Devotional Times

Taking a moment to be with God


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Revelation’s Revolution

“[F]or God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosever believeth in Him shall not periesh, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 KJV

Revolutions are an integral part of the history of mankind. Revolutions are taking place all over the world even as you read this. The most recent, most reported revolution is Syria’s civil war which formed part of the Arab Spring. The French Revolution is another important revolution that changed the course of history. We are still experiencing its effects today.

Revolutionaries, like Che Guevarra and Napoleon Bonaparte, usually fight for three ideals: freedom, equality, and fraternity. The first two ideals are easy to see while the last is their product, to a certain extent.

Now these three ideals we find in Christianity as well. In fact, Christ, the greatest Revolutionary ever, came to give man freedom from sin, to break the chains of slavery and racial prejudice, and to all of us He offers fraternal love, a place to belong in the brotherhood that is His Body, the Christian Church.

Jesus wants us to revolutionise the world just as He did His. Are ready to enlist?

Dear Father, thank You for sending Christ to die for our sins and to set us free. Help us to be revolutionanies too. In Jesus’ Name, I pray.


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Loving Stigma

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8 ESV

Living with stigma is not an easy thing. Many people around the world face stigma and discrimination on a daily basis but for none is it so palpable as for those living with HIV/AIDS. The general belief is that people with HIV are promiscuous and that when you have the virus your death certificate is signed and sealed. As a result HIV-positive individuals enter a deep depression. Some even begin to live up to the stereotype of being promiscuous because of rejection by family, friends, co-workers and even health care providers and health care workers–the very ones who are supposed to help and support them.

There was a time in Earth’s history when it wasn’t popular to be a Christian either. In fact, it was never popular and will never be popular to be a true Christian. There was a time when our predecessors were thrown to the lions, beaten to death, burned at the stake–tortured death just because they worship Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God. We were sold by our families, rejected, spat upon, for our “status”: Christ-positive.

Let us, therefore, embrace the stigmatised and love the HIV-positive people as Christ loves them, the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the drunkards, the homeless, the lepers, the criminals, and many others who are the outcasts of society. For “God is love” (1 John 4:8, ESV).

Almighty Father in Heaven, You are so mighty that even a whisper from You can move mountains. I pray that You will move the mountains in our hearts that we may love with Your love. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Please note: Sexual intercourse is not the only way in which the virus is transmitted. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can be transmitted via blood transfusions, hypodermic needles penetrating the skin, during birth and via breastfeeding. Anti-retrovirals (ARVs) enable HIV-positive people to live long fulfilling lives.


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Writer’s Block: The bane of writers

“I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.” Luke 5:24-25 KJV

It has long been known that writers, whatever the type of pieces they create, suffer from writer’s block from time to time. Writer’s block binds the writer so tightly that he cannot get a single word down on paper–much like stage fright does to the public speaker. Many theories regarding its origin exists–some more plausible than others. And even more advice on removing the blockage abounds. But, it all boils down to the writer putting pen to paper and writing about having the bane or whatever else the writer sees or experiences.

The same is true for the paralytic to whom Jesus said, “Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.” (v. 24) The only way the man could be cured of his malady was by doing the very thing he was unable to do. But, he did the impossible. At the command of Jesus he took up his bed and walked. He could have wavered and hesitated, but he did not. He chose to do that which his heart desired and which God desired him to do.

And God expects the same from us. He expects us to do what must be done without wavering. He expects us to use the talents, gifts and entrusted truths and privileges He gave us to bring Him glory and fulfill our purpose. But, sometimes we suffer from writer’s block, like Moses (Exodus 3), and we waver. And just as Moses and the paralytic, and writers throughout the ages did, to overcome the wavering we have to get on and do it. For it is as we do the little we can do that Christ enables us to do the things we ought to do as children of the living God.

Gracious Father in heaven,
to Thee be all glory given,
for Thou hast bid us do Thy will
but we don’t think we fit the bill;
indeed the bill we don’t fit
but strength Thou promis’d
in Thy Holy Writ.
For strength and courage we pray,
in Jesus’ dear and holy name,
Amen.


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Avenues

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:1-2 KJV

John Bunyan in his allegory The Holy War Made by King Shaddai Upon Diabolus, to Regain the Metropolis of the World, Or, The Losing and Taking Again of the Town of Mansoul tells about how Diabolus Continue reading


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Organelles: Intracellular compartments

“for in him we live, and move, and have our being” Acts 17:28 KJV

Intracellular organelles.

Organisation of a cell.

Cells are magnificent creatures and entities. There are organisms that are composed of only one cell such amoebas and bacteria, simple organisms composed of more than one cell (multicellular) such as the hydra, and complex multicellular organisms such as humans, plants, and animals. Just as our bodies are made up of different organs each performing their own function so cells are composed of different organelles. These organelles keep the cell alive. Some organelles store nutrients (vacuoles) while others produce energy (mitochondria) while yet others, such as peroxisomes, contain dangerous chemicals that would destroy the cell if these chemicals were left to roam around freely in the cell’s main compartment.

Compartmentalisation is part of who we are. Our bodies, brains, cells, and proteins are all compartmentalised. So, its natural that we would want to compartmentalise our lives and time as well. Some of us compartmentalise our personalities too, acting differently in the company of different people. We even constrain our spiritual lives, our relationship with God, to Saturdays or Sundays and to the prayers we say before our meal or get into bed at night.

But, God would not have it that way. Although cells are organised into different organelles, small fat particles line and define these organelles. So, God would have our faith, our relationship with Him, permeate and define the way we live our lives and interact with each other. Because ultimately we are cells in His body, the Church. He’s character is to be our DNA and His love the proteins that mediate the internal cellular processes as our faith and beliefs lend structure to our being. Won’t you allow God to compartmentalise your life instead of doing yourself allowing Him to mould your faith the way He moulds the cells that constitute our bodies? Won’t you let your faith pervade every area of your life?

Loving Father in Heaven, may Your life become mine. As You are present everywhere in this universe You created so I pray that You will be present everywhere in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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Talking Sense

“And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?” Genesis 3:9 KJV

God created humans to with five senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. These senses work together to form another layer of senses: equilibrioception, thermoception, propioception, nociception, chronoception, and interoception. Equilibrioception allows us to orientate ourselves, giving us a knowledge of our body’s posture, which direction we are facing, how much we are accelerating, and our body movements. With thermoception we perceive heat through our skin. Propioception allows us to always know where our body parts are in relation to each other even though our eyes might be closed or we might find ourselves in a dark room. Nociception is the perception of pain. Chronoception allows us to sense time. The circadian rhythm plays are role in the functioning of this sense. With interoception we sense the state of our internal organs and other sensations our conscious mind does not perceive.

When Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, their senses were disturbed. One sense in particular was disturbed: their sense and perception of God–who He is and His love for them. But, they did not realise this at first. They knew they sinned against and that judgement was imminent, but their intimacy, their close relation with Him was severed and they didn’t perceive it. That is why God asked Adam, as the head of his household, where they were. God knew where they were spatially, chronologically and relationally to Him, but they did not.

We do not know how long it took for Adam to come out from behind the bushes they were hiding, but they did. And even after God pronounced judgements on the human race and snakes, they still did not realise what they had done–not until Cain killed Abel.

And so it is with us. We don’t realise the extent of our sins–even now the light from Calvary is dimmed for many of us. Which is why God still asks the question to us He did back then: “Where are you?” I would encourage you to take the time to answer this question, to do the introspection and make things right with God.

Dear Father, thank You for being so concerned with my physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Thank You for coming to look for me. In Jesus’ name, amen.