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Daily Devotional


(St. Matthew the Apostle)
1. So He got into a boat, crossed over, and came to His own city.
2. Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”
3. And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, “This Man blasphemes!”
4. But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?
5. For which is easier, to say, ‘ Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’?
6. But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” —then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”
7. And he arose and departed to his house.
8. Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men.
9. As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.
10. Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples.
11. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12. When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
13. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.
Matthew 9:1‭-‬13 NKJV
The friends of the paralytic man conveyed him to where Jesus was. Their faith was something never seen before. Nothing could serve as an obstacle or barrier to them. When they noticed that the entrance was blocked, they had to carry the man on a bed through the roof of the house where Jesus was. They brought him before Jesus who said to the man son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you, (v.2).
This implies that the origin of the mans sickness is sin. Will Jesus address you as son or daughter?
Anywhere Jesus went, He was still actively involved in the mission of why He came - to seek and to save the lost. Anywhere He went, He was doing good, (Acts 10:38). The assurance we have is that whether it is sickness or sin, demons or witches, challenges or deformities; Jesus is the solution to every problem. Faith in Jesus is the key. Jesus gave the clue in Luke 18:8b, nevertheless, when the son of man comes, will He really find faith on the earth? Never allow sin to be a barrier between you and God.
🙏PRAYER: Lord, please increase my faith to tackle all my problems including sin.

12. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
14. Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress.
15. Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only.
16. For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities.
17. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account.
18. Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.
19. And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
20. Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
21. Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you.
22. All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar’s household.
23. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Philippians 4:12‭-‬23 NKJV
Paul informed the Philippians that he had learnt in all things and in all situations to be content. This is a state of happiness and satisfaction (1Timothy 6:6). He stated that he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him. The Philippians made themselves sharers with Paul in his affliction, by contributing to his need over and over again (vs.15, 16). He appreciated the gifts given him by calling it the odour of a sweet smell drawn from their gifts which were not so much to Paul, as to God (Matthew 25:40). These gifts to God "came up for a memorial" (Acts 10:4), sweet-smelling in God's presence (Genesis 8:21; Revelation 8:3,4) and a sacrifice acceptable (Hebrews 13:16). Paul affirmed that God would reward their bounty to HIS servant, by "fully supplying" their every "need" (v.19; 2 Corinthians 9:8) according to His riches in glory.
Many people want blessings from God without fulfilling the conditions set by Him. Deuteronomy 28:1-2 says otherwise. Many lay claim to the promises in Philippians 4:19 without knowing it was a prayer prayed by a father showing gratitude for what his children had done for him. Paul was praying out of burden for them. How can you receive when you have not sown? Learn to sow into the lives of genuine men of God and the needy and God will supply all your needs. What have you given to expect a supply?
🙏PRAYER: Lord, make me a giver to the work of the kingdom so that I may enjoy the full benefits of giving.


1. Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.
2. I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.
3. And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.
4. Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
5. Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
6. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
7. and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
9. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
10. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity.
11. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:
Philippians 4:1‭-‬11 NKJV
Paul used the following words for the Philippian Church in v.1: beloved - repeated twice - implying that his great love to them should be a motive for their obedience; longed for --"yearned after" in your absence (Philippians1:8); crown - the disciples in the day of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 2:19). All these show how much he treasured the Philippian Church. So he encouraged them to stand fast in the Lord. Paul pleaded with Euodia and Syntyche who laboured with him in the Gospel, whose names are in the book of life but who seem to have been at variance with each other, to be of the same mind in the Lord. He enjoined the Church to help them. Is your name in the book of life?
Pauls joyful mood pervades this epistle in spite of his bonds (vs. 4, 10). The more we rejoice in Christ, the more willing we shall be to suffer for Him and the less danger we shall be in of being drawn away from him. The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). The Church is called upon to commit all their burdens to the Lord in prayer in order to enjoy Gods peace which passes all understanding. He urges the Church to have continual regard for things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of virtue and praise-worthy. Virtue, which is behaviour showing high moral standard, is inseparable from piety. Piety is love with its face towards God; morality is love with its face towards man. Lets not despise anything that is good.
🙏PRAYER: Oh Lord, make me a living example like Paul that others can emulate


WEDNESDAY 18, 2019
10. that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
11. if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
13. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
14. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
15. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.
16. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.
17. Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.
18. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction,
19. whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame— who set their mind on earthly things.
20. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
21. who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
Philippians 3:10‭-‬21 NKJV
In this text, Pauls earnestness of soul was not projected as if he had gained the prize, or was already made perfect in the Saviour's likeness. He forgot the things which were behind: he was not content with past labours or present measures of grace. He reached forth (that is, stretched himself forward towards the goal which is eternity with Christ) and showed great concern to become more and more like unto Christ. He who runs a race, must never stop short of the end, but press forward as fast as he can. So, those who have heaven in their view, must still press forward to it, in holy desires and hopes, and constant endeavours. Eternal life is the gift of God and must come to us through Christ Jesus. There is no getting to heaven as our home, but by Christ as our Way.
Paul urges the Philippians to follow his example and live according to the Biblical pattern he gave them. Can we like Paul tell our spiritual children to follow us? The way of the enemies of the Cross of Christ who mind nothing but their sensual appetites may seem pleasant, but death and hell are at the end of it. If we choose their way, we shall share their end. Let us as Christians set our affections upon things above, heaven; where our head, home and hearts are and where we hope to be shortly.

🙏PRAYER: Father, kindly keep us focused as we press towards the mark.



1. Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.
2. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation!
3. For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,
4. though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so:
5. circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews;
6. concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
7. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
8. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
9. and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
Philippians 3:1‭-‬9 NKJV
The faithful and flourishing Philippian Church seemed disturbed by the Judaizing teachers who endeavoured to keep the laws of Moses and mix the observances of it with the doctrines of Christ. Paul warned them, beware of dogs, (v.2), who bark and bite against faithful proclaimers of the Gospel of Christ. Paul calls them the concision: they rent and tore the Church of Christ contending for the Jewish rites and ceremonies as conditions for salvation. Paul then declared his human achievements and how he had laid them aside since they prevented him from trusting in Christ (vs.4-7). He considered all things in which he boasted as worthless because they couldnt earn him righteousness which comes by faith in Christ Jesus, before God.
Many of us allow our human achievements to blind us from serving God or serving Him wholeheartedly. We flaunt our position, our academic laurels, our wealth, our connections, etc. Some will ask you with arrogance, do you know me? Such persons forget that the best brains and achievers are lying in the mortuary or in the grave. We are nothing if not for the grace of God (1 Corinthians 4:7). Paul realized this and showed us worthy examples to follow. Please emulate him and count all things but loss for the sake of Christ. Eternal reward awaits you.

🙏PRAYER: Dear Father, I surrender all that I am and shall be to you.



12. Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
13. for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
14. Do all things without complaining and disputing,
15. that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
16. holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
17. Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.
18. For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.
19. But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state.
20. For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state.
21. For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.
22. But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel.
23. Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it goes with me.
24. But I trust in the Lord that I myself shall also come shortly.
25. Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need;
26. since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick.
27. For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
28. Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful.
29. Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem;
30. because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.
Philippians 2:12‭-‬30 NKJV
Paul was really blessed to have Timothy and Epaphroditus to help him while in prison custody in Rome. Epaphroditus was sent by the Philippian Church to minister to the needs of Paul. He became sick in the course of running the errand and stayed with Paul, thus becoming his companion in labour and a fellow soldier (v.25). Paul urged the Philippians to work out their salvation with fear and trembling (v.12) which implies to continually work to bring something to completion or fruition.”
It is good to have faithful people around especially when one is in trouble. Today, we have many fair-weather friends - those who only come around when the going is good. Even the disciples of Jesus deserted him and ran away for their lives when He was arrested. Peter followed afar off. How faithful are we to people? How often do we visit those who are sick, the aged, the destitute, the widows, those in prison or in one problem or another? Visitation is a necessary part of the Christian service meant to be a source of encouragement and ministration for the needy. Pay a visit today! Pray also for those in trouble.

🙏PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant us the grace to bless and comfort the needy today.



📖 BIBLE TEXT: LUKE 11:1-13
1. Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”
2. So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
3. Give us day by day our daily bread.
4. And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.”
5. And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves;
6. for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’;
7. and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’?
8. I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.
9. “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
10. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
11. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone?
12. Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13. If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
Luke 11:1‭-‬13 NKJV
The disciples of Jesus must have observed Him going out early to pray daily in a quiet place (Mark 1:35). This must have made them to realize the importance of prayer and to ask Jesus to teach them how to pray. The prayer Jesus taught them is the popular Our Lords Prayer (cf. Matthew 6:7-13). Some reduce the contents of this prayer to ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication). It is a sample prayer and contains all the ingredients of prayer. It can be applied for all seasons and situations in derived forms. Jesus also taught them consistency in prayer till an answer comes (vs.9-10). Some call it PUSH (Pray Until Something Happens).
These days, many people pray all manner of prayers. Some pray for their enemies to die. Some pray amiss and for selfish purposes (James 4:1-3). Some believe that if you have not shouted or jumped up, you have not prayed. There is no particular formula to prayer. All these call for the necessity to ask Jesus to teach us to pray. Have you ever asked Jesus to teach you? Once you make out time to pray, Jesus will come to your aid! Pour your heart out to your Father in heaven. He has assured you that if you ask, you will receive; if you seek, you will find and if you knock, the door will be opened unto you. Please seize this opportunity and cry to heaven now. If you pray according to the will of God, you are sure of answers (Isaiah 65:24; 1 John 5:14-15). The time to start is now. Only sin hinders answers to prayers (Isaiah 59:1-2).
🙏PRAYER: Lord, teach us how to pray aright (A&M 317, stanza 1)




5. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
6. who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
7. but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
8. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
9. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
10. that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth,
11. and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:5‭-‬11 NKJV
The two natures of Christ are portrayed in this passage: (i) His divine nature illustrated thus: (i) Who being in the form of God (v.6), (b) the eternal and only begotten Son of God (John1:1, Colossians 1:1), (c) He thought it no robbery to be equal with God; did not think himself guilty of any invasion of what did not belong to him, or assuming anothers right (v.6), (d) I and my Father are one (John 10:30). It is the highest degree of robbery for any mere man to pretend to be equal with God, or profess himself one with the Father.
(ii) His human nature: the Lord Jesus Christ could have come as a prince, and appeared in splendour but He took upon Him the likeness and fashion of a man and the form of a servant, that is, a man of mean estate (Hebrews 2:17). The lowest step of His humiliation was His dying the death of the cross; He was actually and voluntarily obedient. His exaltation was the reward of His humiliation. Therefore, God highly exalted Him, that is, raised Him to an exceeding height in honour; so He had a name above every name, a title of dignity above all the creatures, men and angels. And in power: Every knee must bow to Him, the whole creation must be in subjection to Him. The name of Jesus is greater than any other name, full of power and might. When we humble ourselves like Christ, God must lift us up. Try it today.
🙏PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please teach me humility so that I will be honoured and exalted.
🎶🎵Suggested Song:
At the name of Jesus, Every knee shall bow
Every tongue confess him King of glory now
Tis the Fathers pleasure we should call him Lord
Who from the beginning was the mighty Lord



1. Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,
2. fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
4. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Philippians 2:1‭-‬4 NKJV
In this text, Paul is showing the Philippians "the manual." The best model of a genuine Christian mindset is Christ himself. Christ is the ultimate manifestation of the character of God which God aims to reproduce in His people. Union with Christ and love for Him are necessary for Christian love and unity (v.2). Paul enumerates the conditions to fulfilling his joy: be likeminded, have the same love, be of one accord and of one mind. This is the unity expressed. A wise son makes a glad father, (Proverbs 10:1) and whoso keeps the law is a wise son (Proverbs 28:7). Therefore let us make God happy by being united and having the mind of Christ (Amos 3:3).
Christs ultimate example of one not looking only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others, is clearly outlined (v.4). Putting others first is a sure mark of love, humility, maturity, selflessness, politeness and servant-leadership. Humility eradicates strife and vainglory and makes one to esteem the other better than oneself. Self-exaltation, which is exaggerating ones own importance or power, is not a Christian spirit. Rather, let men see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
🙏PRAYER: Dear Lord, may my life give you joy continually.



19. For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
20. according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.
21. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
22. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell.
23. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.
24. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.
25. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith,
26. that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.
27. Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,
28. and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God.
29. For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
30. having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.
Philippians 1:19‭-‬30 NKJV
In the African setting, a mother never really has a time she can call rest time in her life. All through her life, she is caring for family members. From husband to children, to grandchildren and other relations, she is always pouring out her life to care for others. Likewise, Paul was more concerned for the welfare of the saints than himself. In this passage, he had a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. On a second thought, he said to abide in the flesh is more needful for you for your joy of faith and rejoicing in Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:24-25). Just as Paul gave up himself to the Lord, whether living or dying, so are we expected to do for the furtherance of the Gospel.
Walking in the footsteps of the Lord makes it easy to live the life of Christ. It is easier to serve well when your master or mentor is around.
The opposite may be the case. Pauls concern for the saints is that at our different locations: (i) our Christian conduct should portray the Gospel of Christ in unity (ii) we should labour in spreading the Gospel (iii) suffer for Christ, and (iv) be courageous in the face of adversaries. We are admonished not to be eye-service Christians (Ephesians 6:6).
🙏PRAYER: Grant me Oh Lord, the grace and strength to live for you in every aspect of my life, whether in the secret or in the open.



12. But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel,
13. so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard,
14. and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
15. Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill:
16. The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains;
17. but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel.
18. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.
Philippians 1:12‭-‬18 NKJV
Paul, while in custody/house arrest in Rome, persisted in preaching the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to the extent that his imprisonment and the gospel were well known in the kings palace. His incarceration even gave the brethren more boldness to speak the word without fear. Paul never gave room to self-pity, despondency or despair; rather he continued ministering while in custody and in his own words, knowing that I am set for the defense of the Gospel (v.17). Like Joseph in prison, who through his ministrations to other prisoners, was made to keep charge of the prisoners because the Lord was with him (Genesis 39:20-23), Paul was strong in spirit. Paul also wrote several epistles which form about one-third of his letters while in prison or custody! What a powerful management of time and resources!
This is surely an encouragement to us as Christians worldwide to preach Christ in every situation we find ourselves, whether at home, in the office, while travelling and in every market place. We must use every opportunity to propagate the gospel in love, especially in these times of tribulation around the world (2Timothy 4:2). The coming of Christ is at the door.
🙏PRAYER: Lord, help me to be strong in spirit and to preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, no matter the challenges of life.



1. Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
2. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
4. always in every prayer of mine making request
5. for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,
6. being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
7. just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace.
8. For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.
9. And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,
10. that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ,
11. being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1:1‭-‬11 NKJV
Todays text is part of a letter of appreciation to the saints in Christ Jesus in Philippi. The word saint (Acts 9:13) means consecrated to God, holy, sacred, pious." The word saints is a group of people set apart for the Lord and His kingdom as seen in their godly character (Romans 16:2; Ephesians 4:12).Believers in Christ Jesus are saints! It is only when we surrender to the Lord that He will begin a work in our lives which will continue until Christ returns (Philippians 1:6). The Philippian Church was a partner in ministry to Paul. Whatever support we render to ministers and missionaries, we partner with them in spreading the Gospel.
Paul writing from prison makes him all the more optimistic of seeing them again. His love for them and prayers show they were much endeared to him, he approves of them and was proud of them. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you (v.3). He prayed for them that their love may abound, not only in giving but also in knowledge, all judgment, ability to approve things that are excellent, sincerity, being filled with the fruit of righteousness and most importantly, remaining without offence till the day of Christ. What a prayer for us today!
🙏PRAYER: Oh Lord, give me grace to be thankful for all things you give to me through people.



[Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (transferred)]
📖 BIBLE TEXT: LUKE 1:39-55
39. Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah,
40. and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.
41. And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
42. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
43. But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44. For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
45. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
46. And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord,
47. And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
49. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name.
50. And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation.
51. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly.
53. He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty.
54. He has helped His servant Israel, In remembrance of His mercy,
55. As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his seed forever.”
Luke 1:39‭-‬55 NKJV
Before Jesus was conceived, Elizabeth, Marys cousin, was already six months pregnant. This miracle prompted Mary to visit her. The baby in Elizabeths womb leaped for joy in getting in contact with Jesus in His mothers womb. This showed that Jesus was not an ordinary child. From conception to birth to the fulfillment of His ministry, Jesus manifested Himself as special. Mary was privileged to be the instrument God used to bring the Child, Jesus to the world. After all, she was not the only virgin in Israel then. She showed this in the Magnificat (Song of Praise) in verses 46-55. The song showed the mighty things God can do as:
i. One who scatters the proud and their plans;
ii. He who dethrones mighty kings and lifts the lowly;
iii. He who feeds the hungry and sends the rich away empty;
iv. He who shows mercy to those who fear Him in all generations.
May we all join Mary today to praise our heavenly Father for great things He has done in our lives and especially for giving mankind this Special Child, Jesus.
🙏PRAYER: Turn this Song to prayer; To God be the glory, great things He has done... (SSS 23)



16. “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
17. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues.
18. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.
19. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak;
20. for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
21. “Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.
22. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
23. When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
24. “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.
25. It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household!
Matthew 10:16‭-‬25 NKJV
Jesus knew He was going to suffer for mankind. Very soon, He would leave His disciples. He clearly told them what they were going to face as they spread the Gospel. These included: arrest and being charged to court for no crime, flogging, hatred, trial before state and national leaders, and even death. They were asked not to fear about what they would say at such times. The Holy Spirit would reveal that. As they persecuted Jesus, so would they be.
Jesus was not saying these things to scare His disciples. He was preparing their minds to know that following Him is costly. Many modern Christians prefer easy-going Christianity. Many of us sing at the top of our voices: Me, I no go suffer, I no go beg for bread. This is a wonderful confession but we are warned that he who must follow Christ must suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). Jesus said that he who wants to follow him must daily carry his Cross to do so.
The Cross of Christ signifies suffering. No one wishes suffering but we are enjoined that our suffering should not be for committing evil but for righteousness sake (1 Peter 3:17). What are you suffering for: righteousness or evil?
🙏PRAYER: Lord Jesus, just as you suffered for me, help me to endure every suffering for your sake.



11. “ As a partridge that broods but does not hatch, So is he who gets riches, but not by right; It will leave him in the midst of his days, And at his end he will be a fool.”
12. A glorious high throne from the beginning Is the place of our sanctuary.
13. O Lord , the hope of Israel, All who forsake You shall be ashamed. “Those who depart from Me Shall be written in the earth, Because they have forsaken the Lord , The fountain of living waters.”
14. Heal me, O Lord , and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For You are my praise.
15. Indeed they say to me, “Where is the word of the Lord ? Let it come now!”
16. As for me, I have not hurried away from being a shepherd who follows You, Nor have I desired the woeful day; You know what came out of my lips; It was right there before You.
17. Do not be a terror to me; You are my hope in the day of doom.
18. Let them be ashamed who persecute me, But do not let me be put to shame; Let them be dismayed, But do not let me be dismayed. Bring on them the day of doom, And destroy them with double destruction!
19. Thus the Lord said to me: “Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, by which the kings of Judah come in and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem;
20. and say to them, ‘Hear the word of the Lord , you kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who enter by these gates.
21. Thus says the Lord : “Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem;
22. nor carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, nor do any work, but hallow the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.
23. But they did not obey nor incline their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear nor receive instruction.
Jeremiah 17:11‭-‬23 NKJV
The people were accusing Jeremiah and lying against him for what he never said. They even dared God to do His worse (v.15). The people were also warned not to bring in their crops and wares on the Sabbath Day. They refused to obey. Jeremiah pleaded with God to bring disgrace on those who persecuted him; to bring disaster on them and break them to pieces (v.18; GNB). He asked God to spare him while doing so.
It is true that Jeremiah was being unjustly oppressed and was justified to ask God for vindication but presently, we live in a new dispensation. We may be passing through rough times in the hands of people; we may even perceive them as enemies. However, God can use them as vehicles for our promotion. Only the devil is our enemy. He uses men to fulfill his purpose. God expects us to see our enemies in another light.
In Matthew 5:44, Jesus charged us to love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you. This looks like a very tall order, but that is exactly what God expects of us. However, we cannot achieve that in the flesh except we allow the Holy Spirit to control and direct our lives.

🙏PRAYER: My Lord, help me to forgive those I may perceive as my enemies and pray for them.



1. “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron; With the point of a diamond it is engraved On the tablet of their heart, And on the horns of your altars,
2. While their children remember Their altars and their wooden images By the green trees on the high hills.
3. O My mountain in the field, I will give as plunder your wealth, all your treasures, And your high places of sin within all your borders.
4. And you, even yourself, Shall let go of your heritage which I gave you; And I will cause you to serve your enemies In the land which you do not know; For you have kindled a fire in My anger which shall burn forever.”
5. Thus says the Lord : “Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the Lord .
6. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited.
7. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord , And whose hope is the Lord .
8. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.
9. “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
10. I, the Lord , search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.
Jeremiah 17:1‭-‬10 NKJV
God described the sin of Judah as being engraved in their hearts with a pen of iron, with a diamond tip. They seemed unrepentant of their sins which God had been pointing out to them.
They never cared to repent and seek Gods help. Instead, they sought for the help of Egypt against the coming Babylonian captivity. God described their heart, and mans heart, generally as desperately wicked (v.9).
God searches the heart and tests the mind as to give every man according to his ways. Our heart is the centre-piece of activity.
The Word of God enjoins us to guard it with all diligence, for out it comes all the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23). We should be careful of what flows in and out of our hearts. When we trust in the Lord, make Him our hope and give our hearts to Him, we will be like a tree planted by the riverside that its leaves remain evergreen. On what and on whom do you centre your heart? Never give your heart to the devil or the world.

🙏PRAYER: May the meditations and thoughts of my heart be centered only on thee, Oh Lord.





14. “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord , “that it shall no more be said, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’
15. but, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.’ For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers.
16. “Behold, I will send for many fishermen,” says the Lord , “and they shall fish them; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.
17. For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity hidden from My eyes.
18. And first I will repay double for their iniquity and their sin, because they have defiled My land; they have filled My inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable and abominable idols.”
19. O Lord , my strength and my fortress, My refuge in the day of affliction, The Gentiles shall come to You From the ends of the earth and say, “Surely our fathers have inherited lies, Worthlessness and unprofitable things. ”
20. Will a man make gods for himself, Which are not gods?
21. “Therefore behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know My hand and My might; And they shall know that My name is the Lord .
Jeremiah 16:14‭-‬21 NKJV
The nation of Israel is so special to God that He assured of re-gathering them in future from every nation He had presently scattered them (v.15; cf. Matthew 24:31). This will take place at the Second Coming of Christ. Meanwhile, they have to pay for their sins now by going into exile. God promised them they would be caught like fish by fishermen and like prey, hunted by hunters. The reason is that all their iniquities, chief of which is idolatry, were not hidden from God.
None of our sins escapes the attention of God, whether we sin secretly or openly (Psalm 139:7-12). Many of us feel we are so smart we can deceive or confuse God that He will never notice what we are doing. This assumption is so dangerous. Whatever you are doing presently which does not give glory to God, please retrace your steps. Our God is so merciful He is ready to forgive.
God has no pleasure in the death of a sinner but that the sinner may repent and return to Him (Ezekiel 18:32). We are assured of a better future in heaven if we accept Christ today and follow His footsteps.
🙏PRAYER: My Father, we have gone astray; but in your anger, remember mercy



1. The word of the Lord also came to me, saying,
2. “You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place.”
3. For thus says the Lord concerning the sons and daughters who are born in this place, and concerning their mothers who bore them and their fathers who begot them in this land:
4. “They shall die gruesome deaths; they shall not be lamented nor shall they be buried, but they shall be like refuse on the face of the earth. They shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, and their corpses shall be meat for the birds of heaven and for the beasts of the earth.”
5. For thus says the Lord : “Do not enter the house of mourning, nor go to lament or bemoan them; for I have taken away My peace from this people,” says the Lord , “lovingkindness and mercies.
6. Both the great and the small shall die in this land. They shall not be buried; neither shall men lament for them, cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them.
7. Nor shall men break bread in mourning for them, to comfort them for the dead; nor shall men give them the cup of consolation to drink for their father or their mother.
8. Also you shall not go into the house of feasting to sit with them, to eat and drink.”
9. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will cause to cease from this place, before your eyes and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.
10. “And it shall be, when you show this people all these words, and they say to you, ‘Why has the Lord pronounced all this great disaster against us? Or what is our iniquity? Or what is our sin that we have committed against the Lord our God?’
11. then you shall say to them, ‘Because your fathers have forsaken Me,’ says the Lord ; ‘they have walked after other gods and have served them and worshiped them, and have forsaken Me and not kept My law.
12. And you have done worse than your fathers, for behold, each one follows the dictates of his own evil heart, so that no one listens to Me.
13. Therefore I will cast you out of this land into a land that you do not know, neither you nor your fathers; and there you shall serve other gods day and night, where I will not show you favor.’
Jeremiah 16:1‭-‬13 NKJV
Due to the coming captivity of Judah through the Babylonians, God warned Jeremiah not to marry (v.2), nor take part in funeral rites (v.5) or joyous occasions (v.8). God promised to take away peace, joy and gladness from the people.
He asked Jeremiah to tell the people when they inquired the reasons for all these that their fathers forsook God, served and worshipped other gods and did not keep His word. God promised to take them to captivity where they would have opportunity to serve other gods (vs.10-13). He accused the people of even doing worse than their fathers by walking according to the imagination of their own evil hearts.
Our God is a consuming fire. Though God is very merciful, He is ever ready to punish every sin and disobedience if there is no repentance. We are in the end times.
The handwriting is on the wall about this. God has been warning men over the years about the coming disaster through the Second Coming of Christ. Many are paying deaf ears to these warnings. God shall not be blamed if He allows captivity to overtake us. Run from the coming wrath of God.
God warned through Amos 5:18-20 about the Day of the Lord. He also declared in 2 Corinthians 6:2 that this is the acceptable time and the day of salvation. Take the opportunity you have now and repent. Tomorrow may be too late.

🙏PRAYER: Lord, help us to run away from the wrath to come.



TOPIC: Ungodly leadership in the Polity/Society: Causes and Consequences.
TEXT: 2 Kings 24: 18-20;2 Kings 25:11; 2 Chr. 36:11-17.
identify causes of ungodly leadership in the society;
learn from the consequences of ungodly leadership in the society;
discover ways of preventing ungodly leadership in the society.
INTRODUCTION: Zedekiah was the last king of Judah (597 - 586 B. C.). He was a weak and indecisive puppet king that was not fully accepted by his people. His failure to accept prophet Jeremiah's word to surrender to Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 27: 2-6) cost him his life and throne.
We will also look into the life of King Nebuchadnezzar to see what made him ungodly. Nebuchadnezzar failed to accept the counsel of Daniel, so he faced unpleasant, and unheard-of consequences. Let’s study and take heed to ourselves.
Mention some things about the two kings (in our texts) that present their respective leadership as ungodly. 2 Kings 24:18-19;2 Kings 25:1-7; 2 Chr. 36:11-16a; Dan.3:1-7.
What was the consequence of Zedekiah’s ungodliness to both himself and his society? 2 Kings 24: 20;2 Kings 25:1-7; 2 Chr. 36: 16b-19.
What was the consequence of Nebuchadnezzar’s arrogant boast? Dan 4:28-34.
What other consequences of ungodly leadership are listed in Exo 7: 3-5,Exo 7: 17;Exo 12: 29-30; Exod.10:7; Acts 12:20-24.
What personal attributes of the Kings in the references may have led to their destruction? 2 Kings 24:19; 2 Chron.36:12-13; Dan.4:27-31.
In what specific ways can a society avoid ungodly leadership? 2 Kings 11:17-18; 2 Chr. 7:14; Dan. 9:3-5; Gen. 41:37-41; Matt.5: 13-16.
In the light of the above, how may we help to salvage our nation from ungodly leadership?
CONCLUSION: It is just a matter of time for God's judgment to fall upon any ungodly leadership. But when true Christians get involved through prayers and advocacy, and apply the gifts of God in governance, God will bring about the required change(s).
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Darkness gives way when light shines but it dominates when light is covered.

MEMORY VERSE: Daniel 4: 34.



1. At that time, saith the Lord , they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves:
2. And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth.
3. And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family, which remain in all the places whither I have driven them, saith the Lord of hosts.
4. Moreover thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord ; Shall they fall, and not arise? shall he turn away, and not return?
5. Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return.
6. I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle.
7. Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the Lord .
Jeremiah 8:1‭-‬7 KJV
In our passage today, God visited the remainder of the ungodly kings, princes, priests and prophets of Judah and in fact, the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of those who remain of this evil family (Jeremiah 8:3). Despite all these, in verses 5 to 7, God marvelled that the people were always backsliding perpetually and never considered returning to God and righteousness. In all these, God looked forward to their repentance and their asking for forgiveness.
Returning to the Lord is the key to experiencing His blessings. The call to return is not something to be passed over lightly. It is the basic and fundamental plea of God throughout the Bible. A walk with God is marked with continual returning unto Him. God is full of love and mercy to everyone who returns. God in His holiness cannot and does not wink at our sins.
He does not treat sin lightly. His terrible wrath against sin and the sinner should cause us to run away from sin and return unto Him. Beloved, it is time to return to God. It pays and is the link to your fulfilling your destiny here on earth.

🙏PRAYER: O! Lord grant me the grace to return unto You completely.



28. “So you shall say to them, ‘This is a nation that does not obey the voice of the Lord their God nor receive correction. Truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth.
29. Cut off your hair and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on the desolate heights; for the Lord has rejected and forsaken the generation of His wrath.’
30. For the children of Judah have done evil in My sight,” says the Lord . “They have set their abominations in the house which is called by My name, to pollute it.
31. And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into My heart.
32. “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord , “when it will no more be called Tophet, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Tophet until there is no room.
33. The corpses of this people will be food for the birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth. And no one will frighten them away.
34. Then I will cause to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. For the land shall be desolate.
Jeremiah 7:28‭-‬34 NKJV
Our passage advocates a lament for every nation that neglects the word of God. Such nations are forsaken and rejected.
They are the people of Gods wrath because they disobey Gods instructions which are the high way to distinction. Anybody who does not honour divine instruction will not fit into Gods end time agenda.
There is no amount of praying and fasting that can cancel divine instruction for you because God prefers your obedience to your sacrifice. If you want to achieve your goal in 2019 and fulfill your destiny, you must walk in and obey divine instruction.
You cannot be walking and living in disobedience and rebellion to Gods instruction and expect things to go well.
Divine instruction grants you divine speed and divine speed makes you outstanding in all of your lifes endeavours. Make up your mind from today to obey Gods instruction and you will not remain the same.
🙏PRAYER: O! Lord help me to walk with divine instruction.



16. “Therefore do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me; for I will not hear you.
17. Do you not see what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
18. The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger.
19. Do they provoke Me to anger?” says the Lord . “ Do they not provoke themselves, to the shame of their own faces?”
20. Therefore thus says the Lord God : “Behold, My anger and My fury will be poured out on this place—on man and on beast, on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground. And it will burn and not be quenched.”
21. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat meat.
22. For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices.
23. But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’
24. Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.
25. Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have even sent to you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them.
26. Yet they did not obey Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.
27. “Therefore you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not obey you. You shall also call to them, but they will not answer you.
Jeremiah 7:16‭-‬27 NKJV
All manner of prayers, sowing seeds, paying tithes and other sacrifices to God, are the norm nowadays. People do these as means of attracting Gods blessings and favour, and also as means of relating with Him. It may shock you that God advised Jeremiah not to pray for the house of Israel because He would not hear him. He asked them in verse 21 to eat their burnt offerings and the sacrifices they would offer. He rejected them because of their sins and disobedience. God said that what He commanded them was obedience to His word.
If you listen to the voice of God and walk in His ways, He will be your God. He will treat you as a son.
When God begins to treat you as a son, things will begin to go right. Walking in the counsel of God will bring you closer to God and make you a celebrity of your time. Walking in Gods way will grant you divine instruction, which will turn out to be your pathway to distinction. Walking outside Gods way is dangerous and always brings confusion and setback. It attracts divine anger and produces closed doors.
But walking in Gods way brings blessings, connections, lifting up, happiness, fulfilment, satisfaction and advancement in all areas. Would you not rather walk in His ways and enjoy the benefits?
🙏PRAYER: O! Lord, cause me to walk in Your ways and enjoy Your benefits.



22. Thus says the Lord : “Behold, a people comes from the north country, And a great nation will be raised from the farthest parts of the earth.
23. They will lay hold on bow and spear; They are cruel and have no mercy; Their voice roars like the sea; And they ride on horses, As men of war set in array against you, O daughter of Zion.”
24. We have heard the report of it; Our hands grow feeble. Anguish has taken hold of us, Pain as of a woman in labor.
25. Do not go out into the field, Nor walk by the way. Because of the sword of the enemy, Fear is on every side.
26. O daughter of my people, Dress in sackcloth And roll about in ashes! Make mourning as for an only son, most bitter lamentation; For the plunderer will suddenly come upon us.
27. “I have set you as an assayer and a fortress among My people, That you may know and test their way.
28. They are all stubborn rebels, walking as slanderers. They are bronze and iron, They are all corrupters;
29. The bellows blow fiercely, The lead is consumed by the fire; The smelter refines in vain, For the wicked are not drawn off.
30. People will call them rejected silver, Because the Lord has rejected them.”
Jeremiah 6:22‭-‬30 NKJV
Iniquity and impurity make God angry because by involving in them, His creation takes Him and His Name and Word for granted, believing that He will neither do good or evil (Zephaniah 1:12). Impurity weakens Gods protection and shield around His children so that they become vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy (vs.22-23).
The destruction of Judah was planned by God because they treated Him and His word with contempt and trampled underfoot, the covenant that had been sustaining them (vs.22-23). The judgment God planned for Judah was so great that only true repentance would save them, but the corruption had eaten so deep into them that they did not turn to the Lord (vs.26-30).
The same warning to Judah is being given to every individual Church and nation, especially Nigeria, today. Just as in the case of Judah, the people today are not heeding Gods warning. This is why the judgment of the Lord is imminent. Let us turn to our God and live, but if we refuse, the Lord said that He is angry with the wicked every day (Psalm 7:11). Look unto Jesus and live.
🙏PRAYER: Lord give me the grace to do Your will and live



10. To whom shall I speak and give warning, That they may hear? Indeed their ear is uncircumcised, And they cannot give heed. Behold, the word of the Lord is a reproach to them; They have no delight in it.
11. Therefore I am full of the fury of the Lord . I am weary of holding it in. “I will pour it out on the children outside, And on the assembly of young men together; For even the husband shall be taken with the wife, The aged with him who is full of days.
12. And their houses shall be turned over to others, Fields and wives together; For I will stretch out My hand Against the inhabitants of the land,” says the Lord .
13. “Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them, Everyone is given to covetousness; And from the prophet even to the priest, Everyone deals falsely.
14. They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly, Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ When there is no peace.
15. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed; Nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; At the time I punish them, They shall be cast down,” says the Lord .
16. Thus says the Lord : “Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it. ’
17. Also, I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen.’
18. Therefore hear, you nations, And know, O congregation, what is among them.
19. Hear, O earth! Behold, I will certainly bring calamity on this people— The fruit of their thoughts, Because they have not heeded My words Nor My law, but rejected it.
20. For what purpose to Me Comes frankincense from Sheba, And sweet cane from a far country? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, Nor your sacrifices sweet to Me.”
21. Therefore thus says the Lord : “Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people, And the fathers and the sons together shall fall on them. The neighbor and his friend shall perish.”
Jeremiah 6:10‭-‬21 NKJV
The Prophet Jeremiah was living in the land at a time of great disregard for the word of God. Disobedience was spread out over the land.
The priests and prophets were not exempted in the indictment. Individual, families, couples, communities, etc., were all rebelling against the commands of God. Covetousness and falsehood, shamelessness and callousness became the order of the day. It was a time when the principal message was It is well!”
This picture portrays the reality of the present state of our nation today. Nigeria has fallen into a terrible state in departing from the Lord. People steal with impunity.
Evil is no longer abhorred. Murder, hatred, lying, hypocrisy, pretence, etc., have infused into the fabric of our existence. Now, unless we all repent as individuals and as a nation, evil will befall us as it befell the people in the days of Jeremiah. We must pray for ourselves and for the nation. The result of the state of things then was calamity from the Lord. The same will be in our time if we do not do something now. We need to begin with ourselves and our immediate families. From there we can move it to our offices and businesses.
🙏PRAYER: Dear Lord, lead us to those old paths where the good way is, that we may walk in them as we return to You.



TOPIC: Ungodly Leadership in the Church: Causes and Consequences.
TEXT: Acts 4:1-17.
differentiate between the two sets of ungodly leaders in the New Testament;
uncover the causes of ungodliness in church leadership;
identify the consequences of ungodly leadership in the Church;
discover ways of averting ungodly leadership in the Church.
INTRODUCTION: True leaders guide aright; ungodly leaders mislead the people. In this study, we shall consider a group of leaders known as the Sanhedrin : the Council that ruled in Israel during the period of Jesus and the apostles; the highest ruling body, court of justice or the Supreme Court among the Jewish people, usually headed by the high priest. The body consisted of Sadducees (chief priests and elders) and Pharisees (scribes). Our text shows why they ordered the arrest of Peter and John. This study calls our own commitment to question.
Differentiate between the two sets of ungodly leaders in the NT from Acts 4:1-17 and Matt.26:14-16; John 12:6; Rom16:18; Gal.2:4; Phil.3:14-19; 2 Tim.2:16-18.
b) Those in the second group were in Christ’s fold but became ungodly. Why? What lessons from this?
What else can cause ungodly leadership in the Church today? Acts 5:17-18;Acts 6:1-2;Acts 7:51-53; 1 Cor.3:1-4.
What are the possible consequences of ungodly leadership in the Church? Acts 7:57-59;Acts 9:1-2; 1 Cor. 3:1-4.
Would you think that some of our leaders were responsible for the springing up of new generation Churches by their action or inaction? Discuss. See Acts 5:29-42.
How may we avert or at least greatly reduce the chances of raising ungodly leaders in our church? Add to Acts 13:1-3.
CONCLUSION: In order to avoid ungodly leadership, the Church should stick to biblical principles in selecting people into various leadership positions and back up those so selected.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: If the Church can successfully overcome ungodly living, then she can stamp out ungodly leadership.
MEMORY VERSE: Romans 16:18.

SATURDAY,  August 24,  2019

(St. Bartholomew, the Apostle)
📖BIBLE TEXT: LUKE 22:24-30
24. Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest.
25. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise Lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’
26. But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves.
27. For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.
28. “But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials.
29. And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me,
30. that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Luke 22:24‭-‬30 NKJV
St. Bartholomew, the Apostle, an apostle of Christ, is usually identified as Nathaniel. He was believed to have laboured as a missionary at India, Ethiopia and Armenia (present day Turkey) where he is widely believed to have been martyred.
In todays reading, Jesus ministry, from human perspective, seems a failed ministry. This is because, though His ministrys end was in sight, the apostles that would take over from Him seemed not to have learnt anything from Him. The Apostles instead of being mindful of the virtues and rudiments Jesus was teaching them, were busy struggling for position and power.
Jesus did not give up on them, rather He still saw some potentials in them. In spite of the weakness, He continued teaching them the need for humility, submission and servant-leadership, which were the pillars of the ministry He would leave for them to continue to propagate.
This is a lesson for those aspiring to be leaders or already in leadership.
There is a great need for servant-leadership, humility, avoidance of power tussle (which seriously plagues our nations politics nu Churches).
🙏PRAYER : Lord, teach me to serve others in spite of my elevated position.

THURSDAY,  August 22,  2019

14. Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts: “Because you speak this word, Behold, I will make My words in your mouth fire, And this people wood, And it shall devour them.
15. Behold, I will bring a nation against you from afar, O house of Israel,” says the Lord . “It is a mighty nation, It is an ancient nation, A nation whose language you do not know, Nor can you understand what they say.
16. Their quiver is like an open tomb; They are all mighty men.
17. And they shall eat up your harvest and your bread, Which your sons and daughters should eat. They shall eat up your flocks and your herds; They shall eat up your vines and your fig trees; They shall destroy your fortified cities, In which you trust, with the sword.
18. “Nevertheless in those days,” says the Lord , “I will not make a complete end of you.
19. And it will be when you say, ‘Why does the Lord our God do all these things to us?’ then you shall answer them, ‘Just as you have forsaken Me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve aliens in a land that is not yours.’
20. “Declare this in the house of Jacob And proclaim it in Judah, saying,
21. ‘Hear this now, O foolish people, Without understanding, Who have eyes and see not, And who have ears and hear not:
22. Do you not fear Me?’ says the Lord . ‘Will you not tremble at My presence, Who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea, By a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond it? And though its waves toss to and fro, Yet they cannot prevail; Though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it.
23. But this people has a defiant and rebellious heart; They have revolted and departed.
24. They do not say in their heart, “Let us now fear the Lord our God, Who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season. He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.”
25. Your iniquities have turned these things away, And your sins have withheld good from you.
26. ‘For among My people are found wicked men; They lie in wait as one who sets snares; They set a trap; They catch men.
27. As a cage is full of birds, So their houses are full of deceit. Therefore they have become great and grown rich.
28. They have grown fat, they are sleek; Yes, they surpass the deeds of the wicked; They do not plead the cause, The cause of the fatherless; Yet they prosper, And the right of the needy they do not defend.
29. Shall I not punish them for these things? ’ says the Lord . ‘Shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?’
30. “An astonishing and horrible thing Has been committed in the land:
31. The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule by their own power; And My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?
Jeremiah 5:14‭-‬31 NKJV
God delights in those who fear Him (Psalm 147:11). The fear of the Lord brings enlightenment and understanding (Proverbs 1:7). Events in our society today show that many people who call themselves people of God, no longer fear Him. The consequence is the rise in evil in our societies.
Jeremiah was required to remind the children of God of the dangers that result from their foolish and senseless ways of forsaking the Lord for idols. One notable danger was that such people become lifeless, like the idols (v.21). God always rebukes such people for them to forsake their foolish ways for their own good and blessings (Malachi 1:6, 3:16, 4:2).
The lack of the fear of God is very noticeable in our society today as evil now reigns in many places.
How can we do so that the fear of God will dominate our lives and the things we do? We need to know that God is Almighty. He created and holds everything in check (v.22).
The favour and blessings of God will be poured out upon us only if we can restore the fear of God in our lives (v.24).
🙏PRAYER: Lord, may your fear so dominate me that I will be kept away from evil, only by Your grace. Amen.

WEDNESDAY,  August 21,  2019

1. “Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem; See now and know; And seek in her open places If you can find a man, If there is anyone who executes judgment, Who seeks the truth, And I will pardon her.
2. Though they say, ‘ As the Lord lives,’ Surely they swear falsely.”
3. O Lord , are not Your eyes on the truth? You have stricken them, But they have not grieved; You have consumed them, But they have refused to receive correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; They have refused to return.
4. Therefore I said, “Surely these are poor. They are foolish; For they do not know the way of the Lord , The judgment of their God.
5. I will go to the great men and speak to them, For they have known the way of the Lord , The judgment of their God.” But these have altogether broken the yoke And burst the bonds.
6. Therefore a lion from the forest shall slay them, A wolf of the deserts shall destroy them; A leopard will watch over their cities. Everyone who goes out from there shall be torn in pieces, Because their transgressions are many; Their backslidings have increased.
7. “How shall I pardon you for this? Your children have forsaken Me And sworn by those that are not gods. When I had fed them to the full, Then they committed adultery And assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses.
8. They were like well-fed lusty stallions; Every one neighed after his neighbor’s wife.
9. Shall I not punish them for these things? ” says the Lord . “And shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?
10. “Go up on her walls and destroy, But do not make a complete end. Take away her branches, For they are not the Lord ’s.
11. For the house of Israel and the house of Judah Have dealt very treacherously with Me,” says the Lord .
12. They have lied about the Lord , And said, “ It is not He. Neither will evil come upon us, Nor shall we see sword or famine.
13. And the prophets become wind, For the word is not in them. Thus shall it be done to them.”
Jeremiah 5:1‭-‬13 NKJV
Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach (brings destruction) to such people. There is a serious battle in the spirit for evil to dominate righteousness.
Our God is a Righteous God and desires righteous people to worship Him. It was a disheartening situation that no righteous man could be found among Gods people so that God could extend His pardon to the people of Jerusalem.
What can be said of the Church today? The love of many is waxing cold in these last days (Matthew 24:12) because of the increase in unrighteousness.
As a result, corruption has destroyed the foundations of our country, despite our religious disposition. It is discouraging when Churches are not spared either. The Lord is calling for people today who can stand to His honour. Can He depend on you as a righteous man or woman to sow mercy and pardon to our nation Nigeria? Dare to be that righteous person God can find to deliver His people.
🔊🙏PRAYER: O Lord, our righteous Judge, may I prove to be that righteous man/woman whom You are looking for. Cause my love for You to wax stronger and stronger in these last days such that I will overcome evil with good through the merits of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen.

TUESDAY,  August 20,  2019

19. O my soul, my soul! I am pained in my very heart! My heart makes a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, Because you have heard, O my soul, The sound of the trumpet, The alarm of war.
20. Destruction upon destruction is cried, For the whole land is plundered. Suddenly my tents are plundered, And my curtains in a moment.
21. How long will I see the standard, And hear the sound of the trumpet?
22. “For My people are foolish, They have not known Me. They are silly children, And they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, But to do good they have no knowledge.”
23. I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void; And the heavens, they had no light.
24. I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, And all the hills moved back and forth.
25. I beheld, and indeed there was no man, And all the birds of the heavens had fled.
26. I beheld, and indeed the fruitful land was a wilderness, And all its cities were broken down At the presence of the Lord , By His fierce anger.
27. For thus says the Lord : “The whole land shall be desolate; Yet I will not make a full end.
28. For this shall the earth mourn, And the heavens above be black, Because I have spoken. I have purposed and will not relent, Nor will I turn back from it.
29. The whole city shall flee from the noise of the horsemen and bowmen. They shall go into thickets and climb up on the rocks. Every city shall be forsaken, And not a man shall dwell in it.
30. “And when you are plundered, What will you do? Though you clothe yourself with crimson, Though you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold, Though you enlarge your eyes with paint, In vain you will make yourself fair; Your lovers will despise you; They will seek your life.
Jeremiah 4:19‭-‬30 NKJV
Today's reading is a pronouncement of judgment and disaster upon Judah and Jerusalem. Jeremiah perceived it as a result of the sporadic spread of sin in the land which had got to an alarming rate. Judah and Jerusalem was found guilty of the sin of idolatry, the sin of apostasy, the sin of corruption and the sin of immorality. Because of all these, disaster was proclaimed upon the land (Jeremiah 4:29).
When we compare the case of Judah and Jerusalem with the situation of Nigeria today, are we free from a similar impending doom? What is the scriptural condition of our nation today? The revelation of the doom of Judah and Jerusalem affected Jeremiah. What are we doing as Christians to salvage the situation in our country today? As a person, are you encouraging or discouraging sin? Be warned, a sinner will not go unpunished.
Are you living a double standard life? Read Jeremiah 4:22 carefully. You may deceive men but you cannot deceive God. This is because the firm foundation of God stands, according to 2 Timothy 2:19.
God knows His people; the umbrella of church, philanthropy and politics cannot hide you. Be warned, the day is around the corner. Only true children of God will escape. The only exit way is to turn to God in repentance through Jesus Christ.
🙏PRAYER: O Lord, help me to be on a safe side on the day of your judgment.

MONDAY,  August 19,  2019

10. Then I said, “Ah, Lord God ! Surely You have greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, Saying, ‘You shall have peace,’ Whereas the sword reaches to the heart.”
11. At that time it will be said To this people and to Jerusalem, “A dry wind of the desolate heights blows in the wilderness Toward the daughter of My people— Not to fan or to cleanse—
12. A wind too strong for these will come for Me; Now I will also speak judgment against them.”
13. “Behold, he shall come up like clouds, And his chariots like a whirlwind. His horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us, for we are plundered!”
14. O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, That you may be saved. How long shall your evil thoughts lodge within you?
15. For a voice declares from Dan And proclaims affliction from Mount Ephraim:
16. “Make mention to the nations, Yes, proclaim against Jerusalem, That watchers come from a far country And raise their voice against the cities of Judah.
17. Like keepers of a field they are against her all around, Because she has been rebellious against Me,” says the Lord .
18. “Your ways and your doings Have procured these things for you. This is your wickedness, Because it is bitter, Because it reaches to your heart.”
Jeremiah 4:10‭-‬18 NKJV
In today's text, Jeremiah the Prophet could be said to be bleeding in his heart because of the consequences of the rebellion of his people, which he saw in his vision. The people of Israel were extremely wicked. Evil thoughts were said to lodge in their hearts (v.14). They refused to repent and turn to God.
God therefore made a declaration on to them saying: make mention to the nations yes, Proclaim against Jerusalem. That watchers come from a far country. And raise their voice against the cities of Judah . Your ways and doings have procured these things for you. This is your wickedness .Because it reaches to your heart (vs.14-18). This declaration was fulfilled. Israel, or Judah, was completely destroyed and the whole land was made desolate.
Nigeria today is a replica of Judah. The sins of the nation of Nigeria have come to a point that those who are spiritually sensitive to Gods holiness are also bleeding in their hearts. They are so few that they are not noticed.
The sins of Nigerians bribery, homosexuality, lesbianism and abortion, corruption among civil servants, business men and women; murders, fornication, adultery, deceit in the Church of God, etc., are pushing God to pour His anger on the country. And unless we repent and return to God, a great disaster will come on this country.
🙏PRAYER : Oh Lord God, spare Nigeria. Cause the leaders and the Church to repent and turn to you.

SUNDAY,  August 18,  2019

1. At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2. Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them,
3. and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
4. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.
6. “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
7. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!
8. “If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire.
9. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.
10. “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.
11. For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.
12. “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying?
13. And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray.
14. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
15. “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.
16. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’
Matthew 18:1‭-‬16 NKJV
Selfishness and pride are major attributes of godless persons or groups. It manifests itself in a strong determination to please oneself at others’ expense and also in a show of disregard to Gods commandments. Selfishness and pride breed offence, fighting, party spirit and hatred and results in failure in team ministry.
In our text, our Lord Jesus Christ warned His disciples against such and admonished them to pursue after humility and self-discipline so as to inherit the kingdom of heaven (vs.3-4). Those who will overcome selfishness and pride must give up mundane desires and place great value on pleasing God and securing eternal life in Christ Jesus. They must continue learning Christ in all things and obeying Him without compromise.
As verses 15-16 show, the Christian has the responsibility of initiating moves for reconciliation when he or she is offended. Indeed it takes courage and humility to do the above, nevertheless, the scripture says purse peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
In view of all this, can you sincerely and boldly say that you are growing in selfless service and peace-making, especially in the Church of God? Your heavenly Father will give you grace if you humble yourself.
🙏PRAYER: Oh Lord, help me to deny myself of rights and privileges so as to promote peace with all men. Amen

SATURDAY,  August 17,  2019

1. “If you will return, O Israel,” says the Lord , “Return to Me; And if you will put away your abominations out of My sight, Then you shall not be moved.
2. And you shall swear, ‘The Lord lives,’ In truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; The nations shall bless themselves in Him, And in Him they shall glory.”
3. For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: “Break up your fallow ground, And do not sow among thorns.
4. Circumcise yourselves to the Lord , And take away the foreskins of your hearts, You men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, Lest My fury come forth like fire, And burn so that no one can quench it, Because of the evil of your doings.”
5. Declare in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say: “Blow the trumpet in the land; Cry, ‘Gather together,’ And say, ‘Assemble yourselves, And let us go into the fortified cities.’
6. Set up the standard toward Zion. Take refuge! Do not delay! For I will bring disaster from the north, And great destruction.”
7. The lion has come up from his thicket, And the destroyer of nations is on his way. He has gone forth from his place To make your land desolate. Your cities will be laid waste, Without inhabitant.
8. For this, clothe yourself with sackcloth, Lament and wail. For the fierce anger of the Lord Has not turned back from us.
9. “And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Lord , “ That the heart of the king shall perish, And the heart of the princes; The priests shall be astonished, And the prophets shall wonder.”
Jeremiah 4:1‭-‬9 NKJV
According to Jesus teaching in Matthew 13:22; sowing among thorns implies allowing cares of this world and deceitfulness of riches to deny one from practising the word of God as revealed in the scriptures.
Yesterday, we discovered that the Israelites had departed from their God and had an urgent need to repent and return to Him. In returning, they were to remove all that separated them from God, especially greed and love of riches which lead to idolatry. Others were covetousness and selfish ambition which lead to oppressing the poor and the weak. Israel had to turn away from these wickedness and many others. Otherwise, God would release unbearable punishment against them.
Even today, God is telling Christians not to sow among thorns.
Regrettably, many Christians are using corrupt practices to enrich themselves; others bow to idols of our times to overcome economic pressure. Some oppress the poor, join cults and accept ungodly partnerships because of fame and wealth. Indeed, they are sowing among thorns and so deliberately inviting the wrath of God to the land. Examine yourself and repent where necessary, for our God is merciful and compassionate and will forgive according to His promise (see 1 John 1:9).
Beloved, lay hold of His promises and so avert the painful result of sowing among thorns. Do not delay any longer on this matter.
🙏PRAYER : Almighty God, help your children to flee from every action and relationship that leads to idolatry and godlessness in Jesus name. Amen.

THURSDAY,  August 15,  2019

11. Then the Lord said to me, “Backsliding Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah.
12. Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say: ‘Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the Lord ; ‘I will not cause My anger to fall on you. For I am merciful,’ says the Lord ; ‘I will not remain angry forever.
13. Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the Lord your God, And have scattered your charms To alien deities under every green tree, And you have not obeyed My voice,’ says the Lord .
14. “Return, O backsliding children,” says the Lord ; “for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.
15. And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.
16. “Then it shall come to pass, when you are multiplied and increased in the land in those days,” says the Lord , “that they will say no more, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord .’ It shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they visit it, nor shall it be made anymore.
17. “At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the Lord , and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the Lord , to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts.
18. “In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given as an inheritance to your fathers.
Jeremiah 3:11‭-‬18 NKJV
Many a time, people do feel that their sin has grown so much that God could no longer forgive and accept them back. But the truth still remains that no matter how far you have gone into sin, the love of God is still reaching out and calling on you to return to Him. He said to the backslidden northern kingdom, Israel, "Return only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the LORD Your God And I will give you shepherds according to My heart" (Jeremiah 3:12-14).
You can always count on the fact that: He will not cause His anger to fall on you. He is merciful and will not remain angry forever (Jeremiah 3:12). God does not want to inflict His wrath upon us, but instead, He wants to show us mercy. He makes it possible for us to return to Him and to get to know Him as Friend and Saviour, and not as a Judge. If you will return to Him, there will be joy in heaven.
🙏PRAYER: Dear Lord, we return to You. Please raise helpers for us according to Your heart.

WEDNESDAY,  August 14,  2019

1. “They say, ‘If a man divorces his wife, And she goes from him And becomes another man’s, May he return to her again?’ Would not that land be greatly polluted? But you have played the harlot with many lovers; Yet return to Me,” says the Lord .
2. “Lift up your eyes to the desolate heights and see: Where have you not lain with men? By the road you have sat for them Like an Arabian in the wilderness; And you have polluted the land With your harlotries and your wickedness.
3. Therefore the showers have been withheld, And there has been no latter rain. You have had a harlot’s forehead; You refuse to be ashamed.
4. Will you not from this time cry to Me, ‘My Father, You are the guide of my youth?
5. Will He remain angry forever? Will He keep it to the end?’ Behold, you have spoken and done evil things, As you were able.”
6. The Lord said also to me in the days of Josiah the king: “Have you seen what backsliding Israel has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there played the harlot.
7. And I said, after she had done all these things, ‘Return to Me.’ But she did not return. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.
8. Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also.
9. So it came to pass, through her casual harlotry, that she defiled the land and committed adultery with stones and trees.
10. And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned to Me with her whole heart, but in pretense,” says the Lord.
Jeremiah 3:1‭-‬10 NKJV
Yesterday, we began to look at the charges against Israel. Today, God is bringing up another, even more grievous charge against them: the sin of idolatry which God sees as harlotry. God, having plagued and divorced Israel on account of this, expected Judah to repent and return to Him having learnt from Israel's predicament.
But without fear, she too goes ahead to play the harlot also.
The Nigerian Church has become like Israel and Judah - having a harlot's forehead - yet refusing to be ashamed. The showers have been withheld and there has been no latter rain, yet we do not want to return to God. Instead of returning, we have spoken and done evil as much as we are able.
Dear Christian, God expects you to cry to Him - the Guide of your youth. He has promised not to remain angry forever (Jeremiah 2:4-5). God expects you to return to Him with your whole heart in all sincerity and not in pretence
🙏Prayer: Dear LORD, please grant me the grace to return to YOU with my whole heart and in full sincerity.

TUESDAY,  August 13,  2019

26. “As the thief is ashamed when he is found out, So is the house of Israel ashamed; They and their kings and their princes, and their priests and their prophets,
27. Saying to a tree, ‘You are my father,’ And to a stone, ‘You gave birth to me.’ For they have turned their back to Me, and not their face. But in the time of their trouble They will say, ‘Arise and save us.’
28. But where are your gods that you have made for yourselves? Let them arise, If they can save you in the time of your trouble; For according to the number of your cities Are your gods, O Judah.
29. “Why will you plead with Me? You all have transgressed against Me,” says the Lord .
30. “In vain I have chastened your children; They received no correction. Your sword has devoured your prophets Like a destroying lion.
31. “O generation, see the word of the Lord ! Have I been a wilderness to Israel, Or a land of darkness? Why do My people say, ‘We are Lords; We will come no more to You’?
32. Can a virgin forget her ornaments, Or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number.
33. “Why do you beautify your way to seek love? Therefore you have also taught The wicked women your ways.
34. Also on your skirts is found The blood of the lives of the poor innocents. I have not found it by secret search, But plainly on all these things.
35. Yet you say, ‘Because I am innocent, Surely His anger shall turn from me.’ Behold, I will plead My case against you, Because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’
36. Why do you gad about so much to change your way? Also you shall be ashamed of Egypt as you were ashamed of Assyria.
37. Indeed you will go forth from him With your hands on your head; For the Lord has rejected your trusted allies, And you will not prosper by them.
Jeremiah 2:26‭-‬37 NKJV
We live in a generation where everyone claims to be wise, righteous and perfect. People seem to know the right thing to be done but we continue to witness the wrong things being done on a daily basis. We see violence, crime and immorality. Many think they are lords and put their trust in worthless things, yet expect to prosper. Such was the situation in the northern kingdom, Israel, and in Judah during the time of Jeremiah.
In our text today, God brought several charges against Israel through Jeremiah saying, "your gods are according to the number of your cities, you receive no correction, your sword devours the prophets, you assume lords and reject God, you have forgotten God time without number, you kill the poor innocent, and even though you are guilty, you still claim to be innocent saying, 'I have not sinned'." And the verdict is this, "as a result of all these, all that you trusted in shall fail you, and you will not prosper by them. You shall be ashamed of your trusted allies, you will go forth from them, and you will not prosper by them."
Are you still living carelessly and pursuing pleasure? This is the time for you to change your way by turning to God if you must prosper.
🙏Prayer: Dear LORD, I return to You with all my heart.

MONDAY,  August 12,  2019

14. “ Is Israel a servant? Is he a homeborn slave? Why is he plundered?
15. The young lions roared at him, and growled; They made his land waste; His cities are burned, without inhabitant.
16. Also the people of Noph and Tahpanhes Have broken the crown of your head.
17. Have you not brought this on yourself, In that you have forsaken the Lord your God When He led you in the way?
18. And now why take the road to Egypt, To drink the waters of Sihor? Or why take the road to Assyria, To drink the waters of the River?
19. Your own wickedness will correct you, And your backslidings will rebuke you. Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing That you have forsaken the Lord your God, And the fear of Me is not in you,” Says the Lord God of hosts.
20. “For of old I have broken your yoke and burst your bonds; And you said, ‘I will not transgress,’ When on every high hill and under every green tree You lay down, playing the harlot.
21. Yet I had planted you a noble vine, a seed of highest quality. How then have you turned before Me Into the degenerate plant of an alien vine?
22. For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, Yet your iniquity is marked before Me,” says the Lord God .
23. “How can you say, ‘I am not polluted, I have not gone after the Baals’? See your way in the valley; Know what you have done: You are a swift dromedary breaking loose in her ways,
24. A wild donkey used to the wilderness, That sniffs at the wind in her desire; In her time of mating, who can turn her away? All those who seek her will not weary themselves; In her month they will find her.
25. Withhold your foot from being unshod, and your throat from thirst. But you said, ‘There is no hope. No! For I have loved aliens, and after them I will go.’
Jeremiah 2:14‭-‬25 NKJV
Anyone who goes through Biblical history will not be in doubt that God was determined to make Israel a nation of honour and respect. He placed her above all the peoples of the world. They were His own heritage (Deuteronomy 7:6). However, this passage exposes the inglorious and pathetic state of Israel.
The humiliation is complete and can be summarized as follows:
1. Israel is now a servant of servants. 2. She has become a home-born slave. 3. She is plundered. 4. Her land is laid waste. 5. She is frightened and threatened by lions. 6. Her cities are burnt. 7. Her crown is broken.
Oh what a pity! How are the mighty fallen. Why this? The answer is SIN! Israel had sinned against God. She had become rich, powerful and famous and so believed she had arrived. You who believe you have arrived and have become arrogant because of your political, religious and commercial positions, think again! You have begun to live in sin and to insult God, watch it! If you dont repent and turn to Jesus now, sin will surely humiliate you (Numbers 32:23).
🙏PRAYER: Oh Lord! I repent of my sin, forgive me. Do not destroy me.

SUNDAY,  August 11,  2019

📖 BIBLE TEXT: JOHN 17:11-19
11. Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.
12. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
13. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.
14. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
15. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.
16. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
17. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
18. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.
19. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
John 17:11‭-‬19 NKJV
The Lord Jesus prayed for His Church before He died. This prayer is effective till the end of this age. He prayed that: 1. The Church be kept indissoluble and united. 2. That His joy shall fill her heart. 3. That she should be kept from the evil one. 4. That she should be sanctified through the Word.
It is this prayer that has kept the Church in spite of the fiery waves of trials, persecutions and temptations that have burned through her all these years. It is this prayer that has sustained some who still uphold and preach the Gospel of Jesus as delivered to His Apostles, raw and uncorrupted. It is this prayer that keeps the Church from being destroyed by the evil one (John 5:18). It is this prayer that has continued to preserve young men and women who still remain virgins until they get married they are sanctified by the Word. It is this prayer that has continued to cause love to exist among many believers of many denominations; they remain united.
Many also, who go through the fiery trials of life, still remain, with the joy of the Lord keeping them. You can depend on and believe His prayer, He has prayed and still intercedes for you today (Hebrews 7:25).
🙏PRAYER: Dear Lord, please thank you for praying for me. Keep me trusting You.

SATURDAY,  August 10,  2019

8. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9. persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—
10. always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
11. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
12. So then death is working in us, but life in you.
13. And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak,
14. knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.
15. For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.
16. Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
17. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
18. while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
II Corinthians 4:8‭-‬18 NKJV
Paul enumerated what constitute a vessel of glory. They include: …hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed always carrying about in the body, the dying of the Lord Jesus. The reason for these is that the …life of Jesus also may be manifested on our body…. This is for Jesus to be glorified in the life of His Saints.
It is Gods will that we suffer for the sake of Jesus (See John 15:18-21).
One of Pauls goals is to have the fellowship of Jesus, being conformed to His death. While we are going through these sufferings, for the sake of Christ and His righteousness, our bodies are being transformed from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). If we suffer for His sake, we will also reign with Him (2 Timothy 2:11-12).
Child of God, do not forget the admonition of the Scripture: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Rom. 8:18). People of God, we know that as this our earthly house is being destroyed by the ravages of troubles, it is being renewed to be conformed to the image of Christ in which we shall be resurrected on that great day. So hold on.
🙏PRAYER: Help me, Lord Jesus that I might keep looking unto you till that day

FRIDAY,  August 9,  2019

1. Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.
2. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
3. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
4. whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
5. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.
6. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
II Corinthians 4:1‭-‬7 NKJV
In today's Scripture, we, as believers, are reminded of our goal and need to spread the glory of Christ, to preach the Gospel, to reach out for souls, to show love to straying humanity by reconciling and pointing them back to God. Since the goal of any true believer in Christ is to spread the glory of Christ, to live an exemplary Christ-like life and to shine as light in darkness that men may see and glorify God, we should, by our words and actions, spread the glory of Christ.
When we, like Paul, realize that we have received not only divine mercy and salvation but also knowledge of the glory of Christ, appearing as earthen vessels carrying the light and treasure of His glory, we should spread only the glory of Jesus Christ to people. And when we do not preach ourselves, but Christ, we are spreading the glory of Jesus Christ and the Lord will surely reward us.
🙏PRAYER: Dear LORD, please fill me with fresh passion and fire to preach the Gospel, to shine as light in darkness and share your love to others, to spread the glory of Christ as I ought to, and reconcile souls to You, in Jesus name, Amen.

THURSDAY,  August 8,  2019

4. And we have such trust through Christ toward God.
5. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,
6. who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
7. But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away,
8. how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?
9. For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory.
10. For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels.
11. For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.
12. Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech—
13. unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away.
14. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ.
15. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart.
16. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
17. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is , there is liberty.
18. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
II Corinthians 3:4‭-‬18 NKJV
Todays Scripture (2 Corinthians 3:4-18) reminds us of the difference between the Glory of God witnessed by Moses (Exodus 33:11-23) and the Glory we witness in Jesus Christ: while the glory shone on Moses face was veiled and fading, the glory of Christ in the lives of believers is unveiled and increasing on a daily basis, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
As we draw nearer and nearer to Christ day by day, believing in Him and doing His holy will, He continues to shed His glory on us by the power of the Holy Spirit, transforming us daily and causing us to move from glory to glory.
As we fix our hearts and aspirations on Christ and struggle daily to be like Him in holiness, humility, love and obedience to His will, the glorious presence of His traits in our lives transforms us and makes us radiate His glory progressively and increasingly in our environment until we finally come face to face with His perfect eternal glory in heaven.
🙏PRAYER: Dear LORD, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, please grant me the grace to set my heart on heaven and mortify the remaining sin in my member, so that I can move from glory to glory daily, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

WEDNESDAY,  August 7,  2019

📖 BIBLE TEXT: 2 PETER 1:15-18
15. Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.
16. For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.
17. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
18. And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
II Peter 1:15‭-‬18 NKJV
The Excellent Glory is the perfect glory of Jesus Christ. We must be deeply rooted in Christ, following Him seriously, if we wish to witness His excellent glory. Peter, in 2 Peter1:15-18 gives us an eyewitness account of Gods Excellent Glory upon Jesus Christ which he witnessed while following Christ.
Hence, he reminds us of the need for us to ignore all fables and believe deeply in Jesus Christ because he (Peter), while on the holy maintain with Christ, truly heard the voice of God declaring from heaven: This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.
Peter assures us that we, like him, shall witness the Excellent Glory of Jesus Christ now and at His second coming if we believe in Him daily and follow Him sincerely till then.
The Excellent Glory consists not only in His miracles, signs and wonders, but also in His power to save, to heal, to deliver, to prosper, to protect, and to guide us. It appears not only as His divine presence with us in all situations this year and beyond, but also as His salvation and unfailing love, mercies, peace and radiance to us onto eternity.
🙏PRAYER: Dear LORD, please draw me nearer to You daily so that I can witness Your Excellent Glory always, through the merits of Jesus Christ, Amen.