Devotional 08.05.2014

Verse of the Day

“How great you are, O Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you! [NLT] 2 Samuel 7:22


In his name, nature, persons, and perfections, purposes, promises, and works: for his essence and attributes, for his greatness and goodness, for what he is in himself, for what he is to his people, and has done for them: there is but one God, the living and true God, the former and maker of all things; all others are but fictitious and factitious gods. [John Gill’s Exposition]. I don’t know about you, but I have searched and searched and found no God as good as Him. He is beyond good, He is beyond faithful. He has never let me down, and He sure can be counted on. #SamuelChallenge #Verseoftheday

Devotional 07.05.2014

Verse of the Day
Please pay no attention, my lord, to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name–his name means Fool, and folly goes with him. [NIV] 1 Samuel 25:25a
The importance of a name! What kind of name do you bear? In ancient Israel names were often connected with a person’s character. Even in parts of Africa today. We don’t know if Nabal was given this name or he earned it but he certainly did live up to it, as we were told that he was surly / abrasive and mean in his dealings. As parents we ought to give our children well-meaning names that we would want them to live up and help them to grow into men / women of good characters. A name that would bless and enrich their lives not relegate them to a life of unending failure from the moment they’re born. A name that would activate their inborn / innate success stories! Now my question to you is this, what does your name say about you? Are you living up to your name? #Verseoftheday #SamuelChallenge #Name

Devotional 06.05.2014

Verse of the Day

Now Saul was afraid of David, for the LORD was with him but had departed from Saul. [NASB] 1 Samuel 18:12


If you no longer have the Lord with you, or working His good works in you and through you, you walk as one marked for rejection. And a rejected person without the Spirit of God dwelling in them, regardless of the good he thinks he is doing has Evil tendencies. Even if you were once the chosen/accepted of God, the one who was taken from rags to riches, like in the story of King Saul of Gibeah, your persistent action of disobedience of His commands, rejecting His commands for your life, and doing away with the Holy Spirit, only means you’ve exchanged God’s goodness in your life for a life devoid of God; a life where Evil tendencies, thoughts and deeds can thrive. A life once filled with testimonies to a life of ruin, shame and fear of the unknown. Saul who would have once been the envy of the entire Israel nation, now started to envy another, why? Because his life was now devoid of God, and now filled with Evil, which is the direct opposite of God. I don’t know about you, but I would rather live my entire life with the Lord God of heaven and earth with me and working through me, than live a day without Him. Who else has the keys to life, if not #Jesus? The same choice applies to you. The choice is left to you! #Verseoftheday #Samuelchallenge

Devotional 02.05.2014

Verse of the Day

The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. [NLT] 1 Samuel 16:7b


The state of your heart is what really matters to God, not how well/good you look. It’s through the heart that godly qualifications such as justice, integrity, mercy, goodness, wisdom, even prudence and non-godly qualifications like pride, envy, lust and hate are found. So often we let ourselves be intimidated or even influenced by what we see on the outside of a person. But what we don’t realise is that God is the only one that truly knows what’s really going on, on the inside of a person’s heart. So next time you see a person and you’re about to judge them, take some time to ponder if you’re really well placed to make that judgement. And in all things, always be honest with yourself, you don’t need to pretend to be someone you’re not. God will always find you out. Always seek the help of the Lord #Jesus, and He will guide you to a better you. #Verseoftheday #SamuelChallenge

Devotional 30.04.2014

Verse of the Day

“Don’t be afraid,” Samuel reassured them. “You have certainly done wrong, but make sure now that you worship the LORD with all your heart, and don’t turn your back on him. [NLT] 1 Samuel 12:20


Regardless of how unworthy you may be feeling right now, because of some of the wrong decisions you’ve made, which will not be dis-pleasing to God our maker, don’t let that prevent you from retracing your steps back to Him. There is grace and mercy with God, and so you need no longer despair. As long as you stick with God, He will help you work out all the imperfections in your life, so that in the end, you live a life pleasing to Him. He knows and understands your daily struggles. He has not given up on you just yet. #Verseoftheday #SamuelChallenge

Your roots does not define your height

The height of your tree is not determined by your roots!

Your life’s pinnacle is not determined by your roots!

Your roots does not define how far you grow in life!

You’re probably thinking give me a break Lifeofstranger, like seriously? That’s a contradiction in itself. We know from everything we’ve been taught the significance of a plant’s roots in defining how tall is grows or how big it becomes. A “tree” will put out roots as long as the branches, and as deep as the height . . . to counter-balance the tree. But I’m taken you somewhere.

I’ve read in wikipedia the major functions of the roots which are: absorption of water and inorganic nutrients, anchoring of the plant body to the ground, and supporting it, storage of food and nutrients, and so forth.

But What if you were born with a root that was so bad that it couldn’t effectively support, nourish and enable you to get to your expected heights, does that then mean that you should then give up? Or even better, suppose you were born with the roots of a grass, should that then prevent you from desiring to be as big as say the coast redwood? That’s an impossible thinking right?

Our Opening Bible verse for today and our memory verse for today is:

Psalm 136:23 of New International Reader’s Version (NIRV) reads: Give thanks to the One who remembered us when things were going badly for us. His faithful love continues forever.

Your life’s pinnacle is not determined by your roots!

Can we please turn to our Bibles, to 1st Samuel 9:1-4

There was a Benjamite, a man of standing, whose name was Kish son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bekorath, the son of Aphiah of Benjamin. Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else. Now the donkeys belonging to Saul’s father Kish were lost, and Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the servants with you and go and look for the donkeys.” So he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and through the area around Shalisha, but they did not find them. They went on into the district of Shaalim, but the donkeys were not there. Then he passed through the territory of Benjamin, but they did not find them.

Vs. 5-6: When they reached the district of Zuph, Saul said to the servant who was with him, “Come, let’s go back, or my father will stop thinking about the donkeys and start worrying about us.” But the servant replied, “Look, in this town there is a man of God; he is highly respected, and everything he says comes true. Let’s go there now. Perhaps he will tell us what way to take.”

Vs 15-17: Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed this to Samuel: “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him ruler over my people Israel; he will deliver them from the hand of the Philistines. I have looked on my people, for their cry has reached me.” When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the Lord said to him, “This is the man I spoke to you about; he will govern my people.”

Vs 20b-21: And to whom is all the desire of Israel turned, if not to you and your whole family line?” Saul answered, “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?”

We’re probably very familiar with the story of the first anointed king over Israel, King Saul of Gibeah.

1st Samuel 9:1-2 described his background, his roots by saying: There was a Benjamite, a man of standing, whose name was Kish son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bekorath, the son of Aphiah of Benjamin. Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else.

There is so much detail in the preceding verse concerning Saul’s Father, so that you understood his heritage, but there’s no mention of Kish having other children aside from Saul; i.e., there’s no mention of Saul having siblings. Rather when we were introduced to the man Saul we were told he “Saul was the most handsome man in Israel–head and shoulders taller than anyone else in the land.”

Not many Sunday’s ago Pastor Toyin Adegoke taught us on some of the characteristics the Jew Esther had, who defied her circumstances and became queen, and one of those KEY characteristics was that “she was beautiful”.

Now back to my message today, the People of Israel wanted a king like the kind all the other nations had. If we head over to 1 Samuel 8:5  it says: “Look,” they told him, “you are now old, and your sons are not like you. Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have.” [NLT] 1 Samuel 8:5

To ask for a king “like all the nations” suggests that the children of Israel wanted a big strong guy, like the rest of the nations-an all-powerful leader who would make all the decisions so that they could sit back and throw off that heavy burden of responsibility that they’ve had to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

And one of the characteristics of Saul described in 1 Samuel 9:2 – met exactly what they wanted. A strong man, like Saul who was head and shoulders taller and bigger than any man in Isreal.

Your life’s pinnacle is not determined by your roots!

In Deuteronomy 17:14-15 (would you like to go there) Moses had prophesied as He spoke to the children of Israel in his farewell speech:

“When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” be sure to appoint over you a king the LORD your God chooses. He must be from among your fellow Israelites. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not an Israelite.”

If we go further in Deut 17:16-20,the model King, fit enough to rule Israel was described: He must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold. When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.

So basically in a nutshell, the children of Israel must only appoint a man God has chosen, he must be a scholar of God’s word, a leader, pious, righteous and God-fearing. Their choice must not be determined by the outward appearance (that is, not big and strong as the people of Israel wanted).

But we’ve read previously in 1 Samuel 9: 16-17 what God told Samuel: “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him ruler over my people Israel; he will deliver them from the hand of the Philistines. I have looked on my people, for their cry has reached me. “When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the LORD said to him, “This is the man I spoke to you about; he will govern my people.”

that He was going to send to him the man he has chosen to lead Israel. So even though the people wanted a King like the other nations, and Saul appeared to meet their requirements, God had predestined Saul before time to be used to deliver His people from the tyranny of the philistines and to govern His people.

So check this, does that then mean the people’s wishes influenced God’s choice? Since God, from whom all knowledge flows, knew that there will be a time when the children of Israel would want a king like other nations, which even Moses in Deut. 17:14-15 prophesied, He prepared before time, a man that would meet the characteristics of their desired king, so that when the time came, the choice was available.

So my question again: does that then mean the people’s wishes influenced God’s decision, influenced God’s choice? That’s pretty deep! My answer, Of course NOT! God is Sovereign in His decisions, and Saul at this point in time was God’s choice for His people!

In the end, we know the story of how it ended for King Saul, he was rejected by God not because he wasn’t a good king. Unlike David, he was always with his soldiers in battle, he led by example, he even took his children to battle, and we know that when He died, his three sons also died in the same battle. We can compare his chivalry (interms of being in the warfronts, instead of taking the advice of your generals to leave them to do the fights for you) to David, because we were told that David wasn’t always in battle, because of certain story of when Kings went to war, David was at home admiring someone else’s wife. But that’s a story for another day. This same David, even Lamented upon hearing Saul’s death saying in 2nd Samuel 1:24: Daughters of Israel, weep for Saul, who clothed you in scarlet and finery, who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold. How the mighty have fallen in battle!

Saul was rejected by God not because he wasn’t a good king, but because He disobeyed God’s direct commands!

Your roots does not define your height

We will not dwell on Saul’s rejection as King or why he wasn’t given as many chances as the other Kings after him, like David, but we will dwell on how God took a man of unimportant background to become the highest ranking man of the land.

In 1st Samuel 10:1 the word of the Lord says: Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the LORD anointed you ruler over his inheritance? [NIV] 1 Samuel 10:1

In vs 24 of that same chapter: Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the man the LORD has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people.” Then the people shouted, “Long live the king!” [NIV] 1 Samuel 10:24

Your life’s pinnacle is not determined by your background!

Your natural eyes may remind you of the situations/ circumstances surrounding your birth, your life, that because of where you came from, it’s impossible for you to be the leader of many, to be the world leader in your area of choice, that even though you’re good, you’re not quite good enough for that top position. But you need to get to a point in your life to say the words “my background will not determine how high I go”. I’m sure we’re all very familiar with the bible verse, I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. [NIV] Psalm 139:14! In truth you truly are. Every design, aspects of your life was given to you for a purpose. Your height, your appearance, your build, your mind, the way you process information was endowed in you for a reason. Celebrate them!

You can’t say because I have the roots of a grass, so I am less than the mighty Oak? Yes your DNA will never be the same as the mighty OAK, but that doesn’t mean you should let your limitations prevent you from getting to your destination. NO!

No matter what, ALL things will work together for your good, why because you love the Lord and because He called you according to his purpose. His purpose, not yours! Romans 8:28 says so! That means every detour of your life, derailment of purpose, pain, strong oppositions, trials of many kinds, though not of God, will ultimately be for your benefit. It’s up to you how you see it. You may see them as an excuse to give up on the idea, on the goal, on the dream, on the purpose, or you could see it as a stepping stone to getting to where you want to be.

The height you attain in life is not determined by your roots!

You know, you can avoid the pitfall that destroyed Saul! Saul disobeyed God’s word, meaning he probably didn’t esteem it highly, he didn’t think much of it, as he should have. Therein lies a fundamental truth – Don’t ever let the word of the Lord depart from you. Don’t ever treat God’s word with contempt, like hearsay for example. I’ll let you in on a secret J God honours His words above His name, He said so in Psalm 138:2. I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name For Your loving kindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name. [NKJV]

Communicate with God with His words. Remind Him of His words, because He cannot lie (Numbers 23:19). Do not forget His words. Regardless of what you may be struggling with, or what is standing in the way of your breakthrough, God’s presence is always with you and He will give you rest (Exodus 33:13-14).

You have been redeemed by the Lord and the shout of Kings is with you (Psalm 107:2). Yes you may have had a shady background, but seriously friends, you are now hanging with the Lord, and if you want to become an Oak, God sure can make you into an oak!

The eye of the Lord is always on those that fear Him, remember that, that’s what Psalm 33:18 says. And you know what that means, you may not know all the wonderful plans God has for you, but He’s wielding them all together; irrespective of your background/ your circumstance. Refuse to bow and let life’s problems derail you. Tell yourself, your look of helplessness will no longer betray your worth, because you know who you are. And because you bear the mark of the Lord, you will not be moved.

I would like to end with this: Your spiritual eyes has to look through the lens of faith and continue to remind your hearts that no matter your circumstance in life, no matter your background, or how bad it’s been, God is still able to do abundantly more than we can ever ask. However, our journey, on the road to fulfilling God’s purpose in our lives requires a great deal of cooperation from us. And only those who have made up their mind to follow Jesus regardless will make it to the finishing line. It is not going to be easy but believe me it is going to be worth it.

The height you attain in life is not dependent on your origins! Only God can lift a person. No one else! No one else!

Devotional 29.04.2014

Verse of the Day

At that time the Spirit of the LORD will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them. You will be changed into a different person. [NLT] 1 Samuel 10:6


I’m sure there have been times when you’ve thought “there must be more to life than this”? And because you lack the motivation/power/confidence/self-worth to try to make the changes you would like to see, you end up feeling a little frustrated and overwhelmed, skewing your outlook in life. It doesn’t have to continue this way. You can still be that success story you desire to become. Those positive predictions you made in your younger years, of what you said you will become in future, are still very much attainable. All you need is the help of the Holy Spirit. The power of the Holy Spirit is available to transform every dead/dormant/deactivated/forgotten dream in your life into living, working, successful realities. Don’t you think it’s time for a change? Don’t you think it’s time to end every “junk” talk that you’ve said concerning your life out of frustration? I think it’s time to ask the Holy Spirit for the power to transform you into the kind of person that is not easily overwhelmed / frustrated. Someone who understands their identity in Christ and whom Christ has created for greatness. Someone who will never give up on his idea/dream/goal, just because someone told them it was impossible or that it appears too good for them. Someone whom God will make a wonder and a marvel to his generation! Can I get an Amen!