Fresh Dew Daily Devotional: The Fear Of Man.

Date: 07/08/2013
Bible Reading: Zephaniah 1-3; John 9

Scripture: “His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for already the Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue.” John 9:22 NIV

Obsevation: Jesus healed a man born blind but the Pharasees took offence for this was done on a Sabbath. Following series of questioning, the man’s parents were eventually brought in to give their account. But for the fear of what might happen to them if they testified that Jesus truly healed their son, they referred the Pharasees to their son whom they said could speak for himself saying he was of age.

Application: Jesus Christ said if I reject Him before men, He will reject me before His Father in heaven. But if I acknowledge Him before men, He will acknowledge me before His Father in heaven. Knowing the consequences of rejecting Jesus Christ, I should be ready to withstand all rejections by men (family and society), trials and persecution that may come my way following my decision to confess Him as LORD and Saviour.

Prayer: Give me the strength and courage to hold on to You in the face of rejection, trials and persecution for my faith in You.

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Fresh Dew Daily Devotional: When My Heart Is Overwhelmed…

Date 22/07/13

Bible Reading: Isaiah 36 – 37, Psalm 76, 1Peter1

Scripture: “Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God.” Isaiah 37:17

Observation: Sennacherib the King of Assyria threatened to destroy Judah in the event of an alliance Hezekiah made with Egypt, which nullified an earlier alliance Judah had with Assyria under King Ahaz. Not only did Sennacherib boast about destroying Judah, he boasted against the living God. He said that just as the gods of other nations were unable to deliver their people from his hands, so the God of Israel would be unable to deliver his people from his hands. He insisted that except Hezekiah surrendered to him, the nation would be destroyed saying God would be powerless to deliver, so they should not put their trust in Him.
Hezekiah on hearing all the words of Sennacherib went before God in prayers and indeed deliverance came from the living God with an angel killing 185,000 men in the camp of the Assyrian army. Sennacherib himself was later murdered by his sons.

Application: When in trouble, difficulty and pain, whom do I look unto? The heathen will boast but I must know that their boasts are empty boast. Challenges or difficult times will come. My trust must not be in any other except in the living God, who alone rules over the affairs of men. He alone can save and deliver.

Prayer. In You I put my trust. When my heart is overwhelmed, please lead me through the rock that is higher than I.

Fresh Due Daily Devotional: When My Heart Is Overwhelmed…

Date 22/07/13

Bible Reading: Isaiah 36 – 37, Psalm 76, 1Peter1

Scripture: “Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God.” Isaiah 37:17

Observation: Sennacherib the King of Assyria threatened to destroy Judah in the event of an alliance Hezekiah made with Egypt, which nullified an earlier alliance Judah had with Assyria under King Ahaz. Not only did Sennacherib boast about destroying Judah, he boasted against the living God. He said that just as the gods of other nations were unable to deliver their people from his hands, so the God of Israel would be unable to deliver his people from his hands. He insisted that except Hezekiah surrendered to him, the nation would be destroyed saying God would be powerless to deliver, so they should not put their trust in Him.
Hezekiah on hearing all the words of Sennacherib went before God in prayers and indeed deliverance came from the living God with an angel killing 185,000 men in the camp of the Assyrian army. Sennacherib himself was later murdered by his sons.

Application: When in trouble, difficulty and pain, whom do I look unto? The heathen will boast but I must know that their boasts are empty boast. Challenges or difficult times will come. My trust must not be in any other except in the living God, who alone rules over the affairs of men. He alone can save and deliver.

Prayer. In You I put my trust. When my heart is overwhelmed, please lead me through the rock that is higher than I.

Keeping the Bargain.

“I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me.” Psalm 101:3
There is no better way to make a commitment to God other than this. We are bombarded daily with the media, which feature all manner of programmes with the capacity to entice the man whose heart is for the LORD into doing what is contrary.

Societies world over make one believe that except you do that which everyone else is doing, and which in most cases is sin in the sight of the LORD, then you are abnormal. So our societies today have made sin a way of life; sin is no longer regarded as sin, but something one should do. Kids are thought sex by careful scripting of TV programmes meant for them. Cartoons have all of a sudden become a theatre of violence. Little wonder, Children that should act or be children behave more like adults because of the expose they get.

Our societies have so much reinforced negative behaviour to the point where it has become difficult to uphold or confess faith in Jesus for fear of being stigmatised. In order to survive the pressure many have compromised their faith. What would you do if you have a boss who insists you must compromise product standards for the organisation to gain more or be involved in a relationship with him or her to gain promotion?

Against this backdrop, David made this promise: “I will not put anything wicked in front of my eyes. I hate what unfaithful people do. I want no part of it.” (GOD’s WORD.) This should be the position of everyone who loves, fears and mentions the name of the LORD. All those who love Him must make this promise to have no part in what is evil no matter the pressure. All of us who mention the name of the LORD must depart from iniquity and its appearances in whatever form.

See what he said again in Psalm 97:10: “You who are lovers of the Lord, be haters of evil; he keeps the souls of his saints; he takes them out of the hand of sinners.” (BBE.) No one can love the LORD and evil at the same time. It’s either you love one and hate the other. Therefore, all who love the LORD should have no affection for evil no matter the enticement or harrassment. As God has said, He will protect you from any harm only if you will keep your own part of the bargain.

STAND FOR YOUR FAITH “It is only a man who is influenced by the spirit of demons that will preach against the congregational worship of the Lord. So, when you hear anyone say that the age of congregational worship is over, you know who his father is.”

“Dear friends, I wanted very much to write to you about the salvation we all share together. But I felt the need to write to you about something else: I want to encourage you to fight hard for the faith that God gave his holy people. God gave this faith once, and it is good for all time.” Jude 1:3 ERV
While some will say that there is almost nothing anyone can possibly do to defend our faith in Christ as God has all it takes to defend Himself, there is, however, so much that can be done to keep the saints from falling prey to the subtle devices of the enemy in these difficult times of the Church.
I must say that events in the social media and others we see, read or hear in the traditional media are not new as every generation in times past have had to fight religious deceptions. The early apostles fought it, others after them fought it and we, too must face these challenges. The issue of tithes and offerings is still a heated debate in the social media. One well-known preacher of the gospel (in Nigeria) wrote saying some time ago that the blood of Jesus cannot redeem anyone from sin. There have been issues with others (even) ascribing to themselves the personality and office of Jesus Christ by their speech. It will take a discerning heart to judge rightly. We have read about and seen on television and the social media of certain men who claim to be of God perform weird miracles and do unusual things. We have also heard about the grass eating Church, the pastor who heals with insecticides and another who also heals with antiseptic. The list goes on and on.
The core of the above is in verse 4, “Some people have secretly entered your group. These people have already been judged guilty for what they are doing. Long ago the prophets wrote about them. They are against God. They have used the grace of our God in the wrong way—to do sinful things. They refuse to follow Jesus Christ, our only Master and Lord.” ERV
The long list of Scriptures below will help a great deal
Mat 13:25 – “But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.”
Act 15:24 –“Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment.”
Gal 2:4 – “And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage.”
2Pe 2:1- 2 “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.”
Unfortunately, many of us have been taken unawares by the antics of these false prophets in our times. Many of us have indeed become captives of some of these false teachings. Here is an example:
I was in a commuter vehicle but unusually, I heard the driver sing some beautiful songs. Never have I heard a driver sing so melodiously! But here I was hearing one sing “Church Songs.” One more thing drew my attention. I noticed that most of the songs had been revised…not the exact words that I knew.
Here is the song that I know and there indeed many versions of this song: I have decided to follow Jesus (3x), No turning back (2x). Now, this is his version. I have decided to follow Jesus…and, not Church. I have decided to follow Jesus…and not pastor. I have decided to follow Jesus, Church leave me alone, pastor leave me alone.
Of course, the Church is the body of our Lord Jesus Christ. So, our fellowship with the Lord is not about a particular denomination and neither are we to worship any pastor. We are to worship the Lord and the Lord alone. Thus, on the surface he is correct. He sang many other such songs. But I knew that there was something wrong with his beautiful renditions.
So, what was it?
As I alighted from the vehicle, I put my head through the front passenger window, smiled at him, then, I said, “My friend you sing so well.” He gave me a broad smile and said, “thank you, sir.” I continued, “But your songs seem to be unusual; the words are not in tune with the Scriptures!” He laughs at this point, then, all hell was let loose.
He quoted the following Scriptures
Mat 24:1- 2 “And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
Acts 7:48 – “Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet.”
Act 17:24 – “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands.
Joh 4:20 – 24 –“Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
1Co 1:11 – “For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
And there seem to be nothing wrong with these Scriptures, too right? Very well!
I listened very well to all his quotations and explanations, then, I said, “You seem to know the Scriptures a lot, too. But your applications are all wrong.
Explanation 1 – (Matthew 24:1-2) According to him, Jesus himself prophesied that the Old Testament concept of worshipping God as a congregation in any building (Temple) would stop in the New Testament. Thus, the idea of gathering together as a congregation (Church) in the New Testament under any circumstance is unscriptural.
Explanation 2 – (Acts 7:48; 17:24) From this he explained that God no longer lives within buildings. Thus, it’s sinful and unscriptural to gather in worship in a commonplace as a Church.
Explanation 3 – (John 4:20-24) Like explained above, God encourages true individual worship but not congregational worship…no more in the mountains where people gather
Explanation 4 – (1 Cor. 1:11) He upheld that the Church is faced with so many problems because God is against congregational worship.
Do you get the gist? Do you remember his songs? Do you now understand why? I want you to imagine the number of people he has misled…beautiful Scriptures! But you have got to be able to compare spiritual things with spiritual things…”And these are the things which we say, not in the language of man’s wisdom, but in words given to us by the Spirit, judging the things of the spirit by the help of the Spirit. (1 Cor. 2:13 BBE). Again, read, “Now these were more noble than the Jews of Thessalonica, for they gave serious attention to the word, searching in the holy Writings every day, to see if these things were so.” (Act 17:11 BBE).
It is only a man who is influenced by the spirit of demons that will preach against the congregational worship of the Lord. So, when you hear anyone say that the age of congregational worship is over, you know who his father is.
I praise the Lord that God desires our individual and congregational worship and in fact, worship is to eternity, “The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Rev 4:10 – 11; 5:14 KJV)
Be careful about what you watch, listen to and read because angels of darkness now present themselves as angels of light, (2 Cor. 11:14)
Arise and stand for your faith.

Take Action

Joshua 15:63; 16:10; 17:12-13. We inherit our possessions not by folding our arms but taking action and going leaving no room for the devil. You may have the blessings but except you take action;you will never inherit it. Today’s (23/03/17) reading: Joshua 15 – 17; 1 Cor. 8

What Is God Saying?

Joshua 9:14-16. The men of Gibeon played a fast one on Joshua and the leaders of Israel. Without seeking the Lord to know His will, they made peace with strangers. It’s profitable to seek the Lord for His direction in everything we do. He alone knows what’s best for us (Jer. 33:3). Today’s (21/03/17) reading: Joshua 9-11; 1 Cor. 6