Fresh Dew Daily Devotional: You may be feeling dejected, rejected, unloved, unrecognized, etc. But you shall manifest.

Bible Reading: Luke 1: 15, 80; 2: 40; Judges 13:24 – 25; 1 Samuel 3: 19 – 20

Scripture

”And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.” Luke 1:80 ESV

Observation

As spoken by the prophet, John was born. One may have expected him to leave in the palace considering the heavenly assignment upon his shoulders, which surpassed those of Kings clad in royal apparel. This was not the case with John. John the Baptist had a clear mandate to turn the hearts of the people back to their God by preaching repentance: ”You will tell his people that they can be saved when their sins are forgiven. God’s love and kindness will shine upon us like the sun that rises in the sky. On us who live in the dark shadow of death this light will shine to guide us into a life of peace.” However, before this John who had this glorious mandate was made manifest, the wilderness remained his place of abode.

The wilderness is a solitary place, a place that is desolate and lonely. But at the time of his manifestation crowds of people trooped to him. Moses left his place of honour in Egypt and had the wilderness experience over a very long period. But when God revealed him to Pharaoh, the King of Egypt could not withstand him. Our Lord and Saviour also suffered pain and loneliness during His 40 day fast and all that He went through during the scourging, crucifixion and death. But when He was manifest again, He appeared glorious.

We all at a point in our lives will go through this wilderness experience even as some are doing so presently. You may be feeling dejected, rejected, unloved, unrecognized, etc. But you shall manifest. Nothing may be working out simply because of the wilderness experience. But you will manifest; the LORD Himself will announce you.

Application

Though things may not be working out as I expected, I should be encouraged that as long as I am in the LORD’s will, my time of manifestation shall surely come.

Prayer

Though My time may seem long in coming; I wait on You LORD in faith that in due season You show Yourself strong in me.

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Real Life Expository Study Devotional: How does God’s promise to Abraham affect believers in Jesus Christ today?

Day 25:  Benefit of their rejection.

 

‘‘I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fullness?’’ Rom. 11: 11 – 12.

Additional reading: Act.13: 46; 18: 6; Rom.10: 19.

The rejection of the Jews was based on their faithlessness — they thought that by observing the Laws of Moses and doing good things they could attain righteousness and inherit the Kingdom of God. However, if this was so, salvation will no longer be by grace but by works of flesh. Their rejection though temporary, paved the way for the Gentiles who had no knowledge of the gospel to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ by faith, thus, attaining righteousness through grace.

‘‘What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel who pursued a law of righteousness has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works…’’ (Vv. 30 – 32 NIV).

The salvation of the Gentiles, thus, demonstrates that God has the right to do with man whatever He desired — the Jews were rejected because they rejected salvation through Jesus Christ preferring to stick to their ways. But the Gentiles, who had no previous dealings with God, received the gospel in faith and God brought them in as partakers of His divine nature and glory. No one can query God in this regard:

‘‘Are we saying, then, that God was unfair? Of course not!  For God said to Moses, ‘I will show mercy to anyone I choose and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.’’ (Vv. 14 – 15 NLT). Again: ‘‘No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ When a porter makes jar out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into? In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory. And we are among those whom he selected, both from the Jews and from the Gentiles, Concerning the Gentiles, God says in the prophecy of Hosea, ‘Those who were not my people, I will now call my people. And I will love those whom I did not love before.’’ (Vv. 20 – 25 NLT).

In summary of the above, in God’s patience and expectant hope of the salvation of the Jews, God gave salvation to the Gentiles all because as the Creator of the ends of the earth, He has a right to do whatever He desires. This explains why Prophet Hosea said, ‘‘Those who were not my people, I will now call my people. And I will love those whom I did not love before.’’ This is a direct reference to God’s salvation being extended to Gentile nations — those who were not God’s people have become His people by believing in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What then is the benefit of the fall or (temporary) rejection of the Jews? First and most important; all Gentile people that believe and will believe, have become God’s people and are loved by Him. Please read this: ‘‘I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fullness?’’ What do these verses mean?

‘‘I say then, Have they stumbled [ptaio … to trip, i.e. (figuratively) to err, sin, fail (0f salvation): – fall, offend, stumble] that they should fall [pipto … through the idea of alighting; to fall (literally or figuratively): – fail, fall (down), light on]? God forbid: but rather through their fall [paraptoma … a side – slip (lapse or deviation), i.e. (unintentional) error or (wilful) transgression: – fall, fault, offence, sin, trespass] salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy [parazeloo … to stimulate alongside, i.e. excite to rivalry: – provoke to emulation]. Now if the fall of them be the riches [ploutos … wealth (as fullness), i.e. (literally) money, possession, or (figuratively) abundance, richness, (specifically) valuable bestowment: – riches] of the world, and the diminishing [hettema … deterioration, failure] of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fullness [pleroma … repletion or completion]?’’

This is in two parts: (1) ‘‘I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Have they (the Jews) sinned, erred or fallen short of salvation and never to rise or be restored again?  Definitely not! Rather, through their offence salvation has come to the Gentiles — to provoke them to jealousy — so that the Jews may emulate — follow the faith Gentiles have shown in God (2) Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fullness?’’ If the offence of the Jews will bring wealth, riches, money, possessions, abundance, etc, unto all people, what do you think the restoration (salvation) of the Jews would bring?

Check this out: ‘‘Did God’s people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not! They were disobedient, so God made salvation available to the Gentiles. But he wanted his own people to become jealous and claim it for themselves. Now if the Gentiles were enriched because the people of Israel turned down God’s offer of salvation, think how much greater a blessing the world will share when they finally accept it.’’ (NLT).

So, note that the rejection of the Jews is not permanent. It was to make a way of salvation for the Gentiles — people without God — people who did not know God. So that through the salvation of the Gentiles, the Jews will be provoked to jealousy — made to emulate the faith of the Gentiles or excited to rivalry with the Gentiles and be saved. The rejection of the Jews brought abundant wealth to the Gentiles. The restoration (fullness) of the Jews will bring much more.

In case you have forgotten, God promised Abraham: ‘‘I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all people on earth will be blessed through you.’’ (Gen. 12: 2 – 3 NIV). By simple faith in Jesus Christ, all Gentiles that believe become God’s children (spiritual Israel) and, therefore, partakers of the promises God made to Abraham years back — ‘‘…and all people on earth will be blessed through you.’’ This is the benefit of Israel’s rejection.

Meditation: How amazing that I benefit from God’s promise to Abraham years back!

Prayer: Let every word that You spoke concerning me through Abraham be real in my life.

Questions: (1) Have the Jews been rejected forever? (2) How does God’s promise to Abraham affect believers in Jesus Christ today?

 

The moment we get to know through prayers where God wants us to be and what He wants us to do t moment we get to know through par

Bible Reading: Jeremiah 45- 47; John 21

Scripture

“Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the Lord, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.” Jeremiah 45:5 NIV

Observation
Although Baruch, Jeremiah’s was in God’s plan for Jerusalem as the city gradually moved towards its days of captivity as prophecied Baruch may have thought of a more prominent role in God’s scheme of work. However, this was not God’s plan for him. Like most of us, we all look for prominent roles to play…we all always desire to be at the forefront, probably to gain prominence or attract favor. Accepting our God given positions is something we should work at doing. The moment we get to know through prayers where God wants us to be and what He wants us to do there, we will achieve maximum results no matter how irrelevant our assignment maybe. So let us stop seeking for greater by flesh but look to God to appoint and position us.

Application
Have I been looking for greater things for myself? God appoints and empowers, thus, My desire should be in Him and for Him.

Prayer
May I not be deceived by the lost of the flesh for greater things, but may I depend on You to appoint and empower me.

While God is more than willing to bless all obedience to His word, we should also recognize that God’s punishment for disobedience is severe: Fresh Dew Daily Devotional: Contentment In Service

Bible Reading: Jeremiah 35 – 37; John 20

Scripture

”The command that Jonadab the son of Rechab gave to his sons, to drink no wine, has been kept, and they drink none to this day, for they have obeyed their father’s command. I have spoken to you persistently, but you have not listened to me.” Jeremiah 35:14 ESV

Observation

Making a contrast between the obedience of Israel to God’s word and those of the Rechabites, a religious sect to the command of their fore fathers, God detailed Jeremiah to gather these people to the house of the LORD and offer them wine, which he did. In keeping with the command of their fathers, the Rechabites refused the wine that was presented to them saying, “We will drink no wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, ‘You shall not drink wine, neither you nor your sons forever. You shall not build a house; you shall not sow seed; you shall not plant or have a vineyard; but you shall live in tents all your days, that you may live many days in the land where you sojourn.”

This was a simple test by God to demonstrate the unwillingness of His people to obey His word, while showing the complete obedience of the Rechabites in keeping to the command of their fathers. “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Go and say to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will you not receive instruction and listen to my words? declares the LORD. The command that Jonadab the son of Rechab gave to his sons, to drink no wine, has been kept, and they drink none to this day, for they have obeyed their father’s command. I have spoken to you persistently, but you have not listened to me.”

For the simple act of disobedience of Israel despite God’s numerous attempts through the prophets to get them to Him in repentance, they are to be punished while honouring the Rechabites. ”…thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing upon Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the disaster that I have pronounced against them, because I have spoken to them and they have not listened, I have called to them and they have not answered. But to the house of the Rechabites Jeremiah said, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Because you have obeyed the command of Jonadab your father and kept all his precepts and done all that he commanded you, therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Jonadab the son of Rechab shall never lack a man to stand before me.”

Application

While God is more than willing to bless all obedience to His word, we should also recognize that God’s punishment for disobedience is severe. Knowing this, therefore, we should abstain from all disobedience that we may not be found to be lacking in our service to Him.

Prayer

Though the road may be tough and narrow; teach me to obey You.

2 Kings 24:3 (NIV) Surely these things happened to Judah according to the Lord’s command, in order to remove them from his presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done,

Date: 16/08/2013
Bible Reading: 2Kings 24; Jeremiah 22; Psalm 112; John 18

Scripture: “Surely these things happened to Judah according to the Lord’s command, in order to remove them from his presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done…” 2Kings 24:3 NIV

Observation: God sent His word to the Kings of Judah through the hands of His prophet Jeremiah with very clear instructions. God said, if they obeyed they would be carried out through the gates of their palace in chariots and horses with their officials and people. But if they refused to obey His instructions as delivered by His prophet in Jeremiah 22, they and the entire city would be ruined. And so it was, the kings disobeyed and as it was prophecies by the mouth of the prophet, Jerusalem came under siege.

Application: God’s judgment is faithful just as His promises. Knowing this, therefore, my heart should steadfastly obey His instructions so that I may be blessed and honored and not punished.

Prayer: May my heart never depart from Your word; that in all ways I may follow Your paths and instructions.

Fresh Dew Daily Devotional: Am NOt The First And I

Date: 15/08/2013
Bible Reading: Jeremiah 13-15; John 15

Scripture: ” If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also…” John 15:20b NIV

Observation: In very clear words, Jesus prepared HIs disciples for an unprecedented show of hate. He said without mincing words that as He was persecuted, so would His disciples and those who believe in Him be persecuted. And this will be so because they no more belonged to the world just as He does not belong to the world. He maintained that their decision to believe in Him will provoke the world to persecute them even unto death. In view of this, His disciples must be strong in their Kingdom pursuit in the face of persecution that will arise.

Application: Just as Jesus was hated, so will I be hated. I should not see the challenges I am facing today as something unusual but one that is peculiar to all those who confess Him and do His will.

Prayer: Strengthen me in the face of hate and persecution. When I am weak and falling, Holy Spirit lift me.

Fresh Dew Daily Devotional: I Am The Father.

Date: 14/08/2013
Bible reading: Jeremiah 10-12; John 14

Scripture: “If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:7 NIV

Observation: The statement of Jesus Christ that His disciples now knew the way to heaven provoked no small discourse amongst them. Thomas, one of the disciples clearly said, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” In affirming Himself before His disciples, Jesus replied, “I am the way and the truth and the life…” He did not stop there, He went on to declare that as a matter of fact, He is God…”Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, show us the Father? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me”? Jesus simply said He is the Father.

Application: I should have no doubt about this; Jesus is God manifest in the Son to redeem me from my evil ways.

Prayer: As I am totally surrendered to You LORD, may I totally be surrendered to Jesus Christ. Let every doubt about the Lordship of Jesus Christ give way that Jesus may reign supreme in my life.