12 February - Acts 18:8-9
~ All believers are entitled to Jesus’ presence
Of all the early apostles, Paul was the most persecuted(2
Cor.11:23-33). Therefore, if anyone needed Jesus’ presence and
companionship, it was Paul. And here Jesus spoke to him to assure him
of His presence with him(Acts 18:9-10). This is what He promised all
His servants before He ascended(Matt.28:20). Jesus’ presence
was not just a promise to Paul, it was a living reality to him (see
Acts 23:11). This presence was undoubtedly the secret of Paul’s
perseverance, successes and victories(Acts 18:8-9). Like Paul, every
believer is entitled to the presence of Jesus in his life and affairs.
Jesus’ promise of His presence applies to all believers in
every age(Matt.28:20). We are also entitled to experience His presence
a living reality in our lives and affairs, as was the case for Paul,
since Jesus is alive forever more and is the same yesterday, today,
and forever(see Rev.1:18; Heb.13:8). Like Paul, we need His presence
to succeed in our lives and careers. In fact, there is nothing we
can accomplish without it( see Jn.15:4-6).
PRAYER: 1. Lord Jesus, please let your presence be
my portion as you promised.
2. Lord Jesus, please take away from me whatever hinders your presence.
13 February - Mk.10:42-44
~ The ministry or leadership
Jesus used the opportunity provided by the request
of James and John (Mk.10:35- 37) to state the way of doing ministry
or leadership that He recommends (Mk.10:35-45). His recommended way
contrasts sharply with that of the Gentile rulers(Mk.10:43). There
is no similarity between His recommended way and that of the Gentile
rulers (Mk.10:43). His recommended way is that of servant or service(Mk.10:43-44),
not that of lord or authority(Mk.10:42). Jesus has been consistent
in making this assertion(Mk.9:35-37). For Him, successful ministry
or leadership lies in becoming a servant, not lord(Mk.9:35-37; Mk.10:42-44).
The early disciples achieved the phenomenal success they did because
they took and kept to this method and style(cf.1 Pet.5:1-4). Therefore,
anyone who desires success in ministry or leadership must make use
of this same method. There is no success in ministry or leadership
outside of this method(see Phil.2:5-11). However, this is not a popular
method, but as far as Jesus is concerned, it is the only valid one
He recommends. Many prefer the way of the Gentile rulers, but Jesus
would have nothing to do with it(Mk.9:35-37; Mk.10:42-44 ). His true
followers will surely follow His recommended way, if they wish to succeed
in their ministry or leadership. The choice is between His recommended
method and our own.
PRAYER:1. Father, please enable me to be your servant
2. Father, please take away the spirit of pride and lordship from me.
14 February - Deut.26:12-15
- Tithe, the basis for God’s blessings
A tithe is one tenth of our income or produce. It
is God’s command(Deut.26:13,14; Deut.14:28-29). It is to be set
aside from our income or produce, and given out to the people God specifies
(Deut.26:12). The people God specifies to receive tithes are His ministers
(Num.18:24; Heb.7:5), the alien, the fatherless, and the widow (Deut.26:12,13;
Deut.14:28-29). With this passage and its counterparts, it means it
is Scriptural to give our tithes to God’s ministers and the needy
(Deut.26:13,14; Deut.14:28-29). It is a sacred portion (Deut.26:13,14).
This means that it belongs to God and must be given out as He commands.
To hold it back is to rob God (Mal.3:8-12). Therefore, it must be set
aside and given out in obedience to Him. Even Abraham paid it (Gen.14:18-20).
There is no excuse whatsoever for not obeying this command (Deut.26:14).
It is the basis for God’s blessings upon those who obey and
upon their land (Deut.26:15).
PRAYER: 1. Lord, please enable me to obey you most
faithfully in paying my tithes
2. Lord, please take away anything that may prevent me from paying my tithes
15 February - Deut.26:16 ~ Full obedience is God’s command
As Moses reviewed and restated the laws and decrees
of God to the Israelites before his death, he reminded them of the
command to obey God’s
laws and decrees(Deut.26:16; Deut.11:1). God specifically commanded
the Israelites to obey His decrees , laws, and commands (Deut.11:1;
Deut.26:16). Therefore, obedience is God’s command (Deut.11:1;
Deut.26:16). It is not optional for His children . Moses also indicated
to them how God expected them to obey Him (Deut.26:16). God expected
them to obey Him with all their hearts and souls (Deut.26:16; Deut.6:5).
This is exactly how God expects us to obey Him today. As far as God
is concerned, partial, half-hearted obedience or devotion means nothing
at all to Him (Deut.6:5). Obedience that is not from one’s
whole heart and soul is no obedience at all (Deut.6:5). Until we
with all our hearts and souls, we are not obeying Him at all (Deut.6:5).
To obey God with all our hearts and souls means that there must be
no area or aspect of our lives in which we are not living in full
or complete obedience to Him.
PRAYER: 1. Father, please enable me to obey you with
all my heart and soul.
2. Father, please take away everything that hinders me from obeying
16 February -
~ Edom to account for rejoicing over Judah’s destruction
One of the reasons for God’s forthcoming judgment of Edom as
announced or proclaimed by prophet Obadiah (Obad.1-9, 15-16), is that
they rejoiced at the destruction of Judah because of their unfaithfulness
to Him (Jer.52:3). It is not acceptable to God that Edom should rejoice
over Judah’s destruction (Obad.12; Ezek.35:15). The Scripture
is quite consistent in this teaching. It clearly forbids believers
from rejoicing over the misfortune or calamity of their enemies (Prov.24:17-18).
Such rejoicing is not only unacceptable to God but punishable by
Him as in the instant case (Obad.1-16). On the contrary, God commands
to love our enemies and do good to them(Lk.6:27-36; Prov.25:21-22;Exod.23:4-5;cf.Rom.12:17-21).
To rejoice at the misfortune or calamity of our enemies is therefore
not of God. To love our enemies and do good to them is of Him. Those
who rejoice at the misfortune or calamity of their enemies do not
have the support of the Scripture behind their action.
PRAYER: 1. Father, please forgive all my enemies.
2. Father, please enable me to love all my enemies and do good
3. Father, please take away the spirit of hatred from me.
17 February - Deut.26:17-19
~ The reward of
When the Israelites declared that the Lord is their
God and that they will obey Him (Deut.26:17), the Lord also declared
that they are His
people, His treasured possession, and that He will set them in
praise, fame and honour, high above the nations He has made (Deut.26:18-19).
Their declaration that the Lord is their God and that they will
Him (Deut.26:17) is the basis for God’s own declaration that
they are His people and that He will exalt them above all others
(Deut.26:18-19). The word of God is the same for us as it was for
God as our God and undertaking to obey Him is the basis of our
sonship and His blessings (Jn.1:12-13; Ps.1:1- 3;Deut.28:1-2).
The Lord brings
down those who deny and disobey Him(Deut.28:15 ff.) but exalts
those who acknowledge and obey Him (Deut.28:1ff.). When we acknowledge
obey Him, we open the door for Him to acknowledge and exalt us
(Deut.28:1ff.). When we deny and disobey Him, we close the door
of His acknowledgement
and blessings against ourselves (Deut.28:15ff.).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please enable me to acknowledge
you alone as my God and to obey you fully in all areas or aspects of
2. Father, please take away the spirit of disobedience from me.
February - Mk. 14:10-11 ~ Jesus betrayed
Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus,
offered to betray Him in return for money(Mk.14:10-11). He is the
one who initiates
transaction(Mk.14:10). His act, driven and motivated by money,
became the greatest betrayal in human history, second to no other.
of money is indeed a root of all kinds of evil(1Tim.6:10). Like
Judas, many people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith
themselves with many griefs(1 Tim.6:10). The Scripture exhorts
believers to keep their lives free from the love of money(Heb.13:5).
not possible to serve both God and money(Lk.16:13). True godliness
in contentment not in greediness for money(1Tim.6:6).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please give me the spirit of contentment.
2. Father, please take away the love and greed for money from