she is not my mother. forgiveness
Devotionals

SHE IS NOT MY MOTHER

They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable,    disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

Titus 1: 16. (NKJV).

We adopted a little girl of eight years old and brought her into our home. She grew up with her mom, a single parent in the rural area. She looked too small for her age due to hardship.

We gently integrated her into life in the city. Her entire wardrobe was changed. We gradually introduced her to good meals and comfort. She was also introduced to the Bible which she embraced wholeheartedly. We called her Happiness because she was full of life and very eager to learn new things.

One of the first things I taught her was to call me Mama. The reason was that I did not want to create a distinction between my children and her. She grew and blossomed, loving Christ and learning new things, making friends at home, in school and at church.

At home, she showed no signs of anger or resentment and my then ten-month-old baby accepted her as a big sister. We had recently moved into a new neighborhood so no one knew if she was my biological child or not.

My shock and disappointment therefore can only be imagined when one day somebody said “Sister, I love your daughter so much because of her love for Christ”. Before I could respond, she shot back, with an angry stance “She is not my mother”. I was so shocked I gaped with my mouth open wide.  In an instant, I felt angry and disappointed at the same time. I felt like withdrawing all the “daughterly” benefits I had accorded her.

As her words sank in, the Holy Spirit tugged at my heart and gently reminded me that even Peter, the rock, denied Jesus. Not once, but thrice.  Matthew 26: 34 – 35; 69 – 75.  I can only imagine Jesus’ hurt as he passed by and stared Peter in the eyes.

How do we deny Jesus in our daily lives? Our opening scripture says we deny Jesus in our works, when we are disobedient to the word, when we live life on our own terms, disregarding the laws of the Lord. If we, being mortals, can feel so hurt when denied, how much more our heavenly father?

The beauty of our Lord Jesus is His ability and readiness to forgive us our trespasses. We only have to realize that we have denied Him and repent, like Peter. When the rooster crowed the third time, Peter remembered what the Lord had said and sat down and wept in repentance.

Jesus said, “…Whosoever denies me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10:33). Looking at the previous verse, He said He would defend whosoever confesses Him on earth before His father.

Action Point

If there is any way you have been disobedient, denying Jesus, go to him in prayers today. He will forgive and grant you peace.

Say this simple prayer of faith:

Lord Jesus, I come before you today. I acknowledge the fact that I have sinned and come short of your glory. I repent of my sins Lord. Thank you for your cleansing blood which you shed at Calvary to wipe away my sins. I receive your abundant grace to resist temptations to deny you. I thank you, Lord, for forgiving my sins. Amen.

teaching children prayer
Devotionals

How to Teach Your Child to Love and Develop Good Prayer Habits.

The other day, I watched my 3-year-old daughter imitate my husband in prayer. While worshipping, my husband kneeled beside the bed, raised his hands, eyes closed, and swayed as he sang in worship. Our daughter did likewise, eyes fixed on her dad, imitating his every move. She raised her voice when he did, moved around, and muttered in tongues after him. It was a beautiful experience. She worships like we do and won’t go to bed until we’ve prayed together.

In my 11+ years as children and teen’s church teacher, I’ve realized that children are not enthusiastic about prayer. They easily get bored and distracted. The same goes for when they pray at home. They throw tantrums and disturb their parents so much that most parents exclude them from family prayers. How do you get your 4-9 year old interested in prayers?

It is best to start early when children are very young. Habits learned at an early age are difficult to do without as they grow up. Children learn by imitation. They will do what they see parents, teachers, and those in their circle of influence do. They may not be able to speak clearly but will be able to demonstrate what they see older ones do.

In case your children are already grown, don’t stress it, you can still teach them to pray. At this stage, you don’t need to be overly forceful. It will interest them more if you live the life you preach.

  1. Continually pray for them. Commit their hearts to God and ask the Holy Spirit to abide in them, guide and teach them. When you do this consistently, you will notice a difference in your child’s attitude towards prayer.
  2. Make it participatory. When family prayer is led exclusively by adults, the children get bored and feel left out. The essence of making prayer hour participatory is to give the child a sense of ownership. You may segment prayer time and have them take turns leading every section. Come up with a unique recitation or theme for the family which everyone recites after saying the grace at the close of prayer hour. Examples include: repeating I shall not die but live, we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and so on. Children look forward to such times when they recite the theme and share hi-fives. It’s a good way to keep them alert till the end.
  3. Let the children decide on prayer time. This worked for us. We asked our children when they thought we could pray every morning and night. They had a brainstorming session, taking dinner time and everyone’s schedule into consideration and came up with a time, which worked perfectly. When it’s time for prayers, they don’t feel forced to participate.
  4. Introduce activities. Children love activities because it makes prayer hour less boring and more participatory. Activities such as singing special numbers, reading a Bible verse out loud on their feet, and sharing their daily wins (testimonies) no matter how trivial.
  5. Home Work/Memory Verse. Make the children memorize Bible portions which they recite during prayer hour. Depending on the number of family members, each person recites his homework on a particular day. It should be an activity for the whole family, including parents.
  6. Create categories and award badges. Give them badges for punctuality, attentiveness, questions answered, delivery of homework, and so forth. Children are naturally competitive and always want to be winners. This will encourage them to attend prayer meetings and be attentive.
  7. Let the children take turns leading prayers. Allow them to take turns coordinating prayer hours. Anyone who is leading will want to do an excellent job while at it. They feel involved and also learn by trying. Don’t think they are too young, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
  8. As much as you can, don’t overstretch family prayer time. Keep it short, a maximum of one hour. Children have very short attention spans, they get bored easily. I remember sleeping off or crying and throwing tantrums during prayer time as a child because it was just too long. I hated family prayer time and determined not to put my children through that agony. But with practicing most of these skills especially keeping it short, my children are eager to pray and are used to it.
  9. Use visuals where possible. Write out prayer points on colored cards. Use the screen sometimes for Bible study. Using visuals spices things up.
  10. Pray along with them. Don’t assume the role of God or overseer, come down to their level of understanding and pray along with them. Be involved in whatever activities you assign them.
he that dwells in the secret place of the most High
Devotionals

Walking Under the Shadow of the Almighty.

Scriptural Reference: Psalm 91:1, 17:8, Matt 23:37

I walked down the street to my dress makers’ with my then one year old son who had just started walking. My son is very light skinned and easily gets sun burnt.  The sun was scorching hot, a typical tropical midday blaze.

I realized my shadow fell on my right side and decided to use it to shade my son from the heat of the sun. To my uttermost surprise, he kept walking away from the shade of my shadow. I got to know that he was fascinated by his own shadow and wanted to see it. He toddled away, chasing his own shadow.

As he chased his shadow, moving away from me, I thought ‘Nathan, if only you knew the benefits of walking under mama’s shadow’. Immediately Psalm 91:1 came to mind ‘He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Like my little boy, how often do we as Christians walk away from the shadow of the Almighty, because we are fascinated by our own shadows?  Or curious as to what our own shadows look like?

What does it mean to abide under the shadow of the almighty? When you abide under the shadow of God, it means being consciously and constantly in fellowship or communion with Him. It is willingly surrendering your own will to Him, so that you become a reflection of the heavenly father and not yourself. It is when you are so full of the father that your person is lost and His remains. Why then do Christians refuse to walk under the shadow of the almighty God? 1. Rebellion. 2. Disobedience. 3, Trust in self/self sufficiency.

How do you then abide under His shadow?

  • When you mimic someone so much that people see you and immediately recognize the person in you, they say you are that person’s shadow. Likewise when you endeavor to do what God says you should do at all times through the scriptures, you get to look, talk and behave like him  so much that you are easily recognized as His child.
  • Reading and meditating on the word of God. Joshua 1:8
  • Believing the word of God.
  • Communion with God through prayer.
  • Fellowship with God and brethren’s.
Dwelling in the secret place of the almighy ensures our safey

Benefits of Abiding Under the Shadow of God.

  1. Divine Protection.  The only way I could protect my son from the heat of the sun was by casting my shadow upon him. I didn’t have an umbrella or any form of shade. When we stay under the shadow of our heavenly Father, he protects us from every form of evil. He loves us so much that he doesn’t wish for us to come to any form of harm. Matt 23:37 Jesus talking to the multitudes and His disciples referred to divine protection as a hen covering her chicks. We are protected from harm, sickness, diseases, lack and want and all forms of evil.
  2. Divine Provision. God provides all our needs when we abide in Him. To abide is to stay, to remain, and to dwell. When we dwell, we trust in Him and He meets our needs. When we seek Him with all our hearts and being, he adds to us all things which we need for a good life (Matt 6:33)
  3. Divine Healing. In cases where one is plagued by sickness and diseases, God gives us an assurance of healing in His presence. It His will that we should prosper and be in Health, (3 John 1:2) even as our souls prospers.

Wouldn’t you rather walk under His shadow today? Call unto God from wherever you are in your journey with Him and He will answer you!

Believe and confes the word of God
Devotionals

Whose Report Do You Believe?

SCRIPTURAL REF: Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

Mark 11;24

 When I was pregnant with my last child, the first three scan reports read breech, unstable lie. This means that my baby was not only breech, but kept changing positions. She would take every possible position and end up in a latitudinal lie.

I was given sound medical advice and asked to make up my mind for caesarian section by the end of the 38th week. I left the hospital for church where I met my friend and prayer partner. After service, I told her what the doctor had said.

Then I asked her; “why do doctors talk with such conviction? Why does he think the baby will not turn before the 39th week?  I answered my own question “they talk from what they know. What they were taught in med school and trainings, coupled with what they have seen. They speak with confidence because they KNOW”.

This realization lit up my mind. As children of God, what do we know about Him? How much of His word do we know? What if as Children of God, we knew so much about the Father that we could speak with such confidence and conviction? This would spark so much faith in us that the devil will be put to shame. We cannot believe what we do not know!

How then do we get to know God so deeply?

 By The Word of God we hear. In the Book of Romans 10:17, the Bible says Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God. We need to keep hearing the word through preaching’s, sermons, listening to anointed men of God, and the voice of the spirit in our hearts. What we hear repeatedly, we tend to believe.

By studying the word. Spending time to read the Bible, anointed books and devotionals. Rev. 1:3.  It is the word we study that sticks in our minds and eventually come out when we get into trouble.

Meditation. This is an important means of getting to know God. After reading the word of God, we have to spend time thinking about what we’ve read until we get to the point of understanding. Only then will you have good success (Joshua 1:8)

Practice what the word says. When the Bible says fear not, you need to practice to not fear. As practice strengthens your physical muscles, the word likewise builds up your spiritual muscles

Confess the word. Saying aloud what we learn makes it more meaningful and real. In the Kingdom, we get what we say (Mark 11:23). Keep confessing the word over your life. When the Bible says you are healed, then you are. When it says He will protect you from the noise some pestilence, you confess and believe it over and over again!

I chose to believe the report of the Lord which says I shall bring forth before labor starts. (Isaiah 66) The baby turned! I had her normally because I knew God will not bring me to the point of delivery and shut up my womb (Isaiah 66:9). I had her before my doctor finished scrubbing, all alone with the Holy Spirit to prove His word.

When you know the word, believe it, stand on it, and confess it over your life and your loved ones and you will have whatever you say. The Bible says no sickness shall God allow near your dwelling, no plague shall come upon you. Confess this word day and night and see God’s words come to pass in your life!

devotional fix your eyes on Jesus
Devotionals

Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!

Matthew 14:29-30 (NIV)

A while ago, I fell on very hard times and had to minimize spending as much as I could, in order to tide my son and I far enough until we received our next stipends, from sources we weren’t even sure of.

On this particular day I went grocery shopping. I withdrew an amount form my bank account with my debit card and immediately got a debit alert from the bank on my mobile phone. When I checked and saw the figure left in the account, I was alarmed. My mouth went dry and I wondered how we were going to survive till whenever more money came.

Thoughts of fear and confusion raged within me. I was besides myself with worry when the story of Peter walking on water struck me like a flash. After feeding the multitude, Jesus asked the disciples to cross over to the other side of the river without him.  As they were wondering where he could be, they saw a figure coming towards them, walking on water. On closer look, they recognized the figure as their Master and Friend.

They were so awed Peter challenged Jesus to bid him to come to Him on the water if He was really the Christ. Jesus bided him to come forth and gingerly, with eyes focused on Jesus, Peter stepped foot on the water and began to walk towards Jesus.

Peter took his eyes off Jesus and saw the raging sea. He was gripped by fear.  He forgot all the miracles, signs and wonders he had witnessed Christ perform, all the teachings Jesus had thought them. He was afraid and started sinking. He realized his folly and reached out to the master who lovingly drew him back to Himself.

Stop looking at the waves of the sea, and focus on Jesus, your eternal source, I heard the Holy Ghost whisper to me. This jolted me back to reality as I analyzed the encounter. The wave of the sea which got me afraid was my bank account balance. The Holy Spirit was asking me not to focus on that but on the one who could do exceedingly above what I could ever ask or think, Jesus. My supplier, my provider, my contentment.

Like Peter, I immediately asked for forgiveness for my faithlessness and confessed that Jesus is my source and my sustainer, so I cannot lack. I stopped bothering about where and how money would come to me and focused on Jesus my supplier. And since then, I have walked in abundance, Jesus has been my source.

No matter the situation you are facing which represents the waves of the sea; be it health, poverty, emotional issues, do not forget that you are the product of a God, who supplies all your needs according to His riches in Glory. Focus on him as your one and only source. If you’ve gone astray, like Peter, cry out to your heavenly Father today and He will draw you to Himself.