SING PRAISES

Monday 31st March – Monday of the 4th week of Lent

Reflection: Psalm 30

SING PRAISES

“Count your blessings, name them one by one

and it will surprise you what the Lord has done”.

So reads a song we are all familiar with. It’s a song that calls us to give thanks to God as we reflect on the numerous blessings we receive from Him each day. However, the words of this song unveils one reality: if we are not careful, we can easily forget the great things God does for us and begin to take them for granted, hence the need to count our blessings and name them one by one.

The Psalmist in today’s reading does just that. He reflects on all the wonders God has done for Him and cannot but sing praises to God from the depths of His heart. We too should stop and think. Think of the times of uncertainty or difficulty you have experience in the past. Think of the times of sickness, suffering and pain, think of the numerous times you have turned to God and asked for His help. Think of the many blessings you have received which you did not even ask for. Look around you and see the beauty and order of creation.

Dear friends, God’s steadfast love and faithfulness is indeed great. Let us take time to praise Him. Let us look beyond the difficulties assailing us right now and praise our God for the many blessings we receive each day. Remember, God dwells in the praises of His people and moves mightily on their behalf. A heart of thanksgiving always touches God’s heart. Are you ready to praise? Go on, God is waiting to hear your voice!

PRAYER: Lord I thank You for the blessings You give me each day. Please give me a heart of gratitude that I may praise you always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 489 What does it mean to praise God?

God needs no applause. But we need to express spontaneously our delight in God and the rejoicing in our hearts. We praise God because he exists and because he is good. We thereby join even now in the eternal praise of the angels and saints in heaven.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us; and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!” Psalm 117 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Isaiah 65: 17-21; Psalm 30; John 4: 43-54

WALKING IN GOD’S WILL

Sunday 30th March – 4th Sunday of Lent

Reflection: 1 Samuel 16: 1, 6-13

WALKING IN GOD’S WILL

There is a truth in the saying: “He who has nothing to look forward to, has nothing to live for.” Man as a creature of purpose, must necessarily have aspirations. These aspirations must be positive and decently pursued to promote our common good as humans.

However today, our world is bedeviled with several inordinate desires. There are over ambitious individuals who see life as nothing but a rat race! These ones readily betray trust, jettison morality and violate their conscience in a bid to reach their myopic end (2 Timothy 3: 1-4). The high level of monetary inducement, bribery and corruption plaguing our land is one of the offshoots of this. So in the midst of this, what should our response be as Christian youths?

Our response must necessarily stem from deeper conviction and understanding. One which is dependent on God for direction in life’s pursuit. One which irrevocably commits itself to the fulfillment of its assured mission. But alongside, our hearts must be large enough to help others in the fulfillment of their lofty aspirations. By this we “blossom where God has planted us”. This is being light in our own spheres of life.

In today’s first reading, we see how God can safely guard and deliver the blessing He has apportioned for His chosen ones. What He did for David amidst seven brothers, He is more than able to do for you and I today. This should be our assurance in life’s pursuits amidst the unhealthy rivalry around us.

PRAYER: Eternal Father, please daily grant me a clearer picture of Your will for me, help me choose it, and grant me fulfillment therein. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 49 – Does God guide the world and my life?

Yes, but in a mysterious way; God guides everything along paths that only he knows, leading it to its perfection. At no point in time does something that he has created fall out of his hands.

 HIDE A TREASURE: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” Jeremiah 29:11 RSV-CE

Readings for today: 1 Samuel 16: 1, 6-7, 10-13; Psalm 23: 1-6; Ephesians 5: 8-14

GOD IS NOT MOCKED

Saturday 29th March – Saturday of the 3rd week of Lent

Reflection: Hosea 6:16

GOD IS NOT MOCKED

Beloved, have your Lent observances have been fruitful so far? Today we want to examine ourselves in a deeper dimension. First, we must understand the fact that we serve a God who is Omniscient: that is, “all-knowing.” He knows you even more than you know yourself. Therefore, it is useless for man to conceal anything from God. Nothing is hidden from his knowledge and sight. When Adam and Eve sinned against God they went to hide, not knowing that God already knew what they had done.

Dear friends, this is the same with us. Before God, there is no secret, He knows even the depths of your thoughts. Hence, today’s reading is a call to sincerity and humility in our walk with our God, for He is not man that He should be mocked. The Psalmist tells us in Psalm 51:6 that “sincerity and truth are what He desires”. God desires our openness and sincerity as we journey with Him this season. He is God, and as scripture says, “God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble…” James 4:6.

PRAYER: Father, please forgive me for the many times I have taken your patience for granted. Help me to live a sincere Christian life henceforth. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 525What does it mean to say, “Lead us not into temptation”?

Because every day and every hour we are in danger of falling into sin and saying No to God, we beg God not to leave us defenseless in the power of temptation.

Jesus, who was tempted himself, knows that we are weak human beings, who have little strength of our own with which to oppose the evil one. He graciously gives us the petition from the Our Father, which teaches us to trust in God’s assistance in the hour of trial.

HIDE A TREASURE: “God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause His face to shine upon us” Psalm 67:1 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Hosea 6:1-6; Psalm 51:3-4, 18-21; Luke 18:9-14.

HIS LOVE IS ETERNAL

Friday 28th March – Friday of the 3rd week of Lent

Reflection: Hosea 14: 2-10

HIS LOVE IS ETERNAL

I once had a dialogue with a friend of mine, and to my greatest amazement, he did not believe the fact that God loves him. He must have encountered some trying moments in his journey of life which had made him give up on God. Beloved, do you know that God loves you even more than you love yourself? This might sound strange, but it is true! God created you in this world in order to have a close relationship with Him. No wonder the Psalmist says “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).

Unless you draw nearer to God you may never experience this personal love He has for you. God, has in fact promised to make His love manifest to you today if you call on Him. He is always willing to have you back, no matter how far you have strayed from him. God’s arms are opened wide today for you, would you not rather embrace Him? He would heal all the wounds in your soul. Remember this always my beloved: “God is love” (1John 4:8), and He loves you unconditionally.

PRAYER: Father I thank for your unconditional love for me. I surrender my whole being to you this day. Please take me as I am. Thank you Lord. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 2 – Why did God create us?

God created us out of free and unselfish love

When a man loves, his heart overflows. He would like to share his joy with others. He gets this from his Creator. Although God is a mystery, we can still think about him in a human way and say: Out of the “surplus” of his love he created us. He wanted to share his endless joy with us, who are creatures of his love.

 HIDE A TREASURE: “…The love of God is shed broad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:5 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Hosea 14:2-10; Psalm 81: 6-11, 14, 17; Matthew 12: 28-34