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DAILY RENEWAL – REMEMBER THE LORD YOUR GOD

DAILY RENEWAL – REMEMBER THE LORD YOUR GOD

Scripture of the Day || October 17th, 2017

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land He has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe His commands…otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down…then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery…

You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have obtained this wealth for me.”

But remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your ancestors as it is today.

Deut. 8:10-18.

But remember the LORD your God…But remember the LORD your God…

God wanted the very best for His children. He would spare no blessing from their lives as long as they put Him first and remained loyal to Him. He cautioned them not to forget Him when they were enjoying the good life in the Promised Land. God was concerned that after settling in fine houses, eating good food and enjoying increased possessions, the Israelites would become proud. They would attribute their accomplishments to their own hard work and forget that God was the one who gave them the ability to acquire all they had.

Prosperity has a way of creating amnesia about where we came from and those who were instrumental in getting us where we are. There is something about the human soul that makes us want to see ourselves as “self-made” individuals. At the height of success, it is easy to become arrogant and dismissive of those who helped us along the way. Perhaps, no one gets the boot out of our schedule quicker than God! Moses nailed it right on the head, “your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God…” God is quickly forgotten!

Those words were inspired by the Holy Spirit thousands of years ago but they as relevant today as they were then. It is amazing how we quickly relegate God to the corner after He has helped us to stand on our feet and taste prosperity. We no longer have time for Him and His Kingdom agenda is no longer a priority to us. The Blessings replace the Blessor! We forget God!

Please let’s remember that the God we so quickly forget is the source of all our abilities. He is the source of our very breadth! Don’t wait until it is too late. Repent and remember God now!

Prayer: Father, I repent of the many ways in which I have failed to put you first in my life. Please forgive me and help to remember you by giving first place in the use of my Time, Talents and Treasures.  Help me to worship in absolute integrity. Amen.

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DAILY RENEWAL – SOMETIMES, THE BLESSINGS COME LITTLE BY LITTLE

DAILY RENEWAL – SOMETIMES, THE BLESSINGS COME LITTLE BY LITTLE

Scripture of the Day || October 16th, 2017

The LORD your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you. But the LORD your God will deliver them over to you, until they are destroyed.

Deut. 7:22-23.

I can imagine the excitement of the Israelites as they waited expectantly to take possession of the Promised Land. Moses was addressing them for the last time since the reigns of leadership were being handed over to Joshua. He apprised them of the divine plan.

He assured them that God would definitely deliver on His covenant promise: His children would inherit the land flowing with milk and honey. But almost to bring them into reality, Moses added, “The LORD will drive out those nations before you, little by little.”

Frankly, after waiting for forty years to possess the promise, “little by little” doesn’t exactly sound like music to the ears! I am sure, the Israelites would probably have preferred a mass outright possession of the land. They were probably expecting an immediate overwhelming defeat of their enemies so they could occupy the land. But God had a reason for releasing the blessings “little by little.” God knew that the Israelites were not numerous enough to occupy and cultivate the entire Promised Land.

God knew that there were wild animals that the Israelites needed to contend with, not just the human occupants of the land. If all their enemies were immediately killed off, there would not be enough humans to fight off the wild animals and the Israelites would be overwhelmed by the multiplication of those wild animals. That would have been disastrous. So, in His omniscience and manifold wisdom, God purposed to release the blessings, “little by little” for their own wellbeing.

Question: Are you frustrated because God seems to be releasing His blessings on you little by little? Could it be because God wants to ensure that you are actually ready to handle those blessings with strength and maturity? Do you realize that in all things God is working together for your good? Sometimes, God releases His blessings on us little by little because He is our Creator and He knows how much we can handle at any point in time.

If God chooses to bless you little by little, thank Him because He means it for good and never for evil.

Prayer: Lord, I know that your plans for me are for my good and not for my evil. Please help me to wait patiently as you orchestrate all things for my good. Amen.

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DAILY RENEWAL – BLESSINGS ARE CONTINGENT UPON OBEDIENCE

DAILY RENEWAL – BLESSINGS ARE CONTINGENT UPON OBEDIENCE

Scripture of the Day || October 15th, 2017

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.

But those who hate Him He will repay to their face by destruction…

If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the LORD your God will keep His covenant of love with you…He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers…you will be blessed more than any other people…  

Deut. 7:9-15

These are days when the truth of God’s word is being twisted by many preachers. Many pastors are circumventing the truth of God’s word and telling folks that God will bless them regardless of how they live their lives. Godliness and character do not matter! Righteousness, integrity, holiness and obedience are not really that big a deal. God’s grace covers it all so there is really no need to worry. All one has to do is to claim and stand on the promises of God and the blessings of God will come pouring out! This is a lie straight from the pit of hell!

I had a situation recently where someone called me from out of the State I live in. She had been given my number by another person who also lived out of State. She mentioned that this person assured her that I was a genuine man of God who would be able to help her with her situation. Her first statement to me was, “Pastor, I have been hesitant to call because there are too many untrustworthy pastors and too much falsity in the church. But somehow, after my long hesitation, I decided to call you because I know the Holy Spirit will help me to discern whether you are a true man of God or not. I want to come and see you tomorrow.” She drove two hours to come and attend our service. She encountered Jesus, not me!

The person’s concern was a breath of fresh air to me! I was very grateful that she was searching for the truth. God was very gracious and we had a wonderful service filled with the refreshing presence of God! I believe she is already on the path to victory.

God is absolutely gracious and merciful. But He is also holy and righteous. He forgives and restores but He does not bless filth and untruth! Listen to the words of Moses again: “If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to obey them, then the LORD your God…will love you and bless you…”

The Blessings of God are contingent upon obedience. It is because of His mercies that we are not consumed and His compassions never fail. But what we have and are because of His mercies, cannot necessarily be counted as “blessings” when we are living in willful disobedience! True blessings are contingent upon obedience and they are without sorrow. Don’t be deceived! Every true blessing of God is contingent upon obedience.

Prayer: Father, your word is clear that to obey is better than sacrifice. Please help me to live in obedience not just to be blessed; but simply because I love you. Amen.

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DAILY RENEWAL – DO NOT COMPROMISE

DAILY RENEWAL – DO NOT COMPROMISE

Scripture of the Day || October 14th, 2017

When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations…nations larger and stronger than you – and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.

Do not intermarry with them.  Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you…

Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones…

For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be His treasured possession.”

Deut. 7:1-6

Destroy them totally!

Make no treaty with them!

Show them no mercy!

Do not intermarry with them!

Smash their sacred altars!

The Israelites were God’s treasured possession. Out of them were to come a new standard of righteousness and morality. The new righteous ways of God could never be attained if the Israelites compromised and assumed the sinful ways of the Canaanites. So God gave them specific instructions about how to treat the occupants of the land they were about to inherit: completely destroy them.

This might seem harsh to us in retrospect. But the truth is: a little compromise can prove to be rather deadly. A former alcoholic can have a relapse and go down a path of destruction by compromising and sipping one little bit of alcohol. A former drug addict can quickly slide back into addiction with a little compromise. Our walk with God is no different. We have a real adversary, called Satan, whose sole aim is to steal, kill and destroy. A little compromise can give him much room for havoc.

Scripture tell us not to give the Devil a foothold in our lives. In our spiritual journey, we must understand there are treaties we cannot not make, relationships we cannot have, altars we must smash and things we must totally destroy for the sake of our relationship with God. Compromising with those things can have dire consequences for us.

May the Lord help us to be steadfast in His righteousness and uncompromising in our relationship with the world. Sure, we are in the world but we are not of the world. We are God’s holy people. We cannot afford to compromise.

Prayer: Lord, please help me to stay the straight and narrow way. Amen.

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DAILY RENEWAL – OBEY AND WATCH GOD BLESS YOU

DAILY RENEWAL – OBEY AND WATCH GOD BLESS YOU

Scripture of the Day || October 13th, 2017

These are the commands, decrees and laws the  LORD your God directed me to teach you in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess…Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey…

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

These commands I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up…Tie them as symbols on your hands and write them on your foreheads…

Deuteronomy 6:1-8

There is only one path to the blessings of God – obedience to God’s Word. There is only one path to peace and prosperity – obedience to God’s Word. There is only one way to ensure that life will go well for you – obedience to God’s Word. It sounds simple but it is the simple truth! Obedience to God’s word sets us on the path to divine blessings and favor!

And that is why Satan fights tooth and nail to cause us to doubt the reliability of God’s word and even pushes us to disobey it!

God promised to bless and prosper Israel but this was contingent upon obedience to the commands He had given them. God knew that by keeping His commands, Israel would prosper and increase greatly hence the strong admonition to walk in obedience.

Obedience is the key to your blessings! Obedience will cause the windows of Heaven to openly rain down favor on your life. Obedience will cause your prayers to be answered by Heaven. Obedience will cause God to shine His face upon you.

There is no substitute for obedience. Put the word of God securely in your heart. Impress God’s word on your children. Make God’s word a vital part of your family discussions. Let God’s word be a visible part of you and watch God pour His favor on you. Obey and watch God bless you!

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the favor that comes from obeying your word. Please help me to walk in total obedience so that it may go well with me for your glory. Amen.

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DAILY RENEWAL – ARE YOU A PROMISE KEEPER?

DAILY RENEWAL – ARE YOU A PROMISE KEEPER?

Scripture of the Day || October 12th, 2017

Moses said to the heads of the tribes of Israel: “This is what the LORD commands: When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.

Numbers 30:1-2.

God is a Promise Keeper. He never breaks His word!

In fact, the Bible states: “God is not human that He should lie, not a human being that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill? (Num. 23:19).  Our God is a God of absolute integrity. There is no shadiness in Him at all! The reason why we can count on the promises of God is because God always fulfills His word!

Scripture tells us that, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are”Yes” in Christ. And so through Him, the Amen is spoken by us to the glory of God”

Because God is absolutely trustworthy, we can always count on His word with an “Amen.”

But how about you and I? Can God count on us to fulfill the promises we make to Him?

Can God count on us to fulfill our promise of witnessing to others about Jesus and winning souls into His Kingdom? Can God count on us to fulfill our promise to live holy and righteous lives for His glory? Can God count on us to fulfill our marital vows and walk in faithfulness and purity? Can God count on us to raise our children in godliness? Can God count on us to be financially faithful to Him so His work can be done?

Keeping the promises we make to God is a vital spiritual necessity because we enter into a pact with divinity which should never be taken lightly. God counts on our partnership to carry out His agenda on earth.  If God places a vow, obligation or desire on your heart, He will always give you the grace to fulfill it. Never renege on your promises to God. Step out and fulfill it and watch God surprise you beyond your imagination.

God is a Promise Keeper. How about you and I? Are you a promise keeper?

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for being a Promise Keeper. I confess that I have not always faithfully kept my promises to you. Please give me the grace to keep my word to you. Amen.

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DAILY RENEWAL – DO YOU REALLY HONOR AND RESPECT GOD?

DAILY RENEWAL – DO YOU REALLY HONOR AND RESPECT GOD?

Scripture of the Day || October 11th, 2017

The LORD of Heaven’s Armies says to the priests: “A son honors his father, a servant respects his master. If I am your father and master, where are the honor and respect I deserve? You have shown contempt for my Name….You have shown contempt by offering defiled sacrifices on my altar…You defile them by saying the altar of the LORD deserves no respect. “

“When you give blind animals as sacrifices, isn’t that wrong? Try giving gifts like that to your governor, and see how pleased he is!” Go ahead, beg God to be merciful to you! But when you bring that kind of offering , why should He show you any favor at all?” asks the LORD of Heaven’s armies…

Cursed is the cheat who promises to give a fine ram from his flock but then sacrifices a defective one to the LORD. For I am a great King,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies and my Name is to be feared among the nations!”

Malachi 1:6-14.

It is very easy to talk religion and not back it up with action. It is easy to claim that we love God and do nothing to underscore that love. It is easy to say we love, respect and honor God without doing anything concrete to back it up!

Love, respect and honor are all action words. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…”

The Israelites made promises to give their best offerings to God but when the time came, they selected the worst among the flock – the blind, lame and weak animals. God was saddened. The Great King was angry! He challenged them to offer the same gifts to their governor and see if he would accept it! But alas it was just God! They could afford to disrespect him by giving them their rejects! But there was an attendant curse with that kind of behavior! Treating God with contempt has consequences; but our callous human hearts lead us to do that all the time!

We should give our very best to God because He not only gave us His best in the form of Jesus, but He continues to give us His best by way of His Spirit and His word! It is important that we keep the promises we make to God! When you promise to give God a portion of your Time, Talent or Treasure; don’t play games with it. Honor your promise to God and you will be blessed.

Do you really love, honor and respect God? Then let it show in the practical ways in which you serve the LORD with your Time, Talents and Treasures! Give God your best; not your worst!

Prayer:  Lord, my desire is to honor you with the best of my substance. Please help me never to consume on myself what I should give to you by way of Time, Talents and Treasures. Amen.

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DAILY RENEWAL – MOVE FORWARD NOT BACKWARDS

DAILY RENEWAL – MOVE FORWARD NOT BACKWARDS

Scripture of the Day || October 10th, 2017

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: “Stand at the gate of the LORD’s house and there proclaim this message: “Hear the word of the LORD. This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel says: “Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place. Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD!”…

“Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my name, and say, “We are safe” – safe to do all these detestable things?

Has my House, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you?”…

“Walk in obedience to all I command you. But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their sinful hearts. They went backward and not forward.”

Jeremiah 7:1-24

Authenticity is very important to God. God looks at the heart and not the outward shows we put up in church for others to see.

All through Scripture, we see the struggle God had with His children as He continually tried to plead with them to repent from their sins and turn back to Him. Constantly, God would painfully plead with them. But His children were always recalcitrant and remained entrenched in sin and idolatry. To the Israelites, going to the temple to offer sacrifices kept them safe from divine wrath. They could steal, murder, commit adultery, mistreat foreigners, and commit whatever wickedness their heart desired and still feel comfortable in the temple!

But God was saying: “Not So!”. “You cannot disrespect my House that bears my Name. You cannot turn my House into a den of robbers. You cannot do all these detestable things and still feel safe! I am watching!”

Frankly, the behavior of the Israelites is no different from what we see today. God’s church has so much deception and sin that I believe God is nauseated by the hypocrisy and lack of repentance.

But what strikes me the most are the concluding words of God, “”Walk in obedience to all I command you. But they did not listen or pay attention. Instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward.”

What a sobering assertion of the consequences of sin!. Sin sets you backwards and never forward no matter how much temporary pleasure it brings!

Avoid sin and you will move forward in blessings. Dabble in sin and you will move backwards with pain and regret. Move forward; Not backwards.

Prayer: Lord please help me to move forward in obedience and not backwards in sin. Amen.

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DAILY RENEWAL – GOD HAS IT ALREADY FIGURED OUT

DAILY RENEWAL – GOD HAS IT ALREADY FIGURED OUT

Scripture of the Day || October 9th, 2017

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go up this mountain in the Abarim Range and see the land I have given the Israelites. After you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people…for when the community rebelled at the waters in the desert of Zin…you disobeyed my command to honor me as holy before their eyes…

Moses said to the LORD, “May the LORD…appoint someone before this community to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so that the LORD’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”

So, the LORD said to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit of leadership, and lay your hand on him.”  

Numbers 27:12-18.

Moses had a heart of gold. He was a true servant of God who selflessly cared for the wellbeing of those he served. He was about to pay dearly for his personal sin. He would not see the land for which he had labored for forty years. But Moses did not bemoan his situation. He was more concerned about the future of God’s children. He wanted to ensure that they had a genuine person to succeed him as their shepherd!

The good news is that his request was no surprise to God. God already had a solution in place in the person of Joshua, Moses’ faithful aide and warrior par excellence!

Scripture tell us that we should not be anxious about anything but in all things by prayer and supplication, we should boldly make our case before the Lord and the peace of God which passes all understanding will keep our hearts and mind in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:6-7).

Why? Because God has it already figured out!

Everyday of your life has been written in God’s book before it unfolds in the annals of history and time. God has your situation already figured out. Don’t live in anxiety. Don’t sweat the details of life. Have a genuine spirit like that of Moses for the fulfillment of God’s kingdom agenda. Put God’s kingdom first in your thinking and actions and God will bless you with solutions you can never dream of.

God has it already figured out. Don’t be afraid, God will help you.

Prayer: Father, I thank you that everyday of my life is known by you. You have it all figured out. Please help me to simply trust in you, knowing that the answers are already in place. Amen.

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DAILY RENEWAL – GOD WILL FAVOR YOUR CASE

DAILY RENEWAL – GOD WILL FAVOR YOUR CASE

Scripture of the Day || October 8th, 2017

The daughters of Zelophehad…came forward and stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the leaders and the whole assembly at the entrance to the tent of meeting and said, “Our father died in the wilderness. He was not among Korah’s followers who banded against the LORD., but he died for his own sin and had no sons. Why should our father’s name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father’s relatives.”

Moses brought their case before the LORD and the LORD said to him, “What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right.  You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father’s relatives and give their father’s inheritance to them.

Say to the Israelites, “If a man dies and leaves no son, give his inheritance to his daughter. If he has no daughter, give his inheritance to his brothers…This is to have the force of law for the Israelites as the LORD commanded Moses.”  

Numbers 27:1-11.

The daughters of Zelophehad were brave, determined and wise.

According to the then existing law of Israel, a man’s inheritance could only be passed unto his surviving son. If he had no son, the property was lost to the family forever. But Zelophehad only had only daughters and no son. The family was in danger of having no landed property which was rather crucial in their farming economy. The daughters approached Moses before the entire community and made their case for their father’s inheritance. God made an exception and  changed the law in their favor.

Increasingly, I ponder over whether we really know, understand and trust the heart of our God.

Do we really believe that God will work everything out for our good? Do we really believe that God has our best interest at heart? Do we really believe that God hears and answers our cry?

The answer is yes! God will do anything to ensure our wellbeing.

There are several things to ponder over. Let me highlight four of them:

First: Our silence in the face of injustice and unfairness can have a detrimental effect on generations to come. Scripture makes it clear that when we petition God about unrighteousness and injustice, heaven will answer. Can you imagine what unborn generations would have lost if the daughters had not sought justice? We must approach both God and earthly powers when we see injustice.

Second: God does not discriminate. Scripture tells us that God does not distinguish between Jew or Gentile, (different races) male or female. God is prepared to use anyone.

Third: We must approach God boldly and present our case clearly. God is prepared to listen.

Finally: God will favor your case. Don’t write your situation off as hopeless! Open your mouth wide and God will fill it (Psalm 81:10). God is prepared to make an exception for you.

God will give you  special consideration.

Prayer: Lord I thank you for encouraging my heart today and favoring my case. Amen.

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