MY YEAR OF BOUNTIFUL SOWING AND BOUNTIFUL REAPING

II Corinthians 9:6

Pastor Julius Oladiran OgunkolaThese days, seed sowing and tithing have become subjects of controversies in the print and social media. Notwithstanding, the stand point of “Grace Bible Mission” is that church must teach the truth and must not shy away from kingdom’s principle for fear of having the intentions misrepresented. Pastors are not the author of the Bible and should not keep kingdom’s truth away from people; denying them the opportunity of being blessed. Though, one is aware that this particular teaching has been grossly abused in certain regards, be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that he also reaps – Galatians 6:7. However, Genesis 26 presupposes that sowing had become part of Isaac – drought or no drought. It was not the seed that he sowed in the past that rescued him, it was the one that he sowed during famine that did ....Click here for more

Daily Devotional

For the Week: 20 th - 26th May 2019


20th May

Topic: PAUL’S VISION ABOUT MACEDONIA

Text: Acts 16: 6–10

“And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; there stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.” V. 9/p>

Many of us may have found ourselves before closed doors. Many of us may have tried to move to one direction, pursuing something that is generally God’s will, only to find out that the door we are knocking is not open. Well, we are not the only ones. This has also happened to Apostle Paul. His purpose was to preach the Word of God. He had already done a great work in Asia - Acts 16:5. Great was the work that God had done through Paul in that region and he wanted to carry it on. However, in this effort he found the door closed - not by the devil, not by the people but by the Holy Spirit – Acts 16:6. Then, they tried to go to Bithynia - also in Minor Asia – but again the Spirit did not permit them. Yes, one can have purposes that are in alignment with the will of God in general and accordingly to knock some doors - yet these may not open. Because the Lord wants to direct these purposes to paths that reflect better His will. In the case of Paul, the doors God closed brought them finally to Troas, just opposite to Macedonia, the place where God wanted them to be. When they were in Troas, the Lord gave them His instructions: He didn’t want them in Asia any longer, but in Macedonia.

Emphasis:

A choice may not be between good and bad, but between good and better.

Prayer:

Lord, help us to find a way in your will as it pertains to the plans in our lives.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Esther 1-3
21st May

Topic: IN PHILIPPI: THE CONVERSION OF LYDIA

Text: Acts 16:11–15

“And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.” V. 14

In our text today, we see how God moved to convert Lydia. It wasn’t Paul or his preaching that initiate the change but it was God who caused her to pay attention to the Gospel. When we are led by God to speak to someone about Jesus Christ, we must realize that God is at work orchestrating the divine encounter. He will help you to speak what He desires you to speak. God is interested in full conversion. It is the condition of the heart that God is seeking to change. If God is going to save Lydia or anyone else for that matter then He first causes such heart to be affected by the message of the Gospel first, and next, the behaviour. So, the condition of our heart is foundational to our walk with Christ. The response that Lydia had made her to be obedient, and through Jesus’ command, she got baptized (Acts 16:15). Then her heart led her to open her home to the missionary team and she would not take “No,” for an answer. How has your encounter with non-Christians impacted on their lives?

Emphasis:

When God converts a heart it reflects on the outside.

Prayer:

Pray that God will open the heart of sinners to receive His word.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Esther 4 - 6
22nd May

Topic: PAUL AND SILAS IN PRISON

Text:Acts 16:16–24

“And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely.” V. 23

When Paul and Silas found themselves in this prison experience, they were hurting, humiliated and in need of some encouragement. After all, they had followed the Lord to Philippi and now they are sitting, chained in a cruel Roman prison. They have been serving the Lord faithfully. They followed Him even when His will did not make sense to them. Now they are in a prison because they did the right thing. They are in a prison because they have been lied about. They are in a prison, wounded, bleeding and chained. In their hour of need they had no man to whom they could turn for help. They turned to the only source of help available to them. They turned to God and lifted their hearts to Him in prayer. These men knew something that so many saints don’t know. They knew the best place to find the help of a Friend in a difficult situation. Hence they turned to the throne of grace. The saints have a Friend Who cares deeply about them. He has promised to hear their prayers – Jeremiah 33:3. He has promised to answer their prayers – 1 John 5:14-15. When you find yourself locked away in a prison experience, you can always find a friend Who cares and Who is available to help you. Learn to lean on Him in prayer and your prison will be transformed.

Emphasis:

Whatever comes our way in the work of mission, remember that God is always at hand.

Prayer:

In times of adversity may our actions be a testimony to our faith.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Esther 7-10
23rd May

Topic: SONGS AT MIDNIGHT

Text: Acts 16: 25 – 29

“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” V. 25

Charles Spurgeon said, “Any fool can sing in the day. It is easy to sing when we can read the notes by daylight; but the skilful singer is he who can sing when there is not a ray of light to read by.... Songs in the night come only from God; they are not in the power of men.” Paul and Silas are in a terrible predicament, even right in the middle of the will of God. When we find ourselves in one of the bitter prisons of life, and we turn to the Lord for the help we need to make it through that prison, God can turn our sighing into song. He can turn our trials into testimony. He can turn our pain into praise. He can take a time of profound heartache and transform it into a time of great help. May God help us to do as many of the great saints of God have done. May He help us to have a song in the midnight hour. May He help us to be like Job. May He help us to be like Paul. May He give us grace to praise Him when the pressure is on!

Emphasis:

As they prayed, their prison was transformed from a place of pain into a place of praise.

Prayer:

Father, help us to praise you in all situations.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Job 1- 2
24th May

Topic: THE MESSAGE OF SALVATION

Text: Acts 16:30–34

“And they said, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shall be saved, and thy house.” V. 31

Right there inside the prison Paul and Silas had the amazing privilege of explaining to the jail keeper how to be saved from his sin. The jailer was trapped by his own sin. Paul says that the people who don’t know about Jesus, or don’t believe in Jesus, are slaves to sin. The jail keeper and his entire family trusted Jesus, and they were set free from the chains of sin. Amazingly, God turned the entire situation around for good! Paul and Silas were blessed to be a part of God’s plan. The message of the gospel is simple. We accept and communicate the Gospel when we take God seriously. The gospel has the power to save souls, and we have the responsibility to teach it. The gospel can work effectively in all kinds of circumstances if we will have the kind of faith that Paul and Silas had. What are you doing with the Gospel of Jesus Christ? The faith of Paul and Silas was one of courage, love and passion for others which should be emulated by all Christians.

Emphasis:

It is always in darkness you know the strength of the Omnipotence.

Prayer:

Lord, let my trials of faith lead to the furtherance of the gospel.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Job 3-5
25th May

Topic: AN INVITATION TO ABUNDANT LIFE

Text: Isaiah 55:1–11

“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” V. 1

The invitation to abundant life just includes everyone. Dr. Jennings, a Hebrew scholar puts it this way, “the invitation is for all who are dissatisfied and deeply feel that they are missing a vital ingredient in their life.” God gives an invitation to come - He invites us to experience all that He wants us to experience, and He offers us life. Abundant life! You who have no money are still invited to receive. You who have no money have no excuse, because it is being offered to you. You who have money sit your pride aside and come. Christ will not disappoint us – He will meet our expectations. There is no cost, because the cost is already paid. It is free to you, but the cost paid was much more than any of us could pay. Accept the gift that satisfies. The prophet tells the rebellious people of Israel, and he tells each of us today, to not only come, but accept God’s offer of salvation, and a life that will satisfy and fill that void that is in our lives. Only Christ satisfies your thirst! God wants us to be satisfied! But that satisfaction is in Him, not only in our comforts and man-made pleasures. He says, that if you come thirsty for the things of God, that He, God, will satisfy that thirst by intervening in your life.

Emphasis:

For Your heart’s longing, turn to Him Who quenches thirst and satisfies hunger

Prayer:

Dear Lord, embrace me with Your love and satisfy the longing of my heart

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Job 6-8
26th May

Topic: PUBLIC EXONERATION

Text: Acts 16:35 – 40

“But Paul said unto them, they have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? Nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out.” V. 37.

We all have been wronged some time or the other. And even now, how well we still vividly remember it. We usually call this, holding a grudge. While it is wrong to hold a grudge, Paul uses everything for the furtherance of the Gospel. This includes the beating and imprisonment at Philippi. And the principle that applied in Paul’s life and ministry can likewise apply to our life and ministry. Paul had to insist that releasing them should be as public as the unjust act of imprisonment. Though it cannot make good the serious wrong done, it acknowledges the wrong. While Christianity will require meekness in the reception of injuries, there are occasions on which they may insist on their rights according to the law. The lesson we can learn from the step taken by Apostle Paul is that, as a Christian we should not demand our rights until others find out their mistakes, come to us for an apology and can benefit spiritually from our “misfortune.”

Emphasis:

When you are treated wrongly, trust the sovereign and all-powerful God to vindicate you.

Prayer:

God enable me, when I am wronged, to imitate these men of God in entrusting my soul to a faithful Creator!

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Job 9 -11