“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death”.
-The COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive disruptions in the entire world. It has influenced world economies, world trade, world movement, way of life, and hygiene needs. In other cases it has lead to social stigma, depression and deaths. The level of stigma associated with COVID-19 was and is based on:- fear of the unknown, fear of death, association of death with others etc. COVID-19 pandemic brought about a lot of confusion, anxiety, and fear among the public. Unfortunately, such factors have fueled harmful stereotypes. Although, with the introduction of vaccines, many people have became more hopeful and the world is gradually taking new shape. To others whether vaccinated or not, their faith in Christ remains unmoved. The fear of death is a bondage that came from the beginning through the devil who deceived man to fall into sin. This is a life of dread to the prospect of eventual physical death, and therefore leads to slavery. As children of God redeemed by His blood, we are no longer slaves to sin leading to death but partakers of His eternal kingdom. Adam and Eve given the option to chose between the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they chose the tree that led to death. It is key therefore to choose the way that leads to life which comes through the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. In John 11:25-26, Jesus reminds us that, He is the resurrection and the life, and whoever believes in Him will live, even though he die, and whoever lives and believes in Him will never die. To destroy the fear of death, we need to believe in Jesus Christ, the hope of our salvation, who destroyed the power of death and gave us eternal life.
Lord You are our Source and our Life, we rejoice in Your love. We rejoice in You always Lord, for our lives belong to You. You are our Shield and Stronghold, we put all our trust in You. Some trust in horses and other in chariots but we put all our trust in You. We shall never be shaken or moved for You are in us and with us. We pray for our economy and all the economies of the world that Father You may do something new. Revive our economies and our businesses dear Master. Heal our water and our bread. Heal our land dear Jesus. Many are sick and depressed among us, may You heal them dear Jesus we humbly ask You. Others are suffering from pain and loss of their loved ones, heal their hearts merciful Savior. May You heal all the COVID-19, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, cerebral palsy patients in hospital and at home dear Jesus. Heal our hearts merciful Savior and purify us from all evil with Your precious blood. Heal all our wounds we humbly beseech You Almighty God, our Maker. May You grant the gift of salvation unto us, our family members, friends and the entire world, dear Savior. Lead us in the way we should go this entire week we humbly beseech You. Grant us favor and grace in that we do and purpose to do dear Jesus. May You destroy any form of fear in our hearts including the fear of death, loving Savior. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us now and forevermore. Amen
Further reading: John 3:13-16
“The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?” “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”
-The book of Jonah narrates an interesting story of God’s compassion and love. Jonah was instructed by God to go and preach in the land of Nineveh where the wickedness of the people had reached Him. Jonah rebelled and ran away from God to Tarshish. After he boarded the ship, the Lord caused a violent storm that threatened to destroy them. As the other sailors threw their luggage into the sea in the quest to save their lives, Jonah was asleep in the deck below. Jonah had learnt the heart of God. He trusted in God completely and never feared death. The captain was shocked to find Jonah lying there in a deep sleep while all the other people aboard were distressed. He later revealed to them that he was the cause of the calamity and that he worshipped God the Creator of the sea and dry land. By this Jonah acknowledged God’s sovereignty over nature and all creation. He then asked them to throw him into the sea. He did not fear the raging sea even though he knew very well that he could not swim in such conditions but trusted in God. The Lord sent a giant whale to swallow him and deliver him to Nineveh. We should worship the God of Jonah and put all our trust in Him, and He will deliver us from all our troubles including those that seem like death traps.
We give thanks to you Lord our God with all our hearts and tell of all Your wonderful deeds. We rejoice and are glad in You. We sing praises to Your name our Lord Most High and tell of all Your wonderful deeds. You have blessed us. You have protected us and provided for all our needs. You have sustained us and given us the gift of salvation. We praise Your name and lift You high. How wonderful is Your name Lord our God. How powerful is Your name everlasting King. We praise You alone our Lord and God. All the gods are made by human hands and cannot deliver, but only Your Jesus are our Savior. We worship You and give You all our praise. We put all our trust in You Jesus and celebrate Your love and compassion upon our lives. Increase our faith in You Jesus and teach us to rely on You fully. May You grant us the grace to be bold and courageous as we hope in You. All our hope and trust is in You Lord our God. All glory, honor, power and praise belongs to You Jesus, now and forever. Amen
Further reading: Psalm 95:1-3
1 Samuel 17:33-37
“Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
-The chronicles of David and Goliath are among the most common in the Bible. David as a young man was bold and courageous. He had previously killed a lion and a bear that threatened his fathers flock. He was the youngest in his family but the boldest. Eliab his eldest brother was angered by David’s courage and tenacity as he spoke about the reproach that Goliath had brought to the armies of Israel (1 Samuel 17:28). Although Goliath was a giant, experienced in war and wore heavy armor, David was not afraid that he might die in the war, but believed in God. He was ready to defend His Father’s flock, threatened by the uncircumcised Philistine. As Goliath mocked him, David proclaimed victory in the Lord saying, “you come to me with a sword, spear and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts” (1 Samuel 17:45). David gained favor before the Lord and killed Goliath with a sling and stone. David never feared death as he did not rely on his own power, but the Lord’s. He openly confessed that the battle was not his, but the Lord’s, and king Saul believed him. When we are confronted by battles of life; be it in rejection by family, broken relationship and marriages, issues at work, slow business, lack of finances, economic downturn, political instability, temptations and deep pressures, depression and stress etc. We are called to proclaim victory in all situations even those that threaten with death, for the battle is not ours but the Lord’s.
Abba Father You are our our Almighty God. You are all powerful and great. Great are You Lord God Almighty in all the heavens and the earth. Great are You King of glory in all our situations. We shall not be afraid for the battle belongs to You. Even when the enemy threatens us with death, we shall not fear but we stand upon You Jesus, the Rock of our salvation. We believe in You dear Jesus for You have never failed us and You will never fail us. Only You are powerful, only You are mighty, the battle belongs to You Almighty God. In all situations we shall proclaim Your name and sing of Your salvation. Fight for us dear Jesus in our lives, families, marriages, relationships, jobs, businesses, economy, leadership, nation and the world. Fight all the giants Abba Father. Answer all our prayers and hearts desires dear God. Our lives belong to You dear Jesus. The heavens and the earth belong to You. Everything is Yours. Only You are Great and greatly to be praised. Victory belongs to You dear Jesus, we worship You and adore You, now and forever. Amen
Further reading: Proverbs 21:30-31, Psalms 3:5-8
“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”
-Apostle Paul submitted his entire to serving the Lord. He chose the life of celibacy and sort for an intimate relationship with God, even if it meant his death. Even thou he considered death as gain and to be joint with Christ through eternal life, he viewed living as a witness of Christ; of more importance. He suffered ship wreck, imprisonment and torment for the sake of Christ and considered spiritual maturity more importantly that physical prosperity. Given the opportunity, he spread the gospel to the Roman army and sort for new opportunities to make Christ known to the masses despite the conditions. As believers and witnesses of Christ, each one of us is reminded to carry his/her cross and follow Jesus. Despite the challenges that might come with our calling, we are called to surrender all to Christ and more fruit through Him, for to live is Christ and to die gain.
Thank You Jesus for reminding us that You are our all in all. Thank You for being our faithful Vine as we are Your branches. Thank You for redeeming us from the snare of sin and death by Your precious blood. Our lives belong to You dear Jesus, thank You for loving us. May You give us wisdom and strength to carry on Your work of ministry and reach many through Your word and our actions. May Your light of salvation always radiate in us and through us, that many may know You and come to You, for the glory and honor of Your name. May You touch all the children living in the streets and give them new life according to Your merciful love. May You deliver all the persecuted Christians all over the world and give them hope in their work of ministry. May Your word reach all the nations of the world and make us fruitful in all that we do. We seek Your presence each and every time of our lives. Thank You for the gift of salvation dear Jesus, may You grant the same gift to many among us. May the grace our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us now and forever more. Amen
Further reading: 2 Corinthians 11:23-28
“He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
-The death and resurrection of Christ forms the foundation of our faith as Christians. Christ is the Lord over all and death could not hold Him captive. When He ascended on high He led captivity captive and gave gifts to men (Ephesians 4:8), that we should glorify Him with all that we say and do. We should therefore not be afraid nor fear death for Christ has conquered all. We should rejoice for He took the keys of death and hades, and lives forever more, and has given us eternal life; we who believe in Him.
Thanatophobia is commonly referred to as the fear of death. Sometimes we are confronted by situations that threaten us with death and we become fearful. David a young warrior trusted in God even when Goliath threaten all the armies of Israel with death. Unskilled in battle, equipped with only a sling and stones, wearing no armor and smaller in physical structure, he believed in the deliverance power of the Lord. Jonah also relied on the compassion and love of the Lord. When he rebelled and ran away from God to Tarshish, God brought a violent storm to disrupt his movement. He was not shaken by the storm and was deep asleep on the lower deck of the ship as the sailors fought for their lives. When we was discovered after they cast lots, Jonah did not mix his words and asked the captain and sailors to throw him into the raging waters (Jonah 1:12). He proclaimed the name of the Lord and relied on His salvation. Paul the apostle, did not consider death as a great opportunity to be eternally joined with Christ but he viewed living on; for the purpose of ministry. He considered his death as gain and His life as a revelation of Christ. First and foremost, none of us is guaranteed of tomorrow, for matters of death and life entirely belong to God. Even if we worry what can we change? Matthew 6:27 reminds us that, by worrying we cannot add a single hour to our lives. We should therefore rest in the Lord like Jonah did, because only God has control over our future. God knew us before we were formed in our mothers wombs and predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will (Ephesians 1:5). Secondly, we should put all our hope and trust in the Lord like David and not rely on our own wisdom lest we fear. If we do not rely on the Lord entirely we become anxious over the unknown future and the fear of death in our lives and situations creeps into our hearts. The Lord calls us to trust in Him with all our hearts and not to lean on our own understanding and in all our ways acknowledge Him and He will make all our crooked paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). Thirdly, we should acknowledge and confess the power of Jesus’ death and resurrection that works in us and through us. Since we have been united together in the likeness of His death, we shall be likened to His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, so that the body of sin might be done away with, and we should no longer be slaves of sin (Romans 6:5-6). We should believe in Jesus and have a personal relationship with Him who destroyed the power of sin that brought about death and gave us eternal life. Fourth, since the Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead lives in us, we should not be afraid of death but submit our lives to Him. We are called to stand on the truth like apostle Paul that, we have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer us who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which we now live in the flesh we live by faith in the Son of God, who loved us and gave Himself for us (Galatians 2:20). The Holy Spirit in us, works inside out, transforms us and delivers us from slavery was brought about through the fear of death.
Jesus is risen, let all the heavens and the earth rejoice. He is risen, let all the angels and saints praise His name. This is the day that the Lord has made, we rejoice and are glad in it. We celebrate Your love dear Jesus, thank You for loving us and dying on the cross for our sins and rising from the dead for our salvation. May You forgive us all our sins and purify us from all evil. We celebrate Your mercy and grace, thank You for giving us the gift of salvation unto us and all our generations. May You grant the same gift to us, our children, family members, friends and the entire world. There is no other God but You, we love You Lord. We are more than conquerors in You dear Jesus, thank You for giving us abundant life. Our lives belong to You dear Jesus, may You increase us in faith and wisdom for the glory and honor of Your name. Teach us to rely on Your truth and not on our own understanding. Nothing is hard for You dear Jesus, may You make a way for us even where there seems to be no way, we humbly ask You. May You bless us and increase us dear Lord. May You make Your face to shine upon us and may You be gracious us. May You lift up Your countenance towards us and grant us peace. Amen
Further reading: 1 Corinthians 15:20, Hebrews 2:14-15