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Daily Devotional


9. Two [are] better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor.
10. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him [who is] alone when he falls, For [he has] no one to help him up.
11. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm [alone?]
12. Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
13. Better a poor and wise youth Than an old and foolish king who will be admonished no more.
14. For he comes out of prison to be king, Although he was born poor in his kingdom.
15. I saw all the living who walk under the sun; They were with the second youth who stands in his place.
16. [There was] no end of all the people over whom he was made king; Yet those who come afterward will not rejoice in him. Surely this also [is] vanity and grasping for the wind.
Our passage today focuses among other things, on companionship. A companion is an available assistant with a defined relationship. He is a suitable helper at every point in time. The Bible says “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up”(verses 9-10). Similarly, in Genesis 2:18, the Bible says “And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” God is the Author of companionship; He is always interested in providing helping hands for man and has a desire to see His children grow up in fellowship with one another. As a matter of fact, no human being can survive without others. Even the director of an organisation needs the support of other workers including the cleaner.
Though God established companionship for mutual understanding and growth of human beings, there are betrayals all over the place. Marriages have shattered because one partner failed to do what must be done to foster peace and progress; friendships have been broken because of unfaithfulness. Prophet Amos says “Can two work together except they agree?” (Amos 3:3). Agreement is very key in being a faithful and true companion. Determine to be a true companion in your marriage, business and family, even when situations are not favourable. Psalm 133:1 says “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”Be a trustworthy companion.
*PRAYER:* Dear Lord, make me a true, faithful and dependable companion, in Jesus name. Amen.


✝πŸ“–TEXT: Ecclesiastes 4:1-8(NKJV)
1. Then I returned and considered all the oppression that is done under the sun: And look! The tears of the oppressed, But they have no comforter -- On the side of their oppressors [there is] power, But they have no comforter.
2. Therefore I praised the dead who were already dead, More than the living who are still alive.
3. Yet, better than both [is he] who has never existed, Who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
4. Again, I saw that for all toil and every skillful work a man is envied by his neighbor. This also [is] vanity and grasping for the wind.
5. The fool folds his hands And consumes his own flesh.
6. Better a handful [with] quietness Than both hands full, [together with] toil and grasping for the wind.
7. Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun:
8. There is one alone, without companion: He has neither son nor brother. Yet [there is] no end to all his labors, Nor is his eye satisfied with riches. [But he never asks,] "For whom do I toil and deprive myself of good?" This also [is] vanity and a grave misfortune.
The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes, by popular opinion, was King Solomon, the son of David. Solomon was a man endowed with wisdom and riches so much that he had been named among the most influential people that ever lived. He enjoyed affluence at its highest point and understood by the wisdom of God, the science of human life and spiritual philosophy of man’s endeavours. He concluded that running up and down to make a name for oneself is all vanity. He said, “I praised the dead who were already dead, more than the living who are still alive. Yet better than both is he who has never existed, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun”(vs. 2-3). In other words, the vanity of life according to Solomon makes life undesirable and the only one who can escape from the oppression and struggles of life is he who has never existed. Life is full of unavoidable challenges and crisis.
Beloved, while it is a good thing to be active, hardworking and diligent in order to excel in life, we must understand that our struggles are not supposed to be “do or die.” There is absolutely nothing ahead of us that is worth dying for. It is painful to see Christians who are known to be committed in church lose their sense of control at the minutest opportunity to improve their economic well-being. Christians must learn to be cautious, careful and contented, especially when it comes to meeting their daily needs. Furthermore, our labour and toiling should not be made to maim but to encourage our fellow human beings. Wemust run away from whatever will make others weep today!
✝πŸ™ PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me to know that life without You does not count and to give my all to You, in Jesus name. Amen.


16. Moreover I saw under the sun: [In] the place of judgment, Wickedness [was] there; And [in] the place of righteousness, Iniquity [was] there.
17. I said in my heart, "God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, For [there is] a time there for every purpose and for every work."
18. I said in my heart, "Concerning the condition of the sons of men, God tests them, that they may see that they themselves are [like] animals."
19. For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely, they all have one breath; man has no advantage over animals, for all [is] vanity.
20. All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust.
21. Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, which goes down to the earth?
22. So I perceived that nothing [is] better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that [is] his heritage. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?
E:*In continuation of our thoughts yesterday, Solomon was asking ‘How can God be in control when there is so much evil in our world, with the wicked prospering in their sin and the righteous suffering in their obedience?’ (verses 16 &17). He responded with two sure statements: God has a time for everything, including judgment (Ecclesiastes 8:6, Ecclesiastes 8:11), and God is working out His eternal purposes in and through the deeds of humans, even the deeds of the wicked. God will judge when history has run its course, though He is judging now (verse 18). In the experiences of life, God is testing humans. (The word ‘test’ - barur- literally means "to sift or to winnow.") God is revealing what man is really like; He is sifting him. For, when man leaves God out of his life, he becomes like an animal. He lives like a beast and dies like a beast.
Child of God, it is true evil surrounds us day-by-day. We see things happen that question not only the existence of God, but also His love for us. It is not that God is not in control, He is only allowing the wicked to have a time for an amendment of life, without which judgement will come. Then in the wisdom of God, He brings out beauty and good out of life’s ugliness and evil. Be patient with God and continually trust Him. He shall surely turn your life around for good, and you will forget your present sorrow. He has power over all situations and circumstances; yours cannot be out of His control. All you need now is to continue to trust Him to lead on. Obey His command, even when it seems not easy. Forgive, persevere, be kind, even when the recipients do not deserve these from you. And at the end, it shall be your victory and breakthrough.
PRAYER: Time goes by swiftly and gets away from us, but God keeps track of it and will, at the end of time, call into account what we have done with time.


(St. Matthew the Apostle)
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."
Today is the commemoration of St. Matthew the Apostle. He is also called Levi in the Gospel of St. Mark and St. Luke. The name ‘Matthew’ means the Gift of God. Ministers are God’s gifts to the Church; their ministry and ability are God’s gifts to them. Matthew was a publican, from among a group who were notoriously unscrupulous in the collection of taxes. Because of their extortion and position as agents of Rome, the publicans were socially rejected, religiously excommunicated and politically viewed as traitors. Nevertheless, their job was lucrative. When Jesus called Matthew, saying “follow me” (verse 9), he forsook his lucrative position to become the Lord’s disciple. How many of us would walk away from a high-paying job to be the Lord’s servant?
Having seen what Jesus had done for him, he used his influence to introduce others to Christ. He invited his friends to a feast in honour of Jesus that they too might become acquainted with Him (verse 10). How many of us have opened our home to our neighbours and friends to introduce them to Christ? Can you open your home for House-fellowship? Matthew’s example of using his influence to bring others to Christ should be instructive to each one of us.
*PRAYER:* Lord, make me an instrument to bring sinners to Your kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


(Trinity 15)
READ: ROMANS 12: 9-21 (NKJV)
9. [Let] love [be] without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
10. [Be] kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
11. not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
12. rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
13. distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
14. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
15. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
16. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
17. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
18. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
19. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but [rather] give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance [is] Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.
20. Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."
21. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
In our text, Apostle Paul charges the Corinthian Christians to love sincerely. This sincere love would enable them give honour to and live in harmony with others (verses 10 & 16); it would help them to be zealous in serving the Lord hopefully and patiently even in trouble; never giving up on God (verse 12).This genuine love would make them contribute towards the needs of others (verse 13); enable them bless those who were cruel to them; not repay evil for evil but feeding the enemy when the need arose (verse 14, verse 17 & verse 20). The Christian is expected to strive to live at peace with everyone; never seeking to avenge himself/herself, for vengeance belongs to the Lord, but to run away from all evil and hold fast to that which is good.
Child of God, the Lord’s way is the way of love. He does nothing without love and His actions are motivated by the same. That is why He has not dealt with us according to our sins nor has He rewarded us according to our iniquities. As His children, He would have us act in love towards others whether they are our friends or foes. The love we are to display must be sincere and not pretentious. This is when we can be like our Father in heaven who rains on both the evil and the good. So, today let your actions be motivated by love, that will see you bless those who curse you, and feed your enemy when he is hungry. It will enable you provide for the needy and strengthen you to live at peace with all people. And those who come across you today will feel the impact of God’s love through you.
*PRAYER:* Dear Lord, help me to genuinely love others as You love me


1. To everything [there is] a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
2. A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck [what is] planted;
3. A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up;
4. A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
5. A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
6. A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
7. A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
8. A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.
9. What profit has the worker from that in which he labors?
10. I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied.
11. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
12. I know that nothing [is] better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives,
13. and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor -- it [is] the gift of God.
14. I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken from it. God does [it,] that men should fear before Him.
15. That which is has already been, And what is to be has already been; And God requires an account of what is past.
Solomon continues to beautifully present the essence of the life of a natural human being, in contrast to a believer in the Lord. In chapters one and two, He had presented arguments proving that life without the presence of God was nothing but unprofitable, boring and meaningless chasing after the wind. But he, beginning from Ecclesiastes 3, started examining factors that must be considered before one can say that life is meaningful and purposeful. He saw something above humans- a God who controls time and balances life's experiences (verse 1-8). Then he saw something within them that link them to God - eternity in his heart (verses 9-11).
So the preacher is really saying ‘Look up and look within,’ then you will discover that your life is not meaningless. But today we shall examine only one of the two – ‘Look up.’ There is a purpose for your life. Your belief that there is a loving God, Who had taken steps to be your Father through the work of redemption on the cross of Jesus Christ, assures you that your existence is not in vain. Whatever you are going through, God loves you. He demonstrates that He loves you by Christ dying for you when you were yet sinning (Romans 5:8). Understand this love, and then you shall find meaning for your life. In fourteen statements, Solomon affirmed that God is at work in our individual lives, seeking to accomplish His will through all circumstances of life, using the twenty-eight as examples (verses . 2-8). Will you allow Him to order the circumstances of your life? Will you allow Him to order your time for you? He promised Abraham three times - ‘this time next year’ (Gen 17:21); ‘according to the time of life’ (Genesis 18:10); ‘at the appointed time’ (Genesis 18:14); and He fulfilled His promise ‘at the set time...’ (General 21: 2). Your times are in the hands of the Lord; He will beautify them at the set time. Please pray with this Hymn.
*PRAYER:* My times are in Thy hand,
My God, I wish them there;
My life, my friends, my soul I leave
Entirely to Thy care. Amen


12. Then I turned myself to consider wisdom and madness and folly; For what [can] the man [do] who succeeds the king? -- [Only] what he has already done.
13. Then I saw that wisdom excels folly As light excels darkness.
14. The wise man's eyes [are] in his head, But the fool walks in darkness. Yet I myself perceived That the same event happens to them all.
15. So I said in my heart, "As it happens to the fool, It also happens to me, And why was I then more wise?" Then I said in my heart, "This also [is] vanity."
16. For [there is] no more remembrance of the wise than of the fool forever, Since all that now [is] will be forgotten in the days to come. And how does a wise [man] die? As the fool!
17. Therefore I hated life because the work that was done under the sun [was] distressing to me, for all [is] vanity and grasping for the wind.
18. Then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me.
19. And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also [is] vanity.
20. Therefore I turned my heart and despaired of all the labor in which I had toiled under the sun.
21. For there is a man whose labor [is] with wisdom, knowledge, and skill; yet he must leave his heritage to a man who has not labored for it. This also [is] vanity and a great evil.
22. For what has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart with which he has toiled under the sun?
23. For all his days [are] sorrowful, and his work burdensome; even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity.
24. Nothing [is] better for a man [than] that he should eat and drink, and [that] his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.
25. For who can eat, or who can have enjoyment, more than I?
26. For [God] gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who [is] good in His sight; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and collecting, that he may give to [him who is] good before God. This also [is] vanity and grasping for the wind.
It appears that Solomon hated life in this passage. First in verses 12-17, he mused that since both the wise man and the fool will die, then what is the value of wisdom? He further said that we can leave our wisdom and wealth for the guidance and use of the next generation, but how can we be sure they will value them? Second, after both the wise man and the fool die, they are forgotten (verse 16). In other words, he found out that one cannot keep his wealth (verse 18), cannot protect it (verses 19-20), and cannot enjoy it as he/she should (verses 21-23). He therefore concluded that he was disgusted with life, although he was not contemplating suicide. Of course, he would not have wanted to leave all the good life behind.
The healthy Christian believer certainly would not hate life, no matter how difficult the situations might be. What gives him/her the ability to ‘love life’ and live it happily? 1 Peter 3:10, quoted from Psalms 34:12 ff gives believers the secret of putting the most into life and getting the most out of it. Life becomes worthwhile when we live it to glorify God. First, we live to please Him by not hurting our fellow humans, and second, through living by the promises of God in faith, and expecting better things to come as we journey on in life, even in eternity. Knowing that our life is not lived in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58) drives us on to live it to glorify God. We may not enjoy everything in life, or be able to explain everything about life - that is not important. Accept life as God presents it to you and enjoy it, in obedience to His will.
*PRAYER:* Lord, I thank You for the life You have given me. I shall live it for Your glory and honour till the end, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


1. I said in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure"; but surely, this also [was] vanity.
2. I said of laughter -- "Madness!"; and of mirth, "What does it accomplish?"
3. I searched in my heart [how] to gratify my flesh with wine, while guiding my heart with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what [was] good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives.
4. I made my works great, I built myself houses, and planted myself vineyards.
5. I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted all [kinds] of fruit trees in them.
6. I made myself water pools from which to water the growing trees of the grove.
7. I acquired male and female servants, and had servants born in my house. Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks than all who were in Jerusalem before me.
8. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and of the provinces. I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, [and] musical instruments of all kinds.
9. So I became great and excelled more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me.
10. Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, For my heart rejoiced in all my labor; And this was my reward from all my labor.
11. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done And on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all [was] vanity and grasping for the wind. [There was] no profit under the sun.
King Solomon continued to experiment in his quest to find something worthwhile in life (verse 3). He used pleasure in today’s passage and ended up finding that seeking pleasure for happiness and fulfilment is futile.
Today's world is pleasure-mad. Millions will pay almost any amount of money to ‘buy experiences’ and temporarily escape the burdens of life. There are three reasons pleasure-seeking will always fail to give joy. First, pleasure-seeking usually becomes a selfish endeavour; and selfishness destroys true joy. People who live for pleasure will usually exploit people around them to get what they want, and they end up with broken relationships as well as empty hearts. People are more important than things and thrills. Secondly, if you live for pleasure alone, enjoyment will decrease because you will reach a point when there willbe little or no enjoyment at all, only bondage. For example, the more people drink, the less enjoyment they get out of it; they must have more strong drinks in order to have pleasure; the sad result is desire without satisfaction, and from here, they will move to drugs, gambling, sex, etc., which consequence is disappointment and emptiness. Third, pleasure appeals to only a part of the person and ignores the total being. There will be true joy when the whole parts of you experience joy, not just your body. Pleasure cannot give your soul and spirit fulfilment. Connection with the Creator through Christ (being born again), and daily living by Scriptures and prayers will give total and true joy
*PRAYER:* Dear Lord, I pray that those who are in bondage of addiction to worldly pleasure, whose lives and homes are being destroyed, shall be set free.Give me grace not to live for only pleasure. Amen.




✝πŸ“–TEXT: Ecclesiastes 1:12-18(NKJV)
12.  I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
13.  And I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven; this burdensome task God has given to the sons of man, by which they may be exercised.
14.  I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all [is] vanity and grasping for the wind.
15.  [What is] crooked cannot be made straight, And what is lacking cannot be numbered.
16.  I communed with my heart, saying, "Look, I have attained greatness, and have gained more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has understood great wisdom and knowledge."
17.  And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind.
18.  For in much wisdom [is] much grief, And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.


 King Solomon, the writer of this scripture began his reign as a humble servant of the Lord, seeking God's wisdom and help (1 Kings 3:5-15). In response to his humble prayer, God promised him both wisdom and wealth (1 Kings 3:3-15); and He kept His promise. As Solomon grew older, he turned away from the Lord to the false gods of the many wives he married from foreign lands (1 Kings 11:1 ff). These marriages were motivated primarily by politics, not love, as Solomon sought alliances with the nations around Israel. In fact, many of the things Solomon did to bring glory to Israel were contrary to the Word of God (Deuteronomy 17:14-20). The passage today is a reflection of a miserable king in his latter years. God removed His hand of blessing (1 Kings 11), but only maintained Solomon's throne because of His promise to David his father. There is no record that King Solomon repented and turned to the Lord, but his message in Ecclesiastes suggests that he did, because the book appears to be the kind a person would write near the close of life, reflecting on life's experiences and the lessons learned. He probably wrote this during the years he faithfully walked with God, and near the end of his life.

Therefore, one thing is always constant: God is faithful no matter how we err from Him. But He is always waiting for His repentant child. The stupendous wealth and wisdom of Solomon could not give him joy anymore because God was not in them. Wealthand success can never bring fulfilment of life if Christ is lost. Many lose Christ when they seek these things. Seek first the Kingdom of heaven and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33)

✝πŸ™ PRAYER: Father, let me not derail from Your ways, so that Your blessings will not turn to curse in my life.


1. The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2. "Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher; "Vanity of vanities, all [is] vanity."
3. What profit has a man from all his labor In which he toils under the sun?
4. [One] generation passes away, and [another] generation comes; But the earth abides forever.
5. The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, And hastens to the place where it arose.
6. The wind goes toward the south, And turns around to the north; The wind whirls about continually, And comes again on its circuit.
7. All the rivers run into the sea, Yet the sea [is] not full; To the place from which the rivers come, There they return again.
8. All things [are] full of labor; Man cannot express [it.] The eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor the ear filled with hearing.
9. That which has been [is] what will be, That which [is] done is what will be done, And [there is] nothing new under the sun.
10. Is there anything of which it may be said, "See, this [is] new"? It has already been in ancient times before us.
11. [There is] no remembrance of former [things,] Nor will there be any remembrance of [things] that are to come By [those] who will come after.
This book - Ecclesiastes - is a compendium of what Solomon the King of Israel discovered by the hand of the Lord about life. Most of the discoveries were through his personal life experiences (when he was in tune with the Lord, and when he backslid from Him). A common feature in the book is the denial of any profit or gain to a person's labour. The term ‘gain’ is unique to Ecclesiastes. Generally, it refers to what is left over (a gain or a profit), after removing the principal invested in a business; or metaphorically, to what is advantageous or of benefit. Solomon affirmed at the outset that humans earn no essential advantage or profit from all their toil down here on the earth (this is what the phrase ‘under the sun’ means). He supported his opinion by referring to the ceaseless rounds of human generations through the temporal nature of a person's existence (verses 4) and of nature (sun, moon and the sea) in constant motion but which never arrive at any fixed goal or lasting rest (verses 5-7).
The above description by Solomon is of a life without Christ. Jesus says, ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly’ (John 10:10). When one lives in Christ, everything becomes profitable to God and to the world around the person. Our lives in Christ glorify God, and bless humanity. Even the person would not have lived in vain because the Scriptures affirm, ‘Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord’ (1 Corinthians 15:58). Life is ‘not in vain’ if it is lived according to the will of God, and that is what Solomon teaches today in the power of the Holy Spirit.
*PRAYER:* Dear Lord, cause my life to be profitable to You, the people I come across today, my family, and myself in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


(Holy Cross Day)
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, and of those under the earth,
11. and [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Rose of Lima once said, “Apart from the cross, there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.” Cross is symbolic to Christianity. Today commemorates the recovery of the Holy Cross which had been placed on Mt. Calvary by St Helena and preserved in Jerusalem but had fallen into the hands of Chosroas, King of the Persians. The precious relic was recovered and returned to Jerusalem by Emperor Heralius in 629 AD. In verse 8, Christ humbled Himself from the glorious and divine form to human form, in order to die for sinful and corrupt mankind. He did it in obedience to His Father’s will.
To follow Christ, you too must be ready to obey Him even unto suffering (Hebrews 12:4). When you identify with Christ on the cross, sharing in His suffering through obedience, then you share in His glory. The opportunity to glorify God by our obedience should be one of our compelling motives for living. Some people find it difficult to obey simple and godly instructions from their parents, superiors, doctors, teachers, and pastors. But we must remember that these are also messengers from God to guide us through life. For you to glorify God, there is no other way than to be obedient to Jesus Christ. Your steps in obedience, though tough to follow through, will bring glory to God and upliftment to you.
*PRAYER:* Lord, help me to be obedient to Your commands no matter what it may take, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


(Trinity 14)
1. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
2. And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3. And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor,] and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
4. Love suffers long [and] is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
5. does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
6. does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
7. bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8. Love never fails. But whether [there are] prophecies, they will fail; whether [there are] tongues, they will cease; whether [there is] knowledge, it will vanish away.
9. For we know in part and we prophesy in part.
10. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these [is] love.
In our text today, Apostle Paul gave a full list of the attributes of love. He says, ‘Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.’ The list is so comprehensive and exhaustive that it opens our eyes to human weaknesses and makes it appear as though not so many a people of God can be said to exhibit these qualities. But the truth is that the scriptures are not written to “perfect” and sinless humans. The Bible is written so that the imperfect man may behold the holy writ and be transformed by the renewing of his mind to conform to the image of the perfect Man, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Child of God, have you weighed your life in the light of the above scriptures and found out that you are not measuring up? Brace up and do not be discouraged. Never give up on love. Get closer to the scriptures to know what the will of the Lord is and seek to do it. This will enable you to grow in grace. The more you grow in grace, that is, in Christ Jesus, the more love you will exhibit. Again, I say, keep the scriptures before you; determine to practise love in the light of Christ Jesus. Your resolve to love in the way of God will pay off, and others will come to the light of Christ in you.
*PRAYER:* Dear Lord, help me to grow in grace so that I may love the more.


8. My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother;
9. For they [will be] a graceful ornament on your head, And chains about your neck.
10. My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent.
11. If they say, "Come with us, Let us lie in wait to [shed] blood; Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause;
12. Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, And whole, like those who go down to the Pit;
13. We shall find all [kinds] of precious possessions, We shall fill our houses with spoil;
14. Cast in your lot among us, Let us all have one purse" --
15. My son, do not walk in the way with them, Keep your foot from their path;
16. For their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed blood.
17. Surely, in vain the net is spread In the sight of any bird;
18. But they lie in wait for their [own] blood, They lurk secretly for their [own] lives.
19. So [are] the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; It takes away the life of its owners.
Verses 10-15 reveal how people are lured into the temptation to get rich quickly and this is one of the evils of the last days - the uncontrollable love for money. God says through His servant, Paul the Apostle, that those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction (I Timothy6:9). The writer of the book of Proverbs speaks at the beginning of the book as a father to a son or a teacher to a pupil, a father using his experience to admonish his son.
One of the most effective tools in the hands of the devil to lead people astray today, especially the youth, is the love of money. The devil in his deceitful and cunning ways has exposed the younger generation to ungodly quick access to wealth. This unholy access to instant wealth is devised in the pit of hell and sends promising youths into untimely graves and eternal condemnation. “For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? For what can a man give in return for his life?’’ Be wise! All that glitters is not gold!
*PRAYER:* O God of heaven and the earth, You are the Giver of all good things, give me the spirit of contentment and prevent my heart from every deceit of the devil, in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


1. The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:
2. To know wisdom and instruction, To perceive the words of understanding,
3. To receive the instruction of wisdom, Justice, judgment, and equity;
4. To give prudence to the simple, To the young man knowledge and discretion --
5. A wise [man] will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,
6. To understand a proverb and an enigma, The words of the wise and their riddles.
7. The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge, [But] fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Wisdom has been defined as the application of knowledge, but not just application of knowledge but the right application of knowledge. For instance in I Samuel 3, when king Saul had waited for Samuel for seven days according to his(Samuel’s) word, the Philistines were already advancing against themand many of his people had deserted him as a result of not seeing who was to offer the sacrifice, Saul then applied his human wisdom which seemed to be reasonable and good. James 4:17 says, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty.’’
The instruction provided in the book of Proverbs is to provide us with wisdom with which to handle the everyday affairs of life. Verse7 of our text reveals to us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, to fear God is to obey Him completely, that is the secret. It is not just to have the knowledge of what to do but doing it with the fear of God. Saul hardly finished with the offering of the sacrifice when Samuel arrived, what a tragedy! He was regarded as a fool and a disobedient fellowand this cost him and his lineage eternal regret. One guiding principle for finding true wisdom is to have the fear of the Lord. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.
✝πŸ™ PRAYER: God of covenant, you promised in your word that whosoever lacks wisdom should ask, I pray that you guide me through your wisdom to handle the affairs of my life in accordance with your will, in Jesus name .Amen.



10. All the land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be raised up and inhabited in her place from Benjamin's Gate to the place of the First Gate and the Corner Gate, and [from] the Tower of Hananeel to the king's winepresses.
11. [The people] shall dwell in it; And no longer shall there be utter destruction, But Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.
12. And this shall be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, Their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, And their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths.
13. It shall come to pass in that day [That] a great panic from the LORD will be among them. Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor, And raise his hand against his neighbor's hand;
14. Judah also will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations Shall be gathered together: Gold, silver, and apparel in great abundance.
15. Such also shall be the plague On the horse [and] the mule, On the camel and the donkey, And on all the cattle that will be in those camps. So [shall] this plague [be.]
16. And it shall come to pass [that] everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
17. And it shall be [that] whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain.
18. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they [shall have] no [rain;] they shall receive the plague with which the LORD strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
19. This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
20. In that day "HOLINESS TO THE LORD" shall be [engraved] on the bells of the horses. The pots in the LORD's house shall be like the bowls before the altar.
21. Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the LORD of hosts. Everyone who sacrifices shall come and take them and cook in them. In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.
The New City, Jerusalem, as promised in today’s passage shall be free from war, attack and destruction (verse11) because it is founded by the Lord Jesus. In it, there won’t be any jot of sin or anything that works corruption; it will be a complete holy city of God (Revelation 21:1, 2).
Jerusalem has been from time immemorial, honoured, as the City of God and the focal point of the entire world’s worship. No wonder, people from all walks of life would always go to Jerusalem to perform their holy pilgrimage. Alas! No matter how decent, amusing and fascinating this earthly Jerusalem may seem, its beauty cannot be compared with the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God (Revelation 21:1, 2). It is a glorious home we all as Christians wish to inherit. Everyone except sinners is welcomed in this New Jerusalem. And all hope is not lost on such sinners inasmuch as they have repented from their sins while on earth. There’s no repentance beyond here, and unfortunately, tomorrow is promised to no man. Repent today so you can be part of this glorious New Jerusalem.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, count me worthy in Your Kingdom, the New Jerusalem.



1. Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst.
2. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
3. Then the LORD will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle.
4. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, [Making] a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.
5. Then you shall flee [through] My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the LORD my God will come, [And] all the saints with You.
6. It shall come to pass in that day [That] there will be no light; The lights will diminish.
7. It shall be one day Which is known to the LORD -- Neither day nor night. But at evening time it shall happen [That] it will be light.
8. And in that day it shall be [That] living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur.
9. And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be -- "The LORD [is] one," And His name one.
The book of Zechariah 14 is an archetype of the Gospel according to St Matthew chapter 24 which revealed that The Day of the Lord would be full of surprises and mixed-feelings. It would be a day of wrath and fierce anger, and everyone would be judged accordingly (v.1; Isa. 13:9; Matt. 24:2). Then, everyone would be gathered under a clarion call unto Jerusalem and be dealt with in cruelty. It would relay rapture experiences as there would be two divides where the godly (the saints) would be called up unto the Lord Jesus (vs. 3-5). No one would be unaware of this great event (Matt. 24:23-27). That day, there won’t be light neither would there be any form of darkness (vs. 6-7; Acts 2:20). That day would completely and exclusively be handled by the Lord Jesus (vs. 8, 9; Rev. 11:15).
Beloved, we will not need the assistance of a chief justice to determine the rightness or otherwise of an action. Every soul and action will be handled by Jesus alone who will give to everyone according to his deeds. It is going to be a day of separation between two different attitudes and lifestyles (Matt. 24:38-43). Only the prepared will not gnash their teeth in regret. How prepared are you for this great day?
Lord, help me to remember that whatever I do today will be brought to judgment one day, and grant me repentant heart where necessary. Amen.


(Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
READ: LUKE 1:39-56 (NKJV)
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."
56. And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.
Today is the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Christians in the East and West commemorate the birth of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. One of her virtues was humility, the quality of not thinking that you are better than others. Humility and submission go hand in hand. The Bible consistently condemns pride and arrogance (James 4:6). If a person is full of himself or herself, God won’t be able to use him/her for His glory. Every servant of God in the Bible was humble- God works only with the humble. A person, who sees himself or herself to be more important than others, would not be able to completely do the will of God. In verse 48, Mary humbled herself before God. Though she was nobody in the eyes of men, she was somebody in the eyes of God. Truly, our worth is found in God’s eyes. How people judge us is nothing compared to how we stand with God. At the end of the day, it is what God thinks of us that really matters.
As a Christian, you are to seek to please God with your life. You need to fear Him and keep His words. This should be your focus; to humble yourself under God’s will; to live to please Him and keep His commands and not to try to meet human demands and expectations. Finally, you should be humble in dealing with others no matter the position we occupy (Philippians 2:1-11).
*PRAYER:" Dear Lord, grant me the grace to be humble in every situation through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



1. A Song of Ascents. Blessed [is] every one who fears the LORD, Who walks in His ways.
2. When you eat the labor of your hands, You [shall be] happy, and [it shall be] well with you.
3. Your wife [shall be] like a fruitful vine In the very heart of your house, Your children like olive plants All around your table.
4. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed Who fears the LORD.
5. The LORD bless you out of Zion, And may you see the good of Jerusalem All the days of your life.
6. Yes, may you see your children's children. Peace [be] upon Israel!
After accepting the sacrifice of Noah after the flood, God initiated a covenant with the universe that He would no longer destroy the earth with flood and that time of sowing and reaping would not cease. It is therefore an anomaly for anyone to sow and not reapor to labour and not to eat of it. The second verse of today’s reading reiterates God’s commitment to seeing that every man eats the fruit of his labour. Now, for one to eat the fruit of his labour would imply the following: First, that one is profitably engaged – doing something in good works and in daily labour. Secondly, that the blessing of the Lord rests upon the works one does. Third, one would eat of the fruits of his labour.
God has not willed any man to labour in vain. He has not even called the house of Israel to serve Him for nothing. The scripture puts it clearly that ‘Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labour’ (Ecclesiastes 2:24). But God has reserved this only for those who fear Him. Do you fear God? Then be sure that you will not labour in vain. Hence, do not be weary in well-doing, because in due course, you will be rewarded.
*PRAYER:* Dear Lord, put Your fear in me, bless the work of my hands and enable me to eat of the fruit of my labour.



18. 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.
19. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
20. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected [it] in hope;
21. because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
23. Not only [that,] but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
The saying, ‘No cross, no crown,’ is clearly in relation to the suffering of our Lord Jesus before and on the cross; and then the joy of the resurrection, ascension and the glory that followed. And if the words, ‘a servant is not greater that his master’ is anything to go by, evidently, the followers of Jesus Christ have no shorter way to glory than to suffer in relation to the cross. To this end, the apostle Paul having considered and estimated the value of the suffering of the present time and the glory that would follow, came to this conclusion: the suffering and the glory are not of the same value. Though the suffering may be painful and even excruciating and appear unbearable for the present, there is a future glory, which value is far higher that the pains presently experienced.
The experience of the suffering varies from person to person across the globe. We may then ask, ‘What are you presently experiencing? What pains have come to you in relation to your Christian faith or as it befalls men? Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, and is set at the right hand of God. Carry on in Christ, the joy to come will justify the suffering experienced.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, when I am going through challenges, help me to retain in my mind the value of the glory that far outweighs the present suffering. Amen.



1. "In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.
2. " It shall be in that day," says the LORD of hosts, "[that] I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they shall no longer be remembered. I will also cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to depart from the land.
3. "It shall come to pass [that] if anyone still prophesies, then his father and mother who begot him will say to him, 'You shall not live, because you have spoken lies in the name of the LORD.' And his father and mother who begot him shall thrust him through when he prophesies.
4. " And it shall be in that day [that] every prophet will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies; they will not wear a robe of coarse hair to deceive.
5. "But he will say, 'I [am] no prophet, I [am] a farmer; for a man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.'
6. "And [one] will say to him, 'What are these wounds between your arms?' Then he will answer, '[Those] with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.'
7. " Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, Against the Man who is My Companion," Says the LORD of hosts. "Strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered; Then I will turn My hand against the little ones.
8. And it shall come to pass in all the land," Says the LORD, "[That] two-thirds in it shall be cut off [and] die, But [one-] third shall be left in it:
9. I will bring the [one-third] through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, 'This [is] My people'; And each one will say, 'The LORD [is] my God.' "
As pointed out two days ago, the shepherd must understand correctly what his mission to the flock is. From the text above, the Lord of His Church is taking up the challenge of cleansing whereby idols would be a thing of the past (verses 1-2), fake prophets would cease from the land (verses 2-3), and the erring shepherd would be dealt with. This is so because the spiritual head of the Church is the shepherd and when the head is corrupt, the whole body will be stagnant.
In today’s Church, prophetic ministry is more attractive and popular than other ministries; we forget that the primary task of any prophet is to proclaim the word of the Lord, pointing at sin, explaining its consequences, and calling people to repentance and obedience. In addition to these is the gift of prophetic visions for coming events which unfortunately is being misused today. When last were the people convicted of their sins through prophetic declarations? Sinners are more comfortable under the ministration of prophets today than before. Where are prophets like Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Amos, John the Baptist and even Paul who faithfully delivered God’s message despite rejection, ridicule and persecution? A Chinese ambassador to Nigeria recently said that “China produces 1million engineers per year to do what they are doing while Africa produces 10 million pastors per year and are still being disturbed by witches and wizards.” What a picture!
PRAYER: Lord, cleanse Your Church and heal her of all spiritual diseases in Jesus name. Amen.



1. The burden of the word of the LORD against Israel. Thus says the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him:
2. "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem.
3. "And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.
4. "In that day," says the LORD, "I will strike every horse with confusion, and its rider with madness; I will open My eyes on the house of Judah, and will strike every horse of the peoples with blindness.
5. "And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, 'The inhabitants of Jerusalem [are] my strength in the LORD of hosts, their God.'
6. "In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a firepan in the woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves; they shall devour all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the left, but Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place -- Jerusalem.
7. " The LORD will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall not become greater than that of Judah.
8. "In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David [shall be] like God, like the Angel of the LORD before them.
9. "It shall be in that day [that] I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
10. " And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for [his] only [son,] and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.
11. "In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.
12. "And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves;
13. "the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves;
14. "all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves.
As we have seen, the book of Zechariah centres on the coming Messiah. The suffering He would go through to the point of being pierced was foretold over 500 years before its reality (verses 10-13; Isaiah 53:3-5; John 19:32-34). This agony He went through was the reason why people would mourn for Him.
Brethren, it is no more a story that the Messiah would come, suffer, and die. It is a settled case. The deed has been done. The long awaited prophecy came to pass over 2000 years ago. Our response to the one pierced therefore is not to mourn for Him again because the beauty of mourning is at the instance of the event. Mary, the mother of Jesus together with her friends, mourned the crucified Christ and immediately resorted to serving Him better. Very early on the third day, they were at the grave for cleansing. Why then should you cry more than the bereaved? What should be paramount in your heart is what to do to reciprocate His love for you. You must acknowledge His saving grace; confess your sins to Him, repent from and forsake all of them and then tell the story of this salvation to others.
PRAYER: Thank You Jesus for the great love You bestowed on me by Your suffering.



1. Open your doors, O Lebanon, That fire may devour your cedars.
2. Wail, O cypress, for the cedar has fallen, Because the mighty [trees] are ruined. Wail, O oaks of Bashan, For the thick forest has come down.
3. [There is] the sound of wailing shepherds! For their glory is in ruins. [There is] the sound of roaring lions! For the pride of the Jordan is in ruins.
4. Thus says the LORD my God, "Feed the flock for slaughter,
5. "whose owners slaughter them and feel no guilt; those who sell them say, 'Blessed be the LORD, for I am rich'; and their shepherds do not pity them.
6. "For I will no longer pity the inhabitants of the land," says the LORD. "But indeed I will give everyone into his neighbor's hand and into the hand of his king. They shall attack the land, and I will not deliver [them] from their hand."
7. So I fed the flock for slaughter, in particular the poor of the flock. I took for myself two staffs: the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bonds; and I fed the flock.
8. I dismissed the three shepherds in one month. My soul loathed them, and their soul also abhorred me.
9. Then I said, "I will not feed you. Let what is dying die, and what is perishing perish. Let those that are left eat each other's flesh."
10. And I took my staff, Beauty, and cut it in two, that I might break the covenant which I had made with all the peoples.
11. So it was broken on that day. Thus the poor of the flock, who were watching me, knew that it [was] the word of the LORD.
12. Then I said to them, "If it is agreeable to you, give [me] my wages; and if not, refrain." So they weighed out for my wages thirty [pieces] of silver.
13. And the LORD said to me, "Throw it to the potter" -- that princely price they set on me. So I took the thirty [pieces] of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD for the potter.
14. Then I cut in two my other staff, Bonds, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.
15. And the LORD said to me, "Next, take for yourself the implements of a foolish shepherd.
16. "For indeed I will raise up a shepherd in the land [who] will not care for those who are cut off, nor seek the young, nor heal those that are broken, nor feed those that still stand. But he will eat the flesh of the fat and tear their hooves in pieces.
17. "Woe to the worthless shepherd, Who leaves the flock! A sword [shall be] against his arm And against his right eye; His arm shall completely wither, And his right eye shall be totally blinded."
From today’s text, God told Zechariah to act out the roles of two different kinds of shepherds; the first demonstrated how God would reject His sheep because they rejected Him (verses 4-14). The second revealed how God would give His sheep over to an evil shepherd (verses 15-17). The two shepherd staffs - ‘Beauty’ (Grace) and ‘Bond’ (Union) that Zechariah broke signified that God’s gracious covenant with His people was broken, and that brotherhood between Judah and Israel was also broken. The third aspect showed that the time would come when the true shepherd would be rejected by the sheep who would rather accept a worthless shepherd.
Shepherds are not messengers of themselves but emissaries of God. God authorised them to pour forth the word; they are the proclaimers, publishers and speakers of God and His secrets. Hence, “thus says the Lord” is their defining introduction (Jeremiah 2:2; Ezekiel 2:4, Amos 1:3).
They are charged with a burden, a word from the Lord that they had no choice but to deliver. While true shepherds are called, instructed and sent by God (Ezekiel 33: 1, Ezekiel 7:7, Ezekiel 7:22; Isaiah 44:28), whoever does not receive his charge at the Lord’s mouth is a spy or hireling. True shepherds do not have any message of their own. Thus, the message of God in their mouth is not tampered with, added to, or subtracted from. Therefore, sheep are duty bound to submit to and obey them (shepherds) as they have been instructed from the Lord.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, make Your shepherds true emissaries of Your message and help the flock under them to yield themselves to divine injunctions. Amen.



1. Ask the LORD for rain In the time of the latter rain. The LORD will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, Grass in the field for everyone.
2. For the idols speak delusion; The diviners envision lies, And tell false dreams; They comfort in vain. Therefore [the people] wend their way like sheep; They are in trouble because [there is] no shepherd.
3. " My anger is kindled against the shepherds, And I will punish the goatherds. For the LORD of hosts will visit His flock, The house of Judah, And will make them as His royal horse in the battle.
4. From him comes the cornerstone, From him the tent peg, From him the battle bow, From him every ruler together.
5. They shall be like mighty men, Who tread down [their enemies] In the mire of the streets in the battle. They shall fight because the LORD is with them, And the riders on horses shall be put to shame.
6. "I will strengthen the house of Judah, And I will save the house of Joseph. I will bring them back, Because I have mercy on them. They shall be as though I had not cast them aside; For I [am] the LORD their God, And I will hear them.
7. [Those of] Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, And their heart shall rejoice as if with wine. Yes, their children shall see [it] and be glad; Their heart shall rejoice in the LORD.
8. I will whistle for them and gather them, For I will redeem them; And they shall increase as they once increased.
9. "I will sow them among the peoples, And they shall remember Me in far countries; They shall live, together with their children, And they shall return.
10. I will also bring them back from the land of Egypt, And gather them from Assyria. I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon, Until no [more room] is found for them.
11. He shall pass through the sea with affliction, And strike the waves of the sea: All the depths of the River shall dry up. Then the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, And the scepter of Egypt shall depart.
12. "So I will strengthen them in the LORD, And they shall walk up and down in His name," Says the LORD.
Today’s text reveals diverse ways of restoration and time of refreshment (verse 1), divine visitation (verse 3), divine empowerment, divine increase and establishment (verses 7-10). What a wonderful God! Even when God is angry with us because of our misdeeds, His anger is but for a moment; His favour is for life (Psalm 30:5a). He loves us passionately and unconditionally. He does not have the mind of permanently refraining Himself from us. “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you”(Isaiah 49:15). God drove Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden, but in great love, He is bringing generations of men back to a more glorious garden of delight through His only Son Jesus Christ (John 14:1-3).
Dear reader, acknowledge this saving grace today, come back to God because He already has a plan that is beyond human reasoning for you. The story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32 teaches us how loving a father can be. While many, including the prodigal son, thought that all roads to a great re-union with the father had closed, they were disappointed with the type of encomium and celebration the father threw at him. Why will you die in regret and despair? God’s love is compelling you today. Do not write yourself off when He has not forgotten you.
PRAYER: Father of love, I thank You for having me in mind, please, restore me to joy unending



11. " As for you also, Because of the blood of your covenant, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.
12. Return to the stronghold, You prisoners of hope. Even today I declare [That] I will restore double to you.
13. For I have bent Judah, My [bow,] Fitted the bow with Ephraim, And raised up your sons, O Zion, Against your sons, O Greece, And made you like the sword of a mighty man."
14. Then the LORD will be seen over them, And His arrow will go forth like lightning. The Lord GOD will blow the trumpet, And go with whirlwinds from the south.
15. The LORD of hosts will defend them; They shall devour and subdue with slingstones. They shall drink [and] roar as if with wine; They shall be filled [with blood] like basins, Like the corners of the altar.
16. The LORD their God will save them in that day, As the flock of His people. For they [shall be like] the jewels of a crown, Lifted like a banner over His land --
17. For how great is its goodness And how great its beauty! Grain shall make the young men thrive, And new wine the young women.
Every covenant-child of God has the grace to enjoy total freedom. In today’s passage, God did promise deliverance to the two kingdoms of Israel (Judah and Ephraim, verse13) from whatever situation that held them captive. They were likened to prisoners in a waterless pit (verse 11) where all hope of coming out was seemingly impossible. In their seemingly hopeless situation, God promised double restoration for them (See also Isaiah 61:1-3).
Beloved, Robert Schuller once wrote, ‘Tough times never last but tough people do!’ Oppression or problem does not weigh a covenant-child down; it rather strengthens him or her. While we are going through difficult times, God is only bending us like a bow (verse 13), and the more bent we are, the farther we will go. This is so because when a bow is bent, it is gathering momentum. Life’s challenges teach us better. Be encouraged today to cheer up as your liberty is imminent. The blood of the covenant perfected in Christ Jesus still delivers from every covenant that is against our peace (Colossians 2:14). Do you believe this?
*PRAYER*: Almighty God, let the blood of Your dear Son, Jesus Christ, liberate me from every oppression. Amen.


DATE: AUGUST 31, 2020

1. The burden of the word of the LORD Against the land of Hadrach, And Damascus its resting place (For the eyes of men And all the tribes of Israel Are on the LORD);
2. Also [against] Hamath, [which] borders on it, And [against] Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise.
3. For Tyre built herself a tower, Heaped up silver like the dust, And gold like the mire of the streets.
4. Behold, the LORD will cast her out; He will destroy her power in the sea, And she will be devoured by fire.
5. Ashkelon shall see [it] and fear; Gaza also shall be very sorrowful; And Ekron, for He dried up her expectation. The king shall perish from Gaza, And Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.
6. "A mixed race shall settle in Ashdod, And I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.
7. I will take away the blood from his mouth, And the abominations from between his teeth. But he who remains, even he [shall be] for our God, And shall be like a leader in Judah, And Ekron like a Jebusite.
8. I will camp around My house Because of the army, Because of him who passes by and him who returns. No more shall an oppressor pass through them, For now I have seen with My eyes.
9. " Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He [is] just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.
10. I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim And the horse from Jerusalem; The battle bow shall be cut off. He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion [shall be] 'from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.'
Our passage today opens with God’s message of deliverance and hope to His people. He was ready to defend His people by attacking and destroying their enemy nations. These nations were pagan and idolatrous in Israelite times. They, of course, represented the force of paganism and idolatry, had surrounded the people of God and were set to destroy them. The Lord therefore was ready to destroy them totally, even the strongest of them. God, out of magnanimity, promised to adopt some of those who survived His wrath. They would be taught the will of God and become very useful to him and even serve among His people, Israel.
God assures us through His word this moment that He is ever ready to protect His own jealously and destroy any force that dares to harm His children. He promises to encamp round His people against the enemy and also welcome whoever repents and turns from being His enemy. He gives assurances to make the repentant His children and even use them to a great extent. Therefore, remember that formerly you … are Gentiles by birth and called uncircumcision … But now … have been brought near through the blood of Christ (Ephesians.l 2:11-13). If you are His child, then claim His protection upon your life. But if you are not yet a child of God, you are God’s enemy. You need to repent of your sins and turn to God through Jesus Christ. He will save your soul, abundantly pardon and make you His useful child.
PRAYER: Dear God, I surrender my life anew to You today, cleanse me and continue to grant me Your divine protection and victory in Jesus’ name.


DATE: AUGUST 30, 2020
(Trinity 12)
READ: ROMANS 8: 26-30 (NKJV)
26. Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit [is,] because He makes intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God.
28. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to [His] purpose.
29. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined [to be] conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
Prayer is a spiritual exercise that involves our whole being. The kind of prayer that touches the throne of God and causes commotion in the kingdom of darkness will not be a mere activity of mouth. When a man kneels in his own strength, he falls away by diverse thoughts and becomes wearied in the spirit. However, when he releases his thoughts and everything about him to the dictates of the Holy Spirit, he can never become bore in the place of prayer. One of the ways through which Christ helps our weaknesses is by leading us through His words; you cannot pray through the word of God and pray amiss. When the Spirit is not involved, the flesh takes over and makes your request self-centered.
When you approach the throne of grace in the realm of prayer, invite the Spirit of God to take over, that is what it means to explore God. You need to engage Him because when the ability to express the deepest thoughts and feelings fail, it is the Spirit that pleads to God on your behalf. “… for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words’’ (verse 26). This goes beyond bowing of head, closing of eyes, carefulness in the choice of words and being systematic in presentation. It has to do with connecting with heaven, that is why we are regarded as weak but the Spirit of the living God helps our weaknesses. Note that the secret of effective prayer is allowing the Spirit to take charge.
PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, help me to always depend on the enablement of Your Spirit for effective prayer life, in Jesus name. Amen.


DATE: AUGUST 29, 2020

1. Again the word of the LORD of hosts came, saying,
2. "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'I am zealous for Zion with great zeal; With great fervor I am zealous for her.'
3. "Thus says the LORD: 'I will return to Zion, And dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, The Mountain of the LORD of hosts, The Holy Mountain.'
4. "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Old men and old women shall again sit In the streets of Jerusalem, Each one with his staff in his hand Because of great age.
5. The streets of the city Shall be full of boys and girls Playing in its streets.'
6. "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'If it is marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, Will it also be marvelous in My eyes?' Says the LORD of hosts.
7. "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Behold, I will save My people from the land of the east And from the land of the west;
8. I will bring them [back,] And they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. They shall be My people And I will be their God, In truth and righteousness.'
9. " Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Let your hands be strong, You who have been hearing in these days These words by the mouth of the prophets, Who [spoke] in the day the foundation was laid For the house of the LORD of hosts, That the temple might be built.
10. For before these days [There were] no wages for man nor any hire for beast; [There was] no peace from the enemy for whoever went out or came in; For I set all men, everyone, against his neighbor.
11. 'But now I [will] not [treat] the remnant of this people as in the former days,' says the LORD of hosts.
12. 'For the seed [shall be] prosperous, The vine shall give its fruit, The ground shall give her increase, And the heavens shall give their dew -- I will cause the remnant of this people To possess all these.
13. And it shall come to pass [That] just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, So I will save you, and you shall be a blessing. Do not fear, Let your hands be strong.'
14. " For thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Just as I determined to punish you When your fathers provoked Me to wrath,' Says the LORD of hosts, 'And I would not relent,
15. So again in these days I am determined to do good To Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear.
16. These [are] the things you shall do: Speak each man the truth to his neighbor; Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace;
17. Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; And do not love a false oath. For all these [are things] that I hate,' Says the LORD."
In this passage today, God gave a message of hope to His people to restore their fortunes. Though Jerusalem had been destroyed and left desolate, God promised to restore what had been lost, physically and spiritually. God promised to restore perfect peace and prosperity to the lives of individualsas well as to life of the nation, as He instructed them on how to live to maintain the prosperity that He would bring to them (vs. 16-17).
In the same vein today, God speaks to our individual lives and nation that if we are ready to change our thought pattern, ways and attitude to comply with His word and will, He will restore lost opportunitiesand blessings and also beautify our life. He is even ready to perform these as soon as we obey His word by being truthful and righteous in our dealings. We must do away with evil and wicked thoughts and actions against our neighbours;we should not deceive people in God’s name (swearing falsely).
✝πŸ™ PRAYER: God, please let there be a restoration of my lost glory and blessing in Jesus’ name.


DATE: AUGUST 28, 2020

1. Now in the fourth year of King Darius it came to pass [that] the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, on the fourth day of the ninth month, Chislev,
2. when [the people] sent Sherezer, with Regem-Melech and his men, [to] the house of God, to pray before the LORD,
3. [and] to ask the priests who [were] in the house of the LORD of hosts, and the prophets, saying, "Should I weep in the fifth month and fast as I have done for so many years?"
4. Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying,
5. "Say to all the people of the land, and to the priests: 'When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh [months] during those seventy years, did you really fast for Me -- for Me?
6. 'When you eat and when you drink, do you not eat and drink [for yourselves?]
7. '[Should you] not [have obeyed] the words which the LORD proclaimed through the former prophets when Jerusalem and the cities around it were inhabited and prosperous, and the South and the Lowland were inhabited?' "
8. Then the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, saying,
9. "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Execute true justice, Show mercy and compassion Everyone to his brother.
10. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, The alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart Against his brother.'
11. "But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear.
12. "Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the LORD of hosts.
13. "Therefore it happened, [that] just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen," says the LORD of hosts.
14. "But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations which they had not known. Thus the land became desolate after them, so that no one passed through or returned; for they made the pleasant land desolate."
A delegation from Bethel came to Jerusalem to entreat the Lord and ask whether they should continue mourning and fasting in the fifth month when the temple was almost completed.This was because the people had established fasting to commemorate certain events in their national life when they were in captivity. This had been going on for some seventy years. But according to the response from God to them, their fasting had been devoid of any efficacy and the blessing of God because they were not obedient to His word (verses 5-12).
Beloved, fasting without true repentance and readiness to obey God’s word amounts to exercise in futility. It is simply “hunger strike.” Fasting without praying also amounts to mere skipping of meals. God told them, as He tells us today, that fasting and prayer can only be effective before Him when we: (i) obey Him with all our heart, (ii) care for the needy and the vulnerable in the society (iii) do things the right way (righteous living, not cutting corners by taking undue advantage of others, as simple as jumping queues), and, (iv) stop planning evil against others (verses 9-10,12; Isaiah 58; James 5:16-17).
PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me to live right according to Your word so that my prayer, fasting and service may be effective, in Jesus’ name


DATE: AUGUST 27, 2020

11. "Take the silver and gold, make an elaborate crown, and set [it] on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest.
12. "Then speak to him, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying: "Behold, the Man whose name [is] the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, And He shall build the temple of the LORD;
13. Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. He shall bear the glory, And shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between them both." '
14. "Now the elaborate crown shall be for a memorial in the temple of the LORD for Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen the son of Zephaniah.
15. "Even those from afar shall come and build the temple of the LORD. Then you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you. And [this] shall come to pass if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God."

Zechariah was commanded by the Lord to collect silver and gold from some of the exiles that came from Babylon and make the elements into a crown for the coronation of the high priest, Joshua, the son of Jehozadak (verses 6:9-11). This action indicated that Joshua would both serve as a priest and function as king. This event foreshadows the priestly and kingly (Messianic) role of the Branch, the Davidic king-Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is our High Priest, pleading and interceding for us before the Father as a priest does when he leads his people or congregation before God in confession, intercession and teaching. As a king, He rules in the heart of His children and He will eventually put an end to the evil kingdom of this world when He comes back. Then, He will continue to rule as king eternally among His saints (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10). Since Christ, ‘the Branch’, is both our High Priest and King and has made us His followers a kingdom of priests and kings, then as we lead people to God through the preaching of the Gospel, we need to exercise the authority He has given us by smashing and destroying all the works of darkness through the power of prayer (Jeremiah 1:1-10; Luke 4:18-19).
PRAYER: Father, let every evil force militating against Your kingdom in my heart and Your purpose for my life be destroyed today by the Blood of Jesus.


DATE: AUGUST 26, 2020

1. Then I turned and raised my eyes and looked, and behold, four chariots [were] coming from between two mountains, and the mountains [were] mountains of bronze.
2. With the first chariot [were] red horses, with the second chariot black horses,
3. with the third chariot white horses, and with the fourth chariot dappled horses -- strong [steeds.]
4. Then I answered and said to the angel who talked with me, "What [are] these, my lord?"
5. And the angel answered and said to me, "These [are] four spirits of heaven, who go out from [their] station before the Lord of all the earth.
6. "The one with the black horses is going to the north country, the white are going after them, and the dappled are going toward the south country."
7. Then the strong [steeds] went out, eager to go, that they might walk to and fro throughout the earth. And He said, "Go, walk to and fro throughout the earth." So they walked to and fro throughout the earth.
8. And He called to me, and spoke to me, saying, "See, those who go toward the north country have given rest to My Spirit in the north country."
9. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying:
10. "Receive [the gift] from the captives -- from Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, who have come from Babylon -- and go the same day and enter the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah.
Four chariots driven by horses of different colours going out to execute divine judgement were seen by Zechariah. These spiritual beings were out to carry out God’s purpose just like the horses and their riders were seen by John in Revelation 6 also sent out to execute God’s judgement according to His purpose. The north is particularly mentioned and emphasised as being visited with God’s judgement. The judgement was represented by the black and white horses. The north of Israel was the direction from which most of the enemies of God’s people came. Eventually, God’s Spirit was satisfied because these chariots accomplished their God-given assignment which was His judgement of those nations.
Our passage today is a confirmation of the fact that God will surely visit the enemies of His people and purpose with judgement (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10). As God’s Spirit was satisfied with the accomplished task executed by those chariots, so also will God’s will be perfectly done in the end when the evil kingdom and forces of this world will be destroyed at the Second Coming of Christ. We are therefore warned to refrain from evil works, especially from afflicting the Church of God in any way. This is because God will surely punish those who stand against His will. As children of God, we too need to call on God to stop every evil force attacking our life, family or Church (Ephesians 6:10-18).
PRAYER: Oh God! Fight my battles and destroy every evil force that rises against Your purpose for my life in Jesus’ name.


DATE: AUGUST 25, 2020

1. Then I turned and raised my eyes, and saw there a flying scroll.
2. And he said to me, "What do you see?" So I answered, "I see a flying scroll. Its length [is] twenty cubits and its width ten cubits."
3. Then he said to me, "This [is] the curse that goes out over the face of the whole earth: 'Every thief shall be expelled,' according [to] this side of [the scroll;] and, 'Every perjurer shall be expelled,' according [to] that side of it."
4. "I will send out [the curse,"] says the LORD of hosts; "It shall enter the house of the thief And the house of the one who swears falsely by My name. It shall remain in the midst of his house And consume it, with its timber and stones."
5. Then the angel who talked with me came out and said to me, "Lift your eyes now, and see what this [is] that goes forth."
6. So I asked, "What [is] it?" And he said, "It [is] a basket that is going forth." He also said, "This [is] their resemblance throughout the earth:
7. "Here [is] a lead disc lifted up, and this [is] a woman sitting inside the basket";
8. then he said, "This [is] Wickedness!" And he thrust her down into the basket, and threw the lead cover over its mouth.
9. Then I raised my eyes and looked, and there [were] two women, coming with the wind in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between earth and heaven.
10. So I said to the angel who talked with me, "Where are they carrying the basket?"
11. And he said to me, "To build a house for it in the land of Shinar; when it is ready, [the basket] will be set there on its base."
Here, Zechariah saw a vision of an enormous flying scroll of 30-feet long and 15-feet wide. The scroll expressed God’s curse that went out over the whole earth; it equally stood for God’s law and the covenant which He had made with His people. Stealing and swearing falsely in God’s name are the two major sins written on the scroll. These appear to be examples of sins against their neighbours and sins against the holiness of God and God Himself. The consequences or the judgement would be grievous according to verses 3 and 4.
The passage is a warning to us today that whoever breaks God’s law is under His curse and anger. Theft or stealing and swearing falsely as mentioned, are sins that can be easily committed, even by Christians. Unfaithfulness in tithing is seriously regarded as stealing what belongs to God;it attracts grievous punishment (Malachi 3:8), let alone stealing the wealth of a whole society or community as can be seen in the political arena today. Swearing falsely is equally easily committed when we fail to uphold the confessions we make in God’s name, especially as political or religious agents in the society or even in the Church. God desires that we repent of all these and live a holy life so that we can be forgiven and escape His curse and judgement.
PRAYER: Father, help me to live a life devoid of all forms of unrighteousness in Jesus’ name.


DATE: AUGUST 21, 2020

8. 'Hear, O Joshua, the high priest, You and your companions who sit before you, For they are a wondrous sign; For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH.
9. For behold, the stone That I have laid before Joshua: Upon the stone [are] seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave its inscription,' Says the LORD of hosts, 'And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
10. In that day,' says the LORD of hosts, 'Everyone will invite his neighbor Under his vine and under his fig tree.' "
Though painful,pruning is necessary and gainful for everyone who desires to bear fruit in his lifetime. It is often said that no pain, no gain. Today’s text reveals to us that peace and prosperity of the remnants - those who returned from Babylonian captivity - depended largely on their moral cleansing.Spiritual cleansing must come before spiritual blessings. The messenger called the ‘Branch’ in our passage is the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ whom God would send to remove the iniquity of His people in one day (verses 8-9). This was fulfilled when Jesus Christ came into the world to die upon the cross. He took away our sins and laid themon the cross for our sakethereby opening the gate of God’s blessings unto all His children.
Child of God, your walk with the Lord will be an exercise in futility if you are not grafted in Him as a branch, for nourishment, support and regular pruning (Romans 11:16-24 & John 15:5-6). The Bible saysif anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature and old things are passed away. For you to experience new results in all areas of your life: marriage, business and ministry, you must submit to Christ for spiritual pruning. He loves you and wants you to bear much fruit so that His name will be glorified through your life, but the old nature must give way to His glory. Beloved, what sin are you indulging in? It will make you unproductive and sick, but if you yield your life to Jesus today, He will prune you and make you fruitful.
PRAYER: Dear Father, prune my life today for me to bear much fruit to Your praise and glory in Jesus name. Amen


DATE: AUGUST 20, 2020

1. Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him.
2. And the LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! [Is] this not a brand plucked from the fire?"
3. Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel.
4. Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, "Take away the filthy garments from him." And to him He said, "See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes."
5. And I said, "Let them put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the LORD stood by.
6. Then the Angel of the LORD admonished Joshua, saying,
7. "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'If you will walk in My ways, And if you will keep My command, Then you shall also judge My house, And likewise have charge of My courts; I will give you places to walk Among these who stand here.
The mission of Joshua the High Priest and his associates was to re-build the broken walls of Jerusalem, the temple and to restore the worship life of the remnants - the Jews who returned to Jerusalem from Babylonian captivity (Haggai 1:1, Haggai 1:12-14 & Haggai 2:4). Zechariah saw in his vision, Joshua the High Priest whom God had ordained to minister in His temple and commissioned to undertake the assignment of rebuilding. He stood before the angel of the Lord and Satan was at his right hand accusing him (verse 1). Satan gained access to the life of Joshua through the filthy garments on him (verse 3). However, the Lord of hosts who chose him to be His vessel helped him by rebuking Satan and commanding that the filthy garments (substance of his functionality) be replaced with clean vestments for him to be effective and efficient in his assignment (verse 4).
Beloved, the filthy garments in your life may be the sin of pride, hypocrisy, malice, wrong association, lukewarmness, drunkenness or idolatry. They are stumbling blocks to your stardom. God has ordained you to fulfil destiny; to be great, prosperous and progressive in life as His chosen generation (1 Peter 2:9-10). But as long as those garments are still on you, it will be difficult to fulfil your purpose in life. Are you struggling with these garments? Be determined today to do away with those sins. God is ever ready to help you remove those garments of sin, if only you can turn to Him today with a penitent heart and submit to Christ’s authority by obeying His commandments.
PRAYER: O Lord, take away from me today all the garments of sin, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


DATE: AUGUST 19, 2020

1. Then I raised my eyes and looked, and behold, a man with a measuring line in his hand.
2. So I said, "Where are you going?" And he said to me, "To measure Jerusalem, to see what [is] its width and what [is] its length."
3. And there [was] the angel who talked with me, going out; and another angel was coming out to meet him,
4. who said to him, "Run, speak to this young man, saying: 'Jerusalem shall be inhabited [as] towns without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it.
5. 'For I,' says the LORD, 'will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.' "
6. " Up, up! Flee from the land of the north," says the LORD; "for I have spread you abroad like the four winds of heaven," says the LORD.
7. "Up, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon."
8. For thus says the LORD of hosts: "He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.
9. "For surely I will shake My hand against them, and they shall become spoil for their servants. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me.
10. " Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst," says the LORD.
11. "Many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you.
12. "And the LORD will take possession of Judah as His inheritance in the Holy Land, and will again choose Jerusalem.
13. "Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD, for He is aroused from His holy habitation!"
Our text today reveals to us one of the benefits of genuine repentance, which is God’s protection against everything that represents ‘horns’ that would scatter and destroy God’s plan for the chosen people (Zechariah 1:18-21). Prophet Zechariah saw the vision of a man holding a measuring line to measure the length and width of Jerusalem in order to secure it against the invaders. In his vision, he saw another angel acting on the instruction of God to tell the man that Jerusalem would be inhabited; He promised them an everlasting protection. “And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the Lord, and I will be the glory in the midst” (verse 2:5 & Psalm 125:2).
Many people today are seeking for protection where it cannot be found. Various challenges of life have made many people to seek protection from the kingdom of darkness. As a matter of fact, some so-called believers have put themselves under the bondage of false prophets in the name of protection. They have forgotten the scripture that says “The name of the Lord is a strong tower and the righteous man runs into it and he is saved” (Proverbs 18:10). God had promised you a wall of fire around your life, marriage, business, ministry and children. All you need to do is to trust Him and depend solely on His power for safety. Arrows from the kingdom of darkness cannot reach you if you make God your wall of protection.
PRAYER: Dear Father, continue to be my security all the days of my life, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


DATE: AUGUST 18, 2020
7. On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet:
8. I saw by night, and behold, a man riding on a red horse, and it stood among the myrtle trees in the hollow; and behind him [were] horses: red, sorrel, and white.
9. Then I said, "My lord, what [are] these?" So the angel who talked with me said to me, "I will show you what they [are."]
10. And the man who stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, "These [are the ones] whom the LORD has sent to walk to and fro throughout the earth."
11. So they answered the Angel of the LORD, who stood among the myrtle trees, and said, "We have walked to and fro throughout the earth, and behold, all the earth is resting quietly."
12. Then the Angel of the LORD answered and said, "O LORD of hosts, how long will You not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which You were angry these seventy years?"
13. And the LORD answered the angel who talked to me, [with] good [and] comforting words.
14. So the angel who spoke with me said to me, "Proclaim, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "I am zealous for Jerusalem And for Zion with great zeal.
15. I am exceedingly angry with the nations at ease; For I was a little angry, And they helped -- [but] with evil [intent."]
16. 'Therefore thus says the LORD: "I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy; My house shall be built in it," says the LORD of hosts, "And a [surveyor's] line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem." '
17. "Again proclaim, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "My cities shall again spread out through prosperity; The LORD will again comfort Zion, And will again choose Jerusalem." ' "
18. Then I raised my eyes and looked, and there [were] four horns.
19. And I said to the angel who talked with me, "What [are] these?" So he answered me, "These [are] the horns that have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem."
20. Then the LORD showed me four craftsmen.
21. And I said, "What are these coming to do?" So he said, "These [are] the horns that scattered Judah, so that no one could lift up his head; but the craftsmen are coming to terrify them, to cast out the horns of the nations that lifted up [their] horn against the land of Judah to scatter it."
Our meditation yesterday reminded us of God’s displeasure with the remnants who survived the Babylonian captivity. He was angry with the Israelites because of their evil ways. But now that they had turned to Him with a penitent heart, He had repented of what he purposed to do and promised to restore all their lost fortunes. The Bible says “Therefore, thus says the Lord, ‘I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy; My house shall be built in it says the Lord of hosts, And a surveyor’s line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem…My cities shall again spread out through prosperity; The Lord will again comfort Zion and will again choose Jerusalem” (verses 16-17).
Beloved, if you also can turn to the Lord today with a broken and contrite heart, He will turn to you and grant you mercy, prosperity and comfort. He has promised you everything that makes life enjoyable - peace of mind, joy, breakthroughs, victory over Satan and his cohorts (verses 18-21). All of these can be enjoyed only if you can secure God’s attention by holy living and purity of heart. When David confessed his sin before God, his joy of salvation was restored to him (Psalm 51:12). What have you lost to the devil as a result of your sin? Turn to the Lord today and your lost glory – the joy of your marriage, peace of mind and joy of your salvation - will be restored to you.
PRAYER: O Lord, restore unto me today all my lost fortunes, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


DATE: AUGUST 17, 2020

1. In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,
2. "The LORD has been very angry with your fathers.
3. "Therefore say to them, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Return to Me," says the LORD of hosts, "and I will return to you," says the LORD of hosts.
4. "Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets preached, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Turn now from your evil ways and your evil deeds." ' But they did not hear nor heed Me," says the LORD.
5. "Your fathers, where [are] they? And the prophets, do they live forever?
6. Yet surely My words and My statutes, Which I commanded My servants the prophets, Did they not overtake your fathers? "So they returned and said: 'Just as the LORD of hosts determined to do to us, According to our ways and according to our deeds, So He has dealt with us.' " ' "
Zachariah the Prophet came from the Tribe of Leviand this qualified him for two offices: He was both priest and a prophet.He had a mandate of reminding the Jews who returned from exile in Babylon what had happened to their forefathers which led to their captivity and the destruction of the temple. He also told them the plan of God for the remnants, those who had returned to Jerusalem with him and his companions (verse 1). Prophet Zechariah in our text, encourages the Israelites to return to the Lord their God. The word “return” here means genuine repentance, to forsake their evil ways and practices and not to walk on the path that their forefathers walked which led them to the Babylonian’s captivity (verse 4).
God promises that if we repent and forsake our evil ways and practices, He is just and righteous to forgive and to cleanse us of our sins. Like the Israelites, you also need to repent of all your wicked ways in order to enjoy your fellowship with God. You cannot experience the benefits of becoming God’s child and the joy of walking with Him without confessing and repenting of your sin genuinely (1 John 1:6). Sin always cuts people offfrom God’s glory and robs them of their blessings, thereby making them miserable. God is calling you to turn and submit to Him completely in order to enjoy freshness from His presence (Acts 3:19).
PRAYER: Dear Father, forgive all my shortcomings and cleanse me by the Blood, in Jesus’ name. Amen



DATE: AUGUST 16, 2020

READ: ACTS 2:41-47 (NKJV)
41. Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added [to them.]
42. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
44. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,
45. and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
46. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
47. praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
The event leading to today’s passage was the historic sermon of Simon Peter on the day of Pentecost; the sermon alone led to the conversion of 3000 souls. Our passage, however, shows the social and religious relationship among the believers. The scripture reveals that “…they continued steadfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers” (verse 42).
Their qualities reveal the evidence of their genuine conversion as follows:
I. They continued steadfastly in the Apostles doctrine and fellowship. This means that the believers constantly listened to the teaching of the word of God from the Apostles and they were ready to obey them; they were thirsty for the Word. A strong evidence of conversion is the desire to be instructed more in the word of God and the willingness to obey the same. Is this desire still evident in your life?
II. They continued steadfastly in the breaking of bread and in prayers. Genuine conversion comes with the thirst to partake in all that enhances fellowship with God, especially in Holy Communion and constant prayers. But it is regrettable that the fervour of these qualities has gone down in many Christians today.
Kindly do a spiritual check-up today by examining yourself to know how you fare in your relationship with God and fellow believers. May the good Lord restore our first love!
PRAYER: Lord, restore my first love for You, in Jesus name I pray. Amen!


DATE: AUGUST 15, 2020

READ: ACTS 23:1-11 (NKJV)
1. Then Paul, looking earnestly at the council, said, "Men [and] brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day."
2. And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth.
3. Then Paul said to him, "God will strike you, [you] whitewashed wall! For you sit to judge me according to the law, and do you command me to be struck contrary to the law?"
4. And those who stood by said, "Do you revile God's high priest?"
5. Then Paul said, "I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, 'You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.' "
6. But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, "Men [and] brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!"
7. And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the assembly was divided.
8. For Sadducees say that there is no resurrection -- and no angel or spirit; but the Pharisees confess both.
9. Then there arose a loud outcry. And the scribes of the Pharisees' party arose and protested, saying, "We find no evil in this man; but if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him, let us not fight against God."
10. Now when there arose a great dissension, the commander, fearing lest Paul might be pulled to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them, and bring [him] into the barracks.
11. But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, "Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome."
Nothing can be compared with the presence of God in a believer’s life; His presence is soothing, comforting and reassuring. This is the reason Moses announced to the Lord “…if your presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here” (Exodus 33:15). Jesus knew this and left these parting words with His disciples “…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
Our passage reveals the unpleasant situation Paul found himself. While the commander made efforts to settle the problem between Paul and the Jews on matters bothering essentially on their religion, he invited the Chief Priest and all their Council (the Pharisees and the Sadducees) and placed Paul among them. With great wisdom, Paul exploited the difference in the belief systems of the Pharisees and the Sadducees during his presentation. This led to a great dissension between the two sects such that Paul was almost torn in two (verse 10). Alas, in that terrible situation, the Lord spoke to Paul by night – “Be of good cheer, Paul…” (verse 11). What a comforting statement from the King of the Universe to a troubled soul! Beloved, are you also going through hard times at home, office or marriage because of your faith in Christ Jesus? Be of good cheer, the Lord is with you. He has promised He will never fail. Certainly there will be light at the end of the tunnel (Isaiah 43:2).

PRAYER: Lord God, do not let Your presence depart from me. Amen.


DATE: AUGUST 14, 2020

: FRIDAY, AUGUST 14, 2020
READ: ACTS 22:17-30 (NKJV)
17. "Now it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance
18. "and saw Him saying to me, 'Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.'
19. "So I said, 'Lord, they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believe on You.
20. 'And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by consenting to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.'
21. "Then He said to me, 'Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.' "
22. And they listened to him until this word, and [then] they raised their voices and said, "Away with such a [fellow] from the earth, for he is not fit to live!"
23. Then, as they cried out and tore off [their] clothes and threw dust into the air,
24. the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, and said that he should be examined under scourging, so that he might know why they shouted so against him.
25. And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?"
26. When the centurion heard [that,] he went and told the commander, saying, "Take care what you do, for this man is a Roman."
27. Then the commander came and said to him, "Tell me, are you a Roman?" He said, "Yes."
28. The commander answered, "With a large sum I obtained this citizenship." And Paul said, "But I was born [a citizen."]
29. Then immediately those who were about to examine him withdrew from him; and the commander was also afraid after he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.
30. The next day, because he wanted to know for certain why he was accused by the Jews, he released him from [his] bonds, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down and set him before them.
It is often said, “Your right is your power” and “ignorance of the law is not an excuse.” In our society today, many people who do not know their right(s) are cheated and molested. It is not unchristian to claim and defend your constitutional rights where possible. In today’s Bible passage, we see Paul claiming his constitutional rights and privileges. Due to the confusion that followed the defence of his faith before the crowd, “the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, and said that he should be examined under scourging…” (verse 24). This action of the commander was against the Roman law that forbade binding and scourging of uncondemned Roman citizens. Paul knew this and asserted his right (verse 25). Paul’s knowledge of his rights and privileges as a Roman citizen (he was born in Tarsus, a Roman Colony), prevented his being unjustly flogged.
Beloved, there is no reason why we may not use lawful means at our disposal to repel or prevent an injury. Are you under pressure to sleep with your boss or lecturer at school? Are you a victim of sexual abuse? Are you unjustly denied your wages by an over-bearing boss or asked to engage in fraudulent practices? Take it to God in prayer, seek godly counsel and where possible, seek lawful means to redress the ungodly act. Moreover, do you know that it is your right to resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7)? The devil is at the root of all problems, resist him with prayer and he will flee from you.
PRAYER: Deliver me, oh Lord, from all afflictions of the devil in Jesus name I pray. Amen.


DATE: AUGUST 13, 2020

READ: ACTS 22:6-16 (NKJV)
6. "Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me.
7. "And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?'
8. "So I answered, 'Who are You, Lord?' And He said to me, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.'
9. "And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me.
10. "So I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?' And the Lord said to me, 'Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.'
11. "And since I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus.
12. "Then a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt [there,]
13. "came to me; and he stood and said to me, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight.' And at that same hour I looked up at him.
14. "Then he said, 'The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth.
15. 'For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.
16. 'And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'
To know the will of God for your life is very important. God has a divine plan for your life; you are not a product of accident. Apostle Paul, from our passage, narrated how he had been zealous for the work of God to the point of persecuting the young Church and committing her members to prison until he was arrested by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself on his way to Damascus (Acts 22:5-10). Ananias re-interpreted the Damascus Road experience to Paul this way – “the God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will...” (verse 14). All this while, Paul, a Pharisee and teacher of the law, did not know the will of God. The utmost will of God for mankind is salvation through His Son Jesus Christ (I Timothy 2:3-5; John 3:16)
The implication of Ananias’ statement is that the number of years as a Church member or priest does not guarantee salvation. Like Paul, you need an encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said: “Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born-again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Are you born-again? If not, it is high time you repented and confessed your sins to Jesus and accept Him as your Lord and Saviour. This is so that all your labours will not be in vain. God has a blueprint for your life (Jeremiah 29:11) and to know this, seek His face in prayer, read His word and ask the Holy Spirit to direct you. It is an awesome experience to know His will.
PRAYER: Lord God, reveal to me, Your will for my life in Jesus name. Amen.


DATE: AUGUST 12, 2020

READ: ACTS 21:37-22:1-5 (NKJV)
37. Then as Paul was about to be led into the barracks, he said to the commander, "May I speak to you?" He replied, "Can you speak Greek?
38. "Are you not the Egyptian who some time ago stirred up a rebellion and led the four thousand assassins out into the wilderness?"
39. But Paul said, "I am a Jew from Tarsus, in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city; and I implore you, permit me to speak to the people."
40. So when he had given him permission, Paul stood on the stairs and motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great silence, he spoke to [them] in the Hebrew language, saying,
41. "Brethren and fathers, hear my defense before you now."
To be fearful is to show lack of courage and confidence, being fainthearted or timid. Such condition enslaves and works against progress in life. No wonder, God warned Joshua after the death of Moses, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid, nor be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). Today’s reading reveals how confident and courageous Paul was in the Lord. In the face of severe hostility, he engaged the Army commander who came to rescue him and proved to him that he was not an impostor (verses 38-39). Secondly, he was able to stand in defence of his faith right before his accusers (Acts 22:1-5).
The scripture says that fear has a spirit behind it, which does not come from God. “For God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, love and sound mind” (II Timothy. 1:7). For you to make progress in your profession, ministry or life, you must repose your confidence in God and be courageous enough to break new grounds. Take the step today to resolve the strained relationship; be bold to face challenges in business or academics. Be confident enough to preach the Gospel to your friends, rebuke sin and expose it. Remember, a fearful heart is the cemetery of good intentions.
PRAYER: Lord, help me to overcome fear, endow me with Your Spirit of power, love and sound mind, in Jesus name. Amen.


DATE: AUGUST 11, 2020

✝πŸ“–TEXT: Acts 21:27-36(NKJV)
27. Now when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him,
28. crying out, "Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all [men] everywhere against the people, the law, and this place; and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place."
29. (For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)
30. And all the city was disturbed; and the people ran together, seized Paul, and dragged him out of the temple; and immediately the doors were shut.
31. Now as they were seeking to kill him, news came to the commander of the garrison that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.
32. He immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. And when they saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.
33. Then the commander came near and took him, and commanded [him] to be bound with two chains; and he asked who he was and what he had done.
34. And some among the multitude cried one thing and some another. So when he could not ascertain the truth because of the tumult, he commanded him to be taken into the barracks.
35. When he reached the stairs, he had to be carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob.
36. For the multitude of the people followed after, crying out, "Away with him!"
Rumour peddlers are those who spread false information or unproven stories, often with the aim to subvert the truth or undermine morals. The Jews from Asia, in our reading, stirred up the crowd against Paul and spread malicious information about him. They cried out “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, the law and this place; and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place” (v.28). This statement was not true. Paul’s preaching ministry brought healing to the sick at Lystra (Acts 14:8-10), deliverance to the oppressed at Thyatira and Asia (Acts 16:16-18, vs19:10-12) and salvation to the lost. Concerning bringing of a Greek into the Temple, verse 29 vindicated Paul with the record that they “supposed that Paul had brought Trophimus (a Greek) into the temple” whereas this was not so.
Let us be careful in the way we respond to information reaching us about other brethren especially when the facts are not available to us. Satanic agents are everywhere (in families, churchesand organisations) to cause confusion and disaffection, especially in Christian assemblies, between couples, friends and close associates. We must be discerning enough not to allow false brethren (like the Jews from Asia) or friends, to truncate the peace in our homes, office or church. Mark it, any news or information with the label “they say”, “we hear”, are likely to be untrue. Do not join the league of rumour peddlers, their intents are always evil.
✝πŸ™ PRAYER: Lord, deliver your children from the craft of evil planners. Amen


DATE: AUGUST 10, 2020

READ: ACTS 21:17-26 (NKJV)
17. And when we had come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.
18. On the following [day] Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present.
19. When he had greeted them, he told in detail those things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.
20. And when they heard [it,] they glorified the Lord. And they said to him, "You see, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law;
21. "but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise [their] children nor to walk according to the customs.
22. "What then? The assembly must certainly meet, for they will hear that you have come.
23. "Therefore do what we tell you: We have four men who have taken a vow.
24. "Take them and be purified with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave [their] heads, and that all may know that those things of which they were informed concerning you are nothing, but [that] you yourself also walk orderly and keep the law.
25. "But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written [and] decided that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from [things] offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality."
26. Then Paul took the men, and the next day, having been purified with them, entered the temple to announce the expiration of the days of purification, at which time an offering should be made for each one of them.
Genesis 1:31 states that “…God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” You are created to radiate God’s glory: Your words, actions, and entire life are designed to give glory to God.
Anything short of this is a deviation, and it negates the purpose of creation. From our text, Apostle Paul returned to Jerusalem from his second missionary journey, appeared before the Church elders to give account of those things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry (verse 19) and to refute the wrong allegations levelled against him by his detractors.
When the elders heard the report “…they glorified the Lord” (verse 20) despite malicious reports they received earlier about Paul.
Beloved, you are created in Christ Jesus to show forth His good works. Paul’s preaching ministry brought glory to God among the Gentiles and joy to the Church elders. Is your way of life bringing praise and glory to God in your family, office and neighborhood? Do something that will put smiles on someone’s face today. Through Paul, many lives were won for Christ and thus delivered from eternal destruction in hell fire. How often do you preach the gospel? Like Philip the Evangelist, do not hide the grace of God, tell someone about the love of Christ today and so bring joy to aching hearts (Acts 8:5-8).
PRAYER: Lord, let my life bring glory to You, use me today to tell someone of Your love; in Jesus name I pray. Amen.


DATE: AUGUST 09, 2020

✝πŸ“–TEXT: 1PETER 5:1-11 (NKJV)
1. The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:
2. Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;
3. nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;
4. and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
5. Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to [your] elders. Yes, all of [you] be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."
6. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
7. casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
8. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
9. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
10. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle [you.]
11. To Him [be] the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
The word ‘suffering’ is not celebrated in our generation. Even in Christendom, we are not comfortable with it, forgetting the fact that Jesus earned the CROWN through the CROSS. The human nature at work in us hates suffering. Apostle Peter used his personal experience in his walk with Christ to exhort the elders like himself on the inevitability and necessity of suffering if they would fulfil their God-given purpose in the kingdom agenda(vs. 9-10). “…though now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith … is tested by fire, may be found to praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ’’ (I Peter1:6-7). The word ‘suffering’ is repeatedly emphasised in our text to show us that as followers of Jesus Christ, it is a means of revealing the glory of He who has called us. Peter wrote this letter when opposition to Christians intensified rapidly, during the reign of Emperor Nero; Christ’s followers were regarded as anti-social because of their refusal to partake in social practices which were full of evils and immoralities,just like our own days.
As a child of God, when you suffer for the things and issues that have eternal value, you should count it as joy (Matthew 5:11-12; James 1:2). Your endurance in time of suffering proves your faith to be genuine, increases your joy and makes your love for Jesus Christ, the Saviour stronger. “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace ,who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish and strengthen you” (v10).
✝πŸ™ PRAYER: My dear father, strengthen me by the power of the Holy Spirit to remain firm and strong in time of suffering, that in the end, I may rejoice and reign with you in glory ,in Jesus’ name! Amen


DATE: AUGUST 08, 2020

✝πŸ“–TEXT: ACTS 21:1-16(NKJV)
1. Now it came to pass, that when we had departed from them and set sail, running a straight course we came to Cos, the following [day] to Rhodes, and from there to Patara.
2. And finding a ship sailing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail.
3. When we had sighted Cyprus, we passed it on the left, sailed to Syria, and landed at Tyre; for there the ship was to unload her cargo.
4. And finding disciples, we stayed there seven days. They told Paul through the Spirit not to go up to Jerusalem.
5. When we had come to the end of those days, we departed and went on our way; and they all accompanied us, with wives and children, till [we were] out of the city. And we knelt down on the shore and prayed.
6. When we had taken our leave of one another, we boarded the ship, and they returned home.
7. And when we had finished [our] voyage from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, greeted the brethren, and stayed with them one day.
8. On the next [day] we who were Paul's companions departed and came to Caesarea, and entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was [one] of the seven, and stayed with him.
9. Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied.
10. And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.
11. When he had come to us, he took Paul's belt, bound his [own] hands and feet, and said, "Thus says the Holy Spirit, 'So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver [him] into the hands of the Gentiles.' "
12. Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem.
13. Then Paul answered, "What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus."
14. So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, "The will of the Lord be done."
15. And after those days we packed and went up to Jerusalem.
16. Also some of the disciples from Caesarea went with us and brought with them a certain Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we were to lodge.
Paul knew he would be imprisoned in Jerusalem and his friends pleaded with him not to go there because of the prophecy by the prophet,Agabus. However, Paul determined to go; he knew full well that God wanted him to go. At the initial stage of Paul’s conversion, he had been told by the Lord Jesus about many things he would suffer. So God had already prepared his heart from the initial stage and Paul would not allow anything to come between him and his obedience to God. Though the prophecy came from the Holy Spirit, Paul understood the prophecy more than the prophet. He knew before this time that he must suffer for Christ.
God also must have spoken to you in the time past about certain issues you need to take a step of faith over, but circumstances surrounding you are holding you back. You are convinced that it is God leading you, but the voices you are hearing are opposed to what God has placed in your heart. What you need to do is to determine to do that which God had laid in your heart. It may be concerning your marital issue, leaving a job for a better one or going into the mission field. Beloved, please take that step of faith and be determined to do the will of God.
✝πŸ™ PRAYER: Lord, strengthen my spirit to be determined to do your will, Amen!



✝πŸ“–TEXT: ACTS 20:28-38
28. "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
29. "For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
30. "Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.
31. "Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.
32. "So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
33. "I have coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel.
34. "Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me.
35. "I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "
36. And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all.
37. Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him,
38. sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.
Paul, in his exhortation to the Ephesian elders admonished them to take heed to themselves and to all the flock among which the Holy Spirit had made them overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. He also warned them that savage wolves would come among them, not sparing the flock.He told them to ‘watch’ (vs. 28-31).
When we look at the church today, we discover that what Paul warned the elders to take heed of is already manifesting. Consider the issues of homosexuality, bi-sexuality and lesbianism that are already tearing the church apart; doctrinal differences and church proliferation, to mention just afew. Wolves have entered the church drawing away disciples after themselves. Instead of using the platform of social media and other avenues to attack one anotherthereby creating an avenue for Satan to turn many away from the truth, what God expects from you is to take heed, and contend for the faith (Jude 3-4), remembering that the church is purchased with the blood of Jesus Christ. We all need to defend the faith of the risen Lord through prayer and intercession.
✝πŸ™ PRAYER: Lord, use me as a vessel to defend your church.


✝πŸ“–TEXT: ACTS 20:28-38
28. "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
29. "For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
30. "Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.
31. "Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.
32. "So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
33. "I have coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel.
34. "Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me.
35. "I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "
36. And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all.
37. Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him,
38. sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.
Paul, in his exhortation to the Ephesian elders admonished them to take heed to themselves and to all the flock among which the Holy Spirit had made them overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. He also warned them that savage wolves would come among them, not sparing the flock.He told them to ‘watch’ (vs. 28-31).
When we look at the church today, we discover that what Paul warned the elders to take heed of is already manifesting. Consider the issues of homosexuality, bi-sexuality and lesbianism that are already tearing the church apart; doctrinal differences and church proliferation, to mention just a few. Wolves have entered the church drawing away disciples after themselves. Instead of using the platform of social media and other avenues to attack one another thereby creating an avenue for Satan to turn many away from the truth, what God expects from you is to take heed, and contend for the faith (Jude 3-4), remembering that the church is purchased with the blood of Jesus Christ. We all need to defend the faith of the risen Lord through prayer and intercession.
✝πŸ™ PRAYER: Lord, use me as a vessel to defend your church.



The Transfiguration of our Lord

READ: LUKE 9:28-36 (NKJV)
28. Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray.
29. As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe [became] white [and] glistening.
30. And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah,
31. who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
32. But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him.
33. Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, [that] Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah" -- not knowing what he said.
34. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud.
35. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!"
36. When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found alone. But they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen.
Transfiguration was the glorification of the human body of Jesus Christ. The scene is a representation of Christ’s coming kingdom in its fullness. The appearance of Moses and Elijah with Jesus is highly significant (verse 30). The name 'Moses’ was equated with the Old Testament law that God had given to the people. Jesus came and fulfilled the commandments of the law and did the things the law could not do i.e., to provide an answer for the problem of sin. The law pointed out the problem; Jesus gave the solution (John 1:17). Elijah was also an outstanding figure in the Old Testament. He was a great prophet and his appearance with Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration testified that Jesus fulfilled the prophets as well as the law. The voice of God the Father gave confirmation of the calling and Sonship of Jesus Christ (verse 35). He acknowledged that Jesus had pleased Him in the things He had said and done.
There are many religions through which people worship God but God was recommending Jesus Christ to us as the only way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). No one can be found right before God through his own efforts of doing right. Forgiveness of sins and being right with God is only possible through a personal faith in Jesus Christ who loved us and gave Himself for us. You must make up your mind to listen to Jesus Christ in every situation (verse 35).
PRAYER: Lord, give me a listening ear and a heart to do whatever You have commanded in Jesus name! Amen.



READ: ACTS 20:17-27 (NKJV)
17. From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church.
18. And when they had come to him, he said to them: "You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you,
19. "serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews;
20. "how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house,
21. "testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
22. "And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there,
23. "except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.
24. "But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
25. "And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.
26. "Therefore I testify to you this day that I [am] innocent of the blood of all [men.]
27. "For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.
Paul reminded the elders of the Church his way of life when he was among them - he served among them with humility and tears. This message of salvation was so important that he never missed an opportunity to share it. He preached his message in different ways to fit different audiences but the message remained the same: it was turning away from sin and turning to Christ by faith! This was the testimony of Paul to the elders - his message of salvation that he taught them from house to house (verses 19-21).
There is general misconception that preaching of the Gospel is limited to pastors and other ordained ministers. You must note that as a Christian, you are also commissioned to preach the Gospel. God expects you to preach the message that will be helpful to the hearer. The most important goal of your message is to tell others about Christ. God needs you and other people to speak the truth about Jesus Christ today.
PRAYER: Lord, help me not to deviate from the message of the Great Commission, Amen!



READ: ACTS 20:1-16 (NKJV)
1. After the uproar had ceased, Paul called the disciples to [himself,] embraced [them,] and departed to go to Macedonia.
2. Now when he had gone over that region and encouraged them with many words, he came to Greece
3. and stayed three months. And when the Jews plotted against him as he was about to sail to Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia.
4. And Sopater of Berea accompanied him to Asia -- also Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia.
5. These men, going ahead, waited for us at Troas.
6. But we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days joined them at Troas, where we stayed seven days.
7. Now on the first [day] of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.
8. There were many lamps in the upper room where they were gathered together.
9. And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead.
10. But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing [him] said, "Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him."
11. Now when he had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed.
12. And they brought the young man in alive, and they were not a little comforted.
13. Then we went ahead to the ship and sailed to Assos, there intending to take Paul on board; for so he had given orders, intending himself to go on foot.
14. And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene.
15. We sailed from there, and the next [day] came opposite Chios. The following [day] we arrived at Samos and stayed at Trogyllium. The next [day] we came to Miletus.
16. For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.
In the passage we read today, some names are mentioned; these people had been Paul’s companions in his missionary journey (verse 4). These men who were travelling with Paul represented Churches that he had started in Asia. Paul often sought others to help him in his work. These also can be said of Jesus who called 12 people to be His disciples (Matthew 10:1-4).
God also wants to use you for your pastor. He expects you to be available for His use. You can also be useful as a fellow worker with your pastor by assisting him financially to ease his ministerial work; you can be his prayer partner, lifting up his ministry before God. When you pray to God and make yourself available for His work, God will show you the area you can be more useful and helpful to your pastor.
PRAYER: God open my eyes to see the areas where I can be useful and helpful to Your Church.



✝πŸ“–TEXT: ACTS 19:32-41(NKJV)
32. Some therefore cried one thing and some another, for the assembly was confused, and most of them did not know why they had come together.
33. And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander motioned with his hand, and wanted to make his defense to the people.
34. But when they found out that he was a Jew, all with one voice cried out for about two hours, "Great [is] Diana of the Ephesians!"
35. And when the city clerk had quieted the crowd, he said: "Men of Ephesus, what man is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple guardian of the great goddess Diana, and of the [image] which fell down from Zeus?
36. "Therefore, since these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rashly.
37. "For you have brought these men here who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of your goddess.
38. "Therefore, if Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a case against anyone, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. Let them bring charges against one another.
39. "But if you have any other inquiry to make, it shall be determined in the lawful assembly.
40. "For we are in danger of being called in question for today's uproar, there being no reason which we may give to account for this disorderly gathering."
41. And when he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly.
In our study yesterday, we read about how Demetrius tried to incite the craftsmen in the city of Ephesus against Paul and his fellow workers because they preached against idolatry and people were throwing away their idols. This incitement came as a result of fear that they might lose their means of livelihood. In our study today, we discover that their accusation could not hold against Paul and his fellow workers (v.32) because God was at work in favour of Paul and his fellow workers (v.37).
When you preach the right gospel and message to the people, God willbe there to defend you against any attack. He has promised to be with you till the end of the age (Matt.28:20). God expects you to preach the truth without fear of intimidation (Matt. 10:20) and He will handle the aftermath of the message. He expects you to preach the truth in your office, market place and in your community. When you do this, hold on to God to defend you!
✝πŸ™ PRAYER: Lord, deliver me from fear that hinders me from speaking the truth in Jesus’ name! Amen


(Trinity 8)
10. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
11. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual [hosts] of wickedness in the heavenly [places.]
13. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15. and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16. above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
17. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
18. praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints --
19. and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20. for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
God has not left us in the dark about the reality of the world we dwell in. Our world is wicked, terrible and evil. Here in the letter of Paul the apostle, it is obvious that evil days are real. God has never promised Christians a world free of wickedness here. In fact, Jesus foretold that in the last days, there would be wickedness in multiple folds (Matthew 24:12). The description of what we are in for as Christ’s followers is a serious and heart-aching one; ‘for we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, the world rulers of this present darkness, the spiritual host of wickedness in the heavenly places.’ What a terrifying revelation!
A serious soldier will not trade his weapon for any reason; even when he sleeps, you will likely see his weapon firmly by him. As Christians, having a full knowledge of our terrain, to be able to stand, one must guide his or her weapons of warfare very jealously. Remember that evil days are real and you must stand as emphasised in our text today. God has provided us with all it takes to stand against the powers of darkness of this world.
PRAYER: Father, empower me the more with Your whole armour to be able to stand against the wiles of the evil one and remain firm in You even in the days of affliction, in Jesus name! Amen.



21. When these things were accomplished, Paul purposed in the Spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, "After I have been there, I must also see Rome."
22. So he sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, but he himself stayed in Asia for a time.
23. And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way.
24. For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana, brought no small profit to the craftsmen.
25. He called them together with the workers of similar occupation, and said: "Men, you know that we have our prosperity by this trade.
26. "Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands.
27. "So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship."
28. Now when they heard [this,] they were full of wrath and cried out, saying, "Great [is] Diana of the Ephesians!"
29. So the whole city was filled with confusion, and rushed into the theater with one accord, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians, Paul's travel companions.
30. And when Paul wanted to go in to the people, the disciples would not allow him.
31. Then some of the officials of Asia, who were his friends, sent to him pleading that he would not venture into the theater.
In our text today, there was pandemonium in Ephesus about the Way. The Way here referred to the teaching of Jesus Christ which affected the worship of Diana. When Paul preached in Ephesus, Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen did not quarrel with his doctrines. Their anger was because his preaching threatened their profits. The craftsmen knew that if people started believing in God and discarding the idols, their livelihood would suffer (verse 27), hence, they stirred the people against Paul.
Christians are expected to preach the message of Christ against every evil, without fear of molestation. Christians should speak against corruption, greed, and every form of ungodliness ravaging our society and the Church today. You as a Christian, should endeavour to preach the word by your word and lifestyle in all that you do today.
PRAYER: Lord, give me courage to preach Your word without fear of molestation in Jesus’ name! Amen


✝πŸ“–TEXT: Acts 19:11-20(NKJV)
11. Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul,
12. so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.
13. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, "We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches."
14. Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.
15. And the evil spirit answered and said, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?"
16. Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
17. This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
18. And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds.
19. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned [them] in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and [it] totaled fifty thousand [pieces] of silver.
20. So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.
The ministries of the early apostles were saturated with miracles, signs and wonders. This gave great expedience to the spread of the gospel, and Jesus’ Name was honoured far and wide. At this point, the ministry of Paul had become so powerful that even handkerchiefs that came in contact with him could be used to effect miraculous impact. Today, such supernatural endowment would have been used by many so-called men of God to achieve great feats for themselves - but not Paul. Many of the “ministries of miracles” today are more of exploitation centres where “men of God” set up shops to sell all sorts of “anointed” articles (handkerchiefs, anointing oil, t-shirts, books, customised Bibles, etc.), at exorbitant rates to the gullible public. No doubt, God is still in the business of doing miracles today, but only through the ministries of men and women whose sole motive is to honour Christ alone.
Many of the self-acclaimed miracle workers of our time are more like the “seven sons of Sceva” whose desire to perform miracles is only to enrich themselves and promote their own image at the expense of Christ’s honour. They make what Scripture calls “merchandise of God’s word” (2Peter 2:1-3; John 2:16). Their belly is their god (Phil. 3:18-19). For such deceitful individuals, just as the punishment of the sons of Sceva was severe, so theirs will also be at God’s appointed Day of Judgment. Child of God, be very careful so that you are not deceived.
✝πŸ™ PRAYER: Lord, may I never use the gospel to promote personal honour.

READ: ACTS 19:1-10(NKJV)
1. And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples
2. he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" So they said to him, "We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit."
3. And he said to them, "Into what then were you baptized?" So they said, "Into John's baptism."
4. Then Paul said, "John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus."
5. When they heard [this,] they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.
7. Now the men were about twelve in all.
8. And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God.
9. But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.
10. And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
The subject of the Holy Spirit has often been a matter of debates over the centuries. However, what is of great importance in our passage today is Paul’s conviction that a Christian cannot do without the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself emphasised the importance of this when He instructed His disciples not to venture anywhere and not try anything until they had been empowered with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5,8). Why did both Jesus and Paul emphasise the necessity of the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit alone has the mandate to cultivate the hearts of men for repentance. As messengers of the Gospel, we all have the responsibility to make the message of God heard, but we do not have the power to convert a soul. Only the Holy Spirit has the power to accomplish that.
The Holy Spirit gives us the boldness and wisdom to proclaim the word of God and to live our lives effectively. Without the Holy Spirit, our human efforts can never achieve the impact required. The reason many of us are not fruitful and effective even as Christians is partly because we ignore the role and place of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. Seek Him daily.
PRAYER: Lord, Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Amen

READ: ACTS 18:24-28 (NKJV)

ON JULY 27, 1857
DATE: MONDAY, JULY 27, 2020,

(CMS Anniversary)

16. Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them.
17. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.
18. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20. "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, [even] to the end of the age." Amen.
The instructions in our passage today are among the last words of Christ before His ascension into heaven. We all know that the final words of a person at the point of departure are often very weighty, and it’s very important for the hearers to take them seriously. For Jesus, all He had taught, spoken and demonstrated to His disciples while He was with them is to culminate in this movement known to us today as the Great Commission - to make disciples of all nations. To further reiterate how crucial this matter is, St. Luke, writing to Theophilus, also noted the last words of Jesus instructing His disciples thus: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
This was the voice the disciples heard, which set them ablaze and caused the spread of the Gospel like wildfire in the Roman world of their time. This was also the same voice the Church Missionary Society (CMS) heard in the 19th century, which inspired them to sacrifice their comforts and security and venture into the then unknown worlds to bring the same Gospel to us. This is the same voice speaking to us today, motivating us to seek to reach out to people far and near. It took the sacrifices of others to bring the gospel to you – the gospel that has saved, delivered and blessed you. What can you do to extend this same Gospel to someone else today?
PRAYER: Lord, make me a messenger of the Gospel to others.