Sunday, June 23: Overcoming Compromise
TEXT: DANIEL 1:8 “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the King’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.”
We live in a world where anyone who is not doing the ‘conventional’ things as being awkward. Daniel and his friends, the four Hebrew young men found themselves in a similar situation as they resolved not to eat a common food assigned to everybody. They chose to be different in order to maintain their relationship with God.
A life of compromise is an unsettled life, a life that is neither hot nor cold, of which the product is to be spilled out of God’s mouth (Rev. 3:15-16). The first step to overcome compromise is to be determined. God saw determination in the heart of Daniel and his friends and made them to sail through, even became ten times better than others who lived their lives anyhow. No matter what you may face as you chose not to compromise, stand strong for God is with you. In the later time of Daniel’s operation in Babylonian affairs, he faced strong opposition, accusation and pressure to compromise his faith in God but he resisted, which led to his victory at the end (Daniel Chapter 6).
Are you under any kind of pressure to compromise your faith? Are you living among people of compromise? Are you passing through tough moments of your life? I encourage you to maintain what you believe. Tough time does not last, but tough people do.
ACTION PRAYER: God of strength and power, we ask for your grace to live above compromise in this world full of sin in Jesus name. Amen.
Monday, June 24: The Secret of Success
TEXT: GENESIS 39:2 “The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.”
Virtually, everyone desires to be successful. To be successful does not really depend on how much you have or the amount of property you have acquired. To be successful is all about living God’s purpose for your life and maintaining a cordial relationship with God. The secret of Joseph’s success in his master’s house was because God was with him. Joseph enjoyed God’s ever abiding presence wherever he goes. Joseph was equally a successful man even when he went to prison (29:19-23). The major thing that attracts God’s presence and success in one’s life is purity and holy living. Joseph refused to defile himself with his master’s wife. He chose to remain holy no matter what it may cost him. Eventually, it cost him his job and his freedom, but in the end God exalted him to the prominent place of authority and power in Egypt.
For you to prosper and be successful like Joseph, you need to cleanse yourself and live a holy life. Your environment may want to contaminate you and make you to be away from God as He is holy and cannot behold iniquity. There is no other way to Divine success except to live holy and maintain a close walk with God, even in the midst of trials and temptations. It is a matter of self-determination as we can learn from the life of Joseph.
ACTION PRAYER: Almighty God and Father, our life is in your hand, and as you have placed our future before us, a team of Vision Africa, it is our earnest prayer that you grant us success in all we do as we live to please you in the Mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
Tuesday, June 25: All For My Good
TEXT: ROMANS 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
People cry and feel deeply sad when negative things happen to them. As human, we have this natural tendency to get agitated when things did not happen according to our plan and timing. Purse a bit and meditate in today’s scripture that says “ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD TO THOSE WHO LOVE GOD, TO THOSE WHO ARE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE.”
Two basic things the Bible pointed out here: Love for God and the call of God. This simply means that having love for God and living according to God’s purpose of calling in your life are the basic keys to turning all things for your good. Joseph told his brothers not to be angry for selling him because it was God who brought him here to preserve life (Genesis 45:5). It was really painful to be hated and sold by brethren who ought to have loved him. It was indeed a difficult thing to endure for his master’s wife who supposed to have cared and catered for him to be the one that gave him such allegation. It was not easy for Joseph, seeing his master who has greatly prospered under his hand throwing him into the prison instead of protecting him. In all these, God was working all things together for his good.
You are not to give up because you do not know where God is leading you through all these things He has allowed to come on your way. He is a faithful and just God and has placed future ahead of everyone who loves Him.
ACTION PRAYER: Lord, I thank you for what you allow me to pass through at the moment. Let every ugly situation in my life produce pleasant testimonies in Jesus name. Amen.
Wednesday, June 26: Return to the Lord
TEXT: HOSEA 6:1 “Come, and let us return to the Lord; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up.”
Man right from the time of Adam has been finding it difficult to sustain a close relationship with God. Man always find ways to run away from God to enable him satisfy his selfish desire against God’s will and purpose for him. Despite man’s numerous negative attitudes towards God, God will always look for a way of reconciling man back to Himself instead of allowing him to perish. God through today’s passage is asking His people to return back to Him.
Deviating from God has caused many injuries both in our homes, churches and society at large. Adam lost the Garden of Eden when he sinned and lost contact with God. The only people that has guarantee for divine protection are those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High (Psalm 92:1). No matter how afflicted you are, God is capable of giving you a total healing. His word says “After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight” Hosea 6:2.
There is no other better time than now to return to the Lord. Naomi returned to the Lord and she began to see the new page of her life in her old age. The prodigal son returned to his Father and His life was restored to his original state. What is it that you think you are enjoying outside Christ that has brought a demarcation between you and God? What is that life style that is drawing you out of God’s presence? God is calling you to rise up and return to Him.
ACTION PRAYER: God Almighty, we pray that you open our eyes to know where we have gone astray and give grace to return to you in repentance. We also pray for those who will be receiving the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ through Vision Africa’s evangelism outreach programme, that they may willingly accept Jesus and return back to God and forsaking their sins in Jesus name. Amen.
Thursday, June 27: Wisdom for Life
TEXT: JAMES 1:5-6 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to Him. But let him ask in Faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.”
Wisdom is the right application of knowledge. A person who is full of knowledge cannot be considered to be wise if the knowledge he has is not properly applied. We saw in our previous devotion how Jesus grew in wisdom (Luke 2:52). Jesus instructed His disciples and said “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” Matthew 10:16. Jesus understood the necessity of wisdom in souls winning that is why he dished out such instruction to His followers.
How do we get wisdom? James 1:5-6 has stated it clearly that wisdom can only be gotten by asking God and asking in Faith. Solomon asked for wisdom, knowledge and understanding to enable him lead his people (1 Chronicles 1:7-12). Wisdom is power without which you can hardly operate successfully in Kingdom business. Mind you, a lot of people have mistaken craftiness for wisdom. Here in this meditation, we are talking about wisdom from above. If you read James 3:13-17, it tells us two kinds of wisdom: the wisdom from earth below and wisdom from above. When you see yourself exhibiting the characteristics of earthly wisdom (bitterness, envy, and self-seeking) you know it is not from God. Bible says it earthly, sensual, and devilish. But wisdom that is from above is pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy (James 3:17).
Wisdom is very essential because it helps one to overcome the obstacles of life. Therefore seek for wisdom and it will be given to you in God’s generosity as long as you ask in faith without doubt.
ACTION PRAYER: God of wisdom and power, we seek the wisdom that comes from above to enable us complete the race you have set before us. Give wisdom to the Board, Management and the entire staff of Vision Africa to perfectly pilot the affairs of this great organization through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
Friday, June 28: Hedge Around a Believer
TEXT: JOB 1:9-10 “So Satan answered the Lord and said, does Job fear God for nothing? Have you not made a hedge around him, around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.”
A hedge in its meaning is a wall of protection. One of an inheritance of God’s people is divine protection. Satan attested to it in Job where we took our text. Each time the hedge is broken, the people of God will always suffer defeat in the hands of their enemies. Satan has been trying to penetrate into the life of Job but the hedge around him and all he has could not allow him carry out his devilish mission. So the only thing Satan could do is to go and take permission from God to allow him torture Job. Dwelling in the secret place of God is a key to divine protection. Job was a man that fears God in his generation. A man that fears God and shuns evil like Job does not only get the blessings of God but he also enjoys God’s all round protection.
It is very unfortunate that God’s people right from the time of old till today are the ones breaking the hedge around them by the evil they commit. When sin is present, God’s presence which ushers in the protection we are talking about automatically disappears. In Numbers 25:1ff, God’s people suffered God’s punishment as a result of sin. In Joshua chapter 7, God’s people suffered a great defeat in the hand of a small city called Ai because of the sin of Achan. Likewise today, many Christians are involved in so many things that are not pleasing to God, thereby neutralizing God’s power and glory upon the Church.
The mind of God as you meditate in today’s devotion is that you should maximize God’s protection in every side and nothing happens to you except He permits. Remember, God’s protection is the ultimate.
ACTION PRAYER: Lord we ask you to protect us as we move round for the work you have ordained for Vision Africa. King of glory, as we engage in this Kingdom Service, let everything you have blessed us with enjoy your protection to prove that you are with us. Lord Almighty, permit no one to harm us as we journey through this life, we ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Saturday, June 29: Preaching God’s Love
TEXT: JOHN 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
In our mission to reconcile humanity back to God, the message of God’s love must be preached with all boldness without fear or favour by those who spread the gospel. God’s love for the world is what warranted God to send His only begotten Son Jesus Christ into the world to die for the salvation of man. The scripture says that those who believe in the Son of God will have everlasting life; not to be perished as a result of sin. This is a message of salvation and it calls for urgency.
Unfortunately, those who are supposed to spread the good news of salvation are now after prosperity message for their selfish interest. God is deeply angry with what the shepherds are doing. The custodians of God’s word are preaching to please and to retain membership and not to offend them. There are fake prophets everywhere with false messages. There are also false teachers everywhere with false teachings. The concern is, if the church that should have saved the world is in bondage, who will then save the Church?
However, I strongly believe that those who are carrying the originality and the undiluted message of God’s love should be ready to pay the price by moving in to the field with the trumpet of their voice. The Bible says, “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher. And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10:13-15.
ACTION PRAYER: Lord, give us the willingness of God to preach the gospel of God’s love and the grace to convince and convert sinners into the kingdom of Christ. Lord we ask that you strengthen the evangelism arm of Vision Africa with all necessary resources for the propagation of your gospel in Africa, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.
Sunday, June 30: Reward for Kingdom Service
TEXT: MATTHEW 19:27 “Then Peter answered and said to Him, See, we have left all and followed you. Therefore what shall we have?
It is normal for one to ask what he will gain in return when he is engaged to work in any firm or organization. When the rich young man left because Jesus asked him to go and sell what he has then come and follow him, Peter who had already left his profession along other disciples stood before Jesus to ask what should be their reward for abandoning all to follow Him. In reply, Jesus pointed out two major rewards in Matthew 19:28-29 : (1) Hundredfold gain of whatever one might have forfeited at the cost of following Jesus and (2) Eternal life.
God is not unjust not to reward everyone according to his or her work. The Lord says, “…Behold, I am coming quickly, and my reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.” This is God’s promise. He will surely pay back. One thing we must do is to serve God faithfully without reservation. Rt. Rev. Dr. Sunday Onuoha said “I don’t teach God’s people, especially the minister’s success in the ministry, but I teach and emphasize faithfulness in the ministry because by faithfulness you gain the reward of success in ministry.” I want to believe that somebody like Judas Iscariot like other disciples left all to follow Jesus but still he was not successful in the ministry because he was not faithful to his calling.
What is that you have left for the sake of this kingdom service? Just remain faithful to your calling for God will surely reward you a hundred fold in due time and with eternal life on the last day. Jesus left His wonderful place in heaven and after fulfilling His mission, He went back more gloriously than He came. Praise God!
ACTION PRAYER: Father, thank you for making me part of your kingdom service. By your mercy and favour, reward us in hundred fold in everything we have lost at the cost of following. Most importantly, Lord, grant us eternal life on the last day in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.