Thursday, July 4, 2019
Author : Bishop Julius Okarike
Verse Of The Day : Now may the Lord direct your hearts toward the love of God and the endurance of Christ. 2 Thessalonians 3:6
LISTEN : For lack of spiritual understanding, people misdirect their love. They love things of this life but hates God. They love the world but gives God a second place or no place all in their lives. Our inordinate love for our businesses, material things, jobs, families, marriages, fame, popularity, pleasure, etc., have relegated and despised the love of God. Beloved, the first person our love should go to is God and His interests (Matthew 6:33). Our genuine love for God is the true expression of our gratitude to Him. My dear, your love for God is expressed through your obedience, faith, humility, faithfulness, honour and fear for Him. The Bible says, “Jesus said unto him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39). God should be first, and every other person or thing comes second. So, allow Him to take the first place in your life. Let Him occupy your heart. What occupies your heart takes your attention; and what takes your attention takes your heart and time. Until the thought of God fills your heart, it will be hard to love Him; and until you surrender yourself to Him, your heart cannot be directed towards Him. So, take the following steps to properly and wisely direct your love:
* Direct Your Heart To God – I believe you are wondering why you can’t love God the way you should? You desire to love and please Him, yet, you see yourself always missing it. It is so because, your heart is not yet renewed and directed towards God. My dear, you have misdirected your love. Think and retrace your steps now.
* Rely On God’s Grace – we stand by grace not by power. You can’t come to Christ except God draws you to Him (John 6:44). So, you should always pray to God for such grace to be released to you. When your love for God grows, your love for the world will diminish.
* Crucify Your Flesh – until you ‘beat your flesh’ to obey God, you will always walk in disobedience to God (Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 9:27). Your flesh is that part of you that wants things done your own way. You should learn to say yes to the will of God, and no to your carnal nature. So, discipline yourself and yield to God always.
Having read today’s devotional, what is expected of you?
1. Love God and give Him the first place in your life.
2. Don’t be distracted by the pleasures of life, instead, be wise how you live.
3. Pray to God always and rely on His grace to accomplish His purpose for your life.
4. Resist every inordinate desire of your flesh and determine to please God instead.
Prayer : Dear Lord, you are my God and creator. Therefore, help me to love you dearly, and to give you the first place in my heart, in Jesus’ name, amen!
Reflection : Our genuine love for God is the true expression of our gratitude to Him.
Quote : “What occupies your heart takes your attention; and what takes your attention takes your heart and time.”
Faith Confession : In Jesus’ name, today I confess that God created everyone and everything; and therefore deserves the first place in our hearts. Henceforth, nothing will take His place in my heart, amen!
Biblical Fact : Did you know Abraham was 86 years old when Ishmael was born? (Genesis 16:16).
Today In History : July 4, 1894 After seizing power, Judge Stanford B. Dole declares Hawaii a republic.
Stunning Fact : Did you know cats can jump up to 7 times their tail length?
A Word Of Blessing : Today, I prophesy to you, may God bless you. May the Lord guide you to seek and love Him with all your heart. Henceforth, may your love for God grows and continue to grow in Jesus’ name, amen!
TOPIC : PRAY FOR UNDERSTANDING
Thursday, July 4, 2019
Bible Verse : Consider what I say, and the Lord will give you understanding in all things. 2 Timothy 2:7
LISTEN : Without understanding, life is empty and lacks direction. Understanding is the ability to know how something works or happens. It is to be sympathetically aware of other people’s feelings; to be tolerant and forgiving. It means to have insight or good judgement. Understanding makes life easy. Lack of understanding is a major problem facing humanity. People with lack of understanding do not see things from the right perspective. They easily have issues with relationship and marriage. Understanding is key to a stable marriage and relationship. The Bible says, “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established.” (Proverbs 24:3). Beloved, understanding is as important as life itself. Many things will fail around you for lack of understanding. My dear, make effort to get understanding (Proverbs 4:7). With understanding, you can conquer challenges, sustain relationships, walk in faith and in the fear of God, understand the purpose of life, and faithfully serve God and humanity despite challenges. Beloved, pray for understanding and God will fill your heart with it. Be wise!
Prayer : Almighty God, I thank you because wisdom and understanding belongs to you. Therefore, I ask for wisdom and understanding today, in Jesus’ name, amen!