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: 11th - 17th October 2021


11th Oct.

Topic: GOD WILL RESTORE THE EXILES

Text: Jeremiah 29:10-14

“For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon, I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.” - V.10.

God’s determination to punish sin proceeds from His being just (Romans 6:23). He reveals His wrath against every form of wickedness, especially idolatry, unbelief an unjust treatment of other people. Israel and Judah’s repeated sins therefore led them to exile. However, God’s anger does not continue unabated because of His love and compassion for humans. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, and His mercies endure. That is a very profound truth, and it informs His determination to restore the exiles. God told them, “I will visit you and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return …” (v.10). Are you presently experiencing a difficult circumstance that is making you to lose your peace, joy, comfort, and favour? The people of God lost all of these while in exile. Today, God’s word is, His thoughts toward you are of peace and not of evil. His compassionate nature has not changed. He desires to restore your lost glory, peace and joy. But you need to earnestly call upon Him with a contrite and repentant heart (vs.12,13; Matthew 7:7-8).

Emphasis:

God always awaits a penitent soul to restore Him

Prayer:

Open my eyes O Lord, to see where I need to make a turn, for my restoration to come.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Matthew 14-16
12th Oct.

Topic: AFTER JUDGMENT WILL COME FREEDOM

Text: Jeremiah 30:2-9

“For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the Land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.” – V. 8.

No doubt, God judges sin, and in this, there is no respecter of persons. The people of God, Israel and Judah, sinned, and they were punished. Their Babylonian captivity experience was like passing through the refiner’s fire. That was God’s corrective measure to restore the nation into her lost initial relationship with God. In the text before us today, God promises to bring back the exiles into their own land (v.3). Evidently, there is no place like home. At home you can exercise all your rights, but not as a stranger in a foreign land. Sinners are away from home. How far are you away from home? Our God is a God of love. After he has rebuked us for our sins, He will pardon and forgive our trespasses. And we will experience the comfort of His peace. If you are feeling God’s hand of rebuke, see it as an act of God’s justice and love. What a freedom we enjoy when Jesus breaks the yoke of sin and bursts the bonds of Satan off our neck! “If the son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).

Emphasis:

When a sinner allow God’s corrective measure to take its course, he begins to enjoy unrestricted freedom.

Prayer:

Gracious Father, Your judgment of sin is not always convenient, nevertheless, grant me the grace to endure Your rebuke whenever I stray away from You.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Matthew 17-19
13th Oct.

Topic: RESTORATION WILL BRING ABUNDANCE AND HAPPINESS

Text: Jer. 30:18-22

“And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry; and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few…” - V. 19.

In one of our previous lessons, we learned that repentance leads to restoration. When God’s people understand the value of repentance and do it accordingly, this will lead them into deeper experience of God’s mercy and goodness in a platform of restoration. Undoubtedly, happiness and thanksgiving will follow. There will be peace, joy, comfort, increase, and quality fellowship with God. God promises His people that He will become an enemy to their enemies and they will punish all their oppressors (v. 20). This shows that God is interested in the peace and prosperity of His people. But God is asking a great question from His people in general, and you in particular “who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? “If we desire abundance and happiness in God, what should our response be? A life of abundance and happiness is therefore by choice. Will you now say “Lord, my heart is ready to approach unto thee”? Job 22:21 says “Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.” The restored are always filled with abundance happiness and thanksgiving

Emphasis:

Seek to be restored and you will enjoy the best of God.

Prayer:

O Lord, Prepare my heart to fully seek You that I may experience Your goodness.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Matthew 20-22
14th Oct.

Topic: GOD IS ALWAYS FAITHFUL

Text: Jeremiah 31:1-6

“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me saying, yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.” - V. 3.

God’s faithfulness is constant. Time and season does not change or diminish it. According to the key verse, God declares to His servant, “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love. Because love is God’s nature, He cannot stop loving. His unfailing love and faithfulness is the root of all restoration of joy, peace and unity He promises His people. In the book of Malachi 3:6, God says” I am the LORD, I change not.” This same God is our God. We can also experience His faithfulness if we believe His love towards us through Christ (I John 4:16) and trust Him to keep His words. He will rebuild all that have become desolate in our lives. He promises peace, victory and a way out in spite of those challenging situations confronting you. He is able to preserve us from evil of this world and save us to the end. If we trust Him and do not allowing our experiences with men cause our heart to doubt Him, then, His faithfulness will not just remain a text, but will become our testimony.

Emphasis:

Do not let your disappointment with men make you doubt God’s faithfulness, His love and faithfulness never fail.

Prayer:

Help me, Lord, to always rest on Your Word that I may experience Your faithfulness at all times.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Matthew 23-25
15thOct.

Topic: GOD WILL BRING SALVATION

Text: Isaiah 43:16-21

“Behold I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?” - V.19

A child withdraws after doing something terrible to offend his or her father because of guilt. This depicts the Israelites situation after their dismal behaviour toward God. However, as a loving father, God is seen in today’s text building up courage in them. He continues to stir up confidence and hope in His people. He reminded them of the memorable salvation He delivered them from the hands of Pharaoh (vs.16, 17), in spite of their failures and His subsequent discipline. More importantly, God did not want them to be tied down to their past failures (v.18). This is a pertinent lesson for us today. Yes, God hates and punishes sin, but He also forgives a penitent sinner, no matter the gravity of the sin. Guilt is a weapon in the hand of Satan to hinder God’s people from a new beginning. God is interested in your brighter future and not in the dirty past (v.18). He wants to do a new thing (v.19), but you may disallow Him if your heart is flooded with guilt and sorrow over past sins which have been forgiven. In Christ we become a new creation (II Corinthians 5:17). Paul says, “forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead (Philippians 3:13).

Emphasis:

Those who have been forgiven and cleansed by the blood of Jesus are to forget the past, and move on.

Prayer:

Redeemer God, I come into Your warm embrace like a prodigal, in Your love and faithfulness, do a new and marvelous thing in my life.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Matthew 5-7
16th Oct.

Topic: GOD RESTORES ALL WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE

Text: Jeremiah 31:23-30

“In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eating a sour grape, and the children teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for His own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.” – Vs. 29,30.

God’s promise of restoration for Judah continues in the text before us today, but with a modified stress on God’s fairness. As with Israel, Judah’s re-establishment would witness renewed productivity of its crops and flocks. God would plant and multiply the seed of man and animal in the land of Judah (vs. 27, 28). And Judah would be united through God’s grace and blessing. The proverb which seems to be based on Exodus 20:5 and Deuteronomy 5:9, teaching that children are affected by the sins of their parents, is put in the right perspective (vs.28, 29). Ezekiel makes it clear that all are accountable for their own sins and their own unwillingness to trust in Christ as Saviour and to live righteous lives (Ezekiel 18:2-4). In other words, each of us is responsible for his or her own action or inaction. The fact that God is gracious and compassionate shows that He will not punish anyone unless and until His longsuffering and love are rejected and despised. Therefore, it is required that we fear God and live responsibly. When we live responsibly before God, and affect lives in our sphere of influence positively, then we attract His restoration.

Emphasis:

A person who has a right relationship with the Lord and manifests that commitment to God by loving righteousness and justice will receive God’s favour

Prayer:

Pray today that our homes, cities and country become habitation of justice and mountain of holiness for God’s blessings to be upon us.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Mark 1-3
17th Oct.

Topic: GOD MAKES A NEW COVENANT

Text: – Jeremiah 31:31-34

“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.” – V. 31.

Repeated infidelity on the part of Israel broke the covenant that God made with them at Mount Sinai. This culminated in their Assyrian and Babylonian captivities. God then promised to make a new covenant to replace the old one. This time God’s laws (His words) would be written on the hearts of God’s people and not in stone. Today, according to God’s promise, the new covenant has been ultimately fulfilled in Christ Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit is given to lovingly follow it. However, this does not mean we remain passive in having the knowledge of His words. It also takes effort on our part to have His words written in our hearts. All believers in Christ Jesus are in a covenant relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. In this, God is our Father and we are His people (John 1:12). As we rely completely on the Holy Spirit and God’s Word, obedience to the Lord flows as His Spirit leads. It is a pleasant faith adventure. We don’t need to wait until someone tells us what to do, “For everyone, from the least, to the greatest, will know me already, says the LORD” (v. 34b).

Emphasis:

God’s law of the new covenant shall be written only on the willing heart that allows Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Saviour.

Prayer:

Thank You Heavenly Father for setting me free from the law of sin and death, by the law of life in Christ Jesus.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Mark 4-6