And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
God demonstrated His love towards us by giving us His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins. Jesus came into the world and freely gave His life for us, in obedience to the Father’s will. He declared in John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” He loved us and laid down His life for us. What can we give back to Him?
He wants you to follow Him with all of your heart; that’s all He asks. He said in Matthew 16:24, “… If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” What it means to take up your cross is to deny yourself; that is, stop living for yourself and start living for Him. You’ve got to let Him become Lord of your life in everything. He must have the final say in all that concerns you. That’s how to give Him first place in your life; that’s what He demands, and He won’t accept anything less, for He is Lord.
Being Lord means He’s Ruler and Master; One that has the preeminence, and to whom service and obedience are due. Get to know Jesus and walk with Him every day as Lord in your family, business, academics, job, finances, career, marriage, dreams and aspirations, and everything that has to do with your life. He’s the only wise God, therefore submit to the supremacy of His will, counsel and wisdom, and He’ll help you live a fulfilled life.
Blessed Lord Jesus, I believe with all my heart and declare with my mouth that you’re Lord over my life. I walk in the consciousness and revelation of your Lordship over my life today, and everyday of this year. Hallelujah!
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
In our fight of faith, the Bible says “...we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). That’s why we’re enjoined to put on the whole armour of God. It’s no use praying and crying to God to protect you from the wiles of the devil; He has told you what to do: put on the armour of God.
You’re to put on the whole armour of God, not some of it. You’re not to leave out any part of that armour: “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:13-17).
You’re to have your loins covered with truth, wear the breastplate of righteousness, have your feet shod with the Gospel of peace, wear the helmet of salvation, and then put on above all the others, the shield of faith. That’s the shield with which you extinguish all the fiery darts the enemy throws at you.
The armour of God is available to you today, but you have to make a conscious choice to put it on. God isn’t going to put it on for you, no matter how much you pray and fast that He’ll do it. Stand firmly with your whole armour on as a good soldier of Christ. Keep it on at all times; don’t ever take it off!
I take unto myself the whole armour of God and stand firm as a good soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am fully equipped to extinguish all the fiery darts of the devil and render all his stratagems futile and empty. With me is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and I endure hardness as a soldier of Christ, in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
1 Thessalonians 5:6-8
DAILY SCRIPTURE READING
1 Year Bible Reading Plan
2 Year Bible Reading Plan
Do you keep your armour on every day? How do you put it back on when it falls off?
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
(1 John 5:4)
When you study the life of Jesus and the way He responded to different circumstances, you’ll discover He was always in charge. His language was that of faith and absolute mastery. He was always in control; unperturbed by anything. His words were faith-filled, and He displayed an attitude of rest in the midst of turmoil. This is the life He’s given us; a life of absolute mastery, where you cease from all worries and express your faith unperturbed.
You must learn to be unruffled or unperplexed regardless of what happens around you! Take charge. Act like Jesus, who remained unmoved when He was told in John 11:3, “...Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.” The Master wasn’t moved by the news of Lazarus’ sickness; He remained unflustered even after He was told that Lazarus had died and had been buried for four days. He was in charge.
When Jesus eventually showed up, Mary and Martha at different occasions came to Him and said “Lord if you’d been here, Lazarus our brother wouldn’t have died.” I am often thrilled at the Master’s response. With neither regret nor fret in His voice, He said, “…I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die…” (John 11:25). What confidence; when others were extremely confused and agitated!
How I love Jesus; nothing could shake Him! Relaxed, He stood at the entrance of the sepulchre, uttered a simple prayer of thanks to the Father, and called out: “Lazarus, come forth!” The man that had been dead for four days, came out alive (John 11:41-44). That was faith, functioning from a place of rest and absolute mastery.
Faith recognizes no fear, because it trusts in the ability of God. When you’re faced with challenges, don’t cower or become frightful or fretful. Be in charge. All through this year, irrespective of what happens around you; even if you receive negative news from afar, maintain your composure and declare God’s Word. Take charge. Refuse to worry; just give the word and effect a change. Hallelujah!
Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for the power of your Word which causes me to function from a place of rest and mastery over all situations. I live victoriously over all distracting elements of this world in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Tithing brings you into partnership with the Lord. This means giving Him a tenth of all your income and every blessing He brings your way continually. When you do this, He fulfils His own part of the bargain by releasing into your life an unprecedented financial grace: “…and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing” (Malachi 3:10).
It’s like a business partnership where one person has 30% share and the other 70%. When they strike a good deal, they both must have their share of the profit. One partner isn’t doing the other a favour by paying him what belongs to him because it’s his right in the partnership. To do otherwise would mean to steal from him.
God wants you to keep tithing so you can bask in abundance and walk in His blessings. His financial plan for you far surpasses what any parent or financial institution could ever offer. He’s the one who gives you power to get wealth. When you’re diligent in paying your tithes, He’ll see to it that you never lack, and that your life is in one direction only: upward and forward. God wants you to experience liberty in your finances, and walk in abundance.
If as a Christian, you’ve been experiencing financial difficulties, even though you’ve been paying your tithes, it’s not the Lord that’s holding back. Keep paying your tithes and declaring the Word of faith, for the devourer has already been rebuked for your sake. You shouldn’t ever debate whether or not to give your tithe because it isn’t yours in the first place but God’s! So keep tithing, for this is the right thing to do; it’s what God demands in your prosperity.
Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for making me a source of wealth and a person of privilege. I’m giving my way to the top in tithes and offerings and special seeds which I sow consciously always, knowing that it’s my pathway to financial abundance, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
(1 Corinthians 16:13)
Some people are ineffective in their Christian-walk because they’re burdened by the cares and desires of this life, and these choke God’s Word in their hearts and dissipate their faith (Mark 4:18-19). One of the many things you must be resolute about this year is to stand firm in the faith by setting your heart on the Lord; give Him your undivided attention. Proverbs 23:26 says, “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.” In Proverbs 4:20, the Lord said, “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.”
Why is this important? Why does the Lord require you to give Him your heart, and incline your ears unto His sayings? It’s because faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). For your faith to grow and prevail, you have to attend to God’s Word and incline your ears to His sayings. That means you focus and give all attention to the Word in your life. The necessary result of this is that your thoughts, words and actions will be in sync with the Word, making you unshakable.
Many vacillate and are unstable in their lives because they give room to too many distractions instead of attending to the Word. Never allow anything sway your confidence away from God’s Word. Jesus said in Luke 21:34, “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” It’s your responsibility to take charge of your heart and stop yourself from veering off course.
The coming of the Lord is near and it’s important for us to be grounded in the Word and keep our eyes on the goal, standing firm in the faith. This isn’t the time to vacillate or cower, but a time to focus on doing the Master’s will and fulfill His call on your life: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Blessed Lord, my faith in you is strong and unshakable; I’m steadfast and unmovable; rooted and built up in you, and established in the faith as I’ve been taught, and abounding always in the work of the Lord, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
DAILY SCRIPTURE READING
1 Year Bible Reading Plan
2 Year Bible Reading Plan
What are the ways to keep your faith strong and steadfast?
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
(1 Peter 2:9)
The latter part of our opening text above lets us know our present location; we’ve been brought into God’s marvellous light; His awe-inspiring light. God wants you to know that there’s no darkness about your life. It brings to mind the words of Jesus in John 8:12: “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” We are the children of Light, dwelling in the Light, and the Lord is the Father of lights (James 1:17).
The Lord did something remarkable for the children of Israel back in the Old Testament; He brought them out of Egypt—a type of darkness—into the land flowing with milk and honey: the Promised Land, which represents light! Always, He brings you out, to bring you in. He didn’t bring the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt to leave them in the wilderness; rather, He took them into the Promised Land.
In the same way, having brought you out of darkness, He at once translated you into the Kingdom of His dear Son: “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:12-13). Darkness represents sin, death, evil and all the negativities associated with Satan. You’ve been brought out of sin, sickness, disease, depression, poverty, frustrations and everything that’s of the devil, into the gracious and glorious life in Christ. That’s your present location.
God wants you to know that He’s given you the supernatural life of glory, where you reign and rule in life over Satan and the cohorts of hell. You now dwell in God’s Kingdom of light where love reigns. You must therefore not allow the works of darkness manifest themselves in your life, for there’s no more darkness in your life; you’ve been brought into God’s marvellous light. That light is the light of life that shows you the path of success, victory and dominion.
I thank you blessed Lord for bringing me out of darkness into the glorious liberty of the sons of God! How grateful I am to dwell with you in the kingdom of light, where I reign and rule in life over darkness, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
DAILY SCRIPTURE READING
1 Year Bible Reading Plan
2 Year Bible Reading Plan
Do you believe with all your heart that you have the Power to live and reign over the darkness?
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
The reason the Lord would admonish you to rejoice when tests and challenges come at you on all sides is because He knows that victory is in your spirit. As one who’s born again you’re an overcomer in Christ Jesus, and more than a conqueror. No situation that you face should overwhelm you. Let this mind be in you, as you go through this year. You have what it takes to overcome any trial, temptation or adversity.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” You must not cower, give in or faint under any pressure whatsoever. Be tough! Jesus was tough. He withstood and triumphed over all the contrary winds that came His way. He was never perturbed or ruffled by anything. This is the same attitude you must have; the victory attitude.
The adversities you face are for your promotion; they make you tough, and if you don’t welcome them, you’d remain at the same level of faith and maturity. So welcome trouble. Welcome them as necessary agents for your promotion. Consider Joseph, and how he managed the adversities that came his way. He overcame all the troubles he suffered and rose to become the Prime Minister of Egypt.
Welcome challenges; because they’re the contrary winds that drive your roots deeper. You’re bigger and greater than whatever the adversary may throw at you: “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
I’m fully persuaded that greater is He that’s in me than he that’s in the world, therefore no adversity or adverse circumstance can overwhelm me because I’m more than a conqueror. I’m convinced of my eternal victory over Satan and the world, therefore I rejoice in the Lord my God, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.