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 192 Days

Osina Women at the Diocesan Women Conference 2019

Diocese of Ideato @20

Monday, July 1, 2019 Psalm 22: 1-31

CHEER UP

One basic lesson of life is that nobody is immune to problems. Even a lion has to fight off flies. But the joy in any life challenge is that no matter how dark the night is, it must surely break into day. Our text today offers us a deep insight into our Christian faith. The Psalmist in his suffering appeals to God for deliverance. Faith does not prevent sufferings. Even Jesus went through suffering. As we follow Him, we may likely experience the same. The good news however is that God is near to help us. We need to beware of fair weather Christians that are selling the idea of a Christian faith without suffering. Suffering is not always a sign of someone’s sin or a sign that God has abandoned a person.

Cheer up: “Weeping endures for a night but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). You are in safe hands. God cares. He is working his purpose out for your life. Be patient. The husbandman waits until he reaps his harvest. Out of that challenge, you will give special testimony. Do not be discouraged.

Prayer point: Present your needs before God and tell him exactly how you feel.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019 Psalm 23: 1-6

GOD CARES

Our text today is one Bible portion that we recite in our daily prayers. Yesterday’s reflection gave us hope in the midst of challenges. Today, our text is an assurance of safety under God’s care. Sheep are completely dependent on the shepherd for guidance, protection and above all, provision. Our Lord Jesus Christ is described in the new testament as the good Shepherd (John 10:11). When we recognize the good Shepherd and follow him, He will take care of our needs. But when we choose to go our own way without allowing Him to be the Lord of our lives, we may likely miss all the privileges He gives to those that trust and obey Him. Jesus who is our good Shepherd knows the green pastures and still waters that will restore us.

In John 10:27-28, Jesus says “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand. Are you sure that you are counted? There is a need for self-examination. If you claim that God is your shepherd but the same God does not see you as one of his sheep, that means you are in trouble. Secure your membership today by accepting Jesus as the Lord of your life.

Prayer: Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to You.

 

Wednesday, July 3, 2019 John 20: 24-29

(St. Thomas the Apostle)

GO ON TO MATURITY

Every person who wants to be a good leader in the church, family, organization etc., needs to learn from Jesus Christ. He has excellent leadership qualities that make him to lead well. Ordinarily, many leaders would have first rebuked Thomas for being absent in the day of first appearance. Thomas would have been made to explain where he went to. But Jesus went straight to clear his doubt. Knowing Thomas’ weakness, Jesus made Himself real to him. He led Thomas step by step to acknowledge Him (vs.27-29). From being a doubting Thomas, Jesus made Thomas to become a believing Thomas. Wisdom is highly required in soul wining. The Thomases in our churches and fellowships need a caring shepherd that can lead them step by step to acknowledge Jesus as their Lord.

Thomas probably wouldn’t have doubted the appearance of Jesus if he were there when He first visited. In most cases, it is people who don’t attend meetings where decisions are taken that often create problems and gossips that scatter organizations. Be careful. If you want your doubt to be cleared and your opinion taken, attend meetings. It takes love and maturity to correct Thomas. Please know the weakness of your subordinates and always apply the right approach in correcting them.

Prayer: My God, my father, while I astray far from faith, teach me to always say, Thy will be established in me.

Thursday, July 4, 2019 Psalm 24: 1-10

DO THE RIGHT THING

One of the greatest mistakes a caretaker in a house can make is to take the trust given to him by the landlord for granted. A caretaker can be changed and his privileges withdrawn but the ownership of the house will always remain with the Landlord. Our text is a great reminder to us of who is in-charge of the earth. The earth and the world belong to the Lord. All the riches, possessions and material things are God’s own. We should not lose sight of this reality. The money we have, the cars, the houses and other material things are held in trust for God. Even the life we live is not ours. In Luke 12:16-21, a rich man was described as a fool because he made wealth and forgot God who owns his life and all his wealth. There is no room for argument with the creator. The way we use what God has given to us must be pleasing to Him.

Do not betray trust. Our homes, cars and money are to be used for the service of God. Avoid the temptation of thinking that you are self-made because of your life experiences. Without the grace of God, you can do nothing. So begin to think on how to put your possession into God’s work.

Prayer: Merciful God, give me the grace to follow.

Friday, July 5, 2019 Psalm 25:1-22

SHOW ME YOUR WAYS OH LORD

A step by step study of today’s text will reveal vital secrets of success. In verse 4, the Psalmist asked God to show him His ways. In Psalm 103:7, the Bible says that God made known His ways to Moses, and His acts to the children of Israel. Regrettably, most of us are more interested in asking God to endorse our will than asking Him to teach us His ways. Some even think that God’s ways are anti-social and so need not to be sought for. In verse 9, the Psalmist pointed out that God guides the humble in justice and teaches him His ways. Those who fear Him, He shows them His covenant (v.14). Are you humble? Do you fear the Lord? You need to have these basic requirements to access the benefits that are associated with them. The Psalmist in verse 21 desired to be preserved by integrity and uprightness as he waited for the Lord. Pause and rate your life in terms of integrity and uprightness.

Life is a choice. Your choice makes the difference. Take decisions that can give you good results. God knows the best for you and you can attain fulfillment when you follow God’s instructions. Kindly tune down the world’s volume so that you can hear God clearly. You are secured when you are under his leading.

Prayer: Prosper me oh Lord in your righteousness.

Saturday, July 6, 2019 Psalm 26:1-12

PERFECT SUBMISSION

The Psalmist is not claiming perfection, but a consistent life of fellowship, trust and obedience to God. He ensured that he cleared his record when he sinned by asking for forgiveness. We can ask God to examine us with the genuine intention of allowing Him to remove things that work against His will in our lives. Verses 4-5 should not be mistaken for staying away from unbelievers. We live in the world and with the people of the world but we should not allow the world to live in us. There are places Christians should however, avoid. But we must go among the unbelievers to help them as Jesus demonstrated to us. There is clearly a difference between being with unbelievers and being an unbeliever. As a believer, the light of our lives should attract unbelievers to Christ. The psalmist recognizes in verse 11 that it is his duty to walk in integrity and God’s duty to redeem and be merciful to him. So play your own part.

God knows you. He knows both your public and private life. You can’t hide anything from him. Ask Him today to evaluate you in His own scale. Be ready to accept His assessment of your life. Students take mock examinations to prepare for the final examinations. You need to re-order your steps now before it becomes late. Pray, meditate, pause and make a resolution.

Prayer: Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Break me, mould me and use me.

Sunday, July 7, 2019 Matthew 6:24-34

(Trinity 3)

TAKE SIMPLE INSTRUCTION

In most cases, students fail examinations not necessarily because they do not read but because they fail to follow the examiner’s simple instructions. God knows our challenges. He knows we need to pay house rents, school fees, and meet other obligations. Yet, He instructed us not to worry. The best way to get peace and rest of mind in life is to obey God’s word. In 1Peter 5:7, God instructed us to cast our cares upon Him for He cares for us. All these assurances are good enough to remove pressure of life from us. Worry and anxiety are signs of faithlessness. The simple truth remains that more than 90% per cent of what we worry and fear about do not come true. Most of them are solved in time; some even solve themselves. God is faithful. He will surely make a way where there is no way if you trust Him. Your family will not starve, and hope for the education of your children will be fulfilled. Believe in His assurances.

Encourage yourself. God is in control. Good things lie ahead of you. Don’t kill yourself before your appointed time. If you do, life will still go on. Now that you have heard God say you should not worry, carry all those burdens and cast them upon Him. Work, pray and trust God. Very soon, the cloud will clear and you will rejoice.

Prayer: All to you oh my Lord, I surrender all my burdens.

Monday, July 8, 2019 Psalm 27:1-14

BUILD YOUR CONFIDENCE IN GOD

Confidence in God is our antidote for fear. The Lord who is the believer’s light, is the strength of his life. A person who sincerely trusts in the Lord, has nothing to fear. Fear subjects us to slavery. We often have fear of sickness, rejection, misunderstanding, job insecurity, uncertainty, etc. To conquer all kinds of fear, we must build our faith in God (see Ephesians 6:13-18). David’s greatest desire in life was to live in God’s presence each day of his life. Unfortunately, the opposite is often the case for most of us. Most of us can spend quality time watching football, films, and other programmes, but easily complain when little time is spent in church programmes. It is good to desire what is good. The Psalmist’s special trust and interest in God is worth emulating. He knew what it meant to wait for the Lord (v.14). Waiting for God may not be easy, but God is worth waiting for.

Build your trust and confidence in the Lord. God is your life and the length of your days (Deuteronomy 30:20). If you are secured in Him, you are secured in all situations of life. Prayerfully commit your life and family to Him. You will never pay tribute to any enemy. No person will subject you to slavery. God will raise a standard against things that stand on your way. Just build your confidence in Him.

Prayer Point: Ask God to increase your faith so that the things you fear will begin to fear you.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 Psalm 28:1-9

BE CAREFUL!

A young lady was approached for marriage. She informed her trusted friend, in an attempt to seek her advice. With numerous reasons, the friend discouraged her from marrying the man. Surprisingly, the same friend went at the back to convince the man to marry her and he did. As the Psalmist observed, wicked people often put on a show of kindness or friendship in order to gain their own desires. Yes, we have friends in need who are also friends indeed. Yet there are wicked ones that often position themselves to destroy one’s life. Prayers are needed in all situations. Today, the church is faced with the challenge of fishing out pretenders who entered our churches, groups, organizations and fellowships as believers but are there defrauding brethren, spoiling youths and introducing contaminants into the system.

Who are you in the midst of the saints? Are you a builder or a destroyer? Is the appearance you put up your true colour? The Lord is the strength of His church. One day your sins will find you out. But if you are a good friend to the family of God, keep on doing your good job. God will richly bless you. If you are not, please repent and sin no more.

Prayer: Oh Lord, remove every unfruitful work of darkness around me and in me.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019 Psalm 29:1-11

WORSHIP THE LORD

The Psalmist, in today’s text, set a good example for us. After numerous Psalms in which he agonized over being chased by enemies, denied justice by wicked people and experiencing delay in receiving answers to his prayers, he realized the need to worship God. He called for all creation to worship God the creator and ruler of the world. God is great. Throughout history, God has revealed His power through mighty miracles over nature as we have in the case of the great flood (Genesis 7:17-20). The power of God controls creation and raises the dead. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available today to help us with our daily problems.

True personal worship that flows from the inner heart to God is seriously lacking among us today. Learn to worship God. Appreciate God for the gift of nature. Don’t allow your daily life challenges hinder you from worshiping the source and sustainer of your life. Sing praises to Him and ensure that your heart acknowledges His glorious work in your life.

Prayer Point: Take time today to worship God. Thank Him for His goodness and wonderful works to humanity.

Thursday, July 11, 2019 Psalm 30:1-12

VICTORY ASSURED

Problems have expiry dates. One strong point of our text today is that trials are temporary and can never bring defeat if we remain faithful to God. Yes, you might be standing on the edge of your confusion and it looks as if you are about to fall because of the problems you are facing. Now, the word of God is coming to you saying; “Weeping might endure for a night but joy comes in the morning” (v.5). In Psalm 126:5, it is written; “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.” The concluding part of this Psalm describes the transformation God’s intervention brought about; “You turned my wailing into dancing, you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy” (vs.11-12).

Your miracle is on your way. Don’t concentrate on your problems. Look beyond where you are, see with the eye of faith, and trust God for even the impossible. God will answer your prayers and grant you what is written in v.11. It is expected of you to follow the example of the Psalmist in v.12. Your victory or success is secured in God.

Prayer Point: In faith, thank God in advance for answering your prayers.

Friday, July 12, 2019 Psalm 31:1-24

COME NEARER

The Psalmist began this Psalm with a plea from God, and ended with praise. It is obvious that the Psalmist knew God in a very personal way before he got into the crisis that led to the Psalm. He understood that without God, he could not win the smallest battle against his enemies. He was content to allow God to direct his steps. His prayer reveals that in time of deep trouble, we can hide in the shelter of God’s presence (v.20). A great assurance was given to us in Jeremiah 33:3 as it is written “Call to me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Observe the expression in (v.5): “Into your hand I commit my spirit.” This shows complete trust in God. Jesus also used this word while he was on the cross (Luke 23:46). We should commit all to God: our possessions, families, vocations and above all, our lives to Him.

God has not changed. If you live in obedience to Him, He will be your rock of refuge and will never allow you to be put to shame. Keep on trusting in Him to rescue you from any challenge you are facing in life. Don’t allow your problems to make you to undermine the trust you have in God. God will make a way for you even where there is no way.

Prayer: I put my trust in you oh Lord, let not my enemies triumph over me.

Saturday, July 13, 2019 Psalm 32:1-11

OPEN UP!

God does not want us to experience the heaviness associated with painful guilt caused by unconfessed sin. His desire is that we live in peace and joy which are available to us when we believe that God forgives us. Peace and joy promote health. But chronic guilt damages our health. The truth is that if we don’t deal with our guilt, it will deal with us. In the scriptures, it is clearly stated, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1John 1:8-9). Guilt melts like a block of ice when confession is made. When we confess our guilt to the Lord, He promises to forgive us (v.1). When one is forgiven, the burden of sin gives way to peace of mind.

Wouldn’t you like a clear conscience? Unconfessed sin will continue to affect you spiritually, psychologically and physically. The only way to recovery and relief is admitting and confessing that wrongdoing. Just confess those sins you are feeling guilty of, so that you can have peace and joy which are God’s will for your life.

Prayer Point: Humble yourself before the Lord, and pray as you are led.

Sunday, July 14, 2019 Matthew14:16-30

(Trinity 4)

GO EXTRA MILE

True compassion is expressed by love in action. In simple reasoning, the disciples were not wrong to tell Jesus to send the multitude away (v.15). But by faith, they were wrong. Jesus understands our limit in helping ourselves. In time of confusion of thought and hopelessness, He brings solution from angles we least expected help. It was not recorded that the multitude requested for food, but the way they sat down to eat shows that they were hungry. God will satisfy your pressing needs. Notice how they were all directed to sit down on the grass, irrespective of their personalities. It takes humility to receive special miracles from God. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble (1Peter 5:5). In vs.22-23, we notice how Jesus separated himself from the multitude for personal reflections. He often made room in His busy schedule to be alone with His father. Develop the discipline of spending time alone with God. It will build your spiritual life.

A good leader needs to be competent and compassionate. Learning from Jesus, you don’t have any justification to abandon people whom God has placed you in a position to help. Please don’t send them away. Settle them; especially those that have been with you for a long time. Learn also to

make out time for retreat and personal communion with God. If Jesus, with all His work-load could do it, you can also do it. Let this passage today influence your life decisions.

Prayer: Help me heavenly father to do the right thing at the right time.

Monday, July 15, 2019 Psalm 33:1-22

DO THE RIGHT THING

Our text today begins with a call on the righteous and upright to praise the Lord. It is clearly stated in v.5 that God loves righteousness and justice. Regrettably, some of our actions in our families, places of work, states and entire country seem to suggest that we hate righteousness and justice. Those who humbly seek for mercy when they are at the bottom of power, block the road for mercy, when they get to the top. Our political leaders cry against injustice when they are cheated but ask people to accept injustice when they benefit from it. The Psalmist pointed out in v.12 what could be seen as the problem of Nigeria today. The misconception that is misleading our leaders is pointed out in (v.16). Take a deep look at verse 17 and see why you should not trust in military strength. Verses 18-19 give assurance of deliverance to those who fear the Lord. God is in absolute control.

The only way to move forward as individuals and as a nation is to allow the basic principles of God to guide our actions. Justice and righteousness must be allowed to reign. Do not deprive any person of his or her right. Out leaders hold our mandate and we should not allow them to subject us to slavery. Because of injustice, it seems Nigeria is no longer blessed with resources but is cursed with it. Every leader thinks about oil money just to favour those that belong to his power entrusted area. This mind-set is dangerous for our survival. God will come to our rescue if we collectively and individually call unto Him.

Prayer: Lord, let your kingdom come and your will be done in our families and nation.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019 Psalm 34:1-22

TAKE A STAND

For those of us who are familiar with our communion liturgy, the first three verses of this Psalm will be easily appreciated. Verse 8 asks us to taste and see that the Lord is good. A personal encounter with our Lord Jesus is the only sure way to benefit from His numerous blessings. Romans 12:2 makes us to know that when we are transformed by the renewing of our minds, we will prove what is good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. If you love life and desire to see many good days, you must learn to keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit (vs.12-13). The Lord made your ears to be open but your mouth closed, probably to make you hear more than you speak. “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19). The same epistle of James went further to expose the dangers of uncontrolled tongue in chapter three. The Lord is concerned for the lives of the righteous but to those who do evil; He is against them (vs.15-16).

Human insight, brilliance and wisdom are of no help if the Lord is against it. The Christian faith goes beyond knowing what others believe. It requires one’s personal relationship with Christ. You must take a personal stand to be counted as a believer. What you can do now is the only sure influence you can have in your future. If you believe, you will see the glory of God (John 11:40).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, let me walk with you all along my pilgrim journey.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019 Psalm 35:1-28

GOD, FIGHT MY BATTLES!

In today’s passage, we see the prayer of a person who was troubled on all sides by his enemies: his soul was being pursued, people were seeking after his life; seeking to hurt him and had their net in a pit against him. He therefore called upon God to fight his battles, deliver him from his enemies, and cause justice to triumph over injustice, and righteousness over unrighteousness.

Even though Christians are enjoined to forgive their enemies and those who persecute them, but in extreme cases, we can call on God to deliver us from our enemies and execute His righteous judgement on them. When God executes vengeance upon the workers of evil, it will deter others from embarking on such evil enterprises. Ecclesiastes 8:11 clearly states: Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of men is fully set in them to do evil.

However we must balance the situations and be led by the Holy Spirit in all we do. We should not be quick to call on God to destroy our human enemies, but we can call on God to deliver us from their evil plots, and make them unable to perform their wicked enterprises. Above all, we should love our enemies, bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us and pray for those who spitefully use us.

Prayer: Oh Lord, please lead me not into temptation, but fight all my battles in Jesus Name. Amen

Thursday, July 18, 2019 Psalm 36:1-12

WICKED PEOPLE ARE BLIND FOLDED

Today’s passage contrasts the picture of the wicked with the merciful God. The wicked is blindfolded and cannot see his wicked ways. He flatters and gives himself false hope. He sees his atrocities right. He hates and repels all who constructively criticise and tell him the truth. On the other hand, he welcomes those who flatter him and who sing his praises.

This is the situation in our country today where rulers and politicians are blindfolded. Some steal and mismanage public funds, while some give false contracts all because they are blind. This scenario has crept into the church where some General overseers, senior pastors, Bishops and general superintendents are “worshipped.” They hate the truth, but encourage everything that will enhance their political interests in the church. In that place where you are a leader, “do you like the truth even when it is against you, or do you like the praises of men all through?”

Verses 5-10 on the contrary tell us about the mercy, loving-kindness, faithfulness, generosity and righteousness of God. Because of all these virtues of God, you can put your trust under the shadow of God’s wings and be saved, and satisfied with food, drink and pleasure.

Prayer: Search me oh God and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting

Friday, July 19, 2019 Psalm 37

REMAIN CALM!

Some of the things we see on earth today, give us the false impression that lawlessness, wickedness and unrighteousness are more to be desired than righteousness and truth. On many occasions in Nigeria, when motorists queue up in traffic, waiting for their turn to move, some unscrupulous and undisciplined drivers would move into the wrong lanes and proceed on their journey. On some occasions, when they do this and meet the police, they offer them some money and the police would allow them go their way and get to their destinations earlier than the law-abiding citizens on queue.

Many brilliant students are denied admissions into universities because some operators of JAMB exam centres hack the internet and give answers to indolent students who pay them to cheat. May students ‘sort’ their ways out in the universities and come out wonderful grades, while other hardworking students are frustrated. These are the products of the wickedness of men. Some righteous persons are tempted to join the wicked. However, verse one enjoins us not to fret because of evil doers, or be envious of the workers of iniquity because they shall soon be cut down like the grass.

The rejoicing of the wicked is for a short while. Very soon you will look for the wicked and his ill-gotten wealth and will see them no more. Delight yourself in God, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Prayer: Oh God help me to be steadfast and unmovable. Make me to abound in righteousness and never to envy the evil doers.

Saturday, July 20, 2019 Psalm 38:1-22

SIN: A DESTRUCTIVE CHEMICAL

David was in serious pain and anguish here. The arrows of God were upon him and God’s anger brought sickness to him. David saw all these anguish and calamity as a result of his sins against God. (v.5). David also acknowledged that he deserved to be disciplined for his sins. He however pleaded with God to temper discipline with mercy. From his experience, it is clear that some calamities, sicknesses and even demonic attacks could be caused by sin. When a person lives in sin, he opens the door of his life to satan, demon- induced sicknesses and attack.

In verse 21, David asks God not to abandon him. From this verse, it is clear that sin can make God to abandon a man. No wonder the Bible says that our sins have made a separation between us and God (Isaiah 59:1-4).

You can close the door of your life to demonic attack, manipulations, sicknesses, pain, anguish and sorrow by saying “No” to sin, and “Yes” to righteousness. From now, reject all those sins that easily entangle you. Don’t deceive yourself; don’t rationalize your sin.

When you have repented of your sin, God will have mercy on you because a broken and a contrite heart, God will not despise (Read Psalm 51:17).

Prayer: Oh God restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me by your generous Spirit.

Sunday, July 21, 2019 Luke 15:11-32

I WILL ARISE!

From our passage today, a man’s younger son who ought to be under his father’s roof, guidance and protection, asks for his own portion of the father’s goods, even though his father was still alive. In the same way, we Christians, like sheep, are under the care and protection of God, our shepherd. But many times, we bolt away from God’s guidance and protection just like the prodigal. Many go into fornication, adultery, drunkenness, smoking, cheating, etc. Once a Christian departs from the presence of God, he becomes exposed to danger, hunger, harm, demonic attack, failure, etc., as he loses God’s protection. The only solution to this situation is true repentance and a quick decision to return to Christ. At verse 18, the prodigal son said “I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.”

Let us pause at this juncture and have a look at our lives. Have you been living in sin despite the fact that you go to church? Are your garments spotless; are they white as snow, are you washed in the blood of the lamb? In verses 21-22, the way the father of the prodigal son receives him shows how God receives a sinner who repents. No matter what you have done, God is ready to receive you once you repent.

Prayer: Sing from Sacred Songs and Solos No. 23 stanza 2/Chorus and pray with it.

Monday, July 22, 2019 John 20:11-18

SPEAK, AND MAKE US HEAR

Early morning after Jesus had risen from the dead, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb thinking Jesus was still in the grave but on seeing that His body was no longer in the grave, she stood outside by the tomb weeping, thinking that some persons had carried his body away. In verse 14, Mary turns around and sees Jesus standing there, but does not recognize Him. Even when Jesus asks her “woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Mary does not still recognize Him. She thinks He is a gardener, and asks Him to tell her the place he had kept the body if He was the one who had taken it.

All through this time, Mary’s mind and eyes were closed despite that Jesus had told them that He would resurrect on the 3rd day. But immediately Jesus said to her “Mary”, she recognized Him and replied “Rabboni” or Teacher. The voice of Jesus activated the spiritual antenna and opened the spiritual eyes of Mary.

Sometimes in our lives, we may read or study the word of God, but may not understand it. It takes the intervention of God and God opening our spiritual eyes to behold wondrous things out of His

word before we can understand it. When God opens our eyes we will see opportunities and understand more.

Prayer: Ask God to reveal to you every hidden treasure, help and benefits around you which you need for your survival. Ask Him to open your eyes to understand His word, and to speak to you with the voice that raises the dead. Sing stanza 1 of A&M 362

Revive thy work, oh Lord

Thy mighty arm make bare

Speak with the voice that wakes the dead

And make thy people hear.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019 Psalm 39:1-13

LIFE + WEALTH = VAPOUR

Life on earth is not permanent, no matter how many years a person lives. Indeed our lives are very brief, and the more we stay on earth, the less the number of days we have left. The more the days, the closer we get to our graves.

In verse 4, David asked God to remind him how brief his time on earth was; and the fact that his days were numbered. This would make him to know how frail he was. This request meant that David understood that at the end of his days, he would die. No wonder the bible says that man in his best state is but vapour. (James 4:14). The common denominator among all men is death, for both rich and poor, wise and foolish, etc. Man is frail.

Ironically people spend time, energy and resources to secure and preserve their earthly lives but give little or no attention to where they will spend eternity. People build mansions on earth for their short lived comfort but take no thought about the permanent mansions that Jesus has gone to prepare for His people in heaven. Knowing how brief life is, we must pay more attention to righteous and holy living. If you have not received Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, do it right now; do not delay, and you will have assurance of eternal life in God’s eternal kingdom.

Prayer: Use the stanza 2 of A&M 27 as your prayer.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019 Psalm 40:1-17

PLEASE WAIT!

Waiting for somebody is one of the most difficult things some people can experience. Instead of going to the meeting venue on time and waiting for others, some people choose to go to meetings and occasions late so as to make sure that they don’t wait for others; they prefer to be waited for. However, waiting attracts a lot of benefits.

In verse one of our text, David confessed that he waited patiently for the Lord to help him, and God: (1) lifted him out of the despair (2) set his feet on solid ground (3) stabilized him as he walked, and (4) put a new song of praise in his mouth.

Waiting involves application of patience. The Bible says we have a need of patience in order to receive the promise of God (Hebrew 10:36). Many people who began the race of eternal life did not reach their destination because they did not endure to the end. The Bible clearly states that he that endures to the end shall be saved. Some people who asked God for money, children, marriages, healing, prosperity, etc., eventually found their ways to native doctors and other occult places because they failed to wait on God so He would lift them out of the pit of despair, and out of the mud and the mire. One thing is sure; they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.

Are you waiting on God for job, promotion, healing, success, marriage, children, favour etc? Be courageous to wait; do not stumble! In due season, God will lift you out of the miry clay and plant your feet on solid ground.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please help me to resolutely trust in you and wait upon you until victory is won.

Thursday, July 25, 2019 Mark 10:35 – 45

(St James, The Apostle)

SLOW DOWN!

James and John did not make their demand abruptly. They made it systematically by first telling Jesus “Teacher we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” Jesus being wise was not easily moved by fantasy, and did not answer them “alright I will do for you whatever you ask.” He waited to first know the question before knowing the answer to give them. He said “what do you want me to do for you?” This is unlike Herod who promised to give to Herodias’ daughter whatever she asked even half of his (Herod’s kingdom). When Herodias’ daughter asked for the head of John the Baptist, it displeased Herod, and he regretted the promise but because he had already made the promise.

If Jesus had promised to do whatever James and John would ask Him, He would have regretted the promise because the request of James and John was not Christ’s to give, but for those to whom it was prepared. Let us learn from Christ not to be quick at agreeing to proposals or too quick to make promises. No wonder James 1:29 enjoins us to be slow to speak. When James and John asked to be allowed to sit one on the left and the other on the right of Jesus in His glory, they meant to sit in the places of highest honour and prominence beside the throne. That was a display of selfishness because they did not consider the other apostles. Let us always consider others first and eschew selfishness.

Prayer: God help me not to make quick promises, help me to eschew selfishness partiality in my dealings with other people.

Friday, July 26, 2019 Psalm 41:1-13

HELP THE POOR!

One of the ways God can bless you is if you help the poor, the weak, the less privileged and the vulnerable. Helping such people has rewards here and hereafter. On earth here, God will deliver, preserve and bless you. For your reward in heaven, Jesus, speaking in Matthew 25:35-36 made it clear that He would admit people into heaven because here on earth they gave food to the hungry, water to the thirsty and clothes to the naked. He will also send cursed people into hell fire because they did not give food to the hungry, or water to the poor or clothes to the naked, neither did they visit sick and those in prison (Matthew 25:41-43).

If you want to live a fulfilled, happy and secured life of joy on earth and also enter the kingdom of God, then among other things, do your best to help the poor, widows, orphans, fatherless, the weak, the hungry, the needy and the vulnerable, for this is well pleasing in the sight of God.

Prayer: God, my Father, please incline my heart to help the poor.

Saturday, July 27, 2019 Philemon 8-25

(CMS Anniversary)

USELESSNESS TO USEFULNESS

Today we see the grace of God at work in Onesimus, an unprofitable or useless run-away servant of Philemon. From prison, Paul preached to Onesimus and led him to Christ. Onesimus therefore became a fellow child of God with his master Philemon and Paul. When your servant, sibling or relation is disobedient and seemingly useless, don’t write him off. In verses 17-19, Paul pleaded with Philemon to forgive this his run-away slave who had become a Christian and accept him (Onesimus) as a fellow brother in Christ. Two things are brought to light here: as Christians we should forgive others as Christ forgives us (Matthew 6:12) and true forgiveness requires that we treat the people we forgive with kindness.

Paul had the apostolic authority to order Philemon to accept Onesimus, but he did not use that authority. He rather chose to plead with Philemon out of love, so that he would willingly accept Onesimus, not by compulsion, but willingly and out of love. Inasmuch as we may have the authority to command or lord it over others, let us rarely use that authority, let us rather use love to instruct our subordinates and brethren.

Prayer: My great God and King, please give me the grace to forgive and accept back those who offend me. Teach me not to lord it over my brethren, in Jesus Name, Amen.

Sunday, July 28, 2019 Mark 12:28-34

(Trinity)

NEAR BUT FAR

Genesis to Deuteronomy contains more than 600 laws given by God to the children of men. A teacher once asked Jesus to tell them the most important or the first commandment. Jesus wisely categorized or reduced the laws into two simple principles: (a) love for God (Deuteronomy 6:5), and (b) love for our fellow men (Leviticus 19:18). This means that if you truly love God and also love and care for your fellow men, you have fulfilled the purpose of the ten commandments and other laws. This is because these two commandments summarize all the laws of God. If you love God, you will not disobey Him by committing sin. If you love your fellow men you will not do anything that will injure him.

In verses 32-34, Jesus acknowledged the scribe’s great understanding of the importance of love, and yet told him that he (scribe) was not far from the kingdom of God. This means that the scribe was

not yet in the kingdom of God. This shows that the scribe had more to do than just having the intellectual knowledge of the importance of love. Love must be practised. No matter your level of morality, almsgiving or donations to the church, if you have not received Jesus as Lord and Saviour, you are “not far from the kingdom of God”, but you have not entered the kingdom of God.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, come into my heart; be my Lord and Saviour and mercifully incline my heart to keep your laws.

Monday, July 29, 2019 Haggai 1:1-15

MISPLACED AND CONFUSED PRIORITIES

The Jews who returned from captivity in Babylon were not able to complete the repair of the temple. Though they were opposed by surrounding enemies, but after the opposition, they concluded that it was not time to repair the Lord’s temple and so relaxed and concentrated on building and beautifying their individual homes while the house of God was in ruins. God was not pleased.

We see from verses 5 and 6 that the harder the people worked for themselves, the less they had, the less they were satisfied because they ignored the things of God and their spiritual lives. The same thing applies to us. If we put God first, He will provide our needs, but if we treat Him with indifference or relegate Him to the back, all our efforts will be futile. Psalm 34:9 enjoins us to fear the Lord because those who fear Him lack nothing. If you want to prosper in this life and also enter God’s kingdom, make sure you give God the first position in your life. Matthew 6:33 enjoins us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all other things shall be ours.

Prayer: Oh Father, please help me to give you priority in all circumstances of my life.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019 Haggai 2:1-14

WE NEED YOUR PRESENCE AND GLORY

Not long after Haggai had spoken to the people about their indifference to the building of the temple, the people began to rebuild the temple. However, the temple they rebuilt was not as magnificent as the one built by Solomon. However, the Lord encouraged the people to be strong and to get to work. He assured them of His presence as they worked for Him. A very important asset in the life of a person is the presence of God. God’s presence brings strength and courage and also drives away our fear. Whenever you are in perplexity or confusion, ask God for His presence.

In verse 9, God assured the people that although Solomon’s temple was more beautiful than the latter one, yet the glory of the latter house would be greater than the former. Inasmuch as it is good to build excellent churches for our God, yet we should desire more of God’s glory in His churches. We can have magnificent churches, but because of our atrocities, cheating, enmity, occult practices and sexual immorality, the glory of God will not dwell there. As a matter of fact, our bodies are God’s holy temple. If we keep them holy, then God will dwell in them, but if we defile our bodies, God will not dwell in them. Let us concentrate more on keeping our bodies undefiled so that God’s glory will be seen in us.

Prayer: Sing stanza 1 of SS&S 201 and make it your earnest prayer.

Spirit Divine! Attend our prayers

And make our hearts thy home

Descend with all thy gracious powers

Oh come, great Spirit, come!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019 Haggai 2:15-23

FAITHFUL AND GENEROUS GOD!

Before the rebuilding of the temple, at the time the Jews abandoned the house of God and concentrated on building their own houses, when they hoped for a twenty ephod, they harvested only ten. When they expected to draw fifty gallons from the wine press, they got twenty. It was God who sent blight, mildew and hail to waste everything they worked hard to produce. Immediately the people obeyed God and laid again the foundation of the temple, God began to bless them. He did not even wait for the temple to be completed before pouring blessings upon the people.

Even when the seeds were in the barn not yet planted, God promised the people that their seeds and efforts would yield much increase. God is incredibly emotional and generous! He is ever ready to bless us and be with us if we do our part. At verse 20, God said He would shake the heavens and the earth, and overthrow the thrones of kingdom, the chariots and their riders. He said that on that day He would make Zerubabel a signet ring. A signet ring is a symbol of authority, honour and power. This is a message of encouragement. Even when God deals with His enemies, He will spare, honour, preserve and strengthen His people. If you have not given your life to Christ, do it right now and you will receive the whole authority and power of God’s children.

Prayer: God, please help me to willingly and fully obey you. When you descend heavily against the wicked, please spare, promote and honour me and your other children.

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The Most Revd. Nicholas Dikeriehi Orogodo Okoh

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Akokwa Women at the Diocesan Women Conference 2018.