Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 8:11- 18
On March 1863, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of America, worried by the sufferings and pains caused by the civil war, declared, “Whereas it is the duty of nations as well as men to own their life upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognise the sublime truth announced in the Holy scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord . . . . We have been the recipient of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved this many years in peace and
prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, we have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own . . . It behoves us then to humble ourselves before the offended power, to confess our national sins and pray for clemency and forgiveness.”
Beloved in Christ, the power to create wealth, live in peace and grow in holiness of life depends completely on God Almighty. No nation or individual should ascribe to himself any of such powers. It will be self-deceit; absolute ignorance and lack of humility for anyone to think that he is self-sufficient without the prevailing hand of God. No wonder today’s scripture reading says, “But thou shall remember the Lord thy God; for it is He that give thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which He swore unto thy fathers, as it is this day.” (V18). Dear friend in Christ, never think that the wealth, status and peace you enjoy are products of your wisdom or intellectual ability. You would not have been able to achieve anything without the prevailing hand of God upon your life. Abraham Lincoln was pained because America and many nations had forgotten the Lord. In the same vein, many wealthy men have forgotten the Lord. Ignorantly, they think that their successes are as a result of their ingenuity and power.
Today, the Holy Spirit is inviting us to this stark reality that man is nothing without God. He can do nothing by his own strength; and like the Lord says, “. . . . Without me ye can do nothing.” Your success in life depends totally on how much you recourse to the Lord, on whatever you want to do. Your peace of mind also depends on how much you abide in the Lord. The answer to your prayers depends on how you abide in Him. Vs. 11 of our reference says, “Make certain that you do not forget the LORD your God, do not fail to obey any of his laws that I am giving you today.”
1 Jn 1: 1-4; Ps 97: 1-2. 5-6. 11-12 (R. 12a); Jn 20:2-8
ST. JOHN, AP, EV F
1. Take a worship song to praise the Lord.
2. Father, forgive me for I have transgressed against You.
3. Take Psalm 51:1 —19 seriously and meticulously.
4. Grant me the grace O God to always recognize Your hand of mercy over my life.
5. Pray for all persons who have forgotten the need for God in their lives
6. Pray for nations who today boast of their economic and political powers, that God may have mercy on them.
7. Pray for the 21 days Fasting and Prayer program starting Friday 6th January, 2017.
Exercise: Encourage your family members, friends and relatives to start 2017 with the Lord in fasting and prayers.
Memory Verse: Deut. 8:18