-Christians do not see the gospel as the power of God unto salvation. One’s decision to follow the Lord seems to them foolish and silly.

 

No one can comprehend God but believers are given the spirit to understand God’s plans. The world still clings to the wisdom of this age which eliminates God from the realm of man. The wisdom of God is a mystery. He has chosen both base and foolish things to confound the worldly wise.

 

As you read this, the only true option open to you is to stop rationalizing the message of salvation, accept Christ and follow Him all the way. This is the only true type of wisdom that humanity needs today.

 

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: True wisdom enables fallen man to reconcile with his creator

 

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May 03

When God Fights For You

whenGod

There is so much truth in the saying that “if God is all you have, then you have got all you need.” This is because if we allow God have full control of our lives, He will manifest His power in every area of our needs.

 

“And the LORD discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Bethhoron, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah” (Joshua 10:10).

 

Israel, on their way to the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua, encountered many hostile nations. But they prevailed against all. News of their incredible victories made kings to panic.

 

Indeed, Gibeon, a great city of mighty men, found it expedient to submit to the superior power of Israel even under tough terms.

Adonizedec king of Jerusalem feared Israel and was incensed with Gibeon for submitting and signing a pact with them. Panic-stricken, he arranged a confederacy with four neighboring kings against Gibeon. Gibeon handed the battle to Israel who routed the confederacy of five Amorite kingdoms.

 

Notice how the event was captured in verse 10: “And the LORD discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Bethhoron, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah.”

 

This string of victories did not come to Israel by dint of hard work or military might; God fought for them. As long as Israel was in good standing with Him, the Lord of hosts remained their Banner.

 

God still fights for His people. For those who through repentance and faith in Christ have submitted their lives to God, He is the Source of their victory. When God fights for you, no confederacy of demons or men can withstand you.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: A city set on a hill cannot be hid.

 

 

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Apr 30

Can Money Buy God?

Key Verse: “They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him” (Psalm 49:6,7).

money

 

Today’s text explains the ephemeral nature of riches, with a warning to those who pride themselves in it. The psalmist notes the attitude of some rich people who are not only unkind to the poor, but also exploit them.

 

The psalmist explains that none of the rich people could ever buy life and that it was only God who could stop anybody from dying. He cautions the poor against being agitated with what the rich use their money to do since they cannot use it to buy themselves longer lives from God.

 

Though wealth acquired genuinely is not a sin, yet the love of it is. The power of money casts a snare and makes men proud and pompous, igniting the assumption that a man could live without God.

 

Some rich people put their hope and trust in their money. This is a foolish thing to do because money can only buy pleasure, but not peace; it can buy men, but not God.

 

Whether rich or poor, wise or foolish, everybody must die, and whatever anybody has accumulated on earth will not be buried with him or her. Everything would be left behind, “for we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1 Timothy 6:7).

 

Only faith in God and His promises can sustain anyone till the end.

 

Believers need to be strongly admonished against the push and pull of money. Some believers get subsumed under the claptrap of money because of their loss of heavenly vision. They forget that they are mere pilgrims on earth.

 

Saints of God are to hold the things of this world loosely. The Scripture enjoins us to lay our treasures in heaven so that the heart is not bogged down by the pursuit of fleeting earthly treasures.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Do not clog the heart with transient gratifications.

 

 

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Apr 28

The Servanthood And The Apostleship Of Appointed Ministers

Servanthood-apostleship

Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ…” Paul the apostle introduced himself both as a servant and an apostle. Formerly a blasphemer, an injurious person, a persecutor and chief of sinners whose sole aim was to destroy the churches, he heard the voice of the Lord on his way to Damascus to persecute the church there and became converted.

 

His conversion was significant in the Kingdom because he laboured much among the Gentile nations and raised other ministers for the Lord.

 

Genuine conversion will lead to true commitment.

 

Paul’s uncompromising conviction, his untiring commitment to God and the glorious gospel was an undeniable evidence of his conversion. Called and commissioned to preach the gospel he once opposed, he laboured more abundantly than those who were apostles before him.

 

Paul introduced himself as “a servant of God”. The word “servant” means a bond slave.

As a highly educated Jewish scholar, he knew that a servant or bond slave was the most servile person who willingly submitted to the will and rule of his master.

Paul accepted the authority and leadership above him. Now, he was a willing servant unto God. This means that he had no life of his own; he had no will of his own; he had no plan of his own; he had no purpose of his own.

 

Every thought, plan, act or relationship was subject to and under the control of his Master.

True believers have been bought with a price and are bond slaves of God. Paul the apostle also described himself as “an apostle of Jesus Christ”.

An apostle is a special messenger sent by a master of greater, divine authority with a specific message that can neither be changed nor modified.

The message or service appointed by the king was always greater than the life, security and convenience of his servants.

The apostles were aware of the compelling authority of the message entrusted to them to deliver to the world and to the Church.

Necessity was laid upon them to be committed and faithful to God even when they were hated and persecuted by the world.

 

Paul’s commitment and submission to the Lord was absolute, not gradual. Our commitment, devotion and dedication to the Lord must also be absolute.

Titus 1:1; 1 Corinthians 6:19,20; Exodus 21:2-6; Galatians 6:14-17; Romans 1:1; Galatians 1:1,10.