I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness. Ps 145:1-6 (KJV)
Lord, You are the reason am happy! Thank You, Father for this great day, glory be to You. Without You; am nothing. Aside You; I can do nothing. You are my everything. Praise be to Your Holy Name, for You are greatly to be praised.
Beloved, amazed at our subject today, why is not talking about Christmas? why all this talk about being modest at our celebration. But wait a moment, in my quiet time this morning, why mediating on events of the period, the Holy Spirit gave me a puzzle I will like to share with you. He said “do you know if the second coming of Christ happens on a Christmas day, so many people will miss it”. I stopped a while, I was shocked and I asked, how? Though I don’t need to ask. He said, “many people will be carried away with activities of the season other than the real reason of the first advent, same way, many will miss the Second Advent.
It was a burden to come up with today’s message because it is not going to be popular, is not what you are excepting to hit your mailbox either but if you are familiar with us, we do nothing of our own accept we are led.
So if I may asked you “who” have you been with, lately? Who has been catching your fancies of late?
A Secret Love Affair
Let’s admit it! Many of us have been carrying on a secret love affair for years!
And doing a pretty good job of masking it from our fellow believers in Christ. And why do we continue the “affair”? Simply because we love how it:
- · Panders our appetite for sensual gratification
- · Entices our eyes and caters to the greedy longings of our mind, and
- · Fosters our desire to live a life of pretension.
The “love affair” to which I am referring is our surrender to the evil values of this world system that governs the goings on of mankind; a system which is headed by none other than Satan himself – “The Prince of this world.“ (John 12:31; 14:30)
If we have capitulated to this Prince by currying a “love affair“ with his domain, we have a serious problem. You see, as professed followers of Jesus Christ, God will not allow us the luxury of two loves:
“If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.“ (1 John 2:15)
We simply cannot have it both ways: Loving the “world” and loving God.
So how does one extricate oneself from a “love affair“ with this world? Jesus’ prayer to the Father concerning the 12 disciples (Judas excepted), the night before the cross, gives us insight into the answer to that question:
“I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:14, 17)
The inner transformation affected by the disciples’ intake of the Word of God signaled to the world that they were no longer one of them. So the world “hated“ them. In a similar vein, Paul stated that he was “crucified to the world and the world to (him).“ (Galatians 6:14b). He in kind had grown to hate the “world system.” In other words, both sides had written the other off because there was no longer common ground for fellowship.
SO… THE BIG QUESTION IS: Are you resisting the world’s seductive charm by the inner change that results from consistent, and disciplined meditation upon God’s Word?
If not, you are choosing by default to foster your “love affair” with the “Prince of this world‘s” dominion. And in so doing you have become God’s adversary, because “Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.“ (James 4:4).
Do you agree with me? Not quite sure, okay Christmas is a time of celebration agreed but the main reason for the celebration is what we are being reminded to be at HOME with not the eating and drinking. “He came that you will have life and have it abundantly!”
Are you a friend of God? Does your heart loves God? What does your “HEART” pant after? Do you also know that with all your generosity with wrong motive amount to nothing? Where is it at this moment you are reading this devotional? You are not quite sure of the answer to give, not to worry the next message will help you do just exactly that. Come along with me:
For I desire loyalty and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.—Hosea 6:6
No amount of activity for God will ever take the place of a heart that is right with Him. Through the ages God’s people have been persuaded that they could please Him through their service and their offerings, regardless of their heart condition. King Saul offered generous sacrifices, hoping God would overlook his disobedience (1 Sam. 15:22–23). David may have assumed that after all he had done on God’s behalf, God would overlook his sin (2 Sam. 12:7–15). Ananias and Sapphira thought that their generous gift to the church would compensate for their deceitfulness (Acts 5:1–11).
Paul was certainly one who had thought his zealousness would please God. After his conversion, however, he concluded that even if he had faith to remove mountains, gave all he had to feed the poor, and offered his body to be burned for the sake of God, and yet had a heart that was not right, it would all be for nothing (1 Cor. 13:1–3).
We are susceptible to the same misunderstanding as all of these people were. We can be deceived into assuming God is more interested in our activity for Him than He is in the condition of our heart. God has consistently made it clear that He will not be pacified by even the most generous offerings and zealous service if our hearts are not right with Him (Mic. 6:6–8). No matter how much we do in God’s service, regardless of how active we are in our church, no matter how honorable our reputation in the Christian community, He will not overlook a sinful heart. His desire is that we devote ourselves to knowing Him and loving Him with all of our hearts.
So may I ask you again, “Do you love God?” What does your heart pant after? Is your heart right for God? How prepared are for the season now? Are you also ready for the Second Advent? If not for any other thing, the time is nearer now than it was before. If Christ is to come tomorrow, how ready are you?
As we get ready for the arrival of our Lord Jesus Christ- Immanuel, take out time to get your heart ready for His indwelling; so as you are feeding your flesh, your soul will not miss out.
God bless you richly as we wait tonight for the safe delivery of our mother Mary. Praise the Lord! O yea His saints.
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Evang. Ifeoma Ohondu
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