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

Friday, November 1, 2019 Revelation 7:1-17

(All Saints’ Day)

ARE YOU A SAINT?

All Saints’ Day is the day set aside to celebrate the saints in Christ Jesus. Every true believer in Christ is expected to be a living saint, for our God is in the business of making sinners saints through the washing of the blood of Christ Jesus (v.14). When we confess our sins, repent of them and accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour, the Bible says “…the blood of Jesus Christ His son cleanses us from all sins” (I John 1:7b, 9). Verses 13-17 narrate a dialogue between the Apostle John and one of the elders in his revelation. Though the Apostle could not recognize nor determine where the great multitude came from, the elder declared that these were the ones who came out of the great tribulation, and had washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. The prerequisite is the washing of their robes and making them white through the blood.

Dear reader, consider these questions in Elisha A. Hoffman’s hymn,

Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Are you walking daily by the Saviour’s side? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Will your soul be ready for the mansion bright? And be washed in the blood of the lamb?

If your answers are in the negative, then lay aside the garments that are stained with sin (i.e. repent and forsake your sins). Ask Jesus to come into your life and make you clean through the washing by his blood. If you are sincere with these steps, you have just been made a saint and your name is now written in the book of life. Keep the faith and grow in the Lord.

Prayer: Dear Lord, give me the grace to love and serve you till the end. Amen

Saturday, November 2, 2019 I Thessalonians 4:13-18

(All Souls’ Day)

JESUS IS COMING SOON, BE PREPARED

All Souls’ Day calls to our mind the remembrance of those who died in the faith of Christ. It reminds us of our hope to reign with the Lord when this earthly tent (our body) would have been destroyed by death (II Corinthians 5:1). Our text is Apostle Paul’s admonition to the Church in Thessalonica about the return of the Lord, whose advent signifies hope and comfort for believers both living and dead (vs. 16-17). The perseverance of the Church in Thessalonica in the face of persecution was exemplary especially to churches in Macedonia and Achaia (I Thessalonians 1: 2-8). However, the death of some faithful among them through persecution raised fear of what became the hope of the dead and those that were alive. The Holy Spirit however assures us that there is no cause for alarm, all righteous souls, living or dead, shall be raptured. The righteous dead will rise first (v.16) and we that are alive at rapture will join them in the clouds (v.17) to meet with the Lord in the air. “And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (v. 17c). What a glorious hope of re-union!

Beloved, only those who died in the faith of Christ and those who have decided to live holy in the faith of Christ Jesus shall partake in this glorious experience. “…Without holiness no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrew 12: 14). The scripture says, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality… for God did not call us to uncleanness but in holiness” (I Thessalonians 4:3,7). Therefore endeavour to live a holy life befitting of a child of God. Rapture could be today or tomorrow; the coming of the Lord is more imminent now than any time in history. Let us therefore eschew all forms of ungodliness and live a life that is pleasing to God.

Food For Thought: To delay your salvation may be dangerous; always be prepared for he will come as a thief in the night.

Sunday, November 3, 2019 Luke 19:11-27

(Trinity 20)

FEAR ENSLAVES

Our text narrates the story of the noble man who distributed minas to his servants with a definite instruction that they should “do business till I come” (v.13). The first two servants

got the challenge, worked diligently against all odds to ensure that they become productive with what they were given. The last, for fear of failure, fear of the ‘austere’ master (harsh), kept the mina and became unproductive. At the return of the master, he was condemned and the mina taken away from him. The Scripture is right, “the fear of man brings a snare, but whosoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.” (Proverbs 29: 25). The fundamental problem of the failed servant was the fear of failure and consequent punishment from his master. He never saw his God-given ability to succeed. The master equipped him for success but fear robbed him of it. The same is true of many Christians today. Fear of losing admission, contract, employment or failure in business has made many to fail to take bold steps. They see ‘man’ as the determinant of their future and not God.

Did you know that God has equipped you for greatness in life? Refuse to be ensnared by fear. Your five loaves of bread and two fish (insignificant to feed a crowd) may be the needed ingredient God will use to bless many people. Arise today, pray and do business for the Lord with what you have.

Prayer: Thou Help of the helpless, give me grace not to be slothful, but to fulfil my God-given destiny in the land of the living, in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Monday, November 4, 2019 Nahum 1: 1 - 8

COMFORT FOR THE REPENTANT CHILD OF GOD

The passage today consists of the prophecy against the Assyrians and their metropolis - Nineveh. This message was sent through the mouth of Prophet Nahum. Nahum (comforter), was very suitable, as he was sent to comfort the people by showing them that God was about to destroy their adversaries. The Assyrians under three of their kings Pul or Tiglath-pileser, Shalmaneser, and Sennacherib (1 Chronicles 5: 26; 2 Kings 17: 3; 2 Kings 18: 13) had been employed by a just God for the chastisement of his disobedient people. After this, God was about to burn the rod with which he corrected Israel; and Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian empire, was to be destroyed.

The scripture is the Nahum (comfort) for us today. Whatever afflictions you have been going through, even if they were consequences of your disobedience to God, will come to an end if you repent and believe that God is your eternal refuge. He will keep you in perfect peace as you cause your mind to stay on Him (Isaiah 26:3). The crooked places shall begin to be made straight (Isaiah 45:2). His anger is but for a moment, His favour is for life. Your weeping may have persisted till today, but the dawn of the morning of your joy has come (Psalm 30:5). Therefore as you set out today, proclaim by faith that every arrangement of evil against you from today shall be destroyed, because you have become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

Prayer: Father, today I receive Your comfort and peace which the world cannot give, and it shall be permanent in my life, in Jesus’ Name. Amen

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 Nahum 1: 9-15

SEASON OF MY RESTORATION

We continue with the story of the expiration of the onslaught of the Assyrians against Judah. God shows that the undertakings of the Assyrians against Judah were against Him, and therefore He would so destroy them the first time, that He would not need to return the second time. Affliction will not rise up a second time. The accounts of these judgments are written in the historical books of the Bible. The angel of the Lord slew 185,000 of them in one night (2 Kings 19:35). Verse 14 of our passage today was fulfilled for Sennacherib. Of the fact, the house of his gods became his grave: we know that while he was worshipping in

the house of his god Nisroch, his two sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, killed him there (2 Kings 19:37).

Child of God, the season of your restoration from captivity of afflictions has come, because the enemies of your peace (natural and spiritual) shall be overthrown in such a way that they will not be able to rise again. The promises of the Lord are that you shall be established and settled after you have suffered for a while (1 Peter 5:10). God says ‘He will comfort all your waste places and make your wilderness like Eden…joy and gladness shall be found in it’ (Isaiah 51:3). I believe this is for your home and marriage henceforth. He even promises a restoration of health to you (Jeremiah 30:17). In place of pains in your heart and body, you shall receive healing and peace.

Prayer: Father, I declare upon my life that Christ has delivered me from the power of darkness, and I have been translated into the realm of peace, joy in the Holy Spirit, and prosperity in Jesus name. Amen.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019 Nahum 2:1-13

CAPTIVITY SHALL GO INTO CAPTIVITY

In our passage, the vision of the Prophet reveals that the Medes and the Babylonians were in readiness to destroy the Assyrians: he derides the attempts of the Assyrians who prepared to resist. Seeing God has punished his own people Judah and Israel, He will now punish the enemies by whom he scourged them the Assyrians. Then the Assyrians will seek by all means to gather their power, but all things will fail them. They will flatter themselves and say that Nineveh (capital city of Assyria) is so ancient that it can never perish, and is as a fish pool, whose waters cannot be touched by those that walk on the banks. They will be scattered, and will not look back, even if men call them.

The message today is also comforting to you as the child of God. Revelation 13:10 says that he that leads into captivity shall go into captivity. Paul writes to the Romans, ‘What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all…Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies?’ (Romans 8:31-33). Child of God, be assured that the pride of your oppressor shall be humbled in no time. All spiritual powers that they trust in shall fail them, because God has ordained this year to be your season of deliverance. He is the one that disappoints the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise (Job 5:12)

Prayer: Father, I confess that Christ has spoiled principalities and powers in my life, and had made a show of them openly, therefore I triumph over them day and night, in Jesus Name. Amen.

Thursday, November 7, 2019 Nahum 3:1-11

GOD PUNISHES SIN AND INIQUITY

Jonah had warned the people of Nineveh of Yahweh’s wrath and they had learnt that God is ‘slow to anger’ (Jonah 4:2). They had repented at the preaching of Jonah but the change had only lasted for a generation or two. Soon, they resumed their evil and arrogant ways. They became like dogs going back to their vomit. They had forgotten the mercy of the Lord that showed them the way to a new life in God and saved them from the destruction and doom that should have consumed them. God pronounced woe upon the city of Nineveh because it was full of iniquities (vs. 1 & 4). In other words, God compares the city of Nineveh to a prostitute whose splendour and magnificence dazzled the neighbouring nations. God was

against Nineveh and was determined to make Nineveh a pitiable spectacle that would be mocked by passers-by and would have filth thrown at her (vs. 6 & 7).

Beloved, it is a dangerous thing to neglect the living God and His way of holiness especially after receiving His forgiveness and mercy. Such act is tantamount to crucifying Jesus Christ afresh (Hebrew 6:4-6). The same God who showed mercy on Nineveh by the preaching of Jonah brought the message of doom and woe through Prophet Nahum. We must always note that our God is a God of both love and judgment. He punishes sins and transgressions. Kindly run away from every appearance of evil and cleave to God in truth and holiness.

Prayer: Dear Lord, give me the courage to do away with sin and its appearances in my life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Friday, November 8, 2019 Nahum 3:12-19

ESCAPE FROM GOD’S ANGER

Yesterday, we pointed out that God is a God of both love and judgment. He punishes sin and His eyes are purer than to behold iniquity. The concluding portion of the prophecy of Nahum which we have been going through for the past few days is surprisingly terrifying. It is clear from our text today that God leaves no way of escape for the city of Nineveh that had once been treated as a beloved of the Lord, having received abundant mercy. God was set to confront Nineveh with such afflictions as weakening her army and opening her gates to the enemy (Nahum 3:13); cause fire outbreak that would bring colossal disaster (v.15); paralyze the commercial and economic life of the city (v.15b); cause the people to labour in vain (vs.16-17); and so on. Little wonder the Bible says, ‘It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God’ (Hebrew 10: 31).

Beloved of the Lord, the love side of God is what we should always seek to see and experience by our continual loyalty and obedience to Him. The judgment side of God is so terrible that one should have nothing to do with it. The only way to escape God’s anger is to keep to the track of His will and never go back for whatever reason (Luke 9: 62; Hebrew 10: 38b).

Prayer: Dear Lord, give me grace to always obey you so that I may constantly experience your love.

Saturday, November 9, 2019 1 Timothy 3:1-7

PRAY FOR YOUR PASTORS

Paul uses the term episkopos (meaning ‘overseer’) to designate those who have been called to care for God’s sheep. In English, this word is sometimes translated as ‘bishop’, but the words ‘pastor’ or ‘shepherd’ are also correct. According to Paul, there are three basic areas every pastor is supposed to be above board. First, he must be blameless in the society (v.2a). In other words, his morality must not be open to question. This also includes the fact that he must be a husband of one wife (v.2b). This standard was not only true in Paul’s time but also important today in Africa. Second, he must have self-control. He must not be given to wine, women or money. That is, he must not submit himself to an unhealthy love for women, pleasure or money. Third, he must be a good manager of his home. A pastor who does not understand how to care for his family will find it difficult to care for the Church of God. If he

cannot gain the respect of his own family, he cannot be respected in the Church for which he is an overseer.

Beloved, the happenings all over the world today in relation to pastors and overseers of churches call for caution and prayers. There are cases of pastors who do not only feed fat on the resources of the Church but also engage in chronic acts of immorality. There are those who employ diabolic means of obtaining and sustaining their so called ‘anointing.’ There are also those who see nothing wrong in getting themselves drunk even before appearing in the church to lead the people of God in worship. It becomes imperative for church members to begin to intercede for their pastors who are the focus of the devil at this end time. It is clear that a good number of pastors are already out of the programme of God for their lives and ministries. You must rise up to pray for as many pastors as are under the power and control of the enemy. In case you are sure that your pastor is on the right track, please pray for him as well that the message of the cross of Christ will not depart from him. Kindly pray for your pastors.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I pray for all the shepherds of your flock who have derailed that, your mercy will bring them back on track, and that those who are standing for you shall not fall, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sunday, November 10, 2019 John 16:21-24

(Trinity 21)

YOUR SORROW WILL TURN TO JOY

Jesus prepared the hearts of His Disciples for the intense sorrow and anguish his arrest, suffering and death would soon bring them. The disciples would later rejoice at His resurrection just like a pregnant woman whose time of labour is full of intense pain but shortly afterwards, rejoices at the birth of her new-born baby, forgetting her birth pains. Their joy would know no bounds.

Beloved, that you experience difficult, painful or trying times does not mean that God has abandoned you. That you experience sorrowful moments does not mean that God does not listen to your prayers. This may just be a time to test your faith. Do not lose heart. Your sorrow will soon turn to joy. Keep pressing on in faith: ‘…Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.’ (Psalm 30:5)

Prayer: Father, turn my pain into joy, my trials into testimonies in Jesus’ name.

Monday, November 11, 2019 1 Timothy 3:8-16

MINISTRY HELPERS

Paul, in today’s passage, sets out what is expected of a deacon and his household by the Church of God. A deacon must be temperate and blameless in character (vs. 8-10). A deacon’s wife is expected to be temperate, serious, faithful, and not a slanderer (v.11). His marriage must be monogamous and his family must be exemplary in good behaviour (v.12). A deacon or deaconess helps pastors in their work and care for the needy in the church (especially for the widows, the ill and the poor, according to Acts 6:2-4). This corresponds to voluntary church workers in our contemporary time, in our church.

Today, inasmuch as you are actively involved in church programmes in one way or the other by your calling or gift, you have been called to serve in your local congregation or assembly as a help to your pastor. Many voluntary church workers fail to realize that God has chosen them to function as a help to their pastors or congregation. They feel that since they are not specially commissioned or ordained, they are not valued as deacons or assistant pastors. Areas in which God raises help for pastors in the church include: Bible Study teaching,

Children Sunday School, ministering in songs, leading prayer meetings, service helpers, etc. If you have been involved in one or more areas as mentioned above, you therefore need to imbibe the character of a pastor’s helper (deacon) as described in the passage. This is because God may later decide to call you to a higher office in His vineyard, then you will not be found wanting.

Prayer: Dear God, help me to live up to your expectations in my life in Jesus’ name.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 1 Timothy 4:1-5

STAND FIRM AGAINST FALSE TEACHING

Apostle Paul, in this passage, through Timothy, warned the Church of false teachings and doctrines that would wage war against the Church in the end times. He warned that the end-times would be filled with much false teaching inspired by the devil, in a bid to destroy or undermine the work of the Church. This shows that the Church is engaged in a spiritual battle at all times. Every true Christian should guard against the tricks and teachings of and revelations from the devil.

Today, many false teachings and devil-inspired doctrines have crept into many churches. Examples include: gay marriage, ‘special’ revelations, visions and ‘prophetic’ utterances contradicting the Bible, false ascetic life forbidding marriage and certain foods, just to mention a few. Many other lies equally find their ways to the pulpit, leading many away into error. We are to stand our guard at all times by knowing deeply the Word of God and staying fervent in prayer (v.5). We must also be involved in aggressive evangelism. This will help us stand firm and snatch some back from error (Jude vs. 17-23).

Prayer: Lord God, help me and the Church to stay firm in your Word and firm against false teachings this end time, in Jesus’ Name.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019 1 Timothy 4:6-16

A MODEL FOR BELIEVERS

Just he did to Timothy in our text today, Apostle Paul is charging all Christians to be models in their society, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). The essence of Christianity is transformation. God desires to work in us so that we change increasingly into the likeness of Christ. The purpose is that through us, He will influence and transform the world. The Scriptures encourage believers, “In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you” (Titus 2:7-8). Paul wants every believer who lives in this present age to be a role model in character, in speech, in integrity and in purity of heart.

As role models, we are to heed this command of the Lord, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Mathew 5:16). A model believer must have sound Christian experience of conversion (2 Corinthians 5:17 & Revelation 3:20). The conversion experience is the foundation for anyone who wants to influence others positively. It is when the heart is purified and the Adamic nature is uprooted that a believer can easily live an exemplary life (1 Peter 1:15-16). Through

his good works and deeds, he enables those around him to taste the love of God and continue in the faith.

Prayer: O Lord, help me to shine as a light in the world, in Jesus mighty Name. Amen

Thursday, November 14, 2019 1 Timothy 5:1-7

REBUKE NOT AN ELDER

In today’s text, Paul admonished Timothy not to be arrogant, but to show humility in treating elders as fathers. The word “elder” is used in this context to mean an aged, not an officer of the church. Lack of respect for the aged is one of the menaces in our society today. The Bible says, “Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12). Perhaps, the untimely death that we experience in our society today may be as a result of lack of respect for elders because the scripture cannot contradict itself.

In the community of Christians, we have various groups of people based on their age and we must be able to identify them and treat them as such. When an elder goes astray, it is our obligation to correct him in love with wisdom and humility in order to lead him in the path of righteousness. We should do this as we would treat our own parents. We should be polite in addressing the elders and we should not abuse them.

Prayer: O Lord, please give me a heart of humility and respect for the aged in Jesus’ mighty Name. Amen

Friday, November 15, 2019 1 Timothy 5:8-16

CARING FOR THE FAMILY

The counsel of Apostle Paul to the young Timothy in our text today addresses one of the most serious pitfalls that confront Christians in the caring ministry. The Bible says, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1Timothy 5:8). The family is an institution whose importance is emphasized in all the passages of the Scripture. We cannot overlook the supreme importance of the family to God. He gave us families as the building blocks of the society and as a place to learn how to care. Furthermore, caring for others to the detriment of our own families is a great tragedy. Today, a good number of people focus all their attention on career, social engagement, extended family, ungodly company, etc., leaving their families unattended. Their spouses and children are like sheep without a shepherd and the devil has seized the opportunity to attack their home front.

Anyone who leaves his family uncared for is causing a lot of havoc to the society. Some marriages break up because those God has placed over the home spend little or no time with their families. Nothing is more pathetic than a committed Christian who has become so concerned in caring for others that he or she forgets his own family. If you are guilty of this, you need to ask God to forgive you and have a change of heart from today.

Prayer: O Lord, help me to be alive to my responsibilities in my family in Jesus’ Name. Amen

Saturday, November 16, 2019 1Timothy 5:17-25

LABOUR FOR GODLY REWARD

By his ministerial experience, Apostle Paul could advise one of his sons in the Lord, Timothy, who at that time, was a Bishop of Ephesus. His major advice to him was to reward whoever performs his duties well. Verses 17 and 18 reveal necessities for reward, and why this was necessary: “Never tie up the mouth of an ox when it is treading out the grain … let him eat as he goes along” (v.18 Living Bible). “… especially those who labour faithfully in preaching and teaching” (v.17- Amplified).

Brethren, in discharging our duties, diligence and faithfulness have no alternatives. Do not seek reward garbed with deceit, evil-speaking of others, fraud, eye-service etc. 1Corinthians 4:2 says, “Moreover, it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” Today, people of dubious character are being rewarded while the good works of some go unnoticed. They may seem unnoticed to you but God takes record of all that we do and how we go about them. “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labour of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Hebrew 6:10). Beloved, how faithful and diligent are you in your place of work? Does your work match up with the payment you get? How justifiable is your reward or promotion? If it is not, repent. Are you trying hard in your capacity and yet no reward or promotion? Relax! Our God is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrew 11:6). He rewards faithfulness.

Prayer: Father, help me to faithfully discharge my duties to you and humanity.

Sunday, November 17, 2019 John 5:2-14

(Trinity 22)

CONSEQUENCES OF A SINFUL LIFE

Sin, simply put, means “missing the mark.” The man in our text today had a very pathetic case of incapacitation which eventually made him helpless and hopeless (vs. 5-7). Jesus seeing him in such a terrible condition did not only pity but also commanded him to rise, take up his bed and walk (v.8) which he did immediately (v.9). Later, when Jesus found him in the temple, he told him to sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon him (v.14). There are two things to quickly note from the statement of Jesus: first, the paralytic’s condition was a result of sin. Second, there are situations that could be worse than being bedridden for thirty eight years if he continued in sin. It was thirty eight years of complete uselessness, stagnation, redundancy, unfruitfulness, pain, torment, sadness and anguish. What could be more pathetic for a man to spend more than half of his life expectancy on a spot, unmovable! Still, Jesus said anyone who continued sinning may have worse experiences than this man.

Beloved, there is no doubt that sin is a gateway to all manners of affliction which include all the situations mentioned earlier. When sin rules over one’s life, it enslaves such a person and keeps him in perpetual bondage, thereby leaving him in torment and severe pain. Therefore, come to Jesus who has come to give life in abundance. Accept Him into your life today and renounce such sins that may want to deny you of maximum peace and comfort.

Prayer: Dear Lord, as I repent of my sins, please minister wholesome healing to my body and soul.

Monday, November 18, 2019 1Timothy 6:1-5

LEARN TO BE RESPECTFUL

Among the virtues going down the drain in our contemporary times are respect and honour for elderly ones. No wonder, Paul often, in his letters advocated vertical respect, such as respect from children to parents, followers to leaders, junior officers to senior ones, students to teachers, servants to masters, and the like. Apart from the aforementioned, loyalty and commitment to service are expected from anyone who is under authority. Verse 1 does not limit our respect and honour to fellow believers alone, we are equally duty bound to honour unbelieving masters or parents while we continue to pray for their salvation. When we do that, the name of God and His teaching will not be blasphemed. In verse 2, Paul admonished that we should not take the grace of salvation as a means to crossing our boundaries. Hence, the fact that we refer to ourselves as brothers and sisters is not a license for disrespect.

Beloved, you do not represent God well when you are disrespectful, and your spirituality will not only be doubted but will also be mocked by those who should have seen you as a model for godly virtues. That you have an ungodly parent or boss should not make you spiritually arrogant that you treat them with contempt. Some ungodly parents and bosses have remained in darkness till today because the light that those who come in contact with them claim to have does not reflect the humility of Christ. The best people that should accord respect to others, especially the elderly, are those who are Christ-like. Are you one of them?

Prayer: Father, fill my life with the spirit of humility so as to give honour to whom honour is due in Jesus Name. Amen.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 1 Timothy 6:6-10

BEWARE OF GREED

Greed, simply put, is a selfish or excessive desire for more than what is needed or deserved, especially of money, wealth, food or other possessions. Greed comes when one finds it difficult to distinguish between needs and wants. Many people tend to run after their wants rather than their needs. When you begin to desire for wants rather than needs, then greed comes in. Paul said “Now godliness with contentment is great gain” (v.6). In Luke 12 verse 15, Jesus warned his disciples to take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses. Jesus gives cure to greed as seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and every other thing shall be added (Matthew 6:33).

Greed leads to all kinds of evil: internet fraud, embezzlement, looting of the treasury, kidnapping, and all other sorts of vices. To overcome greed, you must get rid of the desire to be rich at all costs. People craving to be rich can be caught in an endless cycle that only ends in ruin and destruction.

Prayer: Lord, deliver me from greed in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 1 Timothy 6: 11-16

THE BEST FIGHT

The word “fightmeans to contend in physical conflict, either in war, battle, etc. It also means to strive or contend for success, to conduct or engage in battle, warfare, etc. Paul in his first letter to Timothy, encouraged him to fight. This fight is not the fight of inordinate ambition but the fight of faith. Jude also gives the same advice when he writes in his letter that Christians should contend for the faith (Jude v.3). In 1 Corinthians 9:26b, Paul also said “Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.”

Christians live in the last days where faith of many is growing cold (Matthew24:12). Jesus even predicted if He would find faith on the earth when He comes back (Luke 18:8). The battle between the kingdom of God and darkness is becoming fiercer; Christians are at the centre of this battle and we are on the Lord’s side. Christians are to fight the good fight of faith until they lay hold on eternal life. The battle had already been won on the cross but Christians are to fight to sustain the victory.

Prayer: Lord, make me a winner and not a loser in this fight of faith in Jesus Name. Amen

Thursday, November 21, 2019 1Timothy 6: 17-21

REASONABLE WEALTH

The Bible does not condemn riches. In Deuteronomy chapter 8 verse 18, God stated that He is the one that gives power to get wealth. He helped Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Solomon to become wealthy. What the Bible condemns is the love for money or making idol out of the wealth or turning the riches to a god. Anything you love more than the creator is an idol.

In our text today, Paul told Timothy to warn those who want to be rich in this present age not to be neither haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy (v.17). He also prescribed some duties for them to perform as doing good works, ready to give and willing to share (v.18). The ultimate is storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come. These warnings and prescription are also for you to follow.

Prayer: Lord, uproot anything that has replaced you in my life in Jesus’ Name. Amen

Friday, November 22, 2019 II Timothy 1:1-12

KEEP THE FIRE BURNING

This second letter of Apostle Paul to Timothy, his beloved son in the Lord, contains personal instructions to Timothy who was still very young in the race. Having talked comprehensively about Church administration in his first letter, Paul was more concerned here about Timothy’s personal relationship with God. After commending Timothy’s strong and uncompromising faith in Christ Jesus, the first instruction he gave was the need to rekindle the gift of God upon his life. He says, “Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands” (v. 6). Paul knew that Timothy had been endowed with virtue for the work of the Ministry, but he needed to put fire on it. Just as it has been made known both in the Old and New Testaments that anointing is transferable and renewable, so also it is necessary for one to know that sin is contagious. Sin is a dead fly that kills anointing; it chokes God’s endowment and drowns God’s grace upon one’s life.

It is your responsibility to keep aflame the grace of God within you, Paul repeatedly charged Timothy on this (I Timothy 4:14, II Timothy 1:6). This means God has not given His gift for fun: every gift given by God is for assignment. It is to meet needs. When not used, it becomes dormant and is as good as dead. Avoid timidity and fear of the unknown and be compassionate about your God-given grace, no matter how insignificant it seems to you. Try and maximize it for the edification of the body of Christ and expansion of His Kingdom.

Prayer: God of heaven and earth, Who in your benevolence gives grace to mankind for the edification of the body of Christ, help me not to waste your heavenly endowment upon my life, in Jesus’ Name.

Saturday, November 23, 2019 II Timothy 1:13-18

KEEP THE FAITH

In our text yesterday, Paul was more concerned about Timothy’s personal walk with God. As an experienced minister of the gospel, Paul knew with strong conviction that there is a possibility for a believer to swing away from the faith. One of the prophecies revealed by the Apostle in this letter is that in the last days, many will deny the faith. They will not endure sound teaching. Timothy was warned not to associate himself with such men of depraved minds (II Timothy 3:5). Dr. Steve Farrar, the founder and Chairman of Men’s Leadership Ministries, in his book Finishing Strong, wrote about three vibrant evangelists, Chuck Templeton, Bron Cliford and Billy Graham. These three young evangelists in their mid-twenties were said to be the most gifted and extraordinary preachers of the gospel of their time, (in the 40s). Within the period of ten years, only one out of the three could still hold on to faith in Christ Jesus, and that was Billy Graham. Steve writes - “In the Christian life, it’s not how you start that matters. It’s how you finish.

Falling away from the faith is very deadly. It is a spiritual problem. It does not happen arbitrarily and is never a sudden tragedy. The devil in his cunning ways knows how to get people out of the track. He does that with the aim of ultimately removing his victim away from the purpose of God. He who thinks he stands should take heed lest he fall (I Corinthians 10:12). No one is immune to Satan’s suggestions and trick; he will never be in a hurry or wearied to achieve his purpose. To keep the faith in this perverse world of ours, calls for daily spiritual x-ray, that is, constant self-examination. Therefore, one needs to stand firm as he/she stays close to the word of God and keeps his/her heart close to Jesus.

Prayer: Lord, I pray you to keep me moving in you and enable me to end up my race with you in eternity through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

Sunday, November 24, 2019 Matthew 18:18-20

(Trinity 23)

WONDERS OF HIS PRESENCE

As Jesus continued His teachings on how believers should handle dispute among themselves, He came up with these amazing promises, “…if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.It is out of point to think that what determines the move of the Holy Spirit in our gathering is the attendance. The determining factor as stated by Jesus Christ Himself here is basically two requirements. One is that the gathering, be it prayer meeting, Bible Study, singing practice, house fellowship, Sunday Service, etc., must be in His Name. In other words, Jesus must be at the centre. The second requirement is the matter of agreement. One of the testimonies made about the early Apostles was that they were in one accord (Acts 1:4). These amazing promises show the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ; He can be in many places at the same time and His name carries His authority. The gathering of the children of God, is a gathering with the King of Kings.

Are you fond of neglecting the fellowship of brethren? You are missing the opportunity of meeting with the King of kings. Or have you cultivated nonchalant attitudes like, not concentrating during worship, pressing your phone, browsing, chatting, reading newspapers, receiving or making calls in His presence? You don’t have an idea of what you are losing. Christ the King attends meetings with His Children; be conscious of this and do not take it for fun. In His presence there is fullness of joy.

Prayer: Merciful and loving Father, open my inner eye and touch my mind to be conscious of the benefits of being where you have promised to always manifest yourself in Jesus’ Name. Amen

Monday, November 25, 2019 II Timothy 2:1-13

PERSEVERE

To persevere means to continue trying to do or achieve something in spite of difficulties. It is crucial for us as Christians to be determined to win. We must be ready to fight until hell freezes over. In verses 3-6 of our text, three suggestive illustrations are used to encourage Timothy in various aspects of his work. All three, the soldier, the athlete and the farmer, are taken from common life experiences, and are frequent literary metaphors, applied here in a specifically spiritual sense. From the soldier, Timothy must learn endurance, from the athlete, discipline and from the farmer, perseverance. Paul knew that Timothy was young, timid and was ministering in a spiritually vulnerable environment in Ephesus. He had been standing against false teachers and trying to restore order to the church, but he had experienced only minimal success.

We should strive to do our best to preach the gospel message in our community, to endure all things for the sake of the elect (v.10), and not to deny Christ in whatever situations we might find ourselves.

Prayer: Father, help me to endure, to be disciplined and to persevere in all situations, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019 II Timothy 2:14-26

SHUN PROFANE AND VAIN BABBLINGS

To shun means to avoid something. Profane is showing a lack of respect for God or holy things or people. Vain means useless or empty. Babble is childish, disordered or foolish talk. “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools talk because they have to say something” – Plato. In I Timothy 6:20, profane and vain babblings seem to have constituted a dominant element in the problems facing the Ephesian Church. The best way of dealing with this kind of situation is to avoid or shun such teachings. As in verse 16, particular attention is paid to the devastating influence of these vain babblers, whose trivialities lead to increasing ungodliness.

Most of the massive amounts of information spread via internet are bankrupt in virtue, praise and godliness. Some of those who post on social media like facebook, whatsapp, etc., commonly circulate ideas that are empty and devoid of lasting value. So we should be careful not to be involved in discussions that have no eternal value or have the tendency of scattering the flock of Christ rather than uniting her.

Prayer: Almighty God, help me not to engage in foolish talk that will scatter your flock, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019 II Timothy 3: 1-9

PERILOUS TIMES ARE HERE

From our text, Paul informed Timothy about the moral character of the coming apostates and listed eighteen features of the “perilous time(very dangerous times) to come in the “last day” (vs.1-5).

With all that we see and hear happening in different parts of the world today, it is very clear that we are already in perilous times. We are living in the days when movies, television shows and commercials promote homosexuality, immorality and violence. And such media contents are effectively brainwashing their users, especially the youths. There was an attempt to remove Christian Religious Studies from the school curriculum in our country, sometime ago. Sodomites and their sympathizers are protesting churches abroad. Disorderliness and disobedience have taken over the hearts of many people. All sorts of evil abound because of the love for money, position and power. All these are signs of the perilous times. In order for us not to be swept away in this ill wind of the time, and miss the second coming of Christ, we must prepare ourselves daily with the word of God, through diligent searching and self-examination. We should also pray and intensify our commitment to propagating the gospel message until the end of time.

Prayer: Almighty God, in times like this, perfect and strengthen me to the end in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Thursday, November 28, 2019 2 Timothy 3:10-17

TRUE LEADERSHIP AND FOLLOWERSHIP

True leadership and followership are hard to come by these days. Only very few people in leadership positions today do not have skeletons in their cupboards. There is apparent unwillingness by many people today to be led in the right way. Our younger generation looks up to those with questionable characters (with ungodly lifestyles and broken homes) as stars and models. And worse, the social media encourages this. Paul through his teachings, conduct, purpose in life, faith, patience, love, steadfastness and even challenges such as persecutions and sufferings, was a true model to Timothy. The question is, 'Am I one?' Timothy on the other hand, had a testimony from Paul that he, Timothy, closely observed and diligently followed Paul. There are people, whether young or old today, who want to climb the ladder of success without diligently observing those who have gone ahead. Timothy's case was different. He was a diligent follower.

Our Lord Jesus Christ advocates true leadership and followership. He called His apostles by saying, 'follow me.' Can God depend on you for true and godly leadership today?

Food for thought: Be ye followers of me as I follow Christ.

Friday, November, 29, 2019 2 Timothy 4:1-18

STANDING AGAINST EVERY EVIL WORK

One of our hymns reminds us not to yet seek repose. We are enjoined to listen to what our guardian angels have to say, and it is this, Thou art in the midst of foes; watch and pray.’ The Apostle Paul knew clearly that he was nearing the end of his stay here on Earth. He had fought the good fight and had kept the faith. He was waiting for the crown of glory that the Lord Jesus Christ would give him. Yet at this point, he was not relaxing or relenting. He was not ignorant of the devices of the evil one. He was well aware that though he was close to the end of his ministry, the host of darkness will keep attacking. He would not let himself be caught with the 'Last hour Peril' - the danger of losing it when the race is almost done. So, he kept seeking refuge from God, Who alone is able to protect His own from the assaults of the wicked.

Till we go to be with the Lord, the enemy of our souls, bodies, household, career, children, and endeavours will keep moving to and fro the earth, roaring like a lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). He always seeks to attack that which gives us peace, joy, comfort, happiness, hope, aspirations and the like, from every angle, but in Christ Jesus we have the assurance of victory over him and his evil work. Our duty is to never ever give up the fight against the powers of hell that seek to destroy that which is ours; but be on guard in fasting and in prayer. It is written, resist the devil and he will flee from you’ (James 4: 7). Let us also keep seeking refuge from God. We can be sure He will deliver us.

Prayer: Dear Lord, protect me from every evil work and preserve me for your heavenly kingdom, in Jesus Name. Amen.

Saturday, November 30, 2019 Matthew 4:

18-25

(St. Andrew's Day)

YOU WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR YOUR DECISIONS

Today is a Saint Day. Saint Days in the Church are set aside to recall the exploits of heroes of

faith particularly the Apostles of Christ. Today, we remember the life of Apostle Andrew.

According to our text, he was fishing with brother, Simon Peter, when Jesus called out to

them saying, Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.’ They immediately answered

the call. This probably was not the first time He met Jesus (John 1:40-42). He was a disciple

of John the Baptist, and his attention was brought to the fact that Jesus Christ is the Lamb of

God who takes away the sin of the world. After discovering this, he immediately told his own

brother Peter about what he had found. He said, We have found the Messiah(John 1:29-41).

Both of them became followers of Jesus Christ, and became fishers of men. There was

nothing too great, precious, and valuable for him to do away with for the higher calling of

Jesus Christ, and for greater exploit.

Dear reader, what is that in your hands that hindering you from completely yielding to

Christ? John was a good master/teacher but Andrew left him all the same for Jesus Christ the

Lord of all. What do you regard as master in your life that has so taken you and makes it

appear impossible for you to fully do the will of God? Today we remember St. Andrew for

his decision for Christ. Eternal records will bring to remembrance your decisions for Christ in

this lifetime: your decision for salvation, your decision for holy living, your decision to make

your life in Christ bless other lives around you.

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, help my decisions on a daily basis to yield fully to the call of

your Son as my Master.

Primate

The Most Revd. Nicholas Dikeriehi Orogodo Okoh

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