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Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR - Religion (12) - Nairaland

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 12:29pm On Dec 01, 2016
Daily Manna
Thursday, December 1, 2016

Certainty Of Reward

TEXT: REVELATION 22:10-21

"And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be" (Revelation 22:12).

A good done to others is an investment that will surely ripen at the fullness of time. Our walk and relationship with God executed conscientiously and in holiness are to enable us pass through the golden path into the glory of heaven. The Lord's promise of rewarding those who endure till the end is not a fascinating yarn; it is a reality waiting to happen.

God did not hide His programme for the end-time from man. The order is given to have the book of the prophesy open, to be perused by all that they might understand it. God deals freely and openly with all. He does not speak in secret but reveals His plan to judge every man according to their works whether it is good or bad. Those who do the commandments of the Lord will have right to the tree of life through the gates into the city. On the other hand, the generality of sinners — dogs, sorcerers, whoremongers, murderers, idolaters and all liars — will be banished from entering into the presence of God. They will have their part in the lake of fire.

Jesus assured His followers that it will not take long before He will come again to them (Revelation 22:20). We do not know the day or hour but He is coming soon and He will come unexpectedly. Although this is good news to those who trust Him, it is at once, a terrible message for those who have rejected Him and refused to be born again.

Even then, grace is still available for all believers to help them overcome all ungodliness and bring them to Christ for a victorious well-pleasing life. Never relent in walking closely with God in righteousness. Someday soon, you will be walking the streets of gold up there.

Bible Reading in one Year: DANIEL 9 - 10

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: "It is wise to work towards getting a commendable reward."

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 10:41am On Dec 03, 2016
Daily Manna
Friday, December 2, 2016

Be A Positive Influence

TEXT: GALATIANS 2:1-10

"And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you" (Galatians 2:4,5).

Four ministers were discussing the merits of various translations of the Bible. One ranked the King James Version best because of its simple, beautiful English. Another liked the American Standard Version best because it is more literal and comes nearer the original Hebrew and Greek. The third liked Moffatt's Translation best because of its up-to- date vocabulary. The fourth minister was silent when asked to express his opinion. He replied, "I like my mother's translation best". The other ministered wondered what he was driven at. "Yes", he replied"mother translated the Bible into everyday life and it was the most convincing translation I ever saw". What a positive influence the mother was to this man who later became a minister of the gospel!

Paul the apostle was an uncompromising minister of the gospel who relied on the daily guidance of the Holy Spirit. He was so consistent in his preaching that the Christians at Antioch saw the need to compliment his ministry by giving him Barnabas and Titus to be his companion. He preached Christ as the Saviour to the Gentiles and to the Jews. He emphasised on His vicarious death as the only remedy for the sin of man. His message was to the generality of the Gentiles and to people of high reputation to whom he expounded the truth without fear of persons.

Paul was a positive influence who boldly resisted the negative influence of some so-called brethren who attempted to make his converts among the Gentiles put their trust in circumcision, instead of trusting on the finished work of Christ on Calvary for their salvation.

To make a positive impact today, we must be uncompromising in the preaching of the gospel. Many so-called Christians today are not abiding in the truth of the Bible. We must identify them, avoid and resist them, so as to keep the Church of Christ holy.

Bible Reading in one Year: DANIEL 11 - 12

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: "When light shines, darkness is banished."

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 10:15pm On Dec 03, 2016
Daily Manna
Saturday, December 3, 2016

Crown Of Righteousness

TEXT: 2 TIMOTHY 4:1-8

"Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing" (2 Timothy 4:8.).

A great use of time is to spend it on something that outlasts it. James Waddel was a blind preacher in Virginia, whose eloquence was celebrated in one of the most beautiful pieces of American prose, William Wirt's "British spy". When this blind Boanerges lay dying, one of his friends, about to leave him after a visit, expressed his wish that when he came to die, he would have at the back of him for his own comfort, the record of a godly life like that of Waddel. At that, Waddel lifted his hand in protest and declared that if his only comfort were the thoughts of the life which he had lived, he would be wretched indeed, "if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most miserable".

As he neared the end of his life, Paul could confidently say that he had been faithful to his call. Thus, he faced death calmly knowing that he would be rewarded by Christ. The good news is that the heavenly reward is not just for giants of faith like Paul, but for all who are eagerly looking forward to Jesus' second coming.

Paul gave these words to encourage Timothy and by extension, as many in this contemporary period who remain steadfast in doing the will of God. It is also to those who spread the good news of salvation to others. For those who love the appearing of Jesus Christ, He shall appear for their joy and there is a crown of righteousness reserved for them in heaven.

Friend, do not live for the meat that perisheth; live instead for that which will transcend the frontiers of this earthly realm. Let each day of your life count for eternity. Get involved in the gospel work that will edify the soul of man in time and eternity. Get out of the mindset of living to earn a living, thereby laying for yourselves treasures on earth. Be sure that your earthly vocations are served to glorify Christ only, and to bless humanity.

Bible Reading in one Year: HOSEA 1 - 4

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: "There is a crown awaiting those who invest their all in God."

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 11:25pm On Dec 04, 2016
Daily Manna
Sunday, December 4, 2016

Depending On God For Victory

TEXT: 2 SAMUEL 5:11-25

"And David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand" (2 Samuel 5:19).

When Samuel Chad Wick yielded himself utterly to God, he said: "There came into my soul a deep peace, a thrilling joy and a new sense of power. My mind was quickened. Every power was alert. Either illumination took the place of logic, or reason became intuitive. My bodily powers also were quickened. There was a new sense of spring and vitality, a new power of endurance and a strong man's exhilaration in big things. Things began to happen. What we had failed to do by strenuous endeavour came to pass without labour. It was gloriously wonderful".

David knew that his greatness came only from God in an environment where other heathen kingdoms around him attributed their greatness to power, conquest, armies and wealth. Hence, he was always asking for God's guidance before taking a major decision against any enemy kingdom that rose up to confront him. Although David was favoured, successful and loved by his people, he gave God first place in his life and conducted the affairs of the kingdom in complete reliance on Him.

True greatness is having a close relationship with God and bringing our ambition under His control. However, although David sincerely sought after God, he had weaknesses like any other person who lived before the dispensation of grace. One of those weaknesses was his desire for women. Sadly, the children from these women caused his kingdom much grief. God is completely against polygamy or any other immoral act.

The supportive effort of Hiram, king of Tyre is highly inspired. This king sent messengers to David with cedar trees and carpenters and masons who built him a house. This was a great motivation to David which gave assurance that God was with him. Little assistance may go a big way unknown to us to provoke somebody to good work. Let us not be weary in well doing.

Bible Reading in one Year: HOSEA 5 - 9

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: True greatness comes when under God's inalienable control

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 5:35pm On Dec 05, 2016
Daily Manna
Monday, December 5, 2016

Spiritual Seeds Of Abraham

TEXT: GALATIANS 4:21-31

"Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now" (Galatians 4:28,29).

It boggles the mind, the extent people go in the drive for "freedom and emancipation". Many easily shackle and felter themselves in the futile search for so-called religious emancipation and liberty. Many today cannot reconcile themselves with the Christian faith because of the simplicity of the gospel. They will rather seek for complicated and punishing rules, for in their erroneous mindsets, it takes a rigorous, man made path to get to God. Slaves they are to their carnal contrivance.

In these verses, the Apostle illustrates the difference between believers who rested in Christ only and those Jews who trusted in the Law, by a comparison taken from the story of Isaac and Ishmael. He introduces this in such a proper manner to strike an impression on the minds of his audience, and to convince them of their great weakness in departing from the truth and suffering themselves to be deprived of the liberty of the gospel.

As Christians, having accepted Christ and relied on Him, we have become the spiritual seeds of Abraham, and so, are entitled to the promised inheritance. It must interest true children of God to earnestly possess this inheritance. Christians should therefore, expect that "he that was born after the flesh (i.e. those who were so tenacious of their law) will persecute him that was born after the spirit (i.e. those who put their confidence on the finished work of Christ on the cross). Though the Jews should persecute and hate them, yet the issue of Judaism would sink and perish, but true Christianity will flourish and last forever. The kingdom of this world will eventually become of our Lord.

The choice is yours today to either be a slave to the law or to become a blessed outcrop of God's sovereign grace.

Bible Reading in one Year: HOSEA 10 - 14

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: In Christ only lies the fullness of enduring freedom

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 10:45am On Dec 06, 2016
Daily Manna
Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Favour Beyond Description

TEXT: 2 KINGS 8:1-6

"And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed unto her a certain officer, saying, Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now" (2 Kings 8:6).

A teacher asks his pupils to explain the meaning of loving-kindness. A little boy jumps up and said, "Well, if I was hungry and someone gave me a piece of bread, that would be kindness. But if they put a little jam on it, that would be loving-kindness".

In our text today, a Shunamite woman was marvelously rewarded for the kindness she shown to Prophet Elisha. She had been a friend in need to the prophet at a time that mattered most in his life and ministry. She provided a decent accommodation and took care of the man of God. Her immediate reward was the restoration of her child back to life. Little did she know that her deed of kindness would for a long time be remembered and continually rewarded. At the time of famine in Samaria, she was privileged to get an advanced notice, so that she could move to another country where she and her family could be cared for. Providence gave her a comfortable settlement in the land of the Philistines.

It is noteworthy that while the land of Israel was plagued by famine at this time, the nations around them had plenty and abundance, which plainly showed that the hand of God was against Israel as punishment for their sins. Other countries had rain, when they had none; others were free from locusts and caterpillars when they were eaten up by these.

At the return of this woman, she discovered that her land and house had been unjustly taken over by other people. Once again, providence from God made the king favour her and restored all her properties with all the profits that were made of it in her absence.

People in authority should ensure that they defend the poor and the fatherless; and do justice to the afflicted and the needy. Any opportunity we have to support the work of God and the ministers of the gospel must be used graciously, because we shall reap in due season.

Bible Reading in one Year: JOEL 1 - 3

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: The Christian life consists of faith and charity

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 6:38pm On Dec 07, 2016
Daily Manna
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Flee Idolatry

TEXT: 1 KINGS 18:17-29

"And call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken" (1 Kings 18:24).

In our world today, competitions are familiar experiences in the field s of sports and entertainment. Wrestlers and boxers particularly,give a clear picture of a fierce contest between two individuals seeking to prove their superiority over each other.

Our passage today invites us to come over and witness the defeat and disappointment of the idolatrous. Following the apostasy of the people of Israel under Ahab, Elijah, the prophet of God was provoked to challenge the worshippers of Baal to present their gods at Mount Carmel for a contest with the true God of Israel. He confronted Ahab with the truth of his negative influence and his idolatrous practices in Israel. Both Ahab and the 850 prophets of Baal as well as the people of Israel were then invited to appear on Mount Carmel to prove which is the true God between Jehovah and Baal. The confidence that Elijah had in the true God motivated him to challenge the other gods that the people worship.

The narrative confirms that the prophets of Baal, in their foolishness, tried their best to prove that their idols could be compared with the true God. Of course, they failed as their gods refused to answer them even after calling from morning till evening and cutting themselves with knives and lancets. At the end of their futile attempts, the Baal prophets became tired, frustrated, and woefully disappointed. They even lost their lives in the process, because Elijah did not spare them. How true the Scripture is, that:"...they that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them(Psalm 115:4-8.).

Who is your God? The challenge for us today is to flee idolatry and fight against anything that will separate us from the true God.

Bible Reading in one Year: AMOS 1 - 5

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: Idolatrous practices attract divine displeasure

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 6:16am On Dec 08, 2016
Daily Manna
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Do Not Play God

TEXT: MATTHEW 18:23-35

"Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee"? (Matthew 18:33).

It is common these days to hear people say, "what goes round comes around" or the scriptural statement that, "whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap". What that suggests is that life is a cycle in which what you do, or do not do,, eventually have an effect on you one way or the other. In fact, human relationships and actions are generally interwoven that one person's actions can have a cyclical effect.

Our experience has shown that as we engage in day-to-day interactions, there are bound to be offences. But what lubricates the wheel of human relationships at such instances is the oil of forgiveness that we apply.

In the parable given by our Lord Jesus Christ on the unforgiving servant, we see the principal character, an undeserving recipient of forgiveness and favour from his master whom he owed. Unfortunately, this same servant came across a fellow servant that owed him less and decided to be cruel to him. Despite the plea from his fellow servant to exercise patience and allow him more time to pay the debt, he refused but put him into prison.

It was payback time for him when the report got to his own master who had earlier forgiven him. He was not only reprimanded for wickedness and his lack of forgiveness, he was also thrown into prison.

Our Lord, through this parable further emphasises teaching on forgiveness. He believes that if God could forgive us our sins (so many and so damning), we must forgive our fellow men of whatever offences they may commit against us. The high point of the teaching is that if we fail to forgive, we are only attracting God's displeasure.

Bible Reading in one Year: AMOS 6 - 9

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: Forgiveness prevents the consequences of unforgiveness

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 11:45pm On Dec 10, 2016
Daily Manna
Friday, December 9, 2016

Remember His Goodness

TEXT: PSALM 78:10-20

"They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law; And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them" (Psalm 78:10, 11).

"Some of us are like people who, when they get better of their sicknesses, grudge the doctor's bill. We forget the mercies as soon as they are past, because we only enjoyed the sensuous sweetness of them while it tickled our palate; and forgot, in the enjoyment of them, of whose love it was that they spoke to us. Sorrows and joys, bring them all in your thanksgivings, and forget not the works of God" - A. Maclaren D.D.

Ephraim forgot the many mighty works and mercies of the Lord! These same wonders made the Canaanites quiver and fear the God of Israel and the Israel of God. The miraculous plagues that was brought on Pharaoh and his subjects; the dividing of the Red Sea, which when the armies of Egypt assayed to do were all drowned; leading them with a pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night through the forty years of wilderness wanderings; providing manna and water to feed the multitude with no feeble one among them. These were all the manifest goodness and lovingkindness of God.

Meanwhile, Ephraim did not keep the covenant of God. Their proud hearts refused to walk in His way, finding more pleasure in the ways of the heathen surrounding them. They despised the word, the will and the way of God. No wonder they soon forgot the works and wonders of God.

The result of forgetting what we should remember and keep remembering in our journey with God will always compromise our relationship with Him and reduce us into carnal believers who only relate with God for what we can derive from Him. When the going gets tough, we complain, murmur and threaten to return to old and familiar ways.

God's faithfulness and goodness must spur us into greater trust and confidence in Him, avoiding meticulously the opportunistic bent of Ephraim.

Bible Reading in one Year: OBADIAH 1

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: Forgetting God's kind deeds makes a Christian a sour grape

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 8:14pm On Dec 11, 2016
Daily Manna
Saturday, December 10, 2016

Firmly Against Sin

TEXT: Galatians 2:11-21

"But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision" (Galatians 2:11, 12).

"When a number of ships are moored, or anchored, or buoyed in the sea, all have an interest in the safety of each. If some of those that lie farther seaward break off from their anchor, and drift up with wind and tide, they will run foul of us as we lie secure in the channel farther up. The drifting ships may sink, but they will drag others down", D.Guthrie.

To depart from the rule of the gospel truth is to become inconsistent in the Christian life. This type of departure demands rebuke from godly leaders. Before the Jews came in from Jerusalem, there was communion and togetherness in the one flock of believers in Antioch. On their arrival, they frowned at the level of unity and oneness being exhibited in Christ, Jews and Gentiles alike. Out of fear of the Jews, Peter, who had previously heard a voice from heaven that, "What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common", began to distance himself from the believing Gentiles. When Peter, in error, separated himself from the Gentile believers, the rest of the Jews followed suit and even Barnabas was carried away by the dissimulation. Only Paul stood firm.

Man always have the tendency to retrograde, to build again what habit, character, attitude and disposition he once rejected and turned away from. Such action makes him a transgressor, backslider and sinner. The old man is crucified with Christ and the new life believers now live should be by the faith of the Son of God. They must never live to frustrate the grace that has brought them into the fold.

In our Christian journey, no tie of private friendship or closeness should prevent sin from being firmly reproved. When the sin is committed openly, it should be rebuked openly so that others may fear. Yet, this should be done in brotherly love.

Bible Reading in one Year: Jonah 1-4

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: Truth sacrificed on the altar of so-called peace is truth imperiled

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 7:24pm On Dec 12, 2016
Daily Manna
Sunday, December 11, 2016

A Type Of Demas

TEXT: 2 TIMOTHY 4:9-22

"For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica" (2 Timothy 4:10a).

"In Brazil, there grows a common plant, which forest dwellers call the matador', or murderer'. Its slender stem creeps along the ground at first; but no sooner does it meet a vigorous tree than, with clinging grasp, cleaves to it, climbs it, and as it climbs, keeps at short intervals sending out arm-like tendrils that embrace the tree. As the murderer ascends, these ligatures grow larger and clasp tighter. Up, up, it climbs a hundred feet, nay, two hundred if need be, until the last loftiest spire is gained and fettered" S. Coley.

As Paul the apostle was preparing to face his final trial and death, he remembered the list of faithful companions and disciples of Christ who have worked with him in the ministry - Timothy, Titus, Crescens, Luke, Tychicus, Prisca and Aquila, to mention a few. These people were holding the touch of the gospel light and marching in victory towards their crown above. In the midst of these faithful brethren, Demas had a bad testimony, for he left his first love and backslid.

It was a great concern for Paul to see the one over whom he has laboured on, and served the Lord with, building again what he has destroyed and going back to his vomit. The love of the world's opinions, habits, tastes, privileges and dispositions diminish faith. It emboldens the visible at the expense of the invisible. It induces satisfaction at the expense of the greater weight of eternal glory reserved for saints.

We can overcome the world, this "arm-like tendrils that give the embrace of death", when we grow in the love, grace and knowledge of our Lord. We must be strong in our resolution against all that oppose the gospel of Christ, desire to know the truth and practice it, deny self and glory in Christ alone.

Bible Reading in one Year: 1 JOHN 1 - 5

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: The kiss of the world is a kiss of death

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 10:19am On Dec 13, 2016
Daily Manna
Monday, December 12, 2016

Wanted: Absolute Turn Around

TEXT: ISAIAH 28:22-29

"This also cometh forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working" (Isaiah 28:29).

A man recently lost his life because of his inability to heed simple health advice from his physician. He had the problem of alcoholism and was severally warned, in his own interest, to desist from the habit. Even when he had been diagnosed with liver problem (cirrhosis), he continued in his drunkenness until he was eventually slain by the evil habit. Whatever sin a man cherishes, if he does not repent, such is likely to lead him into some terrible and more complicated problems.

This was the point Prophet Isaiah wanted to make to sinning Israel. He had called to remembrance, the goodness of God to Israel and the folly of hypocrisy by the people. He had reminded them that if they continued to harden their hearts, God would consume them in his wrath. Isaiah warned them of the unfruitfulness of continuing in their mockery of the word of God (verse 22).

The prophet reminded them that being in captivity was not even the worst form of punishment, but that the Almighty was capable of making their bands stronger and could wipe them away from the face of the earth if they did not repent.

This captures the situation of some believers today who, though are passing through some challenges purely brought about by their disobedience to God, still remain obstinate in their folly. Rather than repent and pray for forgiveness they begin to heap iniquity upon iniquity thereby attracting more punishment unto themselves.

If you are in this category, you have the opportunity today to repent and seek God's mercy. And He will abundantly pardon. For everyone graciously emancipated from sin, how we need to thread carefully the paths of this life which has the capacity to make the unwary miss the mark.

Bible Reading in one Year: 2 John 1; 3 JOHN 1

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: He who avoids sin like the proverbial plague is wise

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 10:21am On Dec 13, 2016
Daily Manna
Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Demand Of Loyalty

TEXT: EXODUS 22:18-31

"He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed" (Exodus 22:20).

Ella Wheeler Wilcox, a former American poet, after a cursory look at the world, wondered why it must be so that there are "so many gods, so many creeds, so many paths that wind and wind, hence just the art of being kind is all that this world needs." It is indeed needless to seek other gods when there is only but a true God. The Almighty has always made it plain that whoever serves any other god besides Him will be cut off from among His people. Israel had been warned severally on the consequences of serving other gods (Exodus 20).

Our text today re-emphasise the need for Israel to serve only the living God who had been gracious enough to remember their affliction in Egypt. He reminded them of the law of human relationship which they must observe in order to enjoy God's continued presence. To be able to obey, Israel was told they needed to be holy because a man in the flesh cannot please God.

Like Israel, believers are expected to be humane in their dealings with other people. Regardless of the status of individuals, people of God are told to relate with everyone in the fear of the Lord. Just as Moses was God's mouth-piece to Israel, His servant-ministers today are His mouth-piece and we must be ready to hear from them and obey.

Believers are warned against secret deals. Are you in any secret cult? Do you oppress your servants or deprive people of their legitimate rights? These are some of the sins Israel was warned to steer clear of. It will be in our own interest to shun them and be holy unto the Lord.

Bible Reading in one Year: MICAH 1 - 4

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: Divided loyalty is forbidden; God demands our all

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 11:34am On Dec 14, 2016
Daily Manna
Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Tragedies Of Legalism

TEXT: GALATIANS 4:1-11

"But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?" (Galatians 4:9).

Some folks are in a situation similar to an airplane passengers whose pilot announce: "The navigator has lost our position, folks, and we have been flying rather aimlessly for over an hour. That's the bad news. But the good news is that we are making very good time."

From our text, we see the Galatian believers falling into the trap of legalism set for them by Jewish bigots. The religious fanatics from Jerusalem confused the Galatians into thinking that the faith they had was not enough; that they must add the Jewish ceremonies and rituals together with the man-made traditions which they were erroneously taught, would make their salvation in Christ complete. Unfortunately, they fell back into bondage. Paul reminded them that the grace of God and the forgiveness of sins they already had were enough.

When these Galatians started their backsliding journey into bondage, they actually thought they were making progress. The whole idea appealed to their old nature, for the law encouraged them to measure their lives from external outward results only. As they enrolled in their fresh perspective where progress was measured by physical parameters only, they felt a sense of accomplishment with a spice of pride until they suddenly discovered they were actually regressing.

Churches today have different kinds of observances which bear little or no relationship to God's word. Believers should know it is wrong to go beyond the word of God in whatsoever they do. The New Testament makes it clear that Christians are not to legislate religious observances for each other (Romans 14:4-13). We are not to praise the man who celebrates the day, nor are we to condemn the man who does not. The uncomplicated liberty which Christ sanctifies through His word must be sufficient for the true believer. A resort to sheer legalism or formalism arising from the traditions of men or mere routine, observance flies in the face of true faith. Let your life be guided and moderated by His word only.

Bible Reading in one Year: MICAH 5 - 7

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: True wisdom is standing on Christ, the solid Rock

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 5:01pm On Dec 15, 2016
Daily Manna
Thursday, December 15, 2016

Second Chance

TEXT: DEUTERONOMY 10:1-11

"At that time the LORD said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood. And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark" (Deuteronomy 10:1,2).

In today's text, Moses recounts what transpired in the book of Exodus, when he was called up the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments.

The tablet containing the first Ten Commandment had been broken by Moses in anger in reaction to the habitual sinfulness of the children of Israel. They had been led into sin by Aaron as they waited for Moses' return from the mount where he had gone to receive the law.

God threatened to wipe off the race (Deuteronomy 9:14), but Moses intervened and interceded on their behalf; hence, the need for a new tablet containing a replica of what had been broken before.

At this time, a new generation of the children of Israel had emerged who never knew what transpired in time past. So, Moses thought it necessary to recount that aspect of history to emphasise the steadfast love of God to Israel. God is merciful and always ready to forgive sins no matter how grievous. This is evident in the repeated forgiveness which the "stiff-necked" Israel enjoyed in time past. The almighty God is still in the business of forgiving sins.

Many people today have broken God's heart, so much that He may have determined to blot out their names from His Book. There are still men whom God has saddled with the task of standing in the gap for sinners. However, He is still willing and waiting for sinners and backsliders to return to Him in penitence.

You may have relapsed into rebellion, God is calling you to come back home. Even the Prodigal son had a second chance so long as he took the right step. Today, sinners and backsliders do not need to go up to any mountain to receive another tablet of laws; the law is now written in the heart of everyone. What is needed is a simple talk with God, through Jesus Christ, for total pardon and reconciliation.

Bible Reading in one Year: NAHUM 1 - 3

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: Every effort is compensated with corresponding success if you do not quit.

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 5:31pm On Dec 16, 2016
Daily Manna
Friday, December 16, 2016

Merciful God

TEXT: JEREMIAH 11:1-14

"Then the LORD said unto me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them" (Jeremiah 11:6).

In the second stanza of his song, Have you counted the cost', A.J. Hodge, scripted: "You may barter your hope of eternity's morn, For a moment of joy at the most, For the glitter of sin and the things it will win, Have you counted, have you counted the cost?" But stanza three, reads: "While the door of His mercy is open to you, Ere the depth of His love you exhaust, Won't you come and be healed, won't you whisper, I yield; I have counted, I have counted, the cost."

All through the ages, God has remained faithful. He is ever-slow to anger, but full of compassion. He forewarns before he punishes. The children of Israel had remained rebellious despite repeated warnings from the prophets of God. They had a history of rebellion and hard-heartedness towards obeying the word of God. Generation after generation had the same problem.

In the passage of consideration, God needed to once again, appeal to their conscience through Prophet Jeremiah on the need to do His command. His expectation was that the children of Israel should have effortlessly obeyed Him, having done so much for them; yet, they continued in their disobedience. They were tied to their idols, as if they had enjoyed all the privileges by its power. They continued to multiply idols and set up altars to burn incense unto them. Evil was determined against them as God strictly charged the prophet never to intercede for them.

Today, God is charging believers whom He has redeemed through Jesus Christ, on the need for a consistent walk with Him. He expects that having enjoyed His blessings, pardon from sin and protection from our enemies, believers should have learnt to reciprocate the gestures without being prodded. Whatever idols may have taken the place of God, He wants such idols rooted off before it is too late.

Bible Reading in one Year: HABAKKUK 1 - 3

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: To be forewarned is to be forearmed.

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 4:45pm On Dec 17, 2016
Daily Manna
Saturday, December 17, 2016

March On

TEXT: GALATIANS 3:1-12

"Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? for, The just shall live by faith" (Galatians 3:3,11b).

In every race, there are times it may appear that all the strength is gone and there's no more power to pull through. Those who compete in long distance race say the hardest point is always towards the finishing line, when all strength appears to have gone and it seems the runner may drop dead the next second. This is usually the challenge and flash of discouragement which come before a crown. But the sprinter is kept on the track by sheer determination and eyes fixed on the trophy.

Paul the apostle did not take it lightly with believers in the Galatian church. He had known their zeal and the level they were operating with God in time past. All of a sudden, things began to fall apart; strong believers were becoming cold and carnal. It was a big concern to him that he concluded that their current state must have been influenced by some extraneous influence.

He asked them, "who hath bewitched you...?" (verse 1). He noted that they started well but expressed sadness that while he was expecting them to be progressing, they were regressing. However, he encouraged them to see the race as a spiritual journey that can be accomplished by faith and not by a bundle of physical strength. He reminded them that the Christian race is not a carnal one, but one that demands partnership with God at all times through faith.

In the Christian race, there comes a time when a believer begins to question the rationale behind life of obedience to God. There comes a time when a believer begins to think God has abandoned him. At that point, the believer must endeavour to hold on to the "faith of our fathers". It does gladden the heart to realise that some others who had passed through the furnace here on earth are right now in the bosom of the almighty God, being comforted. Consistent walk with God therefore, demands a great deal of faith.

Bible Reading in one Year: ZEPHANIAH 1 - 3

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: Anytime you step out by faith, you step into victory.

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 5:04pm On Dec 18, 2016
Daily Manna
Sunday, December 18, 2016

Lift Him Up Always

TEXT: 2 CHRONICLES 1:1-6

"And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly" (2 Chronicles 1:1).

A tender heart, carefully nurtured by the fear of the Lord, the word of God and His presence is always a delight to heaven. Such a heart is poised to receive an unquantifiable measures of blessings and revelations from the Almighty Himself.

Solomon found himself in such state at the beginning of his reign. God honoured him for his commitment to Him and to His work. He gave him wisdom and wealth which surpassed those of his predecessors and successors. God also ensured that Israel prospered in his days. In verse 6, Solomon "...went up thither to the brasen altar before the LORD, which was at the tabernacle of the congregation, and offered a thousand burnt offerings upon it". When God fulfils His promise to bless us, it is only fair we reciprocate.

There are two layers of showing gratitude. First, we must worship and praise Him, as did Solomon through the burnt offerings. Our Lord Jesus Christ, in Luke 17:17,18, revealed how glad God is when we return to Him in praise after He gives us victory and delivers us. The second vital aspect of gratitude is to serve God in holy living and righteousness. The vessel of service of praise and worship must be sanctified, wholly given to a holy God Who detests defilement, backsliding and apostasy.

However, Solomon lacked that second level of being grateful to God for all the good He did to him. He forsook righteousness and holy living. This caused him a stain and equally disconnected him from God. The blessing he received from heaven became a snare that trapped him in sin and lust.

As Christians desiring continuous and unbroken fellowship with God, we must not allow His gifts to take the place of worship in our lives. We must see the Giver as more precious than a mere gift.

Bible Reading in one Year: HAGGAI 1 - 2

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: Exalt the Giver more than the gift.

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 2:18pm On Dec 19, 2016
Daily Manna
Monday, December 19, 2016

Don't Contemn God's Servants

TEXT: 2 SAMUEL 6:12-23

"Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself"! (2 Samuel 6:20).

Michal was unlike her brother, Jonathan, who developed an exemplary relationship with David. Jonathan also loved God and exhibited great values that a true friend should have. On a number of occasions, he laid his life on the line for David, having been led to have a glimpse into the future God had for this son of Jesse. That way, Jonathan lend himself to be used of God to fulfil His plan.

Not Michal. When David rejoiced before God in worship and gratitude for the successful return of the ark of God to Jerusalem from the house of Obededom, she despised the king in her heart. She could not refrain from voicing out her thoughts. So while an exultant David came back from home to bless his household, Michal unleashed venom on him.

It was a rash attack on God Who was being honoured by David. She would not share David's worship of the Almighty and so she hated it. The punitive action from heaven was that Michal became childless, and became the first-ever recipient of barrenness.

A bitter heart such as Michal had contrasts with the cheerful spirit of Obededom to host the ark of God. The Lord brought blessing to the house of the Gittite in the three months that he allowed Israel's national treasure to abide with him. This confirms the truth of the word of God in Romans 2:6-10, "[God] will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile."

Bible Reading in one Year: ZECHARIAH 1 - 5

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: An attack on the servants of God is an attack on God.

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 10:26am On Dec 20, 2016
Daily Manna
Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Operate By The Word

TEXT: GALATIANS 5:13-18

"For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself"! (Galatians 5:14).

A story is told of how a man dreamt about our Lord Jesus Christ and three women who were praying. The Lord knelt beside the first with tenderness and love. He moved to the second and placed His hand on her head and looked at her approvingly. But the Lord passed by the third without stopping. Jesus had to explain to the puzzled dreamer.

He said: "Without constant assurance, the first woman would stumble and fall. The second woman's faith is stronger; I can count on her. The third however, is being trained for the highest calling of all. She knows me so intimately that she doesn't need signs of my approval. No circumstance discourages her because she knows that ultimately she can trust Me."

Apostle Paul was directed by the Holy Spirit to write to the Galatian church which can be likened to the first woman. They needed constant reminder (assurance) of the new life of liberty they had under Christ as different from the bondage under the law of Judaism. After they had been converted, following their pardon from sin upon accepting Jesus as their Saviour, these Gentile Christians were now being asked by Jewish Christians to submit to Jewish traditions. They claimed that only a combination of these would save them.

Paul rebuffed that we are saved by faith in Jesus, not in observance of the law or by adding to the finished work of Christ. The law enslaves, while faith in Christ sets free, a liberty which is no license to pander to sin but to guide one to serve God and His Church in love and unity.

That faith in Jesus, and holy, sanctified service for Him are the qualification for heaven is a teaching the Church needs to give new converts with a zeal to abide by the salvation doctrine all the time, so that they do not fall into the hands of ecumenical prophets. Nothing less and nothing else.

Bible Reading in one Year: ZECHARIAH 6 - 9

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: Compromising the truth of the Scripture is an assault against divine directive.

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 11:31pm On Dec 21, 2016
Daily Manna
Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Resting On God's Promises

TEXT: PSALM 86:11-17

"O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid" (Psalm 86:16).

A former pilot with the Royal Air Force in the United Kingdom once stunned newspaper readers when he asserted that he would prefer to fly with a pilot who had survived an air crash to the one who had not managed an accident before. His reason? The air crash escapee is better equipped to avoid another one or handle it if it crashes again, whereas the one who hadn't, would jeopardise the lives of passengers. The conclusion: God's enduring blessing and teaching come through troubles and challenges.

This truth was proved many times over in the chequered life of David. In his psalms, we have a peep into the magnitude of some of his challenges as he reflected on them and sought supernatural help. The troubles that God allowed in his life drew him closer to heaven. That was not all. His life-threatening moments with his enemies led him to inspiring psalms that God has used over centuries to comfort believers and sinners alike.

In verse 14, David is overwhelmed by "assemblies of violent men". These are godless men who want to take his life. They do not believe in the sanctity of life, even when the Lord has preserved their own lives. In the midst of such cruel people, David was not helpless. He was aware of the sovereign power capable of suppressing all other powers. He knows this power, manifesting as Jehovah God, does not shun those who come to Him in sincerity in their time of need. He does not run to man for help.

Today's world is also full of trouble which God uses to draw us closer to Him as our Lord Jesus Christ used the oasis of a frightening storm to perform the miracle of making a man to walk on water. There are always miracles bursting at the seams of challenges or troubles. All we need do is to remain calm and have faith in God, and expect "a token for good" to shame the enemy and glorify the Lord.

Bible Reading in one Year: ZECHARIAH 10 - 14

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: Victory is sweet after a hard-won battle fought by God for the believer.

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 2:15pm On Dec 22, 2016
Daily Manna
Thursday, December 22, 2016

One Good Turn Deserves Another

TEXT: DEUTERONOMY 10:12-22

"And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul" (Deuteronomy 10:12).

The importance of Deuteronomy in the Holy Scriptures is gleaned from the fact that it is quoted about eighty five times in the New Testament. The chief reason is its being the nutshell of laws God gave to the children of Israel in their forty years of wandering in the wilderness as they headed for the Promised Land.

If the book is Moses' parting address to the Israelites as they prepared to enter Canaan without him, it is also God's reassuring recollection of His laws which constitute life, comfort and spiritual food to the soul if adhered to. Either way, the book is unique as the last of Moses' five books. God summarises His demand from an Israel without Moses in the land flowing with milk and honey. They were not to lose their senses over this material blessing God is giving them. But only a purged heart can do so. Circumcision is beyond what the eyes see.

Purity of the heart is what the Lord Himself does to clean up saved souls and wash it from carnal deeds. Like salvation, it is not by work; it is a work of grace. When accomplished, it makes the soul submissive for service to God. Among the sinful habits that disappear when circumcision takes place is the stiff-necked nature.

We cannot love God absolutely or serve Him sacrificially until every residue of iniquity has been purified. God's desire is that we live a truly victorious life free of sin, either inbred or Adamic. Mercifully, God has provided for a believer's entire sanctification in Christ's substitutionary atonement. Let us heed Hosea's counsel to "break up [our] fallow ground...till he come and rain righteousness upon us" (Hosea 10:12).

Bible Reading in one Year: MALACHI 1 - 4

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: It is God's laws that guide the steps of the pilgrim.

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 9:42pm On Dec 23, 2016
Daily Manna
Friday, December 23, 2016

Bogey Of Eternal Security

TEXT: JEREMIAH 11:15-23

"Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine" (Jeremiah 11:22).

Those who can rightly claim to be God's children are those who fear Him and do His will always. Those who selectively obey Him can never be reckoned as His Children.

In verse 15 of our text, God wonders why those who call themselves His beloved would associate with lewdness, interpreted as spiritual fornication, with the heathen. Their purity had deserted them as a result of their affinity with evil people. A Christian can not declare the law and expect its blessedness if he is not keeping the law. He is at best a nominal Christian, denied the power and guidance of the holy spirit as a result of his compromise.

In our passage, Israel is also described as having left its former state. The nation was compared to a fine-looking olive tree. But she mingled with corrupt neighbouring nations and stopped being productive. No spiritual fruit was produced again from the tree. It should be uprooted and destroyed according to the ruling of the Almighty.

If a person is saved, he must stay under the canopy of the blood- marked environment of holiness. As the children of Israel in Egypt were asked to stay indoors after sprinkling the lamb's blood on their door posts to escape the wrath of the destroyer or forfeit the protection of God, so the Christian can only be secure if he abides in the Lord.

Two lessons stand out: The doctrine of eternal security is erroneous. Secondly the true faithful, committed and fearless preacher of the truth of the gospel can never be silent. Stand on the side of the righteous. Faithfully profess the Word and live the life of righteousness. Be earnest in avoiding the ranks of those who selectively serve God, who foolishly believe that God will always wink at their iniquities. They will be shocked in the end.

Bible Reading in one Year: JUDE 1

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: God hastens His word in the mouth of His true servants.

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 2:12am On Dec 24, 2016
Daily Manna
Saturday, December 24, 2016

Eternally Grateful

TEXT: GALATIANS 3:13-21

"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" (Galatians 3:13).

A king saved a man from a life of misery and hopelessness and settled him in his opulent palace. He gave the man a well-furnished flat in the mansion. But his guest carved out an exclusive room where he frequented furtively to spend some moments every morning. He allowed no one else there. The king's guards considered his movements suspicious and reported to the king that the man was probably planning some evil against the royal family.

Confronted, the man meekly showed the king the room. It contained rickety furniture and rags. "What is all this filth?", the king asked. "And why do you spend hours here everyday?" With tearful eyes, the king's friend said: "These dirty collections are my cursed past …I come back to it to appreciate the new life you have given me. I come to look at it so I watch over my ways as a check not to go back to that dismal past".

Jesus Christ delivered us from a greater burden: the excruciating body of death. Apostle Paul traces the work of salvation by faith in Jesus our Lord to the time of the covenant God sealed with Abraham when He promised him a seed. The fulfilment of the promise was based on God's mercy, His Grace, not our fulfilment of the law. Nor was the law a condition for the working out of the promise.

When Christians realise this, our stand shall exceed the sobriety and circumspection of the man in our story. We "shall serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling". We shall preach the gospel to all creatures and in all nations. If all the world is tarnished with sin, we shall vow not to join the multitude.

If all the world forsakes holiness and opts to drink from the cup of idolatry and iniquity, true believers must stand out in righteousness and show forth the praise of God Who has delivered them from darkness into His marvellous light.

Bible Reading in one Year: REVELATION 1 - 3

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: Show forth God's praise for having profited from His eternal glory.

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 9:51am On Dec 25, 2016
Daily Manna
Sunday, December 25, 2016

He Who Answers

TEXT: 2 CHRONICLES 1:7-17

"In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee" (2 Chronicles 1:7).

Solomon's prosperous and peaceful era as the king of Israel begins with his memorable encounter with the Lord, Who gave him a blank cheque: "Ask what I shall give thee". Yet with a child-like heart, unpolluted by the later lustful and idolatrous craving, Solomon simply asked for wisdom and knowledge to make him please God in service to His people.

He did not ask for worldly riches or fame as others would. Nor did He ask God to wreak vengeance on his enemies. The Bible says in 1 Kings 3:10, that the young king's "speech pleased the LORD" Who went ahead to give him such enormous wealth and "the king made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycomore trees that are in the vale for abundance", in addition to "a wise and understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee" (1 Kings 3:12).

It was not the first time God had given those He delights in more than what they desire. At a point in his life, when David was fleeing from Saul, his hide-out in Ziklag was attacked by the Amalekites who carried away his wives and looted his property. A distressed David went to God desiring to know two things. Should he pursue the invaders and should he overtake them? God granted his request and more: He made him "recover all without fail" (1 Samuel 30:8 ).

When we ask in the name of Jesus according to the will of God, His loving nature obliges Him to give even beyond our wishes. The reason is that when He grants such petitions, it empowers us to partner with Him and to work with heaven for His glory. God answers our prayers so He will be eminently honoured. As others see His goodness in us through the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit we exhibit, they will be inspired and encouraged to come to terms with God.

Bible Reading in one Year: REVELATION 4 - 6

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: The more we receive from God, the more light we should be to the world.

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 1:19am On Dec 27, 2016
Daily Manna
Monday, December 26, 2016

Worship God Not Images

TEXT: MICAH 1:1-10

"And all the graven images thereof shall be beaten to pieces, and all the hires thereof shall be burned with the fire, and all the idols thereof will I lay desolate: for she gathered it of the hire of an harlot, and they shall return to the hire of an harlot" (Micah 1:7).

The religious formation under the African setting is usually arrayed around unwritten codes of laughable beliefs and activities. Statutes, images and relics are set up. Although these images do not hear prayers in their states, yet, they are revered and worshipped rather mindlessly. It is paradoxical that while adherents know that these images are dead, they continue to place fresh sacrifices around them, even though the so- called gods had not "consumed" the ones earlier placed.

Micah, in our text, did not go into any preambles. He introduced God as a Judge coming into His court to pronounce verdict. His coming made the earth to split and the mountains to melt with the rocks flowing like melted waterfall. As the judge comes to court, Israel and Judah were presented as the defendants. Without any need of witnesses, since their graven and molten images were everywhere in the high places, He declared a guilty verdict.

The Northern kingdom had established its own religious system in competition with the Mosaic worship in the temple at Jerusalem. Jeroboam, fearing he may lose the loyalty of his people, led them into terrible idolatry. The people of Judah also secretly began to worship the false gods of Canaan; and their hearts were not true to their God anymore.

Why should lifeless images have such an appeal? It is a huge dilemma that man should worship gold and silver and the work of his hands. Believers must steer clear of idolatry in any form, and must disdain and reject the worship of images whether inside or outside the church. Idols are not merely the lifeless statues that men bow before. Anything cherished more than God is idolatrous. Whatever one elevates beyond the true and undivided lure for God is idolatrous, with a grave risk of courting God's indignation.

Bible Reading in one Year: REVELATION 7 - 8

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: Idols are as dumb as those that worship them.

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 10:21pm On Dec 27, 2016
Daily Manna
Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Damned By Adultery

TEXT: GALATIANS 5:19-26

"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness" (Galatians 5:19).

Latimer was raised to the bishopric of Worcester in the reign of Henry VIII. It was the custom in those days for each of the bishops to make a present to the king on New Year Day. Latimer went with the rest of his brethren to make the usual offering. But instead of a purse of gold, he presented the king with a New Testament in which was a leaf doubled down to this passage. "Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge".

Although, Paul's aim of writing this epistle to the Galatians was to emphasise that salvation was by grace through faith, not of works lest any man should boast, he however highlighted in our text that grace is not a license to sin. He warned them of the danger of fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. All who live in sin shall not inherit the kingdom of God. The passage concluded with the presentation of the fruit of the Spirit, the evidences of the new life.

In almost every listing of iniquities in the Scriptures, especially in the New Testament, adultery and fornication always stay on top. This besetting sin has brought down more people than any other in the Scriptures. Thousands of Israelites died in the wilderness for their immoral engagements with the Moabites. David the greatest of Israel's kings fell into the sin of adultery with Bathsheba, Uriah's wife. And Solomon the wisest king had his heart turned away from God by his one thousand women, to mention but a few.

Many great leaders in public office, politics, entertainment, business and other sectors including the church, have fallen victim to the sin of adultery with some ending their careers in shame. As wise believers, we must keep our bodies under, like Paul recommended, lest after preaching the gospel to others, we ourselves become castaways. Our body is the temple of God and must always be presented as a royal diadem.

Bible Reading in one Year: REVELATION 9 - 11

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: Adultery is that ready pathway to perdition.

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 7:15pm On Dec 28, 2016
Daily Manna
Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A City Without Parallel

TEXT: PSALM 87:1-7

"The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God" (Psalm 87:2,3).

Lance Lambert described Jerusalem as "a city located among mountains which present a breathtaking view. It can be seen at sunset when the colours of her stone glows with ethereal light. But the real beauty of Jerusalem is of the spiritual ideal, a thought out of the mind of God crystallised in stone and history". Jerusalem is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world; it is the melting pot of culture and religion.

The psalm for our consideration today was written in praise of Zion, the city of God. The psalmist presents Zion as a unique city without parallel. Other cities like Rahab (Egypt), Babylon, Philistia, Tyre and Ethiopia are mentioned, but none equaled in status with Zion the very dwelling place of God. The psalmist believes and sees a future Jerusalem that will be a capital city where all nations of the earth will gladly associate and identify with.

Jerusalem or Zion is significant in many ways. David chose Jerusalem for his capital city (2 Samuel 5:6-10), and the Lord confirmed and validated it by putting His temple there. Jesus died and rose again outside the walls of Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit descended on the church meeting in Jerusalem at Pentecost. It was from Jerusalem that the early Jewish believers scattered to carry the gospel to other nations.

The city is significant in its future. It will be the capital city of the Antichrist's regime and the citadel of Christ's millennial Kingdom. Even so, the new heaven and earth, the eternal abode of all saints is referred to as the New Jerusalem. The question then is, which Jerusalem are you preparing for? The one of the Antichrist during his diabolical short reign or the New Jerusalem that will descend from above? The choice is entirely yours.

Bible Reading in one Year: REVELATION 12 - 14

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: A man's decision will eventually determine his destiny.

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 10:10pm On Dec 29, 2016
Daily Manna
Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Nation In Decay

TEXT: EZEKIEL 8:1-6

"He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations" (Ezekiel 8:6).

The dictionary meaning of syncretism is the amalgamation of different religions, cultures or schools of thought. Syncretism among Christians is the dilution of the essential truths of the gospel with the incorporation of non-Christian elements. The addition of seemingly harmless elements like Christian songs with worldly beats, stand-up comedy and beauty pageant, can just be the right tools the devil uses to corrupt the gospel.

From our text, prophet Ezekiel was in a meeting with the elders of Israel when suddenly, the glory of God was revealed. He was lifted from his house in Babylon by a supernatural hand and taken to the temple in Jerusalem! The first thing he saw in the temple was an idol called: "the image of jealousy", because idolatry provokes the Lord Who is jealous over His spiritual wife, the people of Israel. Other abominations were hidden everywhere in the temple.

This was a period of spiritual decay in the nation's history. As things went out of hand, their leaders incorporated into the temple rituals, the worship of other gods. These were idols worshipped by the heathen nations around them. The base practices of neighbouring countries complete with wholesale and open immoral rituals, appealed to their fleshly appetites, and before long, they become the mode of worship.

Idolatry is like "religious prostitution" among the Lord's people. Just as a husband or wife would be jealous if a strange lover invaded a marriage, so the Lord's jealousy is stirred when we depart from true worship. We must discard and delete all additions to the pure gospel. Christ crucified, risen and glorified is our gospel. Any addition to this is unscriptural and can result into a departure from the faith. Beware of being bowled over by superfluous but deadly syncretic practices.

Bible Reading in one Year: REVELATION 15-17

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: A little pint of poison can poison an ocean of water.

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 1:43pm On Dec 30, 2016
Daily Manna
Friday, December 30, 2016

Not An Easy Ride

TEXT: JEREMIAH 12:1-6

"If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5).

A story was told of a boy who deliberately failed third grade so he wouldn't have to go into fourth grade and write with ink! Today, children are not worrying about using ink in elementary school but are learning to use simple computer programs so they'll be prepared to use more difficult programs in high school and college. There's no growth without challenge, and there's no challenge without change.

Prophet Jeremiah had this theological crisis in our text. He found himself struggling with the paradox of wicked people prospering. He couldn't understand why a holy God would permit false prophets, unbelievers, idol worshippers and the unfaithful priests to prosper while he, His faithful servant, was facing trials. God's reply to him wasn't the kind he expected. Instead of focusing on the wicked, he was encouraged to focus on himself. He was told not to expect an easy ride as the life of the prophet involves suffering.

Jeremiah probably would have had a comfortable and secure life if he had not accepted the call to be a prophet. He was like a man running a race and having a hard time keeping up. He was now to progress from the level of running with the foot soldiers to racing with fast horses, and from a level playing ground to coping with an overflowing Jordan.

As Christian pilgrims, we must not expect an easy ride. Life on the narrow road can bring hardships, misunderstanding and opposition by even members of our own families. Each new challenge (horses, jungles, opposition of relatives) will help us develop our faith and prepare us for more fruitful ministry and heaven at last. Ultimately, weeping can only endure for a night, joy will eventually berth in the morning.

Bible Reading in one Year: REVELATION 18-20

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: An easy life stifles maturity; challenges develop spiritual muscles.

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 11:12pm On Dec 31, 2016
Daily Manna
Saturday, December 31, 2016

Have You Checked Up From God?

TEXT: JOB 10:1-8

"I will say unto God, Do not condemn me; shew me wherefore thou contendest with me?" (Job 10:2).

Whenever we sense that things seem not to be going on well with us as they should, there is need for us to stop and do a checkup. We know very well that God is true to His promises and will not change in all that He has promised His people. But when the people of God are experiencing otherwise, it is reasonable to find out what could have been the cause.

Job had had a very unpleasant experience. It was one not consistent with someone of his caliber who had been described as one who feared God and eschewed evil. He personally could not understand why this had to be. He had done a check on himself and could not see where in particular he had sinned against God. He knew that whatever his own human, limited eyes could not see, God obviously, is all-knowing and will certainly see. As he pleaded for God to show him where he had erred, why God was contending with him, he was also quick to ask for mercy - that God should not condemn him.

Job's unfortunate experience was a test of his faith and love for God. We must learn from his attitude in suffering. When we go through experiences that we seem not to understand, we should not be quick to blame God or think He is unfaithful. God cannot be unfaithful. When we checkup, we may find out that God is either displeased because of something that we have done wrong or He is just trying our faith. Whether our pain is a chastisement or a trial of our faith, the end is to bring out the best in us if we have the right attitude to it. Understanding who God is and the consistency of His nature will help us to know that He cannot allow us to suffer unjustly.

Bible Reading in one Year: PSALM 68 - 71

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: God cannot allow you to suffer unjustly.

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Re: Daily Manna — AN UNRELIABLE NEIGHBOUR by OLAADEGBU(m): 6:54pm On Jan 03, 2017
Daily Manna
Sunday, January 1, 2017

Beginning With God

TEXT: JOHN 15:1-8

"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5).

Christopher Columbus, the Genoese sailor that world history credited with the discovery of the American continent, died erroneously believing he had opened the route to India. He began his famous sea trip in 1492, hoping to land in spice-rich Asia but ended up elsewhere. Every man-made thing he relied on - compass, tested trade maps, books, bird-flights, charts, etc. failed the great admiral.

The story is different with Abraham who had similar adventure thousands of years earlier (Genesis 12:5). What made the difference? While Christopher Columbus depended on unreliable earthly elements, Abraham was led by God, who created the elements.

Beginning the year is akin to embarking on a journey with all its latent perils and uncertainties. Depending on seasonal prophecies and predictions of false prophets and soothsayers who trade in false claims of what the days, weeks and months of the year offer, portend defeat, destruction and death, as many have met their doom in the process.

The wise should rest on God who alone can see the end right from the onset of a journey (Isaiah 46:10). Being the Ancient of Days, He sees beyond the year and deeper into infinite time. Absolute reliance on Him in this end-time is pertinent. Only those who abide in the Lord and are committed to the Great Commission will overcome the challenges the year throws up. They will receive the blessings God has in store for His children.

Bible Reading in one Year: MATTHEW 1 - 3

Higher Everyday for Youths - Link: http://highereveryday.dclmhq.org/

Thought for the day: Starting the year with God guarantees year-round victory.

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