Tag Archive for RCCG

Open Heavens Devotional: TEMPTING SELF? Tuesday 8 March 2011 #RCCG

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

 

MEMORIZE: “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” (James 1:14)

READ: 1 Samuel 15:16-19

The distance a believer keeps from sin shows whether the fellow is wise or not. One who joins the ushering department knowing his or her weakness is stealing and lies, is not wise. Sooner than later, the fellow will start pilfering again. That was the case with Judas Iscariot. He already had a weakness, yet accepted to become Jesus’ treasurer. Not long afterwards, all his thoughts and plans revolved around money. He could not break the habit. Some appointments elevate one, while some demote. Some promotions can take you to Heaven while some are the expressways to hell. Watch those appointments! Some promotions or appointments should be turned down. If you still have itching fingers and you are sent to ushering department or church treasury, turn it down. Humbly tell your pastor, ‘Sir, I do not yet have enough grace to handle this department. Kindly send me to another’. It is better your pastor feels embarrassed than embarrassing yourself, your family, and the entire church later. If you are not financially disciplined, never accept to keep other people’s money. You will end up spending it and bringing shame on yourself. Be wise!

If you have lustful eyes, do not accept to be the teen’s pastor, youth president or children’s church teacher. Some with such challenges have accepted such leadership positions to their detriment. Accepting positions that will engage the flesh you are striving hard to keep under, amount to tempting yourself. This time, you are the tempter, and not the devil. In the same vein, if accepting a promotion will feed your ego to the point of becoming so haughty and uncontrollable, it will be wise to turn it down. What is the point in being promoted out of God’s reach? Do you know that if Saul was not promoted to become Israel’s first king, he would not have ended the way he did? Before his elevation, he was humble, but after his promotion, he saw himself as God’s mate and ignored God’s instructions (1 Sam. 15:16-19). Some elevations elicit the worst responses from the recipients. The promotion that will take you out of favour and relevance with God shall not come your way.

KEY POINT:
Brokenness and self-control are prerequisites to Kingdom appointments and uplifts. If you lack them, what was meant to lift you may bring you down.

Bible in One year: Amos 1-3

 

Open Heavens Devotional: KEEPING A DISTANCE FROM SIN Tuesday 1 March 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE:
“A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.” (Prov. 14:16).

READ: Matthew 5:28-30

Another way to identify a wise person is by his or her attitude to sin. A wise fellow keeps a healthy distance from sin. The distance between you and anything or anyone capable of bringing you into sin will tell whether you are wise or not. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 says, “Abstain from all appearance of evil”. It takes wisdom to obey this scripture. If your weakness is women, it is wisdom to deliberately avoid being alone in a lady’s company—always insist on having a third party around. If your worldly friends have a very strong influence over you, you should be wise enough to keep them at bay. If your effort at the Christian faith is regularly being rubbished by your addiction to unhealthy television programs and internet sites, cut them off. Any old or new relationship that does not add to you spiritually, must be cut off. Even if they are as useful as your right eye or right hand, cut them off. Any publication, video or audio CD that fans the embers of sin in your hearth must be destroyed. Remember, the internal enemies you fail to deal with will continue to grow until they launch a fatal attack on you.

A sister once complained that there is too much gossip among fellow sisters, and so resolved not to keep company with ladies except brothers. Not long after, she fell into fornication. What distance do you keep from sin? Do you know that apart from physical distance, there is also spiritual distance you must keep from sin? The latter is in fact more important than the former. If it is so easy for you to fall into temptation, it simply means there is no spiritual distance between you and sin. When such a spiritual distance exists, you will be like someone on an island. It will take time before someone coming to you crosses over to meet you. Where there is spiritual distance from sin, falling into sin will not be intuitive, or at the spur of the moment, or even by mistake. It becomes difficult to sin at that level. Why? You will need to take a decision whether to sin or not. If a lady winks at you and the next moment you are lusting, there is no spiritual distance. If there is a spiritual distance from sin, even when there is no physical distance from sin, it will still be hard to sin. Are you in that sinless island of the righteous?

PRAYER POINT:
Father, where there is no distance from sin, create one and help me to maintain it.

Bible in One year: Act 13-14

 

Open Heavens Devotional: IGNORANT? – Monday 28 February 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?” (Prov. 1:22).

READ: Proverbs 1:22-23

“I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan” (Rev. 2:9).
In His letter to the church at Smyrna, the Lord said He was aware of their poverty, yet they were rich. This could mean several things. It could mean that they were impoverished because they did not know that they were rich. In this case, ignorance was a crucial factor. Even today, many believers are living far below Heaven’s level of provision because they do not know their due or do not believe its bounteousness. Hence, Hosea 4:6 says many are destroyed for lack of knowledge. The word of God contains virtually all truths to guide us into success in every area of life, but how many people devote time to study the Bible and internalize it? Knowledge is power. What you don’t know can kill you. An individual who mistakenly drinks acid will be on the path of death. Will he survive for the mere fact that he did not know? Also, what you don’t know can get you into trouble. In law, ignorance is not acceptable as a valid excuse in criminal matters.

Knowledge is a key to life. The more of it you have, the more you can get out of life. Anyone who refuses to acquire knowledge is only limiting what he or she can get from life. Knowledge gives light. Anyone in ignorance is in darkness. We were all born into ignorance but after birth, we started a race into knowledge to enable us uncover all mysteries about life and particularly about our destiny. Sadly, though, not many make it to that destination. How does a blind person live in the midst of beauty, light and abundance? It is frustrating! He will be unable to see all the things that are appealing. He will be unable to enjoy what has been provided. Like Hagar, he will be passing by several opportunities without knowing it. It is a terrible thing to be ignorant. There are two types of believers in this world- the ignorant and the knowledgeable. Where do you fall? Have you learnt all you need to know, to help you achieve your spiritual, financial, ministerial, academic and family goals? Set out to acquire knowledge in all those areas today!

KEY POINT
The more you know, the less limited you become. In all your getting, get wisdom.

Bible in One year:
1 Kgs. 16-19

 

Open Heavens Devotional: IS YOUR FAMINE PROVOKED? – Friday 25 February 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, it is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.” (2 Sam. 21:1).

READ: 2 Samuel 21 :1-6

Besides spiritual famines, there are physical famines. Usually, these are economy-based. In the Bible, we have at least 11 famines recorded. It is interesting to note that patriarchs such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Elijah, Elisha, and even Paul witnessed famines. These famines had different intensity and durations. There are however, vital lessons for us from these documented cases. For example, the famine during the days of David shows that famines are provoked and can sometimes be mitigated when atonement is made.

According to one account, King Saul, out of zeal, killed some peace loving, but tricky, Gibeonites, whom the Israelites had earlier covenanted to protect during the days of Joshua (Joshua 9 :3-17). Years later, a famine came upon the land for truce- breaking. God hates the breaking of covenant. If you have entered into an agreement with someone, keep your part of the bargain, except in the case of an unholy covenant. If you break a wholesome covenant, famine may ensue, sooner or later, and you and your generations after you will be consumed in it.

“Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, it is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites” (2 Sam. 21:1). Apart from truce-breaking, it is possible to provoke a famine by spilling blood. Anyone who takes the life of another is calling for a famine. Believe it or not, those who use others for rituals, either to get wealth or to live long, have a famine ahead of them and their generations. Famine targets the life of its victim. If you take a life, famine will come to take its harvest of lives. Another thing we can observe from this passage is that it took King David at least three years to wake up to the reality of the famine. In the first two years, David took it for granted that the famine was just another natural one, and so he did nothing about it. It took at least three years before he woke up to ask God about its cause. Do you know that if he never cared to ask, the famine would have been prolonged, and he would not have had the antidote to stem it on time? Never take any famine for granted! Find out from God the cause of that dearth you are going through and how to terminate it. What are you doing to atone for that famine?

ACTION POINT: If you do not do something about a famine, it may be prolonged. Always seek the Lord’s face!

Bible in One year: 1 Kgs 5-8

Open Heavens Devotional: WHAT EXAMPLE? Wednesday 23 February 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15:4).

READ: 2 Kings 5 :20-27

Of all the vessels in God’s house, golden vessels stand out. Paul was such a vessel; God performed uncommon miracles through him (Act 19 :11-12). If you are a wooden or silver vessel, you can move up to become a golden vessel by taking your personal consecration to the limits. Loving God supremely, taking the greatest risks for God’s Kingdom, obeying God in everything, and living for God’s maximum pleasure, are the other ways to stand out as a vessel in the house of God. This season, the Lord will help you to become a golden vessel in His hands in Jesus name. Recently, we experienced a dramatic miracle. During the Special Holy Ghost Service in March, the Lord instructed me to tie some cloths to one of the shirts that I wore during the December Congress. I was asked to spread this so that people could touch it in faith in other to receive their miracles. After that service, the Lord asked me to take one of my shirts to Europe to do a similar thing, that is, spread the cloth so that those present at our Convention in Spain, could touch it. Among those who touched the cloth was a lady who came with a child paralyzed from birth. The child could neither sit nor stand. As others were touching, she too brought her child forward and made her hand touch the cloth. By the time she got to her seat, the child was already standing. God can also use you in the miraculous. This season, the Lord will bless you until you become a channel of blessing, solving other people’s problems. Just as there are honourable vessels, dishonourable vessels exist. God has use for every vessel. God uses dishonourable vessels as a lesson or warning to others so that they will know that every act of defiance is trailed by a commensurate punishment.

One frightening reality is that someone who started out as a vessel of honour can end up as one of dishonour. Such a vessel then serves as a warning to other vessels of honour. One such example is Gehazi. Being Elisha’s apprentice, he stood the chance of being one of the most powerful men in the Old Testament, as he had the potential of getting a double portion of the anointing on Elisha. He started well but, along the line, he was overtaken by greed and avarice. These personal weaknesses moved him to lie against God’s anointed and, as a result, he and his descendants became lepers. May you never become a dishonourable vessel in Jesus name. Has the love of money or greed overtaken your initial good intentions in ministry? Watch it!

PRAYER POINT: Ask that you will not do anything that will make you a dishonourable vessel.

Bible in One year: Jn. 18-21

Open Heavens Devotional : WATCH YOUR WORKS! Tuesday 22 February 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.” (2 John 8).

READ: 2 John 8-9

To sustain your Christian life, you must watch against the wind of false doctrine blowing across the world in these end times. Some people teach that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are one and the same person manifesting in different ways, and that as a result, you must be baptized only in the name of Jesus Christ. They say there is no need to pray to the Father in the name of Jesus Christ. Watch it! Another reason people move from the truth into falsehood is that while being taught the truth, they never got grounded. If you have a half-baked knowledge of God’s word, you are giving room to the enemy to fill you with false doctrines. If you see someone you know who was once in the truth but now preaches heresy, take to your heels. If you try to convince the fellow to return to the truth, be very careful so that you are not swept off your feet. Ironically, those in error claim to be the ones with the truth and their members hold tenaciously to their error. Are you a victim of false doctrine? Call on the Lord to deliver you today! Run to a full Gospel Bible-believing church for help.

Moreover, another area to watch out for is imperfect service to God. “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God” (Rev. 3:2). Many people work for God not caring whether their works satisfy Heaven’s requirement or not. If you fail to watch the how, when, and why of your Kingdom service, you may be shocked at the judgement seat of Christ to discover that your labour was only good enough to be charred. For any of your works to scale through God’s fiery test, it must conform to the laid down criteria listed in the Bible. Those who watched over their works like Paul can be sure of commensurate reward in heaven. Those who never did what Paul did, have no assurance of reward. Are you sure of Heaven’s reward? Can you truly say your works shall be rewarded? What are the motives behind your every work? How about your attitude to kingdom assignment—is it a case of grudging service or willing service? What about the time-line within which the assignment was carried out—was it in God’s time or at your convenience? Was God’s resources wasted or administered appropriately?

KEY POINT: In Heaven, you are given full reward, partial reward or no reward. The way each work is packaged and delivered by you will determine how it will be rewarded.

Bible in One year: John 14-17

Open Heavens Devotional: LIKE POLICARP? – Monday 21 February 2011 #RCCG

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13).

READ: John 13 :36-38

One crucial issue from the story of the city of Smyrna was how a city in ruins could turn into a beautiful city 300 years later. This tells us that no matter how long you have remained in your backslidden state, if you can take the step of repentance and return to the Lover of your soul today, you will be forgiven and restored. A lesson from the story of this city is the killing of Policarp, the Bishop of Smyrna. The Jews in Smyrna were quite hostile to the church. When Policarp was 86 , some persecutors surrounded him and tied him to a stake, preparing to set him ablaze. He was to be spared only if he recanted his faith and denied Christ. However, he replied that if the Lord had been faithful to him for the past 86 years, why should he deny Him now? In their fury, they set him ablaze, but he did not burn. Then in angst a soldier stabbed him, and he began to bleed, and he kept bleeding until the fire around him was quenched by his blood. He became one of the earliest martyrs who died for Jesus Christ, and his death strengthened the faith of others.

With modernization and technological advancement, it becomes more and more difficult for believers to put their lives on the line. But should technological development erode your faith in Christ? The sophistication in Smyrna did not stop believers from being committed to the Lord until death. The less committed you are to Christ, the more devoted to Satan, the world and your flesh you become. Do you love Jesus to a point of dying for Him? Can you face hunger, humiliation, job loss, demotion, and intense persecution because of your faith in Christ? To what extent are you prepared to reciprocate Christ’s Love? He loved you to the extent of counting His life as nothing. His love for you brought about His innocent, untimely death. Yet, even after His death, He went to prepare a place for you in eternity. In other words, His death on the Cross of Calvary fully settled all the needs and challenges in your life, as well as securing a place for you in eternity. Why can’t you love Him to the point of dying for Him or His cause? People are dying for wrong causes today. Can you die for the Lord like Policarp did? Ask for grace to love Jesus to the extreme.

PRAYER POINT: Father, let the sophistication in my city and country not take away your love from my heart.

Bible in One year: John 11-13

Open Heavens Devotional: UNUSUAL APPROVAL – Sunday 20 February 2011 #RCCG

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Ps. 30:5).

READ: 1 Samuel 1 :12-17

One of the ways of discerning your day of favour is when you receive an unusual approval. One person who got an unusual approval was Hannah. She travelled to Shiloh every year without much to show for it. Yet, she persisted until that glorious day. Her situation moved her to the point of praying differently. Though her lips moved, her voice was inaudible. Initially, Eli the priest thought she was drunk, but on realizing that she was sane, and only appeared drunk by reason of her intense burden and prayer, he endorsed her request with his priestly authority. She conceived at long last! Why was this an unusual approval? Eli was old and had lost his ability to discern spiritual things. This was why he mistook a woman who was deep in prayer for a drunk. His spiritual dullness persisted even after the birth of Samuel; hence, it took him so long to realize that God was calling the young boy. Eli was present but God had to look for someone else to speak to. In that backslidden state and in the throes of God’s imminent judgement on his family, God still used him to approve Hannah’ s request. This tells us that when your day of favour comes, God can use a spiritually insensitive or even backslidden pastor to endorse your request.

In other words, the spiritual state of your leader may not stop God’s purpose in your life when your day of favour comes. Even when God has stopped using a particular vessel, He could choose to use him once more for the purpose of meeting you on your day of favour. However, you have to earn it. Some people get tired too soon. If they come to a church meeting once, twice or a few times and nothing happen, they call it quits. If Hannah had stopped going to Shiloh, she might never have received the unusual approval that broke the power of barrenness from her life. Do you get discouraged after a few trips to the Holy Ghost services, conventions or congresses? Don’t lose hope! Your miracle will reach you on your day of favour as long as you continue to make yourself available in His presence. The Lord will remember you this season.

KEY POINT: Do not give up!

Bible in One year: Josh. 22-24

Open Heavens Devotional: YOU CAN PROVOKE GOD -Friday 18 February 2011 #RCCG

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.” (Lam. 3:25)

READ: 2 Kings 3 :14-16

Another cause of spiritual famine is over familiarity with God and His Word. Some people, particularly leaders in the Christian community, have become so familiar with God’s Word that they no longer take it seriously. If this continues, spiritual famine is inevitable. Are you ignoring divine communication? It shows you are over familiar with God or His Word. When some people hear too many of ‘Thus says the Lord’, they are never moved even when such comes from God’s genuine prophet. “ And I have put my word in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people” (Isaiah 51:16). God does not send His Word just for fun but for a specific purpose. If God’s purpose for sending His Word to you is not achieved, it means you are not taking it seriously, and this may trigger a spiritual famine. Are you frustrating God’s promises in your life? Are there pending divine instructions you have not complied with? How precious is God’s Word to you? Yet another possible cause of spiritual famine is inability to provoke the required Word. This borders on laziness. In 2 Kings 3 :14-16 , when Elisha was unable to hear from God because he was upset with the king of Israel, he got a singer to lead in praise and worship and thereafter, the Word of the Lord came.

In Matthew 4 :4 , our Lord Jesus talks of the ‘proceeding’ Word that is needed for the moment. The one who fails to pay the price to hear the Word that can change his or her life may face a spiritual famine. If God is not willing to speak, but you are desperate enough, you can do certain things to get His attention and thereby provoke him to release what you need. If you can worship Him in Spirit and in truth, and it comes from your heart, you can get His attention. If you can please Him by winning several souls to Him, He can be provoked. If you can give sacrificially, a gift that is worthy of Heaven’s record concerning you, He may be provoked. Think of what you can do to provoke God and do it. You can get God’s attention if you pay the price. As you determine today to reach out to God, He will answer you.

ACTION POINT: Provoke God to fight your battles.

Bible in One year: Josh. 16-18

Open Heavens Devotional: ARE ALL BOYS FATHERS? Thursday 17 February 2011 #RCCG

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, even four generations.” ( Job 42 :16).

READ: Judges 16 :28-30

After Job’s trial, he had a great ending. It is commonly believed by Bible scholars that he was about 70 years at the time of his trial, and thereafter, God added to him 140 more years. Not many people are so blessed to see their children’s children— the second generation—but Job saw four generations of his lineage just because he was wise and righteous. Wisdom adds to the years of the wise. On the other hand, sin and foolishness takes from the foolish. In Judges 16 :28-30 , Samson died prematurely—in his prime. His self-will and foolishness robbed him of valuable years! The difference between Job and Samson was that the former had wisdom while the latter lacked it. Wisdom prolongs life while wickedness reduces it.

At the birth of baby boy, people would say, ‘Here comes a future father’, but if it is a baby girl, they would say. ‘Here goes a future mother’. Although every baby boy is a potential father and every baby girl is a potential mother, not everyone becomes a father and mother respectively. Sometimes, some never ever realize their potential due to death from natural causes. Earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, hurricane etc., that have hit different parts of the earth have killed many boys and girls and forever buried their hopes of becoming a father or mother. Are you a father or a mother? Thank God for this. It is a privilege.

Furthermore, some boys and girls are murdered ever before they achieved their dreams of parenthood. One such victim was Abel. His dream of becoming a father was terminated when his elder brother struck him dead. On the other hand, some boys or girls may choose celibacy. They may decide to become eunuchs and therefore strike out marriage from their dictionary. Hence, people like Elijah, Elisha and Paul never married and even though they were potential fathers, they could not produce a biological child. Sin and foolishness rob millions of people of the ability to realize their potentials or to reach their destiny. If you are still toying with sin, know that it is eroding your years and destiny. Wisdom will, however, promote you. Ask God to increase you in wisdom so that you may enjoy life maximally.

PRAYER POINT: Father, the wisdom that will promote my life, bestow it upon me. Seek wisdom.

Bible in One year: Josh. 13-15

Open Heavens Devotional: NOT UNTO DEATH- Wednesday 16 February 2011

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the son of God might be glorified thereby.” (John 11:4)

READ: John 11 :1-4

God’s vessels of honour are used in making statements in the world. Sometimes, He can use some vessels to reveal His ability to make the impossible possible. He can also use some to demonstrate His ability to reverse the irreversible. When His friend Lazarus was sick, and He was informed in John 11 :1-44 , Jesus kept His cool and stayed back for four days. Many people would want to know why He did that to His friend. It was simply because the Lord wanted to use Lazarus to tell the world that no matter how bad a matter had degenerated, it could still be reversed if only He is brought into the picture. If you were left like Lazarus in a bad situation that was getting worse, it would not have been funny at all. Lazarus died and was buried. He was already stinking. Not even his sisters would want to come close at this point yet, the Lord went into that stinking tomb and reversed the irreversible. This tells us that no situation is beyond redemption. How bad is your situation today? Is it so bad that the matter got buried and sealed? It shall be exhumed and reversed today. Is your situation so stinky and repulsive that nobody wants to give a listening ear? Fear not! The Lord will wade into that stench, and cause a fresh scent, and a compelling aroma to waft out.

“When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the son of God might be glorified thereby” (John 11:4). One lesson here is that while sickness may be the avenue to leave this world, like it was for Elisha (2 Kings 13 :14) , it could also be a means to glorify God and encourage God’s ministers. If you find out that a particular sickness is due to any of the above reasons, you would know how to handle it. On the other hand, some sicknesses are from the devil and must be rejected. In addition, if the Lord tells you that you will not die through a particular illness, even if you became dead like Lazarus, you will still live. That sickness in your body will not kill you. Are you already yielding to death because you feel you cannot hold on any longer? You shall not die! There shall be an expedited reversal of your state of health. You shall recover!

PRAYER POINT: If the Resurrection and the Life says death shall not take you, even if it has swallowed you, it shall vomit you. Father, every good thing death has taken from me, be restored today in Jesus name!

Bible in One year: Josh. 10-12

Open Heavens Devotional: MAKING PARENTS JOYFUL? Tuesday 15 February 2011 #RCCG

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise ;)” (Eph. 6:2).

READ: Ephesians 6 :1-3

A wise person can be identified by his or her attitude to correction. Another way of identifying the wise is by discerning his ability to give joy to his or her parents. Proverbs 10 :1 says, “ The Proverbs of Solomon: A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother”. Your ability to always make your father happy makes you a wise child. One exemplary case here is our Lord Jesus Christ. He was a joy to be with at all times. According to Luke 2 :40-52 , He was missing from the company of His parents one day and they were plunged into sorrow. “And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart” (Luke 2:51). As a twelve-year- old, Jesus was totally obedient to His parents. A child that completely submits to his or her parents, and obeys them, that will make them happy. Do you give your biological parents joy? To what extent do you submit to them? Or do you disrespect them because you are now in a boarding school or university? Today’s reading commands you to obey and honour your earthly parents. As an adult, have you forsaking your aging parents? If you are a wise child, you would care for them until they depart from this world. If Jesus were to meet with your parents today, can they say you have given them joy?

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right” (Eph. 6 :1). Besides giving joy to his or her biological parents, a wise person will also give joy to his or her spiritual parents- especially God. Again, the Lord Jesus Christ is our example here. He pleased God to a point that God twice audibly testified that he was well pleased with Him. Is God pleased with you? Do you make His work and will as important as your daily meal? (John 4 :34). What of your church leaders? Do you give them joy in the way you relate with them? Or, are you making them regret having you as a spiritual child? It is only a wise child that would love, respect, intercede for, and obey his or her spiritual parents. Some blessings are channeled to you through your parents; it is when you give them joy that they will agree with Heaven for them to be release to you. What are you doing to give joy to your parents?

ACTION POINT: Respect and honour spiritual and biological parents always.

Bible in One year: Josh. 7-9

Open Heavens Devotional: SMYRNA LIVES AGAIN Monday 14 February 2011 #RCCG

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.” (Micah 7:8)

READ: Revelation 2 :8-11

Of the seven churches the Lord wrote letters to, only two passed His assessment. The church at Smyrna was one of them. The Lord had nothing against them. May the Lord help you to a point where He will find nothing against you. A look at the history of Smyrna shows that it was founded, then destroyed, then rebuilt. The new rebuilt city was extremely beautiful. One of the finest of all Asian cities then, it was referred to as the ‘ ornament’, ‘crown’ or ‘flower’ of Asia. One of its streets was called ‘street of gold’. It proudly harboured a stadium, a public library and a home of music. Several idols such as Zeus, Apollo and Aphrodite had their temples there. Smyrna was a trading city and there were several influential Jews there. This magnificent city was really a beehive of activities. In His letter, the Lord introduced Himself as the One who was dead but is now alive. To any resident of Smyrna, this statement was something they could relate with, as Smyrna was once dead but then lived again. This speaks of capacity to bounce back after a fall. If a city was destroyed and after 300 years it bounced back formidably to the extent of becoming the envy of other cities of Asia, you too can bounce back from your backslidden state and overtake those ahead of you. This tells us that a fall is not final until the fallen accepts defeat. Has the devil struck you down and you are flat on the floor? Never accept defeat! You are down but not out!

“Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me” (Micah 7 :8). The power to bounce back is present in Christ. Peter fell to a point of denying Christ thrice but afterwards, he keyed into this grace and he bounced back. Are you a fallen soldier of the cross? Don’t stay down: Arise in the strength of Christ. You fall to rise, not rise to fall or stay fallen. No matter how badly you have fallen, you are bouncing back strong. That you fell does not mean you cannot be a winner or an ‘ overcomer’. Virtually everyone who overcame or won once experienced a fall or decline. Get up! Stand up! Take your rightful place now. The power of the Lord is right behind you.

PRAYER POINT: Pray that God will revive weak believers and restore backsliders in our churches.

Bible in One year: Josh 4-6

Open Heavens Devotional: WHERE’S YOUR SPIKENARD? Sunday 13 February 2011 #RCCG

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “Verily I say unto you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her” (Mrk. 14 :9).

READ: Mark 14 :3-9

One way of knowing that your time of favour has come is when God gives you unusual opportunities. For King Solomon, God gave him the unusual opportunity to ask for whatever he wanted in a dream. “In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee” (2 Chron. 1 :7). However, that opportunity did not just come on its own. It was provoked by Solomon’s sacrifice of a thousand burnt offerings in one night. This simply tells us that there are things you can do to hasten or provoke your day of favour. Giving extraordinarily can trigger your favour. Unfortunately, many who are asking God for their day of favour are still holding back. Do you know that if Solomon had not given that landmark offering, he would not have accessed the wisdom that made him the wisest man on earth? Sometimes, God folds his hands and observes how far you can go for Him. He wants to see the extent of your love. He wants to see the level of risk you can take for Him. Have you given him that landmark gift that provokes an open cheque? Looking at the life of Solomon, you would discover that the wealth that followed his gift cannot be compared to what he gave. He never became poor all his life. He rather became the wealthiest man of his time—comparable with the billionaires of our time. You cannot lose out when you give to God. Do not deny yourself the opportunity of a life time!

In Mark 14 :3-9 , the Lord was taking a meal in Simon’s house when a woman came in. Before then, she had thought of how to make a lasting, positive impression on the Lord. Then, she remembered her expensive box of ointment. ‘Yes! The Lord deserves my best!’ she said to herself, and took the box with her. God only knows how long she had kept that treasure. When she got to the Lord, she opened it and anointed Him. On realizing the value of that perfume, some people around became angry. To them it was a waste of money anointing the Lord with such expensive oil. Unknown to her, she had keyed into prophetic declaration concerning the death and burial of the Lord. As a result, her name and deeds were etched in gold in the heavenly Hall of fame. Thousands of years later, her gift is still speaking for her. When we get to Heaven, we will see her. Are you still hiding your box of spikenard?

ACTION POINT Give God your best.

Bible in One year: Josh. 1-3

Open Heavens Devotional: FELLOWSHIP AND FAMINE -Friday 11 February 2011 #RCCG

By Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shall meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Josh. 1:8)

READ: Acts 13 :1-3

Apart from incomplete obedience and carnality, spiritual famine can also be caused by a neglect of the word. Joshua 1 :8 says, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shall meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” Do you know one major reason why God gave this instruction to Joshua was to prevent spiritual famine? According to this scripture, your heart, mouth, deeds and their results are all linked together. If your heart is saturated with God’s Word, it would spill out through your mouth, which would affect your deeds and ultimately determine your destiny. The fellow who has such close contact with the Bible may not be far from receiving from God in the time of need.

However, those who have turned their Bibles into relics and decorations on the book shelf may be inviting spiritual famine. If you spend little or no time with your Bible, you are inviting a spiritual dearth. Do you make time to study your Bible regularly? Closely allied to this is lack of fellowship with other believers. Matthew 18 :20 says God is present where His children are gathered. In such assemblies, He speaks to His children. However, if you are hardly present, how would you hear Him? No matter how busy you are, always create time to be in His presence. Those who are always in His presence never lack divine guidance. In today’s reading, some brethren separated themselves from others to be in God’s presence. They could have pursued other personal agenda during that same period, but they valued being in God’s presence. While worshipping God in praying and fasting, the Lord spoke to them. That was where Paul’s commission to go to the gentiles (Acts 26:16-18) was affirmed. Today, we hear all kinds of excuses for not studying the Bible or attending fellowship meetings. Yet, if these same people were asked to come and receive a sizeable financial favour, they would make the appointment. It only means that divine appointments are not truly important to them. What is important to you will definitely be accommodated within your agenda. How important is attending church services to you?

KEY POINT When Satan gives you excuses to be separated from the Bible or fellowship, be rest assured he is working out something sinister.

Bible in One year: Dan. 10-12

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