MY YEAR OF CLOSER WALK WITH GOD

Psalm 119: 1 & 2

Pastor Julius Oladiran OgunkolaIn “life’s walk” as in “games plan,” there is a notion of what is fair and what is foul. And, whether in an enterprise or in a sport, we are in competition in which we don’t like to lose. However, we all agree that integrity and honesty should control the atmosphere. Yet, not everyone keeps to the rule of fairness. We can foul on ourselves or on others and when there is violation of either, there is defilement. We honour God when we practice what is fair and true. A person who has integrity has the security of a quiet life unlike the one who perverts the ways. No doubt, most of us have experienced varying degrees of pain and suffering due to evil perpetrated by others. Let us consider Mark 7:14-23. Jesus essentially requests that we do things God’s way; things that honour God. We must not live to confirm Isaiah 29:13 – “People draw near with their lips while their hearts are far from me.” Walking is one thing, talking is another! How often do we foul in what we talk or say! We must be mindful of our utterances. Sometimes, we may not say it but we exercise it because it is already in our hearts. As we advance in age, we sometimes assume that we have freedom to exercise prerogatives and discretions. We are not to use our freedom as an opportunity of the flesh but through love and fear of God serve one another – Galatians 5:13. ....Click here for more

Daily Devotional

For the Week: 22nd - 28 th February 2021


22nd Feb.

Topic: THE LORD SETS THE PRISONERS FREE

Text: Psalm 146: 1-9

“…The Lord looseth the prisoners:” - V. 7.

There is nothing as good as freedom. Movements can be restricted as a result of many reasons, good or bad. The joy of liberty becomes greater when expectation of death is averted. The day a pregnant woman gives birth, she regains her freedom. Sick people who recovered; kidnapped people who escaped or being set free; people with terminal diseases, the blind, the lame and the likes, who receive miracles understand this, the more what freedom entails. The King among the group are those kept in prison custody as prisoners on death roll. Their freedom is always like a dream. Who gives freedom? Who can set you free from whatever imprisons you? It is only God. Man may promise and wish to do it, but death among others may prevent him (vs. 3, 4). Could be you are hungry, oppressed (v. 7), depressed or blind (v. 8), stranded (v. 9); an orphan or a widow (v.9) - be hopeful and trust in the Lord’s deliverance (v. 3). He will definitely set you free.

Emphasis:

When the Lord shall turn again your captivity, it will be like a dream – Psalm. 126:1. So, trust Him!

Prayer:

: Father, set me free from bondage and captivity, I plead.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Deuteronomy 7-9
23rd Feb.

Topic: A SONG OF PRAISE IS FITTING

Text: Psalm 147:1 - 5

“Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.” - V. 1.

Appreciation is a key that unlocks the treasure room of bounty. Our God is worthy of praise for many reasons. Here, in today’s passage, we are presented with some reasons for singing praises unto our God (v.1). (1) He builds up Jerusalem and gathers the outcasts of Israel. This reason is still relevant in the lives of the Israelites and Jerusalem. Remember, by faith in the God of Abraham, you are a member of that tribe in Spirit (v. 2). (2) God heals our heart whenever it is broken. Can you remember a case now? If your heart is broken, by God’s grace you will come to give testimony (v. 3). (3) He knows the numbers of your hairs and calls you by name (v. 4). Read Matthew 10:30; Isaiah 43:1; 45;3). (4) Our God is great. He is all powerful (v. 5). Consider the praises people give to our leaders in politics. Think about the praises we give to our spiritual leaders (of note). Is it not befitting to give God more praise? He is the one who equips all leaders. He has the power to bring down any of those leaders who misbehave. (5) He is Omniscient. His understanding is infinite (v.5). If when the signature of the Governor of a State or the President of a nation becomes a seal so that whatever is written by them is carried out, how much more, your God who created and ordain them?

Emphasis:

God inhabits the praise of His people.

Prayer:

We adore and magnify You, O God for what You are and what You do.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Deuteronomy 10-12
24th Feb.

Topic: SING TO GOD WITH THANKSGIVING

Text: Psalm 147: 6 -11

“Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving: sing praise upon the harp unto our God.” - V.7..

Do you ever wonder why praise takes a place of importance in man’s worship service? Praise is a prelude to prayer, as well as an exit from it. Therefore, praise is comely. Psalm 147, starts by charging us to Praise God. It tells us a lot of things to praise God for. Yesterday we enumerated some of them. It continues from verse 6 today. In verse 7, we are admonished to accompany our praise with (i) Song (ii) thanks giving and (iii) musical instrument(s). You may ponder, why? (i) God lifts up the meek (v.6). (ii) He casts down the wicked (v.7). (iii) He gives rain that waters our crops (v.8). (iv). He feeds the animals and feed us with them (v.9). Thanksgiving is an appreciation that touches the heart. Yes, you sing and speak about the goodness of God! Therefore, what do you bring to show your appreciation? A day of thanksgiving is a day of celebration. Too often, we take God’s goodness for granted without appreciating the grace of the gifting of essential common things of life. We only come to appreciating them and God the giver, when we are unable to enjoy them. This, no doubt, ought to make us cultivate the attitude of gratitude.

Emphasis:

Take time to appreciate God’s goodness with songs, musicals, dance and thanksgiving.

Prayer:

For all Your benefits that we cannot exhaust in listing, “Thank You. God..

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Deuteronomy 13-15
25th Feb.

Topic: PRAISE YOUR GOD, O ZION

Text: Psalm 147:12-20

“Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise Thy God, O Zion.” - V. 12.

When we worship, we should fulfill a major purpose for which God has called us – to proclaim His praises. The specific focus in this Psalm is thanksgiving for the way God had restored Jerusalem and re-gathered His chosen people. However, the larger focus is the way God chose the children of Israel and revealed His inscripted Word at Mount Sinai. God chose Israel in oder to introduce all of us to the living Word of God. Even, for us today, there are so many reasons for which we should praise God: (1) We are favoured (I Peter 2:9). (2) We have hope (Ephesians 1:12). (3) We are redeemed (Ephesians 1:14). These are wonderful positions, in the family of God that should lead us to the Lord with thanksgiving. This is a privileged position that has been graciously bestowed on us, in Christ Jesus. Through these we enjoy His peace, even in the midst of turbulent times (v.14a); and make available to us, good things of life (v.14b). In His good dealing with us, He gives us comfort of His Word. Whether as an individual or a nation, ruminate on these and let your heart be drawn unto God in praises.

Emphasis:

Survey God’s wondrous work, and let your heart be drawn unto God in praises.

Prayer:

Thank You God for Your provisions and mercy.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Deuteronomy 16-18
26thFeb.

Topic: GOD HAS BROUGHT VICTORY

Text: Psalm 98: 1-9

“… his right hand and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.” V. 1.

One of the things humans relish and celebrate in life is victory. Most often, and unfortunately, the object of our praise is misplaced. When David danced before the ark he pleaded that it was before the Lord; and the piety and devotion of the intention not only vindicated what he did but commended it. We must rejoice before the Lord whenever a spectacular thing like victory comes our way. Victory is one of those things that put songs into our mouth. However, we must let this new song be sung to the praise of God, in consideration of the followings: (1) The wonders He has wrought. (2) The conquest He has won. (3) The discoveries He has made to the world of the work of redemption. (4) The accomplishment of the prophecies and promises. The foregoing experiences are not limited to the Psalmist. God has always been demonstrating His awesome wonders in the lives of His children – recovery from seemingly terminal disease; miraculous child births; escape from accident; miraculous job offer; college admission, as well as financial breakthroughs and other dramatic, spiritual life-changing turn-around, which we ought to specifically dedicate to God.

Emphasis:

The object of our praise in all our victories must be God.

Prayer:

unto us, not unto us, but to Your name be glory O Lord.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Deuteronomy 19-21
27th Feb.

Topic: ESTHER SAVES THE JEWS

Text: Esther 1:8.

“Write ye also for the Jews as it liketh you, in the king’s name and seal it with the King’s ring … may no man reverse.” - V. 8.

Like Esther in the King’s palace, it is easy to forget about one’s heritage. It is very easy to find a reason to stay in the comfort zone. Many do! But many also echo the words of Esther: “How can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people? Or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?” So they worked hard to defend the interest of their root. God typically does not save His people apart from their faithful participation, yet He is constantly with them working out their deliverance. Here, Israel’s deliverance was the result of the combined activities of both God and faithful believers. Today’s passage reveals that you as a believer is an important link in God’s scheme of work among His people. There will always be the need to stand on what is considered right. All we need to do is to ask God to give us the faith we need to stand firm. When we are on the right way, God prosper our efforts.

Emphasis:

Be bold in taking the right course of action and watch God show up for you.

Prayer:

Almighty God, I welcome You to back me up in this decision I am about to take.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Deuteronomy 22-25
28th Feb.

Topic: THE JEWS CELEBRATE THEIR DELIVERANCE

Text: Esther 9:18-23

“To establish this among them that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same yearly, As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies…” – Vs.21-22.

Memories and memorials are vital parts of our personalities. In fact, we are largely defined by our memories. All of us have hundreds of memories, some painful, some pleasant, that have shaped us into the kind of people we are, and the kind of people we will be. God, knowing the human tendency to forget has left us some important “memorial markers.” At Christmas or any other occasions, people volunteer their time and resources to provide gifts. In the general scheme of things, the question is, “to whom do we generally give our gifts? Mordecai instructed the Jews in Persia to dedicate days of feasting so that they can help the poor. The Jews were to treat the poor among them as God had treated them – with grace. How do you handle the days of your celebration? Do you have a special day or a milestone with the joy of helping someone in need? Then Your celebration will honour both God and humanity. This is the way to celebrate God’s goodness

Emphasis:

When we help people in need in the name of Christ, we bring joy to them. We also give them cause to give thanks to God.

Prayer:

Lord, grant me the grace to celebrate the occasion of Your goodness with the poor in mind.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Deuteronomy 26-28