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|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 2:23am On Nov 09, 2017|
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2017
AVERTING GOD'S WRATH
TEXT: EZEKIEL 21:18-32
"And thou, son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning the Ammonites, and concerning their reproach; even say thou, The sword, the sword is drawn: for the slaughter it is furbished, to consume because of the glittering" (Ezekiel 21:28).
There are many judgments in the Holy Bible that precede the final judgment God will bring upon the unrepentant world. These smaller judgments that reveal His anger against people, nations and their rulers only point to and serve as the warning to sinners and backsliders to "flee from the wrath to come."
Prophet Ezekiel here relates a graphic account of how the Ammonite nation and Judah were judged for the sins of disobedience and revolt against the commandment of God. He had warned through Prophet Jeremiah that He would give Judah and other nations into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon and that there should be no resistance to him. Unfortunately, in 589BC, during Babylon's campaign to fulfil God's prophecy, Judah and Ammon rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar.
The men and women of Judah who were in exile in Babylon were elated when they heard the news of the uprising, wrongly believing it meant the end of their captivity. They could not be right because God had decreed a 70-year captivity as punishment for their sins. He, therefore, sent Ezekiel to let the captives understand that the king of Babylon would crush the revolt. Every detail of Ezekiel's prediction came to pass.
Man cannot get away with sin and mock divine prophecy. It amounts to displaying a shallow understanding of the righteous Judge of heaven and earth to presume in these last days that all things will (always) continue as they were from the beginning of creation. God says in Isaiah 13:11: "And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity..." It is only by genuine repentance, faith in Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, and righteous living that one can escape His wrath.
Bible Reading in one Year: ISAIAH 30-33
Thought for the day: Accept the Son (Jesus) lest He (God) be angry and ye perish from the way...
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|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 4:30pm On Nov 09, 2017|
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2017
HE WATCHES OVER HIS OWN
TEXT: 2 KINGS 11:1-12
"And he brought forth the king's son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, God save the king" (2 Kings 11:12).
In Psalm 2, King David presents a picture that celebrates God's ultimate universal rule despite every device of the enemy to thwart His plans. After wondering why puny kings and the lords of the earth gather to unseat Him whom the Lord has anointed to reign, David mocks their antics and predicts the outcome of the contest between God and man: "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure."
It was this fate that befell Athaliah who sought to abort God's plan to bring the Messiah into the world for mankind's salvation through the lineage of David. Jehu killed her son Ahaziah and so she attempted to destroy all the other princes. God would not allow that because they were the descendants of David whom He promised would be the progenitor of the coming Messiah in 2 Samuel 7.
Athaliah thought she had killed all the princes. But God hid one, Joash, through Jehosheba who protected him in the temple. God took care of Him for six years while Athaliah ruled in terror and wickedness. During the period, she never had time for the temple since her preoccupation was idolatry. Eventually, Joash was unveiled as the king of Judah and Athaliah was executed. God won! He always does.
Knowing and believing God's promises to watch over His beloved children under all circumstances should enhance our respect and honour for Him. We should hold Him in greater awe and obey Him more for His love and care. With faith in His power to preserve, we ought not fear the threats of the world while reaching out to sinners with the gospel. He who aborted the plot against Joash and the messianic line will continue to preserve us.
Bible Reading in one Year: ISAIAH 34-37
Thought for the day: God is a sure Refuge and Strength to those who lean on Him.
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|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 3:46pm On Nov 10, 2017|
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2017
BEHOLD, THE RISEN CHRIST
TEXT: MARK 16:1-18
"And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him" (Mark 16:6).
Paul the apostle declared his preference to refer to Jesus as the One who is risen from the dead (Romans 8:34). The resurrection of our Lord from the grave is the foundation and cornerstone of the Christian faith. A structure cannot stand without its firm foundation and the correct alignment of a cornerstone.
The account of the resurrection of our Lord is crucial to the life of the believer here and hereafter as well as to the sinner and backslider. By faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the sinner can be saved. Similarly, anyone who has deserted the fold of the redeemed can find his way back the moment he returns to the Man of Calvary.
Jesus' resurrection teaches us that if He kept His promise to rise again after His crucifixion, we can trust Him to keep all His other promises, such as His assurance to protect us against Satan and his evil designs as well as return to take us out of this world to live with Him eternally in heaven. The resurrection also teaches us that we too will overcome mortality to attain immortality in a changed body "that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body" (Philippians 3:21).
The empty tomb of Jesus Christ completes the uniqueness of the life and times of our Lord. He was born and lived supernaturally. He departed the world supernaturally, after conquering death and showing Himself in His risen form to many people in Jerusalem. It is proof that our Master is not one of those teachers and prophets. He is Supreme. Apostle Peter puts it more succinctly in Acts 10:36 that, "...He is Lord of all."
Bible Reading in one Year: ISAIAH 38-41
Thought for the day: The resurrection story is the regeneration story.
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|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 5:40pm On Nov 11, 2017|
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2017
DOERS, NOT HEARERS
TEXT: EXODUS 24:1-11
"And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink" (Exodus 24:11).
Twice in today's reading, the children of Israel affirmed that they would heed the commandments of the Lord as revealed to Moses His servant upon their freedom from bondage in Egypt where they had been oppressed and humiliated for hundreds of years.
God had a covenant relationship with His people, Israel. Much earlier in Exodus 12, the Lord employed the blood of a sacrificial lamb to shield them from the messenger of death who destroyed every first born in Egypt. They obeyed God at that time and it paid off.
The ceremonial sprinkling of blood by Moses from the sacrificed animals pointed to the death of Jesus Christ whose blood atone for the sin of the world. Though it was a finished project, access to the full benefits requires true repentance from sin and obedience to Jesus, our Lord and Saviour. Obedience provides the link to full redemption benefits in Christ's blood. Jesus reminds us in Luke 11:28 that "...blessed are they that hear the word and keep it." Part of our obedience is to observe the Lord's Supper which celebrates the new covenant based on Christ's death and resurrection. The passage says: "...they ate and drank."
The blood of animals was used to make covenant between God and man in the Old Testament. "And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words" (Exodus 24:8 ). The Lord's Supper is eaten only by those redeemed by the blood of Jesus and are obedient to His commandments. Anyone who partakes of it unworthily will be guilty of undermining God and His provisions for our good (Exodus 24:11 and 1 Corinthians 11:27-30).
Bible Reading in one Year: ISAIAH 42-45
Thought for the day: Selective obedience is a self-destructive venture.
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|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 10:23am On Nov 12, 2017|
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2017
TEXT: LUKE 16:1-18
"And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?" (Luke 16:12).
The parables of our Lord Jesus Christ on money startle those who do not allow the Spirit of God to interpret its meaning. But in 2 Peter 1:20,21, we are warned that "...no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
Therefore our Lord's parable on the wasteful and dishonest manager does not teach the Christian employee to squander his boss’ goods and later resort to shady dealings to cover up. It is impossible for the Lord who taught in Matthew 5 that we should be pure and let our lights shine in this corrupt world and be perfect like God who takes no pleasure in evil (Psalms 5:4) to contradict Himself.
On the contrary, He wants His followers to be wise and astute in matters of handling money and position. The cunning steward adopted a plan to earn a place in the hearts of his master’s customers if he lost his job. He used his position to secure future gratitude. However, God does not desire money to be an end in our lives. It should be used for gospel work to win souls and to help the needy.
The Lord sums it up thus in Matthew 6:20,21 to "lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." The Lord concludes His teaching by warning against aligning our value system with that of the world which permits divorce, polygamy and a mindless pursuit of material possessions.
Bible Reading in one Year: ISAIAH 46-50
Thought for the day: He who is trustworthy gains the Ruler's confidence.
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|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 11:41am On Nov 13, 2017|
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2017
HOPE IN GOD
TEXT: EZEKIEL 17:11-24
"In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell" (Ezekiel 17:23).
Bible scholars have identified two remarkable things in the ministry of Prophet Ezekiel. God allowed him to inject heavy symbolism into his messages to the children of Judah in order to drive home precious lessons. Besides, his message would begin with conditions that suggested despair but end with lively hope. We see all these dramatised in the vision of the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37. Skeletons that opened the chapter are progressively transformed by God's power into a great lively army.
Ezekiel uses figurative language to call confederate kings against Nebuchadnezzar eagles to reflect their royal and powerful status, since the eagle is the king of all flying creatures. But the God of all creation is not moved by the military prowess of man, their "mighty army or great company." God says these kings have "despised the oath by breaking the covenant" and judgment must come upon them. God's standard of complete obedience to His lordship is not discriminatory. He demands it from the high and the low. He is no respecter of persons. God can subdue men and women of substance who violate His ordinances.
Having announced the plan to deal with the rebellion, God now makes a solemn vow of hope for Israel and mankind in the distant future in verse 24. He presents what Bible scholars have described as a beautiful messianic promise. God says He will visit Israel again and take away her dryness and barrenness (verse 23). The emerging "goodly cedar tree" would be a shelter to all those who run to it. Jesus Christ fulfilled that prophecy when He came into the world 594 years after Ezekiel's ministry. Lost mankind must run to Him to be sheltered from all evils.
Bible Reading in one Year: ISAIAH 51-55
Thought for the day: Hope in Christ gives birth to joy.
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|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 1:45pm On Nov 14, 2017|
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2017
EGYPT? OFF LIMITS
TEXT: JEREMIAH 23:33-40
"Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence" (Jeremiah 23:39).
The Bible condemns the doctrine of eternal (unconditional) security of the soul which states that once a person is saved, he remains saved and fit for heaven even if he renounces the lifestyle of holiness. This is far from the truth. In the Old Testament, we read of some who though saved from bondage in Egypt, (symbolizing the sinful world) did not make the promised land (typifying heaven) as they failed to sustain the saving grace they received. They trifled with it. The same doom came upon Judas, Demas, Ananias and Sapphira in the New Testament. They were once saved but became careless, not acknowledging that salvation was conditional.
That is what God is teaching us in today's reading. The people of Judah in the days of Prophet Jeremiah always mocked him over the kind of messages God gave him for them. They would ask: "Hey Jeremiah, what do you have for us again? More bad news? What's the latest from your Lord? Come on, tell us!" It was obvious that they were making a jest of the oracle of God. The mistake they made was that what they called bad news was really the bitter truth they needed to hear and accept in order to turn a new leaf and escape from God's anger.
About 600 years after Jeremiah's ministry, Jesus said that it is the truth which will set the sinful free. If the Israelites in the days of Jeremiah had received this truth about their spiritual deficiency, they would have spared themselves the fatal judgment that came upon them. But they despised His counsel and He rejected them. Do not behave like them so as not to suffer a similar fate as God has not changed. He still judges. There might not be a second chance to repent before the rapture. So, strive always to "make your calling and election sure" and "work out your salvation with fear and trembling."
Bible Reading in one Year: ISAIAH 56-60
Thought for the day: Salvation is a lifetime contention against sin!
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|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 2:25pm On Nov 15, 2017|
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2017
TEXT: 2 KINGS 10:28-36
"But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin" (Jeremiah 23:39).
The true follower of Jesus Christ should never fail to draw appropriate lessons from the encounter Apostle Peter had with the Lord in John 13 where our Lord washed the disciples' feet. The apostle did not want to submit himself for the exercise. Jesus solemnly told him he would have no part with Him if he was not washed. Why would he, a redeemed person, have no part with Jesus just because he did not feel like washing his feet?
The answer is simple: Jesus is the all-wise Lord and we His followers must do His bidding in every detail of our lives. It is His will that matters, not ours. Total obedience is the fruit of genuine salvation. The lesson was lost however on Jehu. He pleased God when he exterminated Baal worship and its prophets in the land of Israel. God acknowledged his exploits and honoured him by offering his four generations of regal rights.
That was where it ended because "Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart: For he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin" (2 Kings 10:31). Jehu failed in that major detail which mattered most. He only followed the Lord halfway.
The enduring character in a truly saved person is continual and total obedience to the commandments of God. To claim we are redeemed by the Blood of Jesus but still choose what is convenient in His word to obey or not, makes our profession not to be real. We must adhere to what the Lord demands every moment of our walk with Him because our knowledge is limited and wisdom fallible. Moreover, there is need to resist and reject such carnal inclinations and follow where the Lord leads. That is the only way we can escape hearing the words: "Thou has no part with me."
Bible Reading in one Year: ISAIAH 61-66
Thought for the day: Partial obedience to God is disobedience
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|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 1:07pm On Nov 16, 2017|
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2017
IN YOUR FAVOUR
TEXT: ZECHARIAH 14:12-21
"And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth" (Zechariah 14:12).
God has never hidden His love for Israel. He's always there for them. Israel has always been marked out for destruction by the enemy nations but the more they tried, the more God's grace abounded for Israel. Though He allowed Israel to be oppressed by their enemies as punishment for their sin, He would rescue them at the nick of time.
In the passage today, God expresses His determination to avenge for Israel. It was a promise of deliverance from the oppression of the wicked nations round about Jerusalem. He particularly mentioned Egypt. "This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles" (verse 19).
Today, believers in Christ are being reminded of the ever-abiding presence of God in their lives and His unfailing power. Those who may be nursing the fear of being overrun by the wicked, who may be under the threat of the enemy or have begun to review their stance in the Lord must remember that God does not change. He fought for Israel in the past; He still does the same for those who truly trust in His power.
Through all generations, He never fails; He never slumbers and He's never tired of bearing our burdens and hearing our prayer. All we need do is to always cast our cares upon Him. We must rest on His unfailing promise of timely interventions.
Again, the essence of divine intervention is that we might fulfill our calling or serve God without fear and in holiness all the days of our lives. Those who commit themselves to serving God have always obtained and enjoyed special favours.
Bible Reading in one Year: EZEKIEL 1-2
Thought for the day: God has the capacity to overturn the greatest of all captivities
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|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 1:48pm On Nov 17, 2017|
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2017
TEXT: 2 KINGS 11:13-21
"And all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was in quiet: and they slew Athaliah with the sword beside the king's house" (2 Kings 11:20).
A song writer, Sabine Baring-Gould, inspired by the Holy Spirit, penned down the lyrics of the hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers." In stanza two, he said, "At the sign of triumph, Satan's host doth flee; on then, Christian soldiers, on to victory; Hell's foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers lift your voices, loud your anthems raise."
In Israel at this time, there was a fight between darkness and light. A woman by name, Athaliah pronounced herself ruler at the death of her son Ahaziah, against the wish of the people. Jehoiada who knew the procedures to crown a king, withstood Athaliah. Meanwhile, Joash, an heir to the throne had been smuggled out at the death of his father when Athaliah was carrying out a systematic slaughter of the king's household. While she imposed herself on the people, Baal worship and all manner of evil was going on in the land. But Athaliah's grandstanding would not stand. She was caught off guard as her efforts to stop Jehoiada from establishing the kingship of Joash were futile. She was subsequently executed outside the temple.
By divine arrangement, Joash was anointed king and the people were happy. Athaliah tried to stop the inauguration of the king but paid with her life. It was a new dawn in the land as all images and idols were brought down and destroyed. The people entered into a fresh covenant with God and with the king.
Has God promised you anything? He will surely fulfill it; He will bring it to pass. There is no adversary so powerful to truncate God's programme for your life. The devil may try; the storm may rage; the wind of affliction may blow but in His time, He'll make all things beautiful.
Bible Reading in one Year: EZEKIEL 3-5
Thought for the day: The counsel of the Lord always stands.
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|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 11:35am On Nov 18, 2017|
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2017
TEXT: MATTHEW 18:1-14
"Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:4).
The world would have been a better place today had people imbibed the attribute of being humble. What we see in society is a demand for humility by people who lack the virtue in their lives and day-to-day dealings with other people.
The disciples of Jesus were themselves confused on this subject matter even though they had been with Christ for quite some time. They wanted to be sure where they belonged in the matter of the Kingdom. But Jesus did not say, "you my followers", but He said "whosoever…" Thus, He disabused their minds that heaven was just for a few of them that were following Him as His disciples. He went a step further "whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven" (verse 4). Humility therefore, is a serious requirement in our walk with God and man. Jesus also used the occasion to advise them to be vigilant and guard jealously their spiritual life, urging them to do away with whatever might cause them to "offend."
As believers, we must learn from Jesus' teachings to His disciples in the passage under consideration. Although they were already in the kingdom, at least their names had been written in the book of life, they needed to secure that ticket, by humbling themselves; ensuring that they were not dragged into sin by any of their body members and to always seek the lost sheep of God. If the disciples who were with Jesus needed tutoring, how much more we who did not see Christ bodily but believed? It is that quality of humility that can carry us through till the end.
Bible Reading in one Year: EZEKIEL 6-8
Thought for the day: Pride disqualifies!
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|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 3:00pm On Nov 19, 2017|
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2017
BE A LILY
TEXT: JEREMIAH 23:9-22
"For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right" (Jeremiah 23:10).
The key verse in today's text speaks about the land being full of spiritual adulterers. These were those who had given themselves over to idols. They even brought the idols into the temple in Jerusalem. Thus, the false prophets in Jerusalem were forcing the people to conform to their folly in reference to the idols. These full-time religious leaders preached for gain and led the people to commit spiritual adultery with false gods. So, God lamented the spiritual state of Israel and how the people had allowed themselves to be overtaken by all manner of sins. He was particularly disappointed that even the prophets and priests were also profane in their conducts.
Evil has taken hold of many societies so badly that vices have become a way of life. All manner of abominable things are happening within and around us and the shocking part of it all is that such things are found right within Christendom. They have so become a way of life that it has become a pastime of people to advertise openly and proudly too that they travel that pernicious way.
The Bible encourages those who know their God, to be strong and do more exploits. If people could be salvaged from Sodom and Gomorrah, however few, it means that God is still capable of saving souls and preserving them till the end no matter the level of depravity in the world.
Bible Reading in one Year: EZEKIEL 9-13
Thought for the day: God's grace is sufficient for us.
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|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 6:40pm On Nov 20, 2017|
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2017
TEXT: EZEKIEL 17:1-10
"It was planted in a good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine" (Ezekiel 17:8.).
God has always spoken to the children of Israel about the consequences of breaking His commandments. This time around, He had determined to send them on exile to be afflicted by the wicked nations around them. Babylon and Egypt were always on hand to torment Israel. A riddle was embedded in the parable in today's text, and God wanted the people to draw their own conclusions. He used the great eagle, referring to the king of Babylon – Nebuchadnezzar in the parable and talked about different colours referring to the alliance of nations that would invade Israel. During the siege of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar left for a short period of time in order to crush the approaching Egyptians.
When evil is determined against a person or a nation, it only takes genuine repentance and a total turnaround to avert it. The children of Israel had been sinning consistently and God had determined evil against them which must surely be fulfilled.
There are so many afflictions that beset people nowadays that are a direct consequence of rebellion against God. Not only had God determined to punish Israel, He also planned to make the punishment grievous by ensuring that the king of Babylon lead other wicked nations to afflict Israel. Whenever any questionable circumstance arises in our lives, we must endeavour to cross-check the source from the Almighty. Do not join the ranks of those who wrongfully accuse Satan for the many woes they suffer in life. True, Satan is the major architect of afflictions; yet, there are some infirmities that are self-inflicted. To overcome this, the guilty one must sincerely come to terms with himself and turn to God in penitence and contrition for deliverance.
Bible Reading in one Year: EZEKIEL 14-17
Thought for the day: Repentance replaces God's judgment with mercy.
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|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 2:34pm On Nov 21, 2017|
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2017
TEXT: LUKE 12:1-12
"In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy" (Luke 12:1).
Jesus identified the leaven as the insincerity and hypocrisy of the of the Pharisees. They observed outward ceremonies of religion without inner and character transformation. Many today have the appearance of obedience to codes and regulations without corresponding piety.
The Pharisees always gathered to listen to Jesus with sinister motives. Jesus knew and still knows what is in the heart of man. He knew that the multitude that gathered did not come to be helped out of their spiritual blindness. Most of them had come to find a word to ensnare Him.
Jesus was not deterred by their schemes and wicked plots. He knew them and what they had come to do. Jesus therefore, advised His disciples to be resolute in their faith in God and in their commitment to the work of the Kingdom. He urged them never to fear any mortal but only God who had the ability to deliver and destroy now and in the world to come.
Most times, we misread the motives of those who attend our fellowship meetings; who come to spy out the simplicity of our worship and the commitment of genuine souls. They pretend they are with us but they come to cause division and to lead others astray. They come to criticise and water down the word of God. They are those who point us to other churches, how strict we are and the need to lower the standard to accommodate others. It takes a spiritual eye to see such insincerity. Many people have been led out of faith and destroyed.
As believers, we must not be drawn into any fellowship that is capable of corrupting our convictions in the Lord.
Bible Reading in one Year: EZEKIEL 18-21
Thought for the day: Not all that glitters is gold.
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|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 6:30pm On Nov 22, 2017|
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2017
CHANNEL OF BLESSING
TEXT: JEREMIAH 22:1-12
"Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place" (Jeremiah 22:3).
The morals of the leadership of a nation determine the direction in which the nation is headed. In a corrupt nation, there are few who would rise to the defence of poor widows, orphans and foreigners. If the king will not come to their defence, then the nation is morally doomed.
The rulers of Judah remained corrupt and thus reaped the punishment from the Lord. Though the heathen nations remained attached to their national gods, Israel became a laughing stock as a nation that forsook and broke the covenant between her and God. The Lord declared that those who were taken into captivity would die there because Judah had at this time become a land of oppressors. The high and mighty were preying on the less-privileged and God hates oppression.
In many societies, oppression has become the order of the day. The rich appropriate the common wealth to themselves. Poverty and deprivation have become the lot of many people and those who oppress them do not blink an eye. They celebrate when the poor is in pain. This is wickedness in the sight of God and those who thread this path shall never be guiltless.
It is no wonder that many people have turned to religion as the only way out of their predicament. But then, mere reliance on religion without the knowledge of the true God is, in itself, vain. In times of hopelessness, affliction and deprivation, believers must look up to God, the Author and Finisher of our faith.
As follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, we should offer hope to the despondent world through gospel-preaching. We must urgently reveal God's love to all around us; declaring that God is the Father of the fatherless, the Comforter of the widow, the Succourer of the deprived and the Provider for the needy.
Bible Reading in one Year: EZEKIEL 22-24
Thought for the day: God is more than sufficient for every situation.
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|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 11:48am On Nov 23, 2017|
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2017
YOUR 'GOLD' AT HIS FEET
TEXT: LUKE 19:28-35
"And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath need of him" (Luke 19:33,34).
Alexander MacLaren in one of his comments said: "Christ comes to us in like fashion, and brushes aside all our convenient excuses. He says, 'I want you, and that is enough." The Creator of the universe needs us and desires to fit us into His eternal design! Though all-powerful and not dependent on any creature, He has chosen to carry out His plans through lowly human instruments just as He chose a donkey to serve as His royal vehicle.
In our reading today, we see Jesus come to the last, critical week before His crucifixion. He carefully and deliberately sends His disciples to make arrangements for His arrival into Jerusalem. Jesus had been to Jerusalem at least half a dozen times before now; but there was something very special about this particular journey on a colt. It was important that it wasn't a horse, because that would send the message that Jesus was a man of war.
For much of His ministry, Jesus did everything He could to discourage people from publicly celebrating Him as Messiah. But on this day, Jesus was going to be praised and adored as Messiah. "The whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice." On this Charles Spurgeon remarked: "And yet, I suppose, those disciples had their trials as we have ours. There might have been a sick wife at home, or a child withering with disease." Yet they all praised Him for the mighty works He did in their lives and those of other people. They praised Jesus with whatever they had, using simple things like palm branches (John 12:13).
You may feel you do not have a great voice, heart or life but use it to praise Him with it. The Lord has need of it. It does not matter what your reputation is; the Lord has need of you. Like this colt, take courage and break loose from what has bound you because God has need of you!
Bible Reading in one Year: EZEKIEL 25-28
Thought for the day: Little is much when God is in it.
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|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 1:13pm On Nov 24, 2017|
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2017
KEEP IT HOLY
TEXT: LEVITICUS 23:1-8
"Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings" (Leviticus 23:3).
The subject of Mosaic and Christian Sabbath has been contentious over the years especially among the Jews, some Christian sects and Bible-based believers. The divide appears to widen as we approach the close of this age. As obedient children of God, our position is to search out the whole truth about this divine injunction and faithfully observe and uphold the truth.
The subject of our consideration today is the third commandment: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy" (Exodus 20:8.). This ordinance was observed by Israel until Christ the true Light and the perfect image of God arrived the scene of humanity to fulfill all the law and the prophets (Matthew 5:17). Christ did not negate the Mosaic Sabbath but put the best meaning and significance to this ordinance by emphasizing also the social and moral components of it.
Today, believers should follow Christ's example of observance of the Sabbath. He fed the hungry, healed the sick and protected the rights of weak and ignorant folks that were being violated by Jewish religious leaders on the Sabbath day.
Christ's miraculous bodily resurrection after crucifixion on the first day of the week (Sunday), not Saturday, attest to the fact of Christian Sabbath or the Lord's day. Apostles of Christ recognized this day and as such, organized Christian gatherings on Sundays thereafter. If we believe in Christ, we should obey His Word and follow His example by keeping that day holy (free from servile work).
Even so, the observance of the Lord's day must be matched by the right attitude and disposition that would attract divine intervention in all affairs of life. The Lord's day is as sacred as the comportment with which we observe it.
Bible Reading in one Year: EZEKIEL 29-31
Thought for the day: Solemn worship from holy hearts befits the Lord's day.
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|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 12:54pm On Nov 25, 2017|
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2017
BEWARE OF THE EASY LIFE
TEXT: AMOS 6:1-14
"Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came" (Amos 6:1).
Love of ease and pleasure has continued to plague many people, men, women, boys, girls and children alike in our world today. Modern philosophy, warped world view, syncretic religious preachers, crimes from new media have increased godlessness in the world and made many people unfit for the Master's use (Jeremiah 24:2,3).
The nation of Israel in our text had waxed wanton in following after obsessive lifestyle of the heathen nations around them. These backslidden children of God wanted a taste of the life of ease of their neighbouring sinful nations. The desire to "lie upon beds of ivory, stretch themselves upon couches and chant to the sound of the viol, drink wine in bowls and anoint themselves with chief ointments…" (Amos 6:4-6) made them insensitive to misery and afflictions of Joseph.
Today, God is watching His people whom He has entrusted the task of rescuing the perishing and restoring the backsliders. We should not behave like the backslidden children of Israel in the days of Prophet Amos but heed Christ's call to local and foreign involvement in soul-winning. This is the most profitable way to spend our time, talent, treasure and entire life. It is in obeying and fulfilling the great commission that we can truly be described as abiding in the Lord. This is not the time to stay in our comfort zone and be at ease as did the people of Samaria in the days of Amos.
Believers who resort to pleasure-seeking at the expense of winning never-dying souls will incur the wrath of God. The Lord's standard has not changed; He is still demanding that Christians should preach the gospel to the lost for their salvation.
Bible Reading in one Year: EZEKIEL 32-35
Thought for the day: Only what is done for Christ will last.
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SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2017
ODOUR OF SWEET SMELL
TEXT: PSALM 117:1,2
"O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people" (Psalm 117:1).
Praise is comely and pleasant. It is a universal expression often echoed by those whom the Almighty has shown His mercies. David, the psalmist and king of Israel, sang and invited all nations and people to join him in solemn praise of God.
This invitation to praise the Lord in our text occurred several times in the book of Psalms and many times in the Bible. This call resonates everyday in the life of every Christian as God performs His marvelous works and wonders in their lives.
The believer owes it a duty to praise the Lord for many reasons. These include our creation and redemption, His love and mercies towards us, unparalleled deliverances, defeat of our foes, victories over physical and spiritual enemies, undeserved favour and above all, the hope of eternal life with Christ in heaven. The realization of these facts makes it imperative for us like the psalmist, to praise the Lord and encourage others to do the same.
It must be remarked that praising the Lord should not be only when we feel good about the great things He has done for us. We should employ the weapon of praise and prayer, like Jehoshaphat, in times of trouble and fear. God has provided His saints with the weapons of praise to defeat the band of foes. Remember that Paul and Silas prayed and sang in the prison. They obtained deliverance and won the Philippian jailor and his household unto Christ. Through sincere heartfelt praise of God, wonders will happen in your life in Jesus' name!
Bible Reading in one Year: EZEKIEL 36-38
Thought for the day: Praise is the aroma of sweet smell that pleases God.
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|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by Gravas(m): 6:38am On Nov 27, 2017|
Truly, there is power in praise, worship and thanksgiving. I have personally experience this power by way of victories over life's issues. God is great and good. All that you are or will be is due to His favour. He is the Giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). Therefore, we owe God our sincere worship and praise. This is the first element in prayer as taught by Jesus in The Lord's Prayer.
|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 12:11pm On Nov 27, 2017|
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017
COME BACK HOME
TEXT: JOB 34:31-37
"That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more" (Job 34:32).
The courage to make amends is a proof of genuine spiritual transformation and desire for spiritual progress and promotion. Many who have strayed away from home and happiness often delude themselves with excuses and reasons for staying away. But the prodigal son would ever be remembered and commended for his decision to go back home and reconcile with his father – even when he felt he had disappointed his father woefully and as such had lost the status and privileges of a true son (Luke 15:17-22).
Repentance from sin and all dead works is central to reconciliation, pardon, peace, worship and fellowship with God. The counsel of Elihu, Job's friend in our text is a wise and timely one which resonates each time the gospel is presented to those who have gone astray. Repentant sinners should be humble and earnest to ask God for help to understand their faults and resolutely plead for grace never to repeat such sinful acts. Indeed, it is worth crying out to God like Elihu had rightly counseled "…if I have done iniquity, I will do no more" (Job 34:32b). This is the only way of securing the mercies of God for the penitent sinner who desires to return home to make peace with God.
In a world like ours where godly and moral standards have been terribly compromised, seekers after God must humbly pray for spiritual enlightenment and grace to follow the right way and constantly say no to all evil. Our God is so faithful to pardon and welcome every returning prodigal child home.
Even so, believers must not lower the gospel standard in the bid to save the lost. Repentance from all sin, not health and wealth theology, must be the cardinal point of our gospel message.
Bible Reading in one Year: EZEKIEL 39-42
Thought for the day: In repentance and rest shall every sinner find respite.
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|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 12:07pm On Nov 28, 2017|
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2017
FIGS IN TWO BASKETS
TEXT: JEREMIAH 24:1-10
"One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad" (Jeremiah 24:2).
According to the BBCgoodfood.com, one of the world's oldest trees, the fig, can be traced back to the earliest historical documents and features prominently in the Bible. Figs are native to the Middle East and the Mediterranean region. They were held in such high regard by the Greeks that laws were once enacted to prevent their export. Figs are high in natural sugars, soluble fibre and minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and copper; and are a good source of antioxidant vitamins A, E and K that contribute to health and wellness.
The passage for meditation tells of a revelation God showed to Jeremiah. He saw in the temple two baskets filled with figs. One basket was full of ripe and "very good" figs while the other was filled with naughty, "completely evil" and inedible figs. God said that the captive Israelites who allowed the experience to soften them, bow to His sovereign will and turn away from their sinfulness, represent the good figs in the basket. He would forgive, cleanse and restore them. On the other hand, the team led by King Zedekiah who chose to seek alliance with Egypt instead of going to exile, represents the evil figs in the second basket. God promised to oppose them and fight them until they are eventually forced to lose their land to the enemies.
We need understand that every individual represents one of two baskets of figs. You might be the good fig or the evil one. Humility and submission to the will of God in every area of life will make one become a good fig. On the other hand, resistance or careless attitude to the Word will make one to be useless. God is unhappy with such figs because He cannot use them. Such are His enemies in time and eternity. May God grant us grace and wisdom to be a good fig always.
Bible Reading in one Year: EZEKIEL 43-44
Thought for the day: Better to be good for God's use than be useful in Satan's kingdom.
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|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 2:59pm On Nov 29, 2017|
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2017
AFFLICTIONS OF ISRAEL
TEXT: 2 KINGS 14:17-28
"For the LORD saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very bitter: for there was not any shut up, nor any left, nor any helper for Israel" (2 Kings 14:26).
The word 'affliction' is defined by a Bible dictionary as that which causes or tends to cause bodily pain or mental distress; the state of being in pain or trouble. An individual or nation can be afflicted with sickness, poverty, loss, oppression, war, invasion, conquest by foreign peoples. Persecution of New Testament believers is also a form of affliction.
Our passage today highlights the condition of Israel as a national, self-induced affliction. It came as a result of the ungodly practices of King Jeroboam the son of Nebat "who made Israel to sin." Although Jeroboam chose to lead the nation into idolatry and Baal worship, the afflictions of Israel in the text touched God in a special way. No help was in sight; evil and oppression walked the streets and the messages of prophets that God sent could not rescue the situation. Then, God stepped in and against all odds, saved the nation from self-destruction.
Today, God's grace is still available in times of afflictions. Whether as an individual, family or even nation, a sinful lifestyle will always attract all sorts of afflictions. Sin is like a magnet that draws evil to itself. But the mercy of God is available for everyone who seeks freedom from afflictions whether self-induced or not. Grace saved Israel from afflictions; the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is also available to set man free from the oppression of the devil.
Bible Reading in one Year: EZEKIEL 45-46
Thought for the day: Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.
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To God be the Glory! We have the pleasure to present to you, the December 2017 Edition of the Christian Women Mirror magazine (IF YOU MISS IT...)! Make haste to get your copies! ...IT'S THE MAGAZINE THAT BUILDS GODLY WOMEN AND HOMES!
|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 1:36pm On Nov 30, 2017|
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2017
PROPHET AMONGST PROPHETS
TEXT: DEUTERONOMY 18:15-22
"The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken" (Deuteronomy 18:15).
In his book, Prophet, novelist Frank Peretti tells the story of a television news anchor, John Barnett, who upon his father's accidental death, is encouraged to investigate and report on problems at an abortion clinic. He soon discovers his producer attempting to fabricate a story and himself hearing mysterious "voices." In the process of continuing his investigations John finds God and Truth. Prophets and prophecies are always associated with truth. Even when they are false, it is the truth that exposes them as false.
Moses knew his time was up: his ministry as a prophet and leader of the Israelites was coming to an end. As a true prophet, God revealed His plan for the coming generation to him. This great plan of God was the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, as a Prophet like Moses, who would reveal the will of God to the people and rescue them from the power of sin. But Satan knew about the curiosity of man for the future. He knew how insatiable the crave for information about the future by man would be. He therefore made his own plan too to flood the world with his own prophets who will go all out to deceive the people. Moses then explained further how to know the fake from the true prophet. The key is simply the ability to tell the truth. True prophets will say the truth about what is going on now and what is coming in the future but false prophets on the other hand will deceive their followers with falsehood.
False prophets are literally controlling the lives of many people with revelation on who to marry, the type of job to do, place to live or even what to wear. Some people can no longer visit their parents or family members because so-called prophets have warned them against it. Christ is the true Prophet of God; He sets captives free and guides us on the path of life. You cannot follow Him and be lost.
Bible Reading in one Year: EZEKIEL 47-48
Thought for the day: Wise men still seek Jesus.
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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2017
TEXT: LUKE 18:9-17
"I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted" (Luke 18:14).
Jesus gave a parable of two men who went to pray. One would ordinarily expect people who pray to approach God with feelings of inadequacy, insufficiency and humility. Who would have imagined that people can pray with pride? But that was what the Pharisee did.
He approached God as a self-righteous person. As such, he felt he had no reason to confess his sins to the heavenly Father. In his own judgment, there was nothing wrong with him or anything he did wrong against God. Fully satisfied with himself, he began to list his religious achievements and activities before the Almighty. His righteousness which the Bible describes as filthy, was all the man could boast of. He also compared himself with the publican and felt he was much better than the poor fellow.
How do you pray? What do you say when you pray? How do you demonstrate and gesticulate when you pray? Do you box with God while praying or reverence Him as God? Do you humble yourself with your choice of words or accuse the King of kings? Do you, like the publican, appreciate the privilege prayer offers you to approach the throne of grace or shout at the holy God before whom cherubims cover their faces?
Are you proud in your prayers? Do you use prayers to show off, just to create awareness in people on how prayerful you are? Do you boast of how many hours you can spend in prayer? Prayer times are precious times that give us access to the throne of grace. Such hallowed times should make us grateful and humble – like the publican.
Bible Reading in one Year: JUDE
Thought for the day: Be not proud of race, face, place or grace" - C. H. Spurgeon.
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SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2017
BEWARE OF BLASPHEMY
TEXT: LEVITICUS 24:10-23
"And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin" (Leviticus 24:15).
According to the Pew Research Center analysis, about a quarter of the world's countries and territories (26%) had anti-blasphemy laws or policies and more than one-tenth (13%) of nations had laws or policies penalizing apostasy. The prescribed punishments for such transgressions vary from fines to death. The Centre counted and categorized these laws in 2014 as part of a research for a major report on restrictions on religion around the world. The report found that laws on blasphemy are most common in the Middle East and North Africa where 18 of the region's 20 countries (90%) criminalize blasphemy. Blasphemy laws exist to tame man's tongue from destroying his spiritual heritage. It is a God-approved way of making man bridle his tongue since one cannot be found guilty of what he did not say.
Two adults fighting in camp was bad enough. But one did more than fight. He blasphemed the name of the Lord and also cursed. His action drew negative reaction from concerned observers who dragged him to Moses for adjudication since there was no precedent to follow in handling the matter. He directed that he should be locked up till the mind of the Lord would be known on the matter. God spoke to Moses that the blasphemer be stoned to death. Though his father was an Egyptian, God decreed that the same law applied to Israelite and the stranger. The blasphemer died because of the fruit of his lips.
God is holy and He desires that His name be held in great esteem. To swear, curse and even jests with Scripture verses in the name of God is contemptuous and evil. It is disrespect to the King of kings whose "name is dreadful among the heathen" (Malachi 1:14) to use His words for comedy and fun. So, honour God with your thoughts and let your mouth speak of His greatness only. Beware of blasphemy.
Bible Reading in one Year: LUKE 1-2
Thought for the day: Life and death are in the power of the tongue.
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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2017
POLLUTANTS AND IRRITANTS
TEXT: EZEKIEL 20:27-38
"For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day: and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be enquired of by you" (Ezekiel 20:31).
The WordWeb Dictionary defines pollution as "Undesirable state of the natural environment being contaminated with harmful substances as a consequence of human activities." It is the process of making land, water, air or other parts of the environment dirty and unsafe or unsuitable to use. This can be done through the introduction of a contaminant into a natural environment, but the contaminant does not need to be tangible. Things as simple as light, sound and temperature can be considered pollutants when introduced artificially into an environment. But just as pollution can take place in the real world so can it take place in the spiritual. Spiritual pollution happens when undesirable things are brought into true worship of God. It is uncleanness or defilement of man's spiritual nature.
The children of Israel knew the truth about God, that He is worthy of worship. They read it in their holy book and their leaders taught them of the providence and protection of God for their forefathers. Yet, the truth that they knew was only in theory. In practice, Israelites polluted their spiritual life with idolatry. By copying the ungodly practices of their many neighbours, they started setting up places of worship called "high place" or Bamah to replace God's appointed place of sacrifice. Bamah then is a human creation whereby the true worship of God was replaced with human idea and creation.
Like Israel of old, many churches and church-goers today have erred in their worship of God. Spiritual pollution has taken over. Churches are everywhere but they merely represent Bamah – human high places of sacrifice. Such spiritual pollution will not profit anyone; God should be worshipped in spirit, truth and the beauty of holiness.
Bible Reading in one Year: LUKE 3-4
Thought for the day: Those that forsake the true God will wander endlessly after false ones.
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MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
UNTO GOD ONLY
TEXT: DEUTERONOMY 18:9-14
"When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations" (Deuteronomy 18:9).
The world is filled with several types of professions. In almost all instances, the professionals possess some qualifications and by extension, some qualities that mark them out. For example, the medical profession does not only expose its practitioners to rigorous professional training, but also to some habits and lifestyle that depict the ethics of the profession. Ignoring such ethics would not only endanger and injure the health of the medical officer, but also cast aspersions on his profession and dissuade those who would have come for his professional service.
The text under consideration depicts a subset of instructions to Israel to mark them out as God's chosen people once they entered Canaan. They were never to learn of the abominations of the people; their sons and daughters must not pass through the fire, neither were the people permitted to succumb to the horrific experiences of divination, observance of times, enchantment, witchcraft and other ignoble association with satanic powers.
The reason for God's stringent admonition was simply this: the practices are abominations unto the Lord. It explains why God judged the hateful inhabitants of Canaan. On the contrary, Israel was firmly instructed to be perfect before God as His unique and peculiar people.
The Christian life is unique and peculiar. Just like it is unimaginable that a qualified medical doctor would seek the help of a herbalist to heal his headache, stomach disturbance or skin rashes, so it is abominable to the Christian profession for a believer to seek help, refuge, protection or solace from all the beggarly elements that the people of the world are flocking after. Every child of God is special, separated and superior to any other power other than God's. The life of the believer should show forth God's praise and comeliness in every manner.
Bible Reading in one Year: LUKE 5-6
Thought for the day: A separated saint is a distinct instrument for God.
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TUESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2017
A THOUGHTLESS DESPERATION
TEXT: 2 KINGS 12:17-21
"And Jehoash king of Judah took all the hallowed things that Jehoshaphat, and Jehoram, and Ahaziah, his fathers, kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own hallowed things, and all the gold that was found in the treasures of the house of the LORD, and in the king's house, and sent it to Hazael king of Syria: and he went away from Jerusalem" (2 Kings 12:18).
Nations, cities and individuals have treasures and monuments that depict historical events, notables and aesthetic pride. Some of these are trans-generational and are jealously guarded in every age. The loss of such things is often counted as colossal and as such, they are well secured. Incidentally, the ability to ferret, steal or take by force some of these treasured and valuable items by the opponent is regarded as victory and triumph of some sort and as a mark of subjugation of the original owner.
To an ordinary person, the actions taken by king Jehoash in our passage, to avert impending hostility from Hazael the king of Syria, seemed rational but it was too costly and rash. Imagine mortgaging the treasures inherited from three generations, the ones in the house of the Lord and his personal possessions to avoid confrontation and hostility from an enemy-king. What a cheap solution! What a cowardly act! It is said that he who cannot fight for something worthwhile will die for something worthless. Jehoash had the option of praying to God, asking counsel at His mouth and exercising faith in Him but he jettisoned and chose the 'easy' and carnal option of plundering the national treasury.
The Bible affirms that "The ransom of a man's life are his riches…" (Proverbs 13:8.). We cannot afford to sacrifice the ransom of our soul and other spiritual treasures when we face threat from the enemy camp. What else is worth defending? If we fall for that cheap trick of the enemy, it does not still guarantee the security we may be craving. Ironically, Jehoash avoided the sword of the enemy through his bribery but eventually fell by the sword of his own servants, Jozachar and Jehozabad (2 Kings 12:21). What a pity! Take a cue from Jehoash's folly and avoid the path of least resistance.
Bible Reading in one Year: LUKE 7-8
Thought for the day: Faith in God is the only sure source of protection and not carnal manipulations.
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|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 1:02pm On Dec 06, 2017|
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017
PEACE FOR PEACE
TEXT: JEREMIAH 29:1-9
"And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace" (Jeremiah 29:7).
Today's passage gives account of a historical event in the life of Judah. The kingdom of Judah was taken into captivity by Babylon because they sinned against the Lord. Even in their captivity, the Lord God was mindful of His people. Through Prophet Jeremiah, He sent a message of hope, comfort and promise of better future to the captives.
God's love for His children does not diminish even while reprimanding them. He is always waiting for them in their affliction to turn to Him in repentance. His reprimand is not for destruction but for correction. In this passage today, God gave the instruction to the captives to procreate so as not to diminish or go into extinction.
It was God's express will for the captives to become active in the nation where they lived, adding to the public welfare by praying and working for the peace of the nation. The peace of the nation was the key to their own peace. This is also the express will of God for all people -- free or bond, old or young, male or female in public or private service.
God demands that all His children in whichever state or situation they find themselves, should work for the betterment of the society they live in to make the world a better place. To do anything other than this is hurtful not just to the society but also to the individual concerned; "for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace." Therefore, stockpiling arms and ammunition to cause civil disturbance and make the society ungovernable or planning/participating in seditious activities are contrary to the will of God. And a true child of God must steer clear of all harmful, anti-social practices and norms.
Bible Reading in one Year: LUKE 9-10
Thought for the day: Better to be a solution provider than a conflict producer.
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|Re: Daily Manna (DCLM) — BITTER FRUITS OF BACKSLIDING by OLAADEGBU(m): 1:40pm On Dec 07, 2017|
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2017
TEXT: JOB 33:14-33
"He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness" (Job 33:26).
Afflictions and chastisements are definitely unpleasant to man and are often adjudged as coming from the enemy. This makes some undiscerning believers to pray amiss.
Our passage today sheds clear light on the fact that afflictions and chastisements could also be instruments for correction from God. Patience, prayer and meditation on God's words open man’s understanding to see God's purpose and plan for every experience we may be passing through. When passing through an adverse experience, we should first look inwards and examine ourselves. Then, let us "…hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it" (Micah 6:9).
Afflictions and adversity are often God's instrument of restraining man from pride, ungodly purposes and destruction. Preachers, counselors and 'interpreters' of the scriptures should faithfully point the afflicted to self-examination before recommending prayer of warfare against imaginary 'enemies' during adversity.
God's assurance of answer to the right type of prayer at the time of adversity is comforting. "He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness" (Job 33:26). This is a kind and loving assurance from a Father who does not want anyone to perish but come to repentance. The afflicted is also assured of God’s great intervention after genuine prayer of repentance. His flesh shall be fresher than a child's; he shall return to the days of his youth; he shall see God's face with joy; God shall deliver his soul from going to hell; and his life shall see light (Job 33:25,26,28). Can anything be more desirable than these? What a great assurance!
Bible Reading in one Year: LUKE 11-12
Thought for the day: Praying God's way attracts heaven's attention.
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