All posts by Olorunsola Emmanuel

Devotional by Ray Stedman for November 24- A Bold Reminder

Topic:A Bold Reminder

But I have written very boldly to you on some points so as to remind you again, because of the grace that was given me from God, to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:15-16

Ray Stedman

You would think that a church that was theologically knowledgeable, able to instruct and counsel one another in the deep problems of life, and filled with a spirit of goodness and compassion, would hardly need anything more said to them. Yet it is to that kind of church that Paul addressed his letter to the Romans. He says they needed three other things.

First, they needed a bold reminder of the truth. I saw a man the other day with a string around his finger. The string was to remind him of something. The fact that we so easily forget things is somehow built into our humanity and I think one of the greatest proofs of the fall of man is that we have such a hard time remembering what we want to remember, yet we so easily remember what we want to forget! We even need to be reminded again and again of these great themes of the gospel. That is why in, Chapter 12, Paul says, “You need your mind renewed by the Holy Spirit,” (Romans 12:2). That is one reason to gather every Sunday: We need to have our minds renewed. We need to be called back to a vision of reality. Living out in the world, as many of you are, working every day among non-Christians, it is so easy to be sucked into the attitudes of the world around. It is so easy to get the idea that life is designed to be a pleasant picnic, that we can work toward the day when we can retire and enjoy ourselves. I find that attitude prevalent among people everywhere, but that is not what the Bible says. The Bible says we are in the midst of a battle, a battle to the death, against a keen and crafty foe. He wants to discourage us and defeat us, and to make us feel angry and hostile. He knows how to do it, and he never lets up. This life is not designed to be a time of relaxing. There are times when we need recreation and vacations, when we can slow down a bit. But you never see Paul talking about quitting the battle. You cannot quit, as long as life is there. So Paul tells us that we need to be reminded, day by day and week by week, that we are in a battle and that we have a crafty foe.

The second thing the apostle said the Christians at Rome needed was a priestly ministry. He told them, “You not only need to be reminded of the truth, but you need an example to follow. You need somebody you can see doing this kind of thing. That is what pastors have the privilege of doing. They are called of God, not only to be an example of leadership, but also to be like a priest working in the temple, to awaken among people a sense of worship, a sense of the greatness of God”

The third thing they needed is that, “the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.” Every congregation needs this. We need to labor, to pray, to work, to counsel, to evangelize. But all of the activity of the Christian life is of no avail if it is not sanctified by the Holy Spirit, if it does not have in it that touch of God, that unction from on high, that divine wind blowing upon the dead bones and making them come to life. Paul is reminding them here of the ministry of prayer, and the need to remember that God himself must touch something — otherwise it is dead and useless. So Paul calls this church at Rome back to this tremendous reality. They had so much, but they needed this as well.

Lord, continue to remind me of my need for these three things. I continue to need a bold reminder of the truth, a priestly example and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. Thank you that you are more than willing to provide these things.

Life Application

Has the daily exposure to worldly affairs and ideas diverted our minds from our heritage of Truth and Love? Have we settled into complacency when that knowledge and goodness is so urgently needed?

Billy Devotionals – Holidays, Lifestyle – By Billy Graham November 24, 2020

Topics: Holidays, Lifestyle
Billy Graham: Being Grateful in Word and Deed
By Billy Graham
November 24

O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.
—Psalm 118:1

Billy Graham

This devotion from Billy Graham was published on November 24, 2016, and is a timeless reminder to give thanks to God today—and every day—for our bountiful blessings.

This year as we observe our season of thanksgiving, let us be grateful not only in word but also in deed. Let our gratitude find expression in a resolve to live a life more unselfish and more consecrated to Jesus Christ. When we sit around our tables laden with sumptuous delicacies, let us not forget that half the world will go to bed hungry. As we enjoy the comforts of our cozy homes, let us not forget that great numbers in other parts of the world have no homes to go to.

When we step into our sleek automobiles, let us not forget that most of the people in the world cannot afford even a bicycle. In the Lord’s Prayer as recorded in the sixth chapter of Matthew, we read, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Scripture teaches that the good things of this life are the gifts of God, and that He is the donor of all our blessings. Thanksgiving? Yes. Let us get on our knees humbly and thank God for the blessings He has given us, both material and spiritual. They have come from His hands.

Prayer for the day
You bring me such abundance, almighty God. As I think of Thanksgiving Day, may my heart be completely consecrated to Your Son, Jesus Christ, so that through Him my life will show my gratitude to You.

From Faith to Faith—Daily Devotionals November 23, 2020 – Obey Him in the Little Things – Gloria Copeland The Father’s Heart

Topic:Obey Him in the Little Things
Gloria Copeland

He who is faithful in a very little [thing] is faithful also in much.
Luke 16:10, The Amplified Bible

Kenneth Copland

Have you ever wanted to take on some really big project in the kingdom of God, but the Lord just wouldn’t seem to let you? If so, there’s probably a good reason why.

You can see what I’m talking about if you’ll read about what God did with the children of Israel after He brought them out of Egypt. He wanted to take them on into the Promised Land. But before He could do it, God had to know if they would obey Him. He had to know if they would listen to His voice. Because if they didn’t, the enemies they were about to face would wipe them out.

So, do you know what He did? He tested them in a small matter.

Exodus 16:4 tells us about this simple test. “Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or not.”

God took a little, insignificant matter—the food they ate—and used it to see if they would listen to Him or not. He told them how much of it to gather, when to gather and when not to, and what to do with it after they brought it in.

And the Israelites went right out and violated those instructions. They showed God by their actions that His voice was not important to them. They were not willing to obey even His simplest commands.

God works the same way today. Before He sends you on a major mission, He gives you the opportunity to prove you can be trusted with small instructions.

But many of us miss that opportunity. We pray, What do You want me to do, Lord? Where do You want me to go? I’ll do anything You say. But then when the Lord says, I want you to get up and pray in the Spirit one hour every morning, we fail to obey Him. We say, “Oh yeah, that would be good. I ought to do that.” But somehow we never quite get around to it.

Don’t make that mistake. Start today obeying God in the little things. Let Him see that He can trust you out there in a place of much authority. Let Him know you’ll be faithful to His words and to the voice of His Spirit. Once He knows you won’t let disobedience wipe you out, He’ll start sending bigger assignments your way.

Scripture Reading:
Exodus 16:1-28

November 23, 2019 Our Daily Bread- Space for Me

Topic:Space for Me
Bible in a Year:
Ezekiel 20–21 James 5

Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him.
Mark 3:13–19

Our Daily Bread

He was an aging military veteran, rough-edged and given to even rougher language. One day a friend cared enough about him to inquire about his spiritual beliefs. The man’s dismissive response came quickly: “God doesn’t have space for someone like me.”

Perhaps that was just part of his “tough-guy” act, but his words couldn’t be further from the truth! God creates space especially for the rough, the guilt-ridden, and the excluded to belong and thrive in His community. This was obvious from the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, when He made some surprising choices for His disciples. First, He chose several fishermen from Galilee—the “wrong side of the tracks” from the perspective of those in Jerusalem. He also selected a tax collector, Matthew, whose profession included extorting from his oppressed countrymen. Then, for good measure, Jesus invited the “other” Simon—“the Zealot” (Mark 3:18).

We don’t know much about this Simon (he isn’t Simon Peter), but we do know about the Zealots. They hated traitors like Matthew, who got rich by collaborating with the despised Romans. Yet with divine irony, Jesus chose Simon along with Matthew, brought them together, and blended them into His team.

Don’t write anyone off as too “bad” for Jesus. After all, He said, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32). He has plenty of space for the tough cases—people like you and me.

November 23, Joseph Prince’s Devotional- GOD WANTS TO SET YOU UP FOR A BLESSING

Topic:GOD WANTS TO SET YOU UP FOR A BLESSING

Ruth 2:12
The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”

Have you ever wondered why, in some Bible stories, God asked the people to give what little they had to Him? It may appear cruel, but the truth is that God was setting them up for a blessing! God’s way is to use whatever we have, and multiply it back to us once we put it in His hands.

The widow of Zarephath had only a handful of flour and a little oil to make one last meal for her son and herself before they faced starvation. But she trusted God and used a portion of the little that she had to make a cake for the prophet Elijah. And God rewarded her by making sure that her bin of flour was not used up and her jar of oil did not run dry until the drought ended (see 1 Kings 17:8–16).

Similarly, the boy who gave his little lunch of five loaves and two small fish to Jesus not only ate well, but he also saw it being used to feed more than 5,000 people with 12 baskets full of leftovers (see John 6:1–13)!

Whenever we give what little we have to God, whether it is money, time or energy, it opens up our hearts so that God can fill us up with more. And when we give our lives to God, we can trust Him to make things right for us and to be the rewarder of our faith.

When Ruth, a childless Moabite widow, left the comfort of her home to follow her mother-in-law Naomi and the God of Israel back to a foreign land (see Ruth 1:16), she was given a full reward by the Lord. God gave Ruth protection and ensured that she was well-provided for through Boaz, a wealthy relative who took on the role of kinsman-redeemer for her and Naomi (see Ruth 2:9, 4:9–10).

Beloved, as you trust God with what you have today, know that He loves you and is setting you up for more blessings. So expect to see even more of His provision and abundance in the days to come!

Billy Devotionals – Suffering – By Billy Graham November 20, 2020

Topics: Suffering
Stumbling in Darkness
By Billy Graham
November 20

The one who is the true Light arrived to shine on everyone coming into the world.
—John 1:9 (TLB)

Billy Graham19

The world is stumbling in darkness from one crisis to another. The crises are getting worse and worse, and are coming closer and closer to home. Inflation, population explosion, hunger, dominate vast areas of the world. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. You follow me and give your life to me and I’ll take you out of the darkness of this world, out of this confusion, out of this mess that you’re in, and I’ll give you peace and joy. A light will burn in your heart and mind that you never had before. I will command the light to come on in your life.”

Prayer for the day
Your light shines in the darkest place and gives me hope, Lord Jesus.

Billy Devotionals – Lifestyle – By Billy Graham November 23, 2020

Topics: Lifestyle
The Abundant Life
By Billy Graham
November 23

He that eateth, eateth to the Lord; for he giveth God thanks . . .
—Romans 14:6

Billy Graham

Do you think that God would have bothered to send His Son to the world, if man had been able to face life and eternity alone? Christ’s coming to the world proved that God was not happy with man’s unhappiness. He sent Him not only that we might have eternal life but that we might have life here and now, and that we might have it more abundantly—Life with a capital L!

Jesus’ teaching was unique and different. He took religion out of the theoretical category and placed it in the practical. He spoke with authority! He spoke with finality! He spoke as though He knew … and He did! His was not the soft empty conjecture of the philosopher, who professes to search for truth-but readily admits he has never found it. It was more the confident voice of the mathematician who gives his answers unhesitatingly, because the proof of the answers can be found within the problem.

Prayer for the day
Lord God, I know that I am completely dependent upon You. Thank You for daily providing all that my body needs.

Devotional by Ray Stedman for November 23- Full of Goodness and Knowledge

Topic:Full of Goodness and Knowledge

And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another.
Romans 15:14

Ray Stedman

In this chapter of Romans, Paul gives us a little further insight into the church at Rome. Here, in Verse 14, there are three things that he says about this church, three great qualities that they possessed.

First, he says, “I am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness.” That is, their motives were right. They had come to the place where they were motivated by a sense of goodness. Certainly, this church at Rome was a responsive church, a compassionate church. It reached out to people who were in need. It responded to those who had hurts and burdens and concerns. This is one of the qualities I most appreciate about a congregation. Whenever a need is shared, there is always a compassionate response.

The second thing that the apostle says is that they were complete in knowledge. That is rather remarkable. Here was a church to which Paul did not need to give any new theology. He acknowledges that they had it already. Though this is one of the most deeply penetrative theological treatises in the New Testament, Paul did not write it because these people did not already know the truth that he was giving them. If you think back through the letter, there were certain themes that the apostle emphasized: One was justification by faith, i.e., the gift of worth in God’s sight. This gift could not be earned: It was a gift because of the work of Jesus Christ for us. They also understood the nature of the flesh, the need for sanctification. They knew that even though they had been redeemed, they were still possessed of a fallen body. The flesh was still there, giving them trouble. I still struggle with my own flesh, and so do you. Young Philip Melancthon, the colleague of Martin Luther, once wrote to Luther and said, “Old Adam is too strong for young Philip.” These people at Rome understood this truth and they knew that this would be the struggle of their Christian lives. Paul did not have to tell them that; they knew it before he wrote. But they knew also that God is working out a great plan, that he is creating a whole new humanity, and building a new creation. Right in the midst of the ruins of the old, he is producing a new man, and they were part of it. Finally, they understood the great themes of glorification, and of the eternal ages to come.

The third thing the apostle had to say about this church was that they were competent to instruct one another. In a sense, he was saying, “You are able to counsel one another.” That is a remarkable thing. This is the answer to all the terrible pressure that is placed upon pastors, who are expected to solve all the problems of their congregations, and to counsel everyone first-hand. That was never God’s intention. The plan of God is that the whole congregation be involved in the work of counseling. The whole congregation is to be aware of what is going on with neighbors and friends and brothers and sisters, and do something about meeting their problems. The way this is done is by the imparting of the gifts of the Spirit. So the church at Rome had the right motives, they had complete knowledge, and they had the full range of gifts, so that they were able to do many things within their church community and in the city of Rome.

Thank you, Father, for all the gifts of goodness and knowledge and instruction that you have given to your church to use in serving and loving one another.

Life Application

Three great doctrines of the faith were known by the church in Rome. Are we being equipped to serve and counsel others with the gifts of godly insight and knowledge?

Devotional by Ray Stedman for November 22- Accept One Another

Topic:Accept One Another

Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God. For I say that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the fathers, and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written, “Therefore I will give praise to You among the Gentiles, and I will sing to Your name.”
Romans 15:7-9

Ray Stedman

I do not know if you have ever been involved in a church fight, but if you have, you know that tempers can get very hot. People can get very upset, and factions can form; divisions and feuds break out.

Yet I have never heard of a church fight that was any worse than the attitudes that Jews and Gentiles had toward one another in Paul’s day. The Jews held the Gentiles in contempt; they called them dogs. They would have nothing to do with them. The Jews even regarded it as sinful to go into a Gentile’s house and they would never dream of eating with a Gentile. They regarded them with utter contempt. In the book of Acts, Peter got into serious trouble with his Jewish friends because he went into the home of Cornelius, and ate with him. It was only because Peter could show that the Holy Spirit sent him there, that he was able to justify his conduct to his friends.

Of course, if the Jews felt that way about the Gentiles, the Gentiles paid it right back in kind. They hated the Jews. They called them all kinds of names. This is where modern anti-Semitism was born. These were opposing factions who hated one another, and would have nothing to do with one another.

Yet, Paul says, that kind of division God is healing by the work of Jesus. How did Jesus do it? A more literal translation of the text is that, “he became a minister of circumcision.” What the apostle is arguing is that the Lord healed this breach between the Jews and the Gentiles by his giving in and limiting his own liberty. He who designed the human body, he himself consented to the act of circumcision. Jesus consented to that and limited himself in that way. He became a circumcised Jew. He who declared in his ministry that all foods are clean, and thus gave clear evidence that he understood the liberty that God gives us in the matter of eating, never once ate anything but kosher food. He limited himself to the Jewish diet, even though he declared that all foods were clean.

He who was without sin insisted on a sinner’s baptism. He came to John, and John said, “Why are you coming to me? I need to be baptized by you. You do not need to be baptized.” Jesus said, “Allow it to be so, for in this way it becomes us. It is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness,” (Matthew 3:15). So he who had no reason to be baptized consented to be baptized. He who longed to heal the hurts of the world said that when he came, he limited himself to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Paul’s argument is that the results of that limitation were that Jesus broke the back of the argument and of the contempt between the Jew and the Gentile. He reached both Jews and Gentiles to the glory of God. If you trace this through you can see that what Paul is saying is that in the death and resurrection of Jesus, God showed his faithfulness to the Jews in fulfilling the promises made to the patriarchs; and he showed his mercy to the Gentiles, saving them who were without any promises at all. Thus the two, Jew and Gentile, shall fully become one, just as the Scriptures predict.

What Paul is really saying is, “You do not need to separate; you do not need to split; you do not need to fight; you do not need to sue one another. You can work the problems out, and God is honored and glorified when you do.”

Thank you for this miracle of unity in Christ, and I ask that it be preserved in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Life Application

Jesus’ example is the answer to ‘What would Jesus do?’ The cross was the price He paid for our acceptance. Are we laying down our rights in order to accept others for Jesus’ sake?

Billy Devotionals – Holidays – By Billy Graham November 22, 2020

Topics: Holidays
Thanksgiving with Meaning
By Billy Graham
November 22

The Lord is close to those whose hearts are breaking; he rescues those who are humbly sorry for their sins.
—Psalm 34:18 (TLB)

Billy Graham

It is the custom of many Christians to bow their heads in public places and give thanks for the food that has been placed before them. I have had scores of waiters and waitresses tell me that when we bowed our heads, it was the first time they had ever seen that happen in their restaurant.

Millions never pause to give a word of thanks to God for the food provided. Few homes have a moment of thanksgiving at the beginning of the meal or at any other time of the day. Even at Thanksgiving time only a minority will pause and give thanks to God.

Thanksgiving is recognition of a debt that cannot be paid. We express thanks, whether or not we are able otherwise to reimburse the giver. When thanksgiving is filled with true meaning and is not just the formality of a polite “thank you,” it is the recognition of dependence.

Prayer for the day
Lord Jesus, I know that apart from You I can do nothing of lasting value. Help me to come to the end of self and allow You to control the reins of my life.