The importance of genuine confession
Before Nehemiah prayed for success before the king (Neh. 1:11), he first
prayed a prayer of confession (Neh. 1:4-10). He confessed the sins of
the people, including himself and his relations (Neh. 1:5-7). With this
he opened or cleared the way for God’s answer, his favour before
the king (Neh. 2:4-8), and success in his mission to rebuild Jerusalem.
This is true for everyone. Genuine confession is the basis for God’s
answer, favour, and restoration (Prov. 28:13; Ezek. 18:21-24; Acts. 2:38-39;
Acts 3:19-20; 1 Jn. 1:9). Without it, the path to God’s answer
and favour and restoration remains closed (Prov. 28:13; cf. Lk. 13:1-5).
Like Nehemiah, anyone who desires God’s answer, favour and restoration
must first confess his sins as he did (Neh. 1:5-10).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please give me a truly repentant heart.
2. Father, please forgive all my sins.
3. Father, please let all your favour and restoration be my portion.
God’s salvation is everlasting
When God promised to comfort Zion (Is. 51:3), He also promised them
an everlasting salvation or righteousness (Is. 5:6-8). The heavens,
earth and its inhabitants will vanish like smoke, but God’s salvation
and righteousness will last forever (Is. 51:6-8; 2 Pet. 3:10). This is
quite true. God’s salvation is not temporal like His creation,
but eternal like Him (see Jn. 3:16). Heaven and earth will indeed pass
away (2 Pet. 3:10), but God’s salvation will indeed remain forever
(see Jn. 3:16). God’s salvation is worth giving up everything to
attain (see Matt. 5:29-30). No one can afford to lose it (see Matt. 16:26).
We must seek it with all our heart and above everything else. And we
must not rest until we have attained it.
PRAYER: 1. Father, please let your salvation be my portion.
2. Father, please take away whatever hinders me from attaining your salvation.
Destruction is avoidable
While recounting the history of the journey to the Promised Land, Moses
told the Israelites that if they ever forget the Lord their God and follow
other gods and worship and bow down to them, they will surely be destroyed,
like the nations the Lord destroyed before them (Deut. 8:19-20). This
is a divine decree (see Exod. 20:1-6). The destruction is conditional
upon forsaking the Lord and turning to other gods (Deut. 8:19-20). It
came to pass in the lives of both the Northern and Southern kingdoms
of Israel (see 2 Kgs. 17:1-3; 2 Kgs. 25:1-21; Jer. 52:1-30). It applies
to every individual and nation today. Anyone who forsakes all other gods
and turns wholeheartedly to the Lord through Jesus Christ will live (see
Ezek. 18:21-23; Jn. 3:18, 36). But anyone who persists in forsaking the
Lord and serving and bowing down to other gods will surely be liable
to destruction (Deut. 8:19-20; Jn. 3:18, 36).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please be my God and Lord alone.
2. Father, please keep me from ever forsaking you.
Do not betray Jesus
Judas Iscariot, Jesus’ disciple and treasurer, betrayed Him (Matt.
26:25). He betrayed Him for money (Matt. 26:14-16). Jesus knew of his
act of betrayed even before he carried it out (Matt. 26:21, 25; Lk. 22:21).
His act was not hidden from Jesus at all, for He knows all things (Jn.
2:24-25). Jesus cursed the betrayer (Matt. 26:24). The curse was fulfilled
on him (Matt. 27:3-5; Acts 1:8). To betray Jesus is a terrible sin. Yet,
like Judas Iscariot, we betray Him nonetheless. We betray Him in so many
ways – when we fail to worship Him, when we fail to obey Him, when
we sin against Him, etc. To betray Jesus is not only most heinous and
despicable, but most damnable (cf. Matt. 26:24). As believers, we must
never betray Jesus for any reason or thing. Nothing whatever is worth
the act and its consequences (see Matt. 16:36). Remember that Jesus knows
all our acts of betrayal against Him (Jn. 2:24-25; Ps. 139:1-12).
PRAYER: Father, please forgive me of all acts of betrayal and enable
me never ever to betray you.
Zechariah foresees the Christ
In one of his visions, Prophet Zechariah foresaw the Christ more than
five hundred years before His birth (Zech. 12:10). He spoke specifically
of His crucifixion (Zech. 12:10). This same prophecy is echoed by David
(Ps. 22:16). This means that the promise of the Messiah is sufficiently
grounded in the Scriptures. It also confirms the fact that the crucifixion
of Jesus the Christ was not an accident but a deliberate act of God for
the salvation of mankind (see Matt. 26:53-56). The good news concerning
the Christ is meant for all mankind (Lk. 2:10-14). The only requirement
for appropriating it is faith (Jn. 3:16). Blessed indeed is the one who
believes in the Christ (cf. Jn. 20:29).
PRAYER: 1. Father, thank you for Jesus Christ.
2. Father, please enable me to believe in Jesus Christ unto salvation.
3. Father, please take away whatever hinders me from believing in Jesus
The Lord rejects blemished sacrifices
Religious life in Prophet Malachi’s time had so deteriorated that the people
were bringing defective sacrifices to the Lord (Mal. 1:6-8). Such sacrifices
were clearly forbidden (Deut. 15:21). The greatness of the Lord (see Mal. 1:11,
14) required that offerings made to him were of no defect whatever (Lev. 1:3).
Thus, the Lord considered such sacrifices to be contemptible to His name and
completely unacceptable to Him (Mal. 1:8-9, 13). Anyone who made such offerings
was cursed, not blessed (Mal. 1:14). The principle is the same for us today.
God deserves the best of our offerings and services. Anything short of this amounts
to contempt for His great name and will neither bring His blessings nor be acceptable
to Him (see Mal. 1:6-9, 13-14).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please enable me to always give you the best of my offerings
2. Father, please take away whatever hinders me from giving you the best of my
offerings and services.
The right attitude to suffering
Four terrible disasters befell Job in rapid succession (Job 1:13-18). In response,
Job worshipped God and accepted His sovereign authority and will over his life
and did not charge Him with wrong doing or evil (Job 1:20-22). This is the right
believer’s attitude to suffering (Job 1:20-22; Hab. 3:17-18). To reject
God’s sovereign authority and will and charge Him with wrong doing on account
of suffering are unbecoming of a believer. Like Job, the right attitude to suffering
is to accept God’s sovereign authority and will over one’s life and
worship Him nonetheless (Job 1:20-22). Anything short of this is sin, and a believer
must not sin, affliction notwithstanding. Blessed indeed are those who like Job,
keep their faith and persevere even in suffering (Jam. 5:10-11).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please enable me to accept your sovereign authority and will
over my life in everything, every time.
2. Father, please enable me to persevere even in suffering.
Do not share in the sin of others
Sapphira, Ananias’ wife, died along with her husband because she agreed
with him to lie about the price for which they sold their land (Acts 5:7-10).
She shared in his judgment because she was a direct party or partner to his sin
(Acts 5:7-10). She would never have died with him if she did not join him in
his sin (Acts 5:7-20). What happened to her could happen to anyone else. The
Bible warns us not to share in the sin of others (1 Tim. 5:22) . When we share
in the sin of others, we are liable to share in their punishment or judgment
(cf. Prov. 1:10-19). On the other hand, when we severe ourselves or keep away
from the sin of others, we are not liable to share in their punishment. Therefore,
we must never share in the sin of others in order not to be liable with them
for punishment or judgment.
PRAYER: 1. Father, please keep me from sharing in the sin of others.
2. Father, please enable me to be completely faithful to you in everything, every
3. Father, please enable me to be completely honest to you in all things, including
It pays to invite Jesus
The organizers of the wedding in Cana in Galilee had invited Jesus to their wedding
(Jn. 2:1-2). Later, they ran out of wine and Jesus helped them out by turning
water into the best wine (Jn. 2:3-10). Jesus’ presence turned what would
have been a disastrous situation into a delightful one (Jn. 2:3-10). If they
had not invited Jesus, their wedding would have ended in catastrophe and shame.
Thus, the decision to have invited Jesus to the wedding was a wise and fundamental
one. Our gains are immeasurable when we invite Jesus into our lives and events
(cf. Rev. 3:20; Jn. 15:4-7). In the same way, our losses are also immeasurable
when we keep Him out of our lives and affairs (cf. Rev. 3:20; Jn. 15:4-7). Therefore,
inviting Jesus into our lives and affairs is the best decision anyone can ever
make. Turning Him away from our lives and affairs is the worst and most unfortunate
thing anyone can ever do. In fact, there is no satisfying or successful life
without Jesus (Jn. 15:4-7; Rev. 3:20). Besides, anyone who has Jesus can never
be disappointed or put to shame (Rom. 10:11).
PRAYER: 1. Lord Jesus, please come into my life and affairs.
2. Lord Jesus, please overcome for me whatever hinders you from coming into my
life and affairs.
3. Lord Jesus, please meet my needs.