And what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places – Ephesians 1:19-20
It is one thing to have power, and entirely another to put it to work. Every work God does is according to His mighty power. As Believers, every work we will ever do in advancing the Kingdom of God among men will also be according to His mighty power at work in us. The working of this power, we are told, was responsible for the resurrection of Christ from death, and the same power is at work in a Believer (Romans 8:11).
If we must experience the working of His mighty power both in our lives and times, then we must be given to much praying. Of the Apostles it was said, after they had prayed, “And with great power gave the Apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all” – Acts 4:33. In order to become effective witnesses of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, we must become practical demonstrators of the mighty power of God. Every great Kingdom exploit that men have experienced has been orchestrated by the working of God’s mighty power.
When we avail ourselves to God in total submission, the extent to which this power can work in and through us is unimaginable! As the Apostles availed themselves to God, the Bible says, “And they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” – Mark 16:20.
PRAYER: Father, thank You for the working of Your mighty power in my life, I ask for the grace to be totally yielded to You so that I can be a Channel of Your mighty power in Jesus’ Name!
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might – Ephesians 6:10
Paul’s final charge to the Ephesian Church was a call to battle readiness. In preparing their minds to face this ongoing battle between the Kingdom of God and the forces of darkness, he charged them to ‘be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might’. This same charge was given by God to Joshua at the verge of crossing the Jordan River to possess Canaan: ‘Be strong…’ This charge was repeated to him thrice (Joshua 1:6, 7, 9) because of its crucial nature.
We also find the same charge repeated thrice during the building of the temple in Jerusalem to the leaders and people of Israel, “Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel, says the LORD; and be strong, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land, says the LORD, and work; for I am with you, says the LORD of hosts” – Haggai 2:4.
We need to be strong because we are in a war, and our foe is working round the clock to vanquish us. We must understand that the world is a battleground and not a playground. We also need to be strong because God is on our side. This strength can only be drawn when we stay continually in God’s presence through prayer and fellowship with Him. Are you being troubled on every side? God adjures you to be strong. If we must cross the finish line in the race of life, the need to be strong in the Lord is inevitable. May the Lord grant you strength to finish strong in Jesus’ Name.
PRAYER: O FATHER, thank You for Your provision for my finishing strong. Give me grace to harness the strength required to stand and complete this race in Jesus’ Name.
In whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he honours those who fear the LORD; he who swears to his own hurt and does not change – Psalm 15:4[NKJV]
As the Psalmist continues to spell out the conditions for ascending the Holy Hill of God, he draws our attention to the need to honour those who fear the Lord. If truly we are fellows of like-minds, we would have great regard for one another. Christ, during His teaching on the mount exhorts us that, “And as you would like and desire that men would do to you, do exactly so to them” – Luke 6:31 [AMPC]. It is normal for men to want honour, and if we must receive it, then we have to give it. The Apostle Paul also drew our attention to the need to “Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honour to one another” – Romans 12:10 [AMPC].
Honoring the brethren is part of our primary obligation as believers, and a key to accessing God’s divine Presence. When we honour them that fear the Lord, we are indirectly honoring the Lord. The Bible in 1 Peter 2:17 [MSG] further encourages us to “Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government”. As believers, we are meant to be humble, treating others better than ourselves, and giving double honour to the elders who labour in the faith among us (1Timothy 5:17). In so doing, we show that we honour the Lord, and then we can be sure of abiding in His Presence without guilt.
PRAYER: Father, thank You for the privilege of being a member of Your family. I ask for the grace to live a humble life, and honour the brethren in Jesus’ Name… Amen!
Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts – Psalm 15:2 [NLT]
In a world where truth is an uncommon virtue, the Word of God enjoins us to speak the truth from the heart if we are to gain access into His Presence. The wisest king of Israel warned, “Buy the truth, and do not sell it,…” – Proverbs 23:23. In order to maintain a truthful tongue, we must be sure to have a pure heart before God and men, because the heart is the root of the tongue. Jesus said in Matthew 12:35 [NLT], “A good person produces good words from a good heart, and an evil person produces evil words from an evil heart”. When the heart is healthy, the tongue will also be healthy. Little wonder, these two play integral roles in our worship of God.
The Apostle James chides the double-tongued Christian, “And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!” – James 3:10. In order for our prayer to gain ascendency, we must trust the Lord to do to us what He did to the prophet Isaiah; “Then one of the Seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he has taken with the tong from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.”” – Isaiah 6:6-7.
When our hearts are totally yielded to God, every other part of our being becomes subject to Him in worship, then can we come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
PRAYER: Father, thank You for Your Word of Truth. Help me Lord to live a life of truth in Jesus Name!
Lord, who shall dwell [temporarily] in Your tabernacle? Who shall dwell [permanently] on Your holy hill? – Psalm 15:1 [AMP]
The above Psalm contains two standard questions which require sincere responses from every genuine follower of Christ. Setting out to provide conditions that qualify a man for an unwavering life of prayer and fellowship with God, the Psalmist began with these all important questions. Dwelling in His tabernacle connotes fellowship with other Believers in God’s Presence which is actually temporary (from time to time). But for the latter question, the Holy Hill of God which signifies His divine Presence requires that we dwell there permanently.
Paul, understanding the indispensability of this truth states that, “We live and move in him, can’t get away from him!…” – Acts 17:28 (MSG). Our true existence is only guaranteed by living in Him. We are not to be visitors to His Presence, but perpetual dwellers in His Presence. This is possible when we maintain a steady life of fellowship with Him in prayer, worship and meditation upon His Word as we live life on a daily basis.
It is very possible to dwell in the tabernacle (fellowship with other Believers) and yet live outside His Holy Hill (God’s Presence) which is putting the cart before the horse. The consequence of such a decision is grave. Dwelling in His Holy Hill also means that we must be holy to be able to stay in fellowship with Him. Both the tabernacle and the Hill are very important in maintaining a balanced Christian life. May the Lord grant us the grace to prioritize our fellowship with Him above everything else in Jesus Name!
PRAYER: Father, I thank You for the gift of Your divine Presence and other Believers to me. Help me Lord, to dwell daily in your Presence and maximize fellowship with other Believers in Jesus Christ’s Name. Amen!
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust – Psalm 91:2
The Psalmist in our scripture for today identifies God as his refuge and his fortress and goes ahead to affirm that it is in this God that he would put his trust.
There is a personal revelation of God as our refuge and fortress that each of us must possess to thrive in our Christian walk, other people’s revelation of God will not do us much good no matter how close we are to them, we all must come to a point in our Journey with God when we can confidently say that this God is MY REFUGE and MY FORTRESS.
God being our Refuge means that in Him we are safe and sheltered from pursuit, danger, evil or difficulty while as our Fortress He guarantees our defense and protection. When you ponder on the fact that God is your fortress, what image comes to your mind? Just imagine a military stronghold, a strongly fortified town whose defenses cannot be breached. A fortified place guarded by the armies of heaven and where God is the commander in Chief.
So, we have no reason to fear, if only like the Psalmist we can put our TRUST in God. Unfortunately, this is where the issue lies most times, we seem to find it difficult to fully put our trust in God, we so easily get distracted by the issues of life and the challenges that confront us.
As you meditate on today’s Psalm, I pray that God grants you the grace to fully put your trust in Him.
O Lord, I ask for the grace to see you as my refuge and my fortress at all times, and Father, help me to fully put my trust in you, in Jesus’ Name.
To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified – Isaiah 61:2-3
Heaviness which can also be termed gloominess, depression, sadness or moodiness is a spirit. This spirit takes advantage of sudden unpleasant events which may leave one stigmatized or traumatized for a time. God’s answer to the spirit of heaviness is the garment of praise! Praise is an expression of our gratitude to God for who He is; where He took us from; and where He has brought us in our life’s journey. Ingratitude itself can be a breeding ground for the spirit of depression.
When we praise God even for expectations yet unmet, there will be no room for the spirit of heaviness because God inhabits our praises (Psalm 22:3). When we praise God, the spirit of depression is defeated because praise is a spiritual weapon of war (Psalm 149:6-9). Praise is also a source of joy; we can’t be praising God and mourning at the same time – the two cannot coexist! And praise is not about your voice but it is about your heart of gratitude to God. There are various ways of expressing our praises to God – singing, clapping, dancing, instrumentation, exalting with words of affirmation, extolling His greatness, and so forth. Make up your heart to live a lifestyle of praise today, and see the spirit of heaviness perpetually defeated. Shalom!
Prayer: Thank You for the privilege to praise You, Lord. I receive grace for a lifestyle of praise in Jesus’ Name!
Yet now He has brought you back as His friends. He has done this through His death on the cross in His own human body. As a result, He has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault – Colossians 1:22
The final outcome of the sacrificial death and resurrection of Christ is to make us holy and blameless before the presence of God. Holiness is only possible by grace, and because holiness is God’s nature, we are commanded to be holy just as He is – “But be holy now in everything you do, just as the Lord is holy, who invited you to be his child. He himself has said, “You must be holy, for I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:15-16. From the preceding Scripture, holiness is not an option for the child of God, but a ‘must’, without which no eyes shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
If the sacrifice of Christ has not achieved for us a life patterned after Christ, then Christ died in vain. If the men of old walked blamelessly before God such that their contemporaries found no fault in them, then God requires more from us under His grace. Concerning Daniel it was written, “The vice-regents and governors got together to find some old scandal or skeleton in Daniel’s life that they could use against him, but they couldn’t dig up anything. He was totally exemplary and trustworthy. They could find no evidence of negligence or misconduct” – Daniel 6:4. Also, of Apostle Paul it was written, “…Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day” – Acts 23:1.
It is a lie of the devil that you cannot live a holy and blameless life; but know assuredly that holiness is made possible by the grace of God. It is for this purpose that Paul charged the Philippian believers thus: “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as light in the world” – Philippians 2:14-15. Even though we live in a crooked and perverse generation, we are commanded to shine as light as we live holy and blameless lives.
Prayer: Father thank you for your word. I receive the grace to live holy and blameless before God always.
That is, the mystery which was hidden [from angels and mankind] for ages and generations, but has now been revealed to His saints (God’s people). God [in His eternal plan] chose to make known to them how great for the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in and among you, the hope and guarantee of [realizing the] glory – Colossians 1:26-27
What a great privilege to live in a generation where the hidden mystery for ages was revealed. Even angels, the Bible says, couldn’t comprehend this mystery. It is part of God’s eternal plan to make this mystery known to us who were once strangers and aliens to the covenant of grace, but are brought nigh by His blood.
In order to partake of this revealed mystery, an individual must indeed become a member of God’s family as revealed in Colossians 1:26. This mystery we are told is Christ living in us which is the hope of glory. It is practically impossible to fathom with the human mind how God could have ‘compressed’ Himself to live in man. It is in Christ living in us that we have the guarantee of His glory. It was more a mystery because He indwells anyone who opens up his or her heart to Him, including the Gentiles as shown by Paul.
God wants you to understand that you’re an embodiment of a mystery as you are His dwelling place. And this is the surety of your hope of glory. The world may not understand this mystery, but He has made known this mystery to you by His Spirit. Therefore, do not allow the devil take you for granted any longer because you are God’s dwelling place. Are you going through a season of trial? Rejoice, because you are not alone in the fight, God is with and in you working to deliver your victory to you. May you be a full partaker of the riches of this mystery, in Jesus’ Name!
PRAYER: Father, thank You for the revelation of this mystery to me. I receive the grace to walk in the reality of this mystery and enjoy its full riches, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
He also is the Head of [His] body, the church; seeing He is the Beginning, the Firstborn from among the dead, so that He alone in everything and in every respect might occupy the chief place [stand first and be preeminent] – Colossians 1:18
Christ being the Head of the Church signifies Him taking the lead in the exercise of the Church’s authority on earth. We, as members of His body are to look up to Him for leadership and guidance on how to live and be pleasing unto Him. As the Church (as a body) is to be subject to Christ, so are we to be to Him in all things.
The Church is meant to be victorious over the forces of darkness under the leadership of Christ. Christ being the Head means that we are the body – “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular” – 1 Corinthians 12:27. We only receive nourishment from the head if we remain consistently connected and stay obedient to Him.
It is also important to know that the Church is Christ’s. He paid her bride price with His precious blood. We are to stay committed to the body so as to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. Every act of rebelliousness against the body (the Church) is an act of rebellion against Christ who is the Head of the Church. Identification with the body is identifying with all the benefits she enjoys. May you make up your heart to be a devoted member of Christ’s body today as He leads in triumphant procession over the devil and his allies.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for being the Head of Your Church. I pray for the grace to remain committed to Your body, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.