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: 30th March - 5th April 2020


30th Mar.

Topic: HOLDING TO HUMAN TRADITION

Text: MMark 7: 1– 8

“You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” V.8. (NIV).

Every congregation of believers becomes a group with its behaviour and beliefs that are different from others in the society. They have preferences about the way things should be. Some congregations prefer a certain style of music, and members begin to believe that the only type of music that can honour God is theirs. Most have certain expectations of what is appropriate dress – whether casual or formal. But what do we do when these traditions are violated? Can we see past our own comfort zone to allow a difference? Do we derive a sense of power from enforcing our traditions? There is a difference between the worship of God that is outward and the inward devotion to God (Isaiah 29:13), which is essential for true believers. There is need for us to be careful of the device of the devil getting believers focused on human traditions some of which have no sign of God’s approval. Believers assume they are serving God when in the actual sense serving themselves, assuming they are living holy life when they are really just ignoring sin. What kinds of man-made unwritten tradition have become “laws” in our church today? Any tradition that does not honour God must be discarded.

Emphasis:

For Jesus, spiritual purity is a deeper issue than whether the hands are cleansed or not and observance of other traditions.

Prayer:

May I not lose my focus for salvation and eternity while clinging to traditions

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

II Samuel 7-9
31st Mar.

Topic: WHAT COMES OUT DEFILES

Text: Mark 7:9–15

“There is nothing from without a man that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.” V.15.

The Pharisees in today’s exhortation comes under Jesus’ rebuke for their hypocrisy. They had accused Jesus’ disciples of violating the tradition of the elders by unwashed hands before eating (v.5). However, Jesus rebukes them for rejecting God’s commandments for keeping their own tradition (vs.). Jesus further enlightens His disciples on what really does defile. Defilement simply means spiritual contamination that stops believers’ further fellowship with Christ, because of sins which come from the heart. He says what comes from within us determines our purity or defilement, not external matters such as hands that are not ceremonially pure. The Pharisee’s problem is sometimes ours, as well. We so often judge people by external factors, whereas the condition of our heart plays a significant role. The heart is the wellspring of desires and decisions. King Solomon says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23). Then fill your heart with God’s word.

Emphasis:

What defiles is what proceeds from within us.

Prayer:

Purify me Lord; circumcise my heart in order to live a consecrated life for you in Jesus’ name.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

II Samuel 10-12
1st Apr.

Topic: EVIL THINGS COME FROM WITHIN

Text: Mark 7: 17–23

“All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” V.23

The writer in The Word for Today October 2017 said, “What enters your mind repeatedly occupies it, shapes it, controls it, and in the end expresses itself in what you do and who you become. Your mind will absorb and reflect whatever it’s exposed to.” Movies were watched in cinema halls when I was young. American films was my favorite. It so much influenced my life. Although I look gentle, I was devilish. I was always looking for ways of practicing what I watched. The events you attend, the relationships you build, the materials you read, the music you listen to, the media images you are exposed to, the conversations you engage in and the thoughts you entertain, all shape your mind and eventually your character and your destiny. Therefore, start each day by praying for the mind of Christ and the study of the word to get you rooted and grounded in your relationship with Him. This way, impure thoughts will be far away from you. May we not be shut out of the New Jerusalem into which no unclean thing shall enter.

Emphasis:

“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34b).

Prayer:

TLet the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, Oh Lord!

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

II Samuel 13-15
2nd Apr.

Topic: GOD KNOWS THE HEART

Text: Luke 16:10–15

“And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” V.15. (KJV).

Just like binoculars which bring far objects nearer, so are the eyes of the creator on all our activities and our thoughts as His creation. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Your thought toward your spouse, children, siblings and other relations are laid bare before Him. Is all you do in your place of work to impress your boss? He knows your heart. Is your stewardship done so that your Pastor and others can commend you? What runs through your mind on giving offering and tithing? I was told of a woman who accused her Pastor for not commending her for regularly paying her tithe. The Pastor was surprised, though he apologized that it didn’t cross his mind to do so. What was she tithing for and who was she trying to impress? God knows her heart. On the contrary, there are those whom men despise and condemn and are yet accepted and approved of God, (II Corinthians 10:18). Do you belong to this group?

Emphasis:

God knows when I sit down and when I rise up. He understands my thought from afar! (Psalm 139:2).

Prayer:

Give me grace to develop the consciousness that my life is laid bare before you and that your fear will daily guide me in Jesus’ Name.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

II Samuel 16-18
3rd Apr.

Topic: DO NOT FOLLOW HUMAN TRADITION

Text: Colossians 2: 6-10

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” V.8. (NIV).

Holding on to human traditions water down our spiritual purity and relationship with God. Following human tradition will further deteriorate it. Amplified Bible translation says “Human tradition is men’s idea of the material rather than the spiritual world”. When we do things the way of the world, we disregard Christ’s teachings and turn away from following after Him. Apostle Paul says,”…Why as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinance, (touch not, taste not, handle not, which all are to perish with the using) after the commandment and doctrines of men.” (Colossians 2:20–22). Religious practices based on human tradition can be very attractive but deceptive, leading to satanic captivity. Christianity is not a religion but there are some activities which are consistent with religion, says a writer. Christianity is about the man Jesus, His sacrificial life. It is the life of Christ in a human being. So, let’s avoid religious activities that render our devotion meaningless and ineffective.

Emphasis:

There is wisdom in keeping ourselves unspotted from the world and its deception.

Prayer:

Father, forgive my disregard for your teaching and from now I turn away from conforming to the world’s standard and ways of doing things.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

II Samuel 19-21
4th Apr.

Topic: CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART

Text: Psalm 51:10–12

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; And renew a right spirit within me.” V. 10

The heart is the core of your being. It is the centrality of your personality. “Reality is borne of and from the heart,” someone wrote. David realized this and that it was not in his power to amend an unclean heart, it is for God who creates. An unclean heart needs cleansing and recreation. What makes the heart unclean? Sin defiles, renders us offensive in the sight of the holy God. It unfits us for communion with Him and renders us uncomfortable to ourselves. We are created to serve God and enjoy fellowship with Him at all times. When we put ourselves in a position where that fellowship is broken and the joy of the Lord forsakes us, we have “missed the mark,” says a writer. When God pardons sin, he cleanses us from it, this makes us acceptable to Him, comfortable to ourselves and have liberty of access to Him. The only thing that is worse than making a mistake is concealing it and allowing pride to lock us into it. What results from this is a decay on our spiritual strength, hence the Psalmist further pleaded for renewal of a right spirit within him. Is this your plea?

Emphasis:

CWhen sins make us unacceptable before God, heart cleansing is needful.

Prayer:

A clean heart is what I pray for, my Lord and my God.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

II Samuel 22-24
5th Apr.

Topic: TAKE THE LOG FROM YOUR EYE

Text:Luke 6:37–42.

“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to take out of the speck that is in your brother’s eye.” V. 42b. (NASB).

I have corrected one or two of my children on some occasions in the kitchen but found myself doing the same thing I corrected them for. The Spirit of God rebuked me immediately each time it happened. Then it dawned on me the need to work on myself and be a good example for others to follow. Often times we find faults in what others do, we complain and even criticize. A Pastor was invited to address a group of men on infidelity. He ministered powerfully, everybody was touched. About a week later, a woman who had worked in the same office with the Pastor just passed the comment about how she was pressurized several times to have a relationship with him. She was surprised to hear such about the one we put in high spiritual esteem. When sermons are being preached and the words seem to touch us, where it pains and points to our weakness, do we put our thumb up and giggle? Or do we silently wish our spouse, brother A or sister B is paying attention? When God speaks to you, it is purposely to bring your life into conformity to Christ. It is for you at the moment not for any other. Let the word of God reveal the areas in your life that you need to work on.

Emphasis:

Stop seeing and criticizing others’ weaknesses, work on yourself.

Prayer:

Lord God, convict, convince and correct me where and when I am wrong in Jesus’ name. (Psalm 139:23).

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

I Kings 1-3