God is the real owner of our offerings
When Moses told the Israelites to offer for the work of the Tabernacle,
he made it clear to them that their offering was for the Lord, and that
they were bringing it to Him (Exod. 35:5-9). Whatever they offered, it
was for the Lord (Exod. 35:5-9). And when the people responded they made
their offerings to the Lord (Exod. 35: 21, 22, 24, 29). This principle
is applicable today. When we offer to God’s cause, whether it is
during a worship service or elsewhere, our offering is to God Himself.
Our offerings do not belong to the human beings who receive or administer
them but to the Lord. When we have occasion to make an offering for any
aspect of Church work, we must bear in mind we are doing it for the Lord,
not for men (Col. 3:17, 23-24). Believers must take no other view of
the offerings they make for God’s work. The offerings belong to
God and are made unto Him. He is the primary recipient and beneficiary.
The human agents only receive the offerings on His behalf, not on behalf
PRAYER: 1. Father, please enable me to offer as unto you.
2. Father, please bless me so that I can offer as unto you.
The danger of disobedience
God had commanded the Israelites to keep away from devoted things when they took
the city of Jericho (Jos. 6: 18-19). Someone by the name Achan disobeyed the
command and took some of the devoted things (Jos. 7:11). As a result of his action,
the Israelites were routed by a tiny country of only a few people (Jos. 7: 3-5).
God Himself said they were defeated because of Achan’s act of disobedience
(Jos. 7: 10-13). Both Achan and the entire country were punished for his own
sin. One man’s act of disobedience can have consequences for beyond himself.
Our acts of disobedience deprive us of God’s favour (see Deut. 28: 15-68).
And as God told the Israelites of those days, His favour will not be our portion
until we do away with the disobedient act (Jos. 7: 12-13). Our persistent disobedience
can only bring us God’s disfavour and displeasure, not His favour and pleasure
(see Deut. 28: 15-68).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please make me completely obedient to you.
2. Father, please take the spirit of disobedience compeltely away from me.
3. Father, please destroy for me whatever hinders me from obeying you completely.
Our only means of victory
How does the believer attain victory over the forces of evil in the world? Paul
answers that it is through Him who loved is, Jesus Christ (Rom. 8: 37). Believers
have always over come through Him (Rev. 12: 11). Jesus Himself over came all
the powers and authorities by the cross (Col. 2:15). His followers share in His
victory. No one can overcome the devil by the devil or the world by the world
or the flesh by the flesh. It is only through Jesus that one can over come them
all (Rom. 8:37; cf. Ps. 44:4-8). Therefore, we must take Jesus as our Saviour
in order to enjoy His victory (Jn. 1:12-13). Anyone of whom Jesus is not the
Saviour cannot have victory over the agents of darkness and evil (cf. Jn. 3:36).
God accredited Him alone for our victory (cf. Acts 2:22).
PRAYER: 1. Father, I take Jesus as my Saviour.
2. Father, please let the victory of Jesus be my portion over all the forces
of darkness that rise up against me.
Enter through the narrow gate
Matt. 7: 13-14
Out of the two gates of life, Jesus recommended only one of them, the narrow
gate (Matt. 7:13). According to Him, this gate alone leads to life. The word
gate is used here figuratively. It does not refer to a literal, physical gate.
The gate here refers to Jesus Himself (Jn. 10:7, 9; 14:6). Jesus is therefore
urging all to enter life through Him. He is indeed that gate of life (Jn. 14:6).
There is no other gate to life than Him (Acts 4:12; Jn. 1:29). To many this gate
is not attractive (Is. 53:2-3). To those who claim to be wise and learned it
is plain foolishness (1 Cor. 1:22-24). Neither the main religions nor the world
governments acknowledge this gate. But as many as enter through it find life,
just as Jesus said (Jn. 5: 21, 24; 6: 47).
PRAYER: 1 Father, I accept to enter through this narrow gate.
2. Father, please keep me firmly in this narrow gate.
3. Father, please over come for me whatever attempts to take me out of this narrow
4. Father, I hereby reject and renounce every other gate than this one.
Some benefits of Jesus’ abiding presence
Jesus promised His followers His ever-abiding, permanent presence (Mat. 28:20).
The promise is unfailing and most certain (Matt. 28:20). But what are the benefits
of His presence with His followers? The benefits are numerous, but this lesson
will draw attention to seven only. First, Jesus’ presence means eternal
life (Jn. 3: 16; 6: 47; Acts 10:34-48). Second, His presence means peace and
tranquility (Rom. 5: 1-2). Third, there is healing when He is present (Lk. 7:10;
Matt. 14:14; Matt. 20: 34). Fourth, His presence means fullness of the Holy Spirit
(Acts 10: 44-46). Fifth, His presence means care and provision (Matt. 15:32).
All our needs are met in His presence (Phil. 4:19). Sixth, the presence of Jesus
provides protection. No one can snatch away any of His followers in His watchful
presence (Jn. 10:28-29). Lastly, Jesus’ presence means victory (Ps. 44:4-8;
91:9-13). What is needed is not only to seek His presence but to abide in it
(see Jn. 15:4-7). This will entitle us to the benefits of His ever-abiding presence.
PRAYER: 1. Father, please enable me to remain in Jesus.
2. Father, please let Jesus’ ever-abiding presence be my portion.
How to appropriate God’s victory
Ps. 44: 4-8
According to this passage, victory over our enemies comes from God (Ps. 44:7).
It does not come from our literal, physical weapons (Ps. 44:6; 33:16-17). But
how can we appropriate this victory? First, by making Him our own God (cf. Dan.
6:22-23; Acts 27: 23-24). This obliges Him to rise up in our own defense as He
did for the three Hebrews (Dan. 3:1-30), for Daniel (Dan. 6: 22-23), and for
Paul (Acts 27: 23-24). Second, by becoming His children through Christ (Jn. 1:12-13).
Those who are not His children in Christ remain in enmity with God (Rom. 8:6-8).
His victory is not theirs (Jn. 3:18, 36). One who accepts Jesus as his Saviour
becomes a true child of God and is entitled to God’s victory. He is no
more an object of His displeasure but of His victory. All the promises of God
become yes for him (2 Cor. 1:20; cf. Jn. 15:5). Therefore, victory is God’s
privilege to His beloved children in Christ (Jn. 1:12-13). To enjoy it we must
make this God our own God and become His true children through Christ. Without
this God’s victory is unavailable. What is available instead is His displeasure
PRAYER: 1. Father, I take you as my God.
2. Father, I receive Jesus as my Saviour.
3. Father, please give me victory over my enemies and all forces of darkness
How to keep God’s commands
God does not only require us to keep His commands, He specifies how He intends
us to keep them (Deut. 5: 29; 28:1). He expects us to keep all His commands always
(Deut. 5:29; 28:1). It is not acceptable to Him to keep some of His commands,
some of the time. This is quite common all over the Christian world today. To
God, whoever keeps His commands and yet stumbles in one is as guilty as breaking
all of them (see Jam. 2:10-11). To Him, it is not enough to keep some of His
commands, some of the time. All His commands must be kept, all the time, whether
we are at home, in the Church, in our place of work, or wherever we find ourselves.
There is no time, place, or thing in which His command is not necessary. Anyone
who claims to keep God’s commands must do so fully, always (Deut. 5:29;
28:1). To do otherwise is like not keeping them at all (Jam. 2:10-11).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please enable me to keep all your commands always.
2. Father, please take away whatever stops me from keeping all your commands
all the time.
3. Father, please give me the spirit of total obedience to all your commands,
all the time.
The amount to give to God
1 Cor. 16:1-4
Many believers have mocked and despised God with the amount of money they give
to Him or His cause. Although the Scripture does not specify the exact amount
believers ought to give to God (1 Cor. 16:2), it has provided some general guidelines
to assist. First, the amount must be in keeping with one’s income or means
or ability (1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 8:11; Ezra 2:69). Second, it must be something
that the believer had already decided in his heart to give (2 Cor. 9:7). Third,
it must be generous (2 Cor. 9:6). Fourth, it must not amount to giving nothing,
that is, coming before God empty-handed (Exod. 23:15; 22:29-30). Fifth, it must
be deserving of God (cf. Lev. 22:17-22). When we take account of all these guidelines,
we find that there is no place or justification for some of the amount we give
to God or His cause today, with one excuse or the other. God knows our income,
our means, our ability and even our reasoning when we are giving to Him or His
cause. He knows when we give truly and when we pretend to do so. His true children
must learn to give Him what is deserving of Him. This is the giving that delights
and is acceptable to Him.
PRAYER: 1. Father, please enable me to give to you what you deserve.
2. Father, please take away whatever presents me from giving you what you deserve.
3. Father, please give me the spirit of cheerful, generous giving.
What to do with our battles
2 Chron. 20:15-17
The Scripture states that the battles of God’s children are God’s
battles (2 Chron. 20:15; cf. Exod. 14:14). What then do we do with our battles,
in view of the fact that they are God’s batles? First, we must not fight
our own battles. We cannot win our battles because we fight them ourselves. Second,
we must allow God to fight for us. It is His work to fight for His beloved children
(Exod. 14:14). Victory belongs to Him exclusively (Ps. 44:4-8; 108:13). He does
not need our own weapons to save us (Hos. 1:7). His own victory does not depend
on the size of the army ( 1Sam. 14:6; cf. 2Chron. 14:11-15). Our responsibility
is to stop fighting our battles and allow God to fight for us. And He will most
certainly fight for us if we truly belong to Him in Christ (Jn. 1:12-13). He
will not fight for those who are not His own in Christ.
PRAYER: 1. Father, please enable me to hand over all my battles to you.
2. Father, please fight all my battles for me.