SEEKING ANSWERS THROUGH PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION
Daniel 9:1-3"So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes" Daniel 9:3, (NIV). Joseph M. Scriven, the writer of one of the popular hymns entitled "What a Friend We Have in Jesus", wrote this hymn as a poem to his sick mother after he lost his fiancee the second time. He wrote the poem to encourage his mother and remind her of a Father who is never tired of listening to our requests. This hymn has become one of the powerful hymns of prayer in Christianity, reminding us each time of the privilege we have when we pray to God. God knows all things, including every secret we long to know about our lives. Through reading, Daniel knew the number of years Judah was to spend in exile, but he didn't know how their deliverance would come about. So, he sought the face of God for answers. He didn't go to the idols or the king of Babylon. Where do you go to find out about your future or your destiny? Only God can give you the perfect answer. Avoid fake prophets. Tune your heart to God; He will reveal the truth of your future.
- Birthday Blessing: "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you." Psalms 32:8
A RENEWED CALL TO REPENTANCE
Joel 1:13-20"Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord" Joel 1:14, (NIV). The discovery of penicilin brought about the beginning of antibiotic age. Prior to that time, there was no effective drug for treating pneumonia, gonorrhea or rheumatic fever. Many people suffered and easily died of infections contracted through wounds and cuts. But in 1928, Alexander Fleming, Professor of Bacteriology at St. Mary's Hospital in London, discovered penicillin. Just like the discovery of penicillin, the prophets discovered that repentance is the only cure for God's anger. In our passage today, Prophet Joel passionately called the people of God to repent from all their wickedness. He was strategic in his call for repentance: he called on the leaders first. He understood that everything rises and falls on leadership. Genuine repentance must start with the priests and everyone who draws near to God. If Jesus Christ is dwelling in you, you have a leadership mandate and God expects you to answer the call unto repentance always. Repentance opens the door to God's favour always.
- Birthday Blessing: "Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell." Psalm 43:3
DISOBEDIENCE RESULTS IN ISRAEL'S DOWNFALL
Jeremiah 25:8-14...“Because you have not listened to my words, I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,” declares the Lord ..." Jeremiah 25:8-9, (NIV). The cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were flourishing centres of Roman life prior AD 79. They were models of civilisation at its peak in the world of their time. But when destruction came upon them, they became mere shadows of themselves and only centres for archaeological and moral narrative. In 1872, the British Baptist preacher Charles H. Spurgeon, paid a visit to Pompeii and referred to it in a subsequent sermon, ‘Voices from Pompeii’, as ‘that fair abode of luxury and vice’. “Pompeii is held up as the inevitability of divine judgment upon immorality, luxury and vice.” The people of Judah were very precious to God. They knew that God loved them, but they took His love for granted: they served idols and perpetrated all kinds of evil. Through many prophets, God sent warnings to them to change, but they ignored the warnings. Finally, God sent Jeremiah to declare to them the imminent unfailing wrath of God over them. They were eventually taken into exile. God has unlimited capacity to love; He also has unlimited capacity to punish disobedience. Disobedience to God is dangerous: it attracts God's wrath. Do not go out today without changing your way. You will be lifted!
- Birthday Blessing: "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me" Psalms 51:10
GOD DELIVERS FROM THE FIERY FURNACE
Daniel 3:19-23, 26-28A war between Duke of Wellington of England and the French dictator Napoleon Bonaparte was fought in 1815. The whole of England stood by the sea awaiting the ship of the returning army. Filled with anxiety, those that could not wait for the ship to arrive demanded a message to be sent. A signal was lifted which read, "Wellington defeated." There was a great gloom and sadness spread all over the country. But, few minutes later, another message was sent, this time in full and it reads, "Wellington defeated the enemy" Joy and happiness quickly took over the sadness. God is never pleased with oppression of any kind. Even when deliverance seems delayed, God will not fail. The three Hebrew men were thrown into the fire before God rescued them. They never denied their faith even when they were faced with death. We may not need to bother ourselves about the time God has set for deliverance but we must be assured that He never fails to deliver His own. Therefore, you have an assurance that whatever you are going through presently will not last forever. God has set a time for you deliverance and He will surely deliver you.
- Birthday Blessing: “For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things-” Psalms 107:9.
KING ASTONISHED AT JEWS SURVIVAL
Daniel 3:24-25“Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren't there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” Daniel 3:24a, An evangelist in the 18th century was being chased by a mob that was ready to kill him once they got him. He ran so fast because his life depended on it. After a while, he made a turning and the mob began to laugh as they pursued him. Confused, he continued to run. He soon realised that he had taken a turn leading to a big river, a dead end. When he saw what was ahead of him, he closed his eyes and continued to run towards the river. The moment his leg touched the river bank, the water parted for him and he ran through the river on a dry land. His chasers couldn’t believe what they saw. The expectation of king Nebuchadnezzar was to see the three Hebrew men burnt to ashes. But to his surprise, they were walking free in the fire, unhurt. God could have saved them before getting into the fire but He did not. God allowed this to happen because He wanted to show His supremacy in all situations. God may not prevent the enemy's attack, but he surely will rescue the righteous from all their troubles.
- Birthday Blessing: “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”