Wednesday, November 2, 2016.
Author : Bishop Julius Okarike
Verse Of The Day : For you were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.- 1 Peter 2 : 25
LISTEN : Just like the ship cannot successfully navigate the sea without the compass, so also can we not navigate life without divine help and direction. Truly, we have no direction without God. A lot of people who see themselves as successful without God are just merely existing and not truly living. No one can ever claim to live well who lived outside the will of God. Anyone who reject God will certainly lose direction and miss his or her purpose of existence. People will always wander away from the purpose of God without His guidance. He created us and knows where we should go and what we should do. But because humans have the propensity to plan and make critical decisions irrespective of God’s opinion, they proceed with their plans and forget the fact that God reserves the right to approve or disapprove of them. Anyone without God is without direction. Like sheep, he cannot maintain his God-given mission but go astray. The bible says, “For ye were as sheep going astray.” What does that mean? It means that, formerly we [Christians] were not in a better moral condition than others; we were like stray sheep, trapped in the wilderness of ignorance and sin, till Christ, the true and merciful Shepherd, called us back from our wanderings, by sending us the Gospel of his grace. God placed upon him the burdens of our sins; what a loving Saviour!
Beloved, was there no time you strayed from the purpose of God like me? A time you were running away from God’s plan for your life? I mean the time in your life when sin tasted good and righteousness seemed like an abomination to you? The time you determined to follow just your own will in disregard to the will of God? However, God brought us back to himself by grace through his Son Jesus Christ. He is the Bishop of your souls. This literally signifies an overseer, an inspector, or one that has the oversight. Jesus Christ is the Overseer of our souls; he has our souls continually under his eye; he knows our wants, wishes, dangers, etc, and provides for them. As our shepherd, he leads us to the best pastures, defends us from our enemies, and guides us by his unfailing eyes. Beloved, there is no better shepherd than Jesus Christ; he is the good Shepherd that laid down his life for his sheep [us]. As loving and compassionate Father and God, all human souls are inexpressibly dear to him, as they are the purchase of his blood. Besides, in the church, He is still the supreme Bishop or Overseer to his people. He alone is “the Bishop of bishops,” our sole source of direction, guidance, protection, preservation, provision, etc. He is worthy to be praised; for we who were far away from Him has graciously and miraculously return to Him the owner of our souls. What a compassionate God!
Having read today’s devotional, what are you expected to do?
1. Make Jesus Christ the Saviour and Lord of your life.
2. Acknowledge that you don’t have a secured future and real direction without God.
3. Henceforth, surrender the control of your life to God and determine not to stray from His family of faithfuls.
4. Always follow the leading of God and you will not be misled by the devil and his agents.
Daily Task : If you are spiritually strong today, remember that yesterday you were not in a better moral condition than others; you were once like stray sheep, trapped in the wilderness of ignorance and sin, till Christ, the true and merciful Shepherd, called you back from your wandering through the gospel.
Daily Reflection : No one can ever claim to live well who lived or lives outside the will of God. Anyone who rejects God will certainly lose direction and miss his or her purpose of existence.
Prayer : Compassionate Father, I acknowledge that I have in many occasions stray from your purpose, but today, I ask that you bring me closer to yourself in Jesus’ name, amen.
Prophetic Word : Today, I prophesy over your life, your years of wandering in the wilderness of spiritual ignorance and blindness are over; may God cause you to discover divine secrets in Jesus’ name, amen.