Friday, September 17, 2010

Strengthen What Remains

Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God.

[Revelation 3:2, NIV]

If you are one who has been faced with so many disappointments in life, you will know that it gets to a point when you want to give up trying. There’s a point when extra effort becomes too tiring, and may eventually turn into another disappointment. A point when hope becomes too difficult. It is at this point the devil magnifies the situation and tells you it will never change, he tells you it’s over. This same old broken record is what the devil is playing to the person sitting next to you. It’s the same old broken record that is played to every member of your family, church and all your friends. It’s the same old broken record of hopelessness he’s playing to me too. His objective is to make us give up, stop trying and lose out. He played this same old broken record to Joseph when he was in prison for thirteen years even though he did no offense.

The Lord allows his children to go through trying times to train us and prepare us for the work ahead of us, but the devil will never tell you this. God is encouraging us today to wake up and strengthen our gifts which remain and are about to die. Romans 12:12 encourages us to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer, and by so doing, that good in us which is about to die shall be strengthened till this phase is over. Rejoice in the hope that this challenging phase of life too will pass. God promises to give us double for our trouble when all this is over in Zechariah 9:12 if we return to hope. Return to the stronghold, You prisoners of hope. Even today I declare That I will restore double to you.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I’m thankful for your word today. My heart is lifted in hope knowing that you have reserved victory for me. I ask for your grace to be sufficient for me in these trying times, that I will not give up. Help me to be strong and to strengthen the good things in my life which remain. When all this is over, let me not lose your virtues in me, I pray in Jesus name.

One-Year Daily Bible Reading Plan - Sept. 17 2010 - Daniel 10-12 (OT), Philemon 1 (NT)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

From Complaining To Reporting

“ Present your case,” says the LORD. “ Bring forth your strong reasons,” says the King of Jacob.

[Isaiah 41:21, NKJV]

Throughout the ministry of Jesus we observe people run up to Him to report their case to Him when they are in some difficulty. When the wine finished at the wedding feast in Cana, they immediately reported the problem to Jesus. In Mathew 8:1-3, a man was afflicted with leprosy and all the while he kept quiet, he remained a victim of the disease. When it became unbearable, he ran to the Lord and reported it and he was healed instantly. Similarly a prophet’s widow and her two sons suffered so much under the hands of their creditor who took the boys as slaves. When the woman found it unbearable and reported her case to God, her poverty was reversed to abundance (2 Kings 4:1-7). Likewise, God wants His children to report to Him unpleasant situations in their lives.

‘Present your case’, says the Lord. ‘Bring forth your strong reasons’, says the King of Jacob. Often times we prefer instead to discuss our problems with fellow humans, we sometimes complain and nag about our challenges. We find it easier to do. It may seem easier to tell it to the Pastor, but the Pastor is not in a position to deliver us from life’s problems, he too has his problems to deal with. God expects us to report situations to Him, instead of complaining about them in unfruitful circles. He says we should present our cases with strong reason’s from His word as basis for our desired change. God is the only one who will hear us and help us without mocking us after wards. Best of all is that when we report our case to God, He keeps our secret, but gives us miraculous answers in open.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I look up to you to relieve me of this challenging situation before me (pray specifically for any challenge you face or someone else faces). Truly, no one can understand my plight better than you, no one can help me as you can. Father please save me according to your word, and let me have peace I pray in Jesus name.

One-Year Daily Bible Reading Plan - Sept. 16 2010 - Daniel 7-9 (OT), Titus 3 (NT)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Uncommon Invitation

I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance
[Luke 5:32, NIV]

It is very natural to see people who have attained a level of righteousness identify with Christ. These are the people who want to do what He does, and go where He sends. These are the people who want to defend Christ to the letter, and keep Him in their company all day long. By this, the privileges in Christ are guarded as exclusive rights of those who have proved themselves worthy of Him, in doing good and living right.

In Christ's walk on Earth, He did not despise the crowd of good people who flocked around him, but he particularly looked out for those who were not counted worthy of His company. He delighted in befriending those who had been demon-possessed, lepers, fishermen, and even despised tax collectors. Jesus showed that no one was too poor, too sinful or too insignificant to be His friend.

Do you sometimes feel unworthy of God's love and attention? Do you feel you've wronged Him too much to call Him friend? Do you feel there are others whose lives are more befitting of Christ than yours? The good news is that Jesus prefers you over all else, to be your best friend. Accept Him today and enjoy the compassion He gives.

Prayer: Thank you so much Lord Jesus for welcoming me into your fold and calling me friend. I love to be your friend and enjoy your companionship in my life. Please hold me in your embrace and help me to walk with you one step at a time. Help me to be like You, Lord Jesus I pray, Amen.

One-Year Daily Bible Reading Plan - Sept. 14 2010 - Daniel 4-6 (OT), Titus 2 (NT).

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Lifestyle Of Thanksgiving

Praise the LORD.
Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
His love endures forever.

It is easy to give God thanks when you have just received a wonderful blessing, an unexpected surprise or an answered prayer.  But there are times when you don’t feel like lifting up your hands to thank and praise God. Perhaps you feel alone, discouraged or anxious. Maybe you are still waiting for physical manifestations of answers to your prayers. Yet, you make a conscious decision to lift your hands and praise God. You open your mouth and begin to praise Him even though you really don’t feel like doing it.

In the midst of any situation you are going through, you can find reason to thank God. You can praise God for who He is because He is the God that never changes. You can praise Him that He is your righteousness in spite of all the mistakes you have made. You thank Him because He is faithful and will definitely come through for you. He is the only one that deserves all your praise and worship.

Your Loving Father sees and appreciates times when you offer your sacrifice of praise. It gives Him joy when you offer freely your thanksgiving despite how you feel. Your praise and thanksgiving during such times is highly prized by Him. It goes to Him as a sweet smelling savour. 
When you choose to thank Him for His unfailing love, and His faithfulness to deliver, protect and provide for you even when you don’t see the blessings yet, before long, you will find yourself experiencing and enjoying the blessings. Today and always, make a conscious effort to find reason to praise God. Lift your hands and praise the Lord, for He is good, and His mercy endures forever!

Prayer: My Loving Father, indeed You deserve my praise. You are faithful, You are merciful, You are gracious and You are Love. Whenever I give You praise and thankgiving, You inhabit my praise. I choose to thank You Lord today, for things You have done, and for things You are yet to do. May my lifestyle be one of continuous praise and worship to You. May I always find reason to thank You no matter what I go through. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Convenient Christianity

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it

[Matthew 16:25, NIV]

So many things to do today, so little time to do them. That’s what our world has turned into. Shorter and shorter processing times are invented to make life more convenient. Micro-waved foods, drive-thru take away, condensed episodes of our favorite TV programs, super condensed church services.

With this jet pace, some have tried to make the Christian life more convenient, choosing to practice Christianity on Sunday only. They attend a religious service at whatever church makes them most comfortable, which doesn’t grate on their lifestyles, they give an offering and are nice to fellow church goers – nothing that requires much effort on their part. This way they can have the rest of the week to themselves, to live as they please.

That would be a convenient Christianity, but we know that following Jesus is not a walk of convenience. It is a life-style and not a Sunday-only convenience. Being a disciple calls for giving up our lives for Him. It’s about living as Jesus calls us to live, daily giving up our plans and purposes for His. A relationship with Him causes us to be conscious of our thoughts, decisions, attitudes, and actions. This is to make our lives wholesome and to please God. Whoever loses his life for Christ’s sake will find it.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I ask forgiveness for my attitude to Christianity, only doing that which is convenient for me. Thank you for your word that reminds me of the constant lifestyle of living in Christ requiring me to consistently walk in obedience. Give me the strength Holy Spirit to live in your obedience and not my convenience, I pray in Jesus name.

One-Year Daily Bible Reading Plan - Sept 12 2010 - Ezekiel 47-48 (OT), 2 Timothy 4 (NT).