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

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 John 14: 1-14

(St. Philip and St. James the Apostles)

LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED: BELIEVE IN GOD

An author once said that Tough times do not last, but tough people do.Every problem in life has a lifespan and expires ultimately. Are you surrounded by storms of life: hardship, persecution, disappointment, etc.? Jesus says, Let not your heart be troubled, believe in God.When you believe in God with tested and unshakable faith, you enter into the arena of being a victor and not a victim because faith is the victory that overcomes the world. All you need is a heart-deep revelational knowledge of God and not mere head knowledge. With faith in Jesus, you will see God in action. Then, you can ask and receive in His name (John 14:13-14).

Your belief in God is authenticated when you practise the word of God. Hence, no need for anxiety. In the same vein, if your faith waivers not, the Lord Jesus Christ has promised to take you home to be with him (John.14:2&3). Therefore, take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness, deceitfulness of riches and cares of this life, and that day comes upon you as a snare(Luke 21:34).

Prayer: God, grant us peace and absolute tranquility in the storms of this life in JesusName.

Thursday, May 2, 2019 Galatians 1:1-10

BEWARE OF A DIFFERENT GOSPEL!

In our text today, we encounter some Galatians who had been deceived. And Paul was astonished that they had deserted the grace of Christ and turned to a strange gospel. Anyone who leaves the pure gospel of Christ for a strange gospel will sink into disaster and destruction. Paul made this inherent danger clear in Galatians 1:8.

The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ contains everything necessary for salvation. This gospel states that Jesus Christ gave himself humanity once and for all. Hence, when we tie ourselves to the aprons of tradition and culture, we will be indirectly attempting to nullify the finished work of Christ on the Cross (Galatians 1:4).

Be vigilant and watchful, there are strange gospels and doctrines of demons around us today coming from all directions. They include: homosexuality, sodomy, same-sex marriage not being sins, the story of Adam and Eve alleged to be a fable, hell and heaven alleged not to be real, life ending here on earth with nothing like eternity, non-existence of God, no second coming of Jesus, no judgment day, all religions leading to God, etc. Very close to us are false visioners, dreamers, prophets and those whose bellies are their gods. Be careful and watchful not to be a victim. Learn to stick to the word of God.

Prayer: God please deliver us from strange gospels in JesusName.

Friday, May 3, 2019 Galatians 1: 11-24

AUTHENTICITY OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST

As we saw in yesterdays reading, the authenticity of Christs gospel cannot be faulted. His gospel is not man-made; it has a divine origin and came through a revelation from Jesus Christ Himself. No wonder its principles are sure and cannot be broken. Highly infused with inspiration and anointing, this gospel will never change. Its new every day!

In his blind bid to protect and guard the traditions of his fathers, even Paul in his fierce persecution of the Church could not destroy the gospel (Galatians 1:13). The gospel carries a light that darkness cannot withstand it (II Corinthians 4:5). The gospel of Christ is the only gospel that has the power to transform and regenerate. The gospel is the power of God for salvation; in it, the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith. (Romans 1:16-17). Therefore, we must resist any attempt, trials, temptations, persecutions or afflictions that will take us away from the gospel of our Lord. We must be rooted and grounded in this gospel daily as we run our race.

Prayer: Dear Lord, may your word dwell richly in my heart, in JesusName.

Saturday, May 4, 2019 Galatians 2:1-10

BEWARE OF FALSE BRETHREN

Just as it was in the time of Paul, there are mixed-multitudes in the church today. These false brethren profess to know God, but they deny Him by their deeds. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good deed, rebellious, burdened with sin, ever learning yet never able to know the truth (2 Timothy 3:7).

Our reading today tells us that Paul didnt yield to their demands nor did he compromise his faith. He maintained the truth of the gospel by refusing to yield to their influence. The intention of these false brethren is to bring us into bondage, thereby hindering us from finishing our heavenly race. We find them everywhere today: in the church, in the society, in our families, and even among our ministers. Watch out and beware of them. They are faithless, compromisers; members of the synagogue of Satan (Revelation 2:9), enemies of the gospel and men and women of counterfeit faith. By their fruits, we shall know them.

Brethren, we can overcome them by studying the word of God and meditating on it so that we will be well-rooted and grounded as the word dwells richly in us. We must never yield to the craftiness of these false brethren.

Prayer: Lord, please deliver us from the evil nets of false brethren; help us to finish this race strongly in JesusName.

Sunday, May 5, 2019 John 10:7-16

(Easter 2)

JESUS, THE GOOD SHEPHERD

Our society today is filled with many hirelings who move about as shepherds; however, they are wolves in sheeps clothing that devour mercilessly. They own and run churches and prayer houses in almost every street. However, the foundations of such churches are very occultist, diabolical and deceptive. In order to get members, some of them perform fake miracles and do horrible things that are inimical to our faith such as burying human beings at their altars and consulting witches and wizards, magicians and native doctors. Regrettably, some Christians secretly go to them and ultimately get enslaved through false dreams, visions and prophecies that create fears, hatred, and enmity among friends and family members.

Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd, the Way, the Truth, the Life and the Resurrection. He redeemed mankind with His Blood; He knows the sheep and the sheep know Him. He came to give us life, and that, more abundantly (John10:10b). He gave His life for us and He is the only name by which we are saved (Act 4:12).

Therefore, we should not give Satan and his agents any chance to steal, kill and destroy our faith. Jesus is our life, chief shepherd, shield, Provider, Protector and Shelter; in Him we have our being and lack nothing (Psalm 23:1-2).

Prayer: Dear God, please deliver us from todays hirelings and wolves in sheeps clothing in JesusName.

Monday, May 6, 2019 Galatians 2:11-14

AVOID DOUBLE STANDARDS

In our reading today, Paul opposed Cephas at Antioch. Before certain men came from James, he (Cephas) had eaten with the Gentiles, but when they came, he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. Others acted insincerely with him so that even Barnabas was carried away by their insincerity. Paul in his straight-forward nature, rebuked and corrected them. We must note Pauls boldness and fearlessness.

Insincerity is a dangerous dagger that devours a persons spirituality. It carries along falsehood and portrays a person as a liar because such a person claims to believe in one thing (Gods word) but his actions declare his faith as nothing but fallacy. Faith without works is dead. (James 2:17) God is not a Respecter of any person. In condemning evil, Paul respected no one, not even Cephas! The narrow road to heaven has no partiality or fear of persons on it. A spade must be called a spade.

Let us be honest, sincere, faithful and straight forward as Christians in our actions; there must not be compromise. Let us be crucified with Christ, so that Christ will live through us (Galatians 2:20), for if justification was through the law, then Christ died to no purpose.

Prayer: O Lord, help us to be sincere Christians so that what we believe and preach will be seen through our actions in JesusName.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 Galatians 3: 1-14

THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL LIVE BY FAITH

God made it explicit right from the Old Testament that the just shall live by his faith(Habakkuk 2:4). This faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). No matter how they are presented, vain philosophies of men, human ideologies, laws, traditions, customs and dogma, cannot give any person faith. Undefiled faith comes from hearing only one thing and that is, the word of God.

In our read reading today, Paul withstood bluntly those who wanted to replace faith in Christ with works of the law. We must live in the faith and liberty which Christ provided for us than in the bondage of the law. As Paul made known to the Galatians, we must not be bewitched or foolish to think that justification is by the law instead of by faith. Righteousness in Christ is by faith.

By faith the disciples received the Holy Spirit and had miracles; Abraham believed God, Gentiles were justified, received blessings and were redeemed from the curse of the law. Knowing these, Paul therefore called it foolishness to grow on works of the law. By the grace of God, we are saved through faith in God. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world, therefore, we must walk by faith and not by sight.

Prayer: Dear God, please help us to walk by faith, not by sight. Help us also not to make a shipwreck of our faith in JesusName.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 Galatians 3: 15-27

WHY THEN THE LAW?

The law tells men what sin is, it was added because of transgression. If there is no law, there can be no sin. The law shows us our helplessness. The law was in effect until the birth of Jesus Christ. The law was our custodian until Christ came. The law was an essential tool on the way to the grace of God.

It was faith that saved Abraham, not deeds of the law. God gave the inheritance to Abraham by a promise. The law was certainly not against the promises of God. Now faith had been revealed that we might be justified. We are no longer under the law but grace. Righteousness is by faith in Christ. However, we must not break Gods laws because of grace. Christianity is not a religion of cheap grace. Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid (Romans 6: 1-2).

The letters of the law kill, but the Spirit of grace gives life. Let us no longer be ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God through faith. Let us submit to Gods righteousness by the grace of Christ, then we can keep the commandments and laws of God.

Prayer: Dear God, help us never to toy with the righteousness that comes by faith. Grant us more of your grace to live above sin in JesusName.

Thursday, May 9, 2019 Galatians 4:1-7

BE A SON, NOT A SLAVE

A slave has no liberty or a say in vital issues! A slave can be seen but not heard; he has no freedom. in short, a slave is in bondage under guardians and custodians. Obviously, sinners are slaves. He that commits sins is of the devil, who comes to steal, kill and destroy. This class of slaves may operate in self-righteousness but are far from the righteousness of God in Christ.

Likewise before Jesus saved us by grace, we were slaves to sins in bondage, and slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe. But when the time came, Jesus redeemed us so that we might receive adoption as sons. As sons, God sent His Spirit into our hearts (Colossians 2:13-15).

To be sons of God, there is an urgent need that we must be born again, regenerated, sanctified and washed in the Blood of the Lamb. Those that believe in Christ and receive Him, He gives power to become the sons of God (John 1:12). We must open our hearts and allow Jesus to occupy us (Revelations 3:20). In Jesus Christ, we are no longer slaves, but sons; heirs of the kingdom.

Prayer: O Lord, deliver us from any bondage of slavery and make us your sons in JesusName.

Friday, May 10, 2019 Galatians 4: 8-20

THE DANGER OF IGNORANCE

Ignorance is a disease of its own, it is worse when one lives without the knowledge and fear of God. The fool says in his heart, there is no God.No wonder such is corrupt and lives in abominable iniquity (Psalm 53:1). The truth remains certain: anyone who does not know God is in bondage to beings that by nature, are no gods. Those that know their God shall do exploits (Daniel 11:23) while anyone who does not know God will certainly end in hellfire forever!

Many in the church today claim to know God. They call God with their lips but their hearts are far away from Him. They live in disobedience to Gods word which means nothing to them. They turn back frequently to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits, whose slaves they prefer to remain through their human agents (experts in observing days, months, seasons and years), whom they meet secretly..

In our reading today, Paul expressed his fear because of such people for whom he travailed again until Christ be formed in them so that his labour would not be in vain. When you seek God through Christ, you will find and know Him. To know God, we must read our bible and get his knowledge through His word. Our main duty under the sun is to fear God and keep his commandments(Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Prayer: O Lord, grant that we will know you and the power of your resurrection in JesusName.

Saturday, 11 May, 2019 Galatians 4:21-31

CHILDREN OF PROMISE

The expression Children of promisedescribes those who are truly born of God. Our passage today used the sons of Abraham: Isaac and Ishmael, to drive home the difference between those living in the flesh and those living in Spirit. Hence, a child of promise is born, not by the will of the flesh, nor by the will of man, but of God. (John 1:13).

Children of promise are descendants of Abraham like Isaac, not through birth, but rebirth; not by law, but by promise; not by works, but by faith. You are a candidate of heaven as a child of promise and must manifest the power of God here on earth.

Children of promise face persecution. The children of the bondwoman will always persecute the children of promise. They do not understand the children of promise and always see them as a threat. The big question you will have to answer is Are you among the children of the bondwoman or among the children of promise? If not of promise, then bow your head and invite Jesus into your life now. Pray this simple prayer – “Lord Jesus I invite you into my life to be Lord and my personal savior. I receive the grace to serve you for the rest of my life. Amen! Congratulations!

Prayer: O Lord Jesus, please, help me to remain faithful to you as your child of promise despite the persecutions and trials.

Sunday, 12 May, 2019 John 11:17-27

(Easter 3)

I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE

Every Sunday is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The resurrection keeps reminding us the crux of our Christian faith, that is, no resurrection, no Christianity.Jesus did not only resurrect; He is the resurrection. Where He is, nothing dies, life reigns. He is the

life, the eternal life. He offers this life to those who believe in Him. In fact, this life is the guarantee of resurrection. This is what Jesus intends to prove to Martha. Martha believed in resurrection intellectually but never knew that the resurrection himself was standing and talking with her.

Your life is meaningless without Him; He is the author of life. Like begets like, you will give what you have. Jesus is life and He gives it out willingly to those willing to receive it. You want to enjoy abundant life? Hook up to Him (John 10:10b). It is the assurance of this eternal life that guarantees resurrection. The Resurrection and the Life is standing with you now. What do you want to do with him?

Prayer: O Lord, help me to understand that you are the resurrection and the life and where you are everything comes alive, in Jesus Name.

Monday, 13 May, 2019 Galatians 5:1-15

THE YOKE OF BONDAGE

Belonging to the Lord, Jesus Christ positions one to the side of freedom. You are required to stand firm and refuse to be yoked again in bondage. The Advanced English Dictionary defines yokeand bondageas follows: yoke (n) is an oppressive power; yoke (v) is to become joined or linked together. Bondage is the state of being under the control of a force or influence or abstract power. Yoke of bondage connotes one being under the influence of oppressive power that confines the person. Such power creates limitations and loss of ability to control ones actions in the very area of bondage.

In dealing with yoke of bondage, we must consider these - truth liberates, falsehood enslaves and half-truth is disastrous. Jesus declares that you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. Your liberation is to the extent of the truth you know and can apply to your life. If Jesus is the truth, an encounter with Him, (the bondage breaker) will breed total freedom. Like the warning to the Galatians who allowed false teachers to present to them with a false gospel and half-truth, thereby exposing them to bondage, we are to avoid every wind of doctrine with their attendant bondages. Most bondages are self-imposed. Jesus sets free. Get glued to Him.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, my bondage breaker, I surrender to you. Help me to know you better, for the more I know you, the freer I become.

Tuesday, 14 May, 2019 Galatians 5:16-18

WALKING IN THE SPIRIT

As children of God, we are called to walk in the Spirit. What does it mean to walk in the Spirit? Walking in the Spirit implies allowing the Holy Spirit to determine your destination; it is a continuous walk with Him and total dependence on Him. You have to allow the Holy Spirit to pattern your life as to please God. It is this walking/living in the Spirit that truly enables you to overcome the domineering power of the flesh.

How then can you walk in the Spirit? It is to know who you are in Christ. This knowledge comes through the Holy Spirit. For the Spirit bears witness with your spirit that you are a child of God. You have to starve your flesh by thinking and meditating on the things of the kingdom of God. You have to deliberately avoid strife and walk in harmony with others. You have to examine yourself daily and know your weaknesses and depend on the Holy Spirit to overcome. Finally, you must pray and listen to the Holy Spirit and never forget that He is your reliable and dependable paraclete (your advocate and helper).

Prayer: Dear God and Father, enable me to walk effectively in the Holy Spirit, for in Him lies my total victory in this world in Jesus Name!

Wednesday, 15 May, 2019 Galatians 5:19-26

WORKS OF THE FLESH VS THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

There is a conflict between the sinful nature (flesh) and the Spirit. It looks easier to walk in the flesh and a struggle to walk in the Spirit. The reason is simple, in sin did my mother conceive me.Now, the works of the flesh are summarized as four (4) abuses of human sexuality, two (2) false religion or sin of superstition, nine (9) sins of temper and two (2) sins of the appetite or excesses. The sexual sins reflect from active involvement (adultery, fornication, incest, homosexuality, prostitution and pornography), impure thoughts, and suggestive attitudes like touching, provocative dressing and sex humour.

The fruit of the Spirit is the medicine for the works of the flesh. The fruit is the manifestation of the character of the indwelling Holy Spirit. As we submit to the Holy Spirit and follow His directives, it becomes easier to subdue the manifestations of the flesh. The fruit of the Spirit is summarized thus: fruit that directs our thoughts towards God (love, joy, and peace), fruit that directs our attention to others (longsuffering, kindness and goodness), and the fruit that directs attention to oneself (faithfulness, gentleness and self-control). Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfil the acts of the flesh.

Prayer: O Lord! I submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Please, lead me daily to live out the fruit of the Spirit and to live victoriously over the flesh in Jesus Name!

Thursday, 16 May, 2019 Galatians 6:1-5

WALK IN UNDERSTANDING WITH ONE ANOTHER

The Christian walk is a 2-way walk. It involves a relationship with God and man. Most times the gauge to measure our relationship with God is determined by our relationship with our fellow man. There is need to restore a Christian when he/she falls and to bear one anothers burdens. It requires understanding to walk up the backslidden to the place of trust in God again. You must be spiritual not carnal, not judgmental but merciful, rebuke where necessary but with a touch of love. If you personally have fallen into sin, this is a call to return to God in humility and be restored again. Furthermore, as soldiers, let us cultivate the godly habit of restoring our fallen heroes and heroines.

Bearing one anothers burden implies sharing in the heavy load of others, with sympathy, so as to lighten this load. Our dresses cover a lot of things: anxiety, sicknesses, family issues, work related loads, societal pressure and acute financial challenges. Others may be the load of demonic oppression and abnormal sexual tendencies. God is calling us to reach out in love. Today, you might be carrying a load that no one else understands, God knows and the fact that you are reading this devotional implies that God is doing something already so that you can reach out to the hurting.

Prayer: Dear Merciful Father, I lay my burdens before you and I pray that you make me the extension of your love to the hurting around in Jesus Name.

Friday, 17 May, 2019 Galatians 6:6-10

THE PRINCIPLE OF SOWING AND REAPING

Sow a thought, reap an action; Sow an action, reap a habit; Sow a habit, reap a character; Sow a character, reap a destiny. Stephen R. Covey.

Life is about sowing and reaping; giving and receiving. The principle of sowing and reaping is universal. What you sow is what you reap. The passage today points out critical areas that you need to sow into as greater harvest awaits you. Lets look at a few.

Sowing to your instructors oftentimes parishioners neglect those who minister to them. Your pastor and your Sunday school and Bible Study teachers need your encouragement - words of courage and financial support. Sowing to the flesh and sinful nature - greed, unforgiveness, bitterness, immoral actions etc., breed destruction at the end. On the other hand, sowing to the Spirit results in everlasting life. Then, sowing to fellow men and sowing to fellow believers. Sowing is not limited to money but every other good thing in life. In the principle of sowing and reaping, understand that you reap more than you sow, whether positive or negative. This truth should make you to be cautious in life. You can begin to right the wrongs in your life.

Prayer: My God and Father, I thank you for reminding me of this principle of sowing and reaping. Help me to sow positively today for a better tomorrow in Jesus Name.

Saturday, 18 May, 2019 Galatians 6:11-18

OUTWARD IMPRESSION

As todays passage shows, the intruders were concerned about maintaining a good face so as not to offend the majority. They focused on salvation rooted in the observation of the law rather the grace and downplaying the place of the cross. You need to separate pleasing men and pleasing God. In pleasing men, you have to please God first. You must define your motive. Is it to make men happy and make God sad? Making men happy and God sad is the ultimate goal of outward impression. The ultimate aim in outward impression is to compel people to do what you want, not what God wants; to follow the crowd. The aim is to avoid persecution and the end result is to boast in the flesh.

We are living in a time when the cross of Jesus Christ is an offence to many. A time where some Christians are avoiding being cajoled or denied their rights for the sake of their faith! Do not follow the crowd but stand with Paul and boldly boast about the cross of Jesus Christ no matter the cost. For what counts is new creation. Do not trade your faith for cheap popularity.

Prayer: O Lord, please, help me not to follow the crowd but to live daily to please you all the days of my life in Jesus Name.

Sunday, 19 May, 2019 John 16:5-22

(Easter 4)

THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN YOU

Our Lord Jesus Christ while on earth, promised the Holy Spirit. This He fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. He called Him the comforter. He walks alongside you - your advocate, helper, counselor, comforter, and your director. The Holy Spirit has a ministry to the world, to the Church and to you as a person.

The Holy Spirit convicts you of sin. He convicts you to receive salvation and He continues to prick your heart when you go astray in this journey of faith, until you reach your heavenly home. To ignore the Holy Spirit is to grieve Him. Another ministry of the Holy Spirit is to guide you into all truth. This aspect of His ministry is crucial as we have diverse winds of doctrine blowing around us. He will grant you understanding as you study the Bible and listen to the preaching of the men of God. And finally, He will tell you what is yet to come. He will always inform you of good things to come and impending dangers. You will need to understand how He communicates to you - it could be through dreams, the Bible, peace of mind, etc. The Holy Spirit wants to be your companion. Are you ready to be open to Him?

Prayer: O Loving Father, thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to be my companion. Help me to always understand His prompting as I walk through this world in Jesus Name.

Monday, 20 May, 2019 1 Peter 2:1-10 ROYAL PRIESTHOOD

This very interesting passage explains the kind of priesthood believers have received; one very contrary to the Levitical priesthood which is only for Jews. Peter infers that Gentiles and Jews are now drawn through Christ into a priesthood of all believers. In this priesthood, he exhorts us in the first verse on some things a believer must be separated from. He further enjoins us to grow to spiritual maturity by feeding on the unadulterated milk of God's word (2).

We are living stones, a built-up a spiritual house and a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God. Furthermore, the Bible states that we are a chosen generation (Isaiah 43:20), a royal priesthood (Exodus 19:6), and a peculiar people. What an identity! Jews and Gentiles are now one in Christ, same identity, same function. In the Passover, the Jews saw their deliverance from Egypt as being brought out from darkness into light. Today, having been called out as a Royal Priesthood, we have authority and responsibility to offer sacrifices of praise, prayer, holy living, etc. to God this year.

Prayer: Lord, I give myself to you, build me a lively stone for your use and let the gates of hell crumble before me in Jesus Name.

Tuesday, 21 May, 2019 1 Peter 3:1-7

THREE INPUTS FOR A FRUITFUL MARRIAGE

To have a fruitful marriage, there must be of necessity be inputs from three persons.

GOD - The most important input in marriage is Gods input. All other inputs derive their bearing from God. God has provided HIMSELF and HIS WORD for us in marriage: Himself as ever present witness and HIS WORD as the operational manual in marriage.

WOMAN - In verses 1-6 of the passage, the woman will need to be subject to her OWN husband, not to her their boss, friends, parents or even Pastor but her OWN husband. A woman should constantly appeal to and charm her husband with the beauty of the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God a great price.

MAN - The man is the head of the woman and must love her dearly. The woman is weaker but God has provided for the man the responsibility to deal with her with understanding. This is important in marriage because according to v.7, his prayer may be hindered when he fails to dwell with his wife with understanding.

Brethren, to have a successful marriage, all we need to do is tap into God's provision for marriage; as His divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness.

Prayer: Father, grant me a submissive heart and love for my spouse. Dear Jesus, please heal, restore and build our homes and bless our godly generation. Amen.

Wednesday, 22 May, 2019 1Peter 3:8-12 LIVING IN LOVE

Love is the essential ingredient every child of God needs in his or her life. If we are going to live in love, we must learn to forgive one another, whether the offender accepts faults or not. You may be wondering, can I really love and not render evil for evil? Beloved, God hasn't poured his goodness, grace and forgiveness into our lives so we can just enjoy it alone; we are encouraged to shade these acts of His abroad (1 John 4:11). Beloved, if God so loves us, we ought also to love one another. God has so empowered each of us through His love, it is up to us to stir up the love, and let go of the hate, anger, and unforgiveness.

Doing good involves yielding to the Spirit and exhibiting the fruits He produces - love, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control. When these things are dominant in our lives, doing good is the inevitable end result. God loves us so much and wants us to share in His world of love. Have you tried reaching out to love, and in return you get hate? The Apostle Paul urges us to be patient in helping one another (Galatians 6:9). Dare to love someone today against all odds.

Prayer: Dear Lord, please give me grace to forgive from my heart. Help me to be a solution to other peoples needs. Amen.

Thursday, 23 May, 2019 1 Peter 3:13-22

SUFFERING FOR DOING GOOD

From our text today, we discover that you should never be afraid in doing good. However, you may suffer (persecutions, trials, insults, etc.), for doing good, but such brings blessing (see Matthew 5:10-12). In the midst of the suffering, firmly resolve in your heart to exalt Christ as Lord and always be ready to defend your faith in Him. But you must do this with gentleness and respect, having a clear conscience so that those who speak evil of your righteousness may be put to shame.

If it is Gods will for you to suffer, you must not suffer for doing what is evil (see 1 Pet. 2:20). Remember that Christ suffered in this way in order to bring us salvation and also to witness to the spirits who were bound in prison. This gives us opportunity to share in Christs sufferings in the good work done by faith in Him.

Concluding Thought: Christian suffering is accompanied by a Christ-like attitude with the determination to endure to the end (see Matt. 24:13). So, suffer in well-doing that Christ may be glorified in your suffering.

Prayer: Father God, strengthen us in every kind of suffering and trial for righteousness sake, and evermore be glorified in us. Amen.

Friday, 24 May, 2019 1 Peter 4:1-6

ARMED FOR SUFFERING

Our text today reveals that Christ suffered in the flesh as a human, so we too must have the same mind-set as Christ (see Philippians 2:5). We must arm ourselves to suffer to end sin as well as fleshly desires in order to be guided by the will of God. After all, we have sinned enough in the past, living like pagans, but now, we must stop sinning and live righteously in Christ. This new life in Christ will bring us insults from unbelievers who are surprised that we no longer join them in sinful living. However, we know that these people will give account to God who is the judge of both the living and the dead.

Concluding Thoughts: We have clothed ourselves with the attitude of Christ and have parted ways with our past life of sin (v.1). We are engaged in the pursuit of Gods will, not our own (v.2). We know the season for sinning is past (v.3). We walk out of step with the world now (v.4), and we endure the scorn of men (vs. 4,5).

Prayer: I declare I am an overcomer through Christ Jesus. Amen.

Saturday, 25 May, 2019 1Peter 4:7-11

BE HOSPITABLE

The Bible passage today was written by Saint Peter, the Apostle of Jesus Christ. Having been a victim of persecution and Christian suffering, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles chapter five (5), he, no doubt, had the credibility to write this text to encourage suffering Christians that had been dispersed during or due to persecution. Tradition has it that Peter was martyred by Crucifixion upside down.

Peter illustrates through this text that as Christians in a non-Christian world or society, we are stewards of hospitality. Although God will judge the sins of society which have resulted in human suffering, we as believers in Christ Jesus must be greatly committed to each other, helping and encouraging one another to keep on serving God.

Prayers: I receive O Lord, a humble and a contrite heart. Jesus keep me near the cross and help me carry it always as I submit myself to the discipline of the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, 26 May, 2019 Deuteronomy 11:10-17

GOD'S FAVOR: KEY TO BUSINESS SUCCESS

Most times we think it is our experience and expertise that earn us business breakthrough, hence we boast. Ordinarily, our efforts without God's approval, will simply reduce us to mere strugglers. Struggling is quite different from hard work. In the gospel of St. Luke 5:1-11, Apostle Peter struggled throughout the night without catching a single fish but when God's

favour came upon his fishing business, he got fishes that embarrassed his professional expertise.

In our text today, Moses the Man of God, was kind enough to remind the people of Israel that the Land they were about to take possession of was different from the one they were leaving behind. The former required struggle while the new had God's favour. "It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from beginning of the year to the end" (v.12). In other words, if you want your land, which also represents your business and handiwork, to receive God's favour, you must obey the Lord absolutely. Then the Lord will provide all you need to succeed in business.

Prayer: God, bestow upon business your divine favour in Jesus Name, Amen.

Monday, 27 May, 2019 Colossians 3:18-25

CHILDREN OF DESTINY

The term Childrenrefers to any child still living in the home and under parental guidance and care and is being provided for by his/her parents. Children need to obey their parents for various reasons which include:

1. They are doing Gods will (v.20) and by this act, bring themselves under Gods blessings of obedience (Deuteronomy 28:1-14)

2. To enjoy long life and prosperity by obeying both their parents in the Lord and their biological parents (Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:1-3)

3. Family replacement, Psalm 127:3: children are a gift, not a mere product of virility and fertility. They are an inheritance from the Lord. Without children, the inheritance in the land would be lost (Numbers 27:8-11)

4. So they can contend with the enemies of their families. In Psalm 127:5, they are defenders when falsely accused or insulted. They are God-provided character witnesses.

5. They are family arrows and honour. This accounts for the several pains families go through when there are no children in families.

Children who want to fulfill their destiny must obey their parents, not as only to their parents but also obeying and honouring the destiny builder.

Prayer: Heavenly father, let your Grace of obedience rest upon our children so that they have the capacity to fulfill their God-given destiny in Jesus Name, Amen.

Tuesday, 28 May, 2019 2 Kings 2:1-15

(Rogation Tuesday)

FOCUS ON THE TARGET

Focus is the opposite of distraction. When a man is distracted, he runs aimlessly and fights beating the air (1 Corinthians 9:26). Focused people do not concern themselves with civilian affairs (2 Timothy 2:4).

In our text, Elisha had every reason to be distracted, both by his master, Elijah, who for three times (vs. 2,4 & 6) asked him to stay behind, and by the company of prophets (presumably his colleagues) (vs. 3 & 5) who reminded him how much his honour would suddenly diminish at the exit of his master. But Prophet Elisha remained not only resolute, but focused. At the end, he became victorious and the company of Prophets who hitherto had mocked him, gathered to celebrate him (vs. 15-16).

Focused people are achievers of inestimable crowns. Do not allow your peers, environment, circumstances, and challenges, etc., to distract you from the target. Elisha had worse predicaments but never allowed any of them to take his eyes away from the target. His target was a double portion of Elijahs anointing and he eventually got it. Get focused on the target and you will be successful.

Prayer: Almighty God, I command all detractors and their strategies to get out of my way in Jesus Name.

Wednesday, 29 May, 2019 I Timothy 2:1-8

THE WAY OUT IS PRAYER

It is indeed a tedious task to pray for all men, especially when you feel the injustices, partialities, denials of rights and privileges, unpaid salaries, the high level of impunity, political marginalization, failed promises, outright abuse of authority, corruption and falsehood, around us. Loving men equally, thinking of men equally and regarding them equally become too difficult to comprehend. But while addressing Timothy, his spiritual son, St. Paul admonished therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men (vs. 1-2). It is our collective duty to uphold Kings, Presidents of Nations, State Executive Governors, Bishops, Local Government Chairmen, States Houses of Assembly members, etc., in prayers, whether we like them or not, whether they are of the same religion or not and whether their policies are in tandem with

the welfare of the people or not. In short, we are not given any opportunity to vary our prayers for them.

You are not praying for them because they are doing well, rather you are mandated to pray for them so that they can do well so that peace will reign among us and in our environment. “…that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness (v. 2).

Prayer: Release the spirit of prayer upon your church, Oh God.

Thursday, May 30, 2019 Luke 24:49-55

(Ascension of Christ)

BE FORTIFIED

Few days ago, I watched a movie where a group of people were to embark on a suicidal mission, otherwise called mission impossible, but before they were to embark on the said mission, they were warned by the eyes of their god (local deity) not to go out without being fortified for necessary protection. Though this is the warning from a molten god, the similarity to what our Lord Jesus stated in our text today is obvious.

“… but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high(Luke 24: 49b). Anyone who wants to embark on the ministry assignment at any level needs the same fortification by the spirit of ministry. The spirit of God is a spirit of might, and of power, as well as knowledge, of understanding, of counsel, of love, and of sound mind, to inspire with courage and boldness to confront of our common enemy. Without this equipment, it is absolutely absurd to embark on a ministry mission. The same warning is repeated in Acts 1:4. It is very vital not to go without the clothing of the Holy Spirit. Those who tried it have made shipwreck of their ministry, hence the warning. Be clothed to become relevant in ministry.

Prayer: Lord, let your spirit cloth me with tremendous strength and power for the assignment before me.

Friday, 31May, 2019 Luke 1:39-49

(Visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

GODS ELECTION

Certain things happen that make us ask questions like why and how, especially when such occurrence is negative in nature. God once said to Moses that He would show mercy to whom He wanted to show mercy. Some people are created to be short in height, some others tall. God decides, we have no input to make. Some persons are fair in complexion while some are dark. It is God who elects whoever he wants to represent Him. One parable captures this vividly in Matthew 25: 14-30, where the owner of the servants gives them gifts of talents: one person, five (5) talents, another person, two (2) talents while yet another got one talent, each according to their ability. Gods election respects no barriers, tribe, culture or nature.

Just as in our text, Mary the mother of our Lord Jesus was not the only virgin in that land, but God elected her to give birth to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. By the reason of this, she became the blessed among women; an honour bestowed upon her for life. What has God elected you to do? What have you been chosen to do both for God and his kingdom?

Remember that you are not the only person qualified to do that assignment, but God has preferred you. He will require an account from you.

Prayer: Oh Almighty God, give me enabling grace not to disgrace your election of my life, in Jesus Name, Amen.

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The Most Revd. Nicholas Dikeriehi Orogodo Okoh

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  • The Peace of the Lord be with you (John 14:27:)
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Akokwa Women at the Diocesan Women Conference 2018.