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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL THURSDAY 19TH SEPTEMBER 2019:DANGERS OF IGNORING THE POOR

MEMORISE:
Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard. Proverbs 21:13

READ: Matthew 25:32-46

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

MESSAGE

Many Christians don’t realise the dangers inherent in ignoring the poor around them. From today’s Bible reading, we see that the Lord cares for the less privileged so much that He literally feels their pain. This means that every time you disregard a person in need you are ignoring God Himself. Matthew 25:45-46 says:

“Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

From these verses we understand that neglecting the needy is a passageway to hell fire. When people come to you in hunger, do you give them food or turn deaf ears to their pleas? When someone is sick, do you visit to show love and pray with him or her or do you just go about your own business? When you see someone who needs new clothes, do you scorn or abuse the person for looking hagard instead of giving out some of the clothes in your wardrobe that you haven’t worn in a long while? If you are ignoring people’s needs around you, be careful because you just might be disregarding God Himself, and the result is eternity in hell.

Believe me honestly, if you make it a point of duty to always give to the poor, you will be blessed bountifully for it. It is popularly said that givers never lack. I believe this to be very true because Proverbs 19:17 says:

“He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.”

No one who neglects the poor has a place in heaven. In Matthew 19:16-25, a rich young man went to see Jesus, and he told Him that he had kept all Jewish laws from his youth, but he still felt like he was lacking something. Jesus told him that if he wanted to be perfect, he should sell all that he had and give the proceeds to the poor. This was too hard for the rich man to do, so he went away in sorrow. Then Jesus turned to His disciples and told them it is hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. In other words, if you are rich and you find anything too big or too valuable to let go of for the sake of the poor, then there is no place for you in the kingdom of heaven. Many people judge this rich young man, but they would do exactly the same thing he did if they were in his shoes. If I may ask, do you care enough for the needy that you can sell all that you have to meet their needs? Difficult as this may sound, it is reflective of the kind of heart that has a place in heaven.

ACTION POINT:
Begin to set aside a portion of your regular income to help the needy from today.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
2 Kings 5-6, Daniel 4:28-37

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL WEDNESDAY 18TH SEPTEMBER 2019:-YOU CAN BE RESTORED!

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: Genesis 40:1-22

1 And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt.

2 And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers.

3 And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound.

4 And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward.

5 And they dreamed a dream both of them, each man his dream in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, which were bound in the prison.

6 And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they were sad.

7 And he asked Pharaoh’s officers that were with him in the ward of his lord’s house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly to day?

8 And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you.

9 And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me;

10 And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes:

11 And Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.

12 And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days:

13 Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh’s cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler.

14 But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and show kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house:

15 For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.

16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said unto Joseph, I also was in my dream, and, behold, I had three white baskets on my head:

17 And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of bakemeats for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head.

18 And Joseph answered and said, This is the interpretation thereof: The three baskets are three days:

19 Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee.

20 And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants.

21 And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand:

22 But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them.

MESSAGE

The story of Pharaoh’s butler is a good example of what God can do to restore someone in a hopeless situation. He and Pharaoh’s baker had offended their master and were put in royal prison. While there, they both had compelling dreams. While the interpretation of the baker’s dream was negative, the butler’s dream had a favourable message. Three days later, the baker was executed while the butler was restored. Not only was the butler restored, he also became the key personality whose advice and recommendation brought Joseph out of the prison yard. This shows the wisdom in the counsel that says we should always be mindful of what we do with those we meet on our way up because we may still meet them on our way down. Beloved, restoration is an easy thing for God to do. My prayer for someone reading this is that God’s favour and mercy will locate you in that despicable situation you are in and restore you to glory this season in Jesus’ Name. He will restore your lost opportunities in Jesus’ Name.

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1-2

This passage is saying that there is hope of restoration for a backslider who genuinely repents with determination never to go down again. The sad story was told of a young but zealous Christian brother in one of the popular ministries in Lagos, Nigeria. This brother was so zealous that he had zero-tolerance for any appearance of iniquity. Unfortunately, one way or the other, he fell into the sin of sexual immortality. Finding himself in this mess, he concluded that there could be no pardon for him from Jesus, whom he had disappointed. The thought of the souls he had won and the sermon he had preached against sin haunted him sorely, and he decided that the best thing to do was to commit suicide. Tragically, he ended his life! Beloved, I want to encourage you to have faith in the word being sent to you today. You can truly be restored because God’s promise to you in 2 Chronicles 7:14 says:

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

God promises to restore you if you will repent, and He is waiting to receive you with open arms today.

PRAYER POINT:
Father, as I stand on Your promise today, please grant me complete restoration spiritually and physically in Jesus’ Name.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
2 Kings 3-4, Daniel 4:19-27

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 6: HAVE YOU BEEN TO JESUS FOR THE CLEANSING POW’R

1 Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing pow’r?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Chorus:
Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

2 Are you walking daily by the Saviour’s side?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Do you rest each moment in the Crucified?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

3 When the Bridegroom cometh will your robes be white!
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Will your soul be ready for His presence bright,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb?

4 Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb;
There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean,
O be washed in the blood of the Lamb.

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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL TUESDAY 17TH SEPTEMBER 2019 : YOU CAN FINISH WELL!

MEMORISE:
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 2 Timothy 1:12

READ: John 17:1-12

1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.

8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.

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

12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

MESSAGE

When I newly gave my life to Christ, the love of God in me made me burn with zeal to please the One who paid the supreme price to save my soul. However, some people I met in the faith mocked my zeal and said to each other, “Leave him alone; he will soon be tired and slow down.” I thank God that He has not allowed their prediction come true in my life. For this reason, I can stand to testify, as Paul did in today’s memory verse, that God is indeed able to keep what is entrusted to Him to the very end.

Paul was a man whose life proved that faith in the sustaining grace of God is not a waste. God kept him going in the Christian race and helped him to finish well and strong. At the end of his life, Paul was able to say in 2 Timothy 4:6-8:

“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

How was Paul able to finish his Christian race well in spite of the many obstacles he faced? The answer lies in today’s Bible reading. Before our Lord Jesus Christ left the earth, He devoted a substantial amount of time to pray that the faith of those who genuinely belong to Him should endure. As part of His prayer, He also said in John 17:12:

“While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.”

This is something for us to think about. Judas was given equal opportunity not to end his race the way he did, but he chose to be a son of perdition. We learn from him that making it to the very end is a matter of the choices we make every day. Those who will cross the finish line are those who give heed to the Lord’s warning in Luke 12:15, which says:

“And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”

Beloved, I assure you that you can make it to the very end. Hold the forth and don’t comprise your faith. Keep on the firing line, and you will make it in Jesus’ Name.

PRAYER POINT:
Father, please uphold me in Your holy hands to the very end in Jesus’ Name.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
2 Kings 1-2, Daniel 4:4-18

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 17: HOLD THE FORT

1 Ho! my comrades, see the signal,
Waving in the sky!
Reinforcements now appearing,
Victory is nigh!

Chorus:
“Hold the fort, for I am coming,”
Jesus signals still,
Wave the answer back to Heaven,
“By Thy grace we will.”

2 See the mighty host advancing,
Satan leading on;
Mighty men around us falling,
Courage almost gone.

3 See the glorious banner waving,
Hear the bugle blow;
In our Leader’s Name we triumph
Over every foe.

4 Fierce and long the battle rages,
But our help is near;
Onward comes our great Commander,
Cheer, my comrades, cheer!

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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL MONDAY 16TH SEPTEMBER 2019:THE NEGATIVE INFLUENCE OF WEALTH

MEMORISE:
Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
1 Timothy 6:17

READ: Proverbs 30:7-9

7 Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:

8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:

9 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

MESSAGE

Having tasted both poverty and wealth, I can categorically say that wealth is better of the two. Nevertheless, if not handled with the fear of God, wealth can have a negative influence on those who possess it. Agur’s prayer in today’s Bible reading is food for thought in this regard. From his prayer, we understand that wealth can influence a person to question God’s relevance and deny His existence. Frankly speaking, comfort and riches can cause a person to conclude that he or she has need for God. We see this manifested in rich countries today. Nebuchadnezzar came under this negative influence of wealth, and he did not have a good story to tell. Intoxicated by prosperity, he boasted in Daniel 4:30, saying:

“…Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?”

Through this statement, he claimed self-sufficiency and denied God who gave him wealth and power. God had to school him for seven years among animals before he realised his folly (Daniel 4:33). This is why it should not surprise us to see wealthy people in those societies that deny the existence of God manifesting animalistic tendencies in their desires and lifestyle choices.

Usually, those who are rich have a quest to be richer still. While there is nothing wrong with this, it is disheartening that in an attempt to gain more wealth for themselves, many rich people exploit the downtrodden workers who labour to make them wealthy. Sometimes, they may decide not to pay their wages on time, leaving the money in the bank to yield interest for their own pockets. Some don’t even bother to pay at all, while some others choose to pay a token of what their workers are due. People like this should realise that they are committing fraud, and God may choose to fight them Himself (James 5:1-4).

We see from the lives of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that wealthy people who acknowledge the Almighty God as their source of power to get wealth hardly misbehave (Deuteronomy 8:18). Such people will not use their wealth to have extra-marital affairs or to entice the vulnerable into evil acts. They will see their staff as their own brothers and sisters, and will not toy with their wages. Above all, it will not be difficult for them to honour God with first fruits, tithes and offerings and works of charity. Are you free of the negative influence of wealth?

PRAYER POINT:
Father, please give me power to get wealth and help me use it judiciously for Your glory and kingdom, in Jesus’ Name.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
1 Kings 22, Daniel 3:16-4:3

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 5: LET OTHERS SEE JESUS IN YOU

1. While passing thro’ this world of sin,
and others your life shall view,
Be clean and pure without, within;
Let others see Jesus in you.

Chorus:
Let others see Jesus in you,
Let others see Jesus in you.
Keep telling the story, be faithful and true;
Let others see Jesus in you.

2. Your life’s a book before their eyes,
They’re reading it thro’ and thro’
Say, does it point them to the skis,
Do others see Jesus in you?

3. Then live for Christ both day and night,
Be faithful, be brave and true,
and lead the lost to life and Christ.
Let others see Jesus in you.

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OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL SATURDAY 14TH SEPTEMBER 2019- DEATH IS NOT THE END!

MEMORISE: For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: – (Job 19:25)

READ: 1 THESSALONIANS 4:13-18

13. But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first;

17. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

18. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

MESSAGE
Those who consider suicide as a viable option for handling the hardship of life do not realize that death is not the end of life.
In order words, there is life after death. Job was a man who held on to this truth, even though he faced unprecedented calamities in his life. He said in Job 19:26:

“And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.”

There are two benefit to knowing and accepting that death is not the end of everything in life.

One of these is that a person is compelled to behave wisely, knowing that he or she will face God’s Judgment after death. Hebrews 9:27 says:

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”

Also, when we realise that death is not the end of everything, it gives us hope of a better life beyond this world. This hope kept Job going in spite of the tragedies that befell him (Job 19:25-27).

I am happy to announce to you that not only is there life after death, there is also a coming event called the resurrection of the dead.

The remarkable thing about the resurrection of the dead is that not only shall the just resurrect, the unjust shall also be resurrected to receive the rewards of their deeds in this world. Jesus said in Revelation 22:12:
And behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”

Armed with this knowledge, if I were you, I would engage in good works that would earn me great rewards when Jesus returns.

Are you going through any form of affliction at the moment? You need to know that it will not last through eternity. Indeed, it has its own expiry date.

So, don’t give up; just keep pressing forward toward the finishing line. Our Lord is coming soon to wipe away all your tears. Are you contemplating suicide as a means of escaping your crisis?

Please don’t think of it anymore, because death is not the end of everything. All you need to do is to reflect on the manner of life you have lived hitherto, and this will help you identify those thing that are responsible for your present predicament.

Once you ascertain those things, lay them all at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ. Don’t ever believe that suicide is an escape route from crisis.

Eternal crisis is awaiting everyone who refuses the salvation that Christ’s atoning work has earned for mankind. Have you received this precious gift?

Accept Jesus into your life today and let His atoning blood wash away your past into the sea of forgetfulness. Receive the peace of God into your life today in Jesus’ Name.

PRAYER POINT:
Father, remove every dark cloud of despair hanging over my life in Jesus’ Name.

Author: Pastor E.A ADEBOYE

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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL FRIDAY 13TH SEPTEMBER 2019:BEWARE OF THE “THIRD PARENT”

MEMORISE:
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
1 Corinthians 15:33

READ: 2 Samuel 13:1-15, 2 Samuel 13:25-29

1 And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her.

2 And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do any thing to her.

3 But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtle man.

4 And he said unto him, Why art thou, being the king’s son, lean from day to day? wilt thou not tell me? And Amnon said unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.

5 And Jonadab said unto him, Lay thee down on thy bed, and make thyself sick: and when thy father cometh to see thee, say unto him, I pray thee, let my sister Tamar come, and give me meat, and dress the meat in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it at her hand.

6 So Amnon lay down, and made himself sick: and when the king was come to see him, Amnon said unto the king, I pray thee, let Tamar my sister come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat at her hand.

7 Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, Go now to thy brother Amnon’s house, and dress him meat.

8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house; and he was laid down. And she took flour, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and did bake the cakes.

9 And she took a pan, and poured them out before him; but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, Have out all men from me. And they went out every man from him.

10 And Amnon said unto Tamar, Bring the meat into the chamber, that I may eat of thine hand. And Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother.

11 And when she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister.

12 And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly.

13 And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee.

14 Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her.

15 Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her. And Amnon said unto her, Arise, be gone.

25 And the king said to Absalom, Nay, my son, let us not all now go, lest we be chargeable unto thee. And he pressed him: howbeit he would not go, but blessed him.

26 Then said Absalom, If not, I pray thee, let my brother Amnon go with us. And the king said unto him, Why should he go with thee?

27 But Absalom pressed him, that he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him.

28 Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant.

29 And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled.

MESSAGE

The influence of peer groups has always been great in moulding a person’s character either for good or bad. Indeed, friends and peer groups are the “third parent” to every individual. Peer pressure has the power of enticing a person into things they would never have considered doing. No wonder the Holy Spirit says in Proverbs 1:10:

“My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.”

Yo entice is to persuade a person to carry out an act, usually by offering something pleasant and attractive as dividend. An example of this is the serpent’s dangling of the forbidden fruit before Eve (Genesis 3:6). Enticement usually works hand in hand with deception. May you never fall victim to the enticement of the world like Demas did in Jesus’ Name (2 Timothy 4:10).

The power of temptation lies in its ability to entice its victim. Parents do not lure their children into temptation; rather, they lead their children on the path of greatness and right living. The Holy Spirit in our lives represents our divine parents, the Holy Trinity, and this is why we must always listen to the counsel He gives and reject any counsel contrary to His inspired word. The truth is, the Holy Spirit cannot lead you to do anything that is contrary to God’s written word. Speaking on His mandate, our Lord said in John 16:13:

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.”

He then went on to say in John 17:17:

“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”

In other words, the Holy Spirit is to guide us into all of God’s word, which is truth.

Associating with evil people has the potential to corrupt any person of good character. That is why the Holy Spirit is sending the warning in today’s memory verse. Those who are wise will give heed to what the Holy Spirit says because He knows more than we know and sees better than we see. To avoid the snare of wicked peers and finish your race in heaven, let the Holy Spirit have the greatest influence on you. Do not keep friends like Jonadab in today’s Bible reading, whose advice cost Amnon his life. Jonadab and Amnon were even cousins! Irrespective of family links, don’t allow anyone influence you into destruction, because when it’s all said and done, you will bear your cross yourself. May the Lord make you wise concerning this in Jesus’ Name.

ACTION POINT:
Examine if the company you keep influences you for good and adds value to you. Discreetly withdraw from those who influence you negatively.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
1 Kings 16-17, Daniel 2:17-35

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 2: OH JESUS, I HAVE PROMISED

1 O Jesus, I have promised
To serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me,
My Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle
If Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway
If Thou wilt be my guide.

2 O let me feel Thee near me,
The world is ever near;
I see the sights that dazzle,
The tempting sounds I hear;
My foes are ever near me,
Around me and within;
But, Jesus, draw Thou nearer,
And shield my soul from sin.

3 Oh let me hear Thee speaking
In accents clear and still,
Above the storms of passion,
The murmurs of self-will;
Oh speak to reassure me,
To hasten or control;
O speak, and make me listen,
Thou Guardian of my soul.

4 O Jesus, Thou hast promised
To all who follow Thee,
That where Thou art in glory,
There shall Thy servant be;
And, Jesus, I have promised
To serve Thee to the end;
O give me grace to follow,
My Master and my Friend.

5 Oh, let me see Thy footmarks,
And in them plant mine own;
My hope to follow duly
Is in Thy strength alone.
Oh, guide me, call me, draw me,
Uphold me to the end;
And then to rest receive me,
My Saviour and my Friend.

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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL THURSDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER 2019-NOTHING IS TOO BIG TO GIVE

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

READ: Genesis 22:10-18

10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.

12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.

15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,

16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:

17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

MESSAGE

Yesterday, the Holy Spirit spoke to us on giving whatever we have to those in need, no matter how small it may be. Indeed, what seems small to you might actually be big to those receiving your benevolence. Today, the Holy Spirit wants to teach us that nothing is too big to give. God Himself demonstrated this principle to us by giving us His only begotten Son. John 3:16 says:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The Almighty God gave the greatest gift He had for the redemption of mankind; this is the height of generosity! Abraham, the father of faith, was also ready to give up his son of promise, even though he had waited so long to have him. This act endeared him to God’s heart, and it opened the door of an irrevocable blessing to him.

Beloved, as we sing the popular song claiming Abraham’s blessings, we need to get some things straight. Unless we do the works Abraham did and walk in his footsteps, our songs may end up as mere wishful thinking. Abraham did not consider what God requested from him to be too big. He went ahead and gave up his only son of promise. The Jews who claim to be Abraham’s children were told by our Lord Jesus Christ in John 8:39b:

“If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.”

What He said to them, He is also saying to us today. If you want to be blessed as Abraham was or partake of his blessings, then nothing should be too big for you to give at God’s prompting.

Take a cue from farmers: the size of their seed determines the size of their harvest. The more you are given to hospitality and benevolence acts, the more you will be blessed by God. The devil has nothing to do with this divine principle, and so he cannot prompt you to give to God. The truth of the matter is, whatever you are not ready to let go of, you cannot get back in greater proportions. Establishing this principle, the Lord said in John 12:24

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”

Knowing this truth, nothing should therefore be too big for you. A gift may leave your hand but it cannot leave your life; it is surely coming back to you in multiples.

PRAYER POINT:
Father, please give me a heart that gives, gives and gives again until I become a gift to my generation.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
1 Kings 14-15, Daniel 2:1-16

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 5: LET OTHERS SEE JESUS IN YOU

1. While passing thro’ this world of sin,
and others your life shall view,
Be clean and pure without, within;
Let others see Jesus in you.

Chorus:
Let others see Jesus in you,
Let others see Jesus in you.
Keep telling the story, be faithful and true;
Let others see Jesus in you.

2. Your life’s a book before their eyes,
They’re reading it thro’ and thro’
Say, does it point them to the skis,
Do others see Jesus in you?

3. Then live for Christ both day and night,
Be faithful, be brave and true,
and lead the lost to life and Christ.
Let others see Jesus in you.

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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL WEDNESDAY 11TH SEPTEMBER 2019:NOTHING IS TOO SMALL TO GIVE

MEMORISE:
The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. Proverbs 11:25

READ: Matthew 15:32-39

32 Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.

33 And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?

34 And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes.

35 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground.

36 And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.

37 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.

38 And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children.

39 And he sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala.

MESSAGE

An African adage says, “Saying ‘this gift is too small to give’ makes one miserly.” In the spirit of giving, I believe that a simple orange is enough to entertain four guests or even eight! It is just a matter of slicing it into four and slicing those four again to make eight pieces. Served on a clean plate along with a clean bowl of water and a neat hand towel in tow, you have done the needful if that is all you have. Today’s Bible reading tells us the story of a young lad who did not see his lunch pack as being too small to give to the Master. He released it and it became a point of contact for divine multiplication. One great lesson from this is that anytime a small thing is released into divinely anointed hands, it multiplies. Any business that has God as its CEO will always prosper, irrespective of its size. We see an example of this in the story of a man who started a business with five hundred dollars and a vow that 90% of the business would be God’s, while just 10% would be his. In a few years, he became a multimillionaire! The lad who offered his meal to Jesus can be regarded as a true son of Abraham in that he was given to hospitality just as Abraham was. Abraham was so hospitable that he unknowingly entertained angels (Hebrews 13:2).

You don’t necessarily need to be a multimillionaire before you can become a giver. Indeed, having the whole world at your disposal does not make you a giver! The widow of Zarephat gave her last meal to the man of God. This meal was so small that it took only two sticks of firewood to prepare it (1 Kings 17:12)! Beloved, for you to move from your present level of blessing to a higher level, you need to learn how to give. Through the principle of giving, some heroes of faith in the days of old use what they had to obtain a good heritage for themselves. This principle has not changed today. There is this story of one of my sons in the Lord, who was in his house one evening when a young man came in to beg him for some money to buy food for his young baby. This son of mine said he had only ten naira on him at that point. The value of the naira back then was very strong, so strong that five naira was enough to take him to work and back. So, he gave the man five out if the ten naira with him, and he forgot about the incident. Months later, this young man came back again, this time asking my son if he was interested in owning some landed property. My son answered yes, even though he had no money for such a project at that time. To his surprise, the young man offered him a plot of land from the portion allocated to him and his siblings, with the option of paying later. When my son insisted that he was not going to take the land, the young man reminded him of the five naira he gave him many months ago that saved his child from starving to death. It was then my son remembered what had happened, and he consented to the land offer. That land was the beginning of some other properties God blessed him with. Beloved, nothing is too small to give. Learn to give from today, because you do not know what doors it will open for you.

KEY POINT:
Some doors can only be unlocked through giving

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
1 Kings 12-13, Daniel 1

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 1: THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSING

1 There shall be showers of blessing:
This is the promise of love;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
Sent from the Saviour above.

Chorus:
Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need;
Mercy-drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.

2 There shall be showers of blessing—
Precious reviving again;
Over the hills and the valleys,
Sound of abundance of rain.

3 There shall be showers of blessing;
Send them upon us, O Lord!
Grant to us now a refreshing;
Come, and now honor Thy Word.

4 There shall be showers of blessing;
O that today they might fall,
Now as to God we’re confessing,
Now as on Jesus we call!

5 There shall be showers of blessing,
If we but trust and obey;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
If we let God have His way.

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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL TUESDAY 10TH SEPTEMBER 2019: WEALTH WILL CHANGE HANDS

MEMORISE:
He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor. Proverbs 28:8

READ: Isaiah 61:1-6

1 The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.

5 And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.

6 But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.

MESSAGE

Every time I make a pronouncement that wealth will change hands, my children in the Lord usually shout “Amen”, but I believe they don’t fully understand what I am saying. If they really understood, they would not need to say “Amen”, because I am only echoing the word of God that is already settled in heaven for ever (Psalm 119:89). Rather than say “Amen’, I would prefer that they act on the conditions that will bring this prophetic word of God to pass in their lives. If you are a child of God, I announce (not pray) that wealth will change hands for your favour, and your songs of “not enough” shall change to “more than enough” in Jesus’ Name. I am declaring this to you for your information and necessary action. In Isaiah 61:4-5, the Holy Spirit declares:

“And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.”

For this to happen, we must pay close attention to the mistakes of those from whose hands wealth will come into ours. Our memory verse reveals some of their mistakes. Because they increase and gather their wealth unjustly, God is saying that their wealth shall be taken away from them and be given to those who will pity the poor. If you are awaiting the transfer of wealth that is to come, are you ready to consider the poor and reach out to them with this wealth? If your answer is yes, I congratulate you because God’s word will be fulfilled in your life. Those who will receive the wealth of the wicked are those ready and willing to redistribute the commonwealth of the populace, stolen by greedy treasury looters and lying fallow in both local and foreign accounts. Isaiah 61:6 is food for thought for those who want to partake of the divine wealth transfer that is to come. It says:

“But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.”

In other words, to qualify for the fulfilment of God’s prophetic word on wealth transfer, your lifestyle must be in tandem with what He requires of His priests and ministers. Some of these requirements are that His ministers and priests should not indulge in strong drink (Titus 1:7, Proverbs 31:4-5, Isaiah 28:7), nor should they be married to more than one spouse (1Timothy 3:2). Do you measure up to His standards? With the little God has blessed you with, do you remember the poor? These are the pertinent questions you need to ask today. God bless you.

PRAYER POINT:
Father, I open my hands this day to receive the wealth of the ungodly for the purpose of expanding Your Kingdom.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
1 Kings 11, Ezekiel 48:15-35

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 1: THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSING

1 There shall be showers of blessing:
This is the promise of love;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
Sent from the Saviour above.

Chorus:
Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need;
Mercy-drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.

2 There shall be showers of blessing—
Precious reviving again;
Over the hills and the valleys,
Sound of abundance of rain.

3 There shall be showers of blessing;
Send them upon us, O Lord!
Grant to us now a refreshing;
Come, and now honor Thy Word.

4 There shall be showers of blessing;
O that today they might fall,
Now as to God we’re confessing,
Now as on Jesus we call!

5 There shall be showers of blessing,
If we but trust and obey;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
If we let God have His way.

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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL MONDAY 9TH SEPTEMBER 2019:YOUTHS, GUARD YOUR FUTURE

MEMORISE:
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12

READ: Ecclesiastes 11:7-10

7 Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun:

8 But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.

9 Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.

10 Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.

MESSAGE

Youthful exuberance can be a very dangerous thing if left unchecked. It can even leave an indelible negative mark on an individual for the rest of his or her life. Are you still a youth? I rejoice with you, but you need to give heed to what the Holy Spirit is saying in today’s memory verse, because in today’s world where the internet never forgets, the enemies of your destiny will hunt for any information about your youthful mistakes when they realise you are on your way to the top. May your enemies never find anything with which they can destroy your great destiny in Jesus’ Name. In the political arena, opponents are always searching for what they can use to destroy each other’s political ambition. Examples abound of how political gladiators dig into the past of would-be political office holders, telling the world the many reasons why they should not be voted into power based on past conduct, even if they have managed to change for the better. Unfortunately, many youths do not listen to profitable counsel when they are gallivanting from one bad habit to another in the name of youthful exuberance.

The story of Reuben in Genesis 49:3-4 should be a wake-up call to any unruly youth reading this devotional study. A sin he committed in the distant past, probably in his late twenties, was revisited at the time he ought to have received the blessing of firstborn far later in life. He probably thought he was clever, handsome and the desire of all women, including his father’s wife, so much so that he slept with her (Genesis 35:22)! The most perplexing thing about this case is that Jacob never mentioned a word about it to him. If he did, probably Reuben would have pleaded for mercy. Some pastors destroyed their marital testimonies when they were young because it never occurred to them that they would be pastors later in life. Down the line, after becoming pastors, they are forced to keep mute whenever any discussion on marital infidelity arises. They cannot authoritatively divide the word of truth on this subject-matter because of their past deeds. Some Christian teachers cannot disclose how many children they have because it will generate questions such as “Is it mummy that gave birth to this or that? If not, who is their mother and where is she? Did you marry her? If yes, how come you divorced her and marry another person, contrary to what you have been teaching us?” To avoid the agony of such questions, I admonish young people to stay away from the so-called youthful exuberance that leads to regrets later in life.

ACTION POINT:
Cut off friends who draw you into things that can lead to regrets later in life, and attach yourself to a mature mentor, who is an example of living a Christ-like life.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
1 Kings 9-10, Ezekiel 47:18-48:14

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 2: OH JESUS, I HAVE PROMISED

1 O Jesus, I have promised
To serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me,
My Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle
If Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway
If Thou wilt be my guide.

2 O let me feel Thee near me,
The world is ever near;
I see the sights that dazzle,
The tempting sounds I hear;
My foes are ever near me,
Around me and within;
But, Jesus, draw Thou nearer,
And shield my soul from sin.

3 Oh let me hear Thee speaking
In accents clear and still,
Above the storms of passion,
The murmurs of self-will;
Oh speak to reassure me,
To hasten or control;
O speak, and make me listen,
Thou Guardian of my soul.

4 O Jesus, Thou hast promised
To all who follow Thee,
That where Thou art in glory,
There shall Thy servant be;
And, Jesus, I have promised
To serve Thee to the end;
O give me grace to follow,
My Master and my Friend.

5 Oh, let me see Thy footmarks,
And in them plant mine own;
My hope to follow duly
Is in Thy strength alone.
Oh, guide me, call me, draw me,
Uphold me to the end;
And then to rest receive me,
My Saviour and my Friend.

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