THURSDAY 6TH DECEMBER, 2018
THEME: THE WALK OF FAITH
TEXT: HEBREWS 11:1-16
MEMORY VERSE: HEBREWS 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”

Faith is the conviction based on past experiences that God’s new and fresh surprises will surely be ours. There are two words that describe faith- assurance and contraction. These qualities need a secure beginning and an ending point. Secure beginning is belief in God’s character. He is who He is. The ending point is belief in God’s promise. He will do what He says He will do. Faith is when we believe God’s promises, though we are yet to see them physically. It is faith when we believe that whatever we are still praying for has already been granted as Mark 11:24 states.

In today’s passage, the heroes of faith mentioned – Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and his wife, Sarah; Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Amram and his wife, Jochebed; Moses, Joshua and Rahab – died without receiving all that God had promised, but they never lost their vision of heaven. Many Christians become frustrated because their needs, wants, expectations and demands are not immediately met. Take courage: Romans 5:3-5 says sufferings/trials produce perseverance, perseverance produces character and character produces hope and hope never brings disappointment. God has never disappointed those who diligently seek Him (Heb 11:6). If you, too, diligently seek God, He will sooner or later turn despair to reality and your hopelessness will end in songs of praises. Hallelujah!

HYMN: EMHB 402 – FAITH OF OUR FATHERS LIVING STILL
PRAYER: O God! Don’t allow me to waver in my faith in You but strengthen it to category one faith like that of Abraham for in Jesus’ name I ask. Amen.

WEDNESDAY 5TH DECEMBER, 2018
THEME: IDOLATRY IN CHRISTENDOM
TEXT: ROMANS 1:26-32
MEMORY VERSE: ROMANS 1:25 “Who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever?

Idolatry is a topic which present-day Christians see to be antiquated and outdated. This may be because we no longer find golden and carved images here and there and which people are forced to bow to as was common in the days of Daniel. Today, many Christians have changed the glory due to the eternal God into images of man and earthly things” (Romans 1:22-23). We must note that anything we regard as more important than God in our life is an idol. A few examples which we often put our values, trust, and confidence in may include our children, spouse, physical attractiveness, our connections, job or friends. Beloved, the arms of flesh will always fail, Isaiah 40:8 says “the grasses will wither, the flower will fade but the Word of God remains the same”. God is saying to a reader of today’s devotional text that even if all your sources of help are gone, He will remain available.

When the people in our text decide to put the arms of flesh above God, He gave them up to the evil desires of their hearts, working shame in their bodies (Romans 1:24). Beloved, when we make the error of giving honour to the things which are man-made, and not to Him who made them, we will be drawing a line of battle with God. Beloved, we know when God turns His back against us; we will surely fail and falter. Therefore, let us resolve today to trust and have confidence only in Him and not in the arms of flesh.

HYMN: EMHB 334 – THERE WERE NINETY AND NINE THAT SAFELY LAY
PRAYER: The All-sufficient GOD, help me to put all my trust in You and not in any of my connections. Let me never love anything more than You. Amen.

TUESDAY 4TH DECEMBER, 2018
THEME: HOW IS GOD SEEN?
TEXT: ROMANS 1:18-25
MEMORY VERSE: ROMANS 1:21 “For although they knew God they did not honour Him as God or give thanks to Him, they become futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened.”

The glory of God is manifest here and there. Looking at the firmament you see the glory of God, vegetation explores the beauty of God, the earth showcases His footstool and humanity display His awesome image. With these, you can see that God is magnificent, powerful and awesome. In all, the true understanding of God is through revelation. God has revealed Himself to humanity in so many ways.

But those who are still in darkness cannot see and recognize these revelations. Some even think in their foolishness that there is no God. The psalmist (Psalm 14:1) says “that only a fool says there is no God. In the text, Apostle Paul painfully tells the Romans that upon what God has done in their lives, both visible and invisible, most of them refused to worship in spirit, truth and holiness.

Look at our lives God has been with us from the day of our conception till this moment, caring, healing, protecting, feeding, delivering us from all sort of captivities and showering on us His blessings (Mark 5:6-35).

Do we see Him as a graven image? How we see Him determines how we serve Him in our places of work, families, schools, etc. It also determines our lifestyle in our offices and families. In our society today, we have disappointed God in several ways; we lack recognition of God in our governance and our professions. In our today’s world corruption, tribalism, favouritism, discrimination, lack of true love and so forth, are all the things we embrace because of lack of understanding that God is in our lives.

We claim to know Him but do not honour Him hence our reprobate minds, (Rom 1:21). Note those who are still dwelling in sins and worshipping the creatures not the Creator. We are saved by the blood of Christ if we accept Him now with total repentance we can still be washed by His blood and be saved.

HYMN: EMHB 8 – O WORSHIP THE KING O GLORIOUS ABOVE
PRAYER: Almighty Father, grant us the spirit to know You more and recognize Your marvellous works in our lives in Jesus’ name. Amen.

MONDAY 3RD DECEMBER, 2018
THEME: OFFERING TO GOD OUR ALL
TEXT: ROMANS 12:1-8
MEMORY VERSE: ROMANS 12:1 “I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by God’s mercy that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

Our salvation through Christ is a free gift and we did not contribute anything to make it so. Though a free gift from God, we must know that salvation costs God the life of His beloved Son and there is nothing we can give that can equate the cost of our salvation. Once we accept this precious gift, it demands that we give everything – our lives first and our substance – to God not in repayment but in appreciation of what He did for us through our Lord Jesus. For our life to qualify as a sacrifice, it must be holy and honourable to God.

God is holy and will not accept sacrifices of sinners. He did not accept the sacrifice of Cain or Jewish sacrifice of animals with blemish as in Malachi 1:8. When God requires our substance in tithes and offerings, it is not because He lacks them for He owns everything (Ps. 19:10); it is only an act of worship from people who receive everything from Him. Our life, which is acceptable to God, is a life of service to Him and to humanity. To serve God is to love Him by keeping His commandments. This requires us to do all that God says and in the way He wants it done.

This is a reasonable service and an acceptable act of worship. Our worship must be from the heart with all reverence and sincerity. We must give God our best in service and in offering. Then, and only then, will we give God our all.

HYMN: EMHB 746 – I AM THINE OH LORD; I HAVE HEARD THY VOICE
PRAYER: God of mercy, help me to make use of the grace given to me in Christ Jesus to give You my all in appreciation of Your love. Amen.

SUNDAY 2ND DECEMBER, 2018
THEME: THE HEART OF WORSHIP
TEXT: REVELATIONS 5:1-14
MEMORY VERSE: REVELATION 5:12 “In a loud voice they sang: ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise!'”

The Christian year begins on Advent Sunday. Today, being Advent Sunday, is a celebration of the love of God, sending Jesus to the world and the expectation of His second coming to take His saints away to Glory.

Today’s passage affords us a glimpse into a great scene in heaven. In a very beautiful and awe-striking scene in which, the Lamb of God, Jesus, is portrayed as the only ONE worthy to break the seals in the right hand of Him (God) who sat upon the throne. The spontaneous response of the innumerable company of angels in verse 12 could only have come from hearts that are full of worship. Worship begins from the heart.

To worship is to ascribe great importance to a person or thing being worshipped. Therefore, a heart of worship is a heart that understands the worth of God according to His attributes, character and deeds. It is a heart that trembles before God and, like the angels in the text, speaks and acts in response to His majesty.

But, we can only worship aright when we see Him as He is (1 John 3:2b). Isaiah saw Him and realized his own filthiness. Anytime we see Him as He is, we cannot but react spontaneously like Isaiah in Isa. 6:5. So, have you had a revelation of His majesty? Have you given Him His rightful place in your heart, enthroning Him above every other person or thing? This is the heart of worship!

HYMN: EMHB 91 – ALL HAIL THE POWER OF JESUS.
PRAYER: Lord, let the revelation of Your greatness remain in my heart, that I may maintain a heart of worship, dethroning every other person and thing forever and ever. Amen.

SATURDAY 1ST DECEMBER, 2018
THEME: PLEASING TO HIM
TEXT: 2 CORINTHIANS 5:8-16
MEMORY VERSE: 2 CORINTHIANS 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due to him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad”.

You are welcome into a new month, the last in the year 2018 and into another great opportunity of unmerited grace of God in our lives. Every good gift we have has come from God, including job, life, children, accommodation, favour, academic excellence, healing, joy and the pleasures God wants to give us forever. In gratitude for all He does for us, what can we do to please Him? In our text today, Apostle Paul points to the Corinthian church that pleasing God should be paramount in the lives of every true believer. Pleasing God implies living a life in line with God’s instructions. It means living a life of righteousness which connotes genuine repentance. It is mandatory for us to please God while we are still on this planet earth. However, some of the ways in which we can please God are as follows:

1. Having faith in God (Hebrews 11:6). It is obvious that without faith no one can please God. Faith connotes belief in God and believing He will do what He says He will do. Enoch lived in evil world before the flood, but walked with God and hence, pleased Him. (Genesis 5:24). Though we acknowledge the change modernization has caused to the world, Christians need to maintain their faith in Christ Jesus.
2. Obedience to God’s Word (1 Samuel 15:22). Obeying God means trusting Him. God is always happy when we obey His commands.
3. Fear of God. The fear and respect of God will motivate us to avoid sins.
4. Being spiritually minded (Romans 8:6-8). The baptism of the Holy Spirit transforms our lives and helps us to abstain from sins.

Remember, if we fail to please God, we will not escape His wrath and the consequences. It is true that all of us will stand before the Lord and receive our reward according to our deeds, whether good or bad. Unquenchable flames and final death await those who refuse to accept Christ as their Lord. (Revelation 21:8). May God help us to trust and obey Him so that we can please Him.

HYMN: EMHB 516 – WHEN WE WALK WITH THE LORD
PRAYER: Great God of the whole universe, help us from today to live a life that pleases You so that when the trumpet shall sound we will receive our crown with joy in Jesus’ name Amen.

FRIDAY 30TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: GOD’S ATTRIBUTES
TEXT: NAHUM 1:2-15
MEMORY VERSE: NAHUM 1:6 “Who can stand before His indignation, and who can abide in the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire and the rocks are thrown down by Him.”

In our text for today, one of the 12 so-called “minor prophets” Nahum, the Elkoshite, gives us insight into the attributes of God in a vision God gave him concerning Nineveh, the then capital of Assyria, a country noted for its warmongering. Bible scholars will remember that God, about 100 years earlier, sent Prophet Jonah to this city to go and warn the inhabitants that He was ready to destroy the city unless they repented of their sins. Though Jonah initially refused to go to Nineveh to deliver the message all because he (Jonah) wanted God to destroy Israel’s enemy, God made a whale to deliver the prophet to the shores of Ninevah where gave Jonah the commission again.

Jonah delivered the message and the people went into prayers and fasting and God let them off the hook. However about 100 years after, Nineveh went into sin and Prophet Nahum wrote about it again. He gave several attributes of God. He says among others that: (1) God is slow to anger (2) God is Jealous (3) He revenges (4) God can be furious (5) He is great in power (6) He will not acquit the wicked (7) He is Omnipotent and (8) He can be fierce in His anger and none can stand before Him when He is angry.

There are lots more. You can mark them out in your bible. God honours those who honour and fear Him. He exalts the humble but debases, the proud. He is no respecter of persons, no matter your wealth, political standing and your position in the society. He is the self-existent God. Unfortunately, many people, like the Israelite, the people of Nineveh and the powerful Babylonians, take God for granted. Where is Nineveh today? Where is Babylon? Where is the 10 Northern Kingdom of Israel? Be warned. God is nobody’s equal. Let us honour Him because He deserves it.

HYMN: EMHB 821 – STAND UP, STAND UP FOR JESUS
PRAYER: God, be merciful to our nation and never allow her to go into oblivion in Jesus’ name.

THURSDAY 29TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: THE POWER OF TITHING
TEXT: MALACHI 3:9-12
MEMORY VERSE: MALACHI 3:11A “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground…..”

The teaching about tithe on church pulpit seems to have been misconstrued. The most recent awful teaching is this “Christ has paid it all there is no need for you to tithe” However, testimonies about payment of tithes galore for those who had been faithful to it – I am one of the victims who have seen the blessing of paying tithes faithfully.

Tithe is tenth of your income or produce, be it livestock or anything (Lv.27:30-32). Malachi Chapter 3 opens our eyes to all blessings and attached to behind tithing and non-tithing. The beauty of the blessing cannot be seen and understood until when you are faithful to God in it. I advise you to try it today and you will understand the power in tithing.

I was once a staff in a College of Education. Initially, I was discouraged to pay my tithes when I discovered the amount to be tithed out of my salary. I later summoned up the courage of payment and I received the attendant blessings. Sickness and all odds left me; I received mercy from my boss, promotion at an appropriate time came my way and all good things needed to make my life comfortable started manifesting in me and I know that God was at work.

As noted in the text, devourers will be banned from all your endeavours when you faithfully pay your tithes. Paying faithfully means paying exactly 10 per cent of your income to God. Non-payment of Tithes brings curses on non-payers. They work and nothing to show for it because devourer will enter their harvests.

Beloved stop deceiving your self FAITHFULLY PAY YOUR TITHES AND RECEIVE GOD’ BLESSING TODAY.

HYMN: EMHB 679 – PLEASANT ARE THY COURTS ABOVE
PRAYER: Lord God, give me the grace to faithfully pay to my tithe in Thy tabernacle and let the power of tithe manifest in all I do in Jesus mighty name.

WEDNESDAY 28TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: GOD’S DIVINE PLAN
TEXT: JEREMIAH 29:10-14
MEMORY VERSE: JEREMIAH 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Despite our daily plans, do you know that God also has His divine agenda or divine plan for us? Jer. 29:11 describes His divine agenda for you and me “His plan is to prosper us”. The question is how can one key to God’s divine plan? You can key to His divine plan by giving your totality to Him. When you give your life to Him, the Holy Spirit takes over your affairs and plans and executes them. Remember Christ said, “I shall go to the Father, but send to you a Comforter that shall lead you to all truths”.

The Holy Spirit teaches and guides, He leads us everywhere we go, and teaches us what to pray on. He also reveals to us the secret things of heaven. When you pray you must commit all your prayers to God’s hand through Jesus Christ, in whose hands our divine plans and agenda for our lives are.

In our limited and carnal knowledge, many of us jump into professions that fascinate us. Because we see Mr A as a successful engineer, we jump into engineering without asking for God’s divine plan and direction. A person who would have been a successful trader jumped into engineering until he returns to trading, he would not make it no matter how hard he tried. Many are in nursing whereas they ought to be in other professions – a square peg in a round hole! It is, therefore, necessary that when choosing a profession you must ask the all-knowing God, who knows the end from the beginning, to choose for you. Brothers and Sisters in Christ, your success in life is in God’s hands and NOT in any person’s hands. This is the truth.

Beloved, are you living under His canopy and operating His Divine agenda? Check yourself. When you are there, you struggle less and achieve more result.

HYMN: EMHB 684 – JESUS STAND AMONG US
PRAYER: Lord, I am ready to work and walk under your divine banner and agenda every day of my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

TUESDAY 27TH NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: WHEN GOD LEADS…
TEXT: ISAIAH 48:17-22
MEMORY VERSE: ISAIAH 48:21 “And they did not thirst when He led them through the deserts; He caused the waters to flow from the rock for them; He also split the rock, and the waters gushed out.”

The Bible tells many challenging stories of how God led His people during their 40 years of wilderness experience, the most fascinating being how He led the Children of Israel out of Egypt.

Our reading today is a reminder of how God leads. He leads through the desert; He leads through the valley, and He leads through the wilderness without you being harmed, and He leads through the shadow of death! Have you ever given this a thought in your heart? Our journey through the four corners of the world needs divine guidance to be successful and secured.

For example, in Nigeria and other, parts of the world, we hear of many strange happenings -bomb blast, violent attacks, kidnappings, corrupt practices, murders, rapes, plane crashes and various mishaps. The victims are usually innocent people. To be safe and enjoy your life unmolested, you need divine protection.

When God leads you, you shall never be thirsty even in the wilderness of life. When He leads you, you have in abundance. Psalm 23:4 says that when God leads – “Even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I fear no evil for Thou art with me”. Unfortunately, the Israelite (and many of us) did not allow God to lead them because of their stubbornness, stiff-neck and idol worshipping.

I charge you, dear reader, to commit your ways to His hand and He will lead you aright. Hymn EMHB 612 state it better:
Lead kindly light, amid the encircling gloom
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene: one step enough for me.

HYMN: EMHB 612 – LEAD KINDLY LIGHT, AMID THE ENCIRCLING GLOOM
PRAYER: Lord God, lead me on as I journey through the ups and downs of this challenging world in Jesus’ name. Amen.