Tag Archive for open

Open Heavens Devotional: LUST OR LOVE? – Thursday, July 26, 2012

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

Memorise: But God commandeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Read: Romans 5:7-8

A discuss on love would normally focus on a minimum of two people – the lover and the loved. The lover is the subject while the loved is the object. In a true love situation, the subject seeks the welfare of the loved, whether the object deserves it or not. Romans 5:7-8 says Jesus Christ died for us at a point no one else could have. While we were separated from Him as sinners with enmity between us, He died for us. How many of you can die for your enemies? If anything, most people would want their enemies dead this minute. What love can be greater than that of Jesus Christ? Most times, we misunderstand the word “love”. A man telling a lady, “I love you”, might really mean “I am lusting after you”. This is a counterfeit of God’s love. Lust is selfish, self-centered and seeks to exploit the object. Lust is dirty and does not care how it satisfies its ungodly desire, hence you find men raping ladies or being involved in incestuous sex, same sex intercourse or bestial sex. The one in lust is seeking for somebody to use. To him, the object of lust is only an object-just like any too or machinery used for work.

When a subject is lusting after an object, he will show a lot of interest, shower gifts and feign care for the object. The man will do anything to convince the lady he loves her. But as soon as he gets what he wants, the object will mean nothing to him. In some cases, after the man has succeeded in sleeping with the lady, the so called love turns into extreme hatred (2 Samuel 13:1-15). Just as it is in human relationships, so it is in our relationship with God. Many people who claim to love God do not love Him but are only desirous of what they can get from Him, He has become an object they can use to get what they want (John 6:25-27). Do you love God? Why do you love God? Examine yourself to see that your love is not really lust?

KEY POINT:

Are you seeking for God or His works?

Bible in one year: 1 Kings 5-7

Open Heavens Devotional: VALUE GIVER – Wednesday, July 25, 2012

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

Memorise: And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. Colossians 1:18

Read: Colossians 1:15-18

If we study the lives of those who in Bible times carried the glory of God, we will understand their secrets. We can partake of the same glory by using these secrets. However, it must be stated here that the glory the Lord made available to New Testament saints by His blood far surpasses the entire glory of the Old Testament as  the Old was only a shadow of and a fore runner of the New. Yet many of us are yet to manifest the glory of the Old Testament, how much more the New Testament. May you partake of this latter House glory in Jesus name.

An outstanding carrier of His glory under the Old Covenant was Moses. But how did it all begin? Exodus 3:1-6 says it all started with a personal encounter with the Lord. For every true carrier of God’s glory, there must be a day in his or her life that the fellow personally encountered the Lord. This is more than your parents dedicating you to the Lord while you were still a babe. It is beyond a family or community decision. Personal conversion to Christ is sacrosanct and foundational to partaking in God’s glory. Some years ago, a particular “man of God” rose with predictions for each year. He became quite popular. One day, he was interviewed by the press on how he started up till his point of fame. While perusing his comments, it was observed that there was no mention of a day in his life which he gave his life to Christ. He claimed to have had certain gifts right from the womb which brought him to his current level. Going by God’s Word, he has not started. There are yet many people who are presiding over churches today and preach salvation messages because it is in vogue, but have never received Jesus Christ as their Lord and personal Saviour. They have not started. In God’s Kingdom, you cannot skip a very foundational experience like salvation and think you can be relevant. All you will do will be without record and without reward. Do all the good in this world and all you get for each is a zero. Jesus is the only One that can add value to any life. Receive Him today!

KEY POINT:

John 1:9 says Jesus gives light to all who comes into the world. Anyone who has not received Him will spend his or her years in darkness.

 
Bible in one year: 1 Kings 1-4

Open Heavens Devotional: LEAVE YOUR PAST! – Tuesday, July 24, 2012

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

Memorise: Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. Philippians 3:13

Read: Psalms 37:23-25

When God uses one of His servants to bless you, you can appreciate that servant of God but appreciate God much more. Why? God is the Source of blessing while His servant is only a vessel. Never turn a vessel into your source. If you do, both you and the vessel may get into trouble with God. It was in light of this knowledge that Elisha, despite his devotion to Elijah did not forget the God of Elijah. He called for the God of Elijah and not for Elijah or his anointing at the River Jordan (2 Kings 2:13-14). Elisha faced a new reality after the departure of Elijah. It was a new phase for him. You need to walk in the understanding that life is in phases. When one phase ends, another begins. Psalms 37:25 says:

I have been young, and am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

According to this scripture, there is the phase of being a youth and another phase of being old. A new phase had just begun in the life of Elisha. The phase of Elisha the servant, who went everywhere with his master had just ended and another phase of Elisha the national prophet with several attendants has just begun. When the time for his next phase came, he refused to continue in the old phase.

You must be ready to move forward. Stop living in the past. In 1 Samuel 25:1, after mourning the death of Samuel, David continued with his journey. Life continues irrespective of the challenges of each day, and so must you. Paul had to adopt a strategy of forgetting his past so that he could face his future (Philippians 3:12-14). Some people have lost their future to their past because somehow, they were never able to put the past behind them. Have you lost someone you love so much? Move on from that spot! Have you lost someone who promised to help sponsor your education or help set you up in business? Move on from that spot and another helper will surface. You could also receive direct help from above. Never allow past failures hinder your future success. Also, never allow past victories and successes hinder future ones. Stop dwelling in your past! As long as you remain at that bus stop of life, no new thing will come to you. Move forward! Take a step into your future today!

KEY POINT:

If you don’t leave your past, it will continue to hunt you. 

Bible in one year: John 18-21

Open Heavens Devotional: HOPE FOR RESTORATION – Monday, July 23, 2012

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

 

Memorise: For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Job 14:7

 

Read: Ezra 10:2-3

 

Sin is a cruel robber of hope. You will observe that as a believer in right standing with God, it is easy for you to express faith and hope but the moment you sin, the basis for faith and hope is eroded. Fear and doubt invade your heart. You will begin to wonder if the promise of God you have been waiting for will still be realized or not. Sin robs you of hope so you should keep away from it. After falling into sin, some people completely lose the hope of being forgiven or restored to faith. A young evangelist who faithfully won several souls to the Lord was a victim of this. He fell into fornication one day and the devil deceived him that because of that act he could never receive pardon. He believed that lie and continued to live in sin until he fell ill one day and was hospitalized. While there, he was in the same ward with another man – a pastor who carefully studied his Bible. He admired him. One day, the pastor asked him if he was a Christian and he said he used to be. “Used to? What happened?” The pastor asked and he told him his story. The pastor immediately swung into action showing him through scriptures that he could be forgiven and restored. Then he prayed with him and joy flooded his heart that night.

 

By the following morning when the pastor woke up, he did not see his ward mate, so he asked the nurses about him. He was informed that the man had joyfully passed on. After his tests, his wife – a medical doctor – announced to the pastor that he was free to go. Annoyed that he was kept in a hospital bed for days over nothing, he pondered on why God would allow that, only to realize he was used to restore hope to the hopeless. Have you backslidden and believe there is no more hope for your restoration? There is hope for you today! Go on your knees, confess your sins and re-invite Jesus into your heart as Lord and Saviour and dedicate your life to Him. He will forgive and restore you. From today’s Bible reading, some men who were Israelites, violated God’s command in Deuteronomy 7:2-3 yet they had hope for restoration. However, do not deliberately sin thinking you will always have opportunity to repent and be forgiven; you may not. But today, you can be restored to the Lord now. He will forgive you and put you back on track to Heaven.

 

 

ACTION POINT:

Prayerfully search for three backsliders around you and lead them back to Christ.

 

Bible in one year: 1 Samuel 29-31

 

Open Heavens Devotional: VICTORY DEVOURERS – Sunday, July 22, 2012

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

Memorise: Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. Romans 13:2

Read: Judges 14:1-3

It is one thing to be victorious but another thing to retain the victory. Victory not retained turns a victor into a victim. In order to keep your victory and walk in it, it is very crucial to learn from those who lost their victory, the reasons why their victory was lost. May you retain your victory in Jesus name.

One Bible character who got victory over his enemies was Samson. He knew what it meant to be victorious because of the mighty presence of the Holy Spirit upon him, yet he died in the prison of his enemies. What rubbished his victory? In Judges 14:1-3, Samson failed to listen to his parents. He felt they were too old fashioned in their views. He could not be under the control or authority of anyone. The elders may not be as educated as you are, but there is something they know that has kept them victorious which you may not know with all your education. Anyone who cannot submit to authority will most likely lose the victory he or she has received. There are some wives who cannot submit to the authority of their husbands because they have a better job or earn better income than them. Sorry, you may not be able to retain your victory! When the Lord says you should submit, He did not exclude your position or income. A minister who cannot be controlled, instructed or corrected by his or her pastor will surely lose his or her victory.

Another reason Samson lost his victory was because he was unequally yoked together with a Philistine in marriage. Brother, of all the sisters in the Kingdom, you could not find one to marry except a lady of another faith? By that marriage, you have automatically become a loser, a big time loser. Are you unequally yoked with an unbeliever in business? Separate today! Are you heading for the altar to wed an unbeliever? Break that relationship now before you end up in your enemy’s prison. In addition, Samson was not circumspect enough to know who to tell what. He opened his mouth and revealed his secrets to his enemy and they enslaved him. What are you telling people about yourself? Do you know who your enemies are? Samson was impatient and self-willed, not caring about God’s will and he was very unthankful. In whatever form any of these is seen in your life, prayerfully expunge them today so that your victory will not be eaten up.

PRAYER POINT:

Father, today by your mercy, uproot every victory devourer in my life.
 

Bible in one year: 1 Samuel 25-28

Open Heavens Devotional: HANDLE WEALTH WITH CAUTION – Saturday, July 21, 2012

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

Memorise: And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice. 1 Kings 11:9

Read: 1 Kings 11:1-9

Our God is a generous God who delights in the prosperity of His saints. He grants to them the power to get wealth. However, this wealth has eroded the faith of some while some others have turned their trust to the wealth they have. God so loved Solomon that He blessed him to a point where silver was like ordinary stones during his reign. Since he had so much material things, he began to acquire women contrary to the law of kings. He married 700 wives; as if that was not enough, he added 300 concubines. One man to 1,000 women! There are some he will sleep with once in three years! Most of his wives were non-Israelites; they were princesses from various kingdoms. Not many kings or presidents in our time can beat Solomon’s evil record. 1 Kings 11:4 says:

For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.

Wealth brings power and wealth is a very dangerous thing. Solomon married these strange wives because he could afford to. This is one area where poverty acts as a safeguard for the poor. There are some evil things that some poor people could have acquired if they were rich. But because they are poor, their minds are completely away from such things. The poor hardly argue with God’s Word but the rich do that often because what they have beclouds their mind. Solomon got so intoxicated by his wealth that he multiplied wives to himself, who then influenced him to build shrines to their gods and goddesses near Jerusalem. They further influenced him to join them in worshipping their idols until his heart was totally turned away from God. God became angry with the one He loved so much. If Solomon was poor, would he have been able to amass those wives? I doubt it. The wealth that takes you away from God’s will and Word is a curse not a blessing. Handle your wealth with lots of care, prayers and fear of God.

PRAYER POINT:

The wealth that is not brought under God’s control will end up controlling its owner. Pray that the wealth that will lead you astray will never come to you.

 
Bible in one year: 1 Samuel 21-24

Open Heavens Devotional: NEGLECTING THIS DOOR? – Friday, July 20, 2012

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

Memorise: And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Matthew 21:22

Read: Matthew 21:18-22

In 1 Corinthians 16:8-9, Paul said God opened a door to him. God still opens door for His children. God opens door to missionary opportunities. Also, there is a door of prayer. This door is open to everyone. You do not need the permission of anyone before you pray. You are free to pray anytime and anywhere. Even when a government outlaws prayer like it happened in the time of Daniel, those like Daniel will still pray. Any government that passes such an obnoxious decree must be prepared to stay awake 24/7 because some of us may choose to start our prayers at 3am. How effective have you been using your open door in prayer? Your success in the Christian faith depends on how you utilize this door. You cannot be anything of repute in God’s Kingdom if you neglect this door. One thing that is common to those who rise and fall from the faith so often is that they fail to utilize their open door in prayer. A prayer-less Christian is not only powerless but also a misrepresentation of Christian faith, will end up a victim and will struggle in His walk with God. Power is released in the place of prayer. You need power to live as a Christian (John 1:14). Without such power, Heaven will be a mirage. If you are neglecting effective prayer life, it means you do not want to go to Heaven.

You are neglecting this open door when you see the need to pray but procrastinate, saying “I will pray about it tomorrow”. That tomorrow may never come. Or when you have a negative dream but only mutter some positive confessions and push it aside or leave it to fate by saying “If God delights in me, He will do something about that dream so I leave it to Him”. You also neglect this door when you see a sharp or major character flaw in your spouse, or leader but rather than intercede, you make it a subject of discussion or gossip. Do you know that about 70% of what happens to most believers could have been averted if only they have effectively utilized their open door in prayer? There is gross prayerlessness in Christendom today. Repent and never take anything for granted. Monitor your dreams and revelations and make the most of them by the door of prayer.

KEY POINT:

For the prayerful, prayer is a sieve which determines what they will go through and what they will not, while the prayer-less goes through everything projected their way by the enemy.

Bible in one year: 1 Samuel 17-20

Open Heavens Devotional: THE GENEROUS GOD – Thursday, July 19, 2012

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

Memorise: He that spared not his Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Romans 8:32

Read: Romans 8:31-32

Our God can do anything. He has all the resources He needs. Unlike men, He is not limited in anyway. Genesis 17:1 says He is the All Sufficient God. The earth with all its fullness belongs to Him (Psalms 24:1). All the silver and gold are also His (Haggai 2:8). In 1 Kings 17:2-6, God asked birds to serve breakfast and dinner to one of His prophets on daily basis. Somebody once asked where the birds got the bread and meat from. Where did God get the bread and fish to feed the 4,000 and the 5,000? Where did he get the oil that the widow kept pouring into empty vessels until they were all filled from one bottle of oil? Asking any of these questions simply means that you have not yet known the All Sufficient God. He has been baking bread before any bakery existed and has been raining meat before any abattoir existed. Matthew 17:24-27 talks of a gold coin in the mouth of a fish. Are you asking where the fish got the money from? God knows how to get whatever He wants because He created everything and He knows exactly where He kept them. Human beings only know about what they have discovered but the greater parts of God’s resources are yet to be discovered by man, but God knows where He kept them.

God is unlimited in love. The love of men is very limited. Usually, men may love you when they can get something in return from you. An African Proverb says: “If fire burns you and your child, you will attend to yourself first”. This implies your love for your child is limited. However with God, it is not so. Even when a mother forgets her sucking child, God cannot forget his own, even if they look neglected, wretched or haggard. God will not forget you. He loves you without reservation. His love made Him to die for us while we were yet in our sins (Romans 5:8). Our God who has unlimited love and unlimited resources also has unlimited generosity. Blessed be His holy name! Romans 8:32 says if God could give His only begotten Son, what else can He not give us? God can give you beyond what you can ever ask or think because He is unlimited in generosity. This season, you shall be a recipient of His generosity in Jesus name.

KEY POINT:

If God can give you His best, expect all other blessings that do not measure up to this Gift.

Bible in one year: 1 Samuel 14-16

Open Heavens Devotional: FULLNESS OF JOY – Wednesday, July 18, 2012

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

Memorise: And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. Acts 5:41

Read: Acts 5:33-42

God is the giver of joy for in His presence is fullness of joy (Psalms 16:11). Romans 15:13 says:

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

It is possible to be filled with all joy. That will be your portion this season. God also wants your joy to be full, not half or quarter, hence in John 16:24, He says:

Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

If some very important requests are not granted, your joy will definitely not be full.

But you may ask: Why is my joy not yet full? It could just be because you are yet to meet all the requirements. 1 Peter 4:13 says;

But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

If you are not prepared to suffer with Christ, then be prepared to forego the benefit of exceeding joy. There are some believers who are still hiding their faith in Christ in their workplace. They do not want their bosses or colleagues to know that they are born again Christians for fear of being persecuted. There are sisters who cannot tell their husbands that they are now saved and so can no longer continue the things they did together that did not please God. There are people attending white garment churches or non-Pentecostal churches who along the line contacted believers who preached to them and they received Christ as their Lord. Yet, they are afraid of declaring to their unsaved leaders and fellow church members that they are now born again for fear of being branded rebels. In any way you are hiding your status as a believer, you are denying Christ. If you find it difficult to preach Jesus to others, you are denying Him. If you deny Him, He also will deny you. No one who denies Jesus will be able to have the fullness of joy that He promised. Are you prepared to suffer for His name? The early church counted it a privilege to suffer for Christ. No wonder their joy knew no bounds.

PRAYER POINT:

Father, let there be a manifestation of the answer to all my prayers that I may experience the fullness of joy that you promised.

 
Bible in one year: 1 Samuel 11-13

Open Heavens Devotional: BLESSED HOPE RENEWED – Monday, July 16, 2012

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

Memorise: Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:18

Read: 1 Corinthians 15:15-58

The Holy Communion is a special meal. It is a celebratory meal. As you take it, you celebrate your victory over worry and anxiety. John 14:1-3 says you should not let your heart be troubled because He is returning for us. Jesus partook of this meal before His departure and He promised to return for us. Even if you have different issues troubling you, the remembrance of the fact that He will return and that your tomorrow will be alright, should bring glorious peace upon you.

1 Corinthians 15:49-57 tells us that because He died and resurrected after His body was broken and His blood was shed, we no longer have any cause to fear death. Sometime in 1980, my father in the Lord was sick and his friend was also sick. He sent a message to his friend that he would soon be going. His friend replied “I will be gone before you”. They were talking about dying like taking an ordinary journey. When you partake of the Holy Communion, you celebrate your victory over death. Fear of death is completely nullified. Also, taking the Holy Communion helps you to celebrate that blessed hope that one day, your Saviour will come. In Matthew 26:29, the Lord says:

But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.

Yes, one day, the Lord will come for us and take us to His Father’s Kingdom and there we will wine and dine with Him. What a blessed hope! This hope is a wonderful source of comfort for all believers in Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18). Partaking of the Communion therefore reminds you that you have another home ahead – in the perfect land of blessedness where you won’t have to suffer as you did on earth. As you take the Holy Communion, you are reminded of His promise in John 14:1-3 that one day, He will take you to be with Him and you will forever be in His presence. We shall forever live with our Saviour in Heaven. This is why you must not miss communion service. The power of this meal is normally experienced at our monthly Holy Communion Service, if you can, don’t miss it. How prepared are you for Heaven?

PRAYER POINT:

Thank God that Jesus is returning for you. Pray that you will not miss His return.

Bible in one year: Judges 16-18

Open Heavens Devotional: VICTORY: HOW PERMANENT? – Sunday, July 15, 2012

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

Memorise: O SING unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvelous things: his right hand, and his holy arm hath gotten him the victory. Psalms 98:1

Read: Joshua 7:1-6

Every victory God gives to you can be retained or lost depending on several factors. Many people know how to obtain victory but not how to keep them. It is better to continue in defeat than to have victory and return to defeat due to the inability to keep it. After the Israelites crossed the Red sea, Moses immediately composed a song of praise and thanksgiving that they sang repeatedly (Exodus 15:1-21). After that song of praise, every effort to cause them to return to Egypt failed; their victory was permanent. Anyone who does not know how to be grateful to God may never enjoy permanent victories. Are you grateful to God for what He has done for you?

In Joshua 7 & 8, God gave the Israelites under Joshua victory which they lost almost immediately but later recovered. Many people once walked in the victory that Christ has given over the flesh, Satan and other enemies but later lost the reality of this victory. Why did Joshua lose his victory? It was because somebody under him tampered with what he should not. This simply tells us that your victory could be eroded by the misdemeanour of a close associate. A family can lose their victory because of disobedient child. If you doubt this, ask Eli. This is why parents must train their children well. Train, not just teach. Parents should act as coaches, mentors and guides to their children in order to maintain family victories. Thank God Joshua’s loss was not permanent because he asked God the cause of the loss and what to do, and did as instructed. Have you lost a victory? Ask God what you can do to have it back and do so promptly. If you know who is stealing in church, expose the fellow. Doing this not only helps that individual but also the church. Achan’s theft not only affected him but the entire nation. Are you a pastor or minister yet secretly fornicating? You are negatively affecting your church and bringing an evil cloud over the congregation. As a member of the church, if you know of fornicating minister, or worker, report the fellow to your pastor as a way of helping all concerned.

KEY POINT:

Thanksgiiving is the glue that helps to firmly attach your blessings to you. Without it, your blessing may be lost.

 
Bible in one year: Judges 13-15

Open Heavens Devotional: STRAY TEMPTATION – Saturday, July 14, 2012

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

Memorise: Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure. 1 Timothy 5:22

Read: 2 Samuel 11:1-5

It will shock you to know that it is easier to manage lack and hardship than to manage abundance and pleasure. If you live in a single room in a “face-me-I-face-you” building (building with multiple tenants of low-income class), it is easier for you to wake up and pray even at night than when you live in an expensively furnished bedroom with water bed in a mansion overseeing the sea. When you want to get up to pray in such a house, the comfort of the bed will motivate you to sleep some more. Before you know it, it will be dawn. Let us take the case of David as an example (2 Samuel 11:1; 12:14.) While David was being chased from cave to cave, he had no time to think of committing adultery, but after being crowned king and baptized into comfort, when he should have been at war, he was resting and so he saw what he should not have seen and got into trouble.

It is important to be where God wants you to be always. During evangelism, He expects you to be in the field witnessing to souls. During rehearsal time or Sunday school preparatory class, God expects you there if you are a teacher. He expects you in service during the time for service. Any time you are not where God expects you to be, you open yourself to see or encounter what you should not, and you may find yourself in trouble. Do you know what the devil could have planned for one of David’s servants who stayed in the palace to be the one to see the naked Beersheba? But because David was in the wrong place, he got trapped by this temptation. Many people, like David, have entered into trouble not planned for them and became victims of stray temptations. One way to avoid this is by being where God wants you to be at every point in time. But even when confronted with such temptations, know that God’s grace is sufficient to overcome all temptations. Ask God to guide your steps aright from today.

PRAYER POINT:

Father, order my steps according to Your will and Word. Let me be where You want me to be at every point in time.

Bible in one year: Luke 22-24

Open Heavens Devotional: VICTIM OF PEER PRESSURE? – Friday, July 13, 2012

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

Memorise: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2

Read: 2 Timothy 4:9-11

Undue peer pressure is an enemy to watch out for. Many times when we discuss peer pressure, our minds go to teenagers. Peer pressure is pronounced in that circle but not exclusive to it. Peer pressure exists within every group and assembly of people. Increasingly, and most unfortunately, many ministers of God are yielding to peer pressure. You will hear someone say: “Pastor X has just moved to his house, I too must move to mine immediately”; or “Pastor Y said he prophesied into the life of a member of his church and the fellow brought him a car, I too must prophesy to my members so that they can equally buy me a car”. Beware; peer pressure distorts vision and reorders priorities.

If you must move forward and be what God wants you to be, you must overcome this pressure. Peer pressure makes a particular individual your standard instead of Jesus Christ. Whenever you hear that he just added another feather to his cap, you become restless until you perform the same feat. The one who yields to peer pressure may never achieve his or her God-given goal or destiny because he will have no goal of his own, but only shifts the goal posts in relation to the fellow he is copying. Peer pressure puts material things above spiritual things. The one who yields to peer pressure cannot set his or her affections on heavenly things. Such a person will be carnally minded. Peer pressure is all about “measuring up” and making people see that you are conformed. The one who yields to peer pressure can never please God. Like King Saul, he will strive towards pleasing men. While yielding to peer pressure, many have found themselves stealing, lying, defrauding and dabbling into things they would not normally do. Peer pressure augments the works of the flesh, making a yielded soul wallow in lust, covetousness, envy, jealousy, greed, pride, arrogance, undue comparison, etc. Demas just wanted to be like other people so he yielded to peer pressure and he went out of the faith. Out of greed, some have turned the Bible upside down to support their intention of being rich overnight via the altar. Remember their elder brother Gehazi tried the same idea and he ended up with leprosy.

ACTION POINT:

Peer pressure causes you to conform to the world instead of walking in Christ’s Victory over it.

Thank God for adding another year to Pastor (Mrs) Folu Adeboye. Pray for pleasant surprises of joy and multiplied grace to support Daddy Adeboye.

 
Bible in one year: Luke 18-21

Open Heavens Devotional: THE UNLIMITED GOD – Thursday, July 12, 2012

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

Memorise: To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Isaiah 40:25

Read: Isaiah 40:28-31

God is the omnipotent God. The word ‘omnipotent’ is a combination of two words Omni and potent. Omni means ‘all’ while potent means ‘power’. So the word omnipotent means the one who has all power.

Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27

A major difference between God and man is in the area of limitation. Man is limited but God is unlimited. Man is limited in strength. Isaiah 40:30 says:

Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall.

As energetic as youths are, they can still faint, and fall. Man is also limited by death hence James 4:13-14 compares a man’s life with vapour. On the other hand, God is not limited in strength as He is neither tired nor weary (Isaiah 40:28). He does not need to sleep or slumber because He is never tired (Psalms 121:3-4). God is not limited by death because He lives forever (Revelation 4:9). The spirit of death is only one of His numerous creatures and when God is through with it, He will send it to the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14).

Many people make promises that they honestly intend to keep but before they could fulfil their promises, death snatches them away. God never grows old as He is from everlasting to everlasting (Psalms 90:1-2). Also, He has no beginning, since everything that has a beginning must equally have an end. Hence, whatever problems there are in your life today started one day and must also end one day. Our God is unlimited in resources unlike men. There are times you will desire to do something, say assist a needy fellow or heal a sick person but the resources will be lacking: but not so with God. Some years ago, my youngest son came to ask me what I wanted for Christmas but I told him not to bother. He insisted that I should just mention it so I asked him to buy me an aeroplane. He laughed and said that was not the kind of gift he was talking about. Why? It was because he was limited. Some people would wish they could support the projects in camp or buy their pastor a car or house but they are limited in resources. The implication is this: because God cannot be limited, all our limitations are extremely limited. Every limitation facing you shall be swallowed up by His unlimitedness in Jesus name.

PRAYER POINT:

Father, this season, let your Almightiness swallow every limitation in my life and family.
 

Bible in one year: Luke 14-17

Open Heavens Devotional: GOD IS MY PORTION – Wednesday, July 11, 2012

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

Memorise: The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. Psalms 16:5

Read: Philippians 1:19-21

In the devotional of July 4, we saw from John 6:5-13, a young boy offering his lunch to Jesus. It was inferred that at the end of the day people would have helped him take home the 12 baskets of remains from what he gave. One lesson here is that while some giving may take some time to give its yield, some others can give immediate yields. This boy’s gift got immediate returns. But note that the boy’s giving was sacrificial. He had just his lunch when he went with the crowd to listen to Jesus. When the Lord needed food, he decided to fast – to go hungry so that somebody else – even if it is one person, could have something to eat. He did not share his meal; he gave it all like the poor widow did with her mite. Sacrificial giving is what brings out the extreme giving qualities of God. In 1 Kings 17:8-16, God turned the last meal of an extremely needy widow into long-lasting supply but remember the widow first surrendered her last meal. She had the choice of eating her last meal and facing death or sacrificing her last meal to live. She chose right. Many people have found themselves in a similar state as this widow but their momentary, fleshly pleasure did not let them choose right, hence they plunged themselves into more misery, thereby losing what God had reserved for them.

A lot has to do with your decision. God may tell you what to do but He will not force you to do it. A right decision is a right decision and a wrong decision is wrong irrespective of the circumstance or excuses that are advanced. Ask God for grace to take the right decision always no matter its immediate effect on you and your family. Sacrifice is a step in the right direction. Romans 12:1 says you should lay your entire life, achievement, family and plans upon the altar of sacrifice. Paul says if I will live at all it is to live for Christ and if He wants me to die, there is even greater gain for me (Philippians 1:21). That means either way, I am a winner. You too can win either way. According to 2 Corinthians 9:6, to get God’s best, give bountifully. The ultimate of giving bountifully is when you give everything including yourself. If you do this, He will respond and say: “From today whatever I have is now yours”. Yes, God can be your portion!

KEY POINT:

The sacrifice to make God your portion may be enormous but cannot be compared with the unending flow of blessings that will follow.

Bible in one year: Luke 10-13

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