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 313 Days

Osina Women at the Diocesan Women Conference 2019

Saturday, June 1, 2019 Psalm 1:1-6

MARK THE DIFFERENCE

The first Psalm contrasts the way of the righteous (the blessed) and the wicked (the cursed). This contrast is clearly shown in the Book of Jeremiah 17:5,7:

Cursed is the man who trusts in man.

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord

According to the Psalmist, there is a way the righteous will not walk, and a seat he will not sit on (v.1). Additionally the righteous takes pleasure in studying and meditating on the word of God and applying its principles in his daily living. His faith built on the word of God continually nourishes him like a tree planted by the streams of water, the result being that whatever he does prospers (v.3b; Joshua 1:8).

But the way of the ungodly (the wicked) is markedly different. The Psalmist sums his way as chaff. When wheat grain is thrown in the air, the chaff is blown away by the wind, to be consumed by fire (Isaiah 5:24). So is the way of the ungodly. In God’s scheme of eternity, he will be separated away from the righteous. The Lord knows the way of the righteous (v.6). You have a choice to make today: whether to choose the path of righteousness or the way of the wicked. Your choice determines your end.

Prayer: Holy Spirit of God, search me and know my heart and see if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in the way of returning wholly to the Lord.

 

 

Sunday, June 2, 2019 John 16: 12 -24

YOUR SORROW SHALL BE TURNED TO JOY

Our text is part of a farewell speech Jesus gave to His disciples (John 13:31-17:26). From the passage, it is evident that they received the message with sadness of heart, hence Jesus restrained to say more. “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However when He, the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth . . .” (vs. 12, 13). Truly, the Spirit of Truth, The Comforter, the Holy Ghost from Heaven, the Lord’s promise, did come!

This Helper, the Holy Spirit, is One that no Christian can do without. He is the ever-abiding power of God available to the saints. He is the one that gives you spiritual understanding into the Word of God (16:13-14), tremendously increases your prayer ability (Romans 8:26-27) gives you boldness to witness for Christ (2 Timothy 1:7), increases your fruitfulness in Jesus (15:16); establishes a love for God in your heart (Mathew 22:27), etc.

Have you received the Holy Spirit? Is He working in you to produce the fruit of the Spirit? Jesus said even if you have not asked of Him till now, ask now and you will receive the blessed life in the Spirit that your joy may be full (v.24). Can you ask now?

Prayer: Righteous Father, I hunger and thirst after your righteousness. Send your Holy Spirit of Promise to fill me through and through in Jesus Name. Amen.

 

 

Monday, June 3, 2019 Psalm 2: 1-12

NO HOSTILITY AGAINST JESUS CAN STAND

The background to our text may be seen in the context of hostility shown by Gentile nations and their kings against Israel. In another sense, especially in reference to Act 4:23-36; the passage is a foretelling of the hostility people of the world will show to Jesus and Christians. From birth, Christ (and His Kingdom) faced hostilities. King Herod ordered all male children of two years in Bethlehem to be killed just to get rid of the baby Jesus (Mathew 2:16). Many Jews, including Priests who refused to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah conspired to have Him killed in place of a notorious criminal (Luke 23:12-18).

There is so much hostility against Jesus coming in different forms in our world today. Worthy of note are the activities of the insurgents, mostly in northern Nigeria. This is evident in the abduction of students, burning of Churches and killing of Christians. You may even be facing persecution on account of your faith. You can be assured of the Lord’s presence in your affliction or persecution, for no hostility against Jesus can stand.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I thank you that no hostility against you can stand. Give me grace to stand firm in the days of trouble. Amen

 

 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019 Psalm 3: 1-8

GOD ALONE CAN DELIVER

The background of this passage is when David hurriedly fled from the insurrection of his son Absalom (2 Samuel 15:13, 14). It was a time of great distress and danger in the life of David. Most of his friends and associates abandoned him and joined the ranks of Absalom (1, 2; 2 Samuel 15:13). The situation was so bad that many concluded he was beyond God’s help (2 Samuel 16:8). In 2 Samuel 15:30, you see how humiliated David felt as he walked barefooted on the Mount of Olive, facing barrage of insults and curses from the likes of Shimei.

In this state of distress and humiliation, David still trusted God and cried out for His protection. His faith in God, especially in remembrance of how God had delivered him from previous enemies Goliath and Saul - encouraged him to sleep in peace in spite of the prevailing danger (vs. 3, 5, and 6). In the end God granted him victory.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him from them all - Psalms 34:19.

And they that put their trust in the Lord will never be put to shame - Roman 10:11.

Beloved, it is possible you are currently facing challenges or betrayal from business associates, trusted friends or family members. Be confident that the Lord alone can deliver even in the face of death.

Prayer: Father deliver me from all my enemies.

 

 

 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 Psalm4: 1 -8

PEACE IN THE FACE OF TROUBLE

In today’s passage, David expresses trust in God in time of great distress. The Psalm was composed on the same occasion as Psalm 3, when Absalom rebelled against him, and all the hearts of Israel went after Absalom (2 Samuel 15:13). David expresses faith that God would see him through his ordeal. In verse 2, he brings before God in prayer, those who wanted to truncate his kingship over Israel by aligning themselves with Absalom. His trust in verse 3 is that God knows whom He has set apart to rule His people. Consequently in verse 4, David advises his faithful followers who were zealous for his cause not to allow their anger lead them into sin. (See Ephesians 4:26; 2 Samuel 19:5-6).

In the closing part of the prayer, verses 6-8, David expresses the confidence that though many may not give him a chance of surviving his ordeal, the Lord who delivered him in the past, would yet deliver him. Based on this assurance, he could confidently say that the joy in his soul was greater than the “increase of corn and wine” and with God’s peace in his heart, he slept in spite of the prevailing danger (2 Samuel 17:2). Do you have this kind of David’s peace? There is deep spiritual lesson in trial: never look at the circumstance look at the God of all circumstances who gives peace in the face of trouble.

Prayer: O Lord let the expectation of the wicked over my life be disappointed and let your peace reign in me.

 

 

 

Thursday, June 6, 2019 Psalm 5: 1 -12

DEALING WTH ATTACKS

This Psalm is a morning prayer just as Psalm 4 is an evening prayer (Psalm 4:8). The psalm progresses in five divisions (1) a call of God to hear (2) an affirmation of hatred for evil (3) a call for help (4) prayer for destruction of the wicked and (5) prayer for protection of the righteous. David acknowledges God as the Source of his strength (vs. 1, 10-12). He is quick to point out things that God opposes in verse 4: the boastful, workers of iniquity and those who speak falsehood. After praying for himself (vs. 7, 8) and for the wicked (vs. 9, 10), David prayed for the righteous (vs.11, 12).

From the passage, we learn the importance of starting the day with God in prayers, the same way Jesus did (Mark 1:35). We should also cultivate the habit of drawing closer to God in praise and prayer even in times of trouble.

Prayer: Pray for Christians and Church leaders who are under various attacks.

 

 

 

Friday, June 7, 2019 Psalm 6: 1 -10

A CALL FOR GOD’S MERCY

This is David’s prayer of penitence. It can be linked to David’s confession when Nathan the prophet convicted him of adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11). “Have mercy upon me” is the cry (Psalm 6:2; 51:1). In his state of moral agony, David wept until his bed was soaked with his tears (v.6). From verses 2 to 6 and in the whole of Psalm 51, you see deep godly sorrow in David. And from verse 8, you see joy (for answered prayer) returning to David, “The Lord has heard my supplication, let all my enemies be ashamed.” 1John 1:9 encourages you to confess your sins (and forsake them) because God is faithful and just to forgive and to cleanse you from them all.

All sins are grievous in the sight of God but note the warning in 1 Corinthians 6:18 concerning sexual immorality. In the case of David, this sin affected all facets of his life. It led to “broken bones” (Psalm 51:8); a soiled heart (Psalm 51:1), a withdrawal of the Lord’s presence (Psalm 51:11) and a loss of fellowship with the Holy Spirit and a lot more. With the ravaging consequences of sexual immorality evident in broken homes, and life-threatening sexually transmitted diseases, God’s people should flee every appearance of sin.

Prayer: Have mercy on me oh Lord and cleanse me from sin.

 

 

 

Saturday, June 8, 2019 Psalm 7: 1 -17

GOD THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE

In today’s passage, David’s proof of innocence did not stem from pride or refusal to acknowledge guilt but from the insight that he could not expect God to help him if he were as

guilty as his enemy. David confesses unknown sins that may have warranted his troubles. But in his flight, David did not take revenge (1Samuel 24:1-22; 26:1-25). David’s confidence of his righteous standing with God, moves him to call on Him to judge him with appropriate punishment (if found guilty).

God is a just Judge of both the righteous and the wicked. His blessing comes upon the righteous and His anger upon the wicked (unrepentant sinners). Verse 12 says that if a man does not turn from wickedness, God will sharpen His sword to devour him. Hebrew 10:31 also says, “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” The good news is that God is patiently waiting for the wicked to repent and turn away from his wickedness. David’s prayer is complete. He puts himself up for God’s scrutiny before putting up his enemy forward for judgment. Learn to do likewise.

Prayer: O Lord in your judgment, remember mercy.

 

 

 

Sunday, June 9, 2019 John 20:19-31

CHRIST RESURRECTION POWER THE GOSPEL

In our passage today, the disciples woke to the ‘surprise’ news that the Lord had risen. For fear of being accused of taking the Body of Christ away, they hid themselves behind closed doors. More surprises: Jesus came in and stood before them in spite of the secured doors. He restored peace to them, convinced them He is the crucified Christ and empowered them in the Holy Ghost to go and preach the Resurrected Christ. Thomas who was absent did not miss the action as Jesus came back for his sake but not without a rebuke that he Thomas, should learn to believe without seeing.

The event of that day reverberates through the Life of the Church. Jesus’ resurrection gives backing to our faith in Him - we are serving a Living God (1 Corinthians 15:17). On that day, the disciples received the promise of the Holy Spirit enablement to preach the gospel. Forty days after, Peter standing before the same Jews (he feared), but in the power of the Holy Spirit, preached the crucified and resurrected Christ with thousands of souls believing and being saved.

Prayer: O Lord empower your church to preach the Gospel

 

 

 

Monday, June 10, 2019 Psalm: 8: 1 -9

MAN: THE CROWN OF GOD’S CREATION

When you look around you today, you will realize the awesomeness of our God through His creation. All of God’s works are wonderful, excellent and perfect; this includes you. Of all of God’s creation, man’s position is the highest, crowned with honour and glory. However, as a

result of sin, man lost his place of honour and glory, but thanks be to God for the redemption in Christ.

The worth of a thing is determined by the price one is willing to pay for it. As a result, your worth before God is revealed by the price God paid to redeem you. Therefore you are worth so much to God. As you face the challenges of this day, rest in the assurance that you are worth so much to God

Prayer: Thank you Lord for my position in Christ Jesus

 

 

 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 Acts 11: 19 -30

ARE YOU OF CHRIST?

Our text explains that the continued persecution in Judea, of the early church, especially after the death of Stephen (Acts 8:1-4); led to believers scattering to faraway places. In those places, they met and preached the gospel to both the Jews and Gentiles because the hand of the Lord was with them (v.4). Their preaching was confirmed by miraculous works as Jesus had promised them (Mark 16:17-20). As a result, the church grew and expanded in number and power. In order to entrench the word of God in the lives of new converts, Barnabas, a man gifted in the teaching of the Word, was sent from Jerusalem to Antioch to build up and encourage believers there.

Realizing that Paul had been chosen by God to be a special apostle to the gentiles, Barnabas sent for him to come to Antioch (v.2). It was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians. The reason is that they were said to function as a group who separated themselves from the commonly accepted religious practices of the community. In other words, the name Christian means “One separated, and is of Christ.

Are you of Christ? Have you been separated from sin? Jesus Christ is available, give Him room in your heart.

Prayer: Lord, I give you my heart, keep me safe in your loving arms.

 

 

 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019 Psalm 9: 1 - 20

DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO PRAISE GOD FOR?

Today’s text begins with David praising God in his lips (vs. 1&2). He praises God for His marvelous works in his life, namely: (1) Turning back his enemies (2) Vindicating the cause of the righteous (3) Rebuking the heathen and (4) Destroying the destroyer. In verses 7-12,

he acclaims that since the Lord renders right judgment without prejudice, he can be rest assured of having a place of refuge in God’s care. In verses 13 and 14, he prays for deliverance from those who oppressed him.

God has done so many wonderful things for us and we should praise Him every day. All the reasons adduced by the psalmist and many more we cannot count, should drive us to the place of praise. Praising God is an affirmation of God’s goodness and open doors for greater blessings. Never cease to praise God.

Prayer: Take time to pray, praise and thank God for all His marvelous works in your life, especially for deliverance from your enemies.

 

 

 

Thursday, June 13, 2019 Psalm 10: 1 - 8

GOD KNOWS

Yesterday, we saw David praising God. Today we see him protest and is seemingly angry with, God. “Why do you stand afar off, O Lord? Why do you hide from me in times of trouble”? (v.1). The psalmist is terrified at what he sees as the prosperity of the wicked. In verses 3-11, he recounts the evil ways of the wicked: the wicked is boastful, encourages greediness, haughty at heart and God’s laws are far from him. Like a lion under cover, he catches the helpless and drags him off in his net. His victims are crushed and they collapse under the weight of his wicked strength.

The wicked, described above, represent the oppressors we have today. They are found everywhere, in public and private circles, and even in the house of God. However verse 14b suggests a way out. The oppressed must commit himself to God in prayer. You must note however that the way of the wicked is not hidden before God. Do not envy him because his end is terrible as you can see in Psalm 73:3- 18.

Prayer: Pray for those who oppress the poor in any form, that the Lord turn their hearts from their wicked ways.

 

 

 

Friday, June 14, 2019 Psalm 11: 1 8

THE RIGHTEOUS IS TESTED

The background to today’s text is when Saul pursued and determined to kill David at all cost. On many occasions, David narrowly escaped Saul’s fiery weapons of destruction. “In the Lord I put my trust” is his opening sentence. He was surrounded by enemies and there was no place to flee for escape, not even the mountains. David saw his situation as a test of his righteous standing with God (v.5), the foundation which must not be destroyed (v.3). It was therefore not surprising that David refused to take advantage of opportunities he had to kill Saul (see 1 Samuel 24:2-7 and 26:7-10).

David’s decision to put his trust in the Lord (and not in his might or the counsel of his army general), is a lesson for you. The blessings of putting your trust in God in time of testing are

many. They include: (1) Protection/Defense (Psalm 5:11), (2) Deliverance from enemies (Psalm 17:7), Latter day blessing (Job 2:9-10; 42:17-15), among others. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all (Psalm 34:19). Do not take laws into your hands.

Prayer: I put my trust in you O Lord, let me not be ashamed.

 

 

 

Saturday, June 15, 2019 Psalm 12: 1- 8

PRAYER: THE KEY TO A PEACEFULL CO-EXISTENCE

The political and economic setting at the time this Psalm was written is similar to what is seen in the country (Nigeria) today: the ungodly in the society are flourishing. Pretence and deception coupled with unfulfilled political and economic promises are on the increase. There are efforts by one person or group of persons to manipulate and lord it over others for personal gains. Consequently, love and trust for one another and for the ruling class is on the decline (vs. 1, 2). The writer’s prayer in verses 3, 4 is that the Lord cuts off all flattering lips and lying tongues. The assuring words of verse 5 is certain “for the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, 1 will arise, says the Lord and set him in the safety for which he yearns.

No matter how hard pressed God’s children are in the hands of those in authority and those who oppose them, they should pray ‘positively’ for them, so that by their prayers, God will touch them to repentance and cause a conducive and peaceful atmosphere to prevail and for the righteous to be raised unto seats of power for people to rejoice (1Timothy 2:2-3 and Proverbs 29:2).

Prayer: Pray for your Nation, for peace and accommodation of one another, and especially for God to raise God-fearing people to positions of authority.

 

 

 

Sunday, June 16, 2019 John 14: 8 - 17

(Trinity Sunday)

THE ESSENCE OF THE TRIUNE GOD

You cannot really know God without knowing Jesus! The UNITY of the TRIUNE God (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit), is not clear to many people in the Church. Philip in our text, is in confusion about this. He has seen Jesus but not the Father. He wants Jesus to show him the Father (v.8). Jesus points to him that He and the Father are one. “I am in the Father and the Father is in Me and the words I say and the works 1 do are not on my own authority but the Father, abiding in me continually” (John 14:10-11).

The Holy Spirit who the Father sent in the Name of Jesus is God and the Life of the Church. The Holy Spirit as explained in John 16:12:14 does not also speak or act on His own

initiative but speaks whatever He hears from the Father regarding the Son, Jesus. In John 16:15 Jesus says “All things that the Father has are Mine, He, the Holy Spirit will take from what is Mine and will reveal it to you.” In John 14:23, Jesus says if anyone really loves Me and keeps My word, We will come and make in him a dwelling place. Do you feel His dwelling presence in your life?

Food For Thought: No true knowledge of God without the knowledge of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.

 

 

 

Monday, June 17, 2019 Psalm 13: 1 - 6

GOD HAS NOT FORGOTTEN YOU

It is human to cry to God in time of distress. When solution is not forthcoming you may think that God has not heard you or has even forgotten you. This was the condition David found himself that he exclaimed, “How long will you forget me, how long will you hide your face for me?” This psalm must have been written at a time David found himself in anguish of soul. David is desperate that God should hear him and lighten his burden lest he died and his enemies rejoiced over him (vs. 3, 4). Certain situations may warrant you (as a child of God) to doubt the presence of God in your boat or to ask if God is really in your boat. Elijah prayed for death (1 king 19:4) when threatened by Jezebel. Martha literally cast away all hopes on Lazarus based on what she perceived as Jesuslateness to his brother’s situation (John 11:11).

The Lord’s presence in your circumstances is assured. His promise in Romans 8:35-37 demonstrates this. In Hebrew 13:5b, Jesus further attests that He will never leave you nor forsake you so that you can always say “the Lord is my helper I will not fear. What can man do to me?” God’s divine promises are sure but depend upon your continuous faith in Jesus Christ. To them that believe all things are possible. Do you have the assurance of Jesus’ abiding presence in you?

Prayer: Pray for revelational knowledge of Jesus Christ’s presence and work in your life so that you can always give Him the worship He deserves.

 

 

 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 Psalm 14:1-7

THE FOOL AT HEART

The text begins with a condemnation of “the fool.” ‘Foolin this context is not about mental inability but moral and spiritual insensitivity. To call someone a fool is considered harsh and degrading. Jesus warns against it. You might be in danger of hell fire (Mathew 5:22). A fool says “there is no God” (v.1). In other words, a fool has no room for God. He does not see God at work in his life. (Romans 1:18-20). The lifestyle of a fool is that of corruption and abominable works (.1).

Proverbs 26:12 describes a fool as a man wise in his own eyes. Of such, there is no hope (of eternal life). Verses 2 and 3 express the state of an adulterous generation. The Lord looks down from heaven to see if there is one who does righteously but there is none, not even one. God is still looking on you to preach to the dying souls in this perverse and adulterous

generation (Ezekiel 22:30). The salvation cried for in verse 7 came through our Lord Jesus Christ, who delivers from the captivity of sins. Are you rejoicing in the freedom He gives?

Prayer: Lord Jesus I thank you for setting me free from captivity of sin. Empower me to be an instrument to preach the salvation message to others.

 

 

 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 Psalm 15:1-7

THE CHARACTER OF HEAVEN- MINDED PERSON

Galatians 5:16-21 contrasts the end of a person who walks in the spirit and the one who walks after the flesh. The latter will not inherit the kingdom of God (v.21b). Today’s text stipulates the character of a person who is qualified to dwell in the presence of God. The psalmist classifies it into two: The “Dos” and the “Don’ts.

The “Do’s for a person who is qualified to dwell in the presence of God are:

- Must walk uprightly and work righteously

- Must despise those who do wickedly while honouring those who fear God

- Though it may be to his hurt, must be committed to doing that which is right and fair (verses 2, 4).

The Don’ts are:

- Must not backbite someone in order to destroy his reputation

- Must not make false or malicious statement spoken or written to injure a person’s character

- Must not lend at exploitative rates to the poor nor take bribe (v.3, 5)

The tabernacle of God (v.1) is today dwelling with people in whom there is the Spirit of God (see Revelation 21:3, and 1 Corinthians 3:16) - those who obey the Do’s and Don’ts listed above.

Prayer: Thank God you are His tabernacle in which His Spirit dwells. Ask for Grace that you don’t defile that temple.

 

 

 

Thursday, June 20, 2019 Psalm 16:1-11

PRACTICAL CHRISTIANITY

The text begins with, “Preserve me, O God; for in you I put my trust.” This psalm of David may have been written in time of trouble as the first verse suggests. It may, on the other hand, be a joyful expression of a man who is confident in casting all his cares upon the Lord because He cares. Trust in God is the highest honour you can do Him and safest refuge you can take. David is careful to acknowledge that his very best all of his goodness - is from God. David also delighted himself in the company of God’s people (v.3). In verses 4 6, he contrasts the folly of idolatry with the blessing of honouring the Lord. In following God, one may experience temporary hardships (with good endings), but following after other gods brings multiplication of sorrows all through. So for David, it is God or nothing. What about you?

David shows example of what it takes to be a practical Christian: he loves and trusts God, hates idolatry, is comfortable in the company of believers (even if they are of other denominations). Are you like David? If so thank God, If not learn from Him.

Prayer: Pray that the Spirit of God in you helps you to live a practical Christian life - loving God, His work and the brethren.

 

 

 

Friday, June 21, 2019 Psalm 17: 1 - 15

THERE IS HOPE FOR THE JUST

Believers are not immune to societal trouble. In fact, the opposite seem to be the case as Psalm 34:19 suggests: “many are the afflictions of the righteous.” David is one man who had many troubles and many enemies. The forces against David were too many that he cried out, “Lord how have they increased who trouble me… many are they who rise up against me (Psalm 3:1). In his troubles, David resorted to prayers as can be seen in the entire text for today.

Specifically, David asked God to:

(i) Arise on his behalf

(ii) Disappoint his enemies

(iii) Save him from the sword of the enemy with God’s own sword (vs 13, 14).

You may learn one or two things from David, namely: to call upon the Lord in the day of your trouble and He will answer you (Jeremiah 33:3), and to know that your weapons of warfare are not physical but mighty from God to pulling down enemiesfortresses (2 Corinthians 10:4). Do you have this confidence?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to trust you to fight my battles.

 

 

 

Saturday, June 22, 2019 Psalm 18: 1 - 24

TESTIMONY TIME: I CALLED, HE ANSWERED

Yesterday, we saw David in a desperate cry for God to arise on his behalf and confront his enemies (Psalm 17:13). Today, David gives testimony of answered prayer:

In my distress I called upon the Lord,

And cried out to my God;

He heard my voice from His temple,

And my cry came before Him even to His ears (Psalm 18:16)

David begins his testimony with glowing adoration of God; “I love you O Lord, my Strength, my Rock, my Fortress the one who rescues me... (vs 1, 2, Amplified). The rest are details of the miraculous way God carried out the delivery: “The earth shook and trembled (v.7); The Lord also thundered from the heaven (v.13); yea He sent out his arrows and scattered them (v.14). He delivered me from my strong enemy and from them which hated me (v.17), because he delighted in me (v.19).

It is good to give testimony of what God has done in your life. Jesus asked after the nine lepers that were cleansed but failed to return to give glory to God (Luke 17:17-18). When you thank the Lord for what He has done for you, He is pleased to do more. Moreover, testifying of your conversion experience more than anything else, helps to bring people to Christ. Do you have outstanding testimony? Share it to the glory of God.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, make me bold to declare all your works in my life to the glory of your Name.

 

 

 

Sunday, June 23, 2019 John 15: 1 5

PRODUCING CHRIST-LIKE LIFE

Vine is often used as a symbol of Israel in the Old Testament. In the Psalmist’s appeal for help, he reminds the Lord “You brought a Vine out of Egypt, you drove out the nations and planted it” (Psalm 80: 8-12). Isaiah referred to Israel as Vine planted and tended by God in the expectation that it would bring forth good grapes but ended up bringing forth wild grapes (Isaiah 5:1-2). God’s expectation of Israel as a righteous nation did not materialize as Israel fell by the way.

In the New Testament, Jesus is the True Vine, the true source from which God’s righteousness can be attained. And Israel by faith received spiritual sustenance through deep abiding fellowship in Jesus Christ. Once the fruit is on the vine, the vinedresser cleanses it of bugs and diseases the spiritual counterpart being the cleansing which is done by the Word (v.3). The abiding branch is cleansed as long as it humbly submits to the word of Christ (John 17:17). The fruit that the heavenly vinedresser looks for in His people, is Christ-like life (Galatians 5:22, 23). In order to be productive, a branch must continuously submit to pruning which is beneficial discipline by the Father (Hebrew 12:9-11), and must maintain an abiding union with the Vine (vs 4, 5).

Prayer: Holy Spirit Divine, I thank you for your work in making me to be like Jesus. I humbly submit to any pruning that will bring the best out of me.

 

 

 

Monday, June 24, 2019 Luke 1:57- 66

BIRTH AND CIRCUMCISSION OF JOHN THE BAPTIST

When it was time for Elizabeth to deliver, she gave birth to a son. On the eighth day when he was to be circumcised and given a name, the neighbours called him Zacharias; the name of his father. His mother objected and named him John (collaborated by the father), being a name already instructed by the angel to call him (v.13). According to the Concise Bible Dictionary, John means “the Grace of Jehovah” indicating that he (John) was to introduce the grace and truth that was to come through Jesus Christ (Luke 1:17). John’s conception and birth witnessed two miracles (vs 20, 24). No wonder people marveled at what manner of child he was to be.

In the Old Testament, circumcision was appointed by God to be a token of the covenant that He made with Abraham and his seed (as people separated unto Him) and also the seal of the righteousness of Abraham’s faith. Contrary to the plan of God, circumcision became a mere formal act and the covenant itself disregarded by Israelites. God spoke of them as having uncircumcised hearts (Leviticus 26:41). The New Testament is not against circumcision of the flesh. It advocates the circumcision of the heart, which is typified by putting off the body

(sins) of the flesh (Colossians 2:11) by the circumcision of Christ, for one to be truly separated unto God (Philippians 3:3).

Prayer Point: Pray for a heart and life devoid of sin that you may be truly and thoroughly separated unto Christ Jesus.

 

 

 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 Psalm 18:25- 50

GOD’S WAY IS PERFECT

In today’s text, David continues his testimony of God’s faithfulness to him (started in Psalm 18:1-24). He begins with singing God’s praise for being a just and merciful God, and for care and help in all his ordeals. In verse 29 he says: “For by you I have run against a troop and have leaped over a wall”, indicative of his victory over the stronghold of the Jebusites at Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5:6-10). In verses 34 and 45, he recounts his military successes for which he gives all the credit and glory to God. In verses 39-40, he rejoices in God for equipping him with the strength for battle and for making his enemies turn their back to him in surrender. However in verse 47, he acknowledges that it is God who avenges for him, subduing his enemies under him.

Because of this, David writes in verse 49 “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the nation and sing praise to your Name.” He concludes his testimony in this glowing praise “Great deliverance He gives to His King and shows His mercies to His anointed, David and his descendants forever more” (v.50). Do you have testimony of God’s mercies to you, your family or in your business? Go ahead and share same today so that someone can be inspired.

Prayer: Lord Jesus I thank you for your deeds in my life. Let me never cease to sing of your mercies all the days of my life.

 

 

 

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 Psalm 19:1 - 14

THERE IS GOD

This Psalm is one of the greatest. It begins with a declaration of the glory of God as seen in all the works of creation. It then moves into God’s authority in His creation through the power of His word. The psalmist demonstrates that the created universe is a constant reminder to any honest beholder that there is God. Not only that God created everything, He set boundaries for that which is created (v.4) to establish order in the universe. Speaking about these boundaries in Acts 17:26-27, Paul interprets it as the nations of the world wherein the Gospel must be preached (Matthew 28:19-20). The Gospel being the law of the Lord that is perfect, converting the soul (v.7).

Verse 13 warns against presumptuous sin. “This is sin committed willfully against manifest light and knowledge” - (Spurgeon). It is a deliberate sin. Paul warns in Romans 1:18-20 that the wrath of God is upon those who deliberately sin by pretending that God does not exit, because what is known and revealed about God in creation clearly shows there is God. So, there is no excuse for a sinner who rejects God’s Salvation through His Son Jesus Christ from eternal damnation.

Action- Help spread the Good News: There is God, Jesus saves, and Hell is real.

Prayer: Lord help me live up to your mandate To preach the gospel and make disciples for the Kingdom.

 

 

 

Thursday, June 27, 2019 Psalm 20: 1 9

PRAYER FOR VICTORY

Psalms 20 and 21 are closely related. While psalm 20 is a prayer for victory in an impending battle, psalm 21 is a thanksgiving to God for deliverance from the hands of the enemy. The prayer in chapter 20 must have been made in conjunction with sacrifice of burnt offering. There is evidence that the King was present at the prayer and burnt offering service. The prayer is that the Lord grants the king his wishes of bringing deliverance and protection to the people from their oppressors. While the opposing armies trusted in the power of their instruments of war, they told God that their godly king trusted in the Lord and in the might of His power. The indication in verses 1-5 is that the people were asking that they be saved through the Lord’s blessing of the King who trusted in Him.

Proverbs 18:10 says that the name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous runs to it and is safe. How often do you run to “The Strong Tower” when faced with enemies? David defeated the “mighty” Goliath by running to the Strong Tower. “Then David said to the Philistine, you come to me with a sword, and with a spear and with a shield, but I come to you in the name of the Lord” (1 Samuel 17:45). In that battle, David prevailed over the Philistine.

Prayer: Pray for your leaders, that they depend on the Lord in handling difficult challenges in the land.

 

 

 

Friday, June 28, 2019 Psalm 21: 1 11

THANKSGIVING FOR DELIVERANCE

David faced many foes before his throne as a King was finally established. Yesterday’s text was David’s request that he, with his people, be delivered from an imminent attack. God gave the victory and today’s psalm is thanksgiving for that victory. David gave thanks for past and anticipated blessings from God (vs. 2, 3). For anticipated blessings, the king’s request is that his enemies, those who hate him, be found out, consumed, and burned with fire (vs. 8-9) and their offspring destroyed from among the children of men (v.10). This fiery prayer of David is premised on his belief that any enemy of his and his people, is God’s enemy, because God has chosen them (David and his people) as His own.

David is a good example of a man who rejoices in the Lord in and outside trouble times. He is so confident that God will always hear him when he prays. He understands his divine relationship with God and believes that whoever troubles him is troubling God and will receive commensurate judgment from God Himself. What is your relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ like? Is He your first port of call in time of trouble, confident that He will deliver you or is He a stand-by in case other sources fail? Those who trust in the Lord, are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever (Psalm 125:1).

Prayer: Lord build in me the kind David’s confidence to trust in you in my every life situation.

 

 

 

Saturday, June 29, 2019 Act 12: 1 11

ST. PETER THE APOSTLE

Peter, one of the twelve apostles, was originally called Simon, but had his name changed to Peter by Jesus. At the bidding of Christ, he forsook his fishing profession to follow Him. He was a close confidant of Christ with James and John who were usually called to higher assignments. It was Peter, who by the leading of the spirit, confessed Jesus as the living God the foundation upon which the Church was built. He was given the keys to the kingdom of God and with this, he opened the Gate of the Kingdom to thousands of Jews, with many gentiles following. In the course of preaching the gospel, Peter was arrested by Herod Agrippa (Acts 12:1-4). Herod kept him in maximum security prison intending to kill him as he did James, to the pleasure of the Jews. But God intervened. Peter was released, not to the sword of Herod but, to the arms of the mildly surprised apostles.

But earnest prayers was offered to God for him by the Church (Acts 12:5b). James 5:17b says “the effective and earnest prayer of the righteous avails much.” God’s power is greater than any other power. For God’s sovereign plan to prevail speedily, He needs the earnest prayer of His Church. Are you up against any difficult situation? May be what you need do now is an earnest prayer to God.

Prayer Point: Use Psalm 50:15 as you prayer guide.

 

 

 

Sunday, June 30, 2019 John 15: 5 11

THE VINE AND THE BRANCH

An introduction to Vine/Branch relationship was made in the Devotion of 23rd June, 2019. The summary of the relationship is stated in verse 5: ‘I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit, for without Me, you can do nothing.” Verse 6 describes the danger of not abiding as follows:

(1) The person is thrown out like a branch, indicating loss of fellowship

(2) The person withers and dies, indicating a loss of spiritual vitality

(3) The person is burned, indicating a loss of reward

According to verse 7, the mutuality (of abiding) is the basis of answered prayer by the Father. When a prayer is miraculously answered, more people are drawn to Christ (Acts 3:11).

The text explains the heart of Christianity. You are saved by the grace of God that resulted from His love for you. You remain in God’s love by loving Him and the brethren (1 John 4: 19 -21). Fullness of Joy comes from knowing that you please God in obedience to His commandments concerning love, the first fruit of the spirit. Your love for God is measured by your love for the brethren and God’s work. What is your love-life like?

Prayer: Pray for a heart deeply in love with Jesus and the brethren.

PRAYER POINTS FOR THE THIRD QUARTERS

1. Thank God for His love, abundant mercies and compassion.

2. Pray for the Body of Christ in Nigeria. Pray that the Church will take the great commission seriously. Pray for the unity of the Body of Christ all over the world and particularly in Nigeria.

3. Pray for Church leaders. Pray that God will deliver His ministers from materialism and selfishness. Ask God to raise faithful ministers for Himself who will represent His kingdom in this generation.

4. Pray against false teachers in the Body of Christ. Pray that God will expose their works and deliver their victims. Pray against any of such in Church of Nigeria.

5. Pray for our Primate that God will continue to guide and protect him in his going out and coming in.

6. Pray for all our Archbishops, Bishops and Priests that God will protect them in their stations.

7. Pray for all travellers. Pray that God will keep them safe on Air, on Sea and on Road.

8. Pray for the Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct the deliberations of our leaders. Pray and claim your liberty from bondage into freedom, from lack into abundance, from little into plenty.

9. Pray for smooth election of the next Primate of our Church.

10. Pray and ask God to give you power to overcome all obstacles to your breakthroughs.

11. Pray that God will bring honey out of the rock for you and you will find the way where men say there is no way.

12. Pray that God will help you to identify and deal with any weakness in your life that can hinder the manifestation of your miracle.

13. Ask the Lord to separate you from the inheritors of unknown curses of your forefathers.

Primate

The Most Revd. Nicholas Dikeriehi Orogodo Okoh

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Akokwa Women at the Diocesan Women Conference 2018.