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RESET YOUR LIFE FOCUS.  25/07/2024


Our Lord Jesus once said this to His disciples: “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work.” (Cf. John 4:34) On another occasion He also said to them: “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” (John 9:4NIV) 


Why did our Lord speak like this? First, it was because He knew that God had given Him a ministry to carry out here on earth. Second, it was because He had a sense of responsibility. And this was driving Him to take the ministry God had given to Him seriously. Third, it was because He knew that He did not have forever to do the job God had given Him. So, if He did not give His ministry the attention it deserved, He would not complete it by the time His time here on earth was up.


In like manner, each of us too has received a ministry from the Lord. Each of us has a job or a set of jobs that God has assigned him to do for Him and His kingdom here on earth. That is what the bible tells us. It is on us, then, to know what the ministry we have received from Him is and to begin to carry it out diligently and with the intent of finishing it on time. And Paul, speaking along this line to the Ephesian-elders, says this about himself: “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me — the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.” (Acts 20:24NIV)


Can you see that Paul’s focus in life was not at all different from our Lord Jesus’ focus in life? His focus too was to do the will of God with his life and to finish His work. And would that be convenient for him? He did not expect it to be convenient. In fact, he said that the Holy Spirit had already warned him not to expect this to be convenient for him (Acts 20:22-23). However, whether it was convenient or not, he was determined to please God with his life in all ways and to diligently complete the task He had given to him. Why? It was because he knew that the one who called him and set him apart for Himself would always be with him and ensure that he succeeded. 


Now if we too would function with the mindset that both our Lord Jesus and Paul had about living for God and doing His work, then, we will never fail God, regardless of how hard or inconvenient things may be for us. But is this the mindset with which we are operating in life? Are we functioning with an abiding consciousness that our lives must be lived to please God and to do the work He has given us, whatever this work may be and whatever the circumstances of our lives may be?


If we are not functioning with this consciousness, then, we are simply wasting our lives. No, it may not look like we are wasting our lives, especially if we are being praised by men for our accomplishments in different areas of life. But a time is coming when, as Jonah eventually did, we will realise that all our race outside the will of God can only end in the belly of a big fish, in a place of utter darkness, where there is no gain, where there is no reward. And that is when we will know that all that we have done has been for nothing. 


My prayer is that your race and toil here on earth will not eventually amount to nothing, in Jesus’ name. But you too must reset your focus, if it has not been on doing the will of God and finishing the task He has given you.




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HIDDEN DEATH.   24/07/2024


My prayer for you today is that God, in His mercy, will continually keep you and all that is yours safe from every hidden trap of the devil. Amen.


As bible accounts go, twice the king of Israel, Saul, talked to David about marrying his daughter. The first time it was Merab, his older daughter, that he presented to him. But the young man declined. He told him that his people were not rich and influential enough to become the king’s in-laws. So, Saul dropped the idea and gave his daughter to someone else. (Cf. 1Sam 18:17-19)


Then, sometimes later, Saul was told that his younger daughter, Michal, was in love with David. So, he immediately told his men to talk to David again that he had another opportunity to be his in-law and that all he needed was to bring him a hundred foreskins of the Philistines. That means David would have to first kill a hundred Philistines before he could get their foreskins. (Cf. 1Sam 18:20-25)


But why was Saul bent on giving his daughters in marriage to David? Was he the only man around that was qualified to marry his daughters? No! Or was it because he was really pleased with David and wanted him to be a member of his family by all means? No! The bible is clear about the fact that he was jealous of David’s military success and popularity among the people. So, it was not because he was really delighted to have him as his in-law that he wanted him to marry one of his daughters; rather it was because he wanted was to use the marriage thing as a trap to get him killed. And if God had not been with him, he would have been dead while trying to become the king’s son-in-law. (Cf. 1Sam 18:29-27)


What is the point of this? It is that there are times that certain people’s so-called favour to us or request from us may just be death, destruction or disgrace pills coated with sugar. And if God does not open our eyes to see what they are up to and also show us the way of escape, we can end up becoming victims of their evil schemes. So, we must never think we will be safe because we are always good to those around us, because our ways are pure before God or because we are always careful in the way we relate to others. Instead, we should continually commit ourselves to God for safekeeping. That is because if He does not keep us safe, we will not be safe, regardless of how sensitive we are or what things we are doing to stay safe (Ps 127:1). 


Remember Uriah, one of David’s warriors. Remember that he was the one that bore the letter of his death sentence. Yet he did not know anything until he perished. And how could he have known that the king he trusted with his life and was ready to die for any day and any time had hidden his death sentence in the letter he gave to him? Or how could he have known that all the kindness and favour the king was showing him during his last hours on earth were just a way to trick him to accept a bastard as his son? He could not have known these things unless they were revealed to him. So, he perished because he had no revelation that could prepare him and lead him to escape from what was coming for him. (Cf. 2Sam 11)


That is telling us that good, upright and faithful people can become victims of the wickedness of even those that they trust, if God does not show them mercy and protect them. So, again, I am saying that you should learn to always entrust yourself and all that is yours to God for safekeeping instead of counting on your goodness or smartness. And my prayer is that He, in the fullness of His mercy, will always reveal to you every hidden snare of the enemy and also keep your feet from being caught by it. Amen.


Have a great day.



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  ALLOW GOD’S TRUTH TO ABIDE IN YOU 23/07/2024


Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Rev 4:11KJV) 


Look at that. Everything that exists today was created by God and was created for His pleasure. That means there was not one thing that God created to bring Him pains or regrets; everything He created, He created to bring Him pleasure and delight.


Do you know that even Satan was originally created to bring God pleasure and delight? Concerning Him, the bible says, “…You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you.” (Ezek 28:12-15NIV)


Can you just imagine that? Satan, before evil was detected in him, was a delight to the heart of God. He was created to be a demonstration of the wisdom, majesty and magnificence of God. And isn't that what most wise manufacturers do? They don't only manufacture products to meet certain needs of life; they also manufacture them to demonstrate their intelligence and taste for beauty, elegance and excellence. And that is why they are usually willing to go to any length to prevent others from pirating or adulterating their products.


So God also created Satan, like every other thing He created, to show forth the unsearchable riches of His wisdom, might and dominion. Unfortunately, wickedness was found in him and, instead for him to continue to be a delight to God's heart, he became an object of utter ruin and destruction and was set apart for an eternity of suffering and torture, an eternity away from the presence of God. (Cf. Matt 25:41, Rev 20:10)


But as we already saw from the Scriptures, it was never God's original intention for Satan to end up the way he has now ended up. It was his rejection of God's truth that brought this fate upon him. Remember that our Lord Jesus said this about him: “…He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him…” (John 8:44NIV) Can you see that? Satan would not hold to the truth of God's word. And because he would not hold to the truth, wickedness took over his being, and he was set apart for destruction.


Now do you know that was exactly the same thing that happened to Adam, the first man, in the Garden of Eden? He also was created to bring delight and pleasure to the heart of God. And even though Satan was said to be the model of perfection at his creation, Adam was far better than that. Adam was created to be the visible representation of everything God is, for he was made in the image and likeness of God. (Cf. Gen 1:26-27)


But, like Satan, Adam also, at some point, rejected the truth of God. And because of that, wickedness took over his own being too, and he stopped being fruitful and productive. I mean that he stopped fulfilling God's purpose for creating him, which was to bring joy and delight to His heart. Instead, he started bringing pains and regrets to His heart and so became a partaker of Satan’s fate. (Cf. Gen 6:5-6, 1Sam 15:10-11, Matt 25:41) 


We thank God, however, that He provided a way to restore man in Christ Jesus. So man, in Christ Jesus, is now able to fulfil again God's original purpose for bringing him forth; in Christ Jesus man is now able to bring forth fruit that will delight God's heart.


In any case, the point of all this is that, for anyone to be fruitful and productive in this life, for anyone to fulfil God's original intention for bringing him forth, He must allow the truth of God's word to abide in His heart. Truly, the Lord Jesus Christ has said to us, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” (John 15:4NIV) But how do you remain or abide in Him, for your fruitfulness and productiveness? It is by allowing His words to abide in you. That is exactly how John puts it in his first epistle. He says, “Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.” (1John 2:24NKJV)


So, as you continue your journey through this year, let the words of Christ abide in you richly and permanently, and you will be amazed at how fruitful and productive your life will be in the year. God bless you.


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CHRIST OUR WISDOM 22/07/2024

“…God, who is the Creator of all things, kept his secret hidden through all the past ages, in order that at the present time, by means of the church, the angelic rulers and powers in the heavenly world might learn of his wisdom in all its different forms.” (Eph 3:9-10GNT) 


Think about that. God, right now and not later, wants the angelic rulers and powers in the heavenly world to learn His manifold wisdom through the church. In other words, He wants to manifest His wisdom through you and me because of our faith in His Son Jesus Christ. What a marvellous thing! 


See, we may have started out in life as ordinary, ignorant and unimpressive people. And many indeed started out like that. But it really does not matter to God. As long as we are in Christ Jesus, our social, cultural, political or academic background does not matter; what matters is a new creation. And since we are new creations in Christ, God’s intention is to teach the world and all the powers that are operating in it His wisdom through us. This is what He recreated us for. Therefore, the thoughts we think, the words we say, the decisions we make and the things we do ought to daily and always communicate the wisdom of God to men, angels and demons alike.


Look, for example, at the apostles of old. Everywhere they went, they shocked rich, powerful and influential people by their words and acts of wisdom, even though many of them were unschooled and ordinary men. And why were they able to function like that? It was because of their relationship with the Lord Jesus. He was the wisdom by which they were living, functioning and handling life. (Cf. Acts 4:13; Acts 13:4-11; Acts 25&26)


In like manner, Jesus Christ is our wisdom too. The bible says, “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God — that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.” (1Cor 1:30NIV) Because of who are we in Christ Jesus? It is because of God. He, not any man or woman, is the reason we are new creations in Christ Jesus today. And it is He who has made Jesus Christ our wisdom. So, as far as we are concerned, our own wisdom is a living person, not a mere sense of good judgment. Our wisdom is Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:2-3).


Now since our wisdom is a person, how do we see it manifest in us? Is it by daily confessing that He is our wisdom or how? While it is okay to confess and affirm that Jesus is our wisdom, His wisdom won’t find expression in us because of that. He is already our wisdom. Confessing Him, therefore, as our wisdom will not make Him any more our wisdom or make His wisdom find expression in us. What will make the wisdom that He represents find expression in us is our learning from Him, so that we make His ways our ways and His thoughts our thoughts. The more we do this the more His wisdom finds expression in us. And the more His wisdom finds expression in us, the more God’s purpose of teaching men and the rulers and powers in the heavenly realms His wisdom through us is fulfilled.


The question, then, is, “Do we want this purpose of God to be fulfilled in us and through us?” I am asking if we want those of this world and all the angelic beings that be to learn through us that God’s ways are the only true ways to make sense out of life. If we do, then, we must take more seriously our devotion to learning from our Lord Jesus in order that we may know Him better, for the better we know Him the better the expression of His wisdom through us gets (Phil 3:10). And my prayer is that, as you face this new day, you will realise that this is God’s expectation on your life and that you are in a position to fulfil it.  

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FINDING REST 21/07/2024


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28NIV) 


This is a free invitation to everyone who is troubled and is bearing loads of life that are crushing him. The Lord says to him, “Come to me, and I will give you rest.” If He did not have what it takes to give us rest, He would not say, “Come to me, and I will give you rest.” It is because He has what it takes to deliver rest to us from all the things that are troubling us and making us tired of life that He tells us to come to Him for rest.


So, you don’t have to allow any problem of life to destroy you or drive you mad. You don’t have to allow any situation to take charge of your life and turn you into a beast or a slave. All you need is to come to Jesus for rest, and He will give it to you. I mean that the Lord will give you rest right here on earth. Yes, the rest He intends to give to us is beyond something that we enjoy only in this world. Rather, His intention is to give us eternal and permanent rest from every problem of life. 


However, while the earth and all the problems that are associated with staying in it still remain, the Lord wants us to have rest in it. And He has been giving those who come to Him rest in it. For instance, we are told this about King David: “After the king was settled in his palace and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around him, he said…” (2Sam 7:1-2NIV) Look at that. The Lord gave David rest from all his enemies around him. So, he settled down in his palace to enjoy his life and kingship. But that did not happen overnight. I mean that he did not come to this place of rest overnight. Only God Himself knows what number of miracles He had to perform in order to bring him there.


As we are told in the bible, this man was ordained to be king at a very tender age, when he was but a boy (1Sam 16:1-13). But did he ascend the throne the day after his ordination by God? No! Instead, even though he was a man after God’s own heart, he went through what many today would call ‘hell’ before he got there. He was persecuted, hunted, robbed, slandered and even betrayed on his way to the throne. And even after becoming king, troubles, wars and betrayals did not vanish from him overnight. They kept on coming for him. But because, in all these things, he set the Lord continually before himself and lived according to His word, he was preserved (Ps 16:8). Then there came a time in which even those around him could say, “The Lord has given this man rest from all his enemies around him.”


Now the same God that gave David rest from all his enemies around him is the one we are dealing with. Yes, He is the one that says to us, “Come to me, and I will give you rest.” And if you have come to Him, then, rest is already available for you to enjoy. But someone may say, “I have come to Him. Yet I am not enjoying any measure of rest in my life. My life is still full of troubles that are weighing me down and seeking to utterly destroy me. What, then, is the problem?” Well, the problem is that you have not learnt how to take His rest and make it yours.


See, the Lord does not just say, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” He also says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt 11:29-30NIV) Did you see that? The only way to find the rest that God has given is to walk with Him and learn to do things His own way. Even though you have come to Him, as long as you are trying to solve your life’s problems in your own way, you will never find the rest He gives. 


But the moment you quit using your methods and schemes and start listening to Him and acting on His instructions, you will start finding His rest in your life. Yes, He may have to daily perform a million miracles for you to experience His rest. But what does it matter? He will do whatever He has to do to make sure that someday you are able to look around and say, “Blessed be God, who has given me rest on every side from all that seeks to destroy me.”


Have a lovely day.

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DON’T GIVE HIS PLACE TO ANYTHING   20/07/2024


“He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.)” (2Kings 18:4NIV


We have in the book of Numbers the account of how God sent venomous snakes among the Israelites because of their ingratitude and grumbling. And when they cried out to Him for forgiveness and mercy, He listened to them and told Moses what to do for their salvation. (Cf. Num 21:4-


What, then, was Moses to do for the salvation of these people? He was to make a bronze snake and put it on a pole for all of them to see. Then anyone that was bitten by a snake only needed to look at this bronze snake in order to live. And it was so. All those who were bitten by snakes and who looked up to the bronze snake lived and did not die – the venoms of those dangerous snakes had no power over the


Now what was in that lifeless bronze snake that made it effective in keeping alive any of the Israelites that was bitten by a live poisonous snake? What power was it carrying? The answer is ‘None’. There was nothing powerful about it or in it. It was just what it was – a lifeless bronze snak


Why then did it work in saving the people? The truth is that it wasn’t that bronze snake that saved those Israelites. Rather, it was God that saved them. Remember that it was He that told Moses to make the bronze snake and put it on a pole for the people to look at. And He could have asked him to put up something else or to do something totally different for their salvation, and it would have worked as well. Therefore, their salvation did not come from the bronze snake but from Him and through their obedience to His instructio


Unfortunately, they and their descendants after them did not see things that way. They thought it was that snake that saved them from death in the wilderness. So, somehow, years after Moses had left them, they idolised it and set it up in a high place as a god to worship. And they continued to worship it until Hezekiah became king and totally destroyed it and ended its worship, as we are shown in our opening bible tex


Now try to imagine the kinds of suffering those people must have experienced from God’s hand, year after year, for worshipping that bronze snake in place of Him. Yes, He was the one that gave it to them. But it was merely an instrument that He used to get their attention at the time and make them trust Him for their salvation. So, it was never meant to be kept as an object of worship. But they turned it into another god for themselves and became idolaters and sinners


In like manner, there are many today that have idolised certain people, things or processes that God used at some point for their salvation, healing or exaltation. So, anytime they have any problem or challenge, they look up to these things for help instead of looking up to God. They may have been doing this thoughtlessly. But it does not change the fact that they have become nothing but idolater


Now, as it is made very clear to us in Scriptures, God has zero tolerance for idolatry. He always judges it in very ruthless ways. That is why we are commanded by Him to flee from idolatry (1Cor 10:14; 1John 5:21). So, if you have anyone or anything that you have idolised in your life, perhaps because God once used it for your healing, deliverance or promotion, you need to redefine your relationship with it and smash whatever altar you have erected for it in your heart


See, people are people, not God. And things are things, not God. Yes, God may have used them in the past for your good. But He could as well have used other people or things or even nothing at all. So, don’t exalt them to His place in your life and arouse His jealousy. Don’t turn them into the solution to every problem you have or encounter. God alone holds the solution to all your problems and challenges. And if you give His place to another in your life, utter disgrace and destruction are the only things you can hope fo


Then be careful not to allow anyone to use you or anything from you to replace God in their lives. And if this is already happening, you need to stop it right away before you ensnare yourself. That is because God will never share His place as God with anyone or anything. And scriptures are very clear about this. So, watch yoursel


f.r.. s.. t.n.e.m.9)) So, watch yourself.



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PRAY AND WORK FOR PEACE AND NOT FOR BLOODSHED   19/07/2024


“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you prosper. May there be peace inside your walls and prosperity in your palaces.”” (Ps 122:6-7GW)


The above text is taken from a prayer of King David for the city of Jerusalem, which happened to be God's chosen capital city for the nation of Israel at that time. Now his reason for offering this prayer is that there may be peace and prosperity within this city. That means the prayer of this king, here, is not against enemies that may want to take over the city of Jerusalem. Rather, his prayer is against internal dissensions that may lead to open conflicts and upset the peace and prosperity of the land.  


Now we too need to learn to offer such prayers for our country, especially at a time like this when so many things have fallen apart. What I am saying is that instead of saying or doing things that could result in any form of civil or religious war, our focus should be on working and praying to see that peace reigns absolutely in our land. And that, to say the fact, is actually what God expects from us. He expects us to be committed to working and praying for the peace of the land in which He has settled us.


Look at what He said to His people, Judah, after they had been taken away to another land as slaves. He said, “Work for the good of the city where I've taken you as captives, and pray to the LORD for that city. When it prospers, you also will prosper.” (Jer 29:7GW) Can you see that? God would not allow His people to do anything that would jeopardise the welfare or prosperity of the land they had been taken away to as captives. Instead, He wanted them to labour and pray for the good and prosperity of that country. In fact, He went on to warn them not to listen to any preacher or prophet that may want to counsel them to act differently (Jer 29:8-9). And why did God say such things to them? It was because that was the only way He could get them to prosper—their prosperity was tied to the prosperity of the nation they had been taken to.


Now if God wanted His people, who were captives and slaves in a strange land, to work and pray for the good of that land, do you think He would expect anything less from us, seeing that we are in our own land? No, He would not. Rather, He would want us to pray more for our land and work harder for its prosperity. 


It is, however, unfortunate that, in recent times, instead of praying and working for the peace and prosperity of our land, many of us, including Christians, have been saying and doing things that are capable of totally destroying our nation. We have been crying and calling for war and bloodshed. And I am yet to understand what we seek to gain by doing so. 


Is it that we are so foolish that we now think that any kind of war or a revolution of bloodshed will bring this country to our desired haven? Or are we saying that we don't know that wars don't build nations but tear them apart? 


Granted, we may be hearing and witnessing all kinds of things that don't promote our common welfare or peace. Nevertheless, the instruction we, as God's people, have received from Him is to work and pray for the peace of our land. To act differently is to act in disobedience to Him. And there is no way we can act in disobedience to God and not regret it. 


So, beloved, even if others around you are bent on having a war, any kind of war that may ruin this nation, you must be more determined to work and pray to see that peace and prosperity reign in it. And let me assure you of this: the weapons we have in God are more powerful than guns, grenades, fighter jets, swords and so on; the weapons we have are mighty through God to pull down every stronghold of confusion, bitterness, class hatred, ethnic hatred and so forth. Let us, then, take up these weapons and begin to use them in building our nation, and victory will surely be ours. 



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THE SPIRIT HELPS IN OUR WEAKNESSES   18/07/2024


“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Rom 8:26-27NKJV) 


What is Paul saying here to us about the Holy Spirit and prayer? First, he tells us that we have a weakness, which is that we do not know what we should pray for as we ought to know. So, it is not that we don't know what to pray for at all. We do know a number of things that we should be praying to God about. But there are yet many things that we don't know we should be praying about or that we don't know what to say to God about.


Personally, I fully identify with what Paul is saying here. I know what it means to want to pray and not to know exactly what to pray about. And even when I know what to pray about, a lot of times, I may not know the exact things to ask of God concerning what I am praying about. So, I find myself stuttering and trying to find the exact words to phrase my petitions or requests. And that is the weakness that Paul is referring to. 


Thankfully, however, as Paul also points out, the Holy Spirit is there to help us in dealing with this weakness. How then does He do that? According to him, the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us with groans that words cannot express. That means, even when we are short of words in prayer, even when all we can do when praying is groan or yearn, the Holy Spirit is able to communicate those deep and unvoiced yearnings of our hearts to God in accordance with His will.   


But then, it is good to note here that Paul does not say anything about speaking or praying or singing in tongues. Instead, he speaks of groanings; he speaks of yearnings. And those are deep and inarticulate cries of an aching heart. How some people then have been able to take them as 'speaking in tongues' is what I still don't understand. I know what it means to groan when praying. I know what it means to pray with a heart that is so heavy that all you can do is to just let out some deep sighs once in a while. And since I also pray in tongues for the most part of my prayer time, I can tell there is a big difference between groaning when praying and praying in tongues. Yes, I agree that it is possible for one to also groan when praying in tongues, but groaning is still not the same thing as praying in tongues.   


Furthermore, even though it is true that our Lord Jesus says that among the signs that will accompany those who believe in Him is that they will speak in other tongues, the bible is clear about the fact that it is not every believer that speaks in tongues. For example, Paul, while teaching the Corinthian church about the gifts of the Spirit in a letter, asks the following questions: “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the greater gifts.” (1Cor 12:29-31NIV)


Now you know that those are very valid questions, which should not be difficult for us to answer. What I am saying is that we all know that it is not every Christian that is an apostle or a prophet or a teacher of the word of God. We also know that it is not every Christian that is a miracle worker or that has the gifts of healing or that can interpret tongues. And since this is the case, it should not be difficult for us at all to agree that it is not every believer that has been given the gift of tongues. 


It is, therefore, totally wrong to make any believer feel less spiritual than we are because he does not speak in tongues or because he does not possess certain spiritual gifts that we possess. It is equally wrong to give a believer the impression that until he begins to pray in tongues he cannot get certain results in prayers or be built up to be a great believer. That, to say the truth, is one of the reasons there are many preachers that are taking all kinds of ungodly approaches to make people speak in tongues.


Well, the point I am making is that the Holy Spirit is always there to help in our prayer weaknesses. So, even when you feel too weak to pray or when you are so troubled in your heart that you don’t know what to say to God in prayer, still be encouraged to pray. That is because the Spirit of God will take charge and intercede for you with those deep sighs and groanings of yours in accordance with the will of God. And that, of course, will be followed with great testimonies.



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DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING   17/07/2024



“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7NIV)

Being anxious or worried when confronted with any problem of life is never the solution to experiencing victory and peace over it. But that is usually what many, including believers, do when they are in any kind of trouble, real or apparent. They keep thinking over and over again about what the trouble they are in or that they think they may be in will ultimately do to them and how they may never escape from its claws. And the more they think about it the more they are gripped with fear, fear that may eventually drive them to take foolish and destructive steps.

In any case, Paul says we are not to worry about anything. That, however, is not to say that we are to fold our arms and allow the troubles that have come to us to destroy us. That is not what the apostle is instructing us to do. While we are not to worry about any problem or trouble we may be faced with, for worrying will not in any way solve it but compound it, we are expected to do something about it. What, then, are we to do about it? One main thing we must do about it, according to Paul, is pray.

Again, his words are, “In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” In other words, we are to tell God what we want Him to do for us about the matter at hand. Is that to say God will act exactly the way we want Him to act? No! God does not have to solve any problem the way we have figured it out. Otherwise, He would not be God.

Unfortunately, many often expect that when they present a matter to God in prayer, He has to handle it according to their own reasoning or what their understanding can handle. And when they do not see Him make the kinds of moves they think He should be making or take the kinds of steps they expect Him to be taking, they conclude that He is not doing anything concerning their matter and turn elsewhere for help.

But the bible says this to us about God: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Eph 3:20-21NIV) Look at that. God is not in our class in reasoning or in handling things at all. So, whenever He acts on our behalf, it will always be beyond what we have asked for or can figure out.

Nevertheless, we need to ask and to keep asking Him to move on our behalf. And every trouble that comes to us is presenting us another opportunity to ask Him to move on our behalf. Then, as we do this with a heart of thanksgiving, says Paul, the peace of God, which transcends all human understanding, will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. Think about that. When we talk to God about the issues of our lives, whatever they may be, He releases His peace into our lives first. We may not see any change in our circumstances immediately. But we will have His peace in us, guarding and protecting our hearts and our minds against every evil thought of the devil that may want to fill us with fear or drive us to act against the will of God.

All of this is why it is important that we give ourselves to praying, not just when we are in trouble but at all times. That is because the more we pray, the more God's peace takes charge of our lives. This explains why people who truly pray to God hardly give up on life, commit suicide, run away from home or their responsibilities or become dejected in life. They may not see what God is doing about the problems they are faced with. But there is peace in their hearts, a kind of peace that comes with knowing that God, whom they have prayed to, will not fail them but make all things work together for their good. 


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TAKE CHURCH MEETINGS SERIOUSLY 16/07/2024


Our Lord Jesus once spoke about the feast of the kingdom of God, illustrating it with the story of a king that sent his servant to invite certain people for a feast he was going to have. And when everything was ready, he sent that servant to go and bring in those that have been invited. But they all began to make excuses and would not come. So, he had to send the servant to go and get all kinds of people from wherever he could get them to come and partake in that feast. And this story was told to tell us the attitude of the Jews to the kingdom of God and how this paved way for those of us who are Gentiles to be partakers of this kingdom. (Cf. Luke 14:15-24)


Now what form this feast is going to take in the kingdom of God is not what we can say. But the church meetings we are holding now in the world are symbolic of what we will be experiencing then in God’s eternal kingdom. Every one of us will have his place in that feast. That is why we must take the various places God has given us in His kingdom very seriously. This is why you must not take church meetings lightly. 


See, the Lord expects you to be in these meetings, your own assembly’s meetings. As we see in Scriptures, there was a time He healed ten lepers, who had come begging Him to heal them. He told them to go and show themselves the priests. And on their way to seeing the priest, they realised that they had been cleansed of their leprosy. So, they got so excited that they ran off to go and show themselves to the priests. But one of them, who was a Samaritan, came back to the Lord to give thanks. Why did he not go and show himself to the priests immediately? It may be that, as a Samaritan, there was no priest for him to meet and show himself to. And even if there were priests for him to show himself to, he felt it was only proper for him to first come and give thanks to the one that had healed him. (Cf. Luke 17:11-19)


Well, this man came back to thank the Lord. And from the way the Lord responded, it is clear that He was expecting all of them to come back to give thanks for their healing. But they all did not come. It was only that Samaritan that came back. And it was only he that the Lord ministered to more. He received more. He received something better than what the other nine people had received because he came to give thanks to the Lord.


In like manner, the Lord is expecting us to come to our church meetings not just for Him to minister to us but for us also to minister to Him and to minister to one another. He expects us to come and give thanks to Him for what He has done for us. He expects to come and pray. He expects us to come and learn. And if you are not where He wants you to be at the time He wants you to be there, you are wasting your time and energy wherever you are. Whatever you are doing that is not consistent with what God wants you to be doing is a waste.


Remember there was a time, according to bible accounts, that Jonathan wanted to find out whether his father truly wanted to kill David or not. And how he did he find out? It was through what happened in a feast of the king with his officials. When the feast began, the king observed that David was not in his own place like all the other officials. And the king was concerned, even as a natural man, that one of his officers was not in his place at his feast. So, he asked his son, “Where is the son of Jesse? Why is he not here?” Jonathan, of course, gave his excuses for David. But the king was furious because of the whole thing. (Cf. 1Samuel 20)


Now King Saul was mad on that occasion because of his jealousy. But the point is that there are times that natural men take meetings seriously. If, for example, you are working in an office and a meeting is being held in the interest of that organisation, but you will not show up there, it is only a matter of time before you start having issues with that organisation. Even if it is a social group that you belong to, and you will not take the meetings of the group seriously, you too will not be taken seriously.


In like manner, if you are not taking church meetings seriously in your assembly and others, as a result of this, will not take you seriously in certain ways, you are partly to blame. I am not saying that it is alright for other brethren in your church to ignore you. But my point is that if you will not take church meetings seriously, there is a level of attention or commitment that you too cannot enjoy from the people of God with whom you are in fellowship. So, cultivate the right attitude towards your church meetings. And may the Lord strengthen you to do this, in Jesus’ name. Amen.





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STOP HELPING THE WICKED  15/07/2024


“When Jehoshaphat king of Judah returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem, Jehu the seer, the son of Hanani, went out to meet him and said to the king, "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Because of this, the wrath of the LORD is upon you. There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God."” (2Chron 19:1-3NIV)


Why was King Jehoshaphat confronted by Jehu the seer with such strong words, as we see in the above text? It was because he had gone into battle to support that wicked King of Israel, Ahab. And he did that against God’s instruction. God had revealed through Prophet Micaiah that Israel would lose and that Ahab their king would die, should they go to war against Ramoth Gilead. But Ahab did not believe the words of the man of God because he was confident in his ability. Jehoshaphat, however, being a godly man, knew that Micaiah had spoken the mind of God. Yet, in order not to appear weak before Ahab and his officials, he ignored the Lord’s warning and went into battle in support of his friend, Ahab. And if the Lord had not been merciful to him, he would have perished for his foolishness and disobedience in that battle. (Cf. 2Chro 18)


At any rate, when this man came back safely to his own kingdom, God sent a prophet to let him know that He was clearly against him for going to help Ahab and that His wrath was already upon him. But why? It was because Ahab was an idolatrous and wicked king. So, in the eyes of God, to support him meant nothing other than to support idolatry and wickedness. And that could have cost Jehoshaphat his life.


Now what are we to learn from this? It is simply that God does not want His righteous people helping the wicked in promoting their wickedness. And don’t miss my point here. I am not saying that God does not want righteous people to help unrighteous people or do good to them at all. He wants us to help all men, both good and bad, and to do good to them, for He Himself is continually helping all men, both good and bad, and doing good to them. (Cf. Matt 5:43-48; Gal 6:10)


But then, we have to be discerning in the way we help or support people, especially those who do not know the Lord. When we are certain that the help that we give to them will do nothing but promote wickedness or unrighteousness, we must not give it. Otherwise, we will be participating in their unrighteousness and sinning against God. That, of course, may expose us to afflictions, if we are not shown mercy. And only God knows how many of His people are suffering at the moment because they, at some point in their lives, helped the wicked or those who hate God to do wickedness. 


Therefore, learn to pay attention to the way you relate to unrighteous people, so that you don’t foolishly promote their unrighteousness. And to say the fact, if all of us who know God and believe in righteousness begin to take these things seriously, wickedness will begin to drastically reduce in our world. At least, we all know that, regardless of how smart a wicked man may be, there is a limit to what he can do alone, if he does not get help from others. So, we all can, to a great extent, paralyse the wicked in our world by refusing to help them steal, cheat, oppress, cover up evil or do any kind of wickedness.


Unfortunately, because many of us don’t know or understand God’s stand along these lines, we are continually sponsoring evil in our neighbourhoods, offices, schools, business centres, markets and so forth. Yet we complain all the time about the corruption and wickedness in our land and how they are ruining us. The truth is that these things will continue to grow and to ruin us unless we all who claim to know the Lord and to believe in His righteousness stop feeding them in people’s lives. But are we going to stop feeding them? Are we going to stop feeding wickedness and ungodliness? Well, I pray that we all are strengthened to stop, for our good and for the good of our nation.





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HE MAKES GROW ONLY WHAT YOU PLANT  14/07/2024


“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” (1Cor 3:6-8NIV)


In our opening text, Paul makes it very clear that the one responsible for any kind of real growth in life is God. And he uses his ministry and that of Apollos to illustrate his point. According to him, he was the one that was responsible for the planting of the seed of the gospel of Jesus on the soil of the hearts of the Corinthian brethren. And that was because he was the one that brought this gospel to them. He, in fact, stayed with them for more than a year to nurture the growing seed of the word of God in their lives (Acts 18:11).


Then, after Paul had left these brethren for a while, Apollos, another apostle of the Lord, came to them and began to water the growing plant of the word of God among them. How? By feeding them with more of the truths of the gospel! So, they began to grow remarkably in the grace of God and in the knowledge of His Son, Jesus Christ. 


However, at some point, these Corinthians began to wonder whom they ought to give the credit to for their spiritual growth and for all the manifestations of the power of God among them. Was it Paul? Was it Apollos? Or should it be Peter, who had also come to them at some point and ministered to them in the grace of God? This, of course, brought divisions among them and opened the door for Satan to begin to spread all kinds of evil things among them.


Therefore, as we see in our opening text, Paul had to intervene and show them what they were missing. And what were they missing? It was the fact that the people that planted the word of God in their lives and the ones that watered it were not at all important, as far as the subject of their spiritual growth and fruitfulness was concerned. 


Yes, God would reward each of these people according to their labour over and among these Corinthians. But they were not the ones to accept the credit for their spiritual growth and advancement. The one to accept the credit was God Himself, who made the seed of His word that was planted in their hearts and also watered to grow. That means if God had not caused the seed of the gospel that was planted in their hearts to grow, the labour of the one that planted it and that of those who watered it would have amount to nothing.   


Now we see this same principle emphasised all through the Scriptures (Ps 127:1-2; Hosea 14:8; Heb 3:4). God is the one that makes all things grow and fruitful. In other words, the power for growth and fruitfulness comes from Him. Therefore, if He does not make whatever we are planting or watering grow and fruitful, it will not grow or yield any fruit for us. And that will result in vain labour for us. 


So, if we want anything we are planting or watering, a business, a marriage, a house or people, to grow and bring forth fruit that will fill our hearts with joy, we must learn to commit it into God’s hand. We must not think that our skilful or diligent labour over it is enough to make it grow and fruitful, for it is never enough. And if we fail to realise this and act accordingly, we may end up labouring in vain. May you never again labour in vain, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


But then, even though God is the one that makes all things grow, He will not make grow what we have not planted. So, don’t expect God to release the power for growth and fruitfulness into what you have not planted. That will never work. For instance, if you have not planted the seed of faith in your heart, don’t expect God to make your faith grow. Crying to Him or praying to Him to make your faith grow won’t accomplish anything in this situation. That is because you are not planting faith in your heart.


Also, if you have not planted your money in some business, in people or to acquire some education or skill, don’t expect God to multiply it. This is what many of us who are always praying to God and confessing His word to multiply our resources don’t get. What is God going to multiply? It is the seed you have planted. He cannot multiply the seed you have not planted. 


Yes, God can give you seed to plant. But if you turn all of it into bread and refuse to plant any of it, there is nothing He will multiply for you. Therefore, you will always have to wait for the supply or support that is coming instead of experiencing a multiplication of what you already have in addition to whatever supply or support that is coming. And that may slow down your prosperity or take it completely out of your reach.


What is my point, then? It is that if you want to see God multiply anything for you in life, you must begin to plant the seed of that thing. Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” (John 12:24NIV) In the same vein, if you want that thing in your life to multiply, plant it and then commit its growth and fruitfulness into God’s hand. And may your eyes be opened to see every seed you need to plant for your growth and multiplication in all good things, in Jesus’ name. Amen.



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GOD IS THE BEST TEACHER  13/07/2024


“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.” (Psalm 32:8-9NIV)


This is God telling us about His commitment to teaching us, counselling us and showing us the way we should go in life. And He will do this with His loving eye on us. So, we are talking about the teaching, leading and counselling of a lover, of one who cares about us and wants the best for us. 


Then He goes on to tell us not to be stubborn. He wants to teach, counsel and guide us in love. But if we are like the horse or the mule, then, we will have to learn the hard way.


See, there are many today that it was after they had messed up their lives terribly that they understood what God had been saying to them all along and began to obey it (Psalm 119:67). So, you can choose to settle down and listen to what God is saying to you and experience His best for your life or you can choose to ignore Him and learn the hard way. Unfortunately, some people will die while learning the hard way. So, they will not be able to put to use the lessons they have learnt.


Well, what God is saying to us is that we can either learn from Him, that is, by His revelation, or by experience. I know people used to say experience is the best teacher. But they are wrong. Experience is not the best teacher. God is the best teacher. He is the teacher of the best. So, listen to Him. And He will teach you what is best for you and also guide you in the way you ought to go. 


I want to be the best I can be and have the best I can have in this life. I do not know all these things. But God knows them. So, I want Him to teach and guide me into the best He has prepared for me. And if I listen to Him, that is going to happen – I will be the best He has destined me to be and have the best He wants me to have in life. But if I will not listen to Him, I will have to learn through experience. Learning through experience, however, is a hard thing, especially if you are learning through your own experience. And you will surely have to learn through your experience, if you will not listen to God.



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WE SEE JESUS   12/07/2024


“But there is a place where someone has testified: “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man that you care for him? You have made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honour and put everything under their feet.” In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honour because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” (Hebrews 2:6-9NIV)


The writer of the book of Hebrews, in our opening text, is quoting from Psalm 8. And he is informing us of our situation when God first made us and planted our feet here on earth. He put everything under our feet. Then this man goes on to say that in putting everything under our feet, God left nothing that is not placed under our feet. So, everything is under us. Even the angels are under us. Remember that Paul says that we will judge angels in chapter 6 of 1Corinthians. That is telling us something about our class in creation, in God’s scheme of things. 


But then, this man further tells us something that is so real to us now. He says at present we do not see everything subject to us. In other words, even though God left nothing that He did not put under our feet in the beginning, right now, we do not see everything under us. At the moment, we are scared of animals. We are scared of snakes, lions and other wild animals. Some of us are even scared of cockroaches. These ones cannot sleep in any room in which there is a cockroach. 


Now this is pointing to the fact that we do not see everything under our control anymore. Do we see the angels under our control? No! Do we see demons under our control? No! Even though God has given us authority over all demons, we do not see them under our control. That is why we are frightened by them. That is why we are often oppressed and tormented by them. Many today are blind or deaf because of demonic afflictions. Many also are on beds of paralysis because of demonic afflictions. And all this is because we do not see these demons under our control.


What about our economy? Do we see it under our control? Many are living in abject poverty today. They are not in charge of their finances. They are labouring hard in everything, but it is all in vain. Why? They are not in charge. Look at the way insecurity is staring us in the face in this country. Look at how hard it is for people to move from one place to another in the country without having to look over their shoulders. There is insecurity everywhere. There is chaos everywhere. And though we have governments and leaders of governments, they have not been able to curb or control these things. 


Also, accidents, flooding, disasters, outbreak of epidermic and so forth often happen in our world and we have not been able to handle them. We can manage them to some degree and prevent them from totally destroying us. But we know that we are not in a position to absolutely stop or eradicate these things, even in our most developed climes. And that is because of our fall.


However, those of us who are Christians have hope. And that is because of our Lord Jesus Christ who has triumphed for us. So, the writer of the book of Hebrews, tells us that even though we do not see everything under our control at the moment, we do see Jesus who has been crowned with glory and honour as Lord over everything. Truly, we may not see the situations of our lives under our control, but we do see Jesus as Lord over them. We may not see the economy of our nation under our control, but we do see Jesus as Lord over it. We may not see a whole lot of things under our control, but we do see Jesus as Lord over everything.


Now because we see Jesus, there is hope for us of someday having everything back under our control. Because we see Jesus, we can live victorious in this world. Because we see Jesus, we can exercise control over all the situations of our lives that have been trying to dominate us. By ourselves, in ourselves we may not have control over anything going on in our lives. But as believers in Christ Jesus, we can exercise control over any situation of our lives because of our faith in Him. That is why it is important that we fix our gaze on Him. So, fix your gaze on Him and there will be no situation that He will not bring under control for you.



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CHRIST IN YOU.   11/07/2024


“I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness – they mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:25-27NIV)


Paul is here speaking about the mystery of God that He kept hidden for generations. What is this mystery? He says, “It is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” In other words, the mystery of God consists in the manifestation of Christ in us. Christ is referred to in this same letter to the Colossians as the image of the invisible God. It is also said in the letter that it has pleased God to cause His fullness to dwell in Christ. So, with Christ in us, the fullness of God is now dwelling in us. (Cf. Colossians 1:15&19)


But then, will His fullness be evident in us? That is the big question. God’s will is that His fullness will find expression in those of us who believe. But is it happening in me already? Is this happening in you already? Paul prays for the Ephesian brethren that God’s fullness will fill them. In other words, he wants His fullness to take charge of them and be evident in them. Why? That is what will draw men to God, the revelation of Christ in them, the revelation of the fullness of God in their lives. (Cf. Ephesians 3:14-19)


What, then, is the place of preaching Christ in all this? Well, it is indeed important that we preach Christ to those in our world. But any form of preaching that is not accompanied with the manifestation of the wisdom of God and His fullness will not draw people to Him or accomplish His purpose in their lives. People want to see what Christ has done in us. They want to see His image in us. They want to see what He is doing or has done in us. That is what they can appreciate.


If someone wants you to marry someone, for instance, and you have never met the person before, what is reported about that person may not be enough for you to want to meet him or her. But if you are shown the picture of that person, you will want to see whether it is appealing to you or not. If it is, then, you want to meet the person. If it is not, then, you may not want to meet the person, even if she is of awesome character.


In like manner, people need to see the image of Christ in us. They need to see His fullness in us. And if it is His image that is seen in us that we are proclaiming, then, it will be easier for those of the world to relate to our message. Paul says this of himself: “But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being.” (Galatians 1:19NIV) Did you see that? Paul was preaching the Son of God that was being revealed in Him. He was not preaching a Christ that people could not see in his own life and conduct.


The point I am making is that Christ needs to be seen in us. God wants Him to be seen in us, for He is the exact representation of His being. He wants the worlds of angels, demons and men to see Him in us. This is the secret He has been keeping, the fact that He wants all His creation to see that man is His actual child and that he is capable of manifesting His fullness. He wants them to see His wisdom, righteousness, holiness, love, patience, self-control, gentleness, generosity, goodness, humility and everything He represents in us. This is what will draw all men to Him. This is what will cause them to know that we are truly divine.



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GIVE TO CEASAR WHAT IS CEASAR’S

 10/07/2024


“Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honor.” (Romans 13:7NIV) 


Based on the positions our leaders are holding, we must show them adequate respect and honour. When Paul was giving his defence before King Agrippa and Governor Festus, he referred to this governor as ‘Most excellent Festus’ (Acts 26:35). That is as good as addressing him as ‘Your excellency’. And when he began to address King Agrippa, he motioned with his hands as a sign of respect. 


That was a man of God, showing proper respect to the leaders of the land. But there are many so-called men of God today that have no iota of respect for the leaders of our government and societies. Yes, these leaders may be coming to you for prayers and counselling. That does not mean you should not honour and respect them. They are showing you respect because you are a servant of God. And as a fair exchange, you too should recognise them as servants of God and honour them. 


See, God is watching you and the pride in your heart as you relate to the leaders of our land. And this pride that you are refusing to deal with will limit you in various. In fact, it is already limiting you. You are just not paying attention. Paul was a man of God. Yet he related with respect and honour to King Agrippa and Governor Festus. We all should learn from him and begin to function accordingly. 


What about our attitude towards taxes? The laws of the land command us to pay our taxes and revenues. So, we should pay them and not seek to evade them. Today, we have the privilege of finding out what our leaders are doing to our taxes. We even have the privilege of taking them to task in the court about how they are using our taxes. But in bible days, the people did not have such privileges. Who was going to challenge the Ceasars on how they were using their taxes? Who was going to challenge the Herods on how they were using the taxes they were collecting from the people? Yet these people were commanded by God to pay their taxes. 


In like manner, we too are commanded by Him to pay our taxes. And we do know there are stringent laws in many countries against tax evasion. So, don’t try to evade tax payment. The word of God says that if you owe taxes, pay them, and if you owe revenue, pay it. Yes, you can go to the tax offices to get some reduction on what you pay. That is alright. But don’t evade the payment of your taxes. You will be walking contrary to the will of God by doing that. And there will be consequences.


In Saint Mark’s gospel, chapter 12, some people came to Jesus to ask him, if it was alright for them to pay taxes or not. And He told them to bring Him a coin. When they had brought it, He asked them, “Whose inscription is this on the coin and whose image is this on it?” They said, “Ceasars!” Then He went to tell them this: “Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar’s and to God what is God’s.” By that, the Lord was telling them that it was right for them to pay taxes. And that is the final word on that matter. We too, then, must pay taxes. There is nothing to debate about it.


In addition to that, when the Lord said to those people, “Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar’s and to God what is God’s,” He wanted them to also know that they must respect national symbols. So, whatever respect that is due to our national symbols should be given to them. Show respect to our National Flag. Show respect to our National Anthem and National Pledge, when they are being recited. Show respect to our National Currency. And show respect to our uniform men, all the officers (police men and women, soldiers and so forth) that are representing the nation. They may misbehave. And many of them often misbehave. But the word of God does not permit us to insult them.


We read in Scriptures how a man called Simon, who was from Cyrene, was forced to carry the cross of Jesus by the Roman soldiers. So, it is not a new thing for uniform men to misbehave, especially when they are in uniform. Yet we are told to respect them. That does not mean we cannot take them to task in a court of law for misbehaving. But we are not permitted by God to molest, harass or insult them. Others may feel free to do such things. But we are not permitted to do so. Also, others may see us as weak for acting like this. But the word of God does not say so. Instead, it tells us that the weapons of our warfare are effective and mighty through God. (Cf. Mark 15:21; 2Corinthians 10:4)


So, praying to God about our leaders is effective. Practising righteousness in our land is effective. Submissiveness to established authorities is effective. Therefore, don’t stop doing these things because people are persecuting you or insulting you. And the Lord will reward you for being true to Him, in Jesus’ name. Amen.




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WHAT IS YOUR REPUTATION BEFORE HIM? 09/07/2024


“While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill – while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision…” (Daniel 9:20-23NIV)


Daniel is referred to here, in our opening text, by angel Gabriel as one that is highly esteemed before God. That means his reputation before men is not different from his reputation before God. Interestingly, on another occasion, another angel was sent to him and he said about the same thing concerning his reputation before God. This is in Daniel, chapter 10, from verse 10, which reads:


“A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.” (Daniel 10:10-11NIV)


Two different angels were sent to Daniel at two different times, and they both said the same thing about him. They both said that the reputation he had before men was the same as what he had before God. As he was highly esteemed among men, he was also highly esteemed before God. 


Also, look at Job and his reputation before God. God saw him as a true worshipper, not as a fraudulent one. And does He see me as a true believer, as one that is truly living for Him or as a liar, a deceiver or an immoral person? 


If you are truly God’s child, you are going to labour before Him to have a reputation that matches your position in His family. Otherwise, when all has been said and done, it may just be that you have actually not been born again. If you are truly a child of God, you will labour to live a life that is consistent with your position in His heart. 


And isn’t that the way we function as children in our homes? We want to live to attain the positions we have in our homes. We want our parents to see us as their children indeed, that is, through the way we function. We do not want them referring to us as bastards. And there are times that we find parents referring to their children as bastards. Why? They are looking at how those children are behaving and wondering if they are truly their children.


Well, if you too are truly a child of God, what is your reputation before Him? I am not asking about your position before Him here. Your position, if you are truly born again, is that of a child before God. But does your reputation match that position? Is your behaviour showing that you are truly His child? You may have a reputation before men as being a true child of God? But do you have the same reputation before Him? That is what we are talking about. And that is what is going to determine how He rewards you on the day that He judges all men. 


So, labour to have before God a reputation that agrees with the position He has placed you in His kingdom. That matters a lot to Him, for it is how you bring Him praise here in the world. 




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AN ATTITUDE OF THANKSGIVING 08/07/2024


‘A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’” (John 3:25-28NIV)


What said these words? It was John the Baptist. And there is a part of what he said that I want you to pay attention to, which is, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven.” In other words, it is only what God has given you that you can legitimately receive – you cannot receive what He has not given. 


Yes, you can go out of your way to take for yourself what God has not given to you. But that is going to get you into trouble sooner or later. It does not matter whether it is manipulation, force, witchcraft or sorcery that you are using to get what God has not given to you. It can only lead you into trouble. It is only what God has given that does not come with sorrow or pains.


Similarly, Paul says this to the Corinthians: “For what makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do your boast as though you did not?” (1Corinthians 4:7NIV) Did you see that? Is there any good thing that has come to us legitimately that we have not received from God? Did we bring anything into this world when we came? No, we brought nothing. Everything we have had and enjoyed in this life has come to us from God’s hands. Even the very life in us has come to us from Him. Our bodies also have come to us from Him. 


That being the case, we ought to be grateful to Him. Our attitude to God must always be that of thanksgiving. And this is not only about when we receive from God things we have not worked for. Yes, from time to time, God will move people to give us gifts. We should be thankful to Him on such occasions for moving people’s hearts to give to us. And we may not really see anything wrong or difficult in doing that. But when it comes to those things we have worked to earn, we may not see the need to be thankful to God for them. However, whether what has come to us is what we have worked for or a gift, we must understand that nothing can come to us except what God has given. 


Mind you, speaking about receiving gifts from people, it is not everyone that God moves their heart to give to you that will give to you. Some people may not give to you, even though God has spoken to them about giving something to you. So, if someone takes that bold step to give to you as he has been instructed by the Lord, if someone matches up their desire to give to you by actually giving to you, you should be thankful to God for it.


Am I saying we should not thank men for what they do for us or give to us? No! It is also important that we learn to thank human beings. When people give us gifts or do something for us, we should thank them. Even when people pay us for goods sold to them or services rendered for them, we should thank them. That is because there are people all around us who worked for some people or the government and are yet to collect what is due them. So, if someone pays you for what you have done for them, you should thank the person.


But more importantly, you must acknowledge God as the one responsible for all the good things coming to your life and be thankful to Him. You must not overlook any of the things He is doing in your life. Otherwise, you will be exhibiting an attitude of ingratitude. And ingratitude always comes with consequences.





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THE LITTLE THINGS OF GOD 07/07/2024


“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:25-26NIV)


The book of 2Kings 20 gives us an account of how King Hezekiah, one of the greatest kings the nation of Judah ever had, became ill to the point of death and of how God sent His messenger, Prophet Isaiah, to tell him to put his house in order, for he would not recover from his illness but die. But instead for Hezekiah to readily accept that death sentence from God, he decided to pray to Him for mercy and healing. And did God answer him or not? He did. He answered him and even decided to add fifteen more years to the ones he already used. (Cf. 2Kings 20:1-11; Isaiah 38:1-8)


Now that is amazing, or what do you think? Fifteen more years to Hezekiah’s life! Just like that! I mean that God just added those years to this man’s life, just as simply as you would add a pinch of salt to your stew. Once again, I say that is amazing; it is just mind-blowing. And I can almost hear someone saying, “Oh, I want that. I wish I could have something like that.”


To say the fact, who does not want longevity. People wish for death on their sick beds or desire to commit suicide mostly because they consider their cases to be hopeless. They simply cannot see what joy, comfort or peace staying here in the world offers them again. So, they want to die and escape from everything that is troubling them and making their lives miserable. But if they knew just one thing to do to make their lives pleasant again, just one thing to do to take away their pains and exceedingly great sorrow, they would most assuredly tear whatever will they have written, take back whatever parting words they have said and say, “Oh, I want to live again and enjoy life too.” 


And if you are one of such individuals, wishing for death to come to you now or wanting to kill yourself because of your miseries and misfortunes, I want you to know that you don’t have to die like that. That is because the life of peace, health, comfort and joy you want, which your money, influence, fame, education or power has not been able to give you, is something God is able to freely give to you. 


Our Lord Jesus, as we see in our opening text, once while talking to His disciples about the need for them to do away with all forms of worries in their lives, said something very striking to them. He said, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:25-26NIV) Look at that. There is nothing any one of us can do by ourselves to increase the length of our days here on earth by just one hour. Our worrying about this won’t even make it happen. Yet the Lord went on to say that increasing our length of days here on earth is a very little thing for God to do. A very little thing? I mean that is many people’s biggest problem. Do you know how much money, energy and so forth that people all around the world put everyday into staying alive? It is beyond comprehension!


Nevertheless, the Lord Jesus is saying to us that increasing our length of days is a very little thing for God to handle. Just as it was like nothing for him to add fifteen more years to Hezekiah’s years, so it is nothing for Him to add twenty, thirty, fifty or even a hundred more years to your time here on earth. At least, from what we see in the bible, people lived to be nine hundred years plus in the days before the flood of Noah’s time (Gen 5). So, it is almost nothing for God to add to your years. And if it is a little thing for Him to add to your years, then, what will increasing your resources, enlarging your business territory, bringing you a great husband or wife or giving you children of your own be for Him? Almost nothing!


All of this is why the Lord tells us not to worry about life or anything else in this life (Matt 6:25; Luke 12:22). That is because there is nothing that we need in life that is beyond what God can easily or readily make available to us. The only problem is with what we are going to do with what He gives us. The fact is that there is nothing God gives to some people that they are not going to waste on meaningless living. Even if He gives them a thousand additional years of comfort and rest, they are still going to waste them on nonsense. So, our Lord’s instruction to us is that we should stop worrying about those things that we need, which God already knows and can easily supply, but to put ourselves into taking our place in His kingdom and learning His righteousness (Matt 6:33; Luke 12:31). That way, not only will all these things that we need be given to us, but we also will have learnt how not to waste His gifts and blessings in our lives. 




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REJOICE OVER HER 06/07/2024


“Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her. For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance." For this is what the LORD says: "I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem." When you see this, your heart will rejoice and you will flourish like grass; the hand of the LORD will be made known to his servants, but his fury will be shown to his foes.” (Isa 66:10-14NIV)


I have observed that every time I discuss the situation of our nation with others I am filled with anguish of heart. Why? It is because I love this nation and want all to be well with her. But will all be well with her? All cannot be well with her, if God does not step in and make it happen. And this is why I pray for this country day after day that God will show her mercy, rescue her from all those who are ruining her and lift her up to be great again. If you too care about this country and want to see all go well with her, you should be praying to God for her. 


More so, God Himself wants us to be praying to Him for any land in which we reside, even if it is a foreign land. Why? It is because our personal prosperity and peace of mind are connected to doing so. Look, for example, at what He said to the people of Judah, when they were in exile:


“Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." (Jer 29:7NIV)


Did you see that? God expected His people to seek the peace and prosperity of the land of their enemies and to also pray for it. Why? Their prosperity was connected to it. In other words, they could never prosper beyond the level of prosperity of that land. So, if they truly cared about their individual prosperity, then, they must also work and pray for the prosperity of the land they were sojourning in.


Since God, then, want foreigners to seek and pray for the prosperity and peace of the land they are in, do you think He will want anything less from the citizens of the place? Absolutely not! This is why we must be given to seeking the prosperity and peace of our country and to also praying for her. 


Yes, it may look like our prayers and efforts are not working or accomplishing anything. But our Lord Jesus has told us to always pray and not to give up. Why? It is because God is always answering our prayers and working to turn things around for our good. Yes, there are times that He may need to perform more miracles than we can imagine in order for us to see what He has been doing for us all along. And there are also times that we may not for a long time see what He is doing for us because of the great measure of wickedness in our land. But there is no time He does not answer the heartfelt prayers of His people and work for their good.


So, we must not give up on praying for our land, even if we cannot yet fully see or comprehend what God is doing to save and exalt her. Instead, as we keep on praying for her, we should also begin to do what He tells us to do in our opening bible text. What does He tell us to do? He tells us to rejoice with and over our nation. And who among us are to rejoice over her? All of us who love her and who have been mourning in prayers for her!


Why, then, are we to rejoice with and over this country, especially when nothing seems to be working well for her? It is because God Himself has promised to give us peace of mind and satisfaction through her. Yes, He has promised to comfort us and make us flourish in her. How will He do this? I cannot tell you that. And exactly when will all this fully manifest? I cannot also tell you that. But I can tell you that if we will begin to act on His word and rejoice before Him over our nation, He too will make haste to fulfil His promises to us and make sure we witness and enjoy the salvation, exaltation and rest of the nation.




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GOD’S INTENTION  05/07/2024


“His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Eph 3:10-12NIV)


Paul, in our opening text, declares to us that God's intention is that He will be displaying His many-sided wisdom through the church of Jesus Christ that you and I are a part of to the world of demons and angels. He wants them to continually be in shock through the way we will be handling matters of life and solving problems that men think are impossible to solve. 


Now what have we done to deserve to be treated by Him in this manner? Nothing! It is all a function of His love for us. And we have become beneficiaries of these things through our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.


So, you are favoured, my friend, if you are in Christ Jesus. You may not have realised it yet. But that is your situation. And you need to begin to make much of it. You need to begin to thank God continually for causing His favour to rest upon you and for choosing you for the display of His wisdom. And as you thank Him for this, also be bold to tell Him to fulfil His intention concerning your life. In other words, tell Him to daily cause His manifold wisdom to be in manifestation in your life, in all your affairs and in all your relationships. And you will be amazed at the way you will begin to make decisions and take steps that will make you prosperous, safe and unbeatable by the enemies in your life. 


Remember what the Psalmist says along this line. He says, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (Ps 23:5-6NIV) So, your enemies don't have to be dead in order for you to prosper and be safe where you are. God is able to take a very good care of you right in their presence. And they will not be able to do anything about it. You should say a loud 'Amen' to that.



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THE LITTLE THINGS OF GOD 04/07/2024


“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:25-26NIV)


The book of 2Kings 20 gives us an account of how King Hezekiah, one of the greatest kings the nation of Judah ever had, became ill to the point of death and of how God sent His messenger, Prophet Isaiah, to tell him to put his house in order, for he would not recover from his illness but die. But instead for Hezekiah to readily accept that death sentence from God, he decided to pray to Him for mercy and healing. And did God answer him or not? He did. He answered him and even decided to add fifteen more years to the ones he already used. (Cf. 2Kings 20:1-11; Isaiah 38:1-8)


Now that is amazing, or what do you think? Fifteen more years to Hezekiah’s life! Just like that! I mean that God just added those years to this man’s life, just as simply as you would add a pinch of salt to your stew. Once again, I say that is amazing; it is just mind-blowing. And I can almost hear someone saying, “Oh, I want that. I wish I could have something like that.”


To say the fact, who does not want longevity. People wish for death on their sick beds or desire to commit suicide mostly because they consider their cases to be hopeless. They simply cannot see what joy, comfort or peace staying here in the world offers them again. So, they want to die and escape from everything that is troubling them and making their lives miserable. But if they knew just one thing to do to make their lives pleasant again, just one thing to do to take away their pains and exceedingly great sorrow, they would most assuredly tear whatever will they have written, take back whatever parting words they have said and say, “Oh, I want to live again and enjoy life too.” 


And if you are one of such individuals, wishing for death to come to you now or wanting to kill yourself because of your miseries and misfortunes, I want you to know that you don’t have to die like that. That is because the life of peace, health, comfort and joy you want, which your money, influence, fame, education or power has not been able to give you, is something God is able to freely give to you. 


Our Lord Jesus, as we see in our opening text, once while talking to His disciples about the need for them to do away with all forms of worries in their lives, said something very striking to them. He said, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:25-26NIV) Look at that. There is nothing any one of us can do by ourselves to increase the length of our days here on earth by just one hour. Our worrying about this won’t even make it happen. Yet the Lord went on to say that increasing our length of days here on earth is a very little thing for God to do. A very little thing? I mean that is many people’s biggest problem. Do you know how much money, energy and so forth that people all around the world put everyday into staying alive? It is beyond comprehension!


Nevertheless, the Lord Jesus is saying to us that increasing our length of days is a very little thing for God to handle. Just as it was like nothing for him to add fifteen more years to Hezekiah’s years, so it is nothing for Him to add twenty, thirty, fifty or even a hundred more years to your time here on earth. At least, from what we see in the bible, people lived to be nine hundred years plus in the days before the flood of Noah’s time (Gen 5). So, it is almost nothing for God to add to your years. And if it is a little thing for Him to add to your years, then, what will increasing your resources, enlarging your business territory, bringing you a great husband or wife or giving you children of your own be for Him? Almost nothing!


All of this is why the Lord tells us not to worry about life or anything else in this life (Matt 6:25; Luke 12:22). That is because there is nothing that we need in life that is beyond what God can easily or readily make available to us. The only problem is with what we are going to do with what He gives us. The fact is that there is nothing God gives to some people that they are not going to waste on meaningless living. Even if He gives them a thousand additional years of comfort and rest, they are still going to waste them on nonsense. So, our Lord’s instruction to us is that we should stop worrying about those things that we need, which God already knows and can easily supply, but to put ourselves into taking our place in His kingdom and learning His righteousness (Matt 6:33; Luke 12:31). That way, not only will all these things that we need be given to us, but we also will have learnt how not to waste His gifts and blessings in our lives. 


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DEAL WITH LAZINESS IN YOUR LIFE 03/07/2024


“I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest — and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.” (Prov 24:30-34NIV)


As we see in our opening text, Solomon learnt from the lazy people around him. He learnt that things can only get bad or worse for us in life through laziness; they can never be better. So, he would not yield to laziness in his life. Unfortunately, many have been too dull to learn from the lazy people around them. So, they had to learn from themselves. When they were young and agile and could put their hands and mind to work, they were busy running around from place to place. They would not settle down in any formal school to learn things that would make them fit for life. And even when they were taken to some people to serve as apprentices, laziness would not just let them stay. 


But now that they are old, we see these same people, when some of their mates have already retired from active work and are now receiving dividends from their businesses or pensions and support from the children they have brought up, waking up early and working all day and sometimes all night just to be able to take care of themselves and perhaps their children or grandchildren. Yet what they are doing is not enough to deal with the poverty or misery in their lives. One, of course, may look at them and feel very sorry for them or wonder why life has been so cruel in treating them. But the truth is that they are the reason for their own pains and miseries. 


Is that to say that God is unwilling to show such people mercy and send help to them? No! But they must first admit that they are largely to blame for the sorrow and pains in their lives before they can truly receive His help.


Then we have those that laziness is seriously hurting in their workplaces. God has blessed them with a good job. But laziness would not just let them prosper in it. So, nobody is interested in promoting them or in employing their services. They may go from prayer mountain to prayer mountain, if they please. But unless they deal with their lazy or slothful approach to their jobs, they can only expect things to go from bad to worse for them.


What about some who are now suffering in their marriages? Laziness brought them there. First, when they were growing up with their parents or guardians, laziness would not permit them to learn those things that will make them responsible wives, husbands or parents. Then, having gotten married, laziness would still not allow them to settle down and learn those things that would make them responsible in their homes. Therefore, marriage and parenthood have become sour for them. But who brought the pains and miseries they are now experiencing upon them? They brought it on themselves. And unless they deal with the laziness in their lives, they may never experience any better day.


If I want to continue to give you examples of how laziness is able to make life hard and miserable for us, space will not permit me. But my point is that don't make room for laziness, any kind of it, in your life. Don't detest hardwork. It won't kill you. Don't detest mental activity that is directed towards increased usefulness and profitability in life. It will only make life easier and better for you. And don't avoid any spiritual activity that will enable you to gain more and more from God, for its benefits are beyond measure. Instead, strengthen your lazy arms and knees and wake up your sleeping mind, so that you may give yourself fully to whatever responsibility you need to give yourself to. By doing this, you will be naturally separating yourself from certain present or future problems and laying a foundation for a lifetime of rest for yourself.


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NO MAN HAS ANY MERIT BEFORE HIM 02/07/2024


“"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men — robbers, evildoers, adulterers — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."” (Luke 18:10-14NIV)


What was the problem with the prayer of the Pharisee mentioned in this text? It was full of self-praise. Yes, he thought he was giving God a report of his life and what was going on in it. But that was not it at all. He was simply praising himself to God and telling Him how he was far better than other men, especially the tax collector that was praying close to him. So, his prayer was not a report of his fulfilment of the will of God but an expression of his feeling of importance to God.


Sadly, there are still many like this Pharisee today. They too are often expressing their sense of importance to God when they pray. And they believe there are things He must do for them because they are so important to Him and righteous too. But God does not do things for people because He owes them, for He owes nobody nothing. We are the ones that owe Him our very lives. Therefore, whatever He does for us is never going to be on the basis of what we deserve or what He owes us but on the basis of His love for us and mercy. (Cf. Job 41:11; Rom 11:35)


Now the other man that was praying right next to that Pharisee understood that. He knew that he was a sinner and did not deserve to receive anything from God. That was why all he was asking for was mercy. And did he get it or not? He did! But the other fellow got nothing from God. Why? He, in his pride, approached God on the basis of his merits, on the basis of his sense of importance. And he did that because he did not know that no man has any merit before God. 


As the bible tells us, all our righteous acts are as filthy rags before Him (Is 64:6). So, the only righteousness that is acceptable to God is His own righteousness, which He freely gives to all those who put their faith in Him and not in their works. And it is those who have received this righteousness as a gift from Him that He qualifies to be partakers of His kingdom and sharers of His life and work (Rom 5:17).  


If you, then, have received God's gift of righteousness, you don't need to pray like that tax collector, addressing yourself as a sinner before Him. That will be nothing but an insult to His righteousness; it will be nothing but a rejection of His righteousness. What you need to do is to thank Him for making you righteous in His sight and also worthy of whatever He gives to you (Col 1:12).


Have a great day.

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NO MAN HAS ANY MERIT BEFORE HIM 02/07/2024


“"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men — robbers, evildoers, adulterers — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."” (Luke 18:10-14NIV)


What was the problem with the prayer of the Pharisee mentioned in this text? It was full of self-praise. Yes, he thought he was giving God a report of his life and what was going on in it. But that was not it at all. He was simply praising himself to God and telling Him how he was far better than other men, especially the tax collector that was praying close to him. So, his prayer was not a report of his fulfilment of the will of God but an expression of his feeling of importance to God.


Sadly, there are still many like this Pharisee today. They too are often expressing their sense of importance to God when they pray. And they believe there are things He must do for them because they are so important to Him and righteous too. But God does not do things for people because He owes them, for He owes nobody nothing. We are the ones that owe Him our very lives. Therefore, whatever He does for us is never going to be on the basis of what we deserve or what He owes us but on the basis of His love for us and mercy. (Cf. Job 41:11; Rom 11:35)


Now the other man that was praying right next to that Pharisee understood that. He knew that he was a sinner and did not deserve to receive anything from God. That was why all he was asking for was mercy. And did he get it or not? He did! But the other fellow got nothing from God. Why? He, in his pride, approached God on the basis of his merits, on the basis of his sense of importance. And he did that because he did not know that no man has any merit before God. 


As the bible tells us, all our righteous acts are as filthy rags before Him (Is 64:6). So, the only righteousness that is acceptable to God is His own righteousness, which He freely gives to all those who put their faith in Him and not in their works. And it is those who have received this righteousness as a gift from Him that He qualifies to be partakers of His kingdom and sharers of His life and work (Rom 5:17).  


If you, then, have received God's gift of righteousness, you don't need to pray like that tax collector, addressing yourself as a sinner before Him. That will be nothing but an insult to His righteousness; it will be nothing but a rejection of His righteousness. What you need to do is to thank Him for making you righteous in His sight and also worthy of whatever He gives to you (Col 1:12).


Have a great day.

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KEEP WATCH AND GET READY 01/07/2024


“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.” (2Peter 3:10-15NIV)


Why is God going to bring about a new heaven and a new earth? It is because He is going to destroy the present heavens and the present earth. As Peter tells us in our opening text, everything we have here on earth is reserved for fire. All the things we now see – the heavens we see, the earth we live in and the things we use here on earth, the cars, the roads, the machines, the vehicles and so forth – will be destroyed. God is going to make an end of them all. Not one of them will survive. And after they have been destroyed, God will set up a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.


Righteousness has not been permitted to reign here on earth. Yes, God has introduced His righteousness to us. But people love wickedness instead of righteousness. People love darkness rather than light. And they do all kinds of things to subdue the truth. They do all kinds of things to harm the truth. They do all kinds of things to get rid of the truth and righteousness from the face of the earth. But a day is coming in which all the activities of men, all the evil things they are doing will be brought to an end. Then righteousness will begin to reign freely on that day. 


Now we are to anticipate that day. And not only are we to anticipate it, we are to get ready for it. In fact, the reason we are told these things in advance is that we may get ourselves prepared for what is coming. We may not know how the government of our nation will turn out. We may not know how the circumstances of our nation will turn out. But we do know that a day is coming when God will put an end to all the things that are happening here on earth in order to establish a new order of things. Are we going to be a part of that new order of things or are we going to be lost forever? It all depends on how seriously we take the things we have been told about what is coming. 


In Saint Matthew’s gospel, chapter 24, verse 42, we are told this: “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (NIV) Here the Lord is clearly showing us that the day these things will begin to take place is not known by anyone. No one knows when God will introduce in a new order of things. None of us knows exactly when God will set this earth and these heavens on fire in order to establish a new order of things. That is why we are told to keep watch. And if we believe all that we are told about what is coming, we will definitely keep watch and get ready for what is coming.

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ARE YOU REPELLING HIS BLESSINGS? 30/06/2024


“When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.” (Luke 10:5-7NIV)


As we see in the bible, God has blessed all of us who are His children with all the blessings in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph 1:3). So, we cannot be more blessed by anybody or through any ministration than we already are. However, having all the blessings of God is not the same thing as experiencing all the blessings of God. That is why there are many children of God whose lives don’t appear blessed at all, even though they are fully blessed. 


To experience the fulness of God’s blessings, there are things we must be doing. For instance, we must be devoted to praying to Him, for there are some of His blessings for us that will not manifest in our lives unless we do so. Also, we must be devoted to learning and practising His word. Otherwise, there are certain of His blessings that we will never know of or enjoy. These will just keep eluding us.


Then we must be devoted to fellowshipping with His people. That is because there are certain blessings of His for us that we can only access and enjoy as we properly receive and fellowship with other children of His that He has planted in our lives. So, we will do well to duly recognise the role every child of God that is in our lives at the moment is meant to play in our experience of the blessings of God. Otherwise, we may, for our entire lifetime, cheat ourselves of certain blessings of God that we could have enjoyed or experienced.


For example, as we see in our opening bible text, every minister of the gospel sent out by the Lord is a channel through which He makes people experience His blessings for them. Therefore, how they respond to such a person and his ministry will go a long way in determining whether they experience His blessings through him or not. If they relate to him well, then, the blessings God wants them to access and enjoy through him will flow freely into their lives. But if they do not relate to him well, then, those blessings will just return to him, regardless of how hard he himself tries to get them across to them.


This explains why all the prayers and words of blessings being offered for some believers by their church leaders and other ministers of God are not working for them or in their lives. They are not relating to those ministering to them with love and respect and in peace. So, they cannot experience or enjoy the blessings of God that are for them and are meant to be communicated to them through the ministries of these leaders. And unless they humble themselves and change their attitudes towards these people, certain good things that could have been theirs in life will never be theirs.


Now it is possible that you too are not experiencing or enjoy certain blessings of God in your life, marriage, business, job or academics because your attitude towards some people that God has placed in your life to minister to you is wrong. Yes, it is possible that you are the very person repelling certain manifestations of the blessings of God in your life through your pride, stubbornness or stinginess in relating to some people placed by Him in your life to minister to you. If that is the case, then, you need to admit the fact that you have been missing it and change your ways.


What exactly do you need to do about this? Well, everything depends on what wrong attitudes you have towards those people God has appointed to make you experience His blessings through their ministries or prayers. So, check yourself to see if there is anyone that is currently in a position to minister to you in the word of God or prayer that you have been relating to in pride, bitterness, stubbornness or stinginess and begin to do the right thing in relating to them. And before you know it, those blessings of God that have refused to manifest in your life through them will begin to freely find expression, causing you to overflow with joy and praise to God.



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DON’T BECOME USELESS TO HIM 29/06/2024


“But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the LORD's command." (1Sam 13:14NIV)


Those were Samuel’s words to King Saul after he took it on himself to offer to God sacrifices that Samuel ought to have offered to Him. And why did he do that? He did it because he got tired of waiting for Samuel. 


As the account goes, Samuel had told him to give him seven days to be with him and make sacrifices to God before he would engage in the battle that was before him. But for reasons not disclosed in the bible, Samuel was late in coming. So, Saul decided to usurp his authority and make the sacrifices the man was supposed to offer. Unfortunately for him, just as he finished making the offering, Samuel came. And all he had left to do was pronounce God’s judgment on him. (Cf. 1Sam 13)


Now what was God’s judgment concerning Saul? It was that He had already replaced him with someone else. But did God really have to do that? Why did He not give him another chance to redeem himself? Well, God did not give him another chance because it was useless to do so. As we also find out in the bible, after this incident, God sent Samuel to him again to give him another assignment. And how did he handle it? Unfaithfully, as usual! He went and did his own thing, not what God had commanded him to do. (Cf. 1Sam 15)


So, Saul at that time had already developed an independent mind. That means he was only after doing what pleased him and not what pleased God, who anointed him and made him king over His people, Israel. Therefore, he could not be trusted by God. No, God did not remove him from his throne immediately. In fact, He allowed him to reign for forty-two years. But He never gave him any task or assignment again till he died. So, those years of his reign were nothing but useless years, as far as God was concerned, just as he too had become nothing but a useless king.


What is the point of all this? It is that God is taking note of our attitude towards whatever task He gives to us. If we are handling the tasks He gives to us diligently and faithfully, whether they are tasks He gives to us directly or those that He gives to us through others, He will continue to give us more tasks. And as He gives us more tasks, He will also multiply His grace in our lives to do them. So, we will find ourselves increasing in usefulness, fruitfulness and relevance before Him.


But if we cultivate the habit of handling the tasks God gives to us as we please, a time is coming when He will have nothing else to say to us again. He will simply find someone else who will do what He wants. Don’t we also function in like manner? We do! If, for instance, we have a tailor or carpenter that is always doing what he pleases with our work and not what we want, are we going to keep giving him jobs to do for us? No, we will not, especially when he is not the only carpenter in town. Why? We don’t want use all our time arguing with someone that has no mind or intention of satisfying us.


In the same vein, God also does not want to use all His time arguing with us, when it is clear we have no intention of doing what will please or satisfy Him. This is why, as we see in our opening text, He is always searching for people who are after His heart. Why? They are those who will willingly and faithfully do what He wants and not be arguing with Him or doing their own thing. 


So, if you are not one of those who are after satisfying God always in living for Him and also in handling His work, you are simply making yourself ready for redundancy in His kingdom. That, of course, does not mean that God will reject you as His child. He won’t reject you as His child, if you do not reject Him as your Father. But the fact that you are His child does not mean that He considers you as someone He can entrust His work to. And if He is not entrusting His work to you, then, you are nothing but a useless child. 


I pray that you will not end up living the rest of your life as a useless child of God, in Jesus’ name. But you also need to examine your ways and your attitude towards whatever tasks you are currently handling for the Lord and make amends where necessary. It is well with your soul.

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LIVE AN OPEN LIFE 28/06/2024


“Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one.” (2Corinthians 7:2NIV) 


These are the rules to follow in relating to our brethren in our various assemblies. We are to make room for them in our hearts, as long as they have no reputation of corrupting, injuring or exploiting others. It is only those who have a reputation for doing these things that you may not open your life to.


But if the people of God in your life do not have a reputation of corrupting people, injuring people or exploiting people, it is in your interest to open your life to them. That way, they can help you, if you are missing it. 


What I am saying is that if your life is open before the people of God, they can easily help you deal with whatever is wrong in it. If your life is not open to them, there is no way they can help you unless they receive a revelation about you that can guide them to do so.


Now I am sharing these things with you because I do not want you to become a Judas, a betrayer, or even something worse and ruin your faith and life. See, you must be careful not to supress or ignore the truth coming to you. You must live an open life. Let the people of God know what is going on in your life, regardless of where you live and what you do. Then they can fulfil the word of God that tells us to keep watch over one another.


In Hebrews, chapter 3, from verse 12, we are told this: 


“See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (Hebrews 3:12-13NIV) 


Can you see that it is our duty to watch over one another in our journey as Christians. But we cannot do this effectively, if we do not know what is going on in our individual lives. So, let us know what is going on in your life.


We have similar instructions in chapter 12 of this same book. Look at them from verse 15: 


“See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.” (Hebrews 12:15-16NIV) 


You can again see that it is our duty to see to it that none of us falls short of the grace of God. But how can we do that, if you are behaving like Judas Iscariot and hiding your activities. It is the duty of your brethren to watch over you. It is their duty to help you in your faith journey. But if you don’t allow them, how will they be able to fulfil this duty to you? So be open to the brethren in your life. And God will continue to keep you safe.

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DON’T BE DISTRACTED 27/06/2024


“Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica…” (2Timothy 4:9-10NIV) 


Demas, as we see in our opening text, got distracted at some point in his Christian walk. But he used to move around with Paul in doing the work of God. But at the time this letter was being written by Paul to Timothy, Demas had become distracted and had deserted Paul.


We are not told what got Demas distracted. We are simply told that he fell in love with this world. Maybe he felt that his life was not moving forward enough because of his devotion to the gospel. Maybe he felt that he was not getting enough money to do the things he wanted to do in life, just as Judas Iscariot once felt. Or maybe he felt that he needed to settle down and have a family of his own. Whatever his reason may be, the fact remains that he got distracted and probably held his devotion to the work of God as the reason for his backwardness in life and abandoned the work.


Many have also deserted their ministry because of distraction. Perhaps you to are already distracted. Well, the Spirit of God is calling out to you today and now and saying, “Do not diminish in my work for any reason; instead, abound in it.” 


So, identify and deal with the distraction in your life that is preventing you from living for God or serving Him wholeheartedly. And I pray that God Himself will empower you to rid your life of everything distracting and preventing you from doing His will and His work, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Have a pleasant day.


Have a great day.

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MENTAL LAZINESS 26/06/2024


“"Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.' "His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.” (Matt 25:24-27NIV)


In the parable told by our Lord Jesus of a man that gave talents to his servants to work with, the one that did not work with his own talent was referred as lazy by his master. Why? Was it simply because he was unwilling to work with his hands? No! Rather, it was because he was not going to use his head. As his master pointed out to him in our opening text, he could have put the money he was given in the bank, so that he would receive it back with interests. It was a lot of money that he was given. Yet he just laid it away somewhere. He did not do anything with it.


What, then, was he busy with? Something totally irrelevant! So, he had nothing to show for all the time his master gave him to work. That was why his master told him that he was mentally lazy. And because of that, he could not be promoted or elevated. Instead, what he had was taken away from him and given to someone else.


In like manner, there are many who will have nothing to show for the time they were given by God to live here on earth. And that will be because they are mentally lazy. Like that lazy servant, every time they come in contact with a challenge, they see it as the end of life. They will not think of or consider how they can overcome it. 


If such people are learning in school or learning a trade and they come in contact with some difficulties, that is the end of the road for them. They will abandon what they are learning and find something else to do. If it is in their workplace or business centre that they come in contact with challenges, they will see it as the end of their world. They will not think and consider how they can handle those challenges and walk in victory over them. Why? They are mentally lazy. So, they are not ready to consider any problem and solve it.


But great companies, organisations and institutions are looking for men and women that will solve problems for them. Many who are starting businesses are looking for problem solvers. And being able to solve problems in this sense goes beyond having a college education. Yes, going to school is meant to be an advantage. But that you have received some formal education from some schools does not mean that you are not mentally lazy. It does not mean that you are ready and willing to use your head. That is something you need to examine your life for and deal with. And may God strengthen you to do so.


Have a great day.

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SELF-EXAMINATION 25/06/2024


As we begin this new day, I want you to ask yourself, “Am I growing in the things of God at all, or have I been stagnant?” This self-examination is important for each of us, if we are going to fully develop into all that God wants us to be. Yes, I know there are people who don’t think we can honestly examine ourselves to determine how we are really doing in our walk of faith. They think we should allow others to do that for us, especially since other people often see some of the things that we don’t see in ourselves. 


Indeed, other people can be of tremendous help to us in highlighting for us some areas of our lives in which we are growing and those in which we are not growing at all. But we cannot totally rely on other people’s evaluation and submission about our walk with God. That is because their knowledge of us and what is going on in our lives is limited. They can only know as much as we and God allow them to know about us. Besides, their evaluation of our walk with God can only be as relevant and trustworthy as their own understanding of the Christian faith.


So, with God’s help and a heart of sincerity, we can do a prettier job of evaluating our own walk with God than any other person can. What I am saying is that we can look into the Scriptures and see for ourselves the degree to which our lives now conform to the likeness of the person of Jesus Christ and what necessary corrections we must make. Yes, we can look into the Scriptures and see for ourselves whether we are growing in the things of the Spirit or not.


In one of Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, he says, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” (1Cor 13:11-12NIV) Now what Paul says in this text applies not just to his life as a natural man but also to his life as a Christian. So, just as this man was able to tell that he had grown in the things of this life, he was also able to tell that he had grown in the things of the Spirit at the time he wrote this letter.


Truly, as he said in another letter, it was not that he had already grown into the fullness of God’s desire for him at the time. But he could tell that he had already made some progress and that he was still very much on the path of becoming everything God wanted him to be and doing everything He wanted him to do. And how did he know these things? It was by examining his life using the Scriptures. The more he compared his life with what the Scriptures said, the more he was able to know the extent to which he had grown and the extent to which he needed to change. (Cf. Phil 3:12-14)


Now we also are expected to learn to do likewise. We are expected to daily examine our lives with the Scriptures, so that we can see to what extent we have become like our Lord and to what extent we have not conformed to His likeness. We don’t need to wait for others to tell us that we are growing or that we are becoming worse before we take advantage of God’s word to encourage and purify ourselves. If we are truly concerned about becoming all that God wants us to be and doing all that He wants us to do, we will on our own commit ourselves to self-examination. 



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AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO TO YOU  24/06/2024


“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matt 7:12NIV)


As we see in Scriptures, our Lord Jesus has very interesting ways of condensing or summarising the commandments and laws of God. For instance, He once told a man that all the laws of Moses could be summarised into two, namely: love God with everything you represent and love your neighbour as yourself. So, even if your mind is not keen enough to memorise all the instructions we have in Scriptures about living to please God and relating to our neighbours, you should have no difficulty at all in taking to heart these two instructions. (Cf. Matt 22:34-40)


Then, as we see in our opening Scripture, the Lord also condenses all the instructions of the laws and the prophets about our various human relationships into just one fact, which is that we are to treat others as we would have them treat us. Again, even if your mind is not keen enough to memorise all that God has to say in the Scriptures about how to relate to others, you should have no problem taking this one instruction to heart.


Well, the point the Lord is making is that you should treat others the way you would want them to treat you. And the question now is, “How will you want others to treat you?” In my little experience in life, I know that all men want others to take them seriously and treat them with love, compassion, honour, kindness, understanding and consideration. But the problem is that they are usually not ready to treat others the way they will want to be treated.


Now the Lord is saying that is wrong. It is wrong for you to want others to love you and care for you, when you are not ready to do the same to them. It is wrong for you to want those in your life to always be available to support you, protect you and honour you, when you are not ready to lift a finger to do anything for anybody. What kind of person are you really? You are a selfish person. And the word of God teaches us against selfishness. 


Look, for example, at what His word says about it: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Phil 2:3-4NIV) Did you see that? God does not want you to see life as all about yourself only. Instead, He wants you to see it as also about others. In fact, He wants you, out of humility, to always value others above yourself. How? It is by considering their interests in all things and not just your own interests. 


So, while it is a good thing to have others loving us, helping us and honouring us in various ways, we also should give ourselves to loving, helping and honouring them. In fact, we should always think of how we can do more for others than they are doing for us, for the bible says that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). And if this is how we all are living, always seeking what is best for others and not just for ourselves, our world and homes will be a lot better places for us to live in.


But if all we are after is what we can squeeze out of others or get them to do for us, while we keep treating them like nothing, God will surely see to it that we reap a great harvest of the evil seed we are sowing. My prayer is that God will cause you to grasp this truth and also strengthen you to apply it in all your relationships, so that you can daily be among those making the world a better place for us all to live in. Amen.




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IT CAN DO WORSE THAN CORRUPT YOU  23/06/2024


“Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."” (1Cor 15:33NIV)


Those are the Spirit’s words to us. He says don’t ever think or assume that keeping bad company will not hurt you at all or is incapable of making you misbehave. That is because it is only a matter of time. If you hang out enough with a bad or wicked person, they will at some point corrupt you or make you act against what you yourself know to be the will of God. And you may not be able to tell how their bad habits or attitudes become a part of your life and begin to find expression.


This is why the bible says, “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” (Prov 22:24-25NIV) Did you see that? It is our job to dissociate ourselves from hot-tempered people. It is our job to dissociate ourselves from anyone that obviously has a destructive habit or that is obviously involved in something that is contrary to the will of God. Otherwise, it may not be long at all before we learn their ways and start participating in their wickedness. And that certainly will expose us to the wrath of God.


But then, we don’t have to participate in the wickedness of a wicked or evil person before we get ourselves exposed to the wrath of God. Being in their company is enough to make us partakers of whatever judgment God has passed on them. This is sometimes why good people perish with sinners or suffer the fate of sinners. If as a good person, you don’t know when and where to stay away from certain wicked people in your life or certain believers that are living in disobedience to God in some ways, you may end up suffering with them in the day of their judgment.


For example, King Jehoshaphat once narrowly escaped death while fighting the Arameans alongside King Ahab. But first, it was not his fight. It was a fight between King Ahab and the King of the Arameans. So, he should not have been involved. Second, King Ahab was a very wicked man. And because he was wicked, he was being lured by an evil spirit on that occasion to go and fight the Arameans and meet his death. Therefore, he was not someone that Jehoshaphat should have anything to do with at all. (Cf. 2Chro 18)


Unfortunately, because he did not understand the power of evil company and what danger it can expose one to, he allied himself to this wicked man by marriage. And once you become related to someone by marriage, that is, once you become an in-law to someone, you will need to possess great strength of character to refuse to help or support them when they are going in the wrong direction. That was the predicament Jehoshaphat found himself in. Even though he clearly heard the warning of the prophet of God about the danger of that battle against the Arameans, he lacked sufficient strength of character to tell his in-law that he would not be joining him in that battle.


Therefore, he went with him and, if God had not shown him mercy when he cried out to him in the heat of the battle, he would have lost his life, even though he was a godly king. And look at what is written in Scriptures about God’s reaction to his involvement with Ahab on that occasion: 


“When Jehoshaphat king of Judah returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem, Jehu the seer, the son of Hanani, went out to meet him and said to the king, "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Because of this, the wrath of the LORD is upon you.” There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God." (2Chron 19:1-3NIV)


Did you see that? God’s wrath was on this man because of his partnership with wicked Ahab. And the only reason God was being merciful to him was that his heart had been set on seeking Him all along. In like manner, there are many today that are under God’s wrath, not because they are wicked themselves but because they are companions of certain wicked people. And if such people continue to stay in the company of those wicked people, when their day of judgment comes, there is every tendency that they too will not be spared.


So, if you have anyone that is obviously wicked as a friend, colleague at work, neighbour, family member or in-law, set very clear boundaries of righteousness for your relationship with them. In other words, make it plain to them that you will not be a party with them in doing anything that is ungodly or contrary to the will of God. And if there are things you are doing with them or for them or things that they are doing for you that may lead you towards participating in their error, put an end to it. 


Doing this, of course, may result in some losses for you. But it is better to lose money, positions of advantage, prestige or influence than to lose your soul, your life or other things no human being can give. So, count your cost and do the right thing without delay. It is well with your soul.




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RULE OVER US  22/06/2024


“The Israelites said to Gideon, "Rule over us — you, your son and your grandson — because you have saved us out of the hand of Midian." But Gideon told them, "I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The LORD will rule over you." And he said, "I do have one request, that each of you give me an earring from your share of the plunder." (It was the custom of the Ishmaelites to wear gold earrings.)” (Judg 8:22-24NIV)


Why did the Israelites come together as one man to ask Gideon to become their king? Why did they want him to establish a dynasty with his family line among them? It was because he delivered them from the cruel rule of the Midianites.


As the account goes in the bible, the Midianites had oppressed these people for seven years before they were delivered by Gideon. And their oppressive rule was so severe that the Israelites had to hide in caves and mountain cliffs in order to survive. They simply made it a business to impoverish these Israelites and keep them in misery and shame.


But at some point, the Israelites remembered the God of their forefathers who brought them into the land they were occupying and cried out to Him for help. And it was in response to their cry that He raised Gideon for them and used him to deliver them from the cruel rule of the Midianites. 


Now, having being delivered from the Midianites, who should these Israelites naturally praise and yield to His absolute dominion over their lives and nation? God! Was it not the one that raised Gideon for them? Was it not the one that built courage and faith into him, so that he was able to confront their enemies with only 300 men? And was it not the one that caused all their enemies to turn against one another and slaughter themselves? It was the one who did all these things.


Yet, after the people had gotten their liberty and comfort, they immediately turned away from the one that delivered them unto the instrument that He used in delivering them and asked him to rule over them. And if Gideon had been a foolish man, if he had quickly forgotten that it was not by His power that he delivered these people from their enemies, he would have listened to them. That, then, would have been the beginning of his ruin.


But Gideon was not foolish or thoughtless. He knew how God brought him up and empowered him to rescue his people. He knew that everything came from Him and so all the glory and honour of their victory should go to Him. So, very politely, he refused the offer made to him by his people to rule over them. And not only did he tell them that he and his family would not rule over them, he also told them the one that would over them. He said, “It is the Lord that will rule over you.” In other words, he was saying that it was the Lord who saved them that would continue to be their king. Therefore, He was the one they should submit to.


What, then, is the point of all this? It is that regardless of what great things God has used or is using anybody to do for us, we should not give them the place of God in our lives. Otherwise, apart from the fact that we will be guilty of idolatry, we may also end up becoming slaves again, slaves of those that God has used in saving us helping us at one time or the other.


And how many today have become slaves of certain family members, neighbours, colleagues at work, men of God or women of God in this manner? They were helped by these people at some point in their lives, and they were truly grateful for the help. But they also went too far by trying to replace them with God, the God who made everything possible in the first place, in their lives. Therefore, before they knew it, they had put themselves under another form of slavery. And if they do not repent of their sin of idolatry and allow God to take His rightful position in their lives, it may take forever before they and their generations after them become free.


But then, I do not want you to miss my point here. I am not saying that you should not be grateful to those God is using to bless, lift or save you. Be grateful to them, for the word of God teaches this. However, the word of God also tells us not to become slaves of human beings. Why? It is because we are God’s properties and not men’s properties. (Cf. 1Cor 6:19-20; 1Cor 7:23)


In like manner, don’t make yourself anybody’s God and begin to rule over them because you have helped them in certain ways. Remember that you can only help or save those that God has already saved. And you can only do good to anyone because God has enabled you to do it. So, even if some people that you have helped are, in their ignorance, pushing you to take the place of God in their lives, be wise enough to quickly reject the offer. Otherwise, you may end up receiving glory, honour, responsibilities and even wars that are never yours to take and bring yourself to ruin. So, be smart and learn from Gideon or be foolish and end up like King Nebuchadnezzar or King Herod of Peter’s day.



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SEE TO IT 21/06/2024


“See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today’, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (Hebrews 3:12-13NIV) 


What is our apostolic instruction here? It is to see to it that none of us has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. How, then, can we effectively and successfully do that? It is through fellowship! 


Now, as we see in that text, this is everybody’s job. Don’t forget that the writer of the book of Hebrews was not writing to pastors or church leaders here; rather, he was writing to every member of the Hebrew churches, wherever they may be at the time. And he was saying, “Watch one another and see to it that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.”


Well, what this means is that once someone has become a believer and has come to be among us and given his allegiance to the Lord, we all must make sure he does not turn away from Him. You and I have to do whatever we have to do to make sure that person does not turn away from the Lord. And that can only happen through an active and meaningful fellowship with them. Otherwise, we may not be able to help them. 


In like manner, we too must know that it is the duty of other believers in our lives to see to it that we do not turn away from God. And they may be willing to do that, that is, to help us from turning away from the Lord. But if we are unwilling to fellowship with them and allow them to help our faith in whatever way they can, they may not be able to help us from being ruined by the devil. 


So, don’t allow Satan to isolate you from other believers that can help you stand firm in the truth of Christ Jesus till the very end. Instead, take your fellowship with the people of God in your life seriously. And may God continually keep you safe from the evils and corruption of these last days, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Have a lovely day.


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MAKE HIS PURPOSE YOUR PURPOSE  20/06/2024


“I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:10-14NIV)


Paul, in his life, never thought he was going to have anything to do with Jesus of Nazareth. That was because his mission, as a young man, was to destroy the name of Jesus, to take it away from people’s mouth. But one day the Lord appeared to him and told him that He had chosen him to reveal Himself to him and to use him in remarkable ways. That was God’s purpose for him. 


But Paul also has to make God’s purpose his own purpose too in order for it to be realised. So, he says, “I want to know Him. I want to know the power of His resurrection.” Then he further says, “I do not yet consider myself to have accomplished this, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” 


This man is in other words saying, “Jesus Christ took hold of me for a purpose. Now I want to take hold of that thing. Jesus called me for a purpose. Now I am going for it. There was a reason He saved me. There was a reason He delivered me. He wants me to know Him. So, I want to know Him. He wants me to become like Him. So, I want to become like Him.”


Furthermore, Paul says, “At this moment, I do not consider myself to have accomplished this goal yet. But one thing I do is to forget what is behind.” Look at that. He is not looking at the things he did in the past. He is not looking at the number of souls God has used him in blessing. He is not looking at the things he already knows about the Lord. Instead, he says, “Forgetting what is behind, I am straining towards what is ahead. That is because I want to take hold of that for which He took hold of me. This is my goal, my spiritual goal.” 


But did Paul not have a profession? He did. Did He not have a ministry? He did. But he was looking beyond those things. He wanted to become the person God wanted Him to be. 


Do you also want to become the person God wants you to be? Do you want to grow in every respect to become like Jesus Christ? This must be your goal every day and till Jesus comes or till your time here is up. Becoming the person He wants you to be, living the life He wants you to live, standing the way He wants you stand and doing the things He wants you to do – this must be your goal.


I pray for you today that the Spirit of God will strengthen your heart to make God’s goal for you your goal for yourself, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


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HOW TO EXCEL IN USING YOUR GIFT  19/06/2024


“So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church. For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say.” (1Corinthians 14:12-13NIV) 


Paul, in this chapter, has earlier spoken to the Corinthians about speaking in tongues, that is, addressing God’s people in tongues, which is different from praying in tongues. And he says you don’t edify God’s people when you instruct them in tongues. But if you are able to interpret what you are saying, then, you can edify them. 


So, he says pray to God that He will enable you to interpret what you say in tongues. In other words, pray to God that He will cause you to excel in taking that gift you have to the point of building up the people of God. And that can be applied to any gift you have. You can talk to God about it that He will cause you to be effective in using it. And He will make you excel in using it.


Second, study the Scriptures to see how you can please God with that gift. Study the Scriptures to see how others who had that gift or similar ones in the past used them. That way, you too can be further enlightened on how to use them to please God and not yourself or other men.


Third, recognise opportunities to use your gift. Stephen was ordained as a deacon in the church. But the bible says he worked great miracles and signs among the people and also taught them many things. He did not wait until he got to church meetings before using his gifts. The apostles were there teaching the brethren at that time. So, he may not have the opportunity to teach them too. But out there he could teach, heal the sick, raise the dead and so forth. And he did just that. (Cf. Acts 6:1-10)


What about Philip the evangelist? He was ordained as a deacon to handle food matters. But out there he began to preach the word of God to people. And he did not matter to him whether he was talking to one person or to cities. So, at some point, everybody recognised him as an evangelist. So, recognise the opportunities God brings you to use your gift. And I pray for you that the Spirit of God will strengthen your heart and your hands to excel in those gifts that He has given to you, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Have a lovely day.


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IF THE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE NOT SUITABLE  18/06/2024


““You must not marry and have sons or daughters in this place." For this is what the LORD says about the sons and daughters born in this land and about the women who are their mothers and the men who are their fathers: "They will die of deadly diseases. They will not be mourned or buried but will be like refuse lying on the ground. They will perish by sword and famine, and their dead bodies will become food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth." (Jer 16:2-4NIV)


Did you see that? God told Jeremiah not to marry in his country at the time he was prophesying to them. Why? Was it because He did not want him to marry at all? No! Rather, it was because the circumstances were not right. The land was facing enemy invasion at the time. In other words, it was a time of war. And God had told him that his country would fall and many of the people would die or be taken into captivity. Anyone, then, who married at that time did so at their own risk. 


Therefore, it was because God wanted to spare Jeremiah the sorrow of losing his wife or children to the on-going war against the Babylonians that He told him not to marry. What this is teaching us, then, is that God is not dumb. He is not stupid or unfeeling. He also can tell when the circumstances of our lives are not right for us to manage certain things, including love relationships. So, He is not going to force anyone to do anything or to go into a love life that they are not ready for or that will end up defeating His purpose for their lives.


Love relationships, for instance, are basically for companionship. That was why God brought Eve to Adam, the first man. God wanted her to be a suitable companion to him in living his life, in managing the earth and in filling the earth with children of his kind. If you, then, can see that the prevailing circumstances of your life will not permit you to experience love in this manner, it is only wise and right for you not to go into any love affair. And will God get angry with you because of that? No! He will only see and praise you as a wise child. 


Well, the point we are making is that if the circumstances of your life are not ripe or suitable for something you want to embark on, don’t force yourself to embark on it. No, you may not hear the voice of God, as Jeremiah did, warning you not to embark on that thing. But you already have His warning in Scriptures, showing you to watch the circumstances of your life before you do anything. Otherwise, you may end up labouring in pain.


Now I pray that you will not labour in vain ever again in your life, in Jesus’ name. Amen. But pay attention to this word of wisdom. And have yourself a lovely day.




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SEPARATE YOURSELF FROM DESTRUCTION  17/06/2024


“Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. He warned the assembly, "Move back from the tents of these wicked men! Do not touch anything belonging to them, or you will be swept away because of all their sins." So they moved away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Dathan and Abiram had come out and were standing with their wives, children and little ones at the entrances to their tents.” (Num 16:25-27NIV)


There are times that the only way to escape from God's judgment or destruction is to separate ourselves from certain individuals. And at such times, prayer, fasting, giving or any other religious duty we may give ourselves to will not work. The only thing that will be our salvation is to move away from those that have been marked for destruction.


Now such was the case with the children of Israel that Moses brought out of Egypt to take into the Promised Land during the rebellion of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. God, at the time, was determined to destroy these men, their immediate families and their possessions. And that was because of their rebellion against the leaders He had appointed over them, that is, Moses and Aaron. But as Moses pointed out to the people, it would not only be these men and their people and things that would be destroyed, when God's moved to judge them. Anyone that associated himself with them, whether out of sympathy or arrogance, would also be destroyed along with them. 


That means if the whole Israelite assembly took their stand with these men, they also would be swallowed up by death along with them. That was why Moses told them to move away from them and their properties. And they did. So, when these men were swallowed up by the ground, the rest of the Israelites were not swallowed up with them.


Similarly, when God was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, the angels He sent made it clear to Lot and his family that the only way for them to be saved from what was coming was for them to separate themselves from the people in these cities. In other words, they must get as far away as they could from these two cities. In fact, they were told not to look back at all when escaping. Otherwise, they would be destroyed along with the people of the cities. (Cf. Gen 19:12-26)


Unfortunately, even though they were sternly warned in this manner and told to escape for their lives, Lot still hesitated, according to the bible. That means he was reluctant to leave. Was it because he did not believe the words of those angels? No! Rather, it was because he was counting what his losses would be, if he should leave like that, seeing that he was a wealthy man. He was really hoping there was an alternative to what the angels had told him. 


But there was no alternative to what they had told him. The only way for him and his family to be saved from what was coming was for them to run away from those wicked and unreasonable dwellers of Sodom and Gomorrah. And he did not have forever to do that. He did not even have one more hour to think the matter over or to have a meeting with his family about it. The angels told him that he had to flee with his people immediately. Otherwise, he would miss the mercy of God. And when they saw his reluctance to leave, they grabbed all of them and led them safely out of Sodom. Yet his wife lost her life in the process because she disobeyed the words of the angels that came to them and looked back.


Why am I showing you this? I am showing you because I want you to know that there are times that the only way for you not to suffer, fail or lose your life is for you to separate yourself totally from certain people, organisations, systems or even communities. And that will be because they have been marked for failure or destruction because of their sins or some active curses. So, regardless of what love, sentiments or sympathy you may have for them and regardless of what prayers you may be offering for them, the best you can do for yourself is to get away from them without delay. That is because even if God gives you time to get away from them, you won't have forever to do so. And a little moment of hesitation from you may make you end up as Lot's wife did.


How, then, will you know who to get away from and when to get away from them? Well, Paul gives us a clue to this in 1Corinthians 5. There he tells us that if anyone who calls himself a believer is living in very obvious sins and will not repent, you must stay away from him totally until he repents. Otherwise, you may end up sharing in his judgment. Apart from that, you can't tell who is marked for certain destruction that you need to immediately get away from, unless God reveals them to you. So, you will be in order to regularly pray to God to make known to you relationships or associations that may end up exposing you to destruction and that you need to get away from. And once He reveals them to you, it will be wisdom for you to act accordingly for your safety. 


Have a great day.



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WHERE YOU SHOULD NOT IMITATE JOB  16/06/2024


“As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” (James 5:11NIV)


One of the lessons that the story of Job teaches is perseverance in the face of life’s challenges. As we see in the bible, this man faced tribulations that many who have lived and died never faced. He lost all his children and all his possessions in one day. And as if that were not enough, he lost his health too and became an object of scorn among those who had once revered and honoured him. To make matters worse, he did not experience any of these things as a wicked man but as a righteous man. (Cf. Job 1&2)


According to the bible, God Himself testified before all His angels and even the devil that Job was an upright and blameless man. If fact, as God pointed out to the devil, there was no one on the face of the earth like Job. Yet this man was severely afflicted. So, you should never think that Satan is incapable of touching you or afflicting you because you are righteous or holy or because you give generously for God’s cause and to people. If he is permitted, Satan will step into your life and afflict you, regardless of what degree of righteousness, holiness or blameless you or others may think you have. (Cf. Job 1:8)


Now we are not told how many days, weeks, months or years Job’s afflictions lasted. But we are told that the man endured everything. He did not give up on God because of his afflictions. Even though his own wife took advantage of the situation to torture him and to pressure him to denounce God, he still would not denounce him. And though his friends also seized the period to harass him and express their reservations about his devotion to God, he did not give up on Him.


Yes, at some point, he became offended and got angry with God for everything he was going through. But he never for once denied or cursed him. He maintained his integrity all through. So, at some point, God, who is full of compassion and mercy, stepped in, set him right where he was wrong, healed him, made him whole and restored his life, home and fortunes. What a good God!


Therefore, whatever you may be faced with, don’t give up on God. No, do not deny Him or disown Him because of your trials or challenges. That is because the bible says:


“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him." (Heb 10:35-38NIV)


Did you see that? Our unfailing confidence in God will be richly rewarded, just as Job’s unfailing confidence in Him was rewarded. All we need is to persevere, even as we do His will. And in just a very little while, we will see Him move on our behalf. Yes, sometimes we may think He is not fast enough or that He is just too quiet about our situation. But we are told in that text that He will not delay His work or action for our salvation, deliverance or exaltation. That means even when we think He is not working at all or when we cannot see what He is doing, He is working fast for our good. And if we do not shrink back, we will see what He has been doing all along for our good.


But then, there is another side to Job’s story, which we hardly notice or pay attention to. And that has to do with the fact that he did not resist the devil at all in his life. Of course, God permitted the devil, as the story goes, to touch his family, possessions and even body. And that was to show the devil that his faith in him was true and genuine. But even though God permitted the devil in that manner, he too had a right here on earth and through his faith in God to resist him. 


Unfortunately, he did not even know at the time that Satan was the one responsible for all that he suffered and was going through. He thought God was to blame for everything. He thought that God was always the one behind everything good and everything bad. And his ignorance in this matter gave Satan all the time and space he needed to make matters go from bad to worse for him. If God, then, had not limited the devil and his works and told him not to touch his life, he would have killed him. 


In like manner, many are suffering in the hands of the devil today because of ignorance of different kinds. It may be ignorance that is associated with his works or one that is associated with not knowing that he can be resisted in the name of Jesus Christ. The bible tells us that we can resist the devil and that we should resist him steadfastly. It also tells us not to give him any opportunity to work in our lives. Then it tells us the nature of his work – it tells us that he is a thief, killer and destroyer. So, anything that is geared towards stealing from us, killing us or destroying us or anything that belongs to us is a work of the devil, and we must not allow it. (Cf. John 10:10; Eph 4:27; Eph 6:10-18; James 4:7; 1Pet 5:8)


This, then, is one area in which we must not imitate Job. Job did not resist the devil at all. Instead, he accepted his problems as coming from God and allowed Satan to persist in afflicting him. And as I pointed out before, if God had not been merciful to him, he would have been utterly destroyed by this enemy of his soul. But we have been clearly told that we can resist the devil and that he will run away from us when we do so. Job did not resist the devil because he did not know that he could resist him. But we know. So, if we allow Satan to work in our lives and mess us up, we must blame ourselves and ourselves only. 


Now I don’t want to end up blaming myself for giving Satan any room at all to work in my life. So, I have got my mind made up to daily take advantage of the grace of God to say ‘No’ to this wicked being’s works in my life and affairs. And I enjoin you too to make up your mind to do the same.




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HOW FAR WILL YOU GO? 15/06/2024


“And say to Amasa, 'Are you not my own flesh and blood? May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if from now on you are not the commander of my army in place of Joab.'” (2Sam 19:13NIV)


Those were David’s words to Amasa, his nephew, when he was labouring to bring all Israel back to him after the rebellion of Absalom had been squashed. And did he fulfil this promise or not? He did, for we are later told in the bible, “Then the king said to Amasa, "Summon the men of Judah to come to me within three days, and be here yourself."” (2Sam 20:4NIV)


That means David actually made Amasa the commander of his entire army in place of Joab. And was Joab happy with that? No! Truly, judging by some standards, Amasa was not as competent as Joab in leading Israel’s army. For example, he was late in carrying out the very first task he was given by the king (2Sam 20:5). And if he were to be judged by that, he would cease being Israel’s army commander from that time on.


But then, David did not make him the commander of the army because he was more competent than Joab. Rather, he made him the commander because he wanted to end the bloodshed that the rebellion of Absalom had started and make peace with everyone. As we are shown in the bible, Amasa was the commander of the army of Absalom. And his army was larger than the one David had with him. So, it was only wise of David to bring someone like him on board and use his influence to unite the divided armies of the nation. (Cf. 2Sam 17:25)


However, because Joab was not happy with the fact that this man, who had been on the side of rebellious Absalom, was taking over his place, he made a move in disguise to kill him. Look at how the account is rendered in the bible:


“While they were at the great rock in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Joab was wearing his military tunic, and strapped over it at his waist was a belt with a dagger in its sheath. As he stepped forward, it dropped out of its sheath. Joab said to Amasa, "How are you, my brother?" Then Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. Amasa was not on his guard against the dagger in Joab's hand, and Joab plunged it into his belly, and his intestines spilled out on the ground. Without being stabbed again, Amasa died. Then Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba son of Bicri.” (2Sam 20:8-10NIV)


Did you see what Joab did in order to maintain his position as Israel’s general? He killed an innocent man. He killed a man that took him as a brother and who had not offended him in any way. And Amasa was indeed his relative. He was his cousin, the son of his mother’s sister. Yet he did not mind killing him in a very cruel and diabolical way. (Cf. 2Sam 17:25)


Well, that is to show us how far some people will go in order to have what they want. They are willing to sacrifice even their own family members or relatives in order to realise their ambitions. And every day we hear news of people sacrificing their families or friends for money, blackmailing their colleagues at work for positions or selling their neighbours to wicked and unreasonable people in order to take over their wealth. We even hear news of people using parts of their own bodies for rituals in order to gain wealth or some earthly positions.


Now I may not know how you far you are willing to go in order to realise certain ambitions of yours. And I may not know how much you are willing to sacrifice in order to satisfy your desires. But I do know that God is watching every one of us and looking at the steps we are taking to realise our dreams or ambitions. And someday, He will judge us accordingly.


Joab was not judged by David for his ruthless killing of innocent men, men better than him. But Solomon, who became king after David, did not hesitate at all to judge him. He saw to it that he paid with his blood for all his crimes. So, even if the society you now live in or the government of your place will not judge you today for ruthlessly destroying others in order to satisfy your cravings, it does not mean that God won’t find someone else who will judge you tomorrow. (Cf. 2Kings 2:28-35)


By the way, apart from the fact that God will judge all people on the day He has set at the end of this age, He is daily judging people for their works (Zeph 3:5). It is just that it is not every time that people can tell that certain problems they are facing in life are symptoms of God’s judgment on their lives. So, you cannot escape God’s judgment for whatever you are doing, good or bad. And if you are going too far, going beyond what is righteous in realising your dreams, He will at the right time make sure you duly pay for your excesses.




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HAVE A SENSE OF DEVOTION 14/06/2024


“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possession was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there was no needy person among them…” (Acts 4:32-34NIV) 


Now I want to ask, “Can that still happen among us today? Can we today have a situation in which there is no needy person among us?” Why not? Why can’t we experience the same thing? I believe we can. If we will devote ourselves to one another in love, this same thing is going to happen in our midst. 


But today, in the same Christian assembly, some people will put on clothes that are close to rags and some others will come around with flying robes and apparel. Yes, a family will come around for a church meeting with two or three cars while several others don’t even have a bicycle to ride. Yet all of us will sit together, pray together, lift our hands together, sing together, give offerings together and dance together. Sometimes, some of us will not even allow others to move or dance around freely because of our flying robes and expensive apparel. Yet our eyes cannot see the needs of others, because we have become so blind.


I will tell you this: many of us are blind; we are unable to see the things that God wants us to see. And that is because we have no sense of devotion. We have no sense of belonging. We don’t think that the church is a family. And sometimes I don’t blame us, for some families of the world are like that. Children of the same mother and the same father will come together for the same programme or meeting, and some among them will be well dressed while some others will be poorly clothed. Yet their brothers and sisters will not ask, “What is wrong with you? Why are you like this? Is anything the matter with your business? How can we help you?” Rather, they will pride themselves in the fact that they are better than their own brother or sister. That is a spirit of the world, which should not be in the church at all. 


When you see a family that is functioning as God wants families to function, they will be devoted to one another. The brothers and sisters in that family will be devoted to one another. They will want every one of them to do well in life. Your brothers and sisters will be committed to your welfare. If things are not going on well for you, they will be on your case. And if you want to marry the wrong person, they will not allow you or support you. They will say, “No, you will not marry this person, for he is going to destroy your life.” And that is because they are concerned. They know that, ultimately, they are not the ones that will live with you in that marriage; you will be living alone with whomever you marry. And by the time you begin to smell pepper, they will not be there with you.


But in the church today we will say, “It is not our business.” And that is because we have no sense of devotion; we have no sense of belonging. But this is your family, my beloved. That was how the brethren were taught by the apostles to see the church in the early days. To them the church is the household of God. So, when you come into the church, you know that you have come into the family of God. And you have to be devoted to that family. You have to be responsible in that family. And may you be taught and strengthened by the Spirit of God to be so, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Enjoy your day.



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GIVE YOURSELF TO HIM FIRST 13/06/2024


“And they exceeded our expectations: they gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.” (2Corinthians 8:5NIV) 


Who was Paul referring to in our opening text? The Macedonian Christians! And what was the first thing they were reported to have done? They gave themselves to the Lord and to His people. That is where to begin. Give yourself to the Lord first. And once you have given yourself to the Lord, nothing will be too difficult to give to Him. 


This, however, has to be a conscious thing. You don’t release yourself to the Lord by accident. Your faculties and everything about you have to be involved. Do you release yourself to people by accident? I doubt it. I know there are people who may want to manipulate you and get you to give yourself to them unconsciously. But generally, we don’t give ourselves to people unconsciously. And it must be the same in our dealings with God. 


Yes, sometimes, we may give ourselves to the Lord unconsciously. I mean there are times that we just join other people of God in doing what they are doing without even thinking about what it means or what it implies. But the giving of ourselves to God has to be a conscious thing. We are to consciously release ourselves to Him. You are to do this out of your own volition. That means you have thought about it and have concluded that that is the right thing to do. So you say, “Lord, I release myself to you. I have thought about this and have seen that it is the right thing to do, especially in the light of all that you have done for me. So, my hands are now yours. My legs are now yours. Every part of me is now yours. You can do with me as you please.” 


Once you have done that, I am telling you, there is nothing that will be difficult for you to release to the Lord. One of the reasons it has been so difficult for some of us to release our substance to the Lord is that we have not fully yielded ourselves to Him. There is no greater gift a man can give than himself. Or is there a greater gift? When you release yourself to a man, you have given him the greatest gift of all. So, nothing else will be difficult for you to give to Him.


In like manner, when you have freely given yourself to God, nothing will be too much or difficult for you to give to Him. So, start by giving yourself to Him. Then you will soon see that it will not be hard or difficult for you again to give Him anything and everything you have.



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CARRIERS OF HIS POWER 12/06/2024

“One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal those who were ill.” (Luke 5:17NIV) 


What do we see here? We see that Jesus was in a place, teaching the people. And those who were there could recognise that God’s power was there with Him to heal the sick. How were they able to tell? It must be that they could literally feel God’s power there. So, they began to take advantage of it to be healed. In fact, the next incident Luke reports in the passage is about some people that brought a man that was paralytic into the place. And he did not leave the place the same way he came in. He was healed, for the power of God was present there to heal the sick. (Cf. Luke 6:18-26)


Also, in the same gospel, chapter 6, from verse 17, Luke says, “He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming out from him and healing them all.” (Luke 6:17-19NIV) Look at that. The power of God was coming from Jesus and healing the people. So, they were trying to touch Him, for they could sense that the power of God was coming out from Him. 


We too, who believe in Christ Jesus, must get to that place where people will be able to tell or sense that God’s power is flowing out from us. Many of us have not experienced this. That will probably be because we are not desirous of experiencing it or because we are ignorant of the fact that we are carriers of His power. And we are carriers of His power. We just need to know this and continually pray, as Paul prays for the Ephesian brethren, that we will know that His power is at work in us and also know the greatness of this power and how to take advantage of it. (Cf. Eph 1:18-22)


Look at the apostles of old. There was a time, for example, that the people were placing their sick people on the road so that Peter’s shadow would fall on them and they would get well. Why were they doing that? It was because they could tell that he was carrying God’s power everywhere he went. Also, there was a time that people were taking aprons and handkerchiefs from Paul to place on their sick folks, so that they could get well. Why? They could tell that God’s power was coming out from him and that anything he used would have that power on it. (Cf. Acts 5:12-16 & 19:11-12)


Now it can be the same for us. Our cloths can carry God’s power. Our beds can have the power of God settled on them. The things we use can have the power of God settled on them. It is just for us to know that we are carriers of this power and know how to take advantage of it and unleash it on our lives’ situation and for those around us to enjoy. And I pray that you will be enlightened more and more about this power of God that is resident in you, so that you may make the most of it in doing His will.


Have a splendid day. 


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CARRIERS OF HIS POWER 12/06/2024

“One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal those who were ill.” (Luke 5:17NIV) 


What do we see here? We see that Jesus was in a place, teaching the people. And those who were there could recognise that God’s power was there with Him to heal the sick. How were they able to tell? It must be that they could literally feel God’s power there. So, they began to take advantage of it to be healed. In fact, the next incident Luke reports in the passage is about some people that brought a man that was paralytic into the place. And he did not leave the place the same way he came in. He was healed, for the power of God was present there to heal the sick. (Cf. Luke 6:18-26)


Also, in the same gospel, chapter 6, from verse 17, Luke says, “He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming out from him and healing them all.” (Luke 6:17-19NIV) Look at that. The power of God was coming from Jesus and healing the people. So, they were trying to touch Him, for they could sense that the power of God was coming out from Him. 


We too, who believe in Christ Jesus, must get to that place where people will be able to tell or sense that God’s power is flowing out from us. Many of us have not experienced this. That will probably be because we are not desirous of experiencing it or because we are ignorant of the fact that we are carriers of His power. And we are carriers of His power. We just need to know this and continually pray, as Paul prays for the Ephesian brethren, that we will know that His power is at work in us and also know the greatness of this power and how to take advantage of it. (Cf. Eph 1:18-22)


Look at the apostles of old. There was a time, for example, that the people were placing their sick people on the road so that Peter’s shadow would fall on them and they would get well. Why were they doing that? It was because they could tell that he was carrying God’s power everywhere he went. Also, there was a time that people were taking aprons and handkerchiefs from Paul to place on their sick folks, so that they could get well. Why? They could tell that God’s power was coming out from him and that anything he used would have that power on it. (Cf. Acts 5:12-16 & 19:11-12)


Now it can be the same for us. Our cloths can carry God’s power. Our beds can have the power of God settled on them. The things we use can have the power of God settled on them. It is just for us to know that we are carriers of this power and know how to take advantage of it and unleash it on our lives’ situation and for those around us to enjoy. And I pray that you will be enlightened more and more about this power of God that is resident in you, so that you may make the most of it in doing His will.


Have a splendid day. 


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THE RICH MUST BE WRONG 11/06/2024


“Do not show partiality to a poor person at his trial.” (Ex 23:3GNT)


I really cannot recollect the number of times I have on the road witnessed commercial motorcyclists abusing and cursing private vehicle owners, even when it was clear that they were in the wrong. Unfortunately, most times, when others would intervene and judge such cases between people, it was the one that appeared to be rich among them that they would want to blame. Some would not even bother to find out what really happened before point accusing fingers.


Now why is that often the case? It is because most poor people have hidden bitterness in them against rich people. And that is because they usually think they are the reason they are poor. But while it is true that rich people can be oppressive and unfeeling, it is not every rich person that is hostile, wicked or oppressive. There are rich people that have become rich through the help of God and their honest and diligent labour. And there are rich people that are kind, generous and peace-loving in every way.


Therefore, we can’t always hold the rich responsible for the poverty of the poor. In fact, in many cases, they are not to blame at all for the poverty of the poor. People become poor and stay poor in life for different reasons, some of which could be lack of financial intelligence, laziness, pride, misfortunes and so forth. 


If you are poor, then, you should settle down and carefully study the reason for your poverty and misery instead of always blaming the rich in your land for them. That way, you can begin to take steps that will take you out of poverty and lead you into abundance.


In any case, in our opening bible text, God warns us not to function with bitterness against the rich, regardless of our position in life. Why? It is so that we will not become judges with evil intentions. See, as long as we are bitter against those who are rich in our lives or around us, we will never see anything good in or about them. They and whatever they do will always be wrong in our eyes. This being the case, whenever we have any opportunity to judge a case between a rich person and some poor fellow, we will most likely favour the poor person against the rich one, without examining the facts or even with the facts clearly showing us something different. 


Now when we function like that, we are promoting wickedness in our land; we are perverting justice in the land. And God will not hold us guiltless. This explains why some people will never be rich or great in life. Yes, they themselves want to be rich and great. But they are filled with hot bitterness and anger against rich and great people. Therefore, God Himself is resisting their advancement and exaltation in life. And He will continue to do so unless they repent and cleanse their hearts. 


Perhaps you too are guilty of these things. Perhaps your bitterness, anger and injustice against those who are richer or more highly placed in life than you are the reason your life is stagnant. Every time you are speaking against them and working against them, even when they have not offended you or done you any wrong. You need to repent without delay and allow God to wash your heart with His word. Otherwise, that great height or better life you are eyeing and wishing for yourself in this life may forever elude you. 


Mind you, I am not saying we should not condemn the rich when they are wrong. By all means, we should judge them wrong wherever they are wrong. But we must never assume that the rich must be wrong in every case they have against the poor. God will never work with such assumptions. So, we too should henceforth stop working with them.



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SALVATION FROM UNREASONABLE AND WICKED PEOPLE 10/06/2024


“…and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.” (2Thess 3:2NKJV)


As bible accounts show us, there was a time that King Saul, in his quest to capture and kill David, was ready to kill and destroy anyone associated with him. First, it was his own son, Jonathan, that he wanted to kill. He wanted to kill him because of his friendship with David. But originally, it was because he wanted the throne for Jonathan that he wanted to kill David. Why, then, would he want to kill him? And who would he give the throne to after killing the son that was the most qualified of all his sons to take over from him? He was not thinking about this at all the day he hurled his spear at him. Why? He had become wicked and unreasonable. (Cf. 1Sam 20:24-34)


Also, because he had become wicked and unreasonable, he made a move to attack Prophet Samuel and all the other prophets with him, just because he had learnt that David was with them. But God disgraced him that day and delivered them from his hand. (Cf. 1Sam 19:18-24)


Unfortunately, the story went differently with the priests at Nob. Their head priest, Ahimelech, had interacted with David briefly when he was fleeing from Saul. And he had innocently done this without knowing what was going on between the two of them. But because Saul had become wicked in heart and unreasonable in his actions, he did not even bother to investigate Ahimelech’s involvement with David at all. He simply ordered his execution and the execution of all his family members and the town of the priests. Think about that. (Cf. 1Sam 22)


Now, and this is something I want you to pay attention to, when Saul ordered his officials to rise and kill the priests of God, they would not listen to him. Yes, it was a royal order and these men could be executed themselves for defying it. Nevertheless, they would not carry it out. Why? First, it was because they feared God. In other words, these men knew that there was no way they would touch God’s anointed priests and be guiltless. And since He is greater than their king, they would rather obey Him than obey their king, even if that would bring punishment on them.


Second, those men would not carry out Saul’s order because they had not lost their minds like him. That means they could tell, based on the explanation of Ahimelech, that he had no fault at all in helping David. So, killing him, the priests with him and entire town of the priests had no justification whatsoever. Oh, that God would bless us in our various government and private institutions with such men and women, men and women that will not allow any unreasonable or wicked person to use them to condemn or punish the innocent!


Unfortunately, that same day, there was another wicked and unreasonable person like Saul with him. His name was Doeg the Edomite. He was just like Esau, his ancestor, who was godless and had no care at all for spiritual things. And it was he that rose up to strike down Ahimelech, all the anointed priests of God with him and the entire town of the priests, with all their women, children and livestock. Why did he do that? What was he going to benefit by killing innocent people? Had Saul promised him a great position? No, the account does not say that. So, he just did what he did because he was a wicked, unreasonable, godless and bloodthirsty fellow. 


In like manner, unreasonable and wicked people do not need to have any justifiable reason to attack you or to seek to destroy you. In other words, even if there is no benefit for them in harming you, they may still want to harm you. Or if they simply feel like harming you or someone tells them to harm you, they may not mind doing so. Why? It is because they do not care about tomorrow or the future. No, they do not care about human lives, properties, love, justice or peace. They do not care about the consequences of their actions, even if they may result in their own death or destruction. They only care about themselves and the immediate gratification or satisfaction they are going to get from what they do. 


So, you cannot reason with them or counsel them because they are not different from wild animals. All they want is to consume to their satisfaction now. If tomorrow comes, fine. And if it does not come, it is fine with them as well. These ones are also not different from machines, which are being operated with a remote control. Therefore, they can only do what they are asked to do by those who have possessed them – they cannot ask questions.


You can see why kidnappers, bandits, terrorists, robbers, serial killers, rapists, paedophiles, thieves of public funds and those who use people for money rituals behave the way they do. They do not care about those things that God fearing and sensible people care about. They care only about themselves. So, unless they are destroyed or saved by God, most people will not be safe around them.


Which, then, is better, their salvation or their destruction? Evidently, their salvation is better. In fact, God, as the bible shows us, wants all such people saved (1Tim 2:1-4). However, while they are yet living their wicked and unreasonable life, we will need to be protected from them, so that we do not become victims of their wickedness. That is why Paul, in our opening text, tells us that one of the prayers we should be offering is that we will be protected from unreasonable and wicked people, people who have no faith in God. And we will do well to continually offer this prayer for ourselves and for all our loved ones, for we all have around us wicked, unreasonable and godless people.



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AN ATTITUDE OF THANKSGIVING  09/06/2024


‘A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’” (John 3:25-28NIV)


What said these words? It was John the Baptist. And there is a part of what he said that I want you to pay attention to, which is, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven.” In other words, it is only what God has given you that you can legitimately receive – you cannot receive what He has not given. 


Yes, you can go out of your way to take for yourself what God has not given to you. But that is going to get you into trouble sooner or later. It does not matter whether it is manipulation, force, witchcraft or sorcery that you are using to get what God has not given to you. It can only lead you into trouble. It is only what God has given that does not come with sorrow or pains.


Similarly, Paul says this to the Corinthians: “For what makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do your boast as though you did not?” (1Corinthians 4:7NIV) Did you see that? Is there any good thing that has come to us legitimately that we have not received from God? Did we bring anything into this world when we came? No, we brought nothing. Everything we have had and enjoyed in this life has come to us from God’s hands. Even the very life in us has come to us from Him. Our bodies also have come to us from Him. 


That being the case, we ought to be grateful to Him. Our attitude to God must always be that of thanksgiving. And this is not only about when we receive from God things we have not worked for. Yes, from time to time, God will move people to give us gifts. We should be thankful to Him on such occasions for moving people’s hearts to give to us. And we may not really see anything wrong or difficult in doing that. But when it comes to those things we have worked to earn, we may not see the need to be thankful to God for them. However, whether what has come to us is what we have worked for or a gift, we must understand that nothing can come to us except what God has given. 


Mind you, speaking about receiving gifts from people, it is not everyone that God moves their heart to give to you that will give to you. Some people may not give to you, even though God has spoken to them about giving something to you. So, if someone takes that bold step to give to you as he has been instructed by the Lord, if someone matches up their desire to give to you by actually giving to you, you should be thankful to God for it.


Am I saying we should not thank men for what they do for us or give to us? No! It is also important that we learn to thank human beings. When people give us gifts or do something for us, we should thank them. Even when people pay us for goods sold to them or services rendered for them, we should thank them. That is because there are people all around us who worked for some people or the government and are yet to collect what is due them. So, if someone pays you for what you have done for them, you should thank the person.


But more importantly, you must acknowledge God as the one responsible for all the good things coming to your life and be thankful to Him. You must not overlook any of the things He is doing in your life. Otherwise, you will be exhibiting an attitude of ingratitude. And ingratitude always comes with consequences.



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WHAT TIME IS IT? 08/06/2024


“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” (Proverbs 6:6-8NIV)


Solomon, in our opening text, is telling us to learn from the ant. And what are we to learn from it? It is the fact that even though the ant has no overseer or commander, it knows when to gather and store its provisions. That means the ant knows when to work and when it cannot work. 


It is just like what our Lord once said to His disciples. He said, “We must do the work of Him who sent me while it is day. Night is coming, when no one can work.” That means He knew when He was meant to be working and what He was meant to be doing. And when His time came, He knew that His time had come and was ready to glorify God with His death. (Cf. John 9:4; John 17:1)


Now since our Lord Jesus knew what He was meant to be doing with His life and devoted Himself to doing it, we too must know what we are meant to be doing with our lives. We must know what time it is in our lives. Is it a time for us to be working? Is it a time for us to be resting? Is it a time for mourning or a time for laughing? Is it a time to make war against people or things that have been limiting or hindering us? 


What time exactly is it in our lives? We need to know, if we will progress and be fruitful with our lives as God wants.



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WHAT TIME IS IT? 08/06/2024


“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” (Proverbs 6:6-8NIV)


Solomon, in our opening text, is telling us to learn from the ant. And what are we to learn from it? It is the fact that even though the ant has no overseer or commander, it knows when to gather and store its provisions. That means the ant knows when to work and when it cannot work. 


It is just like what our Lord once said to His disciples. He said, “We must do the work of Him who sent me while it is day. Night is coming, when no one can work.” That means He knew when He was meant to be working and what He was meant to be doing. And when His time came, He knew that His time had come and was ready to glorify God with His death. (Cf. John 9:4; John 17:1)


Now since our Lord Jesus knew what He was meant to be doing with His life and devoted Himself to doing it, we too must know what we are meant to be doing with our lives. We must know what time it is in our lives. Is it a time for us to be working? Is it a time for us to be resting? Is it a time for mourning or a time for laughing? Is it a time to make war against people or things that have been limiting or hindering us? 


What time exactly is it in our lives? We need to know, if we will progress and be fruitful with our lives as God wants.



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DEAL WITH IT 07/06/2024


“Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.” (Genesis 4:8NIV) 


Did you see that? Cain lured his brother to a field to kill him. He told him to come with him to the field. And Abel followed him. He followed him because he did not suspect him. He, of course, must have seen that his face was fallen and unhappy. But he did not think that was going to be a problem. Perhaps he had been going out with him to the field like that in the past. It may even be that Cain had been showing him care and love before, since he was his elder brother. So, he did not suspect him. Of course, he should have paid attention to his countenance. But for reasons not stated in Scriptures he did not pay attention to it. And he lost his life as a result of this.


But why did Cain end up killing his brother? It was because he did not guard his heart. He allowed anger, envy and bitterness to take root in his heart. So, he ended up killing the very one he was supposed to protect. And when God came to him, all He wanted to know was where his brother was. That was because he was supposed to know; he was supposed to be his keeper. But he had killed him.


Now all along, evil had been resident in this man’s heart, but he did not deal with it. We are told in John’s first epistle that Cain was of the evil one (1John 3:12). That explains why he and his offering were not accepted in the first place. He had not been living right before God. His heart had not been right before him. But he did not deal with it. And because he did not deal with it, the occasion in which he and his brother brought God offerings revealed the evil in his heart. So, if you will not deal with the evil in your heart, a time is coming when circumstances of life will bring it out in the open. Then everybody will see you for who you really are.


In the first place, you are not supposed to permit any form of evil in your heart. But we know that, as long as we are in this world, all kinds of evil desires will be making war against our souls. That is why Peter tells us in his first epistle to abstain from the evil desires that war against our souls (1Peter 2:11). So, we may have all kinds of evil desires crouching at the doors of our hearts. It is on us, however, to protect these hearts, so that these evil things will not gain entrance into them, not to talk of find expression in them.


But suppose some evil seed has already gained entrance into your heart. Then you need to tell yourself the truth about it and deal with it. You need to rid yourself of it by allowing the word of God that is being planted in your heart to take charge of you. James tells us that the word of God is able to rid our lives of every kind of evil and save our souls (James 1:21). But if we do not take His word seriously, we stand no chance to win this war or walk in victory over any of the evil things Satan may bring to possess our souls.




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HE WILL NOT TAKE SIDES WITH YOU 06/06/2024


“But Samuel replied: ‘Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.’” (1Samuel 15:22-23NIV)


Did you see what Samuel said about God’s view of rebellion? He said rebellion is like the sin of divination and arrogance like idolatry. So, as far as God is concerned, rebellion is like divination – it is like practising sorcery or witchcraft. If you, then, are rebellious, God sees you as one who is seeking to manipulate those who have authority over you. 


And that is exactly what you are doing. You are trying to force them to abandon what they know to be right and follow your ways. That is why you are giving them attitudes and disobeying them. So, God says you are a witch and an idolater. How, then, will He take sides with you? It is not going to happen. Instead, He will expect those who have authority over you to deal with you.


Yes, there are times that those in authority may go beyond the laws or what is reasonable in judging rebellion or disobedience to authority. And if that happens to you, you should know that you are the cause. Even when you are in the will of God, those who have authority over will still judge your rebellion. No, God will not see your stand against their order or instructions as rebellion. But they will see it that way and so will judge it. 


When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow for the idol of King Nebuchadnezzar, they were standing in the will of God. Yet their king did not see it that way. So, he sentenced them to death. He commanded that they be thrown into the fiery furnace he had prepared for rebels. And the only reason God protected them was that they were in His will. (Cf. Dan 3)


Daniel experienced something similar. King Darius issued an edict that no one should pray to anyone else but himself. Now Daniel knew that this edict was contrary to the righteousness of God. So, he disregarded it and continued to pray to God. That, of course, resulted in his being thrown into the den of lions. And the only reason God came to his rescue was that he was standing in His will. If he had not been standing in His will, he would have perished in that situation. (Cf. Dan 6)


I want you to understand, then, that it is only those standing in the will of God that He is under the obligation to protect from their leaders. Those who are not standing in His will should not expect Him to protect them from their leaders, if they are rebellious. And it is only if they are shown mercy that they will be protected. So, keep away from any form of wilful rebellion. God will not take sides with you on it.



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SUBMISSION AND PROTECTION  05/06/2024


“The city clerk quieted the crowd and said: “Fellow Ephesians, doesn’t all the world know that the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image, which fell from heaven? Therefore, since these facts are undeniable, you ought to calm down and not do anything rash. You have brought these men here, though they have neither robbed temples nor blasphemed our goddess. If, then, Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a grievance against anybody, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. They can press charges. If there is anything further you want to bring up, it must be settled in a legal assembly. As it is, we are in danger of being charged with rioting because of what happened today. In that case we would not be able to account for this commotion, since there is no reason for it.” After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.” (Acts 19:35-41NIV)


There was a riot calling for Paul’s head. But when the city clerk would address the matter, he made the people see that there was no reason at all for their agitation or rioting. He told them that the people who started the riot were out of line. According to him, the people they were accusing were law-abiding citizens of Rome. They were not temple robbers or blasphemers. So, there was no reason to be calling for their heads. And if anyone did have issues with them, the courts were always open for them to approach and press charges. That was how God used that man to rescue Paul. 


Also, in chapter 18 of the same book of Acts, God rescued Paul in a similar fashion. He was in Corinth then. And Gallio was the proconsul of Achaia. The Jews at the time made a united attack on Paul and brought him to the court. But Gallio would not even allow them to say a word before telling them that he would not be a judge of matters concerning the Jewish laws or religion. Therefore, they were ejected from his court. And that was the end of the story -- God had protected Paul from his enemies, using an unbelieving government official.


If you, then, are law-abiding, God can use the leaders of your government to protect you. You may not be able to say exactly how He will do that. But He is able to use them. And that is why you have to be submissive to those over you wherever you are and to the laws of your land. 


There are people who pray all the time for God’s protection. They want Him to keep them safe when travelling and in their workplaces. But they would not obey traffic rules and regulations. Also, they would not take seriously the safety rules given in their workplaces. How on earth is God going to protect them?


God has given you leaders who are giving you instructions on how to be safe at work, on the road and so forth. But you will not listen to them. Instead, you are praying and doing vigils to have God’s protection. How is that going to happen? You are your own enemy.


We see similar things happening in our various Christian assemblies. Many get into trouble because they will not submit to their church leaders. We are told in the bible of how God protected a king of Israel from the king of Aram. And how did He do it? It was through the submissiveness of the man to Prophet Elisha. Any time Elisha gave him instructions about where to go and not to go, he obeyed. So, God was able to protect him and his kingdom. (Cf. 2Kings 6:8-12)


Now I am not saying you should turn your church leader to God in your life or allow any leader to take the place of the Holy Spirit in your life. No! But if you believe that they have the Spirit of God in them and that the counsel they are giving you is not contrary to Scriptures, you should submit to them. That may just be what will save your life, your home, your business or your job. 


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TALK TO GOD 04/06/2024

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7NIV) 


What is Paul saying here and what is he not saying? Well, Paul says do not be anxious about anything. In other words, do not become worried because of anything, the things you want to do, the things you want to have or the challenges you are faced with at the moment. Do not allow anything you are faced with to make you downcast. 


But then, observe that Paul does not say, “Don’t worry about anything. All will be well by themselves.” He does not say that at all. Unfortunately, that is the idea that some people have. They think when we say, “Don’t worry about anything,” we are saying, “Things will somehow get better by themselves. So don’t worry about anything.” 


But things don’t get better by themselves. If things do not become bad by themselves, then, they are not going to become good by themselves. There are forces, influences, beings that make things bad and make life sometimes miserable for us. And if things are going to become good or better for us, God must step in and change them. 


That is why Paul does not just say, “Do not worry about anything”; he also says, “In every situation, talk to God.” He says tell God what you want, what you need. And when you do this, first, He will allow His peace to take charge of your heart and mind. This, of course, does not mean that the circumstances of your life have changed. Things may still remain the same for you or even worse, though you have cast them on God. But He will let His peace fill and calm your heart and mind. He will do this to assure you that He is in charge of the situation, even though you may not yet see anything happening about the matter you have entrusted to Him. 


The second thing God will do, when you talk to Him about your situation, is to actually deal with that situation. Of course, everything He is doing to handle it may not be immediately clear to you. But sooner or later, you will see that the matter has been handled and that the peace He has given to you in your heart is not false peace at all. So, don’t give room for any form of worry in your life. You just talk to God about the situation, whatever it may be. And He will have it handled for you. 



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SPEED UP THEIR READINESS 03/06/2024


“The angel of the LORD appeared to her and said, "You are sterile and childless, but you are going to conceive and have a son. Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean, because you will conceive and give birth to a son. No razor may be used on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines."” (Judg 13:3-5NIV)


Who did the angel of the Lord appear to, as we see in this text? It was Manoah’s wife, that is Samson’s mother. And what did He tell her about the child that she was going to have? It was that the child would begin the deliverance of the nation of Israel from the hands of the Philistines. So, if God is going to deliver a land or anyone from any form of oppression, He will begin somewhere and with someone. 


But then, for those who are being oppressed, the person God uses in delivering them is often not their concern but the time He begins to use that person to deliver them. He can use anyone He likes, as long as the person begins the work on time and also succeeds in getting it done. Therefore, it is not enough for us to be praying that God will raise deliverers for us or for our nation, deliverers that will rescue us from all the mess we are in; it is equally important that we are praying that He speed up their readiness to do the job. 


Why is this important? It is because until God considers people ready for whatever job He wants them to do, He cannot use them for it. They may know that He wants to use them in certain ways or even have a great burden to be used by Him in some ways. But until He has made them ready for what He wants to use them for, He won't send them forth. Otherwise, they may mess up the work or turn away from it for one reason or the other. 


For example, even though God had chosen Moses for the deliverance of His people, something the man himself could sense, He did not call him and send him until he was eighty years old. Is that to say that people always have to be as old as Moses before God uses them in any tangible way? No! God did not wait for Samson or David to become eighty years of age before He began to use him to lead His people. Instead, He began to use him even as a young boy. 


So, it is really not about the age but about the readiness of the vessel God wants to use. That being the case, we should not just be praying for God to raise deliverers and comforters for us in this country; we should also be praying that He will perfect all that concerns those He has chosen for this job, so that they will start working right away. 


But are we going to pray to Him about this? Or are we praying to Him at all about this? Do we even believe in praying to God anymore, especially when we consider that our situation in the country seems to be getting worse instead of getting better? Our Lord Jesus says, “Men ought to always pray and not give up.” Why? It is because there are possibilities that we will be faced with challenges that will want to make us give up on praying to God. (Cf. Luke 18:1)


Now if we give up on praying to God, what are we going to turn to that will be able to save us? Will our wisdom be able to save us? Will violence or lawlessness be able to save us? What about rioting, industrial strike actions and so forth? Can these things save us? 


If they could save us, we would have been saved long ago through them. But they cannot save us and will never be able to save us. The only one that can save us is God. And as our Lord Jesus says, if we will not give up on praying to Him, we will surely see His salvation. That is because He never puts off the prayers of His people but always acts quickly on their behalf. And the only way they will eventually see and enjoy the fruit of what He is doing for them is if they do not give up on Him and turn to the weapons of the flesh, which are nothing really.


So, don't give up on praying to God for this nation, for I too will not give up. And I am sure that at the right time, if we do not faint, we will all see the deliverance of our land and also enjoy it along with all God's holy people who are looking forward to it.    



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BE CONCERNED ABOUT OTHERS TOO 02/06/2024

    

“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Phil 2:1NIV)


Why did God so favour Nehemiah that he ended up becoming the governor of Judah for some years? It was because he was genuinely concerned about the welfare of his people. As bible accounts show us, when this man first learnt of the horrible state of the exiles of Judah who had returned to Jerusalem, he mourned, fasted and prayed about their matter. Not only that, he risked his life by meeting the then emperor, Artaxerxes, for permission to go and work for their welfare. And because his heart was right, God caused him to be favored. That was how he became the governor that rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and that also gave the people the confidence they needed to live and thrive again. (Cf. Neh 1-6)


What, then, is the point of this bible story? It is that there are certain levels of elevation or significance we cannot attain in life, if we are not genuinely interested in the welfare of others. We read in the bible of how God used Moses to deliver the children of Israel from that house of bondage, Egypt. Why? Why was he the one chosen by God for the job? It was because he was genuinely interested in the welfare of his people, the Israelites.


Truly, this man did not initially know the right way to go about securing their independence. So, he ended up becoming a murderer. However, everything he did at that time, even in his ignorance, he did because he truly cared about his people and wanted to set them free to live in their own land and to eat the fruit of their own labour. And when God saw that he had learnt and become mature enough to handle the job, He came to him and equipped him with all that he would need to get the job done. And that was how he became one of the greatest prophets of all times. (Cf. Ex 2-3)


In like manner, if we too want God to elevate us to heights that are beyond even our own contemplation, if we want Him to greatly increase us in significance in life, we must rid ourselves of every form of selfishness and begin to take genuine interest in the lives of others around us. That is because it is usually those who are genuinely interested in the welfare of others that God reveals the solutions to their problems to.


Why are many of our elected leaders today clueless about the problems of their people? For the most part, it is because they are not genuinely interested in their welfare. If they are genuinely interested in their welfare, they will not sit still and watch them suffer or live in misery and pains in life. If they are genuinely interested in their welfare, they will not fold their arms and watch them destroy themselves through reckless, foolish and irresponsible lifestyles. Instead, they will subject themselves to serious thinking, consultations and even prayers, if they believe in God, in order to see how to make life better, safer and more rewarding for them. And it is as they do this that God will begin to open their eyes to see what steps to take to accomplish their missions and objectives, even if they do not believe in Him.


You can, then, see why we have nations of the world whose leaders do not know the Lord or are not religious at all that are yet living in prosperity and affluence. You can also see why we have scientists who do not know the Lord at all coming up with great inventions and discoveries that are making life better and safer for us all. These people love and care about the welfare of others around them. Some of them are even willing to risk their lives and everything they have to seek the welfare of others. 


Therefore, God is not ashamed or reluctant to bless them with ideas and secrets that could turn their world around. And He can do the same with us too. Yes, He can continually overwhelm us with ideas and secrets that will solve most of the basic problems of our homes, neighbourhoods, offices, religious assemblies and even nation as a whole, if we will take the words of Paul to us in our opening bible text seriously. What does he say to us? He says, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Who among us does He say this to? All of us! Who among us should look out for the interests of others as well and not just his own interests? All of us!


But are we going to begin to do this? Are we going to begin to show genuine interest in the welfare of others in our lives and all around us instead of thinking and working for our own good alone? If we will begin to do so, then, God also will begin to equip us with the wisdom, understanding, knowledge, influence, power and resources that we need to take good care of them for Him. And before we know it, our lives will have increased immeasurably in goodness and significance, so much so that the top will be the only place that can accommodate us.



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THE RELEVANCE OF MODERATION 01/06/2024


“If you find honey, eat just enough — too much of it, and you will vomit. Seldom set foot in your neighbor's house — too much of you, and he will hate you.” (Prov 25:16-17NIV)


Years ago, as a boy in the primary school, I once fell terribly ill and had to be on drugs for some weeks. But instead for me to be getting better, I was only getting weaker and duller. It was so bad that I would sleep for most part of the school period. And when my teacher brought this to my father’s notice, he got really worried about it. Eventually, he went back to find out from the clinic where I had been treated and given medications what could be wrong. It was then he found out that he had been giving me an overdose of the medications. And if he had been a little late in finding out what he was doing wrong, the case would have ended differently.


Now what is the point of my story? It is that something that is meant to accomplish some good may end up accomplishing something bad, if it is not handled moderately. And it is this same point that Solomon is making in our opening bible text. According to him, as tasty and medicinal as honey can be, it is very little of it that our bodies can handle at a time. But if we ignore this fact and begin to drink it as one would drink water, it would not be long before we get into trouble. Then something that is supposed to heal us will end up endangering our lives. The same thing is applicable to salt and several other things that are available for our use.


Therefore, in using the things of this life, we must always pursue moderation. Yes, the Scripture says everything God created is good and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving (1Tim 4:4). However, if we do not know the right dose of these good things that God has created and use them accordingly, we will surely get ourselves in trouble. It does not matter whether it is food, water, drink, dress, sleep or even money that we are dealing with. As long as we do not use it moderately, it will lose its goodness and become evil in our hands, a channel through which Satan can afflict us. 


How, then, do you know that you are being immoderate or excessive in the way you are using things that are good and not bad in themselves? First, when through your use of something that is good, you endanger your life or others’ lives, there is a tendency that you are being excessive in your use of it. Second, when through your use of something good, people start seeing you as irresponsible, you may be certain that you are already being excessive. So, as you use the good things God has placed at your disposal, be careful to always use them in ways that they will not endanger you or others or make you appear irresponsible to those who care about you. 


Also, as Solomon further points out in our opening text, as important as it is to be friendly with our neighbours and to know how they are faring, it is not every time they will want us around them. Even if we think they need us, they may not think so. And if we are not discerning about this and be moderate in our dealings with them, we may end up unduly intruding or interfering with their lives and affairs. Then we may get to see what we should not see about them or get to access information or resources belonging to them that they don’t want us to have access to. And this may get them to become irritated about us or it may give room for them to begin to despise or disregard us.


Therefore, in handling our relationships, we must also and always seek to be moderate. Know when the visitation should end. Know when the chatting should end. Know where the quizzing should end. Master the art of getting to know how much of you people really want in their lives. Remember that even God usually does not come into people’s lives and affairs without first knocking and waiting for them to respond, even though He is the creator and owner of every one of us. And when He comes into our lives, He will still only move to the degree that we permit Him. Learn from God, then, and don’t unduly insert yourself into anyone’s life. (Cf. Rev 3:20)


Now someone may ask, “How do I know that I am already becoming excessive in my dealings with others?” First, when your dealings with them is making you irresponsible in any area of your life, preventing you from doing what you ought to do or paying attention to what you ought to pay attention to, your presence in their lives is becoming excessive. Second, when your dealings with them is making them irresponsible in any area of their lives, hindering them from being busy with what they ought to be busy with or resting when they ought to be resting, your presence in their lives is becoming immoderate.


Then when you can see that your presence in people’s lives or with them makes them uncomfortable or exposes you to things about them that you should know or are not qualified to be part of, know that it is becoming too much or excessive. So, you need to excuse yourself. Otherwise, as I said before, they may end up being the one that will excuse you. And the disgrace or shame that will accompany that may be too much for you to bear. 


My prayer is that you will not be disgraced by those who are meant to honour you or ruined through anything God has given for your good. But you too must learn and master the art of moderation in life. The benefits are just too immense to ignore. Cheers!


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RECOGNISE THE OPPORTUNITIES THEY PRESENT 31/05/2024


“And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.” (Philippians 1:14NIV) 


That was Paul’s testimony to the Philippians about his time in the prison. According to him, because of what he was doing with his time in the prison, other brethren who heard about it became excited the more to share the gospel and reach out to others. That means, right from the prison, Paul was still influencing the people of God. He did not diminish in relevance in the kingdom. He did not diminish in influence in the kingdom. Why? He would not waste his time in the prison on nonsense. Instead, he redeemed the time. He took advantage of the opportunities that his circumstances presented to him to remain useful in the kingdom of God. 


Now this is the way we too must learn to live, recognising and utilising for good the opportunities that the circumstances of our lives present to us, regardless of how horrible those circumstances may be. What I am saying is that instead of wallowing in anxiety and in shame, instead of complaining, griping or grumbling, we are to open our eyes to see what opportunities our circumstances present to us that we can take advantage of, for the glory of God, for our good and for the good of others. 


In the fourth of chapter of this book to the Philippians, Paul says something else very striking when writing his closing greetings. He says from verse 21, “Greet all God’s people in Christ Jesus. The brothers and sisters who are with me send greetings. All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.” (Philippians 4:21-22NIV) 


Consider that. A church was birthed in that place because Paul redeemed the time and would not waste the opportunities that his prison circumstances presented to him. Now I wouldn’t know what your own circumstances are. But if you will open your eyes to see the opportunities they present to you and make the most of them, great things will happen to the glory of God.



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PRAY ALSO 30/05/2024


“Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36NIV) 


Observe that the Lord does not just say we are to be on the watch; He also tells us to pray. So, being on the watch is not enough; we must also learn to pray. 


See, without offering prayers for strength and protection in these last days, we don’t stand a chance. The fact that you are on the watch does not mean you will be able to escape what is coming. If the Lord does not keep you in these last days, you will not be safe. That is the truth. If He does not protect you against the evil, the corruption, the pollution of these last days, there is no way you are going to escape these things. 


For example, wasn’t Joseph watchful in the house of Potiphar? Was he not careful enough with his master’s wife? Read the account in Genesis 39, and you will see that the young man was very careful in relating to that woman. He made sure that he avoided her the moment he found out that the woman was interested in him. He saw that the woman wanted to lure him into adultery. So he began to avoid her. But as careful as he was, there was a day he fell into that woman’s trap. And if the Lord had not given him the wisdom to do the right thing with the woman, there was no way he would have escaped her snare. Nevertheless, he ended up in jail because of her evil scheme. 


So, it does not matter how watchful or determined you are, if the Lord Himself does not support or sustain you in these last days, you will not be sustained. This has nothing to do with human might, power or intelligence. We do not have any competence of our own to survive in these last days. 


It is no wonder, then, that Paul says to us in 2Corinthians, chapter 3, from verse 4, “Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” (NIV) Look at that. It is not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves; our competence comes from God. 


Then he goes on to say in verse 6, “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2Corinthians 3:6NIV) Our competence comes from God. Our ability to survive in these last days comes from God. So, we have to be drawing from Him. We have to draw from Him the wisdom we require to survive in these last days. We have to draw from Him the courage we require to survive in these last days. We have to draw from Him the strength to say ‘No’ to wickedness and worldly passions in these last days. We have to draw from Him the protection we need from all the calamities and plagues of these last days. We need to draw from Him the protection we need from the wickedness and the hostility of wicked people in these last days. We need to draw from Him all that we need to survive in these last days.


How, then, do we draw from Him? One major way to do so is through prayers. So, the Lord tells us directly in that text to pray that we will be able to escape all that is about to happen on the face of the earth. That means more terrible things are about to happen here on earth. And the only one that can keep us in the midst of them all is God Himself. So, we have to continually reach out for Him. We have to continually express our dependence on Him. We must realise that we cannot do this on our own. It is not by might nor by power but by His Spirit. Our intelligence cannot do this for us. Our will power cannot work here.


Let me remind you that Peter was determined not to deny his Lord. Read the account in the gospels yourself, and you will see that he was not lying when he said that he was ready to die with or for the Lord. But when the time came for him to prove himself, was he able to do so? No! The courage to do so was not there. The strength to do so was not there. 


But the Lord had told him and the other apostles to pray that they would not fall into temptation. He did not just tell them to watch; He also told them to pray that they may not fall into temptation. But did they pray? No! The accounts show us that they were too tired to pray – they were sleepy. So, when the time of their testing came, they could not stand. Yes, they loved the Lord and did not want to deny Him. But all of them ended up running away from Him.


Now I am sure you don’t want to end up running away from the truth or the practice of righteousness in these last days. And if you don’t want to end up running away from the practice of righteousness, if you don’t want to end up falling into the trap of greed, immorality and bitterness in these last days, then, you must pray.


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BAD THINGS DON’T HAVE TO HAPPEN 29/05/2024


“This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: he was preparing swarms of locusts after the king’s share had been harvested and just as the late crops were coming up. When they had stripped the land clean, I cried out, ‘Sovereign Lord, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!’ So the Lord relented. ‘This will not happen,’ the Lord said. This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: the Sovereign Lord was calling for judgment by fire: it dried up the great deep and devoured the land. Then I cried out, ‘Sovereign Lord, I beg you, stop! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!’ So the Lord relented. ‘This will not happen either,’ the Sovereign Lord said.” (Amos 7:1-6NIV)

Amos narrates for us here two visions he saw about the Lord’s judgment that was coming on the nation of Israel. One of them was supposed to result in famine in the land. And when he saw this, he prayed to God, saying, “Sovereign Lord, please forgive. How can Jacob survive this?” In other words, he prayed to God not to allow what he had seen from happening. And how did God respond to that? He relented and said, “This will not happen.”

Then the second thing Amos saw was that fire devoured the land. That means there would be disasters that would devour the land. And when he saw this too, he did not say, “Well, since this is what God wants, let it be.” No, he did not say that. Instead, he prayed to God saying, “I beg you, Sovereign Lord, stop. This is too much for us. We cannot bear it. Please, forgive.” And God answered him and forgave the land.

Unfortunately, we have today people who, when they see visions of bad things that are meant to happen, will desire that those things happen. Why? It is that they may appear before people as real prophets. People like such are like Prophet Jonah and are not functioning with the mind of Christ.

Bad things don’t have to happen, even if we have seen them in a vision. We can intercede that they will not happen. Of course, there is an extent to which our intercession can work for people, if they will not turn away from their wickedness. But at least, we can intercede for them.

Amos interceded for the land twice. And God answered him those two times. We too can intercede for our land, our people or anyone that God has revealed bad things to us about. Then we can also proceed to warn them. In fact, we are to warn them, unless God has instructed us not to say anything to them. But if He has not warned us not to warn people about the things He has shown us concerning them, bad things that may happen them, we need to warn them so that they may turn from their wicked ways and be saved. And that is because bad things don’t have to happen to anyone, if they can be avoided.


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Stop denying to truth 28/05/2024


“But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” (James 3:14-16NIV)


What is James saying here? First, it is that we can habour wrong and destructive things in our hearts and lives. Second, it is that when we are confronted with the truth about that which is wrong in our lives, we may begin to boast about it. So, you can be boasting about the fact that you are selfish, proud, stingy, wasteful or inconsiderate.


I have seen people boast about such things before. Yes, I have seen people pride themselves in the fact that they are harsh, proud, selfish and inconsiderate in the way they treat others. And it is such people that condemn those who humble themselves before the word of God in handling their lives and refer to them as foolish.


The third thing James says in that text is that we can deny the presence of wrong things in our lives. And when we deny something, we cannot repent of it. If we will not agree that we have been selfish, proud, inconsiderate or stingy in life, we will not see anything to repent of. This, of course, is very dangerous for us. That is because it can lead to a sudden destruction of our lives and even of everything dear to us.


See, those who are boasting about the wrong things they are doing can still be helped. They can still be brought to repentance. But those who are self-deceived, those who will not admit that they are missing it in their lives or homes and need to repent cannot be helped much. And such people, if care is not taken, may end up being utterly and suddenly destroyed by the devil, something that I pray will never happen to you or your home.


So, if you have gone off at a tangent in your life, you need to admit it and stop boasting about it or denying the truth. The wisdom that you think you possess that is making you to act like that, as James tells us, is unspiritual and satanic. Yes, your friends or colleagues at work or even family members may be praising you for being so smart in the way you are handling your life. But the word of God says you are operating by a worldly, unspiritual and satanic wisdom. And soon enough, that wisdom will fill your life with confusion and destruction. It is only a matter of time.


What, then, do you want? Do you want to continue to operate with that satanic wisdom and ruin your life, your home and perhaps your faith as well? Or do you want to embrace the wisdom of God and live humbly before His word?



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LOVE IN DEMONSTRATION 27/05/2024


“Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.” (Gen 24:67NIV) 


Can you see what is said about Isaac in that text? He loved his wife the moment he married her, even though he was not the one that chose her – she was chosen for him. And because he loved her, they went on to have a great home together. They did not divorce themselves, neither did they end up becoming polygamous.


Did they not have challenges? They did! For instance, we are told this about them in the bible: 


“Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.” (Gen 25:21-22NIV)


Did you see that? Just as Sarah, Isaac’s mother, was barren for years, his own wife too was barren for almost twenty years. And how did her husband respond to that? Did he go Rebekah’s maid, as his father, Abraham did? No! Did he find another lovely woman in town to marry? No! Or did he put the blame on Rebekah or on his father’s servant who brought her for him to marry? No! Or did he go for a divorce and send her back home to her people? No! 


What did he do, instead? He prayed for her. Why? It was because he loved her. And did God answer his prayer or not? He did.


Think about it. Isaac did not even go looking for any prophet to pray for them (and I doubt if there was any at the time). And he did not send his wife out to start looking for the solution to her barrenness. It is a shame that this what some men often do when there is a challenge in their homes. They will put the blame on their wives and send her to go alone in finding a solution to the challenge.


This is why5 most of our prayer mountains today are never in shortage of married women or mothers seeking solutions alone to their family problems. Where are the men? If you ever find them on any prayer mountain, they are most likely there for themselves, their health, their jobs, their businesses, their ministries or their future partners. It is usually about them. And to say the fact, it is highly irresponsible of us to be acting like that.


This is also why many women have become preys of sorcerers, wizards, herbalists and false prophets. For example, I was once told of a woman that was looking for the fruit of the womb and of how she met a prophet about the matter. And what did he tell her? He told her that he must sleep with her for at least seven times, if I remember correctly, before she would be able to conceive. That’s outrageous, right? But it did happen. And even though what the man asked of that woman was totally ungodly, she yielded and allowed him to sleep with her for a number of times before the matter was exposed.


Why did that happen to that woman? First, it was because she was desperate. Second, it was because her husband left her all alone to solve their common problem. Perhaps you too have been acting like that, often leaving your wife to solve your family challenges alone. Apart from the fact that you are acting irresponsibly, your love for your wife is questionable. If you love her, then, you will never abandon her to face any issue of her life or of your home all by herself.


Isaac did not leave Rebekah to face her barrenness alone. Instead, he took it on himself to pray for her. And God answered. That is love in demonstration. And that is what is also expected of all of us that are men. We are to love her wives and to demonstrate this love both in word and deed.




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ACCEPT YOUR PRAYER RESPONSIBILITIES 26/05/2024


“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving…” (Col 4:2NKJV) 


This is an instruction and not a suggestion. And it is an instruction each of us must personalise. In other words, I must see it as a personal instruction to me. You too must see it as a personal instruction to you. Therefore, we must keep on praying, morning, noon, evening and night. And we must be earnest, serious about it.


It is unfortunate that many of God's people are not serious about prayer. And you can easily detect this from the way they pray in their church meetings. When they are not being frightened or manipulated to pray, most of them will not be serious with it. So, you may find them dozing off, getting distracted with things that do not concern them or just pacing the floor and getting lost in thought. Why? They have not accepted their prayer responsibilities. And that way, they will often have to rely on other people's prayers for them. 


But however committed others may be in praying for us, there are things their prayers will never be able to take care of in our lives. For example, before the Lord went to the cross, He plainly told Peter that He had prayed for him so that his faith would not eventually fail. And God did answer that prayer. But Peter himself needed to pray for himself so that he would not fall into temptation. And did he do that? No! So, he fell into temptation. Yes, the Lord's prayer for him got him restored. But it could not keep him from falling in the first place. (Cf. Luke 22:31-62)


In like manner, it is not every time that the prayers of your pastor, parents, siblings, friends, colleagues at work or brethren in church will be enough to get you out of certain troubles of life or to get you elevated to certain positions in life. So, you must accept your own prayer responsibilities and be serious in carrying them out. Otherwise, a day may come when, as Peter wept profusely after denying Jesus three times in a row, you too may have to weep over certain matters of your life that you have failed to pray about.


But then, as I pointed out before, accepting your prayer responsibilities does not mean you have to abandon life and every other thing just pray. Rather, it means that your heart is continually reaching out for God for all that you need and is always ready to break out in prayers. So, don't abandon your responsibilities at work (if you have not taken due permission to do so) or at home (if you have not gotten your partner or a trusted person to stand in for you) in order to pray. That will amount to doing the right thing at the wrong time. And it will come with consequences, something you will have observed, if you have been doing so.



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EVERYONE MUST BE INVOLVED  25/05/2024


“Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber. Let the priests, who minister before the LORD, weep between the temple porch and the altar. Let them say, 'Spare your people, O LORD. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, 'Where is their God?''” (Joel 2:15-17NIV)


Those were the words spoken by Prophet Joel to the people of Judah, as he watched them wallowing in misery and pains. And what was he asking them to do? He was asking them to blow the trumpet and call everyone together to fast and pray for the land. Otherwise, things should be expected to go from bad to worse for them.


As we see in other passages of Joel's book of prophecy, God, at the time He said these things, was judging the land. So, food, joy, gladness and peace had been cut off from them. But God was not done at all. He was still bringing in a large and mighty army that would ravage the land and make it desolate. And that is what happens when people persist in wickedness and will not pay attention to their experience of God's judgment. Things can only get worse and worse for them. (Cf. Joel 1&2)


But things don't have to get worse for us, regardless of what degree of God's judgment we are faced with in our lives or in our land. All we need is to humble ourselves and turn to God for mercy. And that was what Joel was calling his people to do. He said to them, “Look, don't let us wait until the unbelieving nations around us begin to say, 'Where is your God?' before we turn to Him for salvation. Instead, let us call out everybody, old and young, priests and prophets, leaders and followers, husbands and wives, grooms and brides, mothers and sucklings, and ask God to spare us and take away our shame.”


In like manner, this is what we should be doing in Nigeria now, especially those of us who know God and who are called by the name of Jesus. We should be calling out to one another in our various assemblies and getting everyone involved in praying to God for the salvation of our nation. As clearly shown in Scriptures, all that we are experiencing now is nothing but the judgment of God on our land for our widespread injustice, bloodshed and idolatry, even in the church. What I am saying is that we don't need any prophet to tell us that all that we are now witnessing in form of banditry, terrorism, kidnapping and a breakdown of social order in every part of our country are signs of God's judgment on our land. (Cf. Ezekiel 14:12-21; Amos 4:6-13)


And if we do not want things to get worse for us, as they usually get worse for nations and peoples that refuse to pay attention to what God is saying to them, those of us who know the Lord need to begin to get every one of us involved in praying for the land. This is not a job for the leaders of our congregations alone; it is a job involving every one of us. So, instead of gathering together to offer selfish prayers or to promote things that do not edify us or our nation, we should cultivate the culture of remembering our nation in prayers in each of our prayer meetings. (Cf. Leviticus 26:13-39; Deut 28:15-68) 


Now is there any assurance that when we pray like this God will answer? Yes! In fact, the next thing Joel says after his call to prayer in the verses in our opening bible text is this: “Then the LORD will be jealous for his land and take pity on his people. The LORD will reply to them 'I am sending you grain, new wine and oil, enough to satisfy you fully; never again will I make you an object of scorn to the nations.'” (Joel 2:18-19NIV) 


Did you see that? If we will pray to God to save our land, He will show us mercy and speak tenderly to us. Why? It is because He does not delight in anybody's destruction but in their salvation. This, in fact, is why He has severally instructed us in His word to take praying for our nation and all men seriously. So, beginning at our family levels, let us start to get everyone involved in praying to God for the salvation of our nation. Then, instead for things to go from bad to worse for us, God will show us mercy and redeem us.


Have a lovely day.


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EVERYONE MUST BE INVOLVED  25/05/2024


“Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber. Let the priests, who minister before the LORD, weep between the temple porch and the altar. Let them say, 'Spare your people, O LORD. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, 'Where is their God?''” (Joel 2:15-17NIV)


Those were the words spoken by Prophet Joel to the people of Judah, as he watched them wallowing in misery and pains. And what was he asking them to do? He was asking them to blow the trumpet and call everyone together to fast and pray for the land. Otherwise, things should be expected to go from bad to worse for them.


As we see in other passages of Joel's book of prophecy, God, at the time He said these things, was judging the land. So, food, joy, gladness and peace had been cut off from them. But God was not done at all. He was still bringing in a large and mighty army that would ravage the land and make it desolate. And that is what happens when people persist in wickedness and will not pay attention to their experience of God's judgment. Things can only get worse and worse for them. (Cf. Joel 1&2)


But things don't have to get worse for us, regardless of what degree of God's judgment we are faced with in our lives or in our land. All we need is to humble ourselves and turn to God for mercy. And that was what Joel was calling his people to do. He said to them, “Look, don't let us wait until the unbelieving nations around us begin to say, 'Where is your God?' before we turn to Him for salvation. Instead, let us call out everybody, old and young, priests and prophets, leaders and followers, husbands and wives, grooms and brides, mothers and sucklings, and ask God to spare us and take away our shame.”


In like manner, this is what we should be doing in Nigeria now, especially those of us who know God and who are called by the name of Jesus. We should be calling out to one another in our various assemblies and getting everyone involved in praying to God for the salvation of our nation. As clearly shown in Scriptures, all that we are experiencing now is nothing but the judgment of God on our land for our widespread injustice, bloodshed and idolatry, even in the church. What I am saying is that we don't need any prophet to tell us that all that we are now witnessing in form of banditry, terrorism, kidnapping and a breakdown of social order in every part of our country are signs of God's judgment on our land. (Cf. Ezekiel 14:12-21; Amos 4:6-13)


And if we do not want things to get worse for us, as they usually get worse for nations and peoples that refuse to pay attention to what God is saying to them, those of us who know the Lord need to begin to get every one of us involved in praying for the land. This is not a job for the leaders of our congregations alone; it is a job involving every one of us. So, instead of gathering together to offer selfish prayers or to promote things that do not edify us or our nation, we should cultivate the culture of remembering our nation in prayers in each of our prayer meetings. (Cf. Leviticus 26:13-39; Deut 28:15-68) 


Now is there any assurance that when we pray like this God will answer? Yes! In fact, the next thing Joel says after his call to prayer in the verses in our opening bible text is this: “Then the LORD will be jealous for his land and take pity on his people. The LORD will reply to them 'I am sending you grain, new wine and oil, enough to satisfy you fully; never again will I make you an object of scorn to the nations.'” (Joel 2:18-19NIV) 


Did you see that? If we will pray to God to save our land, He will show us mercy and speak tenderly to us. Why? It is because He does not delight in anybody's destruction but in their salvation. This, in fact, is why He has severally instructed us in His word to take praying for our nation and all men seriously. So, beginning at our family levels, let us start to get everyone involved in praying to God for the salvation of our nation. Then, instead for things to go from bad to worse for us, God will show us mercy and redeem us.


Have a lovely day.


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A HARD PART OF LEADERSHIP  24/05/2024


“For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them.” (1Sam 3:13NIV)


Eli, as we are shown in the bible, was a true man of God and a good man. And though his sons were children of Belial, he was not a partaker of their sins and wickedness. However, because he was the chief priest of Israel at that time, it was on him to deal with those sons of his that were desecrating the priesthood God had given them. 


As God told Samuel in our opening bible text, Eli was supposed to have restrained them by sacking them. But he did not do that. And because he did not do so, God decided to punish him and his entire family line along with them. What a shame! (Cf. 1Sam 2:27-36)


Now what is the point of this? It is simply that if we are occupying any leadership position, we need to know that God is expecting us to use our authority to ensure that those under us are not misbehaving and getting away with it. Otherwise, we ourselves may end up being punished along with them, even though we are not partners with them in their error or misbehaviour.


To say the fact, one of the hardest jobs of leadership is restraining people, putting in place measures that ensure that people don’t behave as they please or get away with wrongdoings. That is because it can make you a lifetime enemy of those involved. It can make people label you will all kinds of derogatory names or titles or make them begin to seek your downfall or death. 


But any home that will remain sane and healthy and not destroy itself must have over it parents that are bold and tough enough to restrain their children and prevent them from always acting as they please. And any society, organisation or institution that does not want to collapse without warning must have over it leaders that are bold and firm enough to restrain those in it and keep them from doing as they please. In like manner, any church of God in which the brethren will remain sound and healthy spiritually must have as leaders men and women that are bold and tough enough to restrain the members and let them know that they cannot be doing as they please and be ignored.


As we know from Scriptures, human beings are naturally delinquent. That means they are naturally prone to do evil. Therefore, if there is no one to restrain them, they will, just as in the days of Noah, continue to do as they please until they destroy themselves. All of this is why God has established for us all kinds of human and spiritual authorities, starting from our homes. And He has placed swords in the hands of those occupying these positions of authority to keep us in line and prevent us from destroying ourselves and everyone around us. (Cf. Rom 13:1-5)


Unfortunately, in many situations and for various reasons, those bearing these swords don’t use them to restrain evil. Instead, they, like Aaron of bible days, tend to succumb to the pressure of those under them and allow them to have their way (Ex 32). You can see why governments of several nations of the world today are now passing laws in favour of homosexuality, lesbianism and other related nonsense and why some of them are actually overlooking injustice and insecurity in many ways. 


But what such leaders they don’t realise is that when those appointed by God to restrain evil refuse to do so, a time will come when He Himself will step in to do the needful, as in the case of Eli. And where this is the case, even the authorities involved will not be spared on the day of judgment.


So, wherever you are occupying a leadership position, remember that an essential part of your job is to restrain evil. Yes, it is a hard one, perhaps the hardest part of your job. But it has to be done, if you don’t want to end up paying for crimes you have not committed. So, get the job done or resign.



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YOU MAY NOT GET ALONG WELL 23/05/2024


“I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.” (Phil 4:2-3NIV)


How does Paul describe Euodia and Syntyche in those verses? He describes them as women whose names are in the book of life and who have also fought hard at his side for the cause of the gospel. That means they were both great believers and ministers of the gospel. Yet they could not agree with each other to work together in the assembly. What was the cause of their disagreement? We are not told. But we are told that they could not walk together as one and so needed someone to help them deal with whatever was causing disagreement between them. 


So, you can see that great and wonderful believers may not get along well in the same assembly, at work, in school or neighbourhood. Is that to say that they are enemies? Not necessarily so! But for some reasons they may not just be able to cooperate to do anything tangible together. In fact, it may be that God does not want them to function in the same space. And that will be because He has different fields of operation for them. 


Remember that there was a time that Abraham and Lot had to part ways. Was there any disagreement between the two men? No! But there were constant frictions between their workers. And that was because the space they were both operating in had become too small for them. So, the only wise thing for them to do at the time was to go their separate ways. Yes, how Lot handled the choice of where they both went was not commendable. But that is not to say that they were wrong to go their separate ways at the time. They were right. (Cf. Gen 13)


Why am I sharing all this with you? It is to let you know that the fact that someone is a child of God does not mean that you can do things together. Your peculiarities may not just make room for the two of you to be able to work together, do business together or marry each other and get along. Sometimes, it may even be the people in your lives that will make it hard for you to do things together without stepping on each other’s toes. 


Now where that is the case, don’t force things. In other words, where it is not absolutely necessary or compulsory that you do things together, make sure you don’t force yourself into doing things with them. That will reduce your chances of quarrelling with each other. (Cf. Rom 12:18)


Second, where you have to do things together, be willing to respect their peculiarities and promote their interests, as long as doing so does not set you against the will of God (Phil 2:4). Respecting and advancing other people’s interests does not make a fool of you. Rather, it shows that you are loaded with humility and peace. And if you do that long enough, you may just earn the respect and trust of the person involved and build a loving and lasting relationship. But if that still won’t work, you will need to do your best to stay out of trouble and let God have His way. 


Have a pleasant day.



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FULFILLING YOUR WOMANHOOD 22/05/2024


“Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” (Prov 31:11-12NIV) 


Did you what is said about the husband of the virtuous woman? It is said that her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. Why? It is because she is devoted to bringing him good and not harm, as long as she lives. 


What this means is that God expects you to go into your marriage, as a woman, to do your husband good and not harm, all the days of your life. He expects you to go into that marriage and perfect your man. Yes, He expects that you will go into that marriage and lawfully use everything you have, knowledge, wisdom, strength, love, affection, resources, influence, education and so forth, to complete your man, to supply whatever is lacking in his life, so that he may be a total man. And it is as you devote yourself to doing that, that your real womanhood is expressed and perfected.


Am I saying that a woman cannot be a real person without going into a love or marriage relationship? No! With or without marriage, a woman is a real and complete person. And from what our Lord Jesus Christ Himself teaches us, when we come into His eternal kingdom, nobody will be getting married to anybody. That is because we all are going to be like the angels and there will no longer be what we call sex distinctions. (Cf. Matt 22:23-32)


So, it is only in this world that we have to deal with sex distinctions. And if a woman should decide not to marry at all, nothing is wrong with that. She can still fulfil her humanity without getting married, regardless of her field of study or vocation. That is because being human, as we are told in the Scriptures, is all about living in reverence fear of God and keeping His word (Ecc 12:13). Anyone who lives on this basis, then, is the real human being.


However, when we are talking about womanhood, it can only be well and fully realised and expressed in a marriage relationship. I know that is contrary to the thinking or philosophy of our feminist groups and foundations. But what they think about this matter does not really count. What counts is what God says about it. And God is saying that if you want to stand out as a real woman, not just as another human being, then, you have to be in a marriage relationship and function appropriately there.


Again, do not misrepresent me or miss my point in this matter. I am not against feminist groups or movements. In fact, I commend them for the bold steps they are taking in defending the rights of the woman in a world that is twisted in its understanding of how women should be treated. However, in dealing with love or marriage matters and how women should handle them, they are often working against God’s revelation and will for the marriage institution. That is why they hardly succeed in solving marital problems. Instead, they often compound them. And if you, as a woman, want to have a great home, as far as marriage matters are concerned, you should listen only to God and not to men.


Well, my point is that if you want to realise your womanhood, it can only happen in a marriage relationship. But it won’t happen automatically, if you do not know what is expected of you in your marriage and act accordingly. And one of the things expected of you in your marriage is that you support and do your husband good with everything you have got, all the days of your life. So, this is a life time commitment. And if you are not ready for it, you should forget about marriage.



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PRAYER IS A DUTY.  21/05/2024


“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” (Colossians 4:2NIV) 


Why would you devote yourself to prayer? It is because it is a duty. We devote ourselves to our families, for we know that we are responsible for them. We devote ourselves as students to our studies, for we know it is our duty to do so. Otherwise, we will not do well. Also, in business, we devote ourselves to those things that will make our businesses flourish. Why? It is our duty to do so. And if we do not do it, no one else will do it for us. Then, if you want to do well in your workplace and rise there, you devote yourself to doing the right thing there – you handle every task diligently. 


In like manner, we must see prayer as a duty. Therefore, our attitude towards it must be that of devotion. And it is those who devote themselves to prayer in this sense that we can refer to as men and women of prayer. In Psalm 109, verse 4, David refers to himself as a man of prayer. Can you also refer to yourself as a man of prayer? Can you refer to yourself as a woman of prayer?


I can refer to myself as a man of prayer. That is because I take my prayer duties very seriously. I take my prayer duties for my family, the church of God and my country very seriously. That is because I have come to know that it will be a sin for me not to do so.


You too must take your prayer duties seriously. You must understand that it is a sin for you not to take them seriously. God is going to hold you responsible for those you are supposed to pray for that you will not pray for and who fail because of this. He will hold you and me responsible for things that fail or get ruined under our watch because we will not pray. 


I know we don’t usually think like this. This is why we hardly take prayer seriously, even in our church meetings. Here is someone who has come for a prayer meeting. Yet he is sleeping all the time. Or he is wandering in his mind. He is not excited or serious about it because he thinks it is the exclusive duty of the preacher to do all the praying or most of the praying. 


But it is your duty to pray. And you must be faithful in doing so. God is not going to reward your irresponsibility in handling prayer. That is why a lot of things are not in place in the lives of many of us. We are irresponsible as far as prayer matters are concerned. And the word of God is telling us today to wake up and be faithful in prayer.


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    THE COST OF REWARDING YOURSELF 20/05/2024


“Why did you not obey the LORD? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the LORD?" (1Sam 15:19NIV)


Who were these words spoken to? It was King Saul. And why were they spoken to him? It was because he disobeyed God's instruction to him. And what was God's instruction to him? It was for him to go and utterly destroy the Amalekites and everything belonging to them. 


Now did he go or not? He actually went, fought the Amalekites and destroyed them. But he did not carry out the Lord's instruction exactly the way he was told. He was supposed to destroy all the Amalekites and everything they had. But he did not do that. The bible says, “He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs — everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.” (1Sam 15:8-9NIV)


Did you see that? First, Saul spared the king of the Amalekites. Why? We are not told. Perhaps the man promised to deliver some hidden wealth to him. We really would not know. What we do know, however, was that he had no authority to spare something God had already sentenced to death.


Second, he and his men were reluctant to destroy the best of the animals of the Amalekites. But they destroyed all the weak and despised ones. Why? Greed! They just could not imagine how they would carry out such a great task, at the risk of their lives and resources, and not get paid or rewarded for it. So, again, they chose to reward themselves with things that God had already marked for destruction. 


But was God not going to reward Saul and his men for this task? He surely was going to reward them. The bible tells us that there is nothing we do for the Lord that will be in vain (1Cor 15:58). In other words, He will surely reward us for everything we do for Him. How is He going to reward us? We will know when He does reward us. And when is He going to reward us? We will also know this when He rewards us. But He will not fail to reward us at the right time and in the right way. (Cf. Gal 6:9)


All we need to do, then, is to patiently wait for Him to reward us for whatever we do for Him. And that was what Saul was supposed to lead his men to do. He was supposed to lead his men to carry out the Lord's instruction to the full and then wait for Him to reward them for their faithfulness. As we see in the bible, several years after this, God gave Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon the task of utterly destroying the city of Tyre. And he did it faithfully. But he got no reward from doing so. Therefore, God decided to reward him with the wealth of Egypt by handing Egypt over to him. Isn't that amazing? It is! (Cf. Ezekiel 29:17-20)


In like manner, God would have rewarded Saul for doing His work faithfully, if he had not chosen to reward himself. But he was obviously ignorant of the fact that God rewards those who are faithful to Him. So, as we are told in our opening bible text, he and his men pounced on some of the animals they were supposed to destroy and rewarded themselves with them. And God responded to that by taking the throne of Israel that He had given him away from him and his family forever. 


Now think about it. Which would Saul consider to be more important, the throne or the few animals of the Amalekites? Evidently, he would take the throne to be more important to him, any day and anytime. But he lost it because he chose to reward himself for the work God had given him instead of patiently waiting for God to reward him. 


In the same vein, we too can lose more than God's reward when we choose to reward ourselves for serving Him instead of waiting for His reward. This is why our Lord Jesus warns us about monetising the things God wants us to freely give to others and also about serving God to win the praise of men (Matt 6:1 & 10:7-8). These things will surely make us lose whatever reward we may have hoped to receive from God. And they can even make us lose more. They can make us lose our health like Gehazi or lose our ministry and lives like Judas Iscariot. Therefore, we need to be watchful so that we don't get ruined by taking for ourselves rewards God has not given to us.




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WE CAN TAKE O

19/05/2024


“Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, "This man should not be sentenced to death! He has spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God."” (Jer 26:16NIV)


One of the reasons God's people often shy away from speaking the truth or confronting wickedness where they are is fear of persecution. And there are times indeed that speaking against unrighteousness can be very dangerous. There are times that it could go beyond ordinary threats to real assaults on the lives of those involved. 


For instance, as we are told in the chapter of the book of Jeremiah from which we have taken our opening bible text, there was a prophet of God like this man who also spoke of God's judgment coming upon Jerusalem, her king, her officials and her people. His name was Uriah son of Shemaiah. But King Jehoiakim did not take his prophecy kindly at all. Instead, he sought to kill him. And though the man ran away to Egypt, this wicked king still sent people to go and find him. And when they brought him, he was killed, and his body was disposed as that of any common man. (Cf. Jer 26:20-23)


So, confronting evil can be really dangerous and life-threatening. Yet God wants us to confront it with the truth, especially when we are in a position to do so or when He has sent us to deliver His word against it. And though many come against us to harm us for speaking the truth or for standing for righteousness, we need to learn to entrust ourselves to Him for safe keeping. That is because He is able to raise people to defend and protect us.


See, it is not every time that God employs angelic protection to save His people from enemies of the truth or from wicked and unreasonable people. There are times that it is even those that we consider to be unbelievers that He uses to save them. For example, as we are shown in our opening text, the people that God used in protecting Jeremiah from the religious leaders of the land that wanted to kill him were those who were not religious at all. (Cf. Jer 26:1-15)


Think about it. It was actually the so-called priests and the so-called prophets of the land of Judah that wanted Jeremiah's head. Why? Was it because he was a wicked sinner that deserved nothing but death? No! Rather, it was because he spoke to the land in the name of the Lord, addressing their wickedness and calling them back to repentance. And what could be wrong with calling people back to repentance and warning them against the coming wrath of God? Nothing! But those priests and prophets were offended by that because they themselves were chiefs in practising wickedness in the land.


You are probably familiar with that kind of situation, a situation in which it is the so-called Christians where you are that are calling for your head and persecuting you. Why? It may be because you are confronting their wickedness or because you are exposing their evil. So, they want to get rid of you. And they may not mind how far they have to go in doing so. 


Now that was the situation Jeremiah found himself. He found himself about to be killed because he spoke the truth in the name of the Lord. But just when he felt death was sure, God used the people he least expected Him to use to defend him. He used the government officials of the land, who were probably the most corrupt in the land, to defend him. They all came together as one and said, “No, Jeremiah must not be executed. He has not done anything wrong by speaking the word of the Lord to us. He has only done us good by warning us ahead, so that judgment will not come upon us.” And that was how he was snatched from the mouth of the lions that wanted to devour him.


In like manner, as long as we are ready to stand for His truth where we are, God also is ever ready to raise people, even those that we least expect, to defend us against the hostility and wickedness of men who hate righteousness and love to suppress the truth. But are we ready to stand for the truth and watch God raise all kinds of defenders and protectors for us while doing so? Or are we going to keep standing back and allow wickedness to continue to gain ground where we are, all because we are afraid of men? Which one is it going to be?



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HE WILL EXPOSE THEIR EVIL PLOTS 18/05/2024


“But when the son of Paul's sister heard of this plot, he went into the barracks and told Paul.” (Acts 23:16NIV)


The word of God clearly teaches us to watch how we live in this world. Why? It is because the days we live in are evil days. To say the fact, man’s days here on earth have become evil days right from the day Adam fell into the sin of disobedience in the Garden of Eden. And we see an illustration of this in what happened to Abel through the hands of his own brother, Cain. So, each of us must study to walk with wisdom and with open eyes every new day. Otherwise, we may just end up becoming victims of the schemes of the evil men and women of these evil days. (Cf. Gen 3&4; Eph 5:15-16)


However, even if we are most watchful and careful in our dealings with men, if God does not keep us safe from the schemes of the wicked, we will not be safe. That is why Solomon says unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen or guards can only stay awake to watch over it in vain (Ps 127:1). So, regardless of how careful and watchful we may be in this life, we must never put our trust in our carefulness or watchfulness. Rather, we should put it in God who is able to both expose the plots of the wicked against us and to also keep us safe from them.


For example, Paul experienced God’s salvation in this manner when he was arrested in Jerusalem by the religious leaders of the Jews. They had apprehended him because of the gospel and tried to establish for the Roman authorities that he was indeed a criminal deserving nothing but death. But they were not successful. They only ended up arguing among themselves. So, Paul had to be kept in the barracks by the Roman army commander in the place where he had been arrested. (Cf. Acts 21-23)


Now it was while he was there in the barracks that more than forty Jewish men made a solemn oath to assassinate him. And they informed their religious leaders about how they intended to execute their wicked plot. But God, who was continually watching over Paul, exposed their plot to his nephew, his sister’s son. So, in a very discreet manner, he told him about it. Then the commander that was holding him in his barracks was also informed about it. And that was how he was delivered from traps of those wicked and unreasonable men that were seeking his life.


In like manner, God is able to deliver us too from all those who are secretly plotting to harm or injure us. He is able to expose their evil plots and also make provisions for us to be saved from them. All we need is to continually commit ourselves and all that is ours into His hands, even as we are careful and watchful. And He will make known to us every hidden evil scheme of men’s hearts that is geared towards hurting or destroying us.


As we are also shown in the bible, in the days of Elisha, God always revealed to him all that the king of Aram and his officials were planning, even the things they were planning in this king’s bedroom (2Kings 6:8-12). So, he was able to warn the king of Israel of their plots and keep the nation safe. And that is how things will be for you too. The secret plots of all those who are seeking your destruction and downfall will never be hidden. They will always be exposed. And God will keep you and your whole household safe from all forms of evil both now and forever, in Jesus’ name. Amen.



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WE CAN TAKE OUR STAND AGAINST HIM 17/05/2024


“The Lord said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.’ So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head.” (Job 2:6-7NIV) 


Notice that Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job. So, it was not God that afflicted him; it was Satan that afflicted him. But he did not see the hand of the devil in what was happening to him. Therefore, instead of resisting him, instead of talking to God about the situation, so that He would destroy the works of the devil in his life, he kept on blaming God for everything. He blamed him for harassing and tormenting, even though he had done nothing wrong.


Now from this we can see that you do not need to do anything wrong for Satan to work in your life. You do not need to be a sinner or a wicked person for him to work in your life. You do not need to do any bad thing for Satan to work in your life. He can afflict anybody. He can attack anybody. Once he has an opportunity to work somewhere, he is going to work there. So, it is on us not to allow him to work. It is on us to take our stand against him. 


Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 to put on the whole armour of God, so that we can stand against the schemes of the devil. So, we really can take our stand against the schemes of the devil. We do not have to allow him to have a free day in our lives. We do not have to allow him to destroy our lives, our homes, our marriages, our children or anything dear to us. We do not have to permit him to keep us in poverty or in misery. We can take our stand against him. 


But if we do not know his schemes or recognise his works, we, as Job did, will accept his works and take it as fate. We will be saying, “Maybe that is how God wants things to be. Maybe He wants me to suffer or die in this situation.” We will be talking like that because we don’t know that the one messing us up is the devil. But he is the one. And we can resist him, as children of God. We can take our stand against him. We just need to recognise his works and how he functions, so that we will not permit him to work in our lives but drive him. 


Remember that James says if we resist the devil, he will flee from us – he will run away from us (James 4:7). But he won’t run away from us, if we do not resist him. Satan has to be shown that we are willing to resist him. He is not going to assume that we will resist him. He will want to devour and ruin us, just to see if we are going to resist him or not. And this is why we must not be ignorant of his works. We need to know when he is working, so that we can take our stand against him.




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A PLACE OF RESPONSIBILITIES 16/05/2024


“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, “Son, go and work today in the vineyard.” “I will not,” he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, “I will sir,” but he did not go. Which of the two did what his father wanted? “The first,” they answered. Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.” (Matthew 21:28-31NIV)



Here the Lord is showing us that the kingdom of God is a place of responsibilities. There is work for everyone to do in it. In fact, we are told in Ephesians 2 that God created us to do the good works He has prepared in advance for us to do. And as we fellowship with Him day by day, He reveals these good works He wants us to do to us and also expects us to carry them out. These works may be ones to be done in our homes, neighbourhoods, offices, towns, cities and so forth. But they are works that God has prepared in advance for us to do. And we must be willing and devoted to doing them. 



So, we are to ask, “What are my responsibilities in the church and to the world?” Don’t just come around for church meetings to listen to instructions being given to you week after week or to have others pray for you, counsel you or give to you. You too need to find out what your own responsibilities are in the kingdom. Each of us has a responsibility in the kingdom. Each of us has something to contribute to the overall growth of the body of Christ. Each of us has something to contribute to the overall usefulness of the body. 


Look at how Paul puts this in Ephesians 4, from verse 11:


“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does it work.” (Ephesians 4:11-16NIV)


Observe here that one of the reasons we have pastors, evangelists, apostles and prophets is that they may train God’s people for works of service. They are not just to instruct us in the will of God. They are also to train us for works of service. They are to build us up to be responsible children of God. One of the ways they do this is by giving us responsibilities. They may show us all kinds of things we are to do in our lives, homes, workplaces and so forth. But they can’t always be there to watch us do these things. By giving us specific responsibilities in the church and watch us how to do them, they, however, can tell whether we are taking seriously all the instructions they are giving us in the church or not.


Then observe that Paul says the body of Christ grows as each part does its work. So, if you are not carrying out your own duty in the kingdom, you are limiting the growth of the entire body of Christ. If you are not doing anything in the church, you are limiting the overall growth and usefulness of the body of Christ. And we cannot be certain that you are taking seriously all the things we have been teaching you about how to live to please God. But when we give you responsibilities and you carry them out, then, we can have some guarantee that you will put into practice other things we are teaching you.


This, of course, is not always the situation. I know there are times people show themselves responsible in their various assemblies, when they are not acting responsibly in other areas of their lives. But the truth is that it is those who show themselves responsible in whatever task they are given in church that often show themselves responsible in other areas of their lives as well. Those who don’t take up any task at all in the church don’t often show themselves responsible in Christian living. 


Therefore, if you have no responsibility that you are carrying out in the church, and you are not ready to take up any, it is most likely that you are not living in the will of God where you are.




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THEY WILL RECOGNISE HIS GRACE IN YOUR LIFE 15/05/2024


“As far those who were held in high esteem – whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favouritism – they added nothing to my message. On the contrary, they recognised that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised. For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles. James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognised the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised.” (Galatians 2:6-9NIV)


Paul, here, is talking about how he came to be received by the leading figures of the church in those days, that is, James the brother of the Lord Jesus, Peter and John the brother of James the son of Zebedee. Of course, when Paul became born again, he began to teach the word of God to people almost immediately. That was because he desired to do so; he loved to do so. But that does not mean that he was actually gifted to do so. 


See, that someone loves to do something does not mean that he is actually gifted to do so. Paul loved to preach the word of God. He loved to talk to people about Jesus Christ. His life had been radically changed by the Lord. So, he wanted everybody to know about it.


That, however, does not mean that he was qualified to do so or that he had what it takes to do so. But as he preached, people could tell that he was gifted of God to do so. Yes, of course, the Lord Jesus had told him that He was sending him to the gentiles to preach His word to them. And by sending him like that, it means that the Lord has actually gifted him to preach His word, for the Lord is never going to ask you to go and do something He has not gifted you to do. 


But then, people also had to receive Paul, even though he was gifted and sent by the Lord to proclaim His word. And we see that, in his early days as a believer, there were believers who did not want to have anything to do with him. For instance, the believers in Jerusalem did not want to have anything to do with him until Barnabas came and told them the story of his conversion (Acts 9:26-28). So, it is possible for people not to think you have the spiritual gift you are trying to exercise or not to think you are even a believer. Where that is the case, you will need to be patient. 


Now the apostles that Paul mentions in our opening text recognised that God had actually sent him to go and preach to the gentiles, as Peter had been sent to the Jews. And when they recognised the grace of God in his life, they gave him and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship. That means they acknowledged that God had actually appointed him as an apostle and that he had been given all the gifts that he would require to function as an apostle. 


So, it was not because Paul was moving around to tell people that he had this gift or that gift that he was recognised and acknowledged to be an apostle; rather, it was because other believers, including the leaders in the church at that time, could see the grace of God at work in his life. Therefore, if you do have any spiritual gift, the people of God will see it in your life, as you operate it, and acknowledge that you have it. That is one thing you need to keep in mind in getting to know and understand what spiritual gifts you have.



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A RELEVANT FAITH 14/05/2024


“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.” (Rom 1:8NIV) 


What is Paul’s testimony about the Roman brethren in our opening text? It is that thier faith is being reported all over the world. In other words, people are discussing their faith in Jesus Christ everywhere. 


But why are people discussing the faith of these brethren? First, it is because of the change they can see in their lives. They can see how they turned away from idol worship, immorality, drunkenness and greed in order to worship God and to wait for His Son Jesus Christ. Also, they can see how they are now doing what natural men find impossible to do – they are living a life of love and a life of righteousness. And these things are so obvious and surprising to everyone that they cannot but talk about them or call one another’s attention to them.


The second reason they are reporting the faith of the Roman brethren is the impact that it is making on their society. People are suddenly realising that there is a new breed of individuals among them that are not morally impotent, deficient or incapacitated. They are seeing that there is a new crop of people that can be trusted with lives, money, properties and so forth, a new crop of people that are constantly full of joy and are peaceable and lovely to be with.



So, wise owners of businesses want them on their team or as their partners. Community leaders who truly care about their people want them among their staff. Slaves want them as their masters. And slave masters who have them don’t want to lose them because of the quality of service they are giving them. In short, these brethren are changing the mind of everybody about life and how to handle it meaningfully. There is, therefore, no way they won’t talk about their faith in Christ Jesus and its impact on their world.


Unfortunately, this is not the case with many of us believers today. People are not reporting our faith at all because they cannot see its relevance. They cannot see any good thing it has done to our own lives or homes, not to talk of our society. We have remained the old persons they used to know, that is, if we have not even become worse. I mean that they cannot see any good change our so-called faith in Christ Jesus has brought about in our lives. So, they don’t consider it something worthy of attention or something worthy of reporting. 


Now why is this the case? It is the case because many of us who profess to be Christians don’t even understand what it means to be a Christian. In other words, we are not even saved at all – we are just church meeting goers. Then many among those of us who have been genuinely saved are not walking in the consciousness of who we are. We are not walking in the consciousness of the fact that we are the salt of the earth and that our lives are supposed to bring healing, preservation and taste to our world (Matt 5:13). So, we live carelessly and thoughtlessly, giving not much attention to how what we say and do affect those in our world. 


But the Lord is now saying to us, as we face this new day, “This ought not to be so. You should not lose your saltiness in the world and allow yourself to be trampled upon, as it is the case with many. So, wake up and be the salt that you really are to your world, taking advantage of my grace. And before you know it, those in your world will begin to see and talk about the relevance of your faith in me.”  


Do have a fabulous day.


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DON’T BE CARRIED AWAY 13/05/2024


“Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.” (2Peter 3:17-18NIV) 


What is Peter’s main instruction to us here? It is that we should be on our guard against the errors of lawless men. Now who are lawless people? These are individuals who do not care at all about righteousness, godliness, justice, peace or anything that glorifies God. They are individuals who make evil look good and good look evil. I am talking about people who live their lives to communicate the idea those who are truthful, upright, godly and selfless are foolish and will never enjoy life or amount to anything in it and that it is those who are crafty, selfish, immoral and insincere that will make the most of life. 


But is it true that righteousness does not pay much or at all and that it is wickedness that offers great rewards in this world? No, it is not true. Yes, it may look like wicked, immoral and unrighteous people are the ones getting the good things of life and occupying the most important places. And it may look like such people are always getting away with their wickedness, selfishness and abundance of immorality. But it only looks so; it is not so in reality. So, don’t be fooled or deceived by the façade their lives are communicating.


Read Psalm 73, and you will see what its writer has to say about being envious of the wicked. As he pointed out, at some point in his life, he began to compare his life with those of the wicked people around him who, in their wickedness and arrogance, were increasing in wealth, power and fame. So, discouragement set into his life, and he began to feel that his devotion to God and His righteousness was all in vain. (Cf. Ps 73:2-14)


But thanks to God, who led this Psalmist into His sanctuary and there showed him the truth about a life lived in wickedness. Then he saw for himself that no matter how prosperous and powerful a wicked person may be in their wickedness in this world, eternal miseries and pains will be their ultimate reward. He also saw that this earth has nothing that compares to what God intends to be and give to those who trust and love Him. So, he says, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Ps 73:25-26NIV) 


Now you too need to see God as the strength of your heart and as your profit in this world. Otherwise, before you know it, you will have been carried away by the error of the lawless people around you, who will continually entice you and give you the impression that you are missing something by not following them in their foolish path. And remember that Peter tells us that if we do not guard ourselves against the errors of these people, we will fall from our secure position in Christ. 


So, it is actually possible for people to fall from the place of God’s grace and favour and ruin their lives, if they would not guard their hearts against the ungodliness in the world. And my prayer is that you will not fall away or lose your place in God’s scheme of things. But you too must take care and see to it that your heart is not enticed to follow ungodly men in their path of destruction.


Do have a great day.



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BE FAITHFUL IN YOUR SERVICE TO HIM 12/05/2024


My word for you today is that you to take your service to God seriously and handle it wholeheartedly. Why? First, it is so that God can use it to accomplish His purpose in the lives of men. When we do not serve God wholeheartedly and according to His will, we may taper with the results He wants to get with whatever we are doing. And that will not be for our good or the good of those we are serving on His behalf.


For example, though the Jews of the earthly days of our Lord Jesus had priests, teachers of the law, Pharisees and Sadducees, who were ministering to them, the Lord still said that they were like sheep without a shepherd. In other words, the ministry of their religious leaders was not achieving the purpose of God in their lives. Why? Was it because something was wrong with them? No! Rather, it was because most of these religious leaders of theirs were hypocrites, whose hearts were not truly devoted to serving God according to His will. (Cf. Matt 9:35-36; Matt 23)


Now if we compare their ministry to that of the first seven deacons of the church, we see a great difference. That is because even though these deacons were not ordained to preach but to handle the sharing of food among God’s people, their ministry still resulted in the spread of the word of God and the growth of the church. Why? It was because they ministered with hearts that were faithful to God. (Cf. Acts 6:1-7)


So, if we are faithful in our service to God, He is able to use whatever we are doing, however insignificant it may seem to men, to accomplish His good purpose in people’s lives. But if we are not faithful, as I said before, we will most likely hinder or destroy His work. 


Yes, of course, there are times that God ignores people’s unfaithfulness in serving Him and still accomplishes His purpose through what they are doing. For example, there was a time that Moses and Aaron disobeyed Him and still got results. In other words, in spite of the disobedience of these men, God still performed a miracle for His people through what they did. But did they get rewarded for their unfaithfulness? No! Instead, they got severely punished for it. (Cf. Num 20:1-13)


Also, when we look at the life of Samson, we see that one main lesson it teaches us is that it is possible to be unfaithful to God in our lives or in our service to Him and still be seeing Him at work in what we are doing. But then, as we also see through His life’s story, if we continue to act in unfaithfulness in our lives or service to God, there will certainly come a time in which He will have to allow us to face the consequences of our unfaithfulness, which may be too much for us to handle. (Cf. Judges 13-16)


So, if you are unfaithful in your service to God, know that there will be consequences. One of them is that you won’t be receiving any reward or praise from Him for whatever you are doing. And the forms other consequences may take is not something I or anyone else can talk about. But they may be very grievous. 


All of this is why you need to watch the quality of service you are giving to God. Remember that He cannot be deceived or mocked. That means what you sow is what you will get. If you sow deception, unfaithfulness or hypocrisy in your service to Him, the fruit you will reap will show it. And if you sow faithfulness, diligence and love in your service to Him, the fruit you will reap will also show it. (Cf. Ps 18:25-26; Gal 6:7-8)


So, stop lying to yourself about your service to God and face the truth about its quality. Yes, examine and test the quality of your service to God in the light of His word in order that you may do what is needful. Otherwise, you will have only yourself to blame, when He begins to treat you as your service deserves. I pray that you will not end up losing your reward for serving Him or get severely punished for not serving Him appropriately, in Jesus’ name. Amen. 


Do have a fabulous day.


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REMEMBER AND PRAISE THE GIVER OF TRUE INDEPENDENCE 11/05/2024


“When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.” (Deut 8:10-11NIV)


“You may say to yourself, 'My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.' But remember the Lord you God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth..." (Deut 8:17-18NIV)


Even though Moses was the human instrument that led these people out of Egypt to go into Canaan, he never asked the people to praise him or to remember him as the source of their independence or prosperity. Rather, he told them, as we see in our opening bible texts, to remember God and to give all the credit to Him. And that was because he knew that he did not possess any power of his own to give anybody independence or to make anybody stay independent. Only God possesses that sort of power. And only He should be continually remembered and praised by men for their independence or freedom. 


Unfortunately, most countries of the world that are enjoying political and economic independence today, including Nigeria, have totally forgotten the God that gave them independence. Some of them don't even see Him as the source of their independence at all. So, instead of praising Him and pursuing His righteousness, they praise men and make laws that please themselves. 


No wonder many of them are still slaves of other countries, even though they claim to be independent. And unless they repent and remember to give God's due place to Him in their everyday affairs, individually and collectively, they will never be truly free.


Now am I saying that it is wrong to acknowledge all those people that were instrumental to our independence as a nation? No! For instance, people like Herbert Macaulay, Tafawa Balewa, Nnamdi Azikwe, Obafemi Awolowo and so forth played significant roles in securing independence for Nigeria. And we should rightly acknowledge them for what they did. But we must not forget that they all were mere human instruments used by God. Without Him, making us independent, all their efforts could not have amount to anything.


So, they, with whatever great ideas they may have had, are not ones we should make the big factor in experiencing true independence as a nation; the one that should take that place is God. And if, in fact, they, with all the other leaders we have had since our independence, had continually seen, praised and proclaimed God as the source of our independence and every good thing we may hope to enjoy in our country, we would by now have been greatly exalted in the midst of all the other nations of the world. 


In any case, it is not too late for us to retrace our steps, individually and collectively. It is not too late to remember God and give Him the place that is due Him in our lives, homes, communities, organizations and so forth. And this, of course, will be the beginning of our deliverance into a true experience of independence.



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STRENGTH TO GET WEALTH  10/05/2024


“But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth…” (Deut 8:18NIV)


Many often wonder why the time, effort, diligence, devotion, intelligence and resources they are putting into life are not producing for them the kind of results or wealth they believe they need to enjoy life, as they will love to. And what they are failing to note is that, as important as smartness, education, intelligence, devotion and diligence are in life, they are not sufficient on their own to give anybody wealth or good success. The only one with the ability to do that is God. 


So, as we see in our opening text, when He brought His people, Israel, out of Egypt, one of the things He highlighted for them through Moses was that He was the one responsible for their wealth. He said to them, “When your flocks and herds grow large and your silver and gold increase and all that you have is multiplied, don't say to yourself, 'My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.' Instead, remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” (Cf. Deut 8:10-18)


And why did God say that to them? First, it was so that they would learn to be thankful to Him for their wealth. And thanking God for our wealth is especially necessary when we consider the fact that there are many hard working, smart, diligent, godly and honest people around us today that are not wealthy at all but poor. So, if anyone has legitimately acquired wealth, it will be foolish of him to just assume that it is because he has been smart, hard working, diligent, godly or tenacious that he has become wealthy. If he will look around, he will see that there are many people that are better than him in every way who are still not wealthy.


Remember that even Solomon, who was one of the richest people that ever lived on the face of the earth, says in his book on life, “…The fastest runner does not always win the race, the strongest soldier does not always win the battle, the wisest does not always have food, the smartest does not always become wealthy, and the talented one does not always receive praise. Time and chance happen to everyone.” (Eccl 9:11NCV) Can you see that? Events of life can turn against even the brightest and strongest of men and frustrate them, so that nothing becomes of their hard labour in life. So, anyone who finds his intelligence, hard work, skills, diligence, devotion, honesty and tenacity tremendously rewarding and profitable ought to learn to appreciate God. Otherwise he may never enjoy his success or wealth (Luke 12:16-21).


Another reason God showed those Israelites that He was the one responsible for their wealth was that they may not abuse it but be generous with it. As long as you see yourself as the one responsible for your wealth, you can decide to use it as you please. But if you see God as the one responsible for your wealth, then, you will want to learn from Him how to use it to please Him. 


In any case, my point all along is that the one that gives people the ability to make wealth legitimately is God. And He can make this ability abundantly available for you too, if you are willing to recognise Him, cast all your cares upon Him and also learn from Him. Of course, He may not give you that kind of wealth that will make people know you all over the world. And He may not give you the kind of wealth you desire to have overnight. But if you will patiently follow and learn from Him, He will certainly give you rest from all your fruitless labour and bring you to that place in life where, in all things and at all times, you will have all that you need and can be generous on all occasions. (Cf. Is 1:19; Matt 11:28-29; 2Cor 9:8-11)


Have a lovely day.



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WHAT POSITION SHOULD WE TAKE WHEN PRAYING? 09/05/2024


Among the questions people often ask about prayer is 'What is the best position to take when praying?' Now this question, of course, looks somewhat ridiculous. But it is not at all, for all kinds of misleading teachings have gone out on it. 


Some, for instance, have said the right thing to do when praying is to kneel. Why? It is because we are praying before the King of kings, Lord of lords, Ancient of days and so forth. And that sounds great, doesn't it? It does! But there is nowhere we are told in the Scriptures that people must kneel before they can pray to God or before their prayers can be answered. Or do you know any such place in the bible?


Also, there are those that are saying the proper thing to do when praying is to stand. Why? For them, standing to pray before God is a symbol of respect for Him and also a sign of seriousness. So, they get furious when they see people praying on their seats, for they see them as being disrespectful to God. And sometimes they also get irritated when they see people praying on their knees, for they see them as capable of dozing off while praying.


But again, there is nowhere we are told in the Scriptures that people must stand or take a particular position before they can pray to God and receive from Him. Yes, under the Old Covenant, the Jews were taught to face Jerusalem when praying, for it was the city of God and the abode of His temple among them. And that idea did not even originate from God but from King Solomon. (Cf. 1Kings 8:22-53; Dan 6:10) 


So, nowhere are God's people taught in Scriptures to always take a particular position when praying in order for God to answer them. We can take any position we are most comfortable with when praying. And what I mean by that is that when praying, we are to take a position in which we will truly pray and not do something else. That is because, from what I see in the Scriptures, it is not the position we take when praying that will determine how God answers us; rather, it is the heart with which we are praying to Him. 


Go through the Scriptures yourself, and you will see that the saints of old and even our Lord Jesus Christ did not have any particular position that they took when praying to God. They just prayed to Him according to the burdens of their hearts and as they were led by the Spirit, and He heard them. 


For example, Moses, when praying for mercy for the children of Israel because of their sin of idolatry, fell prostrate before the Lord for forty days and forty nights, and He answered Him (Deut 9:18-19). But when you read the Scriptures, you will see that he did not do that all the time. Also, when you read about Joshua and the day he asked the Lord to alter the normal daily routines of the sun and the moon, you will not see any emphasis on the position that he took in praying. He just said what he said, and God answered him. (Cf. Jos 10:12-14)


In addition, read about David, and you will see that he did not have any stereotyped position that he took when praying to God. There were times he fell prostate before Him to pray. And there was even a time that all he did was sit before the Lord to pray. Did God answer him or not? He did. (Cf. 2Sam 7:18-29 &12:16; 1Chro 17:16-27 & 21:16-17)


Look also at our Lord Jesus Christ. When He was teaching the people how to pray, did He insist on any particular position they must take when praying? No! And why? It was because He Himself did not have any fixed position that He took when praying. At least, we know from the Scriptures that He had no trouble praying, regardless of His position, whether sitting or standing or lying on the ground. It all depended on the burden of His heart and where He was when He needed to pray. (Cf. Matt 26:39; John 11:41-42 & 17)  


So, don't let anybody make you feel your prayers are being unanswered because you will not take certain positions while praying. The disciples of old were sitting when the Holy Spirit came upon them on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). So, God does not need you to stand up or kneel down or lie down before He answers your prayers. All He needs is for your prayers to be heartfelt and to be in accordance with His will, and He will answer you. (Cf. James 4:3 & 5:16; 1John 5:14-15)


But then, it is important that you do not get unruly or rebellious about all this. It is okay for you to take whatever prayer position you like when praying on your own. But once you are together with other believers, you must, out of reverence for Christ, respect the wish of whoever is leading you in prayers on matters of what position to take or not to take when praying. Otherwise, you may just be laying a foundation for rebellion, bitterness or discord among God's people. And that will never be to your advantage. So be wise.


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IT CAN BE TAKEN FROM YOU 08/05/2024


One of the truths that are made plain to us in the bible is that no man can attain any position of authority in life except it is given to him from heaven, that is, by God. Yes, people often help themselves in one way or the other to occupy some offices in life. But the reason they are still able to succeed is that God wants them to get there. If He does not want a man in a position, it does not matter how highly favoured he is among men or how formidable the forces behind him are, he will never get there. And examples of this abound both in the bible and in all of human history. (Cf. John 3:27 & 19:10-11; Rom 13:1-2)


Similarly, no one can keep himself in any position, if God no longer wants him there. You know it is not uncommon to find people who allow certain positions they occupy in life to so possess them that they begin to see themselves as irreplaceable or unchallengeable. That explains why many in leadership positions in our country today often act recklessly and arrogantly, without any form of regard for those that they are leading.


Now what individuals like such don't understand is that they are not sovereign. No leader or ruler anywhere is sovereign. And even though there are certain individuals that are referred to as sovereign in their domains, their power is limited and can be taken away from them anytime by the One who gave it to them. That is why each of us must be very careful how we use whatever position, place, authority or power that God has given to us.


In Daniel 4:31-33, for example, we have God's verdict against that terrible and mighty King, Nebuchadnezzar. At that time, he was a king of kings and lord of lords, according to the bible. But he did not become all that by himself; God made him what he was. Unfortunately, at some point during this man's reign, he began to see himself as all in all; he began to think of himself as the master of his own destiny. And this began to affect his rule and attitude towards his subjects. He began to act as he pleased. (Cf. Dan 2:37-38)


Nevertheless, God, being a merciful Creator, sent warnings to him through a dream and also provided one of his subjects, Daniel, to interpret the dream to him. And His aim was to show this mighty king that he was not sovereign. The kingdom and all the beautiful things that he was ruling over did not belong to him but to God. And God was ready to take that kingdom and everything in it away from him until he acknowledged this fact. This was why Daniel, that righteous man, admonished this king to repent of his sins and be kind to the oppressed, so that he may receive God's mercy and be spared from the impending doom. And that is one thing most of our preachers won't do today. (Cf. Dan 4:1-27)


But sadly, like most men, Nebuchadnezzar would not listen to sound counsel. Instead, he continued to rule in arrogance and self-importance. And as a result of that, what God had decreed against him eventually came to fulfilment. He was afflicted with insanity, and the kingdom was taken away from him. Then all his pomposity and arrogant display of power disappeared into thin air. And he was not restored to his place of honour until he acknowledged God and glorified Him as the one with all the power. (Cf. Dan 4:28-37)


Now King Nebuchadnezzar was highly favoured of God to be restored in that manner. And that was largely because he did not waste the privilege that he was given to repent. Some persons, however, because of their stubbornness were never restored to their previous positions of honour or strength – they were either killed or forever banished. (Cf. 1Sam 2:12-36; 2Chro 16; Dan 5) 


In any case, all of this is why you and I also need to watch the way we are using the present positions God has placed us, regardless of how insignificant they may seem. If we are abusing our powers, oppressing and hurting people, and have not yet been punished for doing so, we must understand that we are simply enjoying some days of grace that have been given for our repentance. But those days of grace will someday be over (2Pet 3:9; Rev 2:20-23). Then God will step in and put us where we really belong, a place of shame and disgrace (Prov 18:12 &29:23; James 4:6-7; 1Pet 5:5-6). 


But my earnest prayer is that you will not wait until disgrace and shame come upon you before you repent of every form of abuse and misuse of your place of authority or power. So, think carefully now and start acting wisely. May God's mercy overflow towards you.


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HE WILL NOT GRANT OUR REQUESTS 07/05/2024

“'Why have we fasted,' they say, 'and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?' Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.” (Isa 58:3-4NIV) 


Look at that. Even though those people were praying and fasting to God about their legitimate needs, they were missing it in their relationships. On the one hand, they were praying to God for help and, on the other hand, they were exploiting, fighting and destroying others. And God says, “That will never work. If you want me to grant your requests, then, you have to show me that you will not use the things I give you to destroy others but to bless them.” (Cf. Is 58:5-14)


Now don't we also do similar things? We want God to bless us with all kinds of things, and rightly so. But it is already clear what we are going to do with the things we are asking of Him, if He should give them to us. We will not use them to glorify Him; rather, we will simply use them to hurt and harm others all the more. And God, because He loves those that we want to harm too, will not allow that to happen. In other words, He will not grant our requests.


So, we must understand that God is not only concerned about granting our prayer requests; He is also concerned about what granting those requests will do to others. If by granting our requests, God will be unjustly ruining the lives of others, He will not grant them. 


Why? That is because He is not only God to us; He is also God to everyone else in the world. Therefore, He is responsible for their well-being as well, just as He is responsible for ours. If we, then, keep this in mind, there are requests we will never again make of Him – there are prayers we will never again offer to Him.


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YOU CAN ACCESS IT OR STOP ITS FLOW 06/05/2024


One of the things we are shown in Scriptures is that even though God is all powerful and there is nothing impossible for him, we can limit His power in our lives. How is that possible? Shouldn't God be able to do anything He likes anytime He wants? Yes, God does have the power to do anything He likes anytime He wants. But God does not use His power anyhow. Instead, He uses His power according to His character, which has been adequately described in Scriptures. 


For example, it is not in God's nature to force people to receive Him or to receive whatever He is offering them. Therefore, when His Son, Jesus Christ, came to His own people, the Jews, and they would not receive Him, He did not force Himself on them. Instead, He said to them, “Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'” (Matt 23:38-39NIV)


Did you see that? When His own people would not accept Him, He just left them desolate. And it is the same thing that is still happening in the world today. Wherever people will not accept Jesus as their Lord, even though they have been presented with diverse opportunities to accept Him and His gift of eternal life, they will be left desolate. That means they will be left to be ruined by the things that are seeking to destroy them.


Now we see an illustration of this once when Jesus visited His hometown. The people there did not warmly receive Him as other people had received Him in other places He had gone to minister. Instead, they ridiculed and insulted Him. Therefore, Mark, in his own record of this situation, says, “He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their lack of faith.” (Mark 6:5-6NIV) 


Think about that. Jesus could not do any miracle in His Hometown. But people used to say that there is nothing Jesus cannot do. How come He could not do any miracle in His Hometown? That means He left many of the people that were ill, deformed and possessed of the devil in the conditions that He had met them. Why? Was it because He had no power to heal and save them? No! He went there in the fullness of God's power. But their unbelief, which manifested in their ridiculing of Him, stopped the power of God from flowing to them and from working in their lives.


In the same vein, if, for any reason, we too begin to despise God or His servants sent to us, the power of God will not flow to us. In fact, Jesus tells us that the power of God can flow back to the one that God wants to use to communicate it to us, if we do not receive it. Look at how He puts it: “When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you.” (Luke 10:5-6NIV) 


Did you see that? The power of God can flow right back to the one transporting it, if the person that is supposed to receive and experience or enjoy it will not have it. Yet this same power can be accessed from God through any of His servants by anyone who is ready to have it, if the person will reach out in faith to receive it. That was exactly what happened in the case of the woman with the issue of blood that was healed by touching the hem of Jesus' cloth. (Cf. Mark 5:25-34)


According to the bible, that woman had told herself that if she could just touch the hem of Jesus' garment, she would be well. And when she did, power flowed out from Jesus to her and she was instantly made whole. Interestingly, even Jesus could not stop the power from flowing to her. So, you can see that all by ourselves we can access God's power for our healing, salvation and prosperity, if we will demonstrate our faith in Him. And that is because His power is always and instantly available for all those who believe in Him (Eph 1:19).  


Which is it going to be, then? Are we going to be taking advantage of God's power for the transformation of our lives through prayer and a faithful declaration of His word or are we going to be hindering the flow of His power into our lives and situations through unbelief, pride or the practice of wickedness? My prayer, again, is that your heart will be rid of anything that is keeping you from fully accessing and enjoying God's indescribable power in your life and affairs, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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ACCIDENTS SOMETIMES HAPPEN 05/05/2024


“But if without hostility someone suddenly shoves another or throws something at him unintentionally or, without seeing him, drops a stone on him that could kill him, and he dies, then since he was not his enemy and he did not intend to harm him, the assembly must judge between him and the avenger of blood according to these regulations. The assembly must protect the one accused of murder from the avenger of blood and send him back to the city of refuge to which he fled. He must stay there until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the holy oil.” (Num 35:22-25NIV)


From what we see in our opening bible text, it is clear that even God acknowledges the fact that accidents can happen in this life, whether to good people or bad people. We don’t want them to happen. We don’t like them. But sometimes they happen.


Now though God has the power to stop any kind of accident from happening, He does not always prevent accidents from happening. Why? We will never know the reasons for these, if He does not reveal them to us. That being the case, we must always be careful in the way we use our bodies and the things of this life. We must also not keep quiet about the carelessness or recklessness of the people around us in handling life matters or resources. Otherwise, their activities may result in accidents. And they may not be the only victims of such accidents. We or (and) others with them may become victims as well.


You can then see why Solomon says this to us: “Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake. Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them; whoever splits logs may be endangered by them.” (Eccl 10:8-9NIV) Did you see that? We ourselves can be victims of our own activities through carelessness or recklessness. So, in all that we do, we must function with safety in mind. 


That means if, for example, we know that we are not well trained or qualified to do something, we should stay away from it, especially if there is no one to monitor or supervise us. And if we have an animal, a facility, an equipment or a system that can accidentally hurt us or others or destroy things, we should put safety barriers, equipment or signs around it that will warn others about it or keep them safe from it. 


However, as we also understand through our opening bible text, even when we are most careful, accidents can still occur. An animal we keep may go wild and cause trouble for us or others. An equipment we are using may malfunction, for no machine is a hundred percent efficient, and endanger lives or properties acquired through many years of hard labour. Or an ignorant person may tamper with a system we have set up and cause unexpected trouble. 


Interestingly, even if such things happen, God still expects our society to protect those responsible for them. He does not want us to punish them without first making sure that they did not deliberately cause what happened. And once their innocence is established, they have to be protected, even where a loss of lives is involved. Otherwise, God will hold our nation guilty of bloodshed (Deut 19:5-10). 


Mind you, there are equally times that Satan uses nature or natural things that God created for man’s benefits to cause accidents for us and ruin us. For example, as we are told in the book of Job, one of the things Satan did in attacking him was to cause fire (lightning) to fall from the sky and consume all his sheep and their shepherds, leaving only one man alive to tell the story. That, of course, was an accident, which Job was not responsible for at all. But people were victims of it. And he and the families of those men involved just had to take heart and go on with life. Just think about it. (Cf. Job 1:16)


Well, all of this is why we must never rely on our carefulness at all for the safety of our lives, others’ lives or our properties. Instead, we must always rely on God for it. That is because if He does not keep us and the people and things in our lives or around us safe, we will not be safe. 



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WHEN YOU NEED SPIRITUAL SOLUTIONS 04/05/2024


“The men of the city said to Elisha, "Look, our lord, this town is well situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive." "Bring me a new bowl," he said, "and put salt in it." So they brought it to him. Then he went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying, "This is what the LORD says: 'I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.'" And the water has remained wholesome to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken.” (2Kings 2:19-22NIV)


Why did the men of Jericho approach Elisha about their city? It was because they sensed that they needed more than natural solutions in solving its problems. As they pointed out to the man of God, this city was well situated. In other words, it was settled in a place where it could attract the people and things that it needed to become great. But it was not great, neither was it about to become great. Why? It was because the water was bad and the land was unproductive.


Now who wants to stay in a place where the water is bad and useless for drinking, cooking, bathing and so forth? That kind of place is unsuitable for healthy living. And who wants to stay in an obviously barren and unproductive land? You will just be wasting your resources and hard labour there.  


Since Jericho, then, was such a place, a place where people’s health was continually being endangered by the water and where their resources and hard work were being wasted, people began to avoid it. So, though it was well situated and could have been a great city, that was not the case with it at all at the time. 


But thankfully, there were still men in that city who believed in what it could become. And these ones also knew that its problem could not be solved in a natural way; it would require supernatural intervention. So, when Prophet Elisha came passing through it, they took that as their opportunity to see it healed. They humbled themselves, went to him and told him their predicament. And in response, the man of God ministered to the land by the Spirit of God and healing and wholeness was brought upon it.


What lesson, then, does this teach us? It is that we too must learn to recognise when the issues we are confronted with require divine solutions or intervention. Yes, by putting the mind God has given us to work, there are problems we are able to readily solve. And He expects us to solve those problem instead of waiting on Him to solve them for us. At least, the reason He has blessed us with a mind to think, learn, understand and evaluate things is that we may use it in dealing with the matters of our lives. So, if we are praying, fasting and waiting on Him in handling matters that He expects us to use our head to fix, we are simply wasting our time. 


However, there are matters that a mere application of human knowledge, understanding and wisdom cannot handle. Such matters need divine solutions. But if we fail to realise or acknowledge this or if we, in our arrogance, think God does not matter at all, then, those problems would not be solved at all. Instead, they will only keep going from bad to worse, regardless of what we do or say.


Now perhaps that is the kind of problem you are confronted with now, a problem that requires divine intervention for it to be handled. You yourself can tell that unless there is a supernatural altering or removal of certain things that are fundamentally wrong with the matter at hand, all that you are doing will never amount to much. Then admit it and seek God’s face about it. And you don’t have to do this all alone. Engage the people of God in your life too for prayer support and spiritual counsel on the matter. And before you know it, there will be a divine release of all that you need to change the situation, whatever it may be, and move from where you are to where you ought to be.


Stay blessed.


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 STOP SOWING THE WRONG SEED 03/05/2024


“Don't be misled; remember that you can't ignore God and get away with it: a man will always reap just the kind of crop he sows! If he sows to please his own wrong desires, he will be planting seeds of evil and he will surely reap a harvest of spiritual decay and death; but if he plants the good things of the Spirit, he will reap the everlasting life that the Holy Spirit gives him.” (Gal 6:7-8TLB)


That is a trustworthy saying, and it is worthy of full acceptance. Whatever we sow is what we will reap. And to say the fact, we have been reaping the fruit of what we have been sowing. I am saying that the chaos, the confusion, the dissension, the oppression, the bitterness, the bloodshed, the hunger, the decay, the weeping and the gnashing of teeth we now see and experience all over our nation are fruits of the wicked and terrible seeds we all have been sowing since our existence as a nation. And if we want this painful cycle of decay and deterioration to end, then, we must stop sowing the wrong seeds.


In the book of Numbers, chapter 25, we are introduced to an incident that took place while the nation of Israel was still wandering in the wilderness. According to the text, the people, while they were staying in Shittim, began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women, something the Lord was utterly against. As a result of that, a plague broke out amidst the people, and it resulted in the death of about twenty-four thousand people. This, of course, brought about national lamentations. The whole assembly gathered before the sanctuary of God in their midst, weeping because of their loss. 


But do you know that their weeping did not stop the plague? No, it didn't. And the reason was that they had not totally stopped sowing the seed of sexual impurity. According to the Scripture, while they were yet weeping, one of their leaders (Zimri) boldly and shamelessly brought into his tent a Midianite woman to sleep with her, right in the presence of Moses and all the people. How then could the plague stop? 


Well, thanks to God that somebody acted immediately and wisely in order to arrest the situation. Phinehas, a grandson of Aaron the High Priest, as it is written, took a spear, followed that shameless man into his tent and killed both him and his partner in sin. And that was what ended the plague. (Cf. Num 21:1-8)


Now what lesson does that teach us? If we too want to stop reaping decay and corruption, as a nation, then all of us must stop sowing the wrong seeds. I mean that you and I must stop sowing seeds of hatred, bitterness, discord, unfaithfulness, apathy and terror wherever we are or find ourselves. And we must instead start planting godly seeds, that is, seeds of faithfulness, diligence, self-control, love, unity, peace and contentment. Then we can expect, through the goodness, mercy and favour of God, to begin to reap joy, peace, prosperity and progress all across our land. And so shall it be, in Jesus' name. Amen.



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BE CONCERNED ABOUT THEM ALSO 02/05/2024


“Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.” (1Corinthians 8:13NIV) 


What is this text showing me? It is that I must not just be concerned about myself; I must also be concerned about my brethren. I am must be concerned about how the things I do or do not do affect them. If the things I am doing are misleading my brethren or getting them into trouble, I am sinning against them and against the Lord Jesus Christ. 


Now this is a message to believers. So, we are talking about believers sinning against believers and against the Lord Jesus Christ. We are not talking about unbelievers persecuting the church here. Unbelievers can persecute the church because they don’t know any better. They can be hostile to members of the body of Christ because they don’t know any better. They were hostile to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. And so He said to us, “If they persecuted me, you can expect them to persecute you too.” (Cf. John 15:18-21) 


However, if those outside the body of Christ are treating us in a hostile way, should we also be treating ourselves in the same manner? Visit a good number of our government offices today, and you will realise that the so-called believers are the most difficult to deal with. When you enter an office and see someone posing as a believer, you know immediately that you are in for big trouble, for they will make things hard for you. Is it meant to be so? No, it is not. 


Now look at those in secret societies, and you can see the way they treat their members. Their members will commit very serious crimes, and they will find ways to exonerate them. That, of course, is wrong. So we don’t do that. But these fellows are so committed to themselves that they are willing to pervert justice because of their members. When you enter a place and make some signs that they recognise as those of their fraternity, they will find out if you are one of them and immediately take up your case. If it is admission into a school that you want, and you are not qualified for it, they will qualify you for it and bring you in. 


Well, we don’t do that, as I said already. We have not been taught to do such things. But the point we are making is that when you find other believers, who are in need, legitimate needs, don’t ignore them—attend to them. No, don’t abandon them. That is because a day is coming when you will have to give account of the way you have treated them to their Lord, who is also your own Lord. And how will you feel then? What excuse will you give for not treating them right?



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CAUTION OR SUSPICION 01/05/2024


“So Hanun seized David's men, shaved off half of each man's beard, cut off their garments in the middle at the buttocks, and sent them away.” (2Sam 10:4NIV)


Why did Hanun, king of the Ammonites, treat David’s men in the manner described in our opening bible text? He did so because he thought he was being cautious. But was he really being cautious or suspicious? 


As the account shows us, Hanun’s father, Nahash had been a friend of David before he died. And though we are not told how they became friends, we are told that the reason David sent his men to give his condolences to his son, Hanun, was that he was a very kind person to him (2Sam 10:1-2). That, of course, was one of the things that characterised David’s way of life. He was not someone that would forget those who had been good or kind to him. Rather, he was someone that was always seeking them out, so that he could show his gratitude to them in whatever way he could. (Cf. 1Sam 30:26-31; 2Sam 9; 2Sam 19:31-39)


Unfortunately, on this occasion, his kind gesture was totally misrepresented by Hanun, the son of his late friend. And it was misrepresented because the officials with the young man misled him. They sowed a seed of evil suspicions in his heart, even though there was no reason for him to be suspicious. (Cf. 2Sam 10:3) 


David, before that time, had done nothing to Hanun’s country to make him think of him as an enemy. He had been nothing but a good and loyal friend to his father. And even if he had wanted to be cautious, probably because he was not really close to David, all he would have needed to do was to give instructions to his men to watch the activities of his ambassadors. Then their report would have cleared his doubts and prevented him from being unduly suspicious.


But because he was a foolish young man, instead of acting with caution at that time, he acted in evil suspicions and shamelessly maltreated ambassadors of an ally country that only came to sympathise with him for the loss of his father. That, of course, resulted in an unfortunate war between him and the nation of Israel, which was a stronger and more powerful nation. And because of the war he lost his men, his land, his crown and his reputation. How sad! (Cf. 2Sam 10; 1Chro 19:1-20:3)


Well, this story is teaching us one thing, which is that there is a great deal of difference between caution and evil suspicion. To be cautious means that we do not assume that we know what people will do or how they will function under any circumstance, if we do not know them to be true children of God or have not known them for a very long time. Therefore, we do not carelessly let them into our lives or affairs. Instead, we put appropriate boundaries in place in our dealings with them, so that we may, in the course of time, learn how well we can trust them. 


But to be suspicious means to have a feeling that something is wrong or that something may go wrong in our dealings with someone. And is it altogether wrong to have this feeling? No! It all depends on who we have such feelings about, why we have such feelings about them and what we do as a result of such feelings that we have about them.


If someone, as Paul says about himself and his ministry companions, does not have any record of being injurious, manipulative or corrupt in dealing with us or others that we know, we have no reason to be suspicious of them (2Cor 7:2). Otherwise, whatever suspicions we have about them will only be evil suspicions, something that the word of God warns against (1Tim 6:4). 


Then even if we have reasons to be suspicious of someone because we don’t know them well enough, because we have seen them act in some ungodly manner before or because someone gave us some bad news about them, our suspicions should only drive us to be cautious and on guard in dealing with them. We should not allow them to drive us to disgrace or embarrass them when they have not done us any wrong and we have no real proof that they are going to hurt us in any way. Otherwise, our suspicions about them will be nothing but evil suspicions.


Now when we allow evil suspicions to drive us to hurt, disgrace or embarrass others who have done nothing wrong to us, we, like Hanun, may end up having an unnecessary and unfortunate war to fight. And that may forever shut some doors of goodness that could have come to us through them against us. Only God, then, knows how many people have been denied certain measure of His goodness that could have been theirs in life because of these things. They, out of suspicion, treated shamefully or abusively certain individuals who merely wanted to help them or do them good. And they have to live with the sorrow and loss that came with doing so for the rest of their earthly lives.


More so, when we allow evil suspicions to drive us in relating to others, even if our suspicions are right, those watching and who have seen the kind of bad treatment we have given to them may never get to know that our suspicions are right. Therefore, instead of being seen as the victims of those who want to hurt us, we will be seen and treated as the villains. And who knows how terribly that will affect us? Only God knows.


So, yes, be cautious in all your dealings with men. But give no room in your heart for any form of evil suspicion. That is because it can only harm you; it has no good to offer you.



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HIS WORD WILL SUSTAIN YOU 29/04/2024


“The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” (Heb 1:3-4NIV).


Scientists have shown us again and again that there are laws governing this universe. And according to them, it is because of these laws that we are able to live here on earth and thrive. It is because of these laws that we and the things we use are not flying out into the space each time we take a step. It is because of them that the stars are not falling down from the sky and crashing on us. 


But who put these laws in motion? Who gave commands to all the things in the universe, so that they cooperate for our good? It is God. While addressing Job and pointing out his ignorance of many things to him, He asked him this question: “Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, 'This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt'?” (Job 38:8-11NIV) Why did He ask him this question? Was it because he did not know that it was He who did these things? No! He asked him to draw his attention to the awesomeness of His power in sustaining the entire universe by His word. 


We too need to learn to meditate on the awesomeness of God's power in sustaining the universe all around us. Think about this: the sea, with all its proud waves, will not go beyond the boundaries set by God for it. And that is why, though we are surrounded by oceans, we have not been submerged by them. But remember that in the days of Noah, by one word from God, the floodgates of the heavens were opened and all the boundaries and limits set for the oceans and rivers on earth were removed. And everything on the face of the earth was wiped out. Only Noah, his family and the living creatures that he took into his Ark with him survived. And they survived only because they acted on the word of God. (Cf. Gen 7)


What is the point? It is that this universe is existing and kept in existence by the power of the word of God. And that, in fact, is the point that the writer of the book of Hebrews is communicating to us in our opening text, where he says, “God sustains all things by His powerful word.” In other words, anything that is not standing on the word of God cannot exist or survive.


That being the case, if we want to survive in this world, we must stand on the word of God. As I pointed out before, the only reason Noah and his family survived the flood that wiped out every living thing on the face of the earth in their day was that they stood on the word of God. They believed what God said to them about His coming judgment and also acted on what He told them about the way of salvation. So, they were saved.


But remember that Noah and his family were the minority. They were only eight in number. Yet they were the ones that survived that worldwide flood. So, the majority isn't always right. If the majority is not living on the basis of the word of God, they will not survive the evils of this world, regardless of what measure of wisdom, strength or technology they deploy or employ. 


I want you to know, then, that you, your home, your marriage, your business or anything that is yours will not survive or be sustained in this world because you are with the majority or because you are doing what everybody is doing. Instead, you will be sustained and survive only by taking God's word seriously and acting on it. So, be devoted to taking everything He is saying to us about how to experience life, peace, joy, health, protection and fruitfulness in this dark world seriously and also to acting on it. And though many around you may be losing their minds, losing their homes, losing their lives or collapsing, their experience will not be your experience. That is because the word of God, which you are acting on and standing on, will sustain and preserve you until the day He comes to be glorified in all His holy people.



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HIS WORD WILL SUSTAIN YOU 30/04/2024

REVELATION FOR SAFETY

“When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son." When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.” (Matt 2:13-17NIV)


Why did Herod give orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem, two years old and under? It was because he wanted to get rid of the boy Jesus at all cost. That, of course, is to show us how wicked and unreasonable some people can be. They don’t care what steps they take or what things they destroy in order to have their desire granted. This man was king already. And he knew that there was no way he could possibly be king forever. Yet when he heard that another king had been born, he could not just take it, even though he knew nothing about the nature or character of the kingdom of this boy-king.


At any rate, he made up his mind to get rid of the boy-king. In fact, as the angel that warned Joseph about this matter pointed out, this wicked king was determined to use all the resources at his disposal to find the boy and to kill him. And when it was clear to him that locating the boy Jesus would be very hard, if not impossible for him, he decided to kill all the boys in Bethlehem, where he had been born, within his age bracket. He did that and succeeded because there was no one in the land powerful enough to withstand or resist him.


Thankfully, God had already warned Joseph in a dream to take the boy Jesus and His mother and leave for another country, Egypt. And he lost no time at all in obeying. Our bible text says that he took the child and his mother that same night and made good their escape. That, of course, was how Jesus was kept alive to fulfil God’s purpose for His life.


What, then, is the point of all this? First, it is that there are times we need specific divine revelations to escape from certain danger or trouble that are bound to destroy us or prevent us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives. If it had not been revealed to Joseph what Herod was planning, there was no way he would have known what was coming for his family. And if he had not known what was coming for them, there was no way he would have been able to lead them to safety. So, it is in proper order for us to constantly pray to God to continually fill our hearts with divine revelations for our safety and for the safety of everyone and everything dear to us.


The second point of the story is that innocent people can be victims of circumstances they did not ask for or bring upon themselves. All the boys that were killed by Herod in his attempt to get rid of Jesus knew nothing at all about the matter. They did not ask for Jesus to be born. And they did not ask the wise men that told Herod about his birth to spread the news. Yet they ended up losing their lives and not fulfilling whatever purpose God may have had for them here on earth. What about their families? They too suffered for nothing.


So, don’t think that you need to commit a crime or to be involved in a fight with someone before you can become a victim in this world. You don’t have to do any of these things. You may, for some reasons, unexpectedly become a victim even of crimes you did not commit or fights you did not start or ask for. Therefore, learn to pray that God will always keep you and all that is dear to you from being victims of other people’s problems, errors or bad judgments. And He surely knows how to keep you and also possesses the power to keep you.


Now the last point of that account is that it is not enough to receive divine revelations for our safety or anything else. It is also important that we are prompt to act on it. Joseph was prompt to act on the revelation he received for the safety of his family. So, he was able to save them from destruction. Lot, on the contrary, was not prompt to act on the revelation brought to him by God’s angels about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. He was hesitant. If God had not shown him mercy, his hesitation would have been his doom. And eventually, that hesitation to leave Sodom was what brought destruction upon his wife. (Cf. Gen 19)


So, never think you will be safe or exalted just because you have God’s revelation. If you won’t act on it or be prompt in acting on it, you may end up suffering like one who had no divine revelation at all.


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HIS WORD WILL SUSTAIN YOU 2/04/2024


“The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” (Heb 1:3-4NIV)


Scientists have shown us again and again that there are laws governing this universe. And according to them, it is because of these laws that we are able to live here on earth and thrive. It is because of these laws that we and the things we use are not flying out into the space each time we take a step. It is because of them that the stars are not falling down from the sky and crashing on us. 


But who put these laws in motion? Who gave commands to all the things in the universe, so that they cooperate for our good? It is God. While addressing Job and pointing out his ignorance of many things to him, He asked him this question: “Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, 'This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt'?” (Job 38:8-11NIV) Why did He ask him this question? Was it because he did not know that it was He who did these things? No! He asked him to draw his attention to the awesomeness of His power in sustaining the entire universe by His word. 


We too need to learn to meditate on the awesomeness of God's power in sustaining the universe all around us. Think about this: the sea, with all its proud waves, will not go beyond the boundaries set by God for it. And that is why, though we are surrounded by oceans, we have not been submerged by them. But remember that in the days of Noah, by one word from God, the floodgates of the heavens were opened and all the boundaries and limits set for the oceans and rivers on earth were removed. And everything on the face of the earth was wiped out. Only Noah, his family and the living creatures that he took into his Ark with him survived. And they survived only because they acted on the word of God. (Cf. Gen 7)


What is the point? It is that this universe is existing and kept in existence by the power of the word of God. And that, in fact, is the point that the writer of the book of Hebrews is communicating to us in our opening text, where he says, “God sustains all things by His powerful word.” In other words, anything that is not standing on the word of God cannot exist or survive.


That being the case, if we want to survive in this world, we must stand on the word of God. As I pointed out before, the only reason Noah and his family survived the flood that wiped out every living thing on the face of the earth in their day was that they stood on the word of God. They believed what God said to them about His coming judgment and also acted on what He told them about the way of salvation. So, they were saved.


But remember that Noah and his family were the minority. They were only eight in number. Yet they were the ones that survived that worldwide flood. So, the majority isn't always right. If the majority is not living on the basis of the word of God, they will not survive the evils of this world, regardless of what measure of wisdom, strength or technology they deploy or employ. 


I want you to know, then, that you, your home, your marriage, your business or anything that is yours will not survive or be sustained in this world because you are with the majority or because you are doing what everybody is doing. Instead, you will be sustained and survive only by taking God's word seriously and acting on it. So, be devoted to taking everything He is saying to us about how to experience life, peace, joy, health, protection and fruitfulness in this dark world seriously and also to acting on it. And though many around you may be losing their minds, losing their homes, losing their lives or collapsing, their experience will not be your experience. That is because the word of God, which you are acting on and standing on, will sustain and preserve you until the day He comes to be glorified in all His holy people.



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HIS WORD WILL SUSTAIN YOU 2/04/2024


“The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” (Heb 1:3-4NIV)


Scientists have shown us again and again that there are laws governing this universe. And according to them, it is because of these laws that we are able to live here on earth and thrive. It is because of these laws that we and the things we use are not flying out into the space each time we take a step. It is because of them that the stars are not falling down from the sky and crashing on us. 


But who put these laws in motion? Who gave commands to all the things in the universe, so that they cooperate for our good? It is God. While addressing Job and pointing out his ignorance of many things to him, He asked him this question: “Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, 'This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt'?” (Job 38:8-11NIV) Why did He ask him this question? Was it because he did not know that it was He who did these things? No! He asked him to draw his attention to the awesomeness of His power in sustaining the entire universe by His word. 


We too need to learn to meditate on the awesomeness of God's power in sustaining the universe all around us. Think about this: the sea, with all its proud waves, will not go beyond the boundaries set by God for it. And that is why, though we are surrounded by oceans, we have not been submerged by them. But remember that in the days of Noah, by one word from God, the floodgates of the heavens were opened and all the boundaries and limits set for the oceans and rivers on earth were removed. And everything on the face of the earth was wiped out. Only Noah, his family and the living creatures that he took into his Ark with him survived. And they survived only because they acted on the word of God. (Cf. Gen 7)


What is the point? It is that this universe is existing and kept in existence by the power of the word of God. And that, in fact, is the point that the writer of the book of Hebrews is communicating to us in our opening text, where he says, “God sustains all things by His powerful word.” In other words, anything that is not standing on the word of God cannot exist or survive.


That being the case, if we want to survive in this world, we must stand on the word of God. As I pointed out before, the only reason Noah and his family survived the flood that wiped out every living thing on the face of the earth in their day was that they stood on the word of God. They believed what God said to them about His coming judgment and also acted on what He told them about the way of salvation. So, they were saved.


But remember that Noah and his family were the minority. They were only eight in number. Yet they were the ones that survived that worldwide flood. So, the majority isn't always right. If the majority is not living on the basis of the word of God, they will not survive the evils of this world, regardless of what measure of wisdom, strength or technology they deploy or employ. 


I want you to know, then, that you, your home, your marriage, your business or anything that is yours will not survive or be sustained in this world because you are with the majority or because you are doing what everybody is doing. Instead, you will be sustained and survive only by taking God's word seriously and acting on it. So, be devoted to taking everything He is saying to us about how to experience life, peace, joy, health, protection and fruitfulness in this dark world seriously and also to acting on it. And though many around you may be losing their minds, losing their homes, losing their lives or collapsing, their experience will not be your experience. That is because the word of God, which you are acting on and standing on, will sustain and preserve you until the day He comes to be glorified in all His holy people.



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LEARN TO GIVE THANKS TO GOD IN EVERY SITUATION 28/04/2024


 “So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons' wives. All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds — everything that moves on the earth — came out of the ark, one kind after another. Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.” (Gen 8:18-20NIV)


What was the first thing Noah did when he came out of the Ark alive and well? He built an altar of thanksgiving to God. That means this man acknowledged that God was the reason he, his family members and all the animals and birds with them were alive and well after about eleven months of staying in the Ark. Yes, the earth they came upon was no longer what it used to be. Yet he gave thanks for the gift of life; he gave thanks for the gift of a new beginning.


Have we also learnt to give thanks to God, irrespective of the situations in which we find ourselves? Have we learnt to give Him thanks for the gift of life, even though the circumstances of our world are not pleasant or orderly in any way? Have we learnt to give thanks to Him for every new beginning, the beginning of a new day, a new week, a new month, a new year, a new season and a new phase of our lives? 


The bible says, “… give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1Thess 5:18NIV) Did you see that? It is the will of God for us to give Him thanks in all circumstances, instead of complaining, griping or grumbling. And it is those of us who learn to give Him thanks in all the situations of our lives that are truly living in His will for us and that will continually receive more and more of all that we need to make our lives count in this world from Him.


For example, look at how God responded to Noah's sacrifice of thanksgiving: 


“The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease." Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.”” (Gen 8:21-9:3NIV)


Can you see how God responded to Noah's thanksgiving? He responded with words of blessings on the leader of this new world and his family. First, He said I will no longer curse the ground again because of man, even though he is wicked from infancy. In other words, He reversed the curse he had placed on the ground because of Adam. Just think about that. Through one man's sin, the ground was cursed for all of us. And through one man's thanksgiving, the curse was removed. This is why farming has continued to be a blessing to all of us all around the world.


Then, apart from removing the curse that was placed on the ground, God also specially blessed Noah and his sons, just as He had blessed Adam in the very beginning. He blessed these men with fruitfulness and increase. He blessed them with the authority to rule over and utilise for their good everything on earth, in the air and inside the sea. So, even though they were starting afresh in the world, starting with almost nothing to their credit, they had enough of God's blessings to turn the earth into a wonder for themselves to live in. And what made all these blessings available to them? Thanksgiving!


Furthermore, God made a covenant with Noah that same day that He would never again cut off life from the face of the earth by the waters of a flood. And He gave him the rainbow as the sign of this covenant. What made God so pleased with Noah that He did this? It was his thanksgiving. 


You can now see that thanksgiving is a powerful way of receiving fullness from God. It is a powerful way of unleashing His blessings on our lives and in our lives. And to say the fact, we can never tell how far God will go in moving in our lives and setting things right for us, if we will begin to wholeheartedly give Him thanks for all that He is to us and for all that He has done for us.


So, stop looking at the circumstances of your life at the moment, however messy they may be. Instead, start giving thanks to God for the gift of life and for everything else He has done for you that you can think of. That is because as long as there is breath in you, there is no height you cannot attain by the grace of God. So, learn to give thanks to God in every situation, and you will be amazed at how He will move in your life and change even rules of centuries to favour you.



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DON’T FOOLISHLY COMPARE YOURSELF WITH OTHERS 27/04/2024


“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” (2Corinthians 10:12NIV) 


It is a foolish thing to measure yourself or compare yourself with others. And you know it is one of the reasons we sometimes think that certain people should not enjoy certain things in their lives. We look at the way we are living our lives – so holy, righteous and pure – and we see that there are certain things we are still not enjoying from God’s hand. But here is a fellow that is messing up and does not take God seriously at all. He skips church meetings as he likes. At work he is known as a rogue. And in his neighbourhood, nobody likes him. Yet he is progressing in life. 


Now perhaps you are working in the same office with this fellow, and you realise that he often gets promoted ahead of you. You may want to begin to say, “Wait a minute. This guy is not living right with God. Why then should he is being promoted before me? I am the one living to please God. I am the one doing everything right here.” And the truth is that we often think like this – many of God’s people often think like this. We think that when people’s lives are messed up, they should not be enjoying God’s goodness at all. At least, they should not be enjoying His goodness the way we are. We are the ones that are pleasing God. So, if we are enjoying His blessings and goodness, it is understandable. But these fellows that are not pleasing God. Why, then, should they enjoy His goodness or be experiencing progress in their lives at better than us? 


Well, things don’t work that way with God. Do you even know that the fact that you are spiritual does not mean that you are going to be more gifted in the things of God than one that is carnal? A Carnal Christian can be more spiritually gifted than you are. Some people are so carnal that it is obvious in their lives. Yet when they share Scriptures with others, you may begin to wonder, “How come this man is able to share the Scriptures like this, even in his carnality?” Also, often you meet some Carnal sisters who are very gifted with singing. And when they begin to sing among God’s people, everybody is stirred and excited to worship. But then you could look at yourself and say, “But when I sing people don’t get stirred this way? And I am the spiritual one here.” Well, things don’t work that way with God.


See, God can and, in fact, has used carnal people in healing the sick and even in raising the dead in the past. So, there are things you don’t equate with spirituality. The bible, for example, tells us that John the Baptist never performed a single miracle. Yet the Lord Jesus said that of all those who were born of women not one was greater than John the Baptist. (Cf. Matthew 11:11; John 10:41) 


So, don’t foolishly compare yourself with others. There is no basis for doing so in Scriptures. Just be yourself and live out your life on the basis of God’s grace upon your life. And may you be daily strengthened to do so, in Jesus’ amen.



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IF THEY HAD NOT BEEN SUBMISSIVE 26/04/2024


“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” (Micah 5:2NIV)


This is a prophecy concerning Jesus Christ and how He would be born in Bethlehem. And we see Matthew quoting this prophecy when talking in his gospel about the birth of Jesus Christ. He says this from verse 1 of chapter 2 of his gospel:


“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: “But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.””” (Matthew 2:2NIV)


You can see that even the religious leaders of the Jews were expecting their Messiah to be born in Bethlehem. They believed Micah’s prophecy and even quoted it to Herod. Now Matthew, in this account, does not share with us the circumstances that led to Jesus’ being born in Bethlehem. But Luke does so in his own gospel. Look at how he puts it from verse 1 of chapter 2:


“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So, Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” (Luke 2:1-7NIV)


You can see here that Luke is showing us how Jesus came to be born in Bethlehem. There was a decree issued by Caesar Augustus at that time, directing everyone in his empire to go to their places and be numbered. And Joseph and Mary both obeyed that decree, even though they were living in Nazareth at the time. Now their minds were not on the prophecy that said that the baby Mary was carrying would be born in Bethlehem. But when the decree was issued, they too, in submission to the emperor, went to Bethlehem. And it was while they were there that Jesus was born.


So, even though it does not look like God is working in the affairs of men, He is actually working in our affairs. God moved that emperor at the time to issue that edict for everybody to go to their places to be numbered. And it would require Joseph and Mary to be submissive to the governing authorities to obey that decree. If they had not been submissive, then, the will of God would not have been accomplished in their lives and through their lives.


God wanted His Son Jesus to be born in Bethlehem. And He needed a man and a woman that He would use to accomplish that. That man and that woman, however, had to be submissive to the governing authorities. Otherwise, what God wanted would not happen. Choosing Joseph and Mary, then, was not a mistake on God’s part. He chose individuals who were submissive to governing authorities as parents for Jesus. If He had chosen people who had no respect for the leaders of their government, His purpose may have been thwarted through their rebellion.


Well, here is a point we must hold on to: when rules or laws are made by our leaders, don’t stand against them, as long as they are not contrary to the righteousness of God. That is because through those laws God can accomplish His good purpose in your life. We know that God is at work in us to will and to act according to His good purpose. We also know that He is working to turn things around for our good. But it is not every time that He will step out of heaven to do things for us or that He will send His angels to do things for us. Most of the time, it is people that He will use. And among the people that He often uses to accomplish His good purpose in our lives are those who have authority over us. He often uses them to guide us, lead us and sometimes drive us to do things, even things that we don’t like to do, that will cause His good purpose to happen in our lives. But if we are not submissive to them, this will not happen.



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BE HUNGRY AND THIRSTY FOR MORE 25/04/2024


“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matt 5:6NIV)


Who is the giver of righteousness? God! So, in order to be righteous, God must give you righteousness as a gift. It is not something that your hard work can obtain for you. But to possess His righteousness, you must be hungry and thirsty for Him in your life. Then for His righteousness to manifest in you, you must also be hungry and thirsty for Him to work in yo


Well, the point is that God wants us to be hungry and thirsty for Him, for more and more of Him. And He says that those of us who are hungry and thirsty for Him, who want to see His righteousness manifest in our lives and in our world, will be satisfied by Him. He will satisfy us with everything we need


Why will He want to satisfy us with everything we need, if He does not want us to have more? The truth is that He wants us to keep having more until we are satisfied. And all we need for that to happen is to be hungry and thirsty for more of Him and more of what He wants us to have


This, of course, is showing us that He does not want us to be complacent in life. Instead, He wants us to always desire to know Him better, to have His fullness dwell in us, to be all that He wants us to be and to have all that He wants us to have in this world. And what will lead us to experience these things is our hunger and thirst for them


Look also at what Jesus says in John, chapter 10, verse 10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (NIV) Can you see that? Our Lord Jesus came so that we may experience fullness of life. And if you are complacent, you cannot experience life to the full. If you are complacent, you cannot be all that God wants you to be in life or accomplish all that He wants you to accomplish. The moment you are complacent, the moment you think that your life is okay as it is and that you do not need to be a better man, woman, husband, wife, child, Christian or citizen, you are already on your way out of relevance and out of this world. You are already dead, even though you are alive, and your life has begun to decompose and decay


You need to understand that as long as you are alive in this world, you cannot have any false sense of self-satisfaction. It will keep you from looking ahead to becoming the person God wants you to be and to having what He wants you to have. It will make you crest. And once you crest in that sense, you can only depreciate in character and usefulness


God, however, does not want us to crest in life. What He wants is for us to continually hunger and thirst for the fullness of Him and of the life that He purchased for us in Christ. So, we must always look forward to what can be instead of fixing our gaze on what is. Of course, we must be thankful for what we are and what we have. And we must not get ourselves involved in anything that is contrary to the will of God in order to be where we want to be or have what we want to have. But we must always be hungry and thirsty for more of God and more of life. Otherwise, our lives will be stagnate


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SYMPTOMS OF WORLDLINESS  24/04/2024


“I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, ‘I follow Paul,’ and another, ‘I follow Apollos,’ are you not mere human beings?” (1Corinthians 3:2-4NIV).


From what Paul says to us in our opening text, the Christian is not a mere human being—he is not an ordinary human being. The Christian is a different class of human beings. He belongs to a different class. That is because he has been born again. He has received the life of God. He has received the nature of God. So, he is no longer a mere human being.


But Paul says about the Corinthian Christians, “You are still acting like mere human beings. You are still worldly.” Why? According to him, it is because there is jealousy and quarrelling among them. And that means, to begin with, jealousy does not belong in the church. It is an attribute of the world. It belongs in the world, not among God’s people. Envy, rivalry and the like do not belong among God’s people. So when a brother is jealous of another brother, he is worldly. And when a sister is jealous of another sister, she is worldly. These things do not belong in the church. So, if you are jealous of anybody, you are worldly. It is as simple as that. And if you are envious of anybody, you are worldly. 


Yes, there is a sense in which the word ‘envy’ is used positively. Then you will be talking about envying someone for something good that he is doing, so that you also can do likewise. But that is not what we are talking about here. We are talking about bitter jealousy or bitter envy here. And we are saying this is not a trait or an attribute that you should have. This is not a trait with which you should be described, as a child of God. It belongs in the world. And so, having become a child of God, we should not be seeing jealousy in you. We should not see it in your face or in the way you talk or in the way you act. 


In any case, even though members of the church in Corinth had been Christians for a while and had all the gifts of the Spirit that you could think of at work in their midst, they were still jealous of one another. In addition to that, they were also quarrelling with one another. And that means if you are quarrelsome, you are worldly. It is as simple as that. If you quarrel with people or have issues with them all the time, then, you are worldly. If you cannot relate freely with people or work freely with people, without quarrelling with them, then, you are worldly.


Now I am not saying that when people are doing wrong things they must not be corrected or set right. But you don’t correct people in a quarrelsome manner. Unfortunately, some people are just quarrelsome. They are simply belligerent. Any little act of provocation from anybody towards them, they are set to quarrel. That is a symptom of worldliness.


In addition, members of the church in Corinth were also divided among themselves. The church was divided into different camps with different heads and leaders. But the church has just one head. Yes, there may be people that you respect in the church. But the church has just one head, and that is Jesus Christ. And you should not allow anybody to take His place in your life, neither should you yourself attempt to take His place in anybody’s life. 


All of this is why it is wrong to debate among ourselves which minister of the gospel is superior in anointing to the other. But we often find ourselves doing this. We compare ministers of the gospel and try to establish the better ones among them. And each time you find yourself having this kind of conversation with anyone, you are showing that you are worldly.


Now there are other symptoms of worldliness given to us in Scriptures, which space will not permit me to list for you. But the point I want you to get is that worldliness should not be identified with any child of God. That is because it results in spiritual death. It brings us to a situation in which we are again dead to God and not able to respond to Him appropriately. And where that is the case, spiritual stagnation will set in, exposing us to all kinds of satanic afflictions and God’s judgment. 


So, don’t give room for any kind of worldliness in your life or make excuses for it. Otherwise, it may ruin everything good in your life before you wake up.


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THE REASON MAN IS NOT HOPELESS 23/04/2024


“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16NIV) 


Who loved the world? God! And here John describes the extent of His love for humanity. He says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Already, what humanity deserves is destruction; what it deserves is to be eternally separated from God. But because God loves man, He is unwilling to allow man to perish. So, He gave His one and only Son for him. We can, then, see that the love of God is geared towards preventing man from perishing. 


Furthermore, in Romans 5, Paul tells us the condition of man when God proved His love for him. From verse 6 he says, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6NIV) Look at that. When we were still powerless, God came to our rescue. At that time, we could not help ourselves from sinning or from destroying ourselves. But God came to our rescue. 


Now we still see many in this condition today. They cannot help themselves from destroying themselves. They know this, but they are not seeking help in the right direction or are not seeking help at all. You may have come in contact with individuals like that before. You keep telling them that they are going to destroy themselves, should they continue to do certain things they love to do. And their response is always, “I know these things, but I cannot help myself.” 


Sometimes, what such people are struggling with may not even be something that is obviously immoral. It may be an addiction to wine or cigarettes. We often see people who are smoking cigarettes and coughing at the same time. And when you tell them, “This is killing you. Why don’t you stop it?” they will most likely say, “I know. But I cannot help myself.” He is powerless against what is destroying him.


Also, we often see married people who are involved in things that will ultimately destroy their homes or lives. And when you tell them, “This is hurting you already. Stop it!” their response will be, “I know it is hurting me. But I can’t stop it.” Why? They are powerless against what is destroying them. 


In addition, look around, and you will see many young people that are destroying their own lives through wrong relationships. Some of them are failing in their studies because of this. They were fine before they started these relationships. But now they are in trouble. They have lost focus and everything is falling apart for them. Yet when you tell them, “Why don’t you stop this?” their answer will be, “I can’t!” There are even times that they use love as their excuse for destroying themselves. They are simply powerless against the thing that is destroying them,


Well, again, Paul says, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.” (Romans 5:6-7NIV) What is coming from Paul here is quite interesting actually. He makes a distinction between righteous people and good people. So, someone can be good in the eyes of men and not be righteous in the sight of God. But you cannot find a righteous person that is not good. 


This, of course, is because men’s understanding of righteousness and goodness is corrupt. So, they though they want what is good, they don’t want righteousness or righteous people. That is what the bible says and that is also what we see in all of life. And that is why Paul says even though we may not find anybody that wants to give his life for a righteous man, we may occasionally find people who are willing to give their lives or take a bullet for someone that has been good to them.


But as far as God is concerned, none of us was either righteous or good in His sight. Yet He showed us love. Paul describes this in verse 8 of this chapter, where he says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8NIV) And he is saying this to show us our condition when God did all that He did for us. We were still unrighteous, ungodly and powerless when He came to us and saved us. We deserved nothing but death when He did what He did. And Paul says He did what He did for us because He loves us. So, the reason man is not hopeless is that God loves him.


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CONCERNING CULTURAL INFLUENCES 22/04/2024


“For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach – and that for the sake of dishonest gain. One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith.” (Titus 1:10-13NIV)


Titus had been left in Crete by Paul to take care of certain things that were out of place among the brethren there. And in this passage, Paul his addressing him on how he is to handle them. First, he tells him to silence certain people who have been rebellious in the churches in Crete. So, it is not a new thing to have rebels in the church, people who will not want to take instructions or be rebuked or follow what is in accordance with sound doctrine. And leaders of God’s people must not give in to the pressure or manipulation of such people. Instead, as Paul tells Titus, they must silence them.


What we are saying is that anyone that is causing confusion in the church or disrupting order among God’s people must be silenced. They must not be allowed to carry on with whatever nonsense they are carrying out among God’s people. How is that to be done? Are church leaders to resort to force in silencing them? No! This is a spiritual thing. So, we handle it by teaching the word of God to point out the errors of such people to the people of God and to warn them and those associating with them. 


Then Paul goes on to point out certain cultural or environmental influences in Crete that Titus must not overlook but must be ready to address among the brethren. He says to him, “One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” And this saying is true.” These people have become Christians, as we can see. Yet certain cultural traits of their people are still finding expression in their lives. Many of them have not abandoned these traits; they are still conforming to them and allowing them to run their lives.


Now what are these cultural traits that are prevalent among the Cretans? First, there is lying. That means an average Cretan is a liar. So, if you are interacting with him, you can be sure that he will attempt to deceive you or cheat you. Second, they are called evil brutes. That means they are violent. And if you should get involved in anything with them that results in a quarrel, you can be sure that they will want to hurt you physically. Then they are referred to as lazy gluttons. That means they don’t want to work or be responsible in life. They just want to play around and eat the bread of idleness. 


Unfortunately, as Paul further tells Titus, all these things are not only true of Cretans but are also finding expression among those of them that have become Christians. And he is telling him these things because he wants him to know that he will surely find in Crete brethren in whose lives these evil cultural traits are still present and obvious. That means these believers have not yet renewed their minds. That is why they are still conforming to those evil cultural tendencies of their city.


Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans to renew our minds (Rom 12:2). And with what are we to renew our minds? The word of God! We are expected to have our minds cleansed with the word of God. That way, evil cultural traits or influences that are prevalent where we are or that are associated with the culture in which we grew up or got educated would not dominate our lives again as Christians. 


Yes, we may have grown up under these evil influences. But having become Christians, we are no longer of the world; we are now of God and of His kingdom of righteousness. And as citizens of the kingdom of God, we have our own culture. The word of God defines our culture for us. And in doing so, it tells us that we have been recreated to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. These, then, are what our lives must reflect: God’s righteousness and holiness. And the only way this will happen is for us to allow His word to renew our minds, to change the way we think.


Well, my point is that we need to pay attention to the cultural influences or traits that are prevailing where we live, work, do business or study. This is so that we will know those among them that we must not yield or conform to. Otherwise, though we have become Christians, people may find it difficult to tell that we are, when they can see that certain wrong cultural traits that are seen in those of the world are also in us.



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THE TIMING DOES NOT REST ON HIM ALONE 21/04/2024


“… when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built…” (1Peter 3:20NIV)


As we see in the book of Genesis, when God wanted to save Noah and his family from the worldwide flood that He wanted to bring to destroy everything from the face of the earth, He told him to build an ark. But why did God make that move to destroy humanity and every other living thing from the face of the earth? It was because of man's wickedness. Man's wickedness at that time, according to the bible, filled God's heart with pain. Our wickedness made Him regret making us and handing His earth over to us to govern. So, the only solution before Him was to make an end of us and perhaps start all over again. (Cf. Gen 6:5-7)


But then, He found a man that was righteous and blameless before Him. And because He is a just God, He was not willing to destroy this man and his family along with the rest of humanity. So, He told him what to do to be saved. And the man went ahead and did exactly as he had been instructed. He built the ark he was told to build and so saved himself and his family from that flood that took away everyone and everything from the face of the earth. (Cf. Gen 6-8)


However, there is something we are not told in the account of this man's salvation that we have in the book of Genesis. And it is that God patiently waited for him to finish building the ark before He sent the flood. Exactly when God spoke to Noah to start building that ark we are not told in Genesis. We are only told that he was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came (Gen 7:6&11).


But Peter, in our opening bible text, tells us that God waited patiently for this man to finish building the ark during those days. That means it must have taken Noah a while before he raised money to build the ark and to finish building it. It must also have taken him a while to gather and store all the food that his family and all the animals and birds with them would eat while in the ark. And we know that they were in the ark for one full year (Gen 7:11&8:13-14). So, it couldn't have been a small job for Noah to get all the food they ate in the ark ready and preserved before the flood. 


Furthermore, Noah and those with him must have needed more than food to survive in that ark in which they were shut in for a whole year. They must have needed water to drink, clothes to wear, fuel for cooking and lightings and so forth to make their stay in the ark a little comfortable for them. You can, then, see why God had to be patient with him. God had to make sure that this man was fully ready to be saved from what was coming before He brought His judgment on man and all his activities here on earth at that time.


So, in a sense, the time that the flood came was not dependent on God alone; it was also dependent on Noah's readiness. God was always ready. But Noah too had to be. Otherwise, his salvation could not happen. In like manner, there are things God cannot bring about for us in our lives until we are ready to handle them. Yes, we may be praying to Him to make those things happen without delay. And if He should answer us and make them happen, according to our yearnings, their coming may just be our undoing.


But because He loves us, God often patiently waits for us to be ready to handle what He is bringing for our salvation, elevation or expansion before He brings it. That way, He can preserve us to enjoy whatever He brings to us. So, while we think we are waiting for God to move in certain ways on our behalf or to do certain things for us, the truth is that He is always the one waiting for us to be ready for what is coming. Do you know that even in dealing with the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, as we are told the in the bible, we are the ones that must speed it up by perfecting our readiness for Him? (Cf. 2Pet 3:10-12)


See, God lives in eternity. So, a day or a thousand years make no difference to Him (2Pet 3:8). He always has all the time to do whatever He wants to do and can be patient with us for as long as He wants to. But do we, here on earth, have all the time to do whatever we want to do? No, we don't! We can't only function while it is day, as our Lord Jesus tells us (John 9:4). Once night overtakes us, all works must cease. This is why our prayer all the time must be that God will daily perfect our readiness to receive from Him all that He has in store for us in this world and to also receive His Son when He finally arrives to bring us into our eternal home. And may this be so for you and me everyday, in Jesus' name. Amen.


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SEPARATE LIGHT FROM DARKNESS 20/04/2024


“God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.” (Gen 1:4NIV)


Why did God, in the beginning, separate light from darkness? It was because light is clearly different from darkness. Light is anything that makes things visible, according to the bible, while darkness is anything that hides the real state of things (Eph 5:14). Therefore, God was not going to lie to Himself in the beginning and act as though light and darkness were the same thing, when they were actually different. That was why He separated them.


Now we too, as children of God, must imitate Him in this: we must learn to separate light from darkness wherever we are. Why? It is because they are actually different. Light is different from darkness, just as day is different from night. We don't debate this or argue over it, for we know it is the plain truth. 


In like manner, good is different from bad and righteousness is different from wickedness. So, we must always separate them wherever we are. Why? It is because, ever since the fall of man, there have always been in the world individuals who will have us believe that there is really no difference between good and evil or righteousness and wickedness. For them, everything depends on how we look at things. So, if you consider something to be evil, then, to you it is evil. That, however, does not mean that someone else has to accept your opinion of that thing. In other words, if another person considers what you take as evil to be good, then, that thing is good to that person.


You can now see why many all over the world are now accepting homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality and other related forms of perversion as good. You can also see why many now accept indecent exposure of people's bodies, especially ladies, as nothing but an expression of self-awareness and confidence. And this, of course, is the explanation for why many, especially in our country, are now feeling at home with internet fraudsters and sorcerers, also known as 'Yahoo guys', and prostitutes, also known now as 'Hook-up girls' as people that are legitimately working like others. But are they right?


Well, human beings will always be right in their judgment of what is good or evil, if they are the author of life. But they are not the author of life. God is. And because God is, He separated light from darkness and day from night from the very beginning of things. He did not mix these things up and say, “They are all the same,” or say, “What you think of them depends on how you look at them.”  


In like manner, the truth about what is good and what is bad lies with God, not with man or any other being. Remember that He declared everything He made in the beginning, with the exception of none, to be very good (Gen 1:31). So, if anything that is bad shows up on the scene, He is the only one that will be able to tell us. 


That being the case, we cannot rely on the world's concept of good or evil, if we want to be able to separate them. The only one that we can rely on for the truth about what is good and what is evil is God. And He has given us the Scriptures to make this clearly known to us. Our job, then, is to devote ourselves to what He has said through the Scriptures and learn for ourselves what is good and what is evil. 


Why is this important? It is important because God has called us to be light. And since He has called us to be light, He does not want us to have anything to do with darkness anymore. The bible says, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Eph 5:8-12NIV)


Did you see that? The child of God is light and, as such, must live as a child of light and separate himself from all forms of darkness. But will he be able to live fully as light, if he can't always separate darkness from light, good from evil? No! This, then, is why he is further told in that text to learn and prove what pleases the Lord. And if you are truly a child of God, you will give yourself to doing that – you will give yourself to learning the will of God for your life, so that you can always separate yourself as light from darkness. This, of course, is what will show whether you will reign eternally with Him or not.

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CAUTION OR SUSPICION 19/04/2024

“So Hanun seized David's men, shaved off half of each man's beard, cut off their garments in the middle at the buttocks, and sent them away.” (2Sam 10:4NIV)


Why did Hanun, king of the Ammonites, treat David’s men in the manner described in our opening bible text? He did so because he thought he was being cautious. But was he really being cautious or suspicious? 


As the account shows us, Hanun’s father, Nahash had been a friend of David before he died. And though we are not told how they became friends, we are told that the reason David sent his men to give his condolences to his son, Hanun, was that he was a very kind person to him (2Sam 10:1-2). That, of course, was one of the things that characterised David’s way of life. He was not someone that would forget those who had been good or kind to him. Rather, he was someone that was always seeking them out, so that he could show his gratitude to them in whatever way he could. (Cf. 1Sam 30:26-31; 2Sam 9; 2Sam 19:31-39)


Unfortunately, on this occasion, his kind gesture was totally misrepresented by Hanun, the son of his late friend. And it was misrepresented because the officials with the young man misled him. They sowed a seed of evil suspicions in his heart, even though there was no reason for him to be suspicious. (Cf. 2Sam 10:3) 


David, before that time, had done nothing to Hanun’s country to make him think of him as an enemy. He had been nothing but a good and loyal friend to his father. And even if he had wanted to be cautious, probably because he was not really close to David, all he would have needed to do was to give instructions to his men to watch the activities of his ambassadors. Then their report would have cleared his doubts and prevented him from being unduly suspicious.


But because he was a foolish young man, instead of acting with caution at that time, he acted in evil suspicions and shamelessly maltreated ambassadors of an ally country that only came to sympathise with him for the loss of his father. That, of course, resulted in an unfortunate war between him and the nation of Israel, which was a stronger and more powerful nation. And because of the war he lost his men, his land, his crown and his reputation. How sad! (Cf. 2Sam 10; 1Chro 19:1-20:3)


Well, this story is teaching us one thing, which is that there is a great deal of difference between caution and evil suspicion. To be cautious means that we do not assume that we know what people will do or how they will function under any circumstance, if we do not know them to be true children of God or have not known them for a very long time. Therefore, we do not carelessly let them into our lives or affairs. Instead, we put appropriate boundaries in place in our dealings with them, so that we may, in the course of time, learn how well we can trust them. 


But to be suspicious means to have a feeling that something is wrong or that something may go wrong in our dealings with someone. And is it altogether wrong to have this feeling? No! It all depends on who we have such feelings about, why we have such feelings about them and what we do as a result of such feelings that we have about them.


If someone, as Paul says about himself and his ministry companions, does not have any record of being injurious, manipulative or corrupt in dealing with us or others that we know, we have no reason to be suspicious of them (2Cor 7:2). Otherwise, whatever suspicions we have about them will only be evil suspicions, something that the word of God warns against (1Tim 6:4). 


Then even if we have reasons to be suspicious of someone because we don’t know them well enough, because we have seen them act in some ungodly manner before or because someone gave us some bad news about them, our suspicions should only drive us to be cautious and on guard in dealing with them. We should not allow them to drive us to disgrace or embarrass them when they have not done us any wrong and we have no real proof that they are going to hurt us in any way. Otherwise, our suspicions about them will be nothing but evil suspicions.


Now when we allow evil suspicions to drive us to hurt, disgrace or embarrass others who have done nothing wrong to us, we, like Hanun, may end up having an unnecessary and unfortunate war to fight. And that may forever shut some doors of goodness that could have come to us through them against us. Only God, then, knows how many people have been denied certain measure of His goodness that could have been theirs in life because of these things. They, out of suspicion, treated shamefully or abusively certain individuals who merely wanted to help them or do them good. And they have to live with the sorrow and loss that came with doing so for the rest of their earthly lives.


More so, when we allow evil suspicions to drive us in relating to others, even if our suspicions are right, those watching and who have seen the kind of bad treatment we have given to them may never get to know that our suspicions are right. Therefore, instead of being seen as the victims of those who want to hurt us, we will be seen and treated as the villains. And who knows how terribly that will affect us? Only God knows.


So, yes, be cautious in all your dealings with men. But give no room in your heart for any form of evil suspicion. That is because it can only harm you; it has no good to offer you.



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IN THE HIGHEST REGARD 18/04/2024


“Treat your leaders in the highest regard.” (Cf. 1Thessalonians 5:12-13) 


That is God’s instruction to us on relating to our church leaders. He commands us to treat them in the highest regard. What does it mean to treat people in the highest regard? Nobody can define this for you; you are to define it for yourself. So, what does it mean to you? 


Mind you, you are not told to do treat your church leaders in the highest regard because they are better than you, for they are not better than you. No child of God is better than another child of God in the sight of God. And I am not talking about being better than others in terms of conduct here; rather, I am talking about being better in terms of worth. I am saying no child of God is better than others in terms of worth. That is because the same price was paid by Him for our souls. He placed the same value on all of us. 


Remember that Jesus, while praying before going to the cross, said, “Father, let the world know that you have loved my disciples just as you have loved me.” (Cf. John 17:23) God loves us just as He loves Jesus. This is amazing. And really, if this had not been the case, He would not have given Jesus to die for us. In order for Him to give Jesus for us, He must have placed the same value He placed on Him on us too. So, He loves us just as He loves Him. And all of us stand before Him equal. We all are brethren.


But in terms of service, He wants us to honour those who are serving us because of the work they are doing among us. So, don’t talk to them anyhow or relate to them anyhow. This is for your own good. And where leaders understand this, they will not force you to respect them. 


I know there are places where church leaders literally force or coerce their brethren to respect them. They have all kinds of structures in place that will make brethren respect or regard them, even though those brethren may not be sincere about it. You know you can prostrate for someone, when inside you something else is going on. But we are not talking about giving insincere regard to our leaders. That is hypocrisy, and God does not want it in His church – He hates it.


So, willingly, respect your leader. Don’t talk to them anyhow or relate to them anyhow. There are indeed assemblies in which such things happen. They abuse their leaders and talk to them as they please. Some will even be willing to beat up their leaders when provoked. Things like such are wrong. And I am not saying that the brethren are always to blame for such things. There are leaders who also have all kinds of problems in their lives, which they have not dealt with and which give brethren reasons to disrespect them. 


Respect has to be earned. Yes, God has commanded us to respect our leaders. But leaders also have to earn it from their brethren. This is why you, as a leader of God’s people, must live your life in such a way that those you are leading will respect you. You cannot be quoting scriptures to people all the time, saying, “The bible says you must respect me.” What kind of life are you living? Are you living that kind of life that will earn people’s respect?


When Paul tells Timothy not to allow anybody to look down on him, most people think that he means that the young man must not give room for anybody to talk anyhow to him because he is young (1Timothy 4:12). But that is not what he means. What he means is that Timothy is to live his life in such a way that nobody will have any reason to look down on him because he is young. He is to live in such a way that nobody will say, “It is because he is a small boy that he is acting like that.” He is to conduct himself in such a way that people will not use his youthfulness as an excuse for disrespecting him. 


So, leaders also have their own roles in all this. They must show themselves as worthy of respect. However, you cannot use the misbehaviour of your leader as an excuse for violating God’s instruction that says that you are to treat them in the highest regard. Otherwise, you will have God to answer to. And you may not know how He is going to judge your matter. So, mind yourself.


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THE PRACTICE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 17/04/2024


“The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” (2Thessalonians 2:9-10NIV) .


Look at that. the coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. And how does Satan work? By the use of all sorts of display of power, through signs and wonders!


So, Satan can forge miracles. He can forge signs. He can produce (forge) miraculous things. And that is why we cannot say that you belong to God just because you perform signs and wonders or because you exercise what seem to be gifts of the Spirit. Those things can be forged. 


But there is something that cannot be forged, and that is the practice of righteousness. That is why the Lord says make a tree good, and its fruit will be good; make a tree bad, and its fruit will be bad. A good tree cannot bring forth bad fruit. And a bad tree cannot bring forth good fruit. So, the practice of righteousness cannot be forged. If you have righteousness in you, you will bring forth the fruit of righteousness. If you don’t have it in you, you cannot bring forth its fruit. (Cf. Matt 12:33-35)


You know there are trees that don’t bring forth fruit but that look like some trees that bring forth certain fruits. When you look at their leaves or flowers, you may mistake them for certain fruit-bearing trees. But they are not. So, that a tree looks like a mango tree does not mean that it can bring forth mangoes. Or that a tree looks like an orange tree does not mean that it can bring forth oranges. If it is an orange tree, it will definitely bring forth oranges. But if it is not, there is nothing you do to it that will make it bring forth oranges. 


All this is why, as a child of God, it is important for you to give yourself to the practice of righteousness. That is because one main outward proof of your possession of righteousness in your heart is your practice of it.



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SHARE ALL GOOD THINGS WITH THEM 16/04/2024


“Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them.” (Gal 6:6NLT)


Did you see that? It is the will of God for you to be generous to anyone that is regularly and faithfully feeding you with the word of God. There are, of course, many teachers of the word of God in the church and all around the world. And God is not asking you to share all good things with all of them, even if you know them by their names. But you have a duty to be generous to those who are committed to teaching you the word of God and building up your life with it, so that you will become the person God wants you to be in life.


Then observe that that bible verse says that we are to share all good things with such people. That means as good things are happening to us, we should remember to let them partake of them. It is not only our troubles, distresses, misfortunes and so forth that we should be sharing with them. Unfortunately, what most of us often share with our pastors and other believers that God regularly uses to teach us His word are our troubles. We want them to counsel us and pray for us each time things are hard for us. But when our prayers are answered or we are blessed with some unusual favour we don’t remember them. And this is wrong.


Now, again, it is not about how much good things you give to them or share with them; rather, it is about the willingness of your heart to do the will of God by being generous to them. If you are willing to do this, God will accept whatever you give to them based on what you have and not on what you do not have. To say the fact, one of the reasons most of our preachers now lie, manipulate, pressure and threaten God’s people to give to support them is that many of us have been irresponsible along this line. We have not been willingly generous to supporting them and the work they are doing. 


So, they have resorted to using all kinds of gimmicks in getting us to give to them. If they are not organising some fake programs for our elevation or glory, they will be selling some special oil, water, handkerchiefs and so forth to us. And while it is true that God will not fail to judge them for their lies and unfaithfulness, it is also true that He will not fail to judge every one of us who is not willing to do His will by being generous to those He has appointed to minister to us.


You may now want to ask yourself, “HOW REGULARLY DO I SHARE GOOD THINGS WITH MY PASTOR AND SOME OTHER BROTHERS AND SISTERS GOD HAS BEEN USING TO TEACH ME HIS WORD AND MAKE MY LIFE BETTER? WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME I EVEN GAVE SOMETHING TO ANY OF THESE PEOPLE TO SUPPORT THEM AND MAKE THEIR WORK EASIER OR MORE ENJOYABLE, NOT BECAUSE THEY ASKED ME BUT BECAUSE I WAS BEING DILIGENT TO ACT ON THE WORD OF GOD?”


Well, regardless of what your answers to these questions may be, my prayer is that God will lead your heart to take these words seriously and begin to apply them to your life, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


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WHEN IT IS BETTER 15/04/2024


“But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” (1 Cor 7:9NIV) 


Did you see that? It is better to marry than to burn passion. It is better to get married than to be involved in sexual immorality. It is better to marry than to nurse evil and destructive thoughts in your heart about sex. It is better to marry than to give yourself to pornography or masturbation. These things will ultimately destroy you and your love life, if you give in to them.


Why do people who have no intention of getting married to each other end up being in a home or marriage together? A lot of times, it is because they are overcome by sexual passions. And you who are saying that you are not ready for marriage may end up being overcome by these same passions, once you stir up love and refuse to do what is right on time. There are many that will voluntarily testify to the trueness of this.


So, if you can tell that you are ripe for a marriage relationship and you have found the right person, don’t unduly waste time on any kind of courtship. Don’t start out a love life and then immediately embark of a project that will surely make you unready for marriage in the next couple of years. It is not wise. And don’t start acting all spiritual about this and making everybody believe it is the Spirit of God that is leading you to act like this. I think I too have the Spirit of God (1Cor 7:40).

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CAN ANYBODY REALLY HIDE FROM HIM? 13/04/2024


“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"” (Gen 3:8-9NIV)


After the fall of man, God came to him and his wife in order to speak to them. But as we see in our opening bible text, they went hiding the moment they heard the sound of His presence in the garden that they were. Why? They were ashamed of themselves. They were ashamed of what they had done and the results that had followed. So, they went to hide themselves.


But what could they possibly accomplish by hiding where they were? Could they undo what they had done by hiding from God? Evidently, hiding from God the way Adam and Eve did could not in any way solve the eternal problem they had created. The only one that could solve it was God. So, instead of hiding from Him, what they should have done was to come to Him as they were, acknowledge their errors before Him and cast themselves on Him for salvation and deliverance. And maybe the storyline we have in the bible would have been different, if they had done that.


Unfortunately, Adam and Eve did not do that. Instead, they chose to hide their shame and fall from God. But could they really hide from Him? Can anybody really hide from Him? The bible says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Heb 4:13NIV) So, what Adam and Eve did was not hidden from God. Also, where they were hiding was not hidden from Him. He saw everything and knew everything.


In like manner, there are many that are hiding from God today because of certain things they have done to their lives or other people's lives. They know they have messed up. They know that they have done the unthinkable. And they are ashamed of themselves and of their acts. But hiding from God is not the solution to whatever problem they have created for themselves. Instead, hiding from Him can only make things worse for them.


Now perhaps you are one of those people hiding from God. You need to come out of your hideout and let Him save you from that which is destroying you. Understand that you cannot really hide from Him. He sees you where you are and as you are. But He won’t force you to come out for His help, if you don’t want it. So, come out to Him for your salvation, and He will save you. Otherwise, you may end up perishing where you are, if you stay there one moment longer.



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BEGIN TO DO YOUR OWN JOB

 13/04/2024


“Then I said to them, "You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace." I also told them about the gracious hand of my God upon me and what the king had said to me. They replied, "Let us start rebuilding." So they began this good work.” (Neh 2:17-18NIV)


There are things God must do for us in this life. And if He does not do them, there is nothing we can do about them that will amount to anything. That is why absolute dependence on Him is important, if we want our lives to be what they ought to be.


But then, there are also things we must do for ourselves in order for our lives to be what they ought to be. And if we will not do these things for ourselves, there is nothing God can do about them. Why? It is because He has already given us the abilities, skills and resources required to do them.


For example, when Nehemiah heard about the condition of the Jews in Jerusalem that had returned home from exile, he was not happy at all and wished he could be of help. But he also knew that if God did not intervene in the matter, there was nothing he or any other person could do to help. So, he turned to Him in prayer and asked for His favour before the only man that was in a position at that time to clear the way for him to help his people. (Cf. Nehemiah 1)


Now did God answer his prayer or not? He did! He granted him favour before the emperor that the nation of Judah was under his rule at the time. So, the man was willing to let him go and help his people. More than that, he was willing to supply him with a small army for his protection and plenty of resources to accomplish his mission. Therefore, when we pray to God, we cannot even imagine what great miracles He can perform on our behalf to make things work for our good. (Cf. Nehemiah 2:1-9)


However, though it was God’s job to cause Nehemiah to be favoured before Artaxerxes, it was not His job to give this king the details of how long it would take Nehemiah to go and help his people or what sort of resources he would need to help them. That was Nehemiah’s job. And he had to do it in a very diligent and responsible manner. Otherwise, the king would not take him seriously at all.


Also, though it was God’s job to move the hearts of the Jews in Jerusalem at that time to get up and rebuild their lives and land, it was not His job to gather them, talk to them and organise them to start working. That was Nehemiah’s job. And he had to do with a demonstration of knowledge, understanding and enthusiasm. Otherwise, the people would not take him seriously at all.


Then, though it was God’s job to favour the people by sending Nehemiah to them and providing the resources they needed to rebuild their ruins for them, it was not His job to put the resources on ground together and rebuild. That was the people’s job. And they had to do it with a sense of urgency and seriousness. Otherwise, all of God’s favour lavished on then would simply go to waste.


What, then, is the point of all this? It is that we must go beyond praying to God for His intervention in our lives and affairs. We must also identify what we must do with His intervention and begin to do it with every sense of seriousness, understanding and care. Otherwise, our lives and situations will not leave where they are for where they could be. 


So, as you are praying to God for better living conditions, also begin to do whatever legitimate things you can do to experience better living conditions in a very serious manner. That way, you will not be wasting His favour but utilising it to fulfil His purpose in your life.


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BEGIN TO DO YOUR OWN JOB

 13/04/2024


“Then I said to them, "You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace." I also told them about the gracious hand of my God upon me and what the king had said to me. They replied, "Let us start rebuilding." So they began this good work.” (Neh 2:17-18NIV)


There are things God must do for us in this life. And if He does not do them, there is nothing we can do about them that will amount to anything. That is why absolute dependence on Him is important, if we want our lives to be what they ought to be.


But then, there are also things we must do for ourselves in order for our lives to be what they ought to be. And if we will not do these things for ourselves, there is nothing God can do about them. Why? It is because He has already given us the abilities, skills and resources required to do them.


For example, when Nehemiah heard about the condition of the Jews in Jerusalem that had returned home from exile, he was not happy at all and wished he could be of help. But he also knew that if God did not intervene in the matter, there was nothing he or any other person could do to help. So, he turned to Him in prayer and asked for His favour before the only man that was in a position at that time to clear the way for him to help his people. (Cf. Nehemiah 1)


Now did God answer his prayer or not? He did! He granted him favour before the emperor that the nation of Judah was under his rule at the time. So, the man was willing to let him go and help his people. More than that, he was willing to supply him with a small army for his protection and plenty of resources to accomplish his mission. Therefore, when we pray to God, we cannot even imagine what great miracles He can perform on our behalf to make things work for our good. (Cf. Nehemiah 2:1-9)


However, though it was God’s job to cause Nehemiah to be favoured before Artaxerxes, it was not His job to give this king the details of how long it would take Nehemiah to go and help his people or what sort of resources he would need to help them. That was Nehemiah’s job. And he had to do it in a very diligent and responsible manner. Otherwise, the king would not take him seriously at all.


Also, though it was God’s job to move the hearts of the Jews in Jerusalem at that time to get up and rebuild their lives and land, it was not His job to gather them, talk to them and organise them to start working. That was Nehemiah’s job. And he had to do with a demonstration of knowledge, understanding and enthusiasm. Otherwise, the people would not take him seriously at all.


Then, though it was God’s job to favour the people by sending Nehemiah to them and providing the resources they needed to rebuild their ruins for them, it was not His job to put the resources on ground together and rebuild. That was the people’s job. And they had to do it with a sense of urgency and seriousness. Otherwise, all of God’s favour lavished on then would simply go to waste.


What, then, is the point of all this? It is that we must go beyond praying to God for His intervention in our lives and affairs. We must also identify what we must do with His intervention and begin to do it with every sense of seriousness, understanding and care. Otherwise, our lives and situations will not leave where they are for where they could be. 


So, as you are praying to God for better living conditions, also begin to do whatever legitimate things you can do to experience better living conditions in a very serious manner. That way, you will not be wasting His favour but utilising it to fulfil His purpose in your life.


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ON THE BASIS OF OUR RESPONSE TO HIS CALL  12/04/2024


“All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” (John 6:37NIV) 


God is making out a call to all men, saying, “Come to me, and I will give you rest. Come to me, if you are thirsty, and rivers of living water will start gushing out from within you, if you believe.” This is a general call to everyone, to anyone. Is it everyone that will respond to this call? No! But whoever responds to it will not be driven away by the Lord. 


Judas Iscariot responded to that call. And the Lord would not drive him away. Instead, He embraced him as He did others and gave the same opportunities to learn and to serve as He gave to others. You can see why He gave him authority to heal people and do miracles. It is also why He made him His treasurer. He was relating to this man on the basis of his response to His call and not on the basis of the revelation He had about him.


That, of course, is huge to swallow. But then, it is showing us that we need to be careful when we are relating to spiritually minded people. They may know things about you and not say anything to you about them. They may know things about you and not relate to you on the basis of those things they know about you. Jesus knew these things about Judas Iscariot and yet never related to him on their basis. Instead, He related to him on the basis of his own response to Him. When Jesus called him, he came. When He sent him out, he went out. When He was teaching others, he too was there to listen and learn. So, you see that, besides the revelation the Lord had about his betrayal, He had no reason at the time not to treat this man with love and care, as He was doing with the other apostles with Him.


But we may still ask, “Why did the Lord not relate to Judas on the basis of the revelation He already had about him?” The reason was that He wanted the world to see that even though this man had every opportunity to be good, to be the very person God would want him to be instead of a betrayer, he would definitely mess up in the end because he belonged to the devil, the evil one. See, the Lord has always known those that belong to Him and those who don’t. That is why the bible says God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: the Lord knows those who are His and let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord depart from wickedness. (Cf. 2Timothy 2:19)


Now even though the Lord knows those who belong to Him and those who don’t, even though He knows that who will end up with Him in heaven and those who will end up with the devil in hell, He still daily gives everybody the same opportunity to receive Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. What I am saying is that God is still calling everybody to Him through Jesus Christ everyday and not looking at the fact that some will ultimately reject Him. He is not relating to us on the basis of what He already knows about us and how our lives will end but on the basis of our response to His call. 


Ultimately, what everyone stands for will be revealed. Ultimately, those who are going to deny or reject Him will be revealed. Yet the Lord is going to give everyone the opportunity, sufficient opportunity, to do what is right. This is so that when He begins to judge us, He will be a just God and judge. You can see why the bible says no one will have any excuse for not being saved before Him.



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COUNT IT PURE JOY 11/04/2024


“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4NIV) 


James is telling us here that we are to face our life’s trials and challenges with a sense of joy. Yes, the challenges we are faced with will want to ruin our happiness and joy and also take away our peace. But it is on us to choose not to permit that to happen.


See, if we are functioning with a sense of victory, we will not give room for sadness because of certain challenges we are faced with. True victors don’t walk around with an aura of gloom, sadness or sorrow. Victors rejoice. And we must learn to rejoice in the face of life’s trials. 


Now that, of course, may be difficult for us to do. But it is what God wants us to learn. He wants us to learn to rejoice in the face of difficulties, knowing that we have already overcome them, even though our victory over them may not be visible yet. So, He says to us through James, “Count it pure joy, whenever you are faced with trials.” 


That means you must not let any trial take away your joy, happiness or peace of mind. And if you function like that, instead for your trials to destroy your faith, God will use them to build it up. Every trial is an attack on our faith. Whether it is a temptation to sin or a sickness that is seeking to take our lives or a loss of things, Satan’s aim is to use it to lure us away from God. 


What I am saying is that we need to understand that whatever the attack Satan launches against us may be, an attack on our body, mind, purity, reputation, business or anything else, his aim is to lure us away from God. He wants us to throw away our confidence in God and begin to seek peace or rest where it does not exist. That is what he wants. 


Now God’s people who do not understand this often fall into his traps. They may turn away from God to the practice of witchcraft. And that is what the devil wants. Or they may begin to complain and blame God for their failure in life or for not taking good care of them. That is also what Satan wants. That was what he wanted to do with Job. He wanted him to throw away his confidence in God and curse Him. And though he got his wife to do that, he did not get Job to do so. You too must not allow him to get you to throw away your confidence in God because of what you are faced with.


Well, James tells us to consider all our trials pure joy and know that they are coming to us to test our faith. And as faith is tested, the fruit of perseverance that is already in us begins to manifest. That means one of the ways God makes us know that we can persevere or be patient is through trials. We have His ability in us to be patient, to endure and to persevere. But unless we are tried in some ways, we may not know how strong God has made us on the inside. And this is why James goes on to say that we should allow perseverance to finish its work in us when we are faced with life’s trials. We should not give up along the way. Instead, we should persevere till the end. That way, we will be able to receive and experience everything God is seeking to accomplish through what we are going through.




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DON’T OPEN THE DOOR FOR THEIR ATTACK 10/04/2024


“The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand and he hurled it, saying to himself, ‘I’ll pin David to the wall.’ But David eluded him twice.” (2Samuel 18:10-11NIV) 


What came upon Saul forcefully here? It was not the Holy Spirit. It was an evil spirit that came upon him forcefully. And he began to prophesy. This was different from what happened when he was just anointed as king over Israel and the Spirit of God came upon him and he began to prophesy (1Sam 10:9-13). He was prophesying by an evil spirit on this occasion. And that spirit led him to attempt to kill David.


But what brought Saul into that situation in which an evil spirit began to lead him in that manner? It was disobedience to God. When you are walking in disobedience to God, you are making room for evil spirits to use you. And this is especially true of those who turn away from God to idols or to the practice of witchcraft or sorcery. Whether they have been believers or not, their lives are always open for demonic spirits to afflict them. That is how some people become mad. That is also how some become sick and nothing done for their healing works. It is equally how some become deaf, dumb or paralysed. Their involvement in witchcraft and sorcery opened the doors of their lives for evil spirits to come in and afflict them.


Well, the point I am making is that disobedience to God, any kind of disobedience to Him, can open our lives for satanic affliction. Don’t forget that Saul did not commit adultery for him to be afflicted in this manner. He had not even at this time got involved in idolatry. His sin was simply that of not carrying out God’s instruction against Amalek. That was why the Spirit of God left him and he became exposed to satanic affliction. 


Now we have the Spirit of God in us. So, we cannot be possessed by demons. I mean that the Holy Spirit and demons cannot occupy our hearts at the same time. However, by disobeying the word of God, we will be opening the doors of our lives for demons to attack and afflict us. And we may be able to tell how dangerous their attacks on us will be. So, we need to avoid any form of disobedience to God. It is safe us from needless satanic attacks and afflictions.



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EVEN WHEN YOU ARE TIRED  08/04/2024

“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done." When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"” (Matt 26:36-46NIV)


Why were Peter, James and John sleeping on this occasion instead of praying? Tiredness! They had had a very long and busy day. So, their eyes were heavy that very night with sleep. Yet the Lord told them to pray, so that they would not fall into temptation. But three times, within one hour, He came back to check them to see if they were praying, and He met them sleeping those three times. And that was because they were really tired.


But was the Lord Himself not tired? He was. Why, then, did He pull Himself together to pray? It was because He knew what was coming for Him. And He also knew that without praying to God to receive the strength and courage He needed to face what was coming, that dark hour of dying on the cross, He would fail. 


So, though He was tired, He put Himself in a prayer position that was suitable for Him in that hour. He fell with His face to the ground and prayed. And when He was done, He was ready to do the will of God and save humanity.


His disciples, however, were not ready when they finally woke up. So, they all ended up running away and abandoning Him when He needed them the most. Why was that? It was because they did not pray, as they had been told to do. 


Now why did they not pray? Was it just because they were tired? No! Rather, it was also because they did not understand the magnitude of what was coming for them. See, regardless of how tired you are, if you sense danger where you are, you will not sleep over it, if you are not a mentally or physically lazy person. Instead, you will take whatever steps you can take to keep yourself safe. 


In like manner, if the Spirit of God is warming your heart to pray in your moment of tiredness, even if you don't know why, you will be doing yourself much good to overcome your tiredness at such times and pray. How? Take a position that will make sleeping difficult or impossible for you. Then you will be able to pray and prevent what is coming or pray to receive from God what you need to make yourself ready for whatever is coming


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A TEST OF GREED 07/04/2024

“Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."” (Luke 12:15NIV)


Why does our Lord Jesus tell us to be on our guard against all kinds of greed? First, it is because a man's life does not consist in the abundance of what he has. In other words, God does not measure the significance of our lives on the basis of how much we have or what position we are occupying in life. Rather, He measures the significance of our lives on the basis of how seriously we take Him and how seriously we take His gifts in our lives. And this is the way we too should measure the significance of our lives.


The second reason the Lord tells us to be on our guard against all kinds of greed is that there are different kinds of it. Some forms of it are easily recognised. But some forms of it are not easily recognised. The ones that are easily recognised are usually easier to deal with. It is its forms that are not easily recognised that often end up quietly and slowly ruining our lives.


For example, as in the case that prompted our Lord Jesus to say what He said in our opening bible text, when a man is demanding for his rights, we will not say that he is greedy. And really, he may not be greedy. But the Lord says he is greedy, if he is willing to use any means whatsoever to have his rights granted. So, if you are willing to kill, manipulate or employ witchcraft or sorcery in securing your rights, whatever those rights may be, you are a greedy person. (Cf. Luke 12:13-15)


Also, there is a form of greed that is associated with choosing ahead of others or sharing things among others. And we may not know that we have this form of greed in us until we are in a position to choose ahead of others or to share something among ourselves and others. Then it just shows up in us, as we labour to choose what is better or best for ourselves without thinking much about the usefulness or worthiness of what we are leaving for others to choose or take.


For example, when Lot was tested with the very rare opportunity of choosing the place to live and farm before his uncle, Abraham, would choose, greed showed up in him. Yes, he was a good and righteous man. But on that occasion, greed did not allow him to reason that it was foolish of him to choose ahead of his uncle, the uncle who taught him everything he knew and because of whom he had become rich. Truly, it was his uncle that asked him to choose first. However, if this form of greed that I am talking about had not been quietly living in him, he would have rejected the offer and asked the man to choose for him. (Cf. Gen 13)


Unfortunately, it was in him and he did not recognise it. And it made him choose the good part of the land, without thinking much about the usefulness of the leftover to his uncle and without also considering the consequences of staying in a good land that was full of bad people. If his uncle, then, had not known God, he may have regretted for life his decision to let him choose first, even though he was the younger of them. And if God had not been merciful to him too on the day that He visited Sodom and Gomorrah with judgment, it was not only his wealth that he would have lost, he would have lost his life and all his family members as well. (Cf. Gen 19)


Now it is easy for us to judge Lot as greedy and disrespectful. But if we too will carefully check our lives, we may find that we are not at all different from him in some ways. When we too are tested with the privilege to choose ahead of our colleagues, bosses or elderly ones, do we show concern and respect for their interests at all? Even when it comes to trivial matters of sharing food in parties or some special functions, do we show respect and concern for others, especially our seniors or elderly ones? Aren't we often more concerned about getting the better or best part of everything for ourselves without considering how this will affect others or our own reputation? I am sure we know the answers to these questions.


In any case, the word of the Lord to us is this: “Be on your guard against all forms of greed.” Why? You may not know what form of it will someday ruin your life or faith or take away from you all that is dear to you. And my prayer is that God will rid your life of all hidden and obvious forms of greed that may be there, so that they will never again open the door of your life to satanic afflictions or God's judgment. Amen.


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EMOTIONAL STATEMENTS ENSNARE  06/04/2024


“Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests. The king said to the girl, "Ask me for anything you want, and I'll give it to you." And he promised her with an oath, "Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom."” (Mark 6:21-23NIV)


When Herod was swearing an oath to Herodias’ daughter that he would give her anything she wanted, up to half of his kingdom, he did not think that the girl would, even in her wildest dreams, ask for nothing but the head of John the Baptist. But that was what she asked for. Now because he made his pledge publicly, he was under pressure to fulfil it. And he fulfilled it and joined the company of prophet killers.


But was Herod under any form of pressure to make that pledge? No! He made the pledge because he was excited. So, it was an emotional pledge, a pledge that he made without thinking clearly, a pledge he made when he was probably half-drunk, a pledge he made without considering the character of the person involved. So, he needlessly ensnared himself by his words and made himself a murderer.


Also, we have in the bible the account of a man named Jephthah and of how he made a vow to give to the Lord as a burnt offering whatever came out of his house to greet him, if the Lord should give him victory over his enemies, the Ammonites. Unfortunately, when he came back home, after the Lord had given him victory over his enemies, it was his daughter, his only child, that came out to greet him and to celebrate his victory with him. (Cf. Judges 11:29-40)


Now was Jephthah under any pressure to make a vow to the Lord at the time? No, he wasn’t. Yes, he was faced with the pressure of a war that he did not ask for. But the bible is also very clear about the fact that the Spirit of the Lord came upon him on that occasion to give him victory over his enemies. So, whether he made a vow or not, victory was already sure for him. 


Was it wrong for him, then, to make a vow to the Lord, as he did? No, it wasn’t! Making vows to the Lord is an act of faith in Him and should not be discouraged. However, making vows to Him is also a personal thing. It is not something anybody should force anybody to do or something anyone should do under pressure. That is because once we make a vow to Him, we are bound to fulfil it. Otherwise, we may just put ourselves in trouble (Ecc 5:4-6). 


Therefore, you must never allow anyone or any situation to drive or coerce or manipulate you to make any kind of vow to the Lord. Make your vows only because your heart wants to do so. 


But then, even if you have to make a vow, don’t make it on an emotional basis. Rather, make your vows on rational basis. In other words, think carefully about the kind of vows you are making and your capacity to fulfil them. Remember that you are not in charge of life and its affairs but God is. Remember also that accidents, mistakes and all kinds of unforeseen events happen everyday in this life. So, before you make a vow, first, make sure it is in line with the will of God. Also, make sure it is what you truly have the ability to make good. That means you must be reasonable in making your vows. That way, even if circumstances that are beyond your control should keep you from fulfilling your vows when due, God Himself will understand that is not your fault.


Jephthah made an emotional vow. He did not consider the will of God at all in making his vow. Would God ever accept a human burnt offering? No! Did He literally accept it from Abraham? No! In fact, one of the things He told the children of Israel never to do was to sacrifice their sons or daughters in the fire, for it was because of such things that He drove out the inhabitants of Canaan for them. (Cf. Deut 18:10)


So, it was totally out of place for Jephthah to make the kind of vow he made to God. In other words, his vow was dead on arrival – it was invalid from the moment it came out of his mouth. Why, then, did he make it? He made it because he was ignorant of the will of God for them. He made it at a time everybody in Israel did was what right in his eyes, not what was right in the eyes of God. Otherwise, he should have had people that would let him know that it was not in his place to make that kind of vow. (Cf. Judges 21:25)


Unfortunately, people still act like Jephthah and make invalid vows and pledges today. They make vows and pledges that are born out of their ignorance of the will of God for them. Also, people make vows and pledges without considering how they will affect those in their lives or the roles those in their lives could play in enabling them to fulfil their vows or in voiding them. Then, when it is time for them to fulfil them, they will realise that they have taken on themselves responsibilities that are too much for them to handle.


Now, of course, how Jephthah fulfilled his own vow will always be a subject for debate among God’s people. Did he truly offer his daughter as a burnt offering to the Lord? Or did he redeem her and offer something else to God in her place? We really would not know what he did, seeing that we were not there. But the lesson of his story is clear. And it is that we must avoid making emotional statements, emotional pledges, vows, curses, blessings and so forth, especially when we are excited or under pressure. Otherwise, we may end up ensnaring ourselves with our words. And if we do so, the price we will pay may just be too much for us to handle. 


So, be careful.


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PAYDAY IS COMING  05/04/2024


“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2Peter 3:8-9NIV)

What is Peter telling us here? It is that one main reason God’s judgment is often delayed is that He is patient. Sometimes we expect that when people sin or do something wrong, God should step in immediately and whip or flog them. But God does not often act like that. He is a patient God. And He is patient because He does not want the destruction of anybody. He says, “I take no pleasure in the death of the sinner.” (Cf. Ezekiel 18:23 & 32)

Unfortunately, some people now take that as meaning that they might ultimately escape God’s judgment. They are now of the opinion that they might ultimately get away with wrong doings. They have heard all kinds of things about God’s judgment. They have heard that He was a just judge, who would pay everybody back according to his deeds. But then, they have also been asking themselves, “If all these things are true about God, why has He not judged me for my misconducts? Why hasn’t He punished me?”

Some will even say to you, “You say that judgment is coming. How come God has not judged me for all my sins? Look at me. I am still prosperous, even though I am stealing and embezzling public funds. But look at you. You say that you are living for God, but you can’t even pay your children’s school fees. Look at you. You can’t even dress well. I am the one that is supposed to be suffering here. But I am not suffering. You call me a sinner. And I am fine with that, for I am not suffering.”

Now people like such think that they will ultimately escape the consequences of their sins. But they will not. It is unfortunate, however, that that wrong thought has made scoffers of them. Because of this wrong philosophy that they will ultimately escape the consequences of their errors, they now scoff at the things of God.

But if you are doing the wrong thing and have not yet faced the consequences of doing so, you are just enjoying the patience of God. That is what you are enjoying. And it is important that you turn away from your wrongdoings before it is too late. I tell you payday is coming. A day will come when you will pay for all your wrongdoings. And what you believe about this does not matter. It is the reality that you will have to deal with when the time is ripe.

(Adapted from ‘Days of scoffers’, a Sunday 15th October 2017 sermon by J.O. Lawal)


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HE CANNOT SIN 04/04/2024


“No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.” (1John 3:9NIV) 


Now there are bible renderings that put this bible verse a little differently. For instance, the King James Version says:


“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1John 3:9)  


And New King James Version says:


“Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” (1John 3:9NKJV)

  

As to be expected, people have built all kinds of doctrines on the part of this bible text that says, “He cannot sin.” But from the Greek rendering, the idea John is communicating is that the one that is born of God does not make a practice of sin. That means it is not in him to sin. It is not in his nature or character to sin. 


Mind you, when you compare what John says here to what he says in both chapters 1 and 2 of the same letter, you will see that he is not saying that a Christian cannot sin at all. For instance, in chapter 2, verse 1, he says:


“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for ours sins, and not only for our sins but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1John 2:1-2NIV) 


So, John has it in mind that is possible for the Christian to sin. And since that is the case, how can he go on to say in chapter 3 that the Christian cannot sin at all? That will be contradictory.


Also, in chapter 1, he says:


“If we say that we have no sin, when we have actually done something wrong but insist that we have not, then, there is no truth in us. Not only that, we are making a liar out of God. But if we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to purify us from all our unrighteousness.” (Cf. 1John 1:8-10NIV) 


So, that you have your heart after pleasing God does not mean that you cannot sin; it does not mean that you cannot err. Do you know what James says? He says from verse 1 of chapter 3 of his letter:


“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways…” (James 3:1-2NIV) 


Now all this is coming from James. He says we all stumble in many ways. First, notice that he includes himself. Then, he goes on to say that we stumble in many ways, not in some ways. And if you will sit down at the end of your day and look at the things you have done and have not done, the things you have said and have not said, the way you have acted and have reacted, you will see your many faults and errors. Yes, you will see that you are probably not as nice as you think you are. 


But because of what Jesus has done for us, because His righteousness that He has imparted to us, we can walk blamelessly before God, knowing that the blood of his son Jesus Christ is purifying us (1John 1:7). So, don’t ever think that because people now consider you as spiritual or look up to you, you can no longer sin. If you are not careful, Satan will rubbish your life.


So, writing to the Corinthians, Paul says, “He that thinks he is standing should be careful, so that he does not fall.” Watch yourself, then. Otherwise, you may fall where you least think you can fall.



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YOU WILL DIE 03/04/2024


“Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation – but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:12-13NIV) 


Paul is speaking to the brethren here about carnality and spirituality. And first, he says that we have a responsibility; we have an obligation. See, every child of God has a responsibility. Some think that, having become Christians, it is God that will do everything for them. But that is not so. God indeed has His own role of making available for you everything you need for life and godliness. And He has already done that. It is now up to you to take advantage of all that He has provided for you to be the person He wants you to be and to do the things He wants you to do. 


That is why Paul here says that we all have a responsibility. And it is beautiful that he includes himself in this. He says, “We (all of us) have an obligation; we all have a responsibility, and it is not to live according to the flesh.” That means our obligation is not to walk in carnality. That is because to live in carnality is to live in the flesh, to live according to your senses, to live according to your feelings, instead of living on the basis of the word of God.


A child of God is expected to live on the basis of the word of God, not on the basis of his feelings, not on the basis of his emotions, not on the basis of what he sees or hears. So, those who are carnal are carnal because they will not live on the basis of the word of God but on the basis of their senses. You heard that someone said something about you and, instead of responding according to the word of God, you want to respond according to your feelings. So you say, “How could this person say such things about me?” Then you begin to feel bad and angry. And you want to respond on that basis. Well, if you eventually respond on that basis, then, you are carnal. 


Or you need money to do a number of things. And because of that, you respond according to your feelings and decide to steal or take something that does not belong to you. What is that? Carnality! 


But here we are saying that we have a duty, and it is not to live in carnality or to stay in carnality. If you live or stay in carnality, as Paul points out here, you will die. And we are not talking about physical death here but spiritual death. 


But someone may ask, “Is it possible for a Christian to die spiritually?” The bible says that it is possible. I know there are Christians who don’t agree that it is possible. But their opinion about this cannot change what the word of God says. 


For example, writing to the church of God in Sardis, the Lord Jesus says, “You have a reputation for being alive, but you are dead.” (Cf. Revelation 3:1) So it is possible, according to the Lord, for a Christian to die spiritually. And the point we are making is that if we refuse to deal with any form of carnality in our lives, before long, we will return to that state of deadness – we will die. Yes, before long, people will not be able to tell the difference between us and those who do not know God at all. If you, then, do not want that to happen to you, if you do not want to die spiritually, don’t live in carnality.


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THE COST OF DESPERATION 02/04/2024


“Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; so she said to Abram, "The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her." Abram agreed to what Sarai said.” (Gen 16:1-3NIV)


What led Sarah to act the way she is reported in our opening bible text to have acted? Desperation! She was desperate to have a child for her husband, Abraham. And though God had promised to give them a child of their own, she just could not be patient to receive the fulfilment of the promise. Why? She was considering her age at the time. She had already passed the age of child bearing and her husband also had become an old man. In fact, he was ten years older than her. (Cf. Gen 17:17)


So, even though she believed God, she still felt that she had to do something about their childlessness before it was too late. That, of course, was because of her love for her husband. He had been faithful to her all the years of their marriage and had not gone after any other woman in order to have a child. Therefore, she must have thought that if there was anything she could do to make him have a child, apart from waiting on God, she would give it a try. That was what led to her suggesting that her husband sleep with her slave, Hagar. And the idea was that any child that came through the union would be hers as well, since Hagar herself was her property. Interestingly, her husband agreed to do what she had suggested, went in to Hagar and slept with her. And she conceived, as they had wished. 


But then, just when Sarah was beginning to think that she had won and that her move, carried out in desperation, had paid off, Hagar began to misbehave. Why? It must have been because the care she was already receiving from Abraham got into her head. So, she totally forgot her place as a slave in that house and began to see herself as her mistress’ mate. At least, she had proven that the problem was with her mistress and not with her husband. And “Who knows,” she must have thought, “I may eventually become the madam of this house after giving my master a child.”


Now do you know that situation could actually have made Sarah lose her home? There have been women who lost their homes in very similar situations. So, if her husband had not feared God and truly cherished her, maybe Hagar’s pregnancy would have given her a chance to go from being a slave to becoming the madam of the house. But because her husband feared God and also loved and cherished her, he allowed her to handle the matter as she pleased. So, she dealt so ruthless with Hagar that she ran way from the house. And though she was restored because of God’s mercy, at some point, she and her son still had to be sent away for peace to reign in that home. (Cf. Gen 16&21)


What, then, is the point of all this? it is that when we are desperate to have something or do something, we are likely to take just about any step without counting the cost. But steps taken in desperation often come with very serious consequences. In Sarah’s case, the step she took in desperation in order to solve her problem of childlessness almost cost her her husband’s love and home. Also, it turned her into a callous and cold-blooded person who was willing to do anything to save her home.


Therefore, before you ignore the word of God or common sense and take that step out of desperation, think about the cost. Yes, think about the likely consequences of what you are about to do because of your desperation. That step you take today may indeed solve your immediate problem or meet your immediate need. But will it not create more problems for you in the future, problems that may ultimately take away from you what you are so desperately trying to have or protect? So, you need to think carefully about this before doing anything stupid, just because you are desperate. 


And remember this: God is never late. So, as long as you trust in Him and are acting on His word, He will certainly make all things beautiful for you at the right time, even when all hope seems to be lost (Ecc 3:11).


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JUST ONE WRONG THING 01/04/2024


“Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honor, excelling in power. Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel, for you went up onto your father's bed, onto my couch and defiled it.” (Gen 49:3-4NIV) 


Reuben, on this occasion, was supposed to receive a blessing from his aged and passing away father. But what he received instead was a curse. Why? According to his father, it was because he slept with his wife and defiled her. Was this true? Did he actually sleep with his father's wife? Yes, he did. The bible says, “Israel moved on again and pitched his tent beyond Migdal Eder. While Israel was living in that region, Reuben went in and slept with his father's concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard of it…” (Gen 35:21-22NIV)


Did you see that? Reuben actually slept with his father's woman. And who was this woman? Well, her name was Bilhah. She was the maidservant given to Rachel, Jacob's second wife, by her father when she got married. But how did she become Jacob's concubine or wife? It was Rachel that actually gave her to him, when she realised that she was barren and was not giving him any child. The idea was for Jacob to impregnate her, so that any child she gave birth to would become hers. Remember that Sarah did the same thing with Hagar, when she was desperate to have a son for her husband, Abraham. So, it was a customary thing at that time for people to act like that. (Cf. Gen 16; Gen 30:1-8)


That, any rate, was how this woman, Bilhah, became Jacob's wife and mother of two of his twelve sons (Gen 35:25). And from what I just shared about this woman, you should have no problem seeing that she was far older than Reuben. She had been in the house even before Reuben was born. So, it is quite unclear how the young man succeeded in sleeping with her. At least, we know that he did not rape her. We have rape cases recorded in the bible. So, if this one had been a rape case, it would have been recorded as such.


Anyway, my own thought, though you do not have to accept it, is that the woman seduced Reuben. She was the older one of the two of them, remember. She was, in fact, there when Reuben was born and had watched him grow up. So, if the boy ended up sleeping with her, the fault must have been majorly hers, not his. She must have been the one that sexually harassed him. And we hear all kinds of similar stories today, stories of housemaids sexually molesting the sons of their madams and of stepmothers sexually molesting their stepsons. So, it is not only men that are always guilty of such wickedness; women also are often found guilty of it.


Nevertheless, Jacob did not exonerate Reuben for sleeping with his own step mother, whatever the reasons may have been. That was because he was old enough to know that it was wrong of him to do so. Even if the woman was sex-starved, it was not in his place to quench her thirst. But he offered himself to quench her sex thirst, perhaps to test his own readiness for manhood. Yes, he did it once. But that one time of doing the wrong thing took away excellence from him and from his generation after him. His father told him that though he had been excelling, he would no longer excel. And that, of course, was it for him.


Now if Reuben had known that that one act would take away from him a lifetime of excellence, he would most likely have resisted every urge to do so. But he did not know. He did not know how terribly that wrong thing would affect his life. So, he gave in to it and messed up everything for himself. 


In like manner, we too can mess up our entire lives by giving in to just one wrong thing. It is possible that you know certain individuals who were once excelling in life until they took a particular wrong step or decision about their lives or certain relationships. And that was the end of excellence for them. They started going down and things started falling apart for them. If such people are not shown mercy, they may end up dying without ever tasting excellence again in life. So, if you will pray to God every day that He may keep you from doing anything wrong, it won't be too much at all.


 

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GIVE HIM NO OPPORTUNITY TO WORK 31/03/2024

“Don't give the devil any opportunity to work…” (Eph 4:27GW)


Among the things we don’t ever want to fail to recognise or utilise in life are opportunities. We want to recognise and utilise opportunities to demonstrate our talents, opportunities to make money, opportunities to attain some position of advantage, opportunities to do good for ourselves or others and even opportunities to punish our foes. And it is only the opportunities to serve God or to give to Him in some big way that we hardly desire not to miss or utilise. 


In any case, my aim here is not to address the need for us to identify and utilise our opportunities to do good and fulfil the will of God for our lives. Rather, it is to let us see that just as we are after recognising and utilising opportunities to better our lot in life, there is also one who is seeking opportunities to destroy and ruin our lives. And that is the devil.


For example, the bible says this about the way he once related to our Lord Jesus: “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.” (Luke 4:13NIV) Think about that. Satan, on that occasion, tempted Jesus with three different things. First, he tempted Him with His appetite, but he did not succeed. Second, he tempted him with His position and power, as the Son of God, but did not succeed. Then he tempted him with the riches of this world, thinking that would work, but he also failed. Therefore, he left Him. (Cf. Luke 4:1-13)


But as Luke further shows us in that account, Satan did not leave Jesus permanently. He only left Him for a while. He left him until there would be another opportunity for him to tempt Him again and perhaps make Him fall. And that is telling us something about how Satan reasons and works. He is always looking for opportunities to tempt and hurt us. 


No, he may not consider today to be a perfect day of opportunity for him to tempt or harass us. But tomorrow may be. Also, the situation we are in now may not be considered by him as an opportunity to hurt us. But that does not mean that he has given up on hurting us. He never gives up on doing his evil works. And he never gives up on keeping close watch on us until he sees his opportunity to strike.


Now, concerning those recorded temptations of our Lord Jesus Christ that we considered above, Satan saw an opportunity to tempt Jesus when He went through forty days and forty nights of fasting. He came for him when he believed that, like most people, He would be feeling high, mighty and untouchable in the spirit. And if the Lord had been merely functioning on the basis of His feelings, He would have fallen flat on His face before this wicked and clever being.


Therefore, that we are regularly praying, fasting, giving or preaching does not mean that Satan will not be able to work in our lives. On the contrary, those very things we do and that we often pride ourselves in or put our confidence in may be the very things that will give him an opportunity to mess us up. So, first, as Peter tells us, we must keep in mind the fact that Satan is always on the lookout for opportunities to devour our lives (1Peter 5:8). Then, as Paul tells us in our opening text, we must always be careful not to give him any opportunity to work in our lives.


Now one major way not to give Satan an opportunity to work in our lives is to stay away from acts of the flesh. That is because any act of the flesh that we indulge in can be taken by him as an opportunity to ruin our lives or relationships. Anger, for instance, has given him countless opportunities to ruin several lives and relationships. Sexual immorality has also given him opportunities to destroy many lives, marriages and children. If we, then, do not want to open the doors of our lives for him to come in and freely work in them, we must desist from all acts of the flesh.


Another way not to give Satan an opportunity to work in our lives is to always resist him in prayer and with the word of God (James 4:7). The bible already tells us that we have authority over him and his works (Luke 10:19). But that will not stop him from testing us with evil. Remember that he once attempted to capsize a boat that was carrying Jesus and his disciples (Mark 4:35-41). And he can try something similar or worse with us as well. So, we too, like Jesus, must always be ready and willing to use our God-given authority to stop and frustrate whatever he is doing against us. Otherwise, he may not stop harassing us until he takes away everything from us, just as he did with Job. And may that not be your lot, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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THE COST OF DESPERATION 30/03/2024

“Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; so she said to Abram, "The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her." Abram agreed to what Sarai said.” (Gen 16:1-3NIV)


What led Sarah to act the way she is reported in our opening bible text to have acted? Desperation! She was desperate to have a child for her husband, Abraham. And though God had promised to give them a child of their own, she just could not be patient to receive the fulfilment of the promise. Why? She was considering her age at the time. She had already passed the age of child bearing and her husband also had become an old man. In fact, he was ten years older than her. (Cf. Gen 17:17)


So, even though she believed God, she still felt that she had to do something about their childlessness before it was too late. That, of course, was because of her love for her husband. He had been faithful to her all the years of their marriage and had not gone after any other woman in order to have a child. Therefore, she must have thought that if there was anything she could do to make him have a child, apart from waiting on God, she would give it a try. That was what led to her suggesting that her husband sleep with her slave, Hagar. And the idea was that any child that came through the union would be hers as well, since Hagar herself was her property. Interestingly, her husband agreed to do what she had suggested, went in to Hagar and slept with her. And she conceived, as they had wished. 


But then, just when Sarah was beginning to think that she had won and that her move, carried out in desperation, had paid off, Hagar began to misbehave. Why? It must have been because the care she was already receiving from Abraham got into her head. So, she totally forgot her place as a slave in that house and began to see herself as her mistress’ mate. At least, she had proven that the problem was with her mistress and not with her husband. And “Who knows,” she must have thought, “I may eventually become the madam of this house after giving my master a child.”


Now do you know that situation could actually have made Sarah lose her home? There have been women who lost their homes in very similar situations. So, if her husband had not feared God and truly cherished her, maybe Hagar’s pregnancy would have given her a chance to go from being a slave to becoming the madam of the house. But because her husband feared God and also loved and cherished her, he allowed her to handle the matter as she pleased. So, she dealt so ruthless with Hagar that she ran way from the house. And though she was restored because of God’s mercy, at some point, she and her son still had to be sent away for peace to reign in that home. (Cf. Gen 16&21)


What, then, is the point of all this? it is that when we are desperate to have something or do something, we are likely to take just about any step without counting the cost. But steps taken in desperation often come with very serious consequences. In Sarah’s case, the step she took in desperation in order to solve her problem of childlessness almost cost her her husband’s love and home. Also, it turned her into a callous and cold-blooded person who was willing to do anything to save her home.


Therefore, before you ignore the word of God or common sense and take that step out of desperation, think about the cost. Yes, think about the likely consequences of what you are about to do because of your desperation. That step you take today may indeed solve your immediate problem or meet your immediate need. But will it not create more problems for you in the future, problems that may ultimately take away from you what you are so desperately trying to have or protect? So, you need to think carefully about this before doing anything stupid, just because you are desperate. 


And remember this: God is never late. So, as long as you trust in Him and are acting on His word, He will certainly make all things beautiful for you at the right time, even when all hope seems to be lost (Ecc 3:11).


 

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WE ARE THE HOUSE OF GOD 29/03/2024

“If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” (1Corinthians 3:17NIV)


Paul says if anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. And don’t forget that when he is talking about God’s temple here, he is not talking about this building. You know Christians often get angry when their church meeting places are demolished or destroyed because they think it is the houses of God that are being demolished. Now I am not saying if there are ways God’s people can address such matters, according to the laws of the land, they should not do so. But don’t say, “Don’t you know you are destroying the house of God?” That is not the house of God. That place in which your church meets is not the house or temple of God. Do you realise that?

See, we may raise an imposing structure for our assembly to meet in. But it will not be the house of God. We may use millions of naira or millions of dollars to raise that structure. But it will still not be the house of God. You are the house of God. I am the house of God. We are the house of God. We are God’s temple.

So, as we see in our opening text, we are the ones Paul is referring to when he says, “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person.” That means if there is anything you are doing that is destroying God’s temple, you have to be careful.

Again, I am not talking about littering our church meeting places or messing up with them. Sometimes, when we come around the meeting place of my local assembly, we find the whole front messed up by the students of the school on the other side of the road. And I know some may look at them and say, “Don’t you people realise that this is a house of God?” But even though it is wrong of them to mess up other people’s properties, our church meeting place is still not God’s house.

So, we should not say to anyone, “You are littering this place, which is God’s house. Do you want God to destroy you?” The truth is that God will not destroy him for that, for that place is not His house.

I remember something that Ray Stedman said along this line. He said that someone approached him after a meeting to report a sister, if I remember correctly, that was chewing gums while the meeting was on. The person said something like, “Can you imagine that she was chewing gum in the house of God?” And he said that his reply was, “What do you mean by that? It is the house of God that was chewing gums?”

But do you know that these are some of the things that infuriate us and set us against one another in our various Christian assemblies? Truly, certain things could distract us in our church meetings when they are not done decently. For instance, when some people chew gums, everybody will know that something is going on in their mouths. And that can be terribly distracting. So, I am not saying that it is alright to distract God’s people in their meetings. But to try to bring down judgment on people because of such things is to simply waste your time. That is because God does not think as man thinks.

Do you know that some even get angry when they see some ministers of the gospel drink water while preaching? They will say, “How can he be drinking water in the house of God? He is just too proud. He is arrogant.” But no church meeting place is the house of God. We are the house of God. We are God’s temple.

Therefore, we should not destroy one another. That is what Paul is saying. Don’t do anything that will destroy other brethren, for we are God’s temple. And if anyone destroys God’s temple, then, God will destroy him. Notice that Paul does not say that satan will destroy such a person. Instead, he says that God will destroy him. And that is because God’s house is sacred. His temple is special to Him. You are special to God. I am special to Him.

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WARN THEM 28/03/2024

“God will repay each person according to what they have done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honour and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honour and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favouritism.” (Romans 2:6-11NIV) 


Did you see that? For those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. That means they will face God’s anger and wrath. In addition to that, Paul says there will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil.


Now that is the plain truth. Trouble is coming. People may think they are facing troubles now in this world. But whatever form of trouble they are facing now is nothing to compare to what is coming. Yes, people agonise every day. And that is because there are no jobs, no money and nothing seems to be working well for many. Also, in many places, there are no good health services for people to access and enjoy. So, many people are indeed suffering. Many are in debt. Many are discontented. Many are in distress. 


But I tell you this: all the things that people are facing now, which they call trouble, are nothing to compare to what is coming. Paul says there will be trouble and distress for everyone who does evil. And is this a settled fact in your heart? 


Well, Paul says that this is a settled fact in his heart. And that is why he is warning those around him that are not saved, saying trouble and distress are coming for you, if you don’t believe the gospel and let it change your lives. 


Unfortunately, there are people who think, in preaching the gospel, we should not place our fingers on things like this. They will say, “You are scaring people by the things you are saying.” But people are already scared. We are just telling them the truth. Of course, there are ways you can say these things and really scare people; there are ways you can say these things and drive people away from the Lord Jesus. But when we are talking about the implications of rejecting the gospel, it is not basically to frighten people; it is to let them know the truth. 


In Acts of the Apostles, chapter 24, Luke tells us of Paul’s defence of his life and ministry before Governor Felix and the leaders of the Jews. And from verse 24 he says:


“Several days later [that is after the defence of Paul] Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, ’That is enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.’” (Acts 24:24-25NIV -- emphasis added) 


Felix was an unbeliever. Therefore, Paul preached to him. And in doing that, he first told him about the Lord Jesus and the need to have faith in Him. Then he moved on to talking to him about righteousness, self-control and the judgment that is coming. And the man became afraid. 


Now was it Paul’s intention to frighten him? No! Paul was a prisoner. He was not holding a sword. He was not holding a bow and some arrows; neither was he holding a dagger. He was just preaching the word of God. Well, we are told that the word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword. And as Paul confronted this man with it, he became afraid. Why did he become afraid? The truth dawned on him; the truth came home to him. Did he eventually act on it? That is something we will find out someday in God’s eternal kingdom.


In any case, the point of all this is that if we too possess an understanding of what is coming upon mankind, we are going to warn those who are around us. You may not need to hold a crusade in order to do that. And you may not need to go from house to house in order to do that. You can start with those in your life or around you who persist in evil and are walking in unrighteousness. They need to know the truth. They need to know what God has done for their salvation and what will happen if they reject this offer of salvation. Therefore, the idea of saying people should not be told about the coming judgment or about what is coming upon the face of the earth is not scriptural.




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IF YOU WILL NOT WATCH YOURSELF  27/03/2024


“When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with tambourines and lyres. As they danced, they sang: ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.’ Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. ‘They have credited David with tens of thousands,’ he thought, ‘but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?’ And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David. The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand and he hurled it, saying to himself, ‘I’ll pin David to the wall.’ But David eluded him twice.” (1Samuel 18:6-11NIV) 


Now there are certain interesting things that are set forth for us in these few verses. First, we see how an evil thought came into Saul’s mind concerning David and how he did not watch it or do anything to prevent it from taking charge of him. Then, while that evil thought was gaining power over him, the evil spirit that had been tormenting him came in again to torment him. And when that spirit came to torment him, he began to prophesy. Just imagine that!


Today, people prophesy and we credit it to God. But it is not everyone that prophesies that is of God. It is not every prophesy that can be credited to God. Saul prophesied on this occasion. But it was the evil spirit that was tormenting him that was at work, not the Spirit of God. No wonder he sought to kill David, even while he was prophesying. (Cf. 1Samuel 10:9-12 & 19:23-24) 


Jesus says, “By their fruit you shall know them.” So, you have to look beyond what people say or claim to be to the fruit that their lives are bearing. Then you can tell whether they are of God or not. (Cf. Matthew 7:15-20)


Well, the point I am making is that if you will not watch yourself, the very people around you that you are supposed to keep may end up being victims of your fall. Because Saul would not watch himself, he was going to kill a young man that he was supposed to protect. But David was there to do him good. He was there at his service. The lyre he was playing was for his comfort. Yet he was going to kill him. 


Unfortunately, something similar happened to David too several years later. Because he would not watch his life, he allowed adultery to enter it. And afterwards, he found himself killing a man that he was supposed to protect. Uriah was one of his men. He was one of his loyal servants. I mean that this man was one of those people that would give their lives for him any day. Yet he orchestrated the man’s murder. This is why it is important that we keep our lives right first, if we are going to be of any help to our brethren. (Cf. 2Samuel 11)


See, one of the reasons many believers are unable to help anybody or be a blessing to anyone around them is that their lives are not what they are meant to be. When our lives are not what they are meant to be, there is no way we can be of help to anybody around us. So, it has to be about us first. It has to be about you first. When you get things right in your life, then, you can help other believers around you to get things right in their lives. The safety of your brothers and sisters depends also on your own safety. 



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DON’T BE AFRAID TO STAND ALONE IN RIGHTEOUSNESS  26/03/2024


Life in this world is never designed by God to be lived alone by anybody. That explains why God gave the first man, Adam, a woman, so that she would be a suitable companion for him (Gen 2:18-24). It explains why He has planted all kinds of wonderful people in our lives. And we must learn to cherish and to take all such people that He has put in our lives seriously. That is because they are gifts from Him to us, gifts given that we might enjoy life together.


But then, there are times that we may have to stand all alone in this world, even among members of our own family. And that is when the righteousness of God is at stake. For example, we are told in the bible of how Noah and his family stood all alone in all the world in the first centuries of man here on earth. Yes, they had to stand all alone in the practice of righteousness. And could that have been convenient or really enjoyable for them? I doubt. 


Nevertheless, Noah and his family did not allow the fact that every other person was contrary to them to discourage them from standing for justice, mercy, truth, love, forgiveness and all the other beautiful things that accompany God’s righteousness. They did not succumb to the pressure of immorality, greed, idolatry and so forth that pervaded the world of that time. Therefore, God, who knows every man’s heart, was pleased to show them His salvation when He came to destroy the whole mankind from the face of the earth. They were the only ones that were spared. (Cf. Gen 6-8)


Also, we are told in the bible of a young prince named Abijah who stood out for goodness in his entire household. This man was actually one of the sons of King Jeroboam I, the king who, because of greed and selfishness, led the entire nation of Israel back into the worship of idols. Yet, despite the wickedness, wantonness and idolatry that characterised his family, God had a testimony about him that he had some goodness in him. 


Now, of course, we are not told in the bible how good or upright this young man was. But God recognised the goodness in him, regardless how little it may have been. And because of that He gave him the sole privilege of receiving a proper burial among all the members of his household. All the others died miserable deaths. (Cf. 1Kings 14:1-19 & 15:25-30)


What, then, is the point I am making? It is that you should not be afraid to stand alone in the practice of righteousness. All the people around you may be bent on doing evil, bent on living immoral and godless lives. But you must not join them, regardless of how unpopular that may make you or what sufferings you may have to endure for saying ‘No’ to wickedness. That is because God is watching all of us, taking note of everything we are doing. And someday, He will show through those who have been faithful to Him that it pays to practise righteousness. Yes, a day is coming when He will, in the full glare of all men, make obvious the distinction between the righteous and the wicked. And my prayer is that you will be on the right side on that day. Amen. (Cf. Mal 3:18)



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DON’T GIVE HIM ANY OPPORTUNITY TO WORK 25/03/2024


“Don't give the devil any opportunity to work.” (Eph 4:27GW)


The bible is very clear about the fact that Satan is man’s chief enemy, and he is continually looking for someone to devour (1Peter 5:8). This is why we are warned in our opening bible text not to give him any opportunity to work in our lives. Unfortunately, out of ignorance of what the word of God teaches on how to handle life, many are continually giving Satan opportunities to work in their lives. So, they are constantly having problems that should never have been a part of their experience. 


See, even though Satan is a thief, devourer and murderer, there are things he cannot mess up in our lives, if we do not give him any opportunity to work in them. But when we keep taking steps that will give him a space to work, he will certainly come into our lives and work. And trust me, before we wake up from our slumber, much good may have been destroyed already.


For instance, there have been people who were sacked in their work places not because some witches got to them but because they mismanaged funds entrusted to them or because they were slothful. So, they were the ones that opened the door for Satan to come in and mess up their lives. And there are many of such people today who have not been able to get their lives straight since they were out of job. 


Also, there are businesses that are not doing well today not because life’s circumstances are against them but because the attitudes of their owners are wrong or because they have no skill or ability to handle what they are doing. So, Satan capitalises on their bad manners, lazy attitude or ignorance and uses it to frustrate them out of business and, sometimes, out of life.


For some others, it is in their homes that they are giving Satan a chance to work. It may be that they spend so much time with their jobs or businesses that they barely have time to care for their spouses or children. So, the enemy seizes the opportunity and begins to use it to upset things for them. Or it may be that they are continually going for things that are beyond their financial capability, all in the name of ‘taste’ or ‘quality’. And the enemy has been using that to keep them in financial bondage and disgrace. Unless they wake up and shut the door against him, they may remain financially handicapped for their entire lifetime.


In any case, my point, all along, is that it is important that we watch our lives to see that we are not our own enemies, that we are not the very ones calling the devil to come and mess up things in our lives.


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KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS 24/03/2024


“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” (Rom 12:3NIV) 


Look at that. Even in matters of the Christian faith, we are expected by God to function on the basis of the knowledge of Him and of His provisions that we truly have and not that we think we have. Otherwise, we may find ourselves trying to use our faith to take for ourselves what God has not given to us or trying to work with spiritual abilities that we do not have, either of which will put us and others in trouble. 


There have been individuals, for example, who, on the basis of certain spiritual knowledge or abilities that they thought they possessed, abandoned their secular occupations and went to start some ministry. But after a while, when much good had already been destroyed in their lives and homes, they realised that they had no abilities for what they were trying to do.


There have also been those who, on the basis of faith in God, started businesses that they had no abilities or resources to manage or who took loans on the basis of faith in God's ability to work some miracles to pay their debts. Then, months or years after life had become utterly miserable or difficult for them, they were forced to admit that they missed it. And who are they to blame for their misery? Themselves! Of course, they acted in ignorance. But ignorance usually doesn't protect people from experiencing the consequences of their actions or inactions.


So, don't be ignorant of the things you should know. And among the things you should know are your limitations, whether as they concern spiritual matters or natural matters. This will help you to function on the basis of your true capabilities instead of assumptions. 


The bible says, “As a man is, so is his strength.” (Cf. Judges 10:21) What this means is that you cannot give what you do not have; you cannot function beyond your abilities. Otherwise, you will often find that you are not making life easy or simple for yourself at all.


Now, of course, I am not saying that you should be lazy or slothful. That, in itself, will not make life easy for you at all but miserable. But I want you to know that people have driven themselves to death because they did not recognise their limitations. And people also have lost their business reputations because they would not learn to recognise their limitations. It may be that, out of greed, they took jobs that were beyond their personal abilities or staff strength and then messed up everything. So, they lost their peace and rest of mind and eventually their reputation. Perhaps you too have been there. Did you learn your lessons or did you not?  


Well, my point, is that, besides praying to God, there are things you can personally give yourself to in order to make life easy, smooth, meaningful, comfortable and enjoyable for yourself. And one of them is to know your limitations and function accordingly. It will separate you from carrying unnecessary burdens in life and ensure that you conduct your affairs, for the most part, with peace of mind.

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FOR YOUR FAITH TO PRODUCE RESULTS 23/03/2024


“He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on people who are ill, and they will get well.’” (Mar 16:15-18NIV)


Whom will the signs that the Lord speaks of in this text accompany? Believers! Those who have faith in Him! They will experience the miraculous power of God. 


But then, faith in God is not all that is required for us to experience or work the miraculous power of God. There are two things that our experience of His power depends on. The first is His will. What does God want us to have? What does He not want us to have? What does He want us to do? What does He not want us to do? And what are the things He Himself is doing? Our experience of His miraculous power is dependent on these things. 


Then the type of faith we have in God also has a great role to play in our experience of His power or in our ability to work His power. Faith in God always works, as we are shown in the bible. But the degree to which it will work is dependent on the type of faith it is, whether it is strong or week, great or little. 


In a nutshell, what I am saying is that if we know what God wants us to have, then, we can demonstrate faith in Him to have it. If we know what He does not want us to have, then, we will not bother exercising our faith in Him for it. If we know what He wants us to do, we can trust Him to supply us with the energy and resources to do it. And if we know what He does not want us to do, we will not bother to trust Him to make available what we need for it, for it will not work. 


Unfortunately, some think that once they have faith in God, they can move Him to do just about anything. But that is not true. Your faith can only work within the confines of the will of God. Your faith can only receive what God has given. What He has not given, your faith cannot access. 


For example, people trust God for salvation today, and they are saved. Why? It is because He has already provided salvation. If He had not provided salvation, then, it would have been useless trusting Him for it. Thankfully, He has provided it. So, we can trust Him for it. 


Furthermore, if we know what God is doing, then, we can align ourselves with Him in order to experience His power for our advancement or salvation, as the case may apply. So, knowing the will of God or the mind of God is important in order for our faith, whatever type of faith it may be, to produce results or to receive from Him. And you must not forget this.



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THE GOAL IS EQUALITY 22/03/2024


“Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, as it is written: ‘The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.’” (2Corinthians 8:13-15NIV) 


Paul has been talking to the brethren in Corinth about giving to support other believers in a letter to them. And then he comes to the verses we have above and says, “Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed.” That is not the goal of Christian giving. So, when we are saying we should support our leaders, the idea is not for them to be relieved while we are hard pressed or for them to be enriched while we are impoverished. That is not the idea.


Unfortunately, this is the case in many assemblies today. Brethren that are struggling financially are still being pressured to give more and more. Why? They are required to support their ministers. And is that wrong? No! But if ministers are getting richer and richer through the support of the brethren and the brethren are getting poorer and poorer, something is wrong. 


Yes, there may be certain individuals in some assemblies that have access to lots of money. And such should be encouraged to be rich to God and to His ministers in a greater measure. But is it everyone that we can describe as rich in our assemblies today? Then is it every rich person in our Christian assemblies today that has become rich through legitimate means? We know there are many in the church today who are involved in all kinds of dubious things. 


In any case, Paul is telling us that the essence of Christian giving is not to impoverish some believers by enriching others. I was once in an assembly in which, anytime the pastor wanted to do his birthday, the brethren, many of whom were struggling with their lives, were still the ones that would be squeezed to get the money to celebrate him. But he was fine already. Why, then, did they need to impoverish the brethren in order to get him richer? Ignorance of the truth of Jesus!


Paul, in our opening text, says the goal of Christian giving is equality. So, when I support you, the idea is not for me to enrich you while I am hard pressed; rather, the idea is to create equality. That is what Paul means when he says, “At the moment, your plenty will supply their own lack, so that in turn their own plenty may supply your own lack.” 


The idea, then, is that when one of us is supported, he too will be able to support others. But all he thinks of is enriching himself with the support he is receiving and living like a king, he is wasting the grace of God. And a day will come when he will have to answer for that. But before that day comes, we too can ensure that we do not support anyone to promote their greed or selfishness. 


Have a very pleasant day.



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EXCEL WITH IT 21/03/2024


“…The large crowds listened to him with delight.” (Mark 12:37NIV) 


Whom did the crowd listened to with great delight? Jesus! Therefore, Jesus was not some boring teacher. Instead, He excelled with His teaching gifts. No, He did not teach to entertain the people. He did not teach them what their itching ears wanted to hear. He delivered the truth to them instead. And He delivered it to them in such a way that they listened to Him with delight. They just could not help doing so. In fact, the Greek word suggests that they were amazed to the point of losing control of themselves. That means they could not sit still while listening to Him. His words burned in people’s hearts. 


Furthermore, Matthew says that He taught with authority (Matthew 7:28-29). He did not teach like the teachers they were familiar with. They had teachers teaching them before Jesus came. But when He came, the people said, “This is a new kind of teaching, and with authority and power.” He taught like someone who knew what He was saying, not someone who was guessing. When He said something, that was the final word on that matter. There was no way you could revise what He had said; His was the final word of authority on every matter. He excelled with preaching.


You too may have teaching gifts, but if you do not develop them, they would not amount to anything. That is why sometimes we wonder where some have gotten the things they teach. And really there are preachers that amaze people today with the things they say. But those things, mostly, are not consistent with the body of truth we have in Scriptures. 


There are even those who will say something like, “I don’t study specially to preach. When I want to preach, I just open the bible and whatever the Spirit of God inspires me to teach on, that is what I teach.” They may quote Scriptures and say, “The bible says, ‘Don’t premeditate when you want to preach. The Spirit of your Father will give you the wisdom to preach.” But is that what the bible teaches? No! The bible indeed says that when you are being interrogated by your persecutors, you don’t need to premediate on what to say, for the Spirit of God will take charge and give you words to say to them. This, however, is different from when you want to teach the people of God. You have got to study to make yourself ready to do so. (Cf. Matthew 10:19)


Well, my point is that whatever your spiritual gift is, you need to excel with it. You need to work hard with it. Paul tells the Corinthians that he worked harder than all the other apostles (1Corinthians 15:10). Why he said that and the truth behind it we will find out someday. But when one considers the fact that this man was still writing letters while he was in the prison, he may agree with him. 


The word of God was in Paul, but he was locked away from people in some prison. Then he asked himself, “What do I do now? Okay, let me write the word and send it out.” And that was what he did. He started writing and sending his letters out. So, the prison walls could not cage him or prevent him from using his spiritual gifts. And today, about two thousand years later, we are still being blessed through the letters he wrote. That is excellence in ministry.


Now I am saying to you too today, whatever your spiritual gift is, you need to fan it into flame; you need to excel with it. Then, even when you are long gone, if Jesus tarries, generations after you will still be benefiting from the blessings of that spiritual gift. And may this be so, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Have a fabulous day.


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FEAR PREVENTED THEM 20/03/2024


“That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"” (Mark 4:35-41NIV)


This is a familiar story. Jesus was in the boat with His disciples and was sleeping. He was sleeping because He was tired. Then, when they had already travelled some distance on the Lake, a furious squall came against them and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly overturned. Yet the Lord was sleeping. He was sleeping while all this was going on. And what were these disciples supposed to do, knowing that the Lord was with them in the boat? Were they supposed to be afraid? No, they were not supposed to be afraid. What, then, were they supposed to do the death that was staring them in the face?


Well, first, they could have quietly woken Jesus up to tell Him what was going on, so that He could address the situation. Or they could have addressed the situation themselves. In fact, what the Lord expected them to do was to address the situation. That was why He later asked them, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Just think about it. They had the Son of God with them in the boat and were still afraid that they would drown. They had Him with them in the boat and were still afraid of death. 


Now it is true that they woke Him up. But they did not wake Him up because they believed He was up to the task of handling the situation. They did not expect Him to do anything to solve the problem. They simply wanted Him to be aware of the kind of danger they all were facing. That was why they were shocked when He addressed the situation and stilled the waves by the words of His mouth. And they could have done the same thing, for He had given them authority to do all kinds of great and beautiful things in His name. Yes, they had been given authority to heal the sick, drive out demons and even raise the dead. But they did not use it because they did not think that authority would work in that situation. 


Why? It was because they were afraid. And it was that fear that paralysed their initiatives. It was that fear that prevented them from seeing that the authority Jesus had given to them could be used by them to fix that situation. That fear prevented them from seeing that with Jesus in the boat with them the storm could not prevail over them or against them. 


In like manner, as long as we are afraid of the devil or of whatever challenge he may bring against us, we will lose our initiatives to resist him. We have been told to resist him and that he will flee from us, if we would do so. But many of God’s people are not resisting the devil in their lives today. Why? They are afraid. They are afraid that they do not have what it takes to handle him or that if they resist him, he will not go. And that is because they see him to be more powerful than the God in their lives. 


Now as long as you see the devil as more powerful than God in your life, you will not resist him. Then he can have a free day to work or operate in your life. Satan is not more powerful than God, for he is nothing but a created being. Satan does not have any power against the authority of our Lord Jesus that has been given to us. But he will continue to give us the impression that he has all the power and that there is nothing we can do to stop or frustrate him. And that is not what the word of God says. The word of God tells us that we can resist him. The word of God commands us to resist him. Ours, then, is to resist him, regardless of how enormous the challenges or problems he brings to us may seem. And when we do so, he will surely flee from us.



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WAIT FOR HIS TIME 19/03/2024


"He has made everything beautiful in its time…” (Eccl 3:11NIV)


One of the things most of us find difficult to do is life is to wait. Whether it is to wait for someone, an event, some resources or a position, we just don’t like to wait. That is because we want everything and everyone to run according to our schedule or timing of things. But that is absolutely impossible. I mean that it is impossible for everything and everyone in this life to move at our pace or according to our own timing of things. That is because we are not the creator of life or the ones in charge of life. The creator and author of life itself is God. Therefore, it does not matter what we and other creatures of His hands do, things will always go according to His own timing and never according to ours.


Now, of course, we are never happy when things do not go as we have them laid out or as we would want them to go. But if we will learn to trust God with our lives, He will, as Solomon tells us in our opening bible text, make everything beautiful for us at the right time. See, there is time for everything, as Solomon equally tells us in that great book, Ecclesiastes. And it is to the degree that we function with this mindset that we will access and enjoy God’s provisions for us and also attain the place He wants us to attain in life.


One of the reasons many are anxious today is that they are unwilling to function according to God’s time for their lives. The things they want for themselves may not be bad or evil. But they are unwilling to wait for God to supply these things at the time He has set for them. Why? It is often because they think time is going to run out on them, and they will never have their desires satisfied. And why do they think like this? It is because they are looking at the circumstances of their lives and other people’s lives instead of looking unto God. So, they give themselves to all kinds of things in order to have what they want and end up destroying much good and, sometimes, their own very lives.


Why did Moses end up being a murderer? It was because he was in a hurry to save his people, the Israelites. As the bible points out, he had sensed in himself that God was going to use him to save his people (Acts 7:25). And God, indeed, was going to use him to save them. But was Moses ready at age forty to save them? Obviously, he was not ready. Yes, he could see that things were really getting worse by the day for his people and that they needed help urgently. But it was not time yet for them to be saved by God. 


Now one of the things that showed that it was not yet time for them to be saved was that the one God was going to use to save them was not ready. He had not yet learnt at that time that his own power, might or intelligence could not save his people. So, he messed things up and had to run away for his life. It took him another forty years of his life, forty years of living as a fugitive and lowly shepherd, before God considered him ready for the task. I mean that this man had to come to an end of himself and see himself as totally unfit for the task of setting his people free before God saw him as ripe for the job. And it was then that his going back to Egypt to save his people was really beautiful and fruitful. (Cf. Acts 7:23-36)


Similarly, there are times that we are just not ready to handle what is coming or what we so desperately want to have or protect. And God knows this and expects us to patiently walk with Him or wait for Him until the set time. But if we foolishly and impatiently take matters into our own hands and act before we are ready, then, the results we will get will definitely show us that we should have waited for God.


Also, what about King Saul, the first king of Israel? What made God seek another person to replace him as king? One of the reasons was that he did not know how to work with God’s schedule. On one occasion, when he was supposed to wait for Prophet Samuel to come and carry out the sacrifice they needed to perform before going for a battle, he got impatient, when Samuel did not come at the set time, and carried out the sacrifice himself. Yes, it was true that Samuel did not keep to time on that occasion. It was also true that the circumstances were not at all favourable for Saul, for all his men of war were already deserting him. But what needed to be done was something spiritual, something beyond his understanding. So, he should still have waited for Samuel instead of allowing the things he could see and feel lead him to act before God’s own time and at the cost of his kingship. At any rate, because of his impatience, he lost the kingdom he was trying to preserve. (Cf. 1Sam 13:1-14)


In like manner, many are daily losing what they are trying to keep or win because they will not learn to wait for God. Waiting for God, of course, does not mean we are to sit down, fold our arms and do nothing about the matters of our lives. No, that is not what it means. God Himself does not want us to be idle. Instead, He want us to get busy with whatever legitimate things we can do for ourselves, based on the abilities, resources and people He has endowed us with. 


However, He does not want us to rely on ourselves, other people or anything we are doing for our advancement or safety in lives. On the contrary, He wants us to solely rely on Him for everything. And when we have done all that is within our abilities to do for ourselves, in accordance with His grace at work in us, we should allow Him to do that which only He can and must do for our lives to experience the promotion, prosperity, fruitfulness, peace, rest or salvation that we desire. And this is what Peter means, when he says, “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.” (1Peter 5:6NLT)


Did you see that? There is a right time for you to have or enjoy everything meant for you in this life. And as long as God is the one in charge of your life, He will not bring anything to you or take you anywhere before the right time. You may seek to take for yourself what you believe to be yours before the time set by God. Other people may also seek to do the same for you. But as long as the time God has set for you to have whatever it is you want is not ripe, even if you get it by pressuring Him to give you or by using some worldly or satanic means, your possession of it will ultimately not give you the satisfaction or joy you want. On the contrary, it may be the very thing that will ruin your life, joy or peace. Therefore, as Peter says, humble yourself under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honour or give you that thing your heart is so much yearning for.



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WATCH HOW YOU FOLLOW THEM 18/03/2024


“At that time Abijah son of Jeroboam became ill, and Jeroboam said to his wife, "Go, disguise yourself, so you won't be recognized as the wife of Jeroboam. Then go to Shiloh. Ahijah the prophet is there — the one who told me I would be king over this people. Take ten loaves of bread with you, some cakes and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what will happen to the boy."” (1Kings 14:1-3NIV)


We have in the bible the story of King Jeroboam, the first king of the northern nation of Israel, that is, after God had divided the nation into two. This man was ordained to be king by God Himself. And He did this through the hand of His prophet, Ahijah (1Kings 11:29-39). But as soon as this man became king and was firmly established, he created new gods for the people and also personally ordained priests to serve them. Why did he do that? Was it because he did not believe in God, the one who ordained him king? No! Rather, it was because he was desperately trying to keep a kingdom that he did not give himself. (Cf. 1Kings 12:25-33)


And how many people are like Jeroboam today, who, in their attempt to keep or protect certain things that God has freely given them, get involved in all kinds of dangerous and harmful things. I am talking about people who get involved in sexual immorality, sorcery, theft, cultism or any other ungodly practice that they know is totally wrong for them, just because they want to keep a job, a position, a marriage or a facility. When all has been said and done, all such people will terribly have themselves to blame.


In any case, as the account of King Jeroboam goes, when one of his sons became very sick to the point of death and he again desperately needed to know what would become of him, he did not turn to the gods he created or to the priests he ordained. Instead, as we see in our opening bible text, he turned to the living God, the one who ordained him in the very first place. But why did he not go to his own gods and priests? It was because he knew that they were all fake, for he was the one that created them. 


How terrible! This man knew all along that the religion he established for his entire country was fake and lacked any capacity to bless anybody. Yet he manipulated the people to embrace it. And they too foolishly followed him. But when he needed real help for his son, he secretly sent his wife to the right person that could help. And how did God respond to that? He responded by bringing judgment and destruction on Jeroboam and the whole house of Israel that followed him in his nonsense. (Cf. 1Kings 14:5-18)


Now what does all this teach us? Two things! And the first is that it is dangerous to deliberately ignore or supress the truth for any reason. That is because we won’t be the only ones suffering for doing so – all the people that are misled or misguided because of our lies will suffer as well. And that in itself will make things much worse for us, when God is ready to judge (Luke 7:1-3). So, before you create that lie that you call a religion, an organisation or a concept, think well.


The second thing the account teaches us is to be careful how we follow people, even those who possess some legitimate or God-established authority over us. It was God that ordained Jeroboam to lead the nation of Israel. Yet he deliberately misled the people. So, the fact that someone is anointed or is authorised by God to lead you does not mean that he cannot deliberately or ignorantly mislead you. And once you are misled, the consequences will surely follow. 


This is why you need to take Paul’s words very seriously, which say, “Follow me, as I follow Christ.” In other words, we are permitted to follow people, regardless of who they are to us or how highly we revere them, only to the degree that they are obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. In any area in which they are not obedient to Him, we are not under any obligation to follow them. Otherwise, though they will be punished for misleading us, we too will not be held guiltless for allowing ourselves to be misled. (Cf. Deut 13; 1Cor 11:1)


Have a great day.


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YOU ARE AFFECTING YOUR WORLD 17/03/2024


My prayer for you today is that the goodness of God in your life will continually overflow to your world in an unhindered manner in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Now, as you face the new day, I want to remind you of the need to watch your life and conduct among men. And that is because the things you do or do not do always affect others, that is, directly or indirectly, positively or negatively, greatly or slightly. Don’t forget that you are not the only one in this world. So, your actions and inactions are not affecting you only. They are also affecting every other person in the world. And somehow, they will equally affect those that will come into this world later.


For example, the disobedience of Adam in the Garden of Eden did not only affect him; it affected the whole human race. According to the Scriptures, it was through him that sin and death came into the world (Rom 5:12-14). And look at how people still battle with the dominion of sin and death today. Everything started with just one man. 


Likewise, through the obedience of our Lord Jesus Christ, life, righteousness and immortality are now available for all men (Rom 5:17-19; 2Tim 1:10). And you can look today and see the results of the life He lived, the death He died and the resurrection He experienced in the lives of many people all around the world. Yet He is just one man.


So, don’t ever think that how you live your life does not matter at all; it matters a lot. And whether you know it or not, there are things that are entering the world or leaving the world through you. You should, then, be asking yourself, “What is entering or leaving the world through me? Are they good things or bad things?”


Now I can give you several examples of how this works from the bible. For instance, we are told in the Scriptures that murder and fratricide entered the world through Cain. I mean that he allowed these things to come into the world through him. (Cf. Gen 4:1-6) Also, there was a man called Lamech, who, according to the bible, introduced polygamy into the world. While other people in his day, including some of his own descendants, introduced things that would benefit mankind like music and musical instruments, animal husbandry, blacksmithing and so forth into the world, he made himself the pioneer of polygamy (Gen 4:19-22). And you know what sort of tool polygamy is in Satan’s hand. He has used it to fuel all kinds of jealousy, bitterness, rivalry and wars in different homes and for generations. And everything started with one man. 


So, you may want to ask yourself again, “What is entering or leaving the world through me?” Are you someone that is introducing peace, love, joy, faithfulness, purity and contentment into the world around you? Or are you someone that is taking whatever peace that is left in your world away from it? Could it just be that the only things that are flowing into the world through you are trouble, impurity, chaos, bitterness, division, jealousy and murder?


Well, my point is this: you are affecting your world in very significant ways, whether you know it or not. So, watch your life and conduct very closely, to the end that they may be a blessing to your world. Don’t be like Achan, who troubled the whole nation of Israel through his greed and brought defeat, disgrace and death to his people (Josh 7). Instead, be like Abraham, the man through whom all the nations of the earth are being blessed (Gen 12:3; Gal 3:8).  


Do have a joyous day.



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THE LORD HAS GIVEN US ROOM 16/03/2024


As we are told in the bible, there was a time that Isaac, the son of Abraham, wanted to leave the place he was, which was Gerar, for Egypt because there was a severe famine in the land. But the Lord appeared to him and told him not to leave Gerar but to stay there for a while. And why? It was because He intended to bless and prosper him there. So, the man stayed. (Cf. Gen 26:1-6)


What is that telling us? It is telling us that a change of location is not always the solution to adversity. The solution to it is in God's revelation to our heart. As we are equally told in the bible, when Abraham found himself in a similar situation and decided to move to Egypt, God did not stop him. Instead, He prospered him in Egypt so much so that he left there with great riches. (Cf. Gen 12:10-20)


So, there are indeed times in which God may require a person to change their location or even vocation in order to prosper them or make them flourish in a time of adversity. But we have to seek His face in prayer and through the study of His word to know His will for us at such times. Otherwise, a change of location or vocation may not bring us the joy or delight we expect. Instead, it may end up turning our Naomi (pleasantness) to Mara (bitterness). (Cf. Ruth 1)


Well, in Isaac's case, God did not require him to leave Gerah, though there was a severe famine there, in order to prosper him. Instead, He wanted him to stay there. And he did stay there. But that God wanted him to stay in Gerah at that time did not mean that his prosperity would just happen overnight or automatically or that he would not experience any challenge there at all. He would have to work hard and diligently for him to experience the prosperity God had destined for him in Gerah. Also, he would have to be ready to trust God to deal with whatever challenges he was faced with while staying and working there. Otherwise, the fear of challenges may keep him in poverty for life.


Unfortunately, many don't understand these things. They think once God says that a place is good for them or that He will prosper them in a place, it means that they will not encounter any challenge there or that they will not be required to work hard and diligently for their prosperity to happen. But that line of reasoning is wrong and contrary to biblical truths. And anyone functioning accordingly will most likely find himself poor, wretched and unhappy, even though he is in a land flowing with milk and honey.


According to what we are told about Isaac, he did not just sit down and wait for prosperity to come, just because God had told him that He would prosper him in Gerah. Instead, he got himself working. His family business had always been livestock rearing. But he added crop farming to it. And God blessed this in his hands so much so that he became great and mighty in the land through it. (Cf. Gen 26:12-15)


Then, as we are also told in the story, the Philistines in Gerah did not relate to him kindly at all, as they saw him grow in prosperity (Gen 26:16-21). They were continually fighting him and his men and taking over the wells they were digging. But at some point, they all realised that they could not successfully fight against him and win or stop his growing prosperity. Why? It was because the Lord was with him. So, they stopped fighting him and decided to make friends with him instead. (Cf. Gen 26:17-33)


Now that is in agreement with the words of the Scriptures that say, “When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.” (Prov 16:7NIV) Isaac was a man of God. That, however, did not stop him from having enemies. But because God was solidly with and behind him, his enemies eventually gave up fighting him and began to live at peace with him. That was why, in testifying to God's goodness to him in Gerah, he said, "Now the LORD has given us room and we will flourish in the land." (Gen 26:22NIV)


In like manner, inasmuch as you are where God wants you to be, He will make room for you to flourish there, regardless of the circumstances of the place or the hostility of those there with you. But you, like Isaac, must be ready to work hard and diligently. You must also be ready to adapt, change your vocation or add another line of business to what you are doing, if need be, and to trust God to deal with any challenge that may come your way. And will you be willing to do these things? Will you be willing to trust God for where you should be, to trust Him for what you should be doing with your life and to rely on Him to make room for you to flourish and be safe?




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ON ACCOUNT OF HIM 15/03/2024


“Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him.” (John 12:9-11NIV)


From what we see in Scriptures, every day is not only a day of troubles and God's judgment; every day is also a day of God's mercies and love (Lamentations 3:22-23; Zeph 3:5; Matt 6:34). And because every day is a day of God's mercies and love, we are able to experience His miraculous power in our lives every day. For instance, our waking up every morning, having slept for hours, is a miracle, even though we take this for granted all the time. Also, for us to move from one place to another, even within our neighbourhood, only God can tell the number of miracles He has to perform so that we may be safe. 


But then, even though our daily lives are marked with all kinds of miracles from God, there are some miracles that are able to change our lives and experiences forever, miracles that will make people take God our Father more seriously through us. For instance, as we are shown in our opening text, there was a time that a large crowd of people left their houses and businesses to go and see Jesus and a man called Lazarus. Why? It was because Jesus had raised this man from the dead.


As the account goes in John 11, Lazarus had been dead for four days before Jesus got to the town where he was living. In fact, there was already a bad odour coming out from his dead body at that time. Nevertheless, He demanded that He be taken to the tomb where he was laid. And He was taken there, for the dead man was an intimate friend of His. But what He did when He got there beat everyone's imagination. They had been expecting Him to just weep and sorrow there like all the others who knew the dead man had been doing. And He did weep, showing that He was human too. But beyond that, He brought the man back to life, right before everybody there. What a miracle!


Well, as to be expected, the news of this spread fast and wide. So, people everywhere that got wind of it started coming around not just to see Jesus but to also see Lazarus, the man who was raised to life, having been dead for four days. This, of course, got the religious leaders of the Jews upset. And they began to seek ways to kill this man. But why? As we are told in our opening text, it was because on account of him many were going over to Jesus and were expressing their faith in Him. In other words, the miracle this man received was so great that many people could not ignore it. They just had to go and verify it by themselves. And when they found out that it was authentic, they put their trust in the Lord Jesus.


Now don't you too want to receive that kind of miracle in your life? Don't you want to receive miracles so great that almost everyone who hears about it will want to meet Jesus? I want such miracles, as a living person, of course, and not as a dead person. And I want to believe that you too want them. But what will make us receive them? It is our faith in God to solve those great problems of our lives for us. 


When the Lord instructed that the stone that was used to seal Lazarus's tomb be rolled away, so that He could bring him back from the dead, the dead man's sister, Martha, expressed her concerns about the fact that doing so was going to be an effort in futility. It would only be emphasising the deadness of her brother, whose body would be bringing forth bad odour already at the time. Yet the Lord said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” And did she eventually see the glory of God or not? She did! (Cf. John 11:38-40)


In like manner, if we too will trust God to handle our problems or challenges for us, we and others around us will certainly see His glory. And see, the greater the problem or challenge, the greater the miracle or miracles God will perform in solving them will be. So, in a sense, if you want great miracles, then, hope for great problems. Then, however great those problems may seem, don't allow them to make you lose your mind. Instead, see them as your opportunity to experience some astonishing miracles from God, miracles that will make those in your world turn to Him for help and salvation. And as you cast those problems on Him by faith and through prayers, you will experience His glory.



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DON’T ACCEPT PARTIAL LIBERTY 14/03/2024


“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Gal 5:1NIV) 


Look at that. Why has Christ set us free? It is so that we may enjoy freedom in our lives. It is so that we will no longer be slaves to sin, sicknesses, diseases, poverty, barrenness, stagnation, superstitious beliefs and any other thing that is capable of making a mess of our lives. 


However, as Paul equally points out in that bible text, we too must be determined not to be enslaved by anything again. And what that means is that the things that our Lord set us free from will not just let us be and never attempt to enslave us again. I am saying that, as long as we are here in the world, sin, sicknesses, diseases, failure, barrenness, death, fear, confusion and all kinds of terrible things that Satan and his hosts bring about won't just let us be, all because we now say that we are Christians and have obtained freedom from them. They will keep trying to come back into our lives to make a mess of them. We are the ones that must refuse to let them gain access into our lives to make us slaves again.


Why do you think the bible tells us to resist the devil? It is because he is bound to show up at our door any time. He can show up in sicknesses, diseases, failures or temptations to do wrong things. But we can resist him. And we should resist him and refuse to be his slave in any way. I mean that we must not settle for partial liberty from anything that is from the domain of darkness, which is Satan's. Don't embrace or accommodate any kind of slavery in your life. What the Lord obtained for you is total liberty. So don't accept anything short of it.


When Moses went to confront Pharaoh with God's word to let the nation of Israel go, he was very clear in telling him that their liberty from Egypt was going to be a total one. And even though that wicked king, on a number of occasions, tried to talk Moses into accepting partial freedom, he would not give in to his tricks. Instead, he kept on fearlessly confronting him with the word of God, which, of course, was confirmed with all manners of signs and wonders, until he eventually gave the nation of Israel total liberty. (Ex 9:25-28, 10:8-10, 10:24-29 & 12:31-33)


Similarly, we too must continually and boldly confront anything that is trying to enslave us again with what God has said about our liberty, knowing that He will confirm His word with signs and wonders. But how are we going to do that, if we don't know what He has said about our liberty? 


So, if you and I want to succeed in standing firm in the liberty that is ours in Christ Jesus, we must make the studying of the word of God a priority in our lives. And as we do so, the Holy Spirit Himself will open the Scriptures to us and also strengthen us to appropriately and adequately apply them to the different situations of our lives.


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YOUR PRAYER DUTY 13/03/2024


“As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.” (1Sam 12:23NIV)


Those were Samuel’s words to the children of Israel. He wanted them to know that he would be sinning against God by not praying for them, even though they were rebellious. And that was because praying for them was his responsibility as their leader. 


In like manner, there are people that we have a duty to pray for, as we are shown in the bible. For instance, it is our duty to pray for all our leaders, whether they are directly over us or otherwise, so that they may lead according to the will of God (Eph 6:19-20; Col 4:3; 1Tim 2:1-4). Also, it is our duty to pray to God for those that we are leading, whether at home, in our workplace, in the church or in our society, so that their lives may be what God wants them to be (Num 6:23-27; 2Chro 6:12-42; Eph 1:15-16; Col 4:12). 


It is equally our duty to pray for the prosperity and peace of our country, remembering the different categories of people in the land in our prayers (Ps 123:6-9; Jer 29:7). Then it is our duty to pray all kinds of prayers for all the people of God, as we are led by the Spirit, according to their requests and according to our knowledge of their circumstances (Acts 12:5; Rom 15:30-32; Eph 6:18-20; Col 4:2; James 5:14-16).


So, it is never God's design that our praying will be about us alone. There are all kinds of people that He expects us to continually support with our prayers. And if, having been made aware of this, we will still not pray for them, we will be sinning against Him. This, of course, will not be without consequences. And some of us that are discerning can already see some of the consequences of our sin of not praying for the people God wants us to pray for. We can see them in the instability, insecurity, poverty, rebellion, oppression and many other terrible things that are threatening our existence today. And if we will not repent of this sin, we may never witness in our lifetime the kind of peaceful, stable, sane and prosperous society we daily long for.


In addition, there may be times that God will want us to offer specific prayers for certain individuals or groups of people. For example, there was a time He wanted Abraham to pray for the household of King Abimelech of Gerar, so that his people would be healed of barrenness (Gen 20). And he was to pray for them, even though they had hurt him. Also, we see that He wanted Job to pray for his friends that had terribly hurt him with their words of judgment, so that His wrath would not come upon them (Job 42:7-9). Then we see how God showed Prophet Amos certain visions of what He intended to do to the nation of Israel, so that the man would have the privilege of interceding for her (Amos 7:1-6). Therefore, there are times that God shows us things about people in order that we may pray for them and save them from whatever trouble that is coming upon them or that they are in (Luke 22:31-32).


If God, then, wants us to pray specific prayers for certain people, just as I showed you above, and we will not do so, do you think He will hold us guiltless in such matters? If people that are supposed to live through our prayers die because we won't pray for them, how do you think God will judge such matters? Even if such individuals have hurt us or harmed us in some ways before, as long as God is asking us to pray to Him for them, we must do so. Otherwise, we will be sinning against Him and may even be shutting some door of His favour against ourselves. 


Abraham and his wife Sarah had no son of their own, though they were advanced in age. Yet, having prayed for the barren house of Abimelech so they could have children again, God visited their family too, and they had a son of their own. (Cf. Gen 20&21) Job's case was also similar to that. The moment he forgave his friends and prayed for them, God visited him with healing and restoration. (Cf. Job 42:7-17) And I am showing you this to let you know that it is not every time that what we need in life will come to us through our prayers for ourselves. There are times that the things we need in life will only come to us through our prayers for others. And as long as we are selfish in matters of prayers, we may never enjoy certain things God wants us to have and enjoy in this life.   

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THE SHIPS THAT NEVER SET SAIL- 12/03/2024


“Later, Jehoshaphat king of Judah made an alliance with Ahaziah king of Israel, who was guilty of wickedness. He agreed with him to construct a fleet of trading ships. After these were built at Ezion Geber, Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, "Because you have made an alliance with Ahaziah, the LORD will destroy what you have made." The ships were wrecked and were not able to set sail to trade.” (2Chron 20:35-37NIV).


We have very clear accounts in the bible that show us that carrying out investments or projects that will be successful in life is not all about having the resources and people to do so. It is equally about being led or guided by the Spirit of God. Otherwise, apart from the fact that we may end up losing our investments or projects or paying very invaluable prices for them, we may also never enjoy their fruit.


For example, in our opening text, we are told about how Jehoshaphat, who was a godly king, got involved in some project with Ahaziah king of Israel, who was nothing but a wicked man. What was this project about? It was about building some fleet of trading ships that they could both use to enhance their maritime business. And did they succeed in carrying out this project or not? They did. 


However, God sent a prophet to tell Jehoshaphat that He was going to destroy this project and make sure he did not profit from it. And that was exactly what happened. The ships never left their shores, for they all got damaged right where they were. How this happened no one can tell. But it did happen, and Jehoshaphat lost everything he had invested in the project. 


But why? Was it because God did not want Jehoshaphat to get better in his maritime business and increase in wealth that He allowed his project to fail? No! Rather, it was because he did that project with the wrong person; he did the project with someone that was operating under certain evil influences that were bound to make him fail. And if God had not predicted what was going to happen by the mouth of His prophet, Jehoshaphat and His people may never have known what was responsible for the failure of that project and the loss of their investment.


What is the lesson, then? It is that God is not just concerned about our lives but also about our relationships. So, it is not enough for our lives to be right before Him; it is also important that the lives of those we get into close relationships with are right before Him. Otherwise, they may continually be the reason our ships of progress or advancement will never set sail, not to talk of bring us great rewards. 


Is this, then, to say that we, as children of God, must not associate with those who are not children of God at all. No! In fact, the bible tells us that it is impossible for us not to associate with those of this world at all (1Cor 5:9-10). As long as we are in this world, we will always have one thing or the other to do with those of the world, who do not know God. So, we cannot totally excuse them from our lives. By the way, this is not just about those who do not know God but also about those who claim to know God but who are still living in wickedness, openly or secretly.


At any rate, as long as we are in this world, there are things we cannot get done without those who do not know God and even those who claim to know Him but are living contrary to His will. But then, there are things we cannot and must not do with them, if we do not want to fail miserably or be polluted. Some of these things are obvious because we are warned about them in Scriptures. For instance, we already know from Scriptures that anything we will do with an unbeliever or even a so-called Christian that will make us sin against God or become irresponsible in our lives must be totally avoided. 


However, there are certain things that may seem totally harmless to do with unbelievers or erring Christians. For example, building a fleet of trading ships with King Ahaziah seemed like a totally harmless thing for Jehoshaphat. But it ended up being a disaster. In like manner, doing certain things that seem harmless with some people may end up putting us in trouble because of their sins or certain evil influences at work in their lives. How, then, do we avoid that? It is by developing a culture of always committing everything, little or great, we want to do into the hands of God. That way, we can trust Him to always guide us into what is best for us and away from those things that will ruin us, even if they have an appearance of being the very best for us.


So, learn to always commit everything you want to do to God, instead of making your decisions solely on the basis of what you see or hear or your understanding of things. This will definitely keep you from facing problems that are never meant for you.

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LABOUR LOSS IS NOT HIS WILL FOR YOU 11/03/2024


“They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the works of their hands. They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the LORD, they and their descendants with them. Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” (Isa 65:21-24NIV)


We know what it means to give ourselves, our time, our skills and our devotion to something and not receive any profit in it. We also know what it means to put so much into gaining something and eventually losing it to some unexpected circumstances or not enjoying it at all. That is what is called labouring in vain or labour loss. 


Now there are many who are experiencing this in almost every area of their lives. They are working hard every day, so that they may increase in resources or influence and be able to make life better and more enjoyable for themselves and maybe their family. Yet, through some twist of circumstances, there has not been much to show for their years of hard labour. It is not improving the quality of life they are living or the quality of enjoyment of life they are having. And this has brought frustration and depression into their lives. It has even led some to run away from their responsibilities or to take their own lives.


Perhaps you too have observed that your labour of many years has not brought much visible or tangible improvement to the quality of life you are living. You need to know that it is not the will of God for things to be so with you. So, don’t accept it as normal or ignore it, even if that is the case with many around you. And don’t allow it to ruin your character, destroy your relationship with God or people or drive you crazy. Instead, take the situation up with God in prayers, and He will answer you and put an end to every form of labour loss you may be experiencing. 


Look at our opening Scripture. What is there is a revelation of God’s will for us in all our legitimate labour. And as He clearly shows us, it is not His will for us to labour over anything and not enjoy it at all, neither is it His will for us to labour over something and it is some other people that will be enjoying the fruit of it. In fact, it is not His will for us to have children that we will not enjoy or to even pray in vain and not receive answers. 


Since that, then, is the case, we must no longer accept any form of labour loss in our lives, beginning from today. Instead, we must continually ask God to fulfil His promise to make us fruitful with our labour and to also make us enjoy the fruit of our labour for as long as we are here on earth. And as we learn to do this, we will begin to see a mighty release of His power for true enjoyment in every area of our lives.


Cheers!

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YOU ARE MEANT TO FLOURISH  10/03/2024


It is a fact that these are difficult times for people all around the world. These are times in which insecurity is a major threat to the existence of mankind. They are also times in which many are struggling to feed and to take care of several basic needs of life. Even among those that appear to be living fine and large are many that have already mortgaged their future and that of their children through different kinds of loans they have taken from various financial institutions. 

 

Nevertheless, God’s promise to His people is to make them flourish, regardless of how hard or hostile the conditions of living in this world may become. So, as you journey through this month and through the remaining part of this year, I want you to hold on to His word that says:


“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, "The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him."” (Ps 92:12-15NIV)


Look at that. God says that His righteous ones will flourish like palm trees and like cedars of Lebanon. Now you can do some personal studies on these trees, and you will find that they are special among all trees. They are evergreen. They are strong and are able to thrive in the face of adverse conditions. Also, they, especially palm trees, are useful in many ways. And in many cases, they are able to survive a number of generations of men, if we do not remove them.


Now God says His righteous ones can be likened to these trees. They too will flourish before Him, regardless of what circumstances they are faced with in this life. Also, He says they will stay fresh, green and fruitful, even when they are old. Don’t you like this? Well, I love it. I love to stay fresh, green, fruitful and useful, even when I am old. And, if Jesus tarries, I am going to, for I am God’s righteousness in Christ Jesus. So, this promise is for me and for my household.


What about you? Are you God’s righteous man or woman? Are you one of those who have by faith obtained the righteousness of God that is in Christ Jesus? If you are, then, this promise of God is for you too. And you can lay claim to it. Yes, you can daily declare in the name of Jesus, “I flourish in this land everyday like a palm tree and grow stronger and stronger like a cedar of Lebanon. And regardless of the conditions I am confronted with in life, I will remain fresh, green, productive, useful and relevant, as a member of the family of God in this world.” And may God’s power to flourish in the face of adversity continually be released in your life and through your life, in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.


Have a fabulous day.

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LIVE A LIFE OF THANKSGIVING  09/03/2024


“But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.” (Deut 8:18NIV) 


Who said those words? It was Moses the man of God. Why did he say them? He said them because he knew that it was possible for the Israelites to forget God and what He meant to them. He knew that it was possible for them to enter the Promised Land and, after a while, begin to think their strength, righteousness or wisdom was responsible for their success and wealth. So, he said, “Don't ever forget that the one responsible for whatever good thing you end up having or accomplishing is God.” And he said that to them so that they would learn to acknowledge God and be thankful to Him.


Now, in order for us to cultivate a heart of thankfulness to God, it is important that we identify for ourselves the things that often keep us from thanking Him. We can understand it if those who don't know God do not see any reason to thank Him at all. But I am not addressing those who don't know or believe God here; rather, I am addressing everyone who claims to know God and to have a relationship with Him. And I am saying that it is important that he identify what those things are that are keeping him from being thankful to God as it is expected of him, so that he may deal with them. 


One of those things that often keep us from being thankful to God is lack of contentment. When all that we are concerned about is what we don't have and how we are going to have them at all cost, there is every tendency that we may not see any need to thank God for what we already have. 


Another thing that can also keep us from being thankful to God is lack of thoughtfulness. It takes thoughtfulness to be thankful to God or to men. If we can regularly consider where we are and where we are coming from and also consider what we are, what we used to be and what we have passed through, there is no way we will fail to see great reasons to thank God. 


There will always be greater heights for us to attain in this life, as long as there is breath in us. And there also will always be people that seem to be ahead of us or to be doing better than us. But instead of griping or complaining to God about those things we are yet to have or accomplish, we should first learn to thank Him for the ones we already have and are.


Furthermore, we can get so excited about what God has done for us or is doing for us and what we are going to do with it that we totally forget to thank Him. That was what happened to nine of those ten lepers that the Lord healed of their leprosy. They got so excited about their healing and what life would henceforth mean for them that they totally forgot to return to thank the Lord immediately for what He had done for them. Only one of them returned immediately to thank Him. And to say the least, their ingratitude displeased Him. (Cf. Luke 17:11-19)


We all know how most animals act when we give them food. Out of excitement, they will just jump on it and start eating, especially when they are very hungry. They will not thank us or commend us for anything. And that is because they are unintelligent. But we are intelligent beings. We can consider things and think about them. So, even though we can thank God anytime for His goodness to us, as intelligent people, the right thing for us to do is to first thank Him immediately we receive anything from Him. And we are always receiving from Him. There is no moment that passes that we don't receive something good for our lives from Him, even though we are not often aware of this. This is why we are admonished in the Scriptures to give God thanks always and in everything (Eph 5:20; Col 3:17; 1Thess 5:18; Heb 13:15). In other words, we are to live a life of thanksgiving to God, for that is His will for us.

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YET I WILL REJOICE IN THE LORD 08/03/2024


“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” (Hab 3:17-18NIV)


Do you know that there are people who are still loaded with pains and grieves because of their failures, miseries and misfortunes in the years that were gone? Yes, there are people who are still totally disappointed and distressed because they really have nothing to show for all their hard labour and devotion of the years gone. And such people may be wondering now if there is anything at all for them this year; they may be wondering if there is any need for them to devote themselves to any kind of honest labour again this year.


Well, if you are one of such people, the words of Prophet Habakkuk, which we have in our opening scripture, are for you. And as we can deduce from what he says, this man, at the time he said these words, was battling with very obvious failure and lack, which had come upon him as a result of the insecurity problems that his land was facing. I mean that he said these words at a time nothing seemed to be working or going on well for him or anybody in his country. Their crops were not doing well. So their food stores were empty, and they were all living in hunger. Also, their animals were all gone. So there was no milk, cheese or meat for anybody to refresh himself with. It was indeed a time of depression and agony for them.


Nevertheless, this man of God said to himself, “I refuse to pay attention to the ugliness of our conditions. I refuse to allow our failures, misfortunes, miseries and pains to take away my joy. And that is why I am going to rejoice in the Lord. Yes, I will be joyful in God my saviour.” Look at that. Habakkuk would not allow the ugly situations he found himself in to rob him of joy. He would not allow the seemingly horrible circumstances of his life to keep him down or render him useless. Instead, he chose to rejoice. 


But, then, you must understand that this man's rejoicing is not baseless. His rejoicing is not the foolish rejoicing of a drunkard, who thinks he can drink away his sorrows and pains, when he is in fact multiplying them. And his rejoicing is not the rejoicing of some optimistic dreamer, who is just hoping that all things will turn around for his good by themselves, when the truth is that bad things don't become good by themselves, just as good things don't become bad by themselves – there are forces that make these things happen. Instead, his rejoicing is in the Lord, the God of the heavens and the earth. Yes, his rejoicing is in the Lord, the only one with the power to turn the ugliest of situations around for man's good. And that is why he goes on to say, “The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.” (Hab 3:19NIV)


Look at that. Habakkuk recognised God as his strength. He recognised Him as his ability to walk in victory over all the difficult situations he and his people were confronted with. No wonder he chose to praise Him instead of allowing those bad situations to make him weak, useless and redundant. 


In like manner, you also must not allow the failures, miseries, misfortunes and pains of the year or years that are gone reduce you to a weak, useless and redundant person this year. And you must not allow them to turn your eyes