MY YEAR OF UNCOMMON HELP

Isaiah 50:7

Pastor Julius Oladiran OgunkolaChristian! The affirmation in this year's Confession of Faith is what you need in this uncertain time. Whenever you come to your wits' end, you normally ponder whether you are sufficient unto what the challenges demand. And, who then, is sufficient unto these things? The ready answer therefore, should be - "Our sufficiency is of God." We should rely on God for help, particularly in view of the signs of the end-time which make everybody vulnerable. We understand "help" to mean action given to provide assistance or aid. In this context, it is the making available of strength of the Omnipotence during the time of insufficiency. When one is at the end of one's tether and what remains is outside of human resources. God, from the Old Testament to the New, has promised help for His people in their times of need. All they need to do is to call on Him. It is pertinent to say that no promise of God is of private interpretation, and whatever God said to the people of old, in the Bible is, without doubt, applicable to all suppliants. Let us therefore, consider the focal verse in the following four dimensions - ....Click here for more

Daily Devotional

For the Week: 27th June - 3rd July 2022


27th June

Topic: JESUS TEACHES ABOUT DISCIPLESHIP

Text:Luke 6:17-23

“And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, ‘Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.’” – V. 20

I had severally heard people complained that they were lured into a bond, covenant or contract of which details they were completely ignorant. Jesus Christ spelt out to His disciples what following Him would cost them without mincing words, or deceiving them. It is noteworthy that His Beatitudes was to all His followers but most directly to His disciples (v.20). This was because they were the ones who had fully entered into the ministry with Him through ‘thick and thin,’ knowing fully well that such decision was not going to be without a cost. It is very sacrificial. Jesus named them the ‘poor’, ‘hungered,’ ‘weepers,’ ‘hated,’ and ‘despised’ because such would be their experiences in their walk and work with Him. It was part of the course for true discipleship. The joyous thing about it is that it is greatly rewarding in heaven. You could be facing some unpleasant situations. Life could be so harsh on you, people may demean you, yes, but remember, you cannot just do things in the ways of the world. Your experience could be part of your discipleship adventure. All you need do is trust God for the grace to be loyal and faithful to the Mater.

Emphasis:

: True discipleship is never without a cost, but it is highly rewarding.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, help me to give whatever it takes to be Your true disciple.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Psalm 82-85
28th June

Topic: INSTRUCTIONS ON LIVING THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

Text:Matthew 5:1-8

“And he opened his mouth and taught them,” – V. 2.

The Beatitudes reels out the guidelines for living a true Christian life. All the attributes mentioned about the ‘blessed’ are likely contents in the ‘travel pack’ of a true believer like spiritual poorness (spiritual humility), mourning resulting from dashed hopes, unrealized desires etc. Christians are expected to be meek and longsuffering, hungry and thirsty after righteousness (right standing with God) also mercifulness and purity of heart must be the believer’s nature. It is so thrilling to discover that each pronouncement of blessedness has a reward attached, though not without responsibility. Since there are guiding instructions, Christians should never be taken aback at any point in life when the demand comes upon us to exemplify the true lifestyle of a believer. In other words, failure to attain righteousness, mercifulness, pureness of heart and sobriety renders one blameworthy. It could be that you have always been disappointed to discover that attaining that status of blessedness is beyond you, no matter how hard you tried. Remember, He is the One Who works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13.

Emphasis:

To live up to Christ’s standard of blessedness Christians need the brochure on the Beatitudes.

Prayer:

Father, in Jesus name, help me to attain to the measure of the full stature of blessedness.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Psalm 86-88
29th June

Topic: MORE INSTRUCTIONS FOR TRUE DISCIPLES

Text: Matthew 5:9-16

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” – V. 16

It is always good to receive clear instructions from the owner of a work before embarking on it, in order to avoid labouring in vain. Jesus’ desire was that His followers become like Him, and that He made clear to them. He is the Prince of Peace, hence His believers are expected to be peace makers. He reconciled us to God, we should reconcile sinners to Christ, He gives due recognition to peace promoters. The ways and thoughts of the kingdom are mostly paradoxical. You may wonder how blessedness could emerge from being persecuted, blessedness is desirable while persecution is detestable (vs. 10-12). The platform upon which Jesus places His believers is very spectacular, like salt and light which are very indispensable. We lighten and brighten the world and also savour and preserve the world from decay. We are the hope of God in the perverse generation. But it is quite amazing how careless most believers handle this prestigious estate. Many are daily quitting that status probably due to ignorance. We should spare nothing, in our bid to sustain and maintain that estate of salt and light because the bottom line is that it affords us the grace of eternal relationship with Christ. And in the end help us draw many unto Him.

Emphasis:

Christians, just like salt and light are life essentials and we should never lose that status.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, help me to retain the value You have placed upon me, as salt and light to the world, till I see You face to face.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Psalm 89-91
30th June

Topic: LOVE YOUR ENEMIES

Text: Matthew 5:43-48

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you;” – V. 44.

It is very true that our ways as humans are far from God’s just as the East is far from the West. Nevertheless, Jesus actually desires that we become like God Himself. If sincerely we are His seeds ‘like should beget likes.’ Our common notion is ‘tit for tat’, you would want to love those who love you, and hate those who hate you, but God sees and expects differently. There is no hatred or cursing in His dictionary. The divine mandate is love your enemies, bless your cursers and pray for those who debase and persecute you. God’s acid test for being His true child is doing His will however hard it may seem. Loving your enemies is one of the most difficult tasks assigned to believers under the sun. It becomes so difficult when the enemy is threatening your life or posing an impediment on your way to success. Certainly, the scars imprinted by some enemies remain indelible and evergreen, yet, the Master’s mandate is that you love unconditionally. The target is; “that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.” In clearer terms, anything short of love and loving spells dissociation from that divine tie we so much cherish. Is not that a matter? Do you have a scar from your enemy that makes it humanly impossible for you to love him? Let God help you.

Emphasis:

Failure to meet up with the objective of being God’s children could eventually lead to eternal separation from God, ask for grace.

Prayer:

Father in heaven, help me to do the seemingly humanly impossible, by loving my past, present and future enemies, in Jesus’ name.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Psalm 92-95
1stJuly

Topic: BE MERCIFUL

Text: Luke 6:32-36

“Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” – V. 36.

By all standards, God wants us to outshine the unbelievers in doing good. That explains why His standards are apparently on the high side. We are expected to beat the sinners hands down in virtues. Who says Christianity is without responsibilities? Salvation is truly free but discipleship is costly. Jesus requests that His disciples show the act of mercy at all times to both those who deserve it and those who do not. Even when we don’t deserve His mercy, He shows us. You term some people as not deserving your favor, mercy or assistance possibly because they had wronged you in the past. How do you feel if you have to consider being merciful to someone who is arrantly arrogant and insulting to you? Or someone who had spoken ill of you, seeking your downfall or plotting your death? Some people have possibly taken your act of mercy for granted and abused the privilege. Whatever it is with you, the injunction of Jesus is that you close your eyes to attitudes, positive or negative and be merciful to all that come your way.God does not demand what we do not have but that which is within our capacity. Likewise, you do not give to only those you can get back from, be devoid of sentiments. Against whom have you shut your bowels of mercy? Your reason is insignificant.

Emphasis:

Show mercy to all that need it from you, no matter their dispositions towards you.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, help me show mercy unto people you want me to, as you have done to me

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Psalm 96-100
2nd July

Topic: DO NOT JUDGE

Text: Matthew 7:1-5

“JUDGE NOT, that ye be not judged.” – V. 1.

We judge everyday consciously or unconsciously. Judging simply means reaching conclusion based on your perspectives of a situation or other peoples’ actions. For instance, ‘Oh, Jane cooks well,’ ‘mum is too strict,’ ‘the exam questions are so simple,’ ‘our leaders are not doing it well,’ These are all statements based on each speaker’s perspective, which is tantamount to judging. It is an expression of one’s feelings and perception which is very natural. However, all Jesus is saying is that you do not do what you condemn others for or live a ‘holier than thou’ lifestyle. That is hypocrisy. Don’t practice what you criticize. According to verse 1, is not pointing accusive finger to others an escape route from being judged? Or does it mean we should desist from pronouncing wrongs as wrong? Not at all, the challenge is that we live pure and holy life. So that our lives will indirectly condemn and correct the life of sin in others. The injunction in verse 5 is a pointer to the necessity of yielding our total being to Jesus for cleansing through His blood. That is when we become free, not free to criticize others, but fit to live with them eternally. Are you quick to castigate people for what you do too? Be wary of being judged by the Judge of all.

Emphasis:

Live pure and holy life that naturally condemns the life of sin in others.

Prayer:

Father in Jesus name, forgive me my sins of judging others, help me live pure that my life becomes naturally corrective for the world around me

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Psalm 101-104
3rd July

Topic: ON JUDGING OTHERS

Text: – Luke 6:37-42

“Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.” – V. 37.

If you are not better than someone in something, you have no right to fault him on that same thing. This does not mean even if you are better off you have all the prerogative to judge or apportion blames. The crux of this teaching by the Lord Jesus is calling our attention to what a larger percentage of us children of God are tremendously guilty of. As much as it is important to be our brother’s keeper, giving heed to our personal spiritual wellbeing should be our topmost priority. Walk your talk and that will draw straying believers back to the Lord. Each time you outrightly criticize or castigate, you assume the position of God. We judge most times to give people the impression that we are better off, but God sees differently. Why don’t we, leave the assessment to God the greatest Judge and save ourselves the troubles of unconsciously entering into troubles of being judged? Lots of times we pass judgment out of lack of absolute understanding of the situation in question but based on the little information on hand We need to exercise care and allow love to prevail as we correct in love.

Emphasis:

: Jesus detests the habit of judging others, but since it is what we do even unpremeditatedly, we need to ask God for help.

Prayer:

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver us and Your church at large from the sin of judging others. It is beyond us, help us in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Psalm 105-107