THURSDAY 13TH DECEMBER, 2018
THEME: AMEN AND AMEN
TEXT: 1 CHRONICLES 16:1-22
MEMORY VERSE: 1 CHRONICLES 16:36 “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! ‘And all the people said “Amen!” and praised the LORD.”

The Ark of the Covenant has been an invaluable gift God handed down to the children of Israel to assure them of His presence. Due to their sin, the enemy captured God’s presence from them and they remained empty. The enemy saw the ark as a pretty kettle of fish and because of afflictions that came upon them they hastened to release it. I prophesy into someone’s life this morning that whatever the enemy has stolen from him/her will be recovered in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Many souls perished on the arrival of the Ark because of misguided acts that made David to keep it in Obed-edom’s house. God blessed him exceedingly. David had a rethink and constructed a tent to place the Ark of the Covenant there. The Ark was carried amidst great Jubilation, using different musical instruments to appreciate the faithfulness of God in their lives. The appointed ministers were to thank and praise God. After the praises were rendered, in verse 36 the entirety of the congregation shouted “Amen” as a mark of establishing what has been said in God’s hearing.

The word “Amen” simply means “so shall it be” or “it is done”. The challenge for us this day is, how often do we echo Amen to prayers said by our religious leaders, teachers, parents, elderly ones, etc? Do we think those words are said in vain? The situation in many of our churches is discouraging in which people cannot say “Amen” to prayers! We are known for this bad attitude by the so-called new generation churches and we need to change and shout a louder “Amen” to prayers. From today, let our AMEN to prayers be resounding.

Let us repent from such and maintain hearts of gratitude to God at every juncture of our life for us to experience more of His faithfulness. Saying Amen will not reduce us; rather it will increase our spiritual value in anticipation of what God will do for us in all ramifications of life.

HYMN: EMHB 658 – FOREVER WITH THE LORD!
PRAYER: O Rock of Ages, always say a loud ‘Amen’ to all my prayers in Jesus’ name. Amen.

WEDNESDAY 12TH DECEMBER, 2018
THEME: REJOICE IN WORSHIP
TEXT: DEUTERONOMY 12:1-29
MEMORY VERSE: DEUTERONOMY 12:7 “There in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and rejoice in everything you have put your hand because the Lord, your God, has blessed you.”

Deut. 12 is very important in the Jewish law of the Sanctuary. It shows a marked departure from the way worship and sacrifices were done in the wilderness. This new law has to be obeyed to the letter. God, Himself is to choose an acceptable place of sacrifice and worship. You are to bring your offerings, tithes, etc. there, too. When they are settled in the Promised Land, worship shall be in ONE place and you bring your offerings, tithes, etc., there. However, Jerusalem is not mentioned. In that ONE place, they shall gather to worship Yahweh with rejoicing. We are to take special note of verses 5, 11, 13, 14, 18, 21, 26.

John S.B Monsell calls on Christians to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, (EMHB 9). The Almighty God loves orderliness and discipline. This was the reason He gave Moses instructions on how His people, Israel, must worship Him. The true worship of God must stem from an obedient heart, a broad heart (humble, repentant and reverent), an honest heart and a thankful heart. God is holy and abhors sin. The Canaanite nations that the Israelites dispossessed, worshipped idols. God hates idols, so He required them to uproot every idol worship from among them (Deut. 12:1-3). They must worship only God and where God Himself chose them to worship Him. There, they must bring the following: burnt offerings, tithes, special offerings, vows, freewill offerings and firstborn of flocks and herds (first fruits). As they brought these things, all the members of their families must come together to rejoice in the presence of God.

The Lord has chosen our hearts to dwell in, uproot, cut down and destroy every idol in your heart, and anything that does not glorify God. Enthrone the Lord Jesus Christ; reach out to all the members of your family, neighbours and unbelievers. Come one, come all with your substance, come rejoicing to worship the Lord your God in the place He has designated for you to worship.
HYMN: EMHB 247 – REJOICE, THE LORD IS KING!

PRAYER: Thank you God, for the salvation wrought for us through our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you, Father, for the Holy Spirit that guides us. Give us the heart of worship henceforth through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

TUESDAY 11TH DECEMBER, 2018
THEME: ELEMENTS OF WORSHIP
TEXT: EXODUS 24:1-18
MEMORY VERSE: ROMANS 12:11 “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord.”

Our text today gives insight into the sealing of the Mosaic Covenant as well as the 10 Commandments of God. Moses, Aaron, Badab, Abihu and 70 unnamed elders of Israel witnessed the sealing of the covenant. Verse 10 of our text states thus “And they saw the God of Israel, and there was under His feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone and as it were the body of heaven in His clearness”. This is further evidence that God has human parts as well. He has feet, hands, mouth, arms, etc. and verse 11 states that they (the 74) “did eat and drink.” This itself confirms Gen. 1:26a where it is written: “And God said, Let us (the Trinity) make man in our image: after our likeness…” You are God’s image, make it holy.

Another area of our focus in the text is worship. While Moses was closest to God at the covenant-sealing meeting, the other 73 stayed some distance away and worshipped GOD. The heavenly hosts worship God 24/7 and we, too, are to worship Him with whatever we have at ALL TIMES. Even when we commune with God, worship is essential.

Moses built an altar (verse 4). True worshippers are consistent in their fellowship with God. The altar here is not a physical one. It speaks of a disciplined life in terms of communion with God. Offerings were given: one cannot be a worshipper with his/her lips alone. All that we have must be used in ascribing worth to our God. These include our talents, time and treasure.

Consecration (Verses 1-2): Moses, the priests and the elders were chosen, but in the New Testament, every believer, being a priest, is called to a life of consecration. This is our spiritual act of worship. To worship is not all about singing songs, closing one’s eyes, shaking head or shedding tears before God. While all these are parts of worship, they are not all. We need to offer Him something, including our total being.

HYMN: EMHB 746 – I AM THINE, O LORD
PRAYER: Beloved, ask the Lord to purify your heart of every stain and rekindle His fire upon your altar of worship.

MONDAY 10TH DECEMBER, 2018
THEME: CELEBRATING GOD IN ALL THINGS
TEXT: EXODUS 15:1-18
MEMORY VERSE: EXODUS 15:1 “Then sang Moses and the children of Israel, this song unto the Lord saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and its rider He hath thrown into the sea.”

Celebrating God in all things simply means that Christian believers should praise and adore God in all situations of life, even when it is difficult to do so. Praise directed towards God is a lethal weapon of spiritual warfare. Children of God must not joke with celebrating God in their lives. God, the wonder-working Father, rejoices in the praise of His people. The almighty God uses everything at His disposal to trouble the troublers of His people. Moses and the Israelites esteemed God in their praises and celebrations for His wonderful deliverance from their powerful and bloodthirsty enemies.

In today’s passage, (Exodus 15:1). Moses and the children of Israel raised their voices in worship and celebrated God saying: “I will sing unto the Lord for He hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea”. Brethren do you know that for many people, it is only when they are being haunted by the devil or situations in their lives that they remember God? To some, God is out of place when the store is filled with a variety of foodstuff, or when the family members are well, and there is success in all that they do? Some will even credit their successes and achievements to their effort, strength and wisdom. Some even give the praise to their pastors! Are you one of them? In the case of Paul and Silas who were kept in prison, they did something unusual of people in trouble. They engaged in jail-breaking, agonizing arrow prayers and celebrations which moved God to send His angel to go and loose them or set them free. And they experienced wonders in their ministries.

God is no respecter of persons. What He did for them He can do for us also. Learn to engage in celebration and praise of God to unleash His wonder-working power. I declare and decree that as you engage in the praise of the Almighty God, you shall always receive His wonders in your life in Jesus name. Amen.

HYMN: EMHB 424 – O BLESS, THE LORD MY SOUL!
PRAYER: Father in whatever situation I find myself, grant me the grace to always celebrate You in worship and praises in Jesus name. Amen.

SUNDAY 9TH DECEMBER, 2018
THEME: JESUS IS EVERYTHING
TEXT: EXODUS 10:21-29
MEMORY VERSE: EXODUS 10:26 “Our livestock, too, must go with us; not a hoof is to be left behind. We have to use some of them in worshipping the Lord our God, and until we get there we will not know what we are to use to worship the Lord.”

Today is another Day of the Lord, the second in this very last month of the year, and it offers us another chance to fill an open cheque made available for us today in His presence. ‘Jesus is everything’ is our theme today. In Genesis 1:1-3 God used the spoken Word to create both visible and invisible things we see and feel in the universe. Jesus is referred to as the Word who brings everything into existence in John 1:1. There are three vital things to note from this passage (1) Jesus, in the beginning -the dateless past- was present at creation. Jesus had existed eternally with God. (2) Jesus is distinct from the Father. He was with God and He saw God face to face every time, and (3) Jesus is the same as God in nature ‘He was God’ as also stated in the Nicene Creed.

Jesus is also the agent of God’s creation. Through Him, everything we see on earth was created, too.

We need to understand that light and darkness are always used as symbols in the Bible. Darkness represents sins and Satan, Judgment and death while light signifies peace and life in Christ Jesus. God always rewards those who oppose Him with darkness and those who serve Him with light. Jesus is the Light of the world (John 8:12). That is why He is everything to all who believe in Him. If we have Him as our Master and Saviour, we will see the manifestation of light in us. He is everything but do you have Him in your life?

Do you have Him as the all in all? If not, you have another opportunity of accepting Him today. Do not harden your heart when the Word is spoken to you in the church but believe and begin to live in Him. He is ever ready to accept you. He is standing at the door of your heart now knocking, open so that He may come in and dwell there. As you accept Him as everything in your life, may your burden be lifted in Jesus’ name. Amen.

HYMN: EMHB 475 – I NEED THEE EVERY HOUR
PRAYER: Jesus, as my soul pants for You, come and be everything in my life. Let Your grace always be sufficient in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

SATURDAY 8TH DECEMBER, 2018
THEME: WORSHIP, HEALTH FOR THE SOUL
TEXT: PSALM 63:1-8
MEMORY VERSE: PSALM 63:1 “O God, You are my God; earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

This beautiful morning psalm, written by David, is believed to have been when he temporarily abandoned his throne when Absalom, his rebel son, waged war against him (2 Sam 15:13-23). If it is so, David must have been in an agonizing situation which called for serious prayers.

We should, therefore, ask ourselves a soul-searching question: “How much do we desire God?” David was in the desert of Judah, and his flesh was weary and needed to satisfy its appetite, but he turned his gaze on his soul and, using the prevailing example of a heart panting for water in the desert where he was, he expressed how his soul longed for God. It is the breath of God upon the flesh that brings about a soul. The soul of man is the seat of his will and emotions, which can easily be affected by things happening around him in the physical realm.

David, however, got to a level of walk with God that everything within him, including his soul, literally longed for God. In verse 2, he reports that he’d looked upon God in the sanctuary beholding His power and glory and in verse 5, he says his soul would be satisfied as with fat and rich food. The fruit of worship that moment in the Holy of Holies, when we behold God’s glory and feast with Him in our souls, is tremendous health for the soul. Realizing that every moment spent with God in deep communion helps us to live above sin and prevailing vicissitudes of life, living in His presence, therefore, assures renewal of our mind and helps us to see things from God’s perspective.

Aside from this, when we worship in the spirit, the eternal mysteries of God are transported to our souls via the Spirit of God dwelling in us. Friends, there is a higher realm for you. Enjoy heaven’s menu today as you lift up your heart to the eternal King in all you do this weekend.

HYMN: EMHB 455 – AS PANTS THE HART FOR COOLING STREAMS
PRAYER: Jehovah Nissi, be my banner in any battle of life and grant me victory in all fronts in Jesus name. Amen.

FRIDAY 7TH DECEMBER, 2018
THEME: TRUST, THE BASIS OF TRUE WORSHIP
TEXT: GENESIS 22:1-19
MEMORY VERSE: JOB 13:15 “Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him; I will surely defend my ways to His face.”

Today we come upon a somewhat difficult issue-one that many children of God will not do, thinking that Satan is at work, to place in our own context. Abraham, in obedience to God, had wanted to sacrifice Isaac, his only child of promise before God stopped him from doing so. It is noteworthy that Abraham considered sacrificing his only son on Mount Moriah as an act of worship (Gen. 22:5) and he actually sacrificed him in his heart (Heb. 11:7). However, he did not make that move in ignorance. What gave him such boldness? How was he so aligned with God that he didn’t even negotiate his plan with his wife, Sarah? Hebrews gives us the answer: Trust. “Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead…” (Heb. 11:19).

It is only trust that can make a man stick unto God even to the point of death. Job understood this when he said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (Job 13:15). In the same vein, Jesus willingly submitted to death, trusting that His Father would raise Him up. John 18:6b states that “As soon as He had said unto them (the soldiers and officers who wanted to arrest Him) ‘I am He,’ they went backward and fell to the ground.” This means that He would either have killed them or escaped with His power. Rather, He surrendered to them. This is the sublime demand of worship!

So, the next time you think of worship, think of laying everything at the feet of the Master, trusting that He can call the things that are not as though they were.

HYMN: EMHB 506 – MY SPIRIT ON THY CARE
PRAYER: Lord, today I worship You by relinquishing everything I’ve held back from You, reckoning that You are dependable and trustworthy to deliver me and work for my good.

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.