MY YEAR OF ALL ROUND PROTECTION

Psalm 91: 1 & 7

Pastor Julius Oladiran OgunkolaThe very spirit of this age is one of tension, and with the crises in world affairs constantly intensifying, we are reminded that Jesus said, “Men’s hearts will fail them from (for) fear, and expectations of those things which are coming on the earth – Luke 21:26. There is no doubt, we are living in the closing days of time and the cost of uncertainty, fear, worry, and anxiety is rising. We are in the days when many people are confused, oppressed, depressed, and anxious. There is the fear of war; travel; natural disasters and general insecurity, so that (and) people don’t know whom to trust. All these contribute to high rate of domestic accidents, work hazards, psychosomatic illnesses, divorce, suicide, juvenile delinquency, cultism and other social vices. The one thing people greatly fear is physical harm that may eventually lead to disability or death. And, in the face of social ills such as armed-robbery, banditry, high-jacking, human-trafficking, kidnapping, abduction, ritual killing and ransom-taking, Christians can rest in God’s Word, even in the face of all sorts of threats, against their wellbeing. Christians have God’s Word for protection, and they have immeasurable joy of claiming God’s promises for protection, knowing that safety is of the Lord. This year, as Christians, you should always cover yourself with the blood of Jesus and wrap yourself up with Psalm 91, with particular emphasis on verses 1 and 7. You are to daily affirm as follows – ....Click here for more

Daily Devotional

For the Week: 19th - 25 th October 2020


19th Oct.

Topic: TRUST GOD, SEND OUT ROOTS

Text: Jeremiah 17:5–10

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord And whose trust is the Lord.” V.7.

A man returned home one Sunday, and his wife asked, “What did the preacher preach about?” “Sin,” the man replied concisely. “What did he say about it?” She further inquired, and the man replied, “He was against it.”Jeremiah was against the sins of his people, one of which is indicated in our reference passage today. That particular sin is lack of trust in God. The leaders of Judah were prone to trusting their political allies and leaning on the arm of flesh, instead of depending on the power of God. To emphasize the difference, Jeremiah contrasted a desert bush with a fruitful tree by the water (Psalm 1:3,4). Unbelief turns life into a parched wasteland. But faith makes it a fruitful orchard. People who trust in themselves instead of God will endure a “living death” and look like a lonely shrub in the desert (vs.5,6). But those who trust in God will be like trees, with their roots in streams, fresh and secure in times of drought and constantly fruitful (vs.7,8). The heart of every problem is the problem in the heart, and the human heart is deceitful and incurable. The status of human heart is exposed and transformed when we read God’s Word and allow His Spirit to teach us. This is the only way to grow our faith in God and train our heart to trust in God.

Emphasis:

Those who fully trust in the Lord will not fear or be anxious in any of life’s circumstances, because their roots go deep down into God.

Prayer:

Father, help me to completely put my trust in You so that my life can continually remain fresh.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Mark 13-16
20th Oct.

Topic: THE RIGHTEOUS GROW, PRODUCE FRUIT

Text: Psalm 92:5–15

“The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.” V. 12.

The righteous is one who has sincerely repented of his or her sins and has accepted the Lord Jesus as his/her Lord and Saviour. As a result of the imputed righteousness, he now has a right standing with God. The word of God says the righteous will flourish like a palm tree. That casts a picture of prosperity. The palm tree does not simply grow in the desert, it flourishes becauseits roots go deep below the burning sands and find water deep below the surface. When Christians go deep in and with God,though they weather the storm of life, they still flourish and produce fruits. Real honey is below the rock. Stop a life of compromising with the world. Many Christians are neither flourishing nor fruitful today because they are seeking nourishment on the surface. Shallow Christians look up to the world for refreshment and come away thirsty. The world will never give enduring nourishment. The fashion, literature, and entertainment of the world are shallow and unfruitful. Child of God, send your taproot deep in the Word of God. Like a cedar, be one of those who go downward and draws nourishment from Christ in order to produce fruits. One of the characteristics of the righteous is fruitfulness.

Emphasis:

Christians must go deep with God in order to flourish and be fruitful.

Prayer:

Pray that God will help you to live a righteous life so that you can flourish and bear fruits.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Luke 1
21st Oct.

Topic: BE ROOTED AND GROUNDED IN CHRIST

Text: Ephesians 3:14–21

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love…” V. 17.

After we have been accepted into the community of faith, believers must live consistently in God’s will. Apostle Paul, realising that the pathway in the journey of faith is full of opposing forces, therefore prays for the young Ephesian Christians.We must all be strengthened in, and experience His prevailing power. Paul prays for them (1) to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man (v.16); that will let their feelings, thoughts and purposes be placed more under His influence and direction; (2) that Christ may dwell in their hearts through faith (v.17); (3) that they be rooted and grounded in love (v.17); (4) be able to comprehend the all-encompassing love of God (v.19); and (5) be filled with all the fullness of God (v.19). This prayer is instructive and for all of us. Unless we are rooted and grounded in Christ,the end-time storms of life is potent to cause us to lose focus. Consistently pray for yourself and others too.

Emphasis:

What brings lasting peace and hope and joy and contentment is being rooted and grounded in Christ.

Prayer:

Lord, help us put our roots down in the love of Christ..

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Luke 2-4
22nd Oct.

Topic: LIVE IN THE SPIRIT

Text: Romans 8:9–17

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” V. 13.

What principle should one follow to live the Christian life? If a group of average church members were asked that question, what answers would they give? Some would likely emphasis Bible reading and prayer. Some would stress faithful church attendance. Others might say, "Imitate Christ." Good answers, but is there a principle that over-arches these? From the passage, Paul’s over-arching guiding principle is, Live by the Spirit. Many professing Christians are quite ignorant of the Holy Spirit’s ministry and they fail to recognize and experience His work. They tend to emphasize rules rather than the life of divine grace, the life of the Spirit. Preachers often hammer on morality but teach little about the workings of the Spirit and His power to help. To substitute moralizing for the biblical teaching of the Holy Spirit led life is tragic. The real secret of success or victory in living the Christian life is to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance and receive His empowering. This leads to an inner and outer transformation of life that a code of ethics cannot even touch. This was Paul’s understanding and deep conviction; to live in victory is to walk by the Spirit. It is each believer’s responsibility to live a Spirit controlled life.

Emphasis:

The secret to victory in living the Christian life is walking continuously by the Spirit.

Prayer:

Lord, help me to live each day controlled and guided by the Holy Spirit.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Luke 5-7
23rdOct.

Topic: SUPPORT YOUR FAITH WITH GOODNESS

Text: II Peter 1:1–7

“For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge,” V. 5

When we come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, God provides us with the fundamental godly resources that will make our growth in grace and knowledge of Him possible (v. 3). These are God’s gifts that underlie and encourage the growth that He expects. God, by His love, has made all things available unto us so that we can partake of His divine nature (v.4). Absolutely nothing else can offer us more resources and help than what Jesus Himself provided in biblical revelation. Having begun by faith, the believer must diligently pursue moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and selfless love, resulting in a mature faith and true knowledge of the Lord Jesus. Verse 5 reveals the responsibilities required on our part to develop these virtues. They don’t easily come by but through diligence (v.5): this is a deliberate, conscious and consistent effort. You can thereby fulfill God’s purpose for your life.

Emphasis:

Believers must be actively involved in their Christian growth.

Prayer:

Help me Lord, to be a partaker of Your divine nature, by my consistent growth in Your knowledge and grace.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Luke 8-10
24th Oct.

Topic: EAGERLY CONFIRM YOUR CALL

Text: II Peter 1:8–15

“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” V.10.

In our devotion exhortation yesterday, we saw that the dangers of neglecting to grow in the Christian life are real and sobering. Also on the other hand, we would note that the positive aspects of Christian growth have magnificent eternal consequences. And this require our responsive conscious efforts. In the above text under consideration today, we are further called to make our calling and election sure (v.10). Paul says, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). It is true that God’s grace is at work in His children, to produce in us, both the desire and power to do His will. It is God who saves us, but He does not do it against our will. God’s work in us is not one of compulsion or irresistible grace. The work of grace within us is always dependent on our faithfulness and cooperation. So we are urged to add to our faith all the virtues mentioned in verses 5-7. Peter says, “… if ye do these things, ye shall never fall” (v.10). By this we will make our ultimate salvation sure.

Emphasis:

We must consciously maintain the balance between God’s divine work in our lives and our human responsibility to live godly lives.

Prayer:

Help me Lord to continually draw on Your power to do all I can to become a mature follower of Jesus Christ.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Luke 11-13
25th Oct.

Topic: BE ATTENTIVE TO PROPHETIC MESSAGE

Text: II Peter 1:16–21

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” V. 19

Profound testimony of biblical revelation is a sure anchor to hold on to, in our Christian experiences. Our basic criteria for discerning God’s will must be grounded, therefore, on God’s truth as revealed by the Holy Spirit and recorded in Scripture. This is Paul’s declaration in today’s Bible passage. There are many voicestoday that are contending with, and contesting the authentic divine revelations.We must be careful to discern the source of each voice. To substantiate his own message of truth, Peter refers to his experience on the Mount of Transfiguration.He along with James and John, saw Christ glorified and heard God spoke directly to them. This further shaped their lives. There are many success-oriented books written today, even for Christians. It is important to focus first and foremost on resources that are based on Scriptures. What we often read or listen to, do have significant impacts on our lives. Scripture in its entirety is true and reliable in all its teachings.

Emphasis:

Every prophetic message must be checked against biblical standard.

Prayer:

Lord God, in the midst of conflicting voices around me, help me to step up my fellowship with You that I may continually discern Your voice and stay safe.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Luke 14-16