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 - 28th November 2021


22nd Nov.

Topic: WE HAVE RECEIVED GRACE THROUGH CHRIST

Text: Ephesians 1:3-12

“In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace.” - V.7.

When religious people think about God’s Salvation, what usually comes to their mind is what they can do for God. But Salvation is not primarily about what we can do for God but, first, what He has done for us through His Son, Jesus. Our focal text today shows that forgiveness, redemption, adoption and all spiritual blessings in heavenly places are the benefits of grace. Grace may be defined as God’s riches at Christ’s expense. It is then important for everyone that will appreciate and appropriate this grace to receive it. Romans 5:17 says “They which receive the abundance of grace shall reign.” “The emphasis here is neither on grace nor on abundance, but on “receive.” And the whole grace of God may fill your life today. But if you have not learned to take it in, it will do you no good. Have you received the grace through faith in the Lord Jesus? Do not ignore nor abuse it. Holiness and perfection are the ends aimed at in God’s electing love and grace that we may be to the praise of His glory (vs. 4,12)

Emphasis:

Grace exposes the believerto the riches of God’s treasure for success in life and ministry.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, let the grace that saved me preserve me to live a life that glorifies You.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Romans 14-16
23rd Nov.

Topic: ONE IN CHRIST

Text:Ephesians 4:1-6

“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.” – V. 4.

The cause of divisions in the Church of Christ, whatever way it may appear, is lack of proper understanding of the picture the Bible captures of the church. The Church is a body (v. 4). The physical body is not all of eyes, arms, or legs. Each of these is a member of the whole body. Paul expatiates on this in I Corinthians 12:12-21. Verse 14 states, “For the body is not one member, but many.” With this description, we must humbly agree that we are interdependent, and so we need one another. The second picture reflects the church as a family. Verse 6 of today’s text says “One God and Father of all…” All true believers have the same origin, each person who is a partaker of the life of God, has sprung from the same Divine Father. This is a family where we are to relate as brothers and sisters. If the same Holy Spirit that gives me new birth gives my fellow Christian a new birth, then we ought to endeavour to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond peace. And we must all agree that the Spirit that causes division in the body of Christ is not of God. Satan main aim is to distort our perception of heaven and the hope of our calling. So, with all lowliness and meekness, let us learn to forbear one another in love that we may be a church of Christ’s dream.

Emphasis:

See other fellow Christians as members of your family and so relate with them in Christ’s love

Prayer:

Let the Spirit of unity that worked in the first church reign in our midst today again, in Jesus’ name

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

I Corinthians 1-3
24th Nov.

Topic: GROWING TOGETHER IN CHRIST

Text: Ephesians 4:11-16

“But Speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” – V. 15

The joy of a kind-hearted parent is to watch his children grow up together in love and care for one another. Though for this to happen, the father also must have put in place everything needed to create an enabling environment, for peaceful and fruitful co-existence in that home. Likewise in the church as God’s family, the Lord has given to His people grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. The purpose of the gifts is stated in verse 12. First, for the perfecting of the saints; secondly, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ. If the Lord has so provided for the growth and well-being of His body, each of us should discover his/her area of usefulness, according to the grace of God, and play his role so that all of us will become mature, attaining to the measure of the fullness of Christ (v. 13). To this end, we should, therefore, rememberthat Christ is the standard of excellence. And perfection of character can only be achieved in conformity to Him. His character is the measure. As we grow together our goal should be to be like Him.

Emphasis:

True progressive growth of the soul, is God’s will for all of us, and it occurs as we daily conform to Christ, in our Christian life.

Prayer:

Help me Lord, to remove everything that retards my spiritual growth that I may not hinder the larger growth of Your Church.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

I Corinthians 4-6
25th Nov.

Topic: ALIVE TOGETHER WITH CHRIST

Text: Ephesians 2:4-10

“Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved.” – V. 5.

We were all dead in sin in our natural life. But in Christ Jesus there is life (John 1:4). So, whenever an unregenerate human being acknowledges his position and invites Jesus into his/her life by faith, the life of God will flow into such a life. What a great transformation occurs when Jesus enter a life! It is sad to note today, that there are many walking corpses; spiritually dead! They may be doctors in the hospitals or patients on the sick bed; they may be famous artists or directors of companies, but still spiritually dead. Do you see a spiritually dead man, when you pinch his conscience, he does not feel it. Pierce him with the sword of the spirit’ he does not feel it at all; he has no moral sensibility. He is “spiritually dead because he is not alive to Divine influences.” But through encounter with Christ by faith, God’s quickening power that operated on the body of Jesus Christ operates on the soul of every believer. You also can begin to experience this life’s transforming power today. Let Jesus take over your life

Emphasis:

Every sinner is dead because of sin, but can be brought back to real life only in Christ because Jesus is the source of everlasting life.

Prayer:

Almighty God, Let the life of Christ be operational in me that my life may reflect the resurrection power, in Jesus name.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

I Corinthians 7-9
26thNov.

Topic: ONCE APART, NOW TOGETHER

Text: Ephesians 2:11-16

“And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.” – V. 16.

A lot of things cause different classes and divisions among men, such as tribe, colour, language, gender and status. Today’s lesson teaches us that this should not be so in the church of God. Although the Ephesian church is a mixture of Jews and Gentiles, Paul wrote specifically to the Gentiles that became Christians that in the time past, they were truly alienated from God. They were strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (verse 12). But now things have changed! They were no more worshiping idols, they are Christians. It is the blood of Christ that has bridged the gap. Therefore, it does not matter the nation or tribe a particular person comes from. Since we share the same faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the same blood bought us all. So we have become fellow-heirs (Ephesians 3:6). A believing Hausa, Igbo or Yoruba – born anew in the same way - are all children of God. And God’s Children are brothers and sisters. There is no room for scorn, and no room for enmity. Remember that what separates both Jews and Gentiles from God is sin. But because of the cross, they both, are reconciled with God. They are the family of God. This is an important message of the New Testament. What a blessed fellowship we would have if we thus relate with ourselves in this light.

Emphasis:

The grace of God through Christ has brought all believers into one family. Language, gender, tribe or social status should not separate us before Him.

Prayer:

Father God, give us the understanding of our oneness in Your dear Son, that we may enjoy abundant life readily provided in Christian Unity. Amen.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

I Corinthians 10-11
27th Nov.

Topic: NO LONGER STRANGERS AND ALIENS

Text: Ephesians 2:17-22

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;” – V. 19.

Have you been a stranger or an alien in a place before? Certainly you might have experienced some restrictions and been denied of access to some privileges. Nearness to God, the Father, is the highest and sweetest privilege any human race can possibly enjoy. From previous verses, Paul wrote to the believers in Christ at Ephesus that they should no longer think, act or behave as strangers in the household of God. They can now enjoy the privileges of access to the Father through the mediation of Christ, and by the agency and grace of the Holy Spirit. How much we need this same understanding today as believers in Christ! Perhaps because of ignorance, some people fall victim of people who present themselves as prayer contractors or intermediaries between men and God. Age, tribe or gender does not make you a lesser child of God or citizens of Heaven. Here, then, are we taught that the mediation of Christ is the only means of approach to and acceptance with God. If you are His Child, do not live in ignorance any longer. Be free in the body to exercise and enjoy your full privileges. “Therefore … come boldly unto the throne of grace and obtain mercy … in times of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

Emphasis:

Your status changes when you come to God through Jesus Christ. And you are free to access the throne of grace.

Prayer:

Open my eyes o Lord, to deeply understand my position and the benefits in store for me, that I may fully live a life that honours You.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

I Corinthians 12-14
28th Nov.

Topic: ROOTED AND GROUNDED IN LOVE

Text: – Ephesians 3:14-19

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

The tree that will survive the storm must be firmly rooted and grounded in the soil. So also, standing firm in faith is not determined by the number of years that a person has been in a church. There is need for every child of God to be rooted and grounded inthe love of Christ, as well as in the word of God. In the time when many people are running after money, power, pleasures and positions, Satan is also luring people into lusts and immoralities. This is the time we should prayerfully let our hearts be strengthened by God’s Spirit (v.16). Jesus should be allowed to take His rightful position in our heart as we enthrone Him as King and Lord, by faith. It is when we re-order our lives’ priorities, by setting the love of Christ above all else, that we can survive the tests of the end-time storms. Each of us should be our “brother’s and sister’s keeper” at this time, especially as a spiritual leader. Like Apostle Paul, a good Spiritual father should always be found in the attitude of prayer, deliberately done for his children in the Lord. Pray for their spiritual well-being, that they grow and possess their riches in Christ. Let us grow in love (v.17), because the more we love, the more we live.

Emphasis:

Christian life will grow and flourish in atmosphere of love.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, Help me to be rooted and grounded in love, because he that dwells in love truly dwells in You.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:

I Corinthians 15-16