Tag Archive for open

Open Heavens Devotional: ENTERING MULTIPLICATION Monday 9 May 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

 

MEMORIZE: “Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” (Col. 2:7).

READ: John 6:5-13

In Genesis 1:20-23, God brought forth living creatures to foot the fields, float the air and flood the waters—all out of nothing. This is as amazing as it is frightening. If God can bring out something out of nothing, then He does not require your service or mine to do what He wants to do. That means He can simply do without us completely. Nobody is indispensable before God. Sometimes ago, a young brother learnt this lesson. He was such a useful worker to his pastor. His service was virtually needed everywhere. He was doing so well that at a point he began to think he was indispensable. One day, he came late for a meeting and his pastor suspended him for one week. He went to him in a nonchalant manner, saying that, the suspension would afford him some time for himself. ‘Really?’ asked his pastor. ‘Then you will go for two weeks!’ Those were his most miserable two weeks ever! He was sidelined while the work he thought would stop without him, continued as though he was never there. May the Lord never relieve you of what He has given to you. The truth is: those who are complaining of being too loaded with various assignments in church or ministry, do not know that God is doing you a favour. The day He relieves you of those assignments, you will know what it means to be unimportant. That will not be your portion in Jesus name.

Apart from bringing something out of nothing, God can take little and turn it into much. In 1 Kings 17:8-16, He took the meager meal of a hungry widow, multiplied it, and it became an abundance that sustained the man of God, the woman and her family for over two years. Similarly, in John 6:5-13, God took the meal of a young boy-five tiny loaves of bread and two fishes, multiplied them and fed a crowd of 5000. God is still in the business of multiplication. You would observe in today’s reading that the emphasis was on being thankful. After the boy’s meal was brought to Philip, like many of us, had a pessimistic view and demeaned the handful offering. Jesus, however, thanked God for the little and it became more than sufficient. If you want to enjoy a life of abundance, you must learn to be thankful. Complaining cannot increase you or yours, it can only hinder or decrease you. Have you thanked God for that little provision? If you can do so sufficiently well, it will outgrow its limits and become more than sufficient.

 

ACTION POINT:
Spend one hour thanking God for little mercies you can see in your life and family. Ask God to place God-fearing leaders, who will relieve the oppressed and foster progress over your nation.

Bible in One year: 1 Pet. 1-3

 

 

Open Heavens Devotional: EXPECTING THE LORD? Sunday 8 May 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

 

MEMORIZE: “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” (Matt. 24:42).

READ: Matthew 24:42-44

“Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward” (2 John 8). One area believers must carefully watch over is the kind of service they render to God. God is not just interested in mere service as some people assume. He wants quality service. The kind of service that will elicit His commendation is at a great price. If you are not prepared to pay that price, intent on just serving Him out of convenience, then don’t expect a full reward. God is prepared to ‘overpay’ you for every service you do for His Name, as long as it is praise-worthy and devoid of earthly colourations. Hence, Paul says: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” (2 Cor. 4:17). Do you know that many believers will miss Heaven for failing to watch over their works? Some will receive partial reward while there will be no reward for some. In Heaven, there are mansions, crowns, stars and other glorious rewards whose original owner are missing from Heaven. You will not miss your heavenly inheritance in Jesus name.

Moreover, another area you must watch out for is the return of the Lord. He promised to return like a thief in the night. In other words, those who do not watch out for His return may never be raptured. “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (Matt.24:42). The Lord is coming for those who look out for His coming. When the Lord in Revelation 22:20 said He was coming quickly, John’s response was: “Even so, come, Lord Jesus”. Are you as expectant as the early believers about the Lord’s return? If you are watching out for His coming, you will have a relationship with Him. You will allow Him into your heart and do everything possible to keep Him there. You will not toy with sin. You will be close to His Word and fellowship regularly with the brethren. You will obey him always and daily live as if He is coming back that very day. You will forgive your offenders and settle all pending restitutions. You will ensure that you owe nobody, and importantly, you do not owe God. Are you watching out for His return?

 

ACTION POINT:
Examine yourself for an hour and list out evidences of your lack of preparation for the Lord’s return. Take immediate corrective steps.

Bible in One year: Ruth 1-4

 

 

Open Heavens Devotional: NO HIDING PLACE Saturday 7 May 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

 

MEMORIZE: “If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.” (Ps. 139:11).

READ: Psalms 139:7-12

Matthew 10:28 says the only One to be feared is the Almighty God because He can determine your end on earth and what happens to you in eternity. He sees everything and is everywhere at the same time. Psalm 139:1-12 says you cannot hide from God. Climb to any height, even the tallest building or mountain in the world, God sees you. Go to any depth below the earth surface and He will still see you. Verse 11 says, “If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me”. One thing that is common among evil doers is that they are friends with darkness. They carry out most of their activities in the night. Do you know that long before scientists manufactured night vision surveillance hardware, God saw in the dark? Darkness cannot hide anything from God. In fact, unlike human night vision which still has several limitations, God’s night vision is not different from regular vision in broad daylight. In other words, if you think by hiding at night to sin you are hiding your secrets, you are not. With God, there is no difference between night and day because He exists in the realm where all things are naked to Him. There is also no secret. What you call secret is common knowledge in Heaven and it is only a matter of time before it is exposed.

Just as God is omnipresent, so also is He the only way of salvation from Satan and his hosts. Some people want to be free from sickness and poverty, and they go to the one who gave them the problem in the first place. Unknown to them, instead of true deliverance, they get ensnared further. Some years ago a man in his quest for wealth swallowed a money charm. Instead of becoming rich, what he swallowed began to eat him up. When his date with death drew near, he ran to us at Ebute-Metta, Lagos. He was delivered. After observing his absence from church, we visited him to know why. He told us that he had swallowed the wrong charm the first time; that was why no money came. He informed us he had now swallowed the right charm and money had come. After seven years, his date with death drew near. He decided to escape to London thinking that the demons were confined to Africa. He died on board the London-bound plane. Are you in any cult? Have you made a pact with the powers of darkness? Jesus Christ is the only way to freedom. Confess your sins and receive Him into your heart today. Renounce and break all agreements with the devil and approach a genuine man of God for prayers.

 

KEY POINT:
Christianity is not just a way of life, but God’s only way of expressing His mind.

Bible in One year: Judg. 13-15

 

 

Open Heavens Devotional: THE HOPE OF GLORY Friday 6 May 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

 

MEMORIZE: “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).

READ: Colossians 1:26-28

“Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings” (Isaiah 3:10).

Are you a child of God, living right and pleasing God? If yes, do know for certain that it shall be well with you. Your future shall be glorious. It may be rough now but you shall end well. Why? It is because you have Jesus. Colossians 1:27 says, “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:”. The Lord Jesus is the Hope of glory. In him is the height of glory. In Him are all riches you can ever imagine. Having Him and sustaining Him in you means that one day, the abundant riches that He has will be evident in your life. This is why if asked to choose between riches, honour, fame, power on one side, and Jesus Christ on the other side, the wisest choice would be Jesus Christ. As long as He abides in you, what He has—His glory, splendor, riches, fame, power, wisdom, etc. will definitely reflect in your life. This season, the Hope of glory will radiate in your life.

One implication of Jesus as the Hope of glory is that there is hope for the hopeless. Have you lost hope of making it out of that prison? As long as you have Jesus, there is hope for you. Are you thinking that that perennial sickness is permanent? No! As long as you have the Hope of glory, there is hope for you. Jesus is the Hope of glory manifest to destroy anything opposed to glory in your life. God created you to radiate His glory. Every glory-taker or glory-eater in your life shall be subdued this season. That situation causing shame, disgrace, failure or disappointment in your life shall be mopped up by the King of glory. To cause His glory to manifest in your life, provoke it by engaging in activities that give Him glory. Worship Him in spirit and in truth regularly. Win lots of souls to Him monthly. Engage your time to study His Word privately. Sow into His Kingdom by supporting parish-based projects. Pay your tithes, offerings and vows, and live a sin-free life.

 

PRAYER POINT:
Pray: Every glory-taker in my life, be destroyed by fire.

Bible in One year: Judg. 16-18.

 

 

Open Heavens Devotional: COMMUNION SEALS FATE Thursday 5 May 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

 

MEMORIZE: “And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.” (John 13:27).

READ: John 13:21-30

With one uncommon meal, several sicknesses and diseases can be taken care of. This was the experience of the Israelites in Egypt in Psalm 105:37. This season, may the partaking of this uncommon meal deliver several blessings to you in Jesus name.

Another important thing about the Holy Communion is that it can seal a man’s destiny. It takes just a meal to seal one’s destiny. This may be positive or negative though. In John 13:21-30, the 12 disciples partook of this meal and their fates were sealed. Once Heaven has said ‘Amen’ at the communion table, one’s fate is sealed, with no reversal possible. May you never experience a negative sealing of your fate in Jesus name. This is why you must be seen doing what is right and pleasing to God always. One Bible character who experienced a negative sealing of his fate was Judas Iscariot. Until the night of that communion, when he was secretly stealing, the Lord kept warning him not to do the evil he intended. As long as God is warning you, there is still hope for repentance and forgiveness. Then, he took part in that uncommon meal and his fate was sealed. Where the meal meets you is where the sealing will be carried out. The same Jesus who hitherto warned Judas against his evil plans was now the one telling him to hurry up in the evil he intended doing.

Judas afterward stepped out into the night and for the rest of his life, it remained night as he committed suicide. If your fate is negatively sealed, you will remain in darkness. May that not be your portion! This is also why the communicant must adhere to the instructions concerning the eating of the Holy Communion, lest it seals his fate negatively. On the other hand, one can be positively sealed. The 11 disciples also had their fate sealed. After that meal, it became impossible for the devil to deceive or take any of them away. In other words, they remained in Christ’s light for life. If the communion meets you at the peak of your love, consecration and service of God, it can make those permanent features in your life. At such a time, Satan will need to put in more than a worthy fight in order to derail your faith. Ask God to seal you at your highest point of devotion and love to Him.

 

KEY POINT
The one who is negatively sealed is totally sold out to Satan, while the one who is positively sealed is completely sold out to God. Which sealing do you want?

Bible in One year: Judg. 13-15

 

 

Open Heavens Devotional: YOU WILL BE REFINED Wednesday 4 May 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

 

MEMORIZE: “And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness” (Malachi 3:3)

READ: Malachi 3:1-3

When Christ is before you, your steps will be divinely guided. When God led us to the camp ground, many people thought I was nuts. But I knew who was leading me. Today, the same people say that was a wise move. God’s counsel is laden with wisdom which may not be apparent to the recipient of such a counsel or speculators who are seeking opportunity to find fault. Sadly, many people who have confessed faith in Christ are without divine guidance because they have adopted a nature that is alien to God’s. Psalm 25:9 says God will guide the meek. Christ will only go before those who are meek. A meek fellow is someone who has power, ability or authority to fight back at his or her attackers but deliberately refuses to do so. If you are vengeful, you are something but meek. The meek is like a tamed horse. God cannot guide some of His children because instead of forgiving their offenders, they are busy fighting or praying judgemental prayers against them.

Colossians 1:27 speaks of Christ in you. Bible writers carefully chose their words. Christ ‘in’ you means ‘the Anointed One in you’. God created man from the earth (Gen. 2:7). Just as beneath the earth are tremendous resources such as iron, brass, silver and gold; inside you lies tremendous potentials that only the Anointed One can unearth. In John 14:12 Jesus says those who believe in Him will be able to do greater works. Through His power, you can heal the sick, raise the dead and do what people call impossible. However, before God can use you to do these, there is a need for you to pass through his ‘refining fire’. This will change you from your raw state to a usable finished state. When iron is extracted from the ground, it is purified by fire. If iron stays long enough in the fire, it becomes steel. It is the refining of brass in fire that turns it into bronze. Silver and gold are also refined after being brought out of the ground. You need to be refined for the gold, silver or bronze in you to come to the limelight (Zech. 13:8-9; Mal. 3:23). According to 1 Peter 1:7, such refining may come as trials of faith. If you have not gone through trials, it might be the reason why you have not achieved much. Ask for grace to go through fiery tests victoriously.

 

PRAYER POINT
Some people go through fire but instead of delivering their gold, they are burned by it. Pray that fire will reveal your gold.

Bible in One year: Judg. 9-12

 

 

Open Heavens Devotional: HIS MESSENGER Tuesday 3 May 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

 

MEMORIZE: “Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him” (John 3:28)

READ: John 3:28-31

Today’s reading introduces John the Baptist. He was a messenger of the Almighty God. “For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee” (Matt. 11:10). Who is a messenger? He is someone who is sent on an errand; a representative, an ambassador or an apostle. It is therefore obvious that a messenger is under the authority of a superior individual or body. The ambassador of a nation can never be greater than the president he represents in a foreign land. His retention is dependent on how well he represents the interests of his president or nation. If he errs or embarrasses his government, he can be recalled.

Just as it is with earthly ambassadors, so it is with Kingdom ambassadors. As a messenger of God, you must always remember that you are under authority. One cause of premature death among ministers of God today is the fact that they soon forget that the one who assigned them can recall them. When as a minister you begin to take the glory that is meant for the One who sent you, or you relegate Him to the background while promoting yourself, know that you are toying with fire.

Another fact about divine messengers is that there is joy in being a representative of the highest authority. God backs anyone He sends with everything He has. It is a great privilege to be under Gods authority because it confers God’s power on you as long as you know how to apply that authority in His name. One person who understood the principle of divine delegation of power was the centurion in Luke 7:1-10. When Jesus offered to go with him to heal his sick servant, he declined. He said that being under the authority of Caesar, all he needed to do is issue words of commands and his soldiers would immediately obey him, not necessarily because of his person, but because of the authority he represents. This is very true. Demons will obey you not because you are handsome, have three jeeps, or a large congregation. They will obey because of the One you represent. The question is: are you subordinate to His divine Lordship? Do you represent His interest over the assignments He has given to you? If you are not under His authority you cannot apply His authority.

 

KEY POINT
When Kingdom messengers fail to represent the One who has sent them, the ones they are sent to will continue to misunderstand their message.

Bible in One year: Judg. 5-8

 

 

Open Heavens Devotional: SOMETHING FROM NOTHING Monday 2 May 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

 

MEMORIZE: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11).

READ: Exodus 17:1-6

God’s Word never returns to Him empty. Once it has been guttered, it is settled and the case is closed (Psalm 33:8-9). A sister attended one of our services about 10 years ago. During the programme, the Lord said there was a lady there who was pregnant but the baby was dead, and that the baby was being restored to life. As they left for home, the woman told her husband that their baby, who had stopped all movement before then, had started moving again but the man did not believe her. The 10 year old baby was brought here to thank God in one of our meetings recently. Praise God!

When God speaks, it is settled. Why? Because He can bring something out of nothing. In Genesis 1:20-23, the Lord commanded the waters to bring forth marine life and out of nothing, all variety of creatures of various sizes, shapes and colours sprang forth. At that same time, in response to His command, all kinds of birds came forth and began to adorn the skyline. It was just His Word in action. This tells us that God does not always require materials to create miracle; His Word is enough. Similarly, in Exodus 17:1-6, out of the rock, God brought forth enough water to quench the thirst of a whole nation. God is a specialist at bringing out something out of nothing. Are you in a situation of nothingness and you are in doubt as to whether God can do something about it? He can and He will! In that emptiness God will move to fill up the void. Has He spoken into your life or a promise which after your assessment, you concluded was not possible? Wipe out your doubts! God is bringing something out of that nothingness! You see, it takes looking through God’s eyes to see something in nothing. In your hopeless there is hope for you. In that so-called terminal ailment, there is healing for you. In your impoverished state, there is abundance for you. Ensure you make your ways right with God, do everything you can to please Him; worship Him and obey Him. Listen to His instruction and follow it diligently. It shall produce something out of nothing.

 

PRAYER POINT
Father, let your Word be settled for good concerning my life and destiny.

Bible in One year: Judg. 1-4

 

 

Open Heavens Devotional: TABLE OR FLOOR? Sunday 1 May 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

 

MEMORIZE: “And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” (Matt. 15:27)

READ: Matthew 15:21-28

“Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come” (Psalm 102:13).
One thing that can differentiate a person from another is the favour of God. It is common for those who are not favoured to envy those who are. For instance, Joseph became the envy of his elder brothers because he was specially loved and spoilt by their father (Gen. 37:4). It is the same with divine favour. However, God does not release His favour just for fun, but for a definite purpose. Therefore, you will discover from the study of Bible characters who have been beneficiaries of God’s favour, that there is a link between divine favour and destiny. In other words, God favours certain people because of where He wants them to get to, or what He wants them to achieve. Matthew 5:45 says every creature of God, irrespective of their faith, receives from God’s general blessings—air, life, works of nature, etc., but He has a special package for candidates of His favour. May you be considered for God’s favour this season in Jesus name.

According to today’s reading, deliverance is not for dogs—unbelievers—but for God’s children. At best, unbelievers can access the crumbs on God’s table of provision while the real meal is for His children. If you have not yet confessed Jesus Christ as Lord, you are stranger to the commonwealth of Israel like the Canaanite woman. You can only receive what falls from the table! The difference of course is favour. By virtue of being a child of God, you eat from the same table with the Lord, while the unbeliever eats from the floor. Where are you eating from – the table or floor? Apart from this favour that is common and accessible to all believers, there is uncommon favour that is accessible to only a few believers. For instance, Romans 9:15 says God’s mercy and compassion are specially reserved for those He has chosen to benefit from them. It’s not as if those who are not uncommonly favoured among His children cannot enjoy such blessings at all, but the uncommonly favoured enjoy these blessings at a higher level. This explains why David remained relevant in God’s plan in spite of his several slips and weakness. In addition to having a right heart like David, you too can be a candidate for divine favour. Avoid what God hates; love and serve Him with the right heart. Do only the things that are pleasing to Him; praise and worship Him.

 

KEY POINT
You set up yourself for divine favour by making your heart right with God.

Bible in One year: Luke 22-24

 

 

Open Heavens Devotional: WALKING BY FAITH Monday 25 April 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

 

MEMORIZE: “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7).

READ: Galatians 5:24-26

According to 2 Corinthians 4:18, it takes you downplaying your physical senses to bring your spiritual senses into the limelight. Whatever is seen is temporal. Boy, do men love things that are temporal! If you love cars, houses, lands and other material things, you are not different from any other man. However, if you love the things of the Spirit and place them at the top of your hierarchy of needs, you will stand out. This season, the Lord will help you to value the unseen, eternal things far above the mundane.

In 1 Kings 18:41-45, the prophet of God declared that there was a sound of abundance of rain, right at the peak of a three-year-long famine. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “For we walk by faith, not by sight:” In other words, anyone who would rely on sight in his or her walk with God, will not be able to go far with God. In fact, such a fellow may not be able to go anywhere at all. The scripture above says faith constitutes the legs with which a believer moves. Without faith, there is no motion. As long as it is your senses you engage in an attempt to achieve that goal or vision, it will be ‘all noise and no motion’. But if you can put on the legs of faith, you will see yourself making progress. Why? Faith is language of the Spirit while sight is the language of the world. You cannot relate with God except through faith (Heb. 11:6). If you say you believe in God but you are not making progress, examine yourself carefully: sight might have been engaged and needs to be disengaged for the result that comes by faith to be seen. Once God has spoken, the matter is settled. God’s Word is enough for children of faith. If God’s Word is not enough for you, and you think you still need to combine it with candles and other ritualistic materials, you are not living the life of faith. If you wait until you see the result of an event before you believe, you are not living the life of faith. A place of faith is a place of honour. The three Hebrew children walked by faith into Nebuchadnezzar’s fire. At the end, their faith brought Jesus Christ into that fire, and thereafter, they were honoured by the same king who had earlier ordered them dead. If you can take a walk of faith based on God’s Word, it will bring you honour.

 

ACTION POINT
Faith constitutes not only the hands to receive from God but also the legs to draw nearer Him. It is indispensable!

Bible in One year: Luke 1-3

 

 

Open Heavens Devotional: GOD’S TRAINING GROUND Tuesday 26 April 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

 

MEMORIZE: “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10).

READ: Exodus 2:1-4

To be chosen as a Kingdom leader, it is good to possess faith, meekness, obedience, knowledge of God etc. God therefore wants His candidates for ecclesiastical leadership to go through some training. No one is a custodian of all vital leadership traits. This means we may lack one or more qualities we need, to be what we are meant to be. The good news is that through the process of training, such missing traits can be acquired.

God is the best Trainer in the universe. Also, He hardly uses those He has not trained. Before He pushes you into the battlefront, He will first ensure that your fingers have been groomed to fight (Ps. 144:1). Similarly, God is the One who decides the place and duration of your training, vis-à-vis His purpose for your life. However, your input also counts. That is, if you easily cooperate with Him, you may not exceed your appointed training period. But if you prove to be tough, stubborn or slow at learning, you may extend the divine timetable. Do you learn from the events, situations and circumstances that you go through? If you don’t, you may need to repeat those classes and examinations. Hence, God wants only those who are teachable.

God decides the location of training. He also determines whether we are prepared for an assignment or not. Before using Moses, He arranged for him to go through formal education in the palace of Egypt for 40 years. Some people are in palace now, but do not know that they are undergoing some training for a period, to enable them fit into God’s original purpose for their lives. Moses’ peculiar education also tells us that your academic qualifications can still be relevant, and may just be part of God’s preparation for you. However, it is not enough. Even if you have 10 doctorate degrees, you will still need another form of training. For this reason, Moses had to go to the wilderness for another 40 years training, to learn what University education could not teach him. He learnt meekness and patience through the tough task of leading sheep. What you cannot learn from men, God may send you to learn from animals, even ants. Are you ready to learn from God?

 

KEY POINT
Moses spent 80 years to prepare for a 40 years long ministry. This means that years of preparation may sometimes be twice as much as years of service. How prepared are you?

Bible in One year: Luke 4-6

 

 

Open Heavens Devotional: SHARE YOUR TESTIMONY Friday 29 April 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

 

MEMORIZE: “And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.” (Mark 5:20).

READ: Mark 5:14-20

In Mark 1:40-45, an erstwhile leper went everywhere sharing the testimony of his healing with all sundry, and in the process became a channel of blessing to many. Has God done something in your life? Go and share with others. Never conceal your testimonies because several lives can be transformed through them. You cannot tell the life-long impact of that testimony you are holding!

By the grace of God I am a living witness of the reality of divine healing and health. But it was not so at the time of my conversion. After I got born again, I was down with malaria every two weeks. In those days, I heard pastors preach that because Jesus is the Great Physician, medication was unnecessary. I laughed at them, saying they were looking for someone to kill. I was grateful that they had shown me the way to Heaven, but they should not send me there prematurely. In any case, I argued, “How do I know if they are not secretly ingesting medicine in the confines of their homes?”

In our church those days, there was an old man of about 86 years. He used a walking stick and was bent over. He said while in his youth, he contracted a venereal disease which brought about burning sensation whenever he walked straight. Relief only came whenever he stooped. One fateful Sunday morning, this elder stood upright without any aid. I asked what had happened and he promised to share this testimony during the evening service. That evening, I was the first to get to church. Papa said that when he travelled home for a holiday, he began a house-to-house evangelism daily. At some point, the devil said to him, ‘Old man, stop deceiving people: Go and sit down. If your Jesus is so powerful, why has He not healed you?’ On hearing this, holy anger arose within him and he challenged the devil: “Satan, are you laughing at my God?” Immediately, he broke the walking stick and started to walk straight amidst intense pain. Then he said, “If I am going to die, I am ready, but I will never walk bent again, and neither will you, Satan, ever laugh at my God again”. Feeling a wave dizziness, he implored God to not let him die on the street but at home. He continued walking home in pain, sweating profusely. Before he got home, the pain disappeared. When I heard his testimony, I believed it, and from that day on, I resolved to make Jesus my doctor. For more than 35 years now, He has kept me in divine health. Share your testimony like the Gadarene demoniac of Mark 5:1-20 did. You will be amazed at its effect!

 

KEY POINT

List 10 powerful things God has done for you in different areas. Prayerfully select 10 people facing challenges in those areas and share your testimonies with them. Pray for them to have testimonies too.

Bible in One year: Luke 14-17

 

 

Open Heavens Devotional: EXPECT ADVERSE WINDS Thursday 28 April 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

 

MEMORIZE: “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” (Matt. 7:25).

READ: Matthew 14:22-25

Apart from Abraham, another Bible character who benefited from great divine promises was Joseph. In Genesis 37:3-11, he saw his brothers bowing to him in a dream. This was followed by another dream in which his whole family, including his father, bowed to him. These were great promises for young Joseph. By a twist of fate, the one who was expecting to occupy a throne and enjoy the obeisance of others was a slave en route Egypt (Gen. 39:15). Later, In Genesis 39:19-23, he found himself in prison. Oh! How he would have wondered: ‘God! What of your promises to me?’ Eventually, after several years, he found himself on the throne of Egypt with his brothers doing obeisance and offering to be his servants. One thing we learn from this is that the one who has God’s promise may be required to go through situations that seem to negate it. God promised Abraham that he would be the father of nations, yet, he spent several years in childlessness. In the same vein, God promised Joseph honour, and respect and a position of relevance with virtually everyone at his beck and call; yet, he spent several years serving others, taking instructions from them. In both cases, nonetheless, God’s Word prevailed.

This tells us that one who is undergoing an unpleasant situation has the potential of experiencing the exact opposite of what he or she is going through. Are you the laughing stock of those around you? Shortly, you shall be celebrated by all and sundry. Are you barren now? Soon, you shall be a joyful parent. Have you been meeting with several disappointments? Don’t give up! An appointment that will rewrite your history for good is just around the corner. Satan’s strategy is to make you experience everything contrary to God’s promise for your life so that you can give up on His promise. Don’t give up! If you remain dogged in the fight and continue to hold on to God’s Word, the devil will give up. Another lesson here is that the negative situations you go through are not powerful enough to stop God’s promises from coming to pass. Expect contrary winds, but hold on to God’s Word that is forever settled. In today’s reading, the Lord asked the disciples to go to the other side, yet they still faced contrary winds that got them stuck mid-sea for hours! As you hold on firmly to His Word, every contrary wind will give way this season!

 

ACTION POINT
A house, family or project built on the Rock will withstand any storm or wind. Build on the Rock.

Bible in One year: Luke 10-13

 

 

Open Heavens Devotional: WATCH THAT APPETITE! Wednesday 27 April 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

 

MEMORIZE: “And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.” (Prov. 23:2).

READ: Proverbs 23:1-3

Storing excessive fat in the body leads to being overweight or obese, which in turn leads to high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, sleep apnea, heart attack, heart failure, arteriosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases. One major cause of obesity is over-eating or gluttony. Food is good but excessive food is injurious to a good healthy life. Some people cannot stop their mouths whenever they see food. Even when their stomach is full, they still continue to eat especially when ‘free food’ is on offer. They are simply endangering their health! The bottom line is moderation. Proverbs 25:16 says, “Hast thou found honey? Eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it”. We really need restraint when it comes to the quality and quantity of food we consume. Proverbs 24:13 confirms that honey is good for the body. It is a lot better than refined sugar if you are advanced in years. It is easier for your digestive system to break down the sugar in honey than that in refined sugar. Replace your intake of sugar with honey.

However, as good as honey is, it should be taken in moderation. If you take it in excess at a particular time, it could lead to vomiting. This simply means that even when you are eating the right king of healthy foods, it should be done in moderation. Gluttons are their own worst enemies. What they love the most ends up writing their obituaries! Is your excessive eating habit gradually sending you to an early grave? Stop it today! You have to be strict with yourself. According to today’s passage, if you love food too much, you must put a knife to your throat. In other words, exercise great restraint when you see food. Learn to say ‘No’ to offers of food. Learn to eat right. It is not only the quantity of food that matters but the quality also. Learn to fast. Sometimes, you can do a food fast that is not necessarily for spiritual blessings. Fasting is also good for the body’s cleansing and metabolism. Remember that many are in the grave today, not because of any witch or wizard, but because of their appetite for food. Do not eat what will kill you, but what would sustain your life.

 

ACTION POINT
Consult nutritionists on the benefits of honey. Maximize these benefits for your good.

Bible in One year: Luke 7-9

 

 

Open Heavens Devotional: SIN AND FAVOUR Sunday 24 April 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

 

MEMORIZE: “Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, though art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” (John 5:14).

READ: John 5:2-8, 14

One quality you must possess in order to attract God’s favour is the ability to worship Him. Another indispensable quality of one who seeks divine favor is the ability to surrender all. In Matthew 8:13, the leper laid everything at the feet of the Master and worshipped Him. He surrendered all to Him. Many who claim to have surrendered all to Jesus do not really understand what it means to do so. To surrender your life is to give up everything; to relinquish control. If you have surrendered your life to Jesus, how come you are still the one calling the shots? If you are holding something, and then you surrendered it, it implies it is no more in your custody. Many believers do not surrender their lives; they only loan them out to the Lord for a period. Are you loaning or surrendering your life to the Master? The bitter truth is that God knows the difference, irrespective of what we claim with our mouths.

I preached one Sunday morning on ‘I surrender All’. Thereafter, a man came to me, thanked me for the beautiful sermon, and then said he has surrendered all to Jesus. When I hinted him we would like to make use of his car the following day, he replied that being a working day, he would need the car. So, I smiled and told him there was really no need for his car but that I just wanted to make him realize he was yet to truly surrender all like he claimed. Have you surrendered all to Jesus?

Still, another quality you must have to secure divine favour is that your sins must be forgiven. Sin and divine favour are miles apart; hence, you must ensure there is no sin in your life capable of hindering your favour. This was why the Lord had to forgive the paralytic before healing him in Mark 2:1-12. After being forgiven, you must not continue in sin, according to John 5:14. Some believers who commit sin in secret are rejoicing in their hearts that they have not been found out. They think all is well. No! All is not well. If only God would open their eyes to know the extent sin has set them back, or their blessings that have been diverted away from them. Sin steals from the sinner. Sin never gives to the sinner.

 

ACTION POINT
List ten evidences of true surrender to Christ in your life. If these are lacking, ask God for the grace to completely surrender to Him.

Bible in One year: Lev. 24-27

 

 

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