Tag Archive for open

Open Heavens Devotional: WISDOM PAYS ITS OWNER – Monday, November 28, 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct” (Ecc. 10:10)

READ: Ecclesiastes 9:16-18

According to James 3:14-18, there is godly wisdom and ungodly wisdom. Ungodly wisdom is the wisdom of the serpent. Being cunning, the devil knows how to get what he wants. Out there, there are many serpents ready to deceive unsuspecting people. However, the wisdom from above is what God expects His children to operate. Some leaders who claim to be led of God, still operate under serpentine wisdom. Proverbs 4:7 says God’s wisdom is the principal thing. Ecclesiastes 7:12 calls it a means of defence. Great nations of the world are what they are today based on wisdom. Israel, though small in size, is a regional power. Ecclesiastes 9:16 says wisdom is better than strength while Ecclesiastes 9:18 says wisdom is far better than weapons of war. There are some battles that can only be won by wisdom, not by might. Also, deploying wisdom in a time of war or in an event, can lead to saving resources and time. Many battles are avoidable. If you employ wisdom, you will prevent so many avoidable battles. If you deploy wisdom in your speech, it will be difficult for you to say what can trigger strife. Many fires that are kindled by the tongue according to James 3:5-6, can be avoided if wisdom is employed. If there is one thing you should ask God, it is wisdom.

Ecclesiastes 10:10 says wisdom is profitable to direct. If you cannot give your children anything, give them education. The One who controls wisdom is the Owner of wisdom. Daniel 2:20 says wisdom belongs to God. If you think you are wise, be extremely careful; because I Corinthians 1:19-20 says God can turn wisdom into foolishness. Ahithophel – the great counsellor was a victim of this. 1 Corinthians 1:27 says God can use foolish things to confound the wise. John 12:17 says God leads counsellors and turn judges into fools. If you are an earthly judge, you must fear the Almighty God because He can make you to take some very foolish decisions, or err in judgements to such an extent that it will be glaring to all that you are foolish. To maintain your wisdom, you have to constantly feed on God’s Word and submit to the counsel of the Greatest Counsellor. Ask for more of His wisdom in your life on a daily basis, and avoid everything the Bible classifies as foolishness.

ACTION POINT:

Wisdom prevents its owner from several avoidable battles, while the presence of weapons of war propels the owner to create war in times of peace. Pray for the wisdom from above.

 
Bible in One year: Psa. 120-126

Open Heavens Devotional: BENEFITS OF UNITY – Sunday, November 27, 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 18:19)

READ: Acts 2:1-4

Unity is a powerful force in the universe. However, uniting against God, His Word or His children causes God to arise in defence of His Name. This is the other side of power of unity. Barring this, unity can accomplish almost anything on the face of the earth. In Genesis 11:5-6, God said that if the people of the earth were left with one language and as united as they were in building the city and tower, they will be unstoppable. The united are unstoppable. Unity is a powerful tool for achieving plans and purposes. But if operated in righteousness within the Christian fold, it is even more powerful. “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 18:19). Where unity is exhibited correctly, God is involved. Those who are coming together would have a common purpose and they will call on the Almighty God. To operate the power of unity, there must be at least two people. These must share of the same faith in Christ. The subject of agreement must not conflict with God’s will or Word. And they must call on God in faith until they see result.

Unity is power. The united are adorned with exploits. They achieve what others cannot. If you are united in your family or church, you will be able to achieve what others cannot. Your family or church will stand out. The death sentence on the Jews in the days of Esther was reversed by the power of unity. Where there is unity, promises will easily be fulfilled. This was the case with the Early Church (Acts 2:1-4). Nehemiah was able to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem through the power of unity that existed among those who worked with him (Neh. 2:18). It is unity that turns a crowd or group of people into a team. The acronym TEAM stands for: Together Everyone Achieves More. For true unity to exist in the church, there is need to forgive and release from our hearts those who have hurt us. We must accept God’s Word as the basis of our union. We must be tolerant of the views of others and be prepared to sacrifice ours. We must jointly have a God-glorifying goal and corporately call on the Lord.

KEY POINT:

Unity de-emphasizes individuals but emphasizes the group. Unity moves everybody up and forward with very little effort from individual members of the group. Unity is the cheapest and fastest way of progress. Make unity in Christ one of your goals.

 
Bible in One year: Gen. 27-29

Open Heavens Devotional: SIN FACILITATOR? – Saturday, November 26, 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 97:10).

READ: Romans 1:29-32

God’s plan for you is total victory over sin, self, satan and the world. He wants you to overcome in all points that Jesus overcame during His earthly sojourn. One way of identifying someone who truly loves the Lord is by the level of hated he or she has for evil. If you do not hate evil, it will be difficult for you to overcome it. If you do not hate lying, you will definitely compromise with liars or even engage in lying. Show me a believer who detests sin and I will show you somebody whose love for God can be guaranteed. You degree of hatred for evil reads on God’s Thermometer of love. To what extent do you love God?

“Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Ro 1:32). Some people claim to hate evil but they love and frolic with evil doers. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 says as long as you romance with evil, God cannot be your Father. You cannot condone iniquity and expect to continue in God’s love. If you do not smoke but make smokers very comfortable in your presence, probably by providing them the ash tray to dump their ash, do you love God?

According to today’s reading, all sinners will partake of God’s judgment. Beyond this are those who take pleasure in sinners. Do you make excuse for sin or sinners? Be careful! You could end up where they will end. When you are covering up somebody in sin, or vacate your apartment or give out your car to a friend to use for an evil mission, you stand to end up where that sinner will end. You do not drink or smoke, but giving money to those who do when you know they will most likely spend it on alcohol or cigarettes makes you a collaborator. Some believers openly condemn fetish sacrifices but allow their parents to consult the oracles on their behalf and even take financial responsibility. How can such people be innocent? This is evidence that they do not really love God. In what ways have you been giving sinners the impetus to continue in sin? Repent today. Don’t be a facilitator of sin.

ACTION POINT:

Reflect over the failures of year 2010 and come up with measures to prevent a reoccurrence.

Bible in A Year: 1 Chronicles 27-29

Open Heavens Devotional: NEBUCHADNEZZAR’S LETTER – Friday, November 25, 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:” (Isa. 55:6).

READ: Daniel 4:1-5

Daniel 4 is an account of an awesome encounter with the Almighty God. King Nebuchadnezzar at this time was ruling over a vast empire which covered most nations of the known world. Looking at his disposition at the beginning of this letter, it would be clear to all and sundry that this world ruler had become a believer in the Almighty God, especially how he shares his testimony with zeal and gave God unreserved praise. The truth is, he did not start by being so sober. It took God taking him through fire for him to see himself within the limited confines of mortals. Unfortunately, not many people who appear to be making waves in their little corners have learnt from this great leader. They prefer to be burnt by God’s fire or judgement before acknowledging or seeking Him. Are you waiting to encounter God as the Consuming Fire before seeking and giving Him the glory due to His Name?

Remember that Isaiah 55:6 says we are assured of finding God only when we seek Him at the right time – when He is available. Time is of great essence here. It is only the foolish who will do nothing about his negative situation until he or she is over taken by the repercussion. On the other hand, the wise will take immediate steps to forestall a negative outcome. Never allow any situation capable of attracting God’s anger to persist. Every pending divine instruction must be obeyed. Have you disobeyed God over any matter? Set out to undo that disobedience. Nebuchadnezzar’s encounter is documented for you so that you can learn from it. You can and should be wiser than he was.

Another lesson from this letter is that while King Nebuchadnezzar was prospering and enjoying unequalled peace in his kingdom, he never knew trouble was brewing. Whenever things appear smooth, easy going and peaceful, don’t get carried away because that might be the time the devil plans to strike. When Elisha was enjoying sleep, the Syrian king sent his army to capture him (2 King 6:8-14). You must be very alert this year. If your life, family, church or ministry is negatively impacting the satanic kingdom, you can be assured that they will seek opportunity to hit back. The Lord will preserve you from your enemy’s attacks in Jesus name.

PRAYER POINT:

Thank God for His protection over you even when asleep. Ask Him to help you never lose your guard.

 

Bible in One year: 1 Chron. 24-26

Open Heavens Devotional: HOPE: WHAT FOUNDATION? Thursday, November 24, 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised” (Heb. 11:11)

READ: Genesis 50:24-26

Hope is a bridge between now and the future. It is the link between your present unpleasant state and your glorious future expectation. The future in hope can be the next second, hour, day or circle of life. Occasionally, the future in hope may take several years. This is why it is important for your hope to be rooted in God’s Word or promise. If a man makes you a promise that could take several years before it come to pass, the chances of fulfilling that promise are slimmer. But if God makes you a promise, even when it takes several years, God remains committed to His promise as long as you remain in good standing before Him. Let us take the example of Joseph. He dreamt and saw his brothers bowing to him when he was a teenager (Gen. 37:5-11). But this dream was not fulfilled until genesis 50:18; it says, “And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants”. That took several years! Similarly, shortly before his death, Joseph got his brothers to take an oath that they would exhume his bones after God visits them in Egypt. He clearly told them that God would visit them and they shall go to possess the Promise Land as originally promised to Abraham (Gen. 50:24-26). He had hope of having his bones buried in the Promise Land. It came to Pass several years later (Exodus 13:19). Any hope that is rooted in God’s promise will be fulfilled, the years notwithstanding.

In 1979, I went with my father-in-the-Lord, Pa Akindayomi to Tusla, USA for a Kenneth Hagin Camp meeting. After the week long programme, we decided to worship in a nearby church where nobody knew us. As usual, the pastor was preaching in American accent and pacing up and down, when suddenly he stopped by papa and began to prophesy that what God had told him many years ago will soon come to pass. Since papa did not understand English, he asked what the man said. I was his interpreter so when we got back to the hotel room, I told him and he began to weep that God was about to fulfill His promise concerning the church after 25 years! Today, the RCCG is in more than 117 nations and we have the Redemption Camp in Nigeria, America, and South Africa. Every promise God made to you shall come to pass. However, always consider the foundation of your hope.

ACTION POINT:

Pray that God would fulfil His promises concerning you, your family and your local assembly.

Bible in One year: 1 Chron. 20-23

Open Heavens Devotional: TRUTH OR FACT? – Wednesday, November 23, 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of a mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Matt. 17:20)

READ: John 20:24-25

Another title of our Lord Jesus Christ is the Truth. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). He is truth personified. Many times, people mistakenly take facts for truth. This can be misleading. Facts deal with material evidence – what you can access with your five senses. Facts may change and do change: for instance, a poor man today may suddenly or progressively access wealth. Facts are easier for human beings to relate with. For instance, after the resurrection of Jesus, Thomas refused to believe until he felt and saw the physical evidences. Believers who operate on the level of facts often run into problems with God. Truth on the other hand has its evidence usually in the unseen spiritual realm. In other words, it may look stupid to accept the truth God presents as it may lack physical or tangible, empirical evidence. Truth is not people dependent but God –dependent. God’s truth is hinged on His integrity. God’s truth is based on God’s Word which cannot fail. While those in search of physical evidence are working by sight, those who hold God’s truth walk purely by faith. Anyone who accepts God’s truth cannot but walk by faith.

“(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” (2 Cor. 5:7). There are two categories of believers – those who walk by faith and those who walk by sight. The former operates on the truth of God’s Word and no matter how contrary the winds are, they want to see it manifest in their lives and circumstances. It is for those people that God’s Word moves from being unseen to being seen. For the latter, all they do is determined by what they hear, see, touch, feel, etc. if the only time you believe God is with you is when you feel His presence so strong, then you will be deceived into believing that all the times you did not feel Him, He was never there. In Matthew 28:20, Jesus promised to always be with you. That is truth. Whether you feel Him or not, He is there. Hebrews 11:6 says you can only please God when you walk by faith. What determines the sadness or joy of some believers is how much they have in their bank account. Anytime their account balance is low, they will be sad and full of worries. When it is red, they will become depressed. But those who operate on God’s truth maintain their joy because they depend wholly on God. Are you driven by facts or The Truth?

ACTION POINT:

If you depend on your feelings and sight, you will remain a spiritual fledgling. But if you depend on God’s truth, you will grow up into maturity. Ask for revelation of The Truth.

 

Bible in One year: 1 Chron. 17-19

Open Heavens Devotional: HE HAS YOUR PARTICULARS – Tuesday, November 22, 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? Saith the LORD” (Jer. 23:24)

READ: Acts 9:10-12

In today’s reading, while sending Ananais to Saul, God gave him Saul’s particulars. God knows you by name. He knows your location. He knows where you reside, work or school. He knows your street. He knows what you do every second. Since God has your particulars, as long as you satisfy Him, your miracle will locate you where you are. Saul, after his encounter with Jesus on the way to Damascus, was temporarily blind and could not move about as before, yet, his miracle located him. As you are reading this Devotional today, your miracle will locate you in Jesus name.

Exodus 2:25 says, “And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them”. To ‘respect’ is to ‘acknowledge’. When we come together in our big meetings, God knows and notes what everyone is doing. While we are praying, He knows those who are sighing, praying, groaning and those about to give up. Be assured that He cares for you and He will not allow that problem to swallow you up. This is why He promised to make a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13). A sister came to see me in the office in the early 80’s. While on her way, the Lord clearly instructed me to embrace her. I protested because He was the One who asked brothers to keep safe distance from sisters. And I warned my pastors not to do so to prevent temptation. But eventually, I succumbed to His voice and embraced her as she came in. Overwhelmed, she began to cry. Thereafter, she confessed she decided to see me for the last time before going to commit suicide. She had believed God had forgotten her but because I embraced her, she was reassured that God had not forgotten her. Are you like this lady? Are you thinking that God has forgotten you? Have you come to a point where you think it is better to end your life? It is all a lie! God has not forsaken you! The problems and hopelessness surrounding you are only a mirage. God is nearer to you in that situation than the very clothes you are wearing. He loves you. Even when your friends, close relatives or colleagues forget you, God can never forget you. He loves you. Cast your burden on Him. Call upon His Name today and He will make a way for you.

KEY POINT:

If you are not in sin, God is closest to you when you think He has forsaken you. A sigh, whisper or wish could make Him to show His presence. Embrace Him today.

Bible in One year: 1 Chron. 14-16

Open Heavens Devotional: CHRIST BEFORE YOU – Monday, November 21, 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised” (Pro. 31:30)

READ: John 10:11-16

Christ ‘for’ you talks about the kind of relationship you have with Him that makes Him want to defend you. Christ ‘with’ you talks of the kind of relationship that makes Him ever present with you. For every child of God, you need both of them. May Christ be for and with you this season in Jesus name.

Another relationship with the Lord can be inferred from Christ ‘before’ you. This speaks of divine guidance. Psalm 23:1-6 paints a beautiful picture of Christ before you. When the Lord is before you, He takes a lead. He steps and you follow. With Christ before you, it becomes difficult for you to miss the path of righteousness or to make any mistake. Romans 8:14 says the ability to receive divine direction marks you out as a child of God, not according to your title or position in the ecclesiastical hierarchy. If Christ is not stepping ahead of you, then you have nowhere to go. Taking steps ahead of God means courting serious trouble. If you find it difficult to receive and follow the leading of the Lord in your day to day activities, your claim to being a child of God needs to be re-examined.

Speaking of spiritual direction, there is need to be extremely careful. Many who claimed to have been led of God eventually discovered that they were led by something else. “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but am woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:30). Some people are led by materialism. The moment you give them a gift a couple of times, they will begin to think you are the one they have been waiting for. There are some brothers who are stingy but because they want to get a particular sister, they will shower them with expensive gifts. She will discover how ‘benevolent’ he is after the wedding! If you are guided by materialism, you will miss the mark. On the other hand, some others are misguided by beauty. Men who married their wives because she was very beautiful may later realize that they have married a witch. Realizing the mistake hardly helps their plight because they are already stuck. Some ladies were attracted by the wealth of their husbands only to later realize he is impotent, a chronic womanizer or a drunkard. If you are wise, Christ must be before you. He must be given a free hand in the decisions of your life. What is leading you?

KEY POINT:

When guided by materialism, beauty or wealth, you operate under a blindfold. But when guided by the Lord, you see clearly.

Bible in One year: 1 Chron. 10-13

Open Heavens Devotional: WHEN UNITY IS USELESS – Sunday, November 20, 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.” (prov. 11:21)

READ: Genesis 11:1-9

“And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are” (John 17:11).

One thing that singled out Jesus and His disciples was their level of unity. They could accomplish so much together because of this virtue. However, from the Lord’s prayer above, the Lord expressed His desire for His disciples to be united as He is with the Father, even after He would have left the scene. Any unity born out of the contrivance of man may not last. If you exclude God in your quest for unity, the centre will not hold. Whatever you are bringing together may part ways naturally. If you look at the unity that exists among God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, you may find it incomprehensible. There is no record of disagreement in their relationship. They are so united that they can never be divided. There is nothing mortals or spirits can do to cause division in their midst. No wonder Jesus specifically asked for such heavenly unity to operate among His disciples! May Heaven’s unity operate in our midst!

There is power in unity but if people are united against God’s will, it will not stand. About 100 years after the flood, the earth had one language. Even though God wanted them to spread to different parts, they decided to stay together. Besides, under the leadership of Nimrod, they wanted to build a tower whose height would reach the sky. They were not repentant. They thought God was confined to judging sin only through a flood. Their tower was to be their escape route from any future judgement for sin. As they built the city and the tower, they continued in their idolatry. When God came and saw what they were doing, and how united they were in achieving their evil goal, he brought confusion into their midst by multiplying their tongues and languages. As a result, they carried out His original plan of spreading across the globe. If you are united in sin, you cannot escape God’s judgement (prov. 11:21). Some agreements in the church of God are satanic. Some pastors or church leaders form camps and begin to pray against fellow leaders or camps. That is witchcraft! If what unites you with a group of believers is gossiping, you may be calling for the axe. Never unite with others to do something evil. It will backfire!

KEY POINT:

Uniting against God, His Word or His children erodes all the gains from unity as a powerful force. Stay clear of rebellion.

Bible in One year: 1 Chron. 7-9

Open Heavens Devotional: GREATER GLORY – Saturday, November 19, 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:17)

READ: John 11:1-11

Another lesson from 1 Kings 17:17-24 is that there is beauty in delayed miracles. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end”. When your time of favour comes, God makes all things beautiful. One way He does this is by deliberately refraining from intervening in that situation until it get appears impossible. Then, God steps in. Jesus knew when His friend Lazarus was sick and in need of healing. Yet, He did not have the permission of His Father to go and heal him. But after his death, He got His Father’s nod to go and resurrect him (John 11:1-11).

There is a great difference between healing the sick and raising the dead. When someone is sick, every effort towards the recovery of the fellow is aimed at preventing death. This is because human beings are not empowered to reverse death. But God has power over death, and He has equally empowered those who believe in Him with the same power. When the sick is healed, God is glorified. But when the dead is raise to life, God’s name is even more glorified. The testimony of the healing of the sick may spread to a few people, sometimes, it may not be shared at all; but the testimony of the dead being raised to life travels fast and very far. The one raised to life remains a reference point long after the one who was healed is forgotten. The one who is healed may still easily forget God. Today, many who have been healed have gone back to serving Satan or their flesh. But the one who is raised to life has a far greater loyalty, love and devotion to the One who brought him or her back to life. Healing of the sick stirs faith in the hearers, but raising of the dead stirs even a greater level of faith in God. If God does not want to bring solution to your problem when it is simple, it could be because He wants to prove a point with your life. Unfortunately, many believers do everything to rob God of that glory through impatience. If your blessings are delayed by God, it will work something better for you.

KEY POINT:

God is pleased with some of His children but well pleased with a few of them. Does your life give God glory or greater glory?

Bible in One year: 1 Chron. 4-6

Open Heavens Devotional: SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES – Friday, November 18, 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?” (John 5:44)

READ: John 5:39-44

“Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). If you want to know Jesus, you must be prepared to search the scriptures. This goes beyond reading through passages of the Bible. It requires going in-depth. Why does the Lord command us to search? It is because some treasures are hidden in God’s Word that we may never uncover until we search. Every knowledge of Jesus you discover in the Bible adds up to build your spirit man. The much of God you have is dependent on the much of the Word and revelational knowledge of Him within you. Also, the command to search the scriptures suggests that certain things you need are lost within the pages of the Bible. They may not be found unless they are sought for.

What is your attitude to the Bible? Do you just skim through its pages just to fulfil all righteousness? It was common practice for believers of the 80’s to meet one another and ask: ‘Brother, did you have your quiet time today?’ Even in the church, that question can be thrown at you. To prevent embarrassment, some people read a verse or two and mutter a two minutes prayer so that they can answer in the affirmative, while they know they have not really satisfied God. Paul told Timothy to avoid such self-deception but to ‘Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth’ (2 Timothy 2:15).

Some believers have read through the Bible several times but they have nothing to show for it. As long as your motive for reading is to get the approval of men, you cannot access the wealth of the scriptures. Some ministers read or study the Word just to have what to teach others: not for personal benefit. This is why they may never access the depth of wealth contained in the Bible. You are expected to study to receive divine approval. Your target should be to receive Heaven’s testimony about your diligence in Bible study. Similarly, you should study the Bible in order to be equipped with all spiritual weapons so that in the day of trial, you will not be found wanting. Bible study should first be for personal benefit before you can impact what you have received to others, not the other way round. Every revelation you obtain from God’s Word deposits a measure of eternal life in you. Search the Scriptures from today!

KEY POINT:

Searching the scriptures releases life to the searcher. How much of divine life can you access from it?

Bible in One year: 1 Chron. 1-3

Open Heavens Devotional: HOPE LINKS THE FUTURE – Thursday , November 17, 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

 

MEMORIZE: “But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” (Rom. 8:25)

 

READ: Romans 8:23-25

 

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” (Col. 1:27).

 

The above scripture talks about hope. Hope is more than expectation. Expectation could be good or bad but hope is always positive. It is the expectation of something better. If you have hope, you will believe that things will turn around for your good. Hope will make you believe that you shall not end up in poverty. In John 5:2-9, it was hope that sustained the man by the pool for 38 years. He believed that it would one day be his turn. In the same vein, the hope in the woman with the issue of blood, made her to go from one physician to another, hoping that someday, she would find the one who would cure her (Mark 5:25-34). When a seed, particularly a mustard seed is sown, there is hope that it will become a mighty tree (Mark 4:30-32). After God created Adam and Eve, He blessed them, and asked them to be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 1:28). In other words, God was saying, one day, a tree will become a forest. Are you a seed today? You will be a tree and eventually a forest.

There is hope that one day your breakthrough will come. This is one reason for obeying God’s call to pay your tithes (Mal. 3:10). Hope is always futuristic. There is no need to hope for what you can see, but for what you cannot see (Roman 8:24-25). While some people envision their future as being very distant, your future is here with you. It starts within the next second. Your future could also mean tomorrow morning. Psalm 30:5 says while tonight could be a time of weeping, tomorrow morning could be a time of joy. Are you weeping now? By tomorrow morning you will be full of joy. The future could also be within 24 hours. After declaring that there would be abundance, the following morning, the harsh famine in Samaria came to an end (1 Kings 17). The future could also be according to the circle of life – say within nine months periods. When God asked Abraham to tell his wife that she would have a son in Genesis 18:9-14, it came to pass according to the circle of life. Hope links you with the future. Even when Joseph was forgotten for two years after interpreting the dreams of some prisoners, hope connected him to his dream. Stay focused on your dreams. When there is a delay, wait patiently and hold on to your hope.

 

KEY POINT:

Hope, like faith s an indispensable virtue in the Christian walk. If you lose hope, you have lost everything. Don’t lose hope.

 

Bible in One year: Ezek. 19-21

 

Open Heavens Devotional: DROP THAT GARMENT! – Wednesday, November 16, 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).

READ: Hebrews 12:1-2

“And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus” (Mk 10:50). When the Lord sent for Bartimaeus, he realized his garment was a hindrance and had to discard it. He did not allow anything to stop him – not even the garment that had provided warmth to him all along! It takes the mercy of God to overcome the hindrances at the doorstep of your breakthrough. This shows us that the devil could generate hindrances even while we are at the threshold of our breakthrough. Also, the hindrance that stops many from their blessing, is not something from the blues, but something familiar, something they have been used to, probably all their lives. Can you believe that certain doctrines, beliefs and stereotype are responsible for the lack of progress of many? For instance, when God was about to launch Peter into his next level as Apostle to the Gentile world, he resisted because he had never eaten anything strange or unclean before. Is your upbringing your problem?

A garment could also mean something very close to its wearer. The reason some women have refused to believe in Jesus is because their husbands disallow them. You do not need the approval of anyone before you decide to follow Jesus. Always remember that you shall stand to be judged by God apart from your spouse when you die. What will you tell Him? Those who will maximize God’s mercy are those who will not allow any excuse – no matter how cogent, to rob them of their blessings. What are your reasons for not attending weekly church services? Why do you not spend time with God’s Word or praying and worshipping the Lord daily? What constitutes Bartimaeus’ garment in your life? It must be dropped today! What is not make you climb up spiritually? Are you tempted to visit pornographic websites on the internet? Avoid it or employ more safety measures. Are you keeping company of those who are very worldly and are gradually influencing you in the ways of the world? Cut them off! Any garment that does not move you closer to the Lord must be dropped today. Ask God for grace to dump it.

PRAYER POINT:
Everything that represents Bartimaeus’ garment in my life, Father, help me to drop it now.

Bible in A Year: Ezekiel 15-18

Open Heavens Devotional: GOD’S SPECIAL LOOK – Tuesday, November 15, 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.” (Exodus 2:25).

READ: John 9:1-7

What does the phrase ‘And God looked upon the Israelites’ mean? It simply means God focused His attention on them in particular. In John 9:1-7, while Jesus and His disciples passed by, they saw a man who was born blind. This man had been on that spot for years and the Lord had been passing by and seeing him there all the time. But on this occasion, when Jesus saw him, Heaven was ready to attend to him. Similarly, John 5:2-9 tells us of a man who had been at the pool of Bethesda for 38 years. One day, Jesus saw him and singled him out of the crowd and he got a miracle. The day the Lord sees you specially, you can be sure you will share your testimony. This season, the Lord will look on you with compassion and do something about your case in Jesus name.

During one Holy Ghost Service, it was prayer time so I asked everybody to pray. I closed my eyes and began to pray when the Lord asked me to open my eyes, and pointed out a lady in the crowd. He asked me to go and tell her to weep no more. I went and delivered the message. She had been barren for several years. Nine months later, she came with her baby and I began to weep for joy. What is that thing causing sorrow in your heart today? Stop weeping! It shall become a thing of joy.

Another phrase in Exodus 2:25 says ‘God had respect unto them’. This means that God acknowledged them. God knows everything He created. According to Matthew 10:29, no sparrow falls to the ground without God’s knowledge. Matthew 10:30 says God has numbered every strand of hair on your head. God takes notice when a hair drops from your head; would He not therefore care about what happens to you? God cares so much for you. Are you going through some very trying moments? God does not need to be informed. He already knows. He cares. Look up to Him and call on His Name and He will respond. This season, the Lord will acknowledge you. He will arise on your behalf: He will bring that challenging situation under control.

PRAYER POINT:

Oh Lord! Look on me and turn my situation around.

Bible in One year: Ezek. 12-14

Open Heavens Devotional: TONE OF GOD’S VOICE – Monday, November 14, 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (Proverbs 29:1).

READ: Matthew 11:28-30

God has several tones of speaking depending on several factors. First, He could plead with an individual or nation. In Ezekiel 18:31-32, God asks: ‘Sinners, why will you die?’ Here, He is begging sinners to repent. Are you still living in sin? The Lord is begging you to quit today. In Proverbs 1:22, He asks: How long will you simple ones love simplicity? In other words, how long will you stupid fellows continue in stupidity? Secondly, He could advice. For instance, in Deuteronomy 30:19, He gives a piece of advice for you to choose life and live, out of two options. He is the best person to give you advice because He is the Wonderful Counselor (Is 9:6). Have you accepted His advice? Going by Matthew 11:28-30, another tone of God could be invitational. He invites you to come and reason with Him (Is 1:18). The day you will heed His invitation and take your burdens to the Lord, you will become a free person. Are you still carrying your load of care all by your limited strength or resources?

God’s tone could also come in form of an encouragement. In Isaiah 1:19, He tries to motivate you to be willing and obedient so that you can access the best planet earth has to offer you. Similarly, in Proverbs 1:23, God encourages you to take correction so that He can release His Spirit upon you, and reveal His Word to you. Are you ready to be corrected? In addition, another mood of God’s voice could be a warning. God likes to warn people before judging them. In Isaiah 1:20, He warns that destruction awaits those who reject His Word. Similarly, in Proverbs 29:1, He warns that continuous stubbornness can attract irredeemable destruction. Has God been warning you of certain sins yet, you continue? Repent today before your time of grace runs out! Moreover, when God has warned but the fellow continues to pay deaf ears, then God can use a declarative tone according to Proverbs 1:24-31. Also, in Hosea 4:17, God said Ephraim should be left alone with his idols. May God not leave you to your self will! In Hosea 5:9, God said Ephraim shall be desolate. This was no longer a warning but a declaration. God can also speak with a tone of command. In Genesis 1:3, He commanded that there should be light. In Matthew 28:19, God commands that believers should go and preach the Gospel. Have you obeyed His command?

KEY POINT:
When you hear His voice, determine the direction of His tone and comply immediately.

Bible in A Year: Ezekiel 8-11

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