POVERTY OF CHARACTER

MORNING

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Author : Bishop Julius Okarike

Verse Of The Day : … And a poor man is better than a liar. Proverbs 19:22

LISTEN : Any time the word “poverty” is mentioned, what comes to mind is lack of money and material things. Poverty is not just about being destitute, it includes moral bankruptcy. I mean, “poverty of character.” Yes, to be poor in character is to be poor indeed. Couple of months ago, I told a story about a poor man who was looking very old and haggard and was crossing the road to his dilapidated building without watching, when a notorious fraudster suddenly arrived in his exotic car, screeching his car break and almost crushed him. In anger he stopped and stepped out of his car and shouted at the poor man. “You poor fool, are you poor and foolish at the same time?” Immediately, the poor man knelt down trembling and pleaded with him for forgiveness, but he ignored him and shouted the more. “You poor foolish man, do you know I can kill you and nothing will happen?” The poor man stood up in anger and replied him, “I am not as poor as you are. You are very poor because you’re poor in character. You defraud people of what they have. You’re wealthy today by dubious means. Young man, poverty is not a crime, but fraud is. No person can punish anyone for being poor, but people can condemn you to death for being a liar and defrauding others.” The fraudster was shocked and ashamed and therefore, zoomed off.

The story today explains our verse of the day. God condemns dishonesty (Prov 6:16-19; 20:17; 12:22 ). He shows concern for the poor and needy, but He is angry with liars. God hates lies because it is capable of destroying lives. Liars make people believe what is not true. What does it mean to lie? It means to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive. It is to create a false or misleading impression. Many lives are ruined today because of lies. A lie can destroy a person, family, or even a nation. Lies come in different form (propaganda, rumours, blackmail, etc.). Liars tell lies for different reasons (to escape punishment, obtain a favour, damage someone else’s reputation, defraud, etc.). A liar lacks integrity. And a life without integrity is a poor life. Poverty of character is the worst form of poverty and God hates it. Telling lies is so disgusting that the Bible says, “And a poor man is better than a liar.”(Proverbs 19:22). Beloved, is your life built on falsehood? Retrace your steps today. Remember, God doesn’t take lies lightly (see Acts 5:1-11). Be wise!

Having read today’s devotional, what is expected of you?
1. Determine to live an honest life no matter the temptation to do otherwise.
2. Don’t mock anyone for being poor, instead help and support them.
3. Study the word of God and grow in integrity and you’ll not be poor in character.
4. Don’t build your life on falsehood, rather be sincere to others and earn their trust.

Prayer : Almighty God! I thank you for your words today. Help me to grow in integrity and to shun lies and deceit as long as I live, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Reflection : Life without integrity is a poor and despicable life.

Quote : “To be poor in mind and character is to be poor indeed.”

Faith Confession : In Jesus’ name. I confess that poor character is the worst form of poverty. Therefore, I will work on my character henceforth, amen.

Biblical Fact: Did you know that, blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy? (Matthew 5:7).

Today In History : April 30, 1980 Terrorists seize the Iranian Embassy in London.

Stunning Fact : Did you know the longest recorded flight of a chicken was 13 seconds?

A Word Of Blessing : It is well with you. Today I speak on your life. May you not be poor in character. May God strengthen and make you to rise above limitations, in Jesus’ name, amen.

EVENING

TOPIC : BE PATIENT AND HOPEFUL

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Bible Verse : It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3:26

LISTEN : Beloved, be patient and hopeful. In everything always do your own part and hope in God and wait patiently for Him. My dear, are you troubled, confused and frustrated? Have you prayed and God seems to be silent on you? I have a good news for you. God will surely answer you. He knows your needs and how you feel (Matthew 6:8,31-32). Surely, He’ll visit you at the right time. God can’t be late if He wants to deliver anyone from trouble. He comes at the right time and not just in our own time (Isaiah 55:8). And those who must receive from Him must learn to wait for Him in faith (Psalms 27:14). People tend to give up hope because they believe they have come to the end of the road in their lives. They believe it is all over, and therefore accept their misfortunes as their own fate. A lot of people think and end this way in times of trouble because they’re not established in faith. Anything can shake them to their nerves because they’re bankrupt of the word of God. Beloved, no matter what, you should learn to hope in God. The Bible says,“It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.” (Lamentations 3:26). My dear, hope doesn’t disappoint. Hence, keeping your hope alive is the key to your desired future. But when your hope dies, you’ve “murdered your future” with your own hands. So, be strong and wait for God’s salvation and keep your hope alive no matter what. Be wise!

Prayer : Heavenly Father! I thank you because you’re God. Help me to hope in you and wait patiently for your mercy in Jesus’ name, amen.