The Most Rev'd Dr. C. A. Manduoma (JP)
The Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province
and Bishop of Ideato
Calendar
Event Title...SYNOD Saturday, April 25, 2020 02:00 PM 251 Days

Osina Women at the Diocesan Women Conference 2019

Thursday, August 1, 2019 Jeremiah 1:1-10

THE CALL OF GOD

God had already set Jeremiah aside to be a Prophet to the nations even before he was born. He was appointed for a special task. Verse 10 reveals that the commission was to include positive and negative; constructive and destructive elements. Hence “See, I have this day set you over the nations and over kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.” God has a plan and a pattern for everyone, including you my dear child of God. Arise and pull down all the works of darkness around you and build up the body of Christ.

Jeremiah had some measure of self-doubt. First, that he was not eloquent in speech. Secondly, that he was only a child. But God stressed that Jeremiah was not to be an elder statesman. He was simply to be a faithful messenger. God promised to protect the Prophet (Matthew 28:20). He assured him that He (God) would provide the very words he would speak, hence He touched his mouth (v.9). Do not think or assume that God will not call you because you do not have any gift for His work. God does not call the qualified; He qualifies the called. If God calls you, heed the call. He will give you the resources to accomplish the task. But if He has not called you, don’t conjure up some self-appointment. Wait until you are called.

Prayer: Lord, help me to fulfill my calling. And let me never betray Your trust, but press to realms on high, Amen.

Friday, August 2, 2019 Jeremiah 1:11-19

WHAT DO YOU SEE?

The almond tree was known as the “Waker” or the “Watcher.” It is the first tree to come out or survive the long night of winter and blossom in the spring. Like the almond tree, Jeremiah was to be an alarm clock, an awaker. The alarm clock is one of the most unpopular things in the world, most hated, especially while one is in a deep sleep. Yet it is relevant. Jeremiah was going to be a waker to the nation of Judah. This implies that God was going to watch over His word through Jeremiah, till they came to pass.

The boiling pot in Jeremiah’s time was the rising power of Babylon, which was to eventually destroy Judah. Jeremiah’s job was to constantly warn his people over what was going to happen to them. What do you see in your life? What do you see in your family? What do you see in the Church of Christ? What do you see in your country and the other nations of the world? What you see determines your action. Jesus warned; do not say “there are still four months and then comes the harvest. Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” (John 4:35). I am sure God must have been showing you something, a concern. Take heed and raise an alarm and rise to your responsibility. The Lord is coming soon.

Prayer: O Lord, give me a clear vision for my family, the Church and the society at large and enable me to raise an alarm, Amen.

Saturday, August 3, 2019 Jeremiah 2:1-13

DO NOT ABANDON THE LORD

Israel’s faithfulness to the LORD did not last. They followed worthless idols, forgetting the LORD who led them through the wilderness to the Promise Land. Jeremiah singled out three groups charged with the responsibility of leading the nation and exposed their lack of obedience.

1. The Priests: They were to instruct the people in the ways of God, but they did not know God. They had no intimate relationship with God, yet they were teaching the people the ways of God. 2. The Leaders: These were the political and civil leaders appointed by God to guide and protect the nation but they rebelled against God who appointed them. 3. The Prophets: Instead of declaring the whole counsel of God by rebuking and correcting the people, the Prophets prophesied by Baal and urged the people to follow worthless idols. This is the case in our generation, where false prophesy is the order of the day. Child of God, how faithful are you to the LORD who appointed you to that office? Whose interests are you representing? Most times, when God blesses and repositions a man, such a man tends to abandon the LORD for the mundane things of this world. Have you abandoned the LORD? Come back to Him right now! He will accept you. Remember, God has placed you in that position to serve Him in humility. One day, you will stand before Him and give an account of your stewardship.

Prayer: Dear LORD, help me to be faithful to You in the office of my calling, in the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, August 4, 2019 Luke 6:27-38

(Trinity 7)

KINGDOM LIFESTYLE

There are two kingdoms, the kingdom of God, where Jesus is Lord and the kingdom of darkness, where Satan rules. Believers in Christ belong to the kingdom of God.

The way God’s kingdom works is totally different from the way the kingdom of darkness operates. Our reading today gives insight into how God’s kingdom works. Believers are expected to live in this way through the help of the Holy Spirit. We are to love our enemies, do good to them, bless and pray for them. Because our Lord is merciful, we His children, are to show mercy. We are also not to be judgmental, but allow God who is impartial to judge (Romans12:19-21). In the kingdom of God, we are enjoined to be generous, and to live a life of forgiveness. In fact, we are to do to others as we will like them do to us.

Do you find it difficult to forgive? Is your heart bitter against your brethren? Do you find it difficult to be generous? Ask the Holy Spirit for help. God rewards us greatly if we live this life of sacrifice (vs. 35b, 37, 38).

Prayer: Holy Spirit, please help me to live a life of sacrifice in Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, August 5, 2019 Exodus 34:29-35

IN HIS PRESENCE

In today’s reading, we see how the face of Moses shone with glory after staying in the presence of God. We are encouraged to seek the presence of God (Exodus 33:15-16). Doing this involves making out time regularly to pray, read the word of God and meditate on it.

Attending church services, fellowships, bible studies and Christian conferences are means through which we attract God’s presence to our lives, situations, and circumstances.

There are lots of benefits we get from dwelling in the presence of God. We receive mercy and find grace to help us in times of need (Hebrews 4:16), we receive answers or insight to our questions, we receive power to help others, and bring blessings to the church of God. We also receive insight into the word of God and grace to enable us live the Christian life. When we form the habit of seeking the face of God and dwelling in His presence, initially we may not know that much has happened to us but people will start noticing the change. Examine yourself. Do we make out quality time during the day to stay in God’s presence? Learn to come close to the Lord and you will never regret it.

Prayer: O Lord, help me to make out time to pray, study and meditate on your word in Jesus name, Amen!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019 Luke 9:28-36

JESUS CHRIST, THE CHOSEN ONE!

Jesus is the chosen one! He cannot be compared to any. In our bible reading today, our Lord Jesus Christ went to pray on a mountain with Peter, John and James. As He was praying, the appearance of His face changed and his clothes became very bright. Moses and Elijah appeared, also in glorious splendour, talking with Jesus. Moses represented the law, while Elijah represented the prophets. The glorious appearance prompted Peter to desire to build a tabernacle for the three. He did not know what he was saying until a voice came from the cloud identifying Jesus Christ as the Son of God, whom men and women should listen to.

Who do you take Christ to be? Is He one of the Prophets to you? Or a great law giver and Master whose teachings are moral and should be applied to our lives. Jesus is much more than that. He is the Son of the living God; Saviour of the whole world! There is none like Him. Is He the Lord of your life? Have you accepted Him as your Lord and Saviour? Give your life to Him that it may be well with your soul.

Prayer: O Lord, I give my life to You. Save my soul.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019 2 Peter 1:15-18

WITNESSING THE EXCELLENT GLORY

The Excellent Glory is the perfect glory of Jesus Christ. We must be deeply rooted in Christ, following Him seriously, if we wish to witness His excellent glory. Peter, in 2 Peter1:15-18 gives us an eyewitness account of God’s Excellent Glory upon Jesus Christ which he witnessed while following Christ. Hence, he reminds us of the need for us to ignore all fables and believe deeply in Jesus Christ because he (Peter), while on the holy maintain with Christ, truly heard the voice of God declaring from heaven: “This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.”

Peter assures us that we, like him, shall witness the Excellent Glory of Jesus Christ now and at His second coming if we believe in Him daily and follow Him sincerely till then. The Excellent Glory consists not only in His miracles, signs and wonders, but also in His power to save, to heal, to deliver, to prosper, to protect, and to guide us. It appears not only as His divine presence with us in all situations this year and beyond, but also as His salvation and unfailing love, mercies, peace and radiance to us onto eternity.

Prayer: Dear LORD, please draw me nearer to You daily so that I can witness Your Excellent Glory always, through the merits of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Thursday, August 8, 2019 2 Corinthians 3:4-18

MOVING FROM GLORY TO GLORY

Today’s Scripture (2 Corinthians 3:4-18) reminds us of the difference between the Glory of God witnessed by Moses (Exodus 33:11-23) and the Glory we witness in Jesus Christ: while the glory shone on Moses face was veiled and fading, the glory of Christ in the lives of believers is unveiled and increasing on a daily basis, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

As we draw nearer and nearer to Christ day by day, believing in Him and doing His holy will, He continues to shed His glory on us by the power of the Holy Spirit, transforming us daily and causing us to move from glory to glory. As we fix our hearts and aspirations on Christ and struggle daily to be like Him in holiness, humility, love and obedience to His will, the glorious presence of His traits in our lives transforms us and makes us radiate His glory progressively and increasingly in our environment until we finally come face to face with His perfect eternal glory in heaven.

Prayer: Dear LORD, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, please grant me the grace to set my heart on heaven and mortify the remaining sin in my member, so that I can move from glory to glory daily, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Friday, August 9, 2019 2 Corinthians 4:1-7

SPREADING THE GLORY OF CHRIST

In today’s Scripture, we, as believers, are reminded of our goal and need to spread the glory of Christ, to preach the Gospel, to reach out for souls, to show love to straying humanity by reconciling and pointing them back to God. Since the goal of any true believer in Christ is to spread the glory of Christ, to live an exemplary Christ-like life and to shine as light in darkness that men may see and glorify God, we should, by our words and actions, spread the glory of Christ.

When we, like Paul, realize that we have received not only divine mercy and salvation but also knowledge of the glory of Christ, appearing as earthen vessels carrying the light and treasure of His glory, we should spread only the glory of Jesus Christ to people. And when “we do not preach ourselves, but Christ,” we are spreading the glory of Jesus Christ and the Lord will surely reward us.

Prayer: Dear LORD, please fill me with fresh passion and fire to preach the Gospel, to shine as light in darkness and share your love to others, to spread the glory of Christ as I ought to, and reconcile souls to You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Saturday, August 10, 2019 2 Corinthians 4:8-18

THE VESSEL OF GLORY

Paul enumerated what constitute a vessel of glory. They include: “…hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed always carrying about in the body, the dying of the Lord Jesus.” The reason for these is that the “…life of Jesus also may be manifested on our body….” This is for Jesus to be glorified in the life of His Saints.

It is God’s will that we suffer for the sake of Jesus (See John 15:18-21). One of Paul’s goals is to have the fellowship of Jesus, being conformed to His death. While we are going through these sufferings, for the sake of Christ and His righteousness, our bodies are being transformed from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). If we suffer for His sake, we will also reign with Him (2 Timothy 2:11-12). Child of God, do not forget the admonition of the Scripture: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18). People of God, we know that as this our earthly house is being destroyed by the ravages of troubles, it is being renewed to be conformed to the image of Christ in which we shall be resurrected on that great day. So hold on.

Prayer: Help me, Lord Jesus that I might keep looking unto you till that day.

Sunday, August 11, 2019 John 17:11-19

THE EFFICACY OF JESUSPRAYER

The Lord Jesus prayed for His Church before He died. This prayer is effective till the end of this age. He prayed that: 1. The Church be kept indissoluble and united. 2. That His joy shall fill her heart. 3. That she should be kept from the evil one. 4. That she should be sanctified through the Word.

It is this prayer that has kept the Church in spite of the fiery waves of trials, persecutions and temptations that have burned through her all these years. It is this prayer that has sustained some who still uphold and preach the Gospel of Jesus as delivered to His Apostles, raw and uncorrupted. It is this prayer that keeps the Church from being destroyed by the evil one (John 5:18). It is this prayer that has continued to preserve young men and women who still remain virgins until they get married they are sanctified by the Word. It is this prayer that has continued to cause love to exist among many believers of many denominations; they remain united. Many also, who go through the fiery trials of life, still remain, with the joy of the Lord keeping them. You can depend on and believe His prayer, He has prayed and still intercedes for you today (Hebrews 7:25).

Prayer: Dear Lord, please thank you for praying for me. Keep me trusting You.

Monday, August 12, 2019 Jeremiah 2:14-25

SIN HUMILILATES

Anyone who goes through Biblical history will not be in doubt that God was determined to make Israel a nation of honour and respect. He placed her above all the peoples of the world. They were His own heritage (Deuteronomy 7:6). However, this passage exposes the inglorious and pathetic state of Israel. The humiliation is complete and can be summarized as follows:

1. Israel is now a servant of servants. 2. She has become a home-born slave. 3. She is plundered. 4. Her land is laid waste. 5. She is frightened and threatened by lions. 6. Her cities are burnt. 7. Her crown is broken.

Oh what a pity! How are the mighty fallen. Why this? The answer is SIN! Israel had sinned against God. She had become rich, powerful and famous and so believed she had arrived. You who believe you have arrived and have become arrogant because of your political, religious and commercial positions, think again! You have begun to live in sin and to insult God, watch it! If you don’t repent and turn to Jesus now, sin will surely humiliate you (Numbers 32:23).

Prayer: Oh Lord! I repent of my sin, forgive me. Do not destroy me.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019 Jeremiah 2:26-37

I WILL PLEAD MY CASE AGAINST YOU

We live in a generation where everyone claims to be wise, righteous and perfect. People seem to know the right thing to be done but we continue to witness the wrong things being done on a daily basis. We see violence, crime and immorality. Many think they are lords and put their trust in worthless things, yet expect to prosper. Such was the situation in the northern kingdom, Israel, and in Judah during the time of Jeremiah.

In our text today, God brought several charges against Israel through Jeremiah saying, "your gods are according to the number of your cities, you receive no correction, your sword devours the prophets, you assume lords and reject God, you have forgotten God time without number, you kill the poor innocent, and even though you are guilty, you still claim to be innocent saying, 'I have not sinned'." And the verdict is this, "as a result of all these, all that you trusted in shall fail you, and you will not prosper by them.You shall be ashamed of your trusted allies, you will go forth from them, and you will not prosper by them." Are you still living carelessly and pursuing pleasure? This is the time for you to change your way by turning to God if you must prosper.

Prayer: Dear LORD, I return to You with all my heart.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019 Jeremiah 3:1-10

RETURN TO GOD

Yesterday, we began to look at the charges against Israel. Today, God is bringing up another, even more grievous charge against them: the sin of idolatry which God sees as harlotry. God, having plagued and divorced Israel on account of this, expected Judah to repent and return to Him having learnt from Israel's predicament. But without fear, she too goes ahead to play the harlot also.

The Nigerian Church has become like Israel and Judah - having a harlot's forehead - yet refusing to be ashamed. The showers have been withheld and there has been no latter rain, yet we do not want to return to God. Instead of returning, we have spoken and done evil as much as we are able. Dear Christian, God expects you to cry to Him - the Guide of your youth. He has promised not to remain angry forever (Jeremiah 2:4-5). God expects you to return to Him with your whole heart in all sincerity and not in pretence.

Prayer: Dear LORD, please grant me the grace to return to YOU with my whole heart and in full sincerity.

Thursday, August 15, 2019 Jeremiah 3:11-18

ONLY ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR INIQUITY

Many a time, people do feel that their sin has grown so much that God could no longer forgive and accept them back. But the truth still remains that no matter how far you have gone into sin, the love of God is still reaching out and calling on you to return to Him. He said to the backslidden northern kingdom, Israel, "Return … only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the LORD Your God … And I will give you shepherds according to My heart" (Jeremiah 3:12-14).

You can always count on the fact that: He will not cause His anger to fall on you. He is merciful and will not remain angry forever (Jeremiah 3:12). God does not want to inflict His wrath upon us, but instead, He wants to show us mercy. He makes it possible for us to return to Him and to get to know Him as Friend and Saviour, and not as a Judge. If you will return to Him, there will be joy in heaven.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we return to You. Please raise helpers for us according to Your heart.

Friday, August 16, 2019 Jeremiah 3:19-25

RETURN TO THE LORD AND BE HEALED

God chose the Israelites from among all the other nations, to be His special people. He gave them the Law through His prophet Moses, to guide their practices, governance and religious life. Unfortunately, the people of Israel refused to observe or keep the Law. Their idolatrous inclination was likened to a wife that departs from her husband to another man. As a result of Israel’s insubordination, God allowed her to suffer mishaps and even to be taken into

captivity in a foreign land. Yet, He promised to forgive them and heal their land when they repented and returned to Him (2 Chronicles 7:14). What a unique privilege and purpose for Israel!

According to 1 Peter 2:9, the Bible says “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people ….” You can clearly understand that Christians are like the Israelites of the Old Testament before God. And just like the people of Israel, many Christians have rebelled against God, forsaking Him for other gods. These Christians worship sports, music, wealth, human knowledge, science and arts, etc., instead of the living God. As a result of this, God has allowed the enemy to afflict and torment His very own through wicked leaders and associated sufferings. Yet if the Christians will repent and return to God, He will surely forgive and heal them as He promised and did to Israel.

Prayer: Lord, reveal to us our emptiness without you, and cause us to sincerely repent of our idolatry and return to you and be healed. Amen.

Saturday, August 17, 2019 Jeremiah 4:1-9

DO NOT SOW AMONG THORNS

According to Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 13:22; sowing among thorns implies allowing cares of this world and deceitfulness of riches to deny one from practising the word of God as revealed in the scriptures. Yesterday, we discovered that the Israelites had departed from their God and had an urgent need to repent and return to Him. In returning, they were to remove all that separated them from God, especially greed and love of riches which lead to idolatry. Others were covetousness and selfish ambition which lead to oppressing the poor and the weak. Israel had to turn away from these wickedness and many others. Otherwise, God would release unbearable punishment against them.

Even today, God is telling Christians not to sow among thorns. Regrettably, many Christians are using corrupt practices to enrich themselves; others bow to idols of our times to overcome economic pressure. Some oppress the poor, join cults and accept ungodly partnerships because of fame and wealth. Indeed, they are sowing among thorns and so deliberately inviting the wrath of God to the land. Examine yourself and repent where necessary, for our God is merciful and compassionate and will forgive according to His promise (see 1 John 1:9). Beloved, lay hold of His promises and so avert the painful result of sowing among thorns. Do not delay any longer on this matter.

Prayer: Almighty God, help your children to flee from every action and relationship that leads to idolatry and godlessness in Jesus name. Amen.

Sunday, August 18, 2019 Matthew 18:1-16

HUMILITY: A GREAT VIRTURE

Selfishness and pride are major attributes of godless persons or groups. It manifests itself in a strong determination to please oneself at othersexpense and also in a show of disregard to God’s commandments. Selfishness and pride breed offence, fighting, party spirit and hatred and results in failure in team ministry. In our text, our Lord Jesus Christ warned His disciples against such and admonished them to pursue after humility and self-discipline so as to inherit the kingdom of heaven (vs.3-4). Those who will overcome selfishness and pride must give up mundane desires and place great value on pleasing God and securing eternal life in Christ

Jesus. They must continue learning Christ in all things and obeying Him without compromise.

As verses 15-16 show, the Christian has the responsibility of initiating moves for reconciliation when he or she is offended. Indeed it takes courage and humility to do the above, nevertheless, the scripture says “purse peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). In view of all this, can you sincerely and boldly say that you are growing in selfless service and peace-making, especially in the Church of God? Your heavenly Father will give you grace if you humble yourself.

Prayer: Oh Lord, help me to deny myself of rights and privileges so as to promote peace with all men. Amen

Monday, August 19, 2019 Jeremiah 4:10-18

CONSEQUENCES OF REBELLION

In today’s text, Jeremiah the Prophet could be said to be bleeding in his heart because of the consequences of the rebellion of his people, which he saw in his vision. The people of Israel were extremely wicked. Evil thoughts were said to lodge in their hearts (v.14). They refused to repent and turn to God. God therefore made a declaration on to them saying: “make mention to the nations yes, Proclaim against Jerusalem. That watchers come from a far country. And raise their voice against the cities of Judah …. Your ways and doings have procured these things for you. This is your wickedness ….Because it reaches to your heart” (vs.14-18). This declaration was fulfilled. Israel, or Judah, was completely destroyed and the whole land was made desolate.

Nigeria today is a replica of Judah. The sins of the nation of Nigeria have come to a point that those who are spiritually sensitive to God’s holiness are also bleeding in their hearts. They are so few that they are not noticed. The sins of Nigerians bribery, homosexuality, lesbianism and abortion, corruption among civil servants, business men and women; murders, fornication, adultery, deceit in the Church of God, etc., are pushing God to pour His anger on the country. And unless we repent and return to God, a great disaster will come on this country.

Prayer: Oh Lord God, spare Nigeria. Cause the leaders and the Church to repent and turn to you.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019 Jeremiah 4:19-31

THE DAY OF DOOM

Today’s reading is a pronouncement of judgment and disaster upon Judah and Jerusalem. Jeremiah perceived it as a result of the sporadic spread of sin in the land which had got to an alarming rate. Judah and Jerusalem was found guilty of the sin of idolatry, the sin of apostasy, the sin of corruption and the sin of immorality. Because of all these, disaster was proclaimed upon the land (Jeremiah 4:29). When we compare the case of Judah and Jerusalem with the situation of Nigeria today, are we free from a similar impending doom? What is the scriptural condition of our nation today? The revelation of the doom of Judah and

Jerusalem affected Jeremiah. What are we doing as Christians to salvage the situation in our country today? As a person, are you encouraging or discouraging sin? Be warned, a sinner will not go unpunished.

Are you living a double standard life? Read Jeremiah 4:22 carefully. You may deceive men but you cannot deceive God. This is because the firm foundation of God stands, according to 2 Timothy 2:19. God knows His people; the umbrella of church, philanthropy and politics cannot hide you. Be warned, the day is around the corner. Only true children of God will escape. The only exit way is to turn to God in repentance through Jesus Christ.

Prayer: O Lord, help me to be on a safe side on the day of your judgment.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019 Jeremiah 5:1-13

THE SCARCITY OF THE RIGHTEOUS

Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach (brings destruction) to such people. There is a serious battle in the spirit for evil to dominate righteousness. Our God is a Righteous God and desires righteous people to worship Him. It was a disheartening situation that no righteous man could be found among God’s people so that God could extend His pardon to the people of Jerusalem.

What can be said of the Church today? The love of many is waxing cold in these last days (Matthew 24:12) because of the increase in unrighteousness. As a result, corruption has destroyed the foundations of our country, despite our religious disposition. It is discouraging when Churches are not spared either. The Lord is calling for people today who can stand to His honour. Can He depend on you as a righteous man or woman to sow mercy and pardon to our nation Nigeria? Dare to be that righteous person God can find to deliver His people.

Prayer: O Lord, our righteous Judge, may I prove to be that righteous man/woman whom You are looking for. Cause my love for You to wax stronger and stronger in these last days such that I will overcome evil with good through the merits of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Thursday, August 22, 2019 Jeremiah 5: 14-31

WHERE IS THE FEAR OF GOD?

God delights in those who fear Him (Psalm 147:11). The fear of the Lord brings enlightenment and understanding (Proverbs 1:7). Events in our society today show that many people who call themselves people of God, no longer fear Him. The consequence is the rise in evil in our societies. Jeremiah was required to remind the children of God of the dangers that result from their foolish and senseless ways of forsaking the Lord for idols. One notable danger was that such people become lifeless, like the idols (v.21). God always rebukes such people for them to forsake their foolish ways for their own good and blessings (Malachi 1:6, 3:16, 4:2). The lack of the fear of God is very noticeable in our society today as evil now reigns in many places.

How can we do so that the fear of God will dominate our lives and the things we do? We need to know that God is Almighty. He created and holds everything in check (v.22). The favour and blessings of God will be poured out upon us only if we can restore the fear of God in our lives (v.24).

Prayer: Lord, may your fear so dominate me that I will be kept away from evil, only by Your grace. Amen.

Friday, August 23, 2019 Jeremiah 6: 1-9

FLEE FROM DESTRUCTION

The anger of the Lord is directed at the disobedient and stubborn people who persist in evil. Evil here is exemplified by forsaking the Lord and His Ways, with all the attendant manifestations. Though the Lord is merciful, He punishes the disobedient, if they refuse to repent (2 Peter 2:4). Punishment for evil does not only apply to evildoers but also to those who support them in any way or those who dwell around them (Romans 1:32). The instruction to the children of Benjamin to flee from Jerusalem was because of the impending destruction coming from the Lord on account of the evil deeds of the people.

Lot was delivered from the impending destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah but not without the loss of his wife (Genesis 19:14, 16, 26). The call to flee from evil is in every way, very relevant in our time when evil/disobedience is on the rise. It is for the safety and preservation of our faith that we are advised to flee from evil so that we do not get punished together with the disobedient. We therefore need to cry out against disobedience and warn evildoers, making sure we do not encourage their evil deeds.

Prayer: Merciful Father, it is by Your mercies we are not destroyed alongside the wicked. Keep us safe in Your grace as we remain obedient to You; having no part in them that persistently do evil. Amen.

Saturday, August 24, 2019 Luke 22:24-30

(St. Bartholomew, the Apostle)

SERVANT-LEADERSHIP

St. Bartholomew, the Apostle, an apostle of Christ, is usually identified as Nathaniel. He was believed to have laboured as a missionary at India, Ethiopia and Armenia (present day Turkey) where he is widely believed to have been martyred.

In today’s reading, Jesus’ ministry, from human perspective, seems a failed ministry. This is because, though His ministry’s end was in sight, the apostles that would take over from Him seemed not to have learnt anything from Him. The Apostles instead of being mindful of the virtues and rudiments Jesus was teaching them, were busy struggling for position and power. Jesus did not give up on them, rather He still saw some potentials in them. In spite of the weakness, He continued teaching them the need for humility, submission and servant-leadership, which were the pillars of the ministry He would leave for them to continue to propagate.

This is a lesson for those aspiring to be leaders or already in leadership. There is a great need for servant-leadership, humility, avoidance of power tussle (which seriously plagues our nation’s politics and Churches).

Prayer: Lord, teach me to serve others in spite of my elevated position.

Sunday, August 25, 2019 Matthew 25:31-46

(Trinity 10)

BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL

As the righteous give up the selfish life, they are to embrace acts of mercy as the rule of the new life. Our Lord Jesus Christ will one day sit on the throne of His glory and He will separate the people one from another. The word nationused here refers to persons and not to countries, just as the Lord said to Rebecca about the two nations (persons) in her womb. A kingdom has been prepared for the righteous from the foundation of the world.

It is good for us to note that the acts that commended the righteous to the praise of the King were acts of mercy done in the service of mankind. This, in part, is a continuation of what we saw yesterday the life of service through the act of mercy. The righteous think about (serving) others, and not about themselves. This impressed the Lord very much. In hunger, the righteous gave Him food; in thirsty, drink; as a stranger, he was taken in, etc. Let us begin to minister to others.

Prayer: Lord, please grant me the grace to do Your will and make heaven at last, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Monday, August 26, 2019 Jeremiah 6:10-21

A TIME TO RETURN TO GOD

The Prophet Jeremiah was living in the land at a time of great disregard for the word of God. Disobedience was spread out over the land. The priests and prophets were not exempted in the indictment. Individual, families, couples, communities, etc., were all rebelling against the commands of God. Covetousness and falsehood, shamelessness and callousness became the order of the day. It was a time when the principal message was “It is well!

This picture portrays the reality of the present state of our nation today. Nigeria has fallen into a terrible state in departing from the Lord. People steal with impunity. Evil is no longer abhorred. Murder, hatred, lying, hypocrisy, pretence, etc., have infused into the fabric of our existence. Now, unless we all repent as individuals and as a nation, evil will befall us as it befell the people in the days of Jeremiah. We must pray for ourselves and for the nation. The result of the state of things then was calamity from the Lord. The same will be in our time if we do not do something now. We need to begin with ourselves and our immediate families. From there we can move it to our offices and businesses.

Prayer: Dear Lord, lead us to those old paths where the good way is, that we may walk in them as we return to You.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019 Jeremiah 6:22-30

THE CONSQUENCES OF SIN

Iniquity and impurity make God angry because by involving in them, His creation takes Him and His Name and Word for granted, believing that He will neither do good or evil (Zephaniah 1:12). Impurity weakens God’s protection and shield around His children so that they become vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy (vs.22-23).

The destruction of Judah was planned by God because they treated Him and His word with contempt and trampled underfoot, the covenant that had been sustaining them (vs.22-23). The judgment God planned for Judah was so great that only true repentance would save them, but the corruption had eaten so deep into them that they did not turn to the Lord (vs.26-30). The same warning to Judah is being given to every individual Church and nation, especially Nigeria, today. Just as in the case of Judah, the people today are not heeding God’s warning. This is why the judgment of the Lord is imminent. Let us turn to our God and live, but if we refuse, the Lord said that He is angry with the wicked every day (Psalm 7:11). Look unto Jesus and live.

Prayer: Lord give me the grace to do Your will and live.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 Jeremiah 7:1-15

AMEND YOUR WAYS

The people of Judah in the passage, trusted in the security of God’s temple in their midst –a symbol of God’s presence. The message for today is to amend your ways; to amend your doings. Re-design your way of life. If you want to dwell in the presence of God and receive divine benefits from Him, be a man/woman of justice.

Run away from every kind of oppression and from worshiping and following other gods. Stop dangling between two opinions. Stand up for Jesus. Be a voice for the less privileged - foreigners, widows and orphans. Amending your ways creates a pathway for great goods to flow into your life and career, for purity begets plenty. Beloved, search your life and if there is any ungodly character in you, tell God to help you amend your ways.

Prayer: O! Lord, please help me to amend my ways.

Thursday, August 29, 2019 Jeremiah 7:16-27

WALKING IN GOD’S WAY

All manner of prayers, ‘sowing seeds’, paying tithes and other sacrifices to God, are the norm nowadays. People do these as means of attracting God’s blessings and favour, and also as means of relating with Him. It may shock you that God advised Jeremiah not to pray for the house of Israel because He would not hear him. He asked them in verse 21 to eat their burnt offerings and the sacrifices they would offer. He rejected them because of their sins and disobedience. God said that what He commanded them was obedience to His word.

If you listen to the voice of God and walk in His ways, He will be your God. He will treat you as a son. When God begins to treat you as a son, things will begin to go right. Walking in the counsel of God will bring you closer to God and make you a celebrity of your time. Walking in God’s way will grant you divine instruction, which will turn out to be your pathway to distinction. Walking outside God’s way is dangerous and always brings confusion and setback. It attracts divine anger and produces closed doors. But walking in God’s way brings blessings, connections, lifting up, happiness, fulfilment, satisfaction and advancement in all areas. Would you not rather walk in His ways and enjoy the benefits?

Prayer: O! Lord, cause me to walk in Your ways and enjoy Your benefits.

Friday, August 30, 2019 Jeremiah 7:28-34

DIVINE INSTRUCTION

Our passage advocates a lament for every nation that neglects the word of God. Such nations are forsaken and rejected. They are the people of God’s wrath because they disobey God’s instructions which are the high way to distinction. Anybody who does not honour divine instruction will not fit into God’s end time agenda. There is no amount of praying and fasting that can cancel divine instruction for you because God prefers your obedience to your sacrifice. If you want to achieve your goal in 2019 and fulfill your destiny, you must walk in and obey divine instruction.

You cannot be walking and living in disobedience and rebellion to God’s instruction and expect things to go well. Divine instruction grants you divine speed and divine speed makes you outstanding in all of your life’s endeavours. Make up your mind from today to obey God’s instruction and you will not remain the same.

Prayer: O! Lord help me to walk with divine instruction.

Saturday, August 31, 2019 Jeremiah 8:1-7

RETURN UNTO THE LORD

In our passage today, God visited the remainder of the ungodly kings, princes, priests and prophets of Judah and in fact, the inhabitants of Jerusalem. “Death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of those who remain of this evil family” (Jeremiah 8:3). Despite all these, in verses 5 to 7, God marvelled that the people were always backsliding perpetually

and never considered returning to God and righteousness. In all these, God looked forward to their repentance and their asking for forgiveness.

Returning to the Lord is the key to experiencing His blessings. The call to return is not something to be passed over lightly. It is the basic and fundamental plea of God throughout the Bible. A walk with God is marked with continual returning unto Him. God is full of love and mercy to everyone who returns. God in His holiness cannot and does not wink at our sins. He does not treat sin lightly. His terrible wrath against sin and the sinner should cause us to run away from sin and return unto Him. Beloved, it is time to return to God. It pays and is the link to your fulfilling your destiny here on earth.

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

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The Most Revd. Nicholas Dikeriehi Orogodo Okoh

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