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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL FRIDAY 10TH APRIL 2020–THE DEATH OF JESUS I.

MEMORISE:

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Romans 8:15

READ: Ephesians 2:13-18

13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

MESSAGE

The death of Jesus Christ on the cross opened up a new era in Christianity. The first thing that happened when Jesus died was that the veil of the temple was torn into two. Matthew 27:50-51 tells us:

“Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;”

The torn veil was what separated the holy of holies from the rest of the temple. The only person allowed into the holy of holies was the High Priest, but the moment Jesus died, He went to stand in the place of the veil, so it had to give way. Now, everyone has full access to the Father through Jesus. John 14:6 tells us- “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

If you want to meet with God, you had better make Jesus your friend. We know that Jesus is the Word of God. This means that to access God, you must always study the word of God. When you read the Bible, you access the mind of God and you can relate with Him on a new level. That is why I pity Pastors who only read their Bible to prepare messages; they have lost that intimate relationship with God and cannot know His mind.

Before Jesus died, people used to depend on the High Priest to talk to God of hear from Him, but now, Jesus has bridged the gap. We can access God, speak with Him and hear from Him by ourselves. It is because Jesus died that I can call God “Daddy”. How is your relationship with God? Jesus died because He wanted you to have an intimate relationship with Him. God loves you, that is why He sent His son to die for you so He can talk to you one on one. To what extent are you open to God? He wants to help you with every inadequacy in your life. All He requires is that you are completely open and dedicated to Him.

PRAYER POINT:

Lord, don’t let Your death for me be in vain.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: 1 Samuel 13-14

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 27: I AM SO GLAD THAT OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN.

1. I am so glad that our Father in Heav’n
Tells of His love in the Book He has giv’n;
Wonderful things in the Bible I see,
This is the dearest, that Jesus loves me.
o Refrain:
I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me;
I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves even me.

2. If I forget Him and wander away,
Still He doth love me wherever I stray;
Back to His dear loving arms would I flee,
When I remember that Jesus loves me.

3. Oh, if there’s only one song I can sing,
When in His beauty I see the great King,
This shall my song through eternity be,
“Oh, what a wonder that Jesus loves me!”

4. Jesus loves me, and I know I love Him;
Love brought Him down my poor soul to redeem;
Yes, it was love made Him die on the tree;
Oh, I am certain that Jesus loves me!

5. If one should ask of me, how can I tell?
Glory to Jesus, I know very well!
God’s Holy Spirit with mine doth agree,
Constantly witnessing Jesus loves me.

6. In this assurance I find sweetest rest,
Trusting in Jesus, I know I am blest;
Satan, dismayed, from my soul now doth flee,
When I just tell him that Jesus loves me.

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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL THURSDAY 9TH APRIL 2020-HOLIER THAN THOU II.

MEMORISE:
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Galatians 6:1

READ: John 8:1-11

1Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.

2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

MESSAGE
“Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:5

Many people condemn those in error so as to feel good- not necessarily because they want to bring them to Christ. The men who tried to stone the adulterous woman in today’s Bible reading are classic examples. They wanted to show how faithful they were, but did not know Jesus would eventually puncture their self-righteousness.

When you correct others to raise your self-esteem, you lower theirs and break their already bruised reed. This makes it harder for them to submit to the Christ you preach. If this happens, you can incur God’s wrath, He could turn against you. Do you want Jesus to turn against you?

When Jesus turns against anyone, it can lead to public disgrace, in the story above, Jesus turned against the men who were going to stone the adulterous woman and stood on her side, so she could get the chance to begin to live a holy life. Those who conspired to disgrace her left there in shame. You will not end up in shame in the mighty name of Jesus.

It is very painful to see some Christians gifting souls to the devil because of their “holier than thou” attitude. Even in a bar, alcoholics buy drinks for one another and one would hardly be able to tell which one of them cannot afford to buy a drink. If this happens in such a setting, how much more should we look out for one another in the house of God?

If a pregnant teenage girl is disdained by her church members, the nightclub or brothel would readily accept her. This is why many fallen Christians go deeper into sin. Rebuke in love. Let your words to erring brethren lift the hands that are falling, and raise the feeble knees (Job 4:4). We should not be like that proverbial army that specializes in shooting down its already wounded soldiers.

KEY POINT:

Check you motive before you correct a sinner. Is it love or just the will to reduce their self-esteem?

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: 1 Samuel 9-12

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 27: TAKE MY LIFE SND LET IT BE.

1. Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise.

2. Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

3. Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

4. Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.

5. Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

6. Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL WEDNESDAY 8TH APRIL 2020–HOLIER THAN THOU I.

MEMORISE:

Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day. Isaiah 65:5

READ: Isaiah 65:1-7

1I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.

2 I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;

3 A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;

4 Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;

5 Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.

6 Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom,

7 Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the LORD, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom.

MESSAGE

There is a worrisome trend in Christendom today: many people claiming to be holier than other. While I am a serious advocate for holy living, I am not in support of condemning other because of the assumption that they are not as holy as you. We must acknowledge that we are what we are by the grace of God ( 1 Corinthians 15:10) and no one can be holy except by this grace.

“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” Jude 1:24-25

So, when you see someone living a questionable life, do not condemn him/her, rather pray that God gives the person grace to live holy. It is okay to correct someone who has done wrong, but if it is not done in love, you most likely will not get the positive result.

Many people have given up on faith because some Christians have condemned them. The hurting and reproachful words spoken to them have pushed them far away from God rather than closer to Him. This is not good at all. Let love reign. Let tour actions be guided by the intention to bring people out of darkness, not because you deliberately want to hurt them by pointing out their flaws.

If anyone is backsliding I your local assembly, pray for such as you lovingly try to restore them according to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Don’t laugh at any backslider, don’t look at them with disgust. The father of the prodigal son never mentioned all the ills the boy had done, he just embraced him in love.

From today, begin to walk in love with people in your family, church, workplace and everywhere else. See them with the eyes of Jesus and He will not only convert them but will also draw them unto Himself by His power.

KEY POINT:
Jesus is depending on you to show His love to the people of the world. Don’t push them away.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: 1 Samuel 4-8

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL TUESDAY 7TH APRIL 2020-CHOOSE GOD’S WILL.

MEMORISE:
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: Deuteronomy 30:19

READ: Joshua 24:13-18

13 And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat.

14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.

15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

16 And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;

17 For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed:

18 And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God.

MESSAGE
Genesis 1:28 tells us that in the beginning when God created humanity, He commissioned us to “……. Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
To fully understand this assignment and successfully carry it out, God created us in His image so we may possess some of His divine attributes, one of which is the freewill to make choices. That is, the ability to reason and make decisions based on available options, making choices is a deliberate act of will and is vital for our survival.

However, the fact that humanity was created with the freedom of choice is being overstretched by many today to mean that man is a free moral agent with the liberty to act as he/she likes in this world without repercussion is a lie from the pit of hell. Ecclesiastics 11:9 instructs the youth to rejoice and celebrate with the consciousness that God will judge all things.

This is confirmed by the word of God in Ecclesiastes 12:14 that says “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Revelation 22:12 also says:
“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”

Children of God should therefore make choices and decisions carefully, knowing that God will bring everything to judgment. Don’t make choices that will lead to sin, sickness, failure, demonic attach or death. Exercise your will to make decisions that bring peace, prosperity, divine health, joy in the Holy Ghost, fulfilment of destiny and eternal life with Jesus. Choose life by accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Choose God’s will. Choose life (Deuteronomy 30:15-20).

PRAYER POINT:
Father, please help me to make choices that will lead to eternal life, in the mighty name of Jesus.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: 1 Samuel 1-3

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 12: I AM THINE OH LORD.

1. am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
And it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith
And be closer drawn to Thee.
o Refrain:
Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To the cross where Thou hast died;
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To Thy precious, bleeding side.

2. Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
By the pow’r of grace divine;
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
And my will be lost in Thine.

3. Oh, the pure delight of a single hour
That before Thy throne I spend,
When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God
I commune as friend with friend!

4. There are depths of love that I cannot know
Till I cross the narrow sea;
There are heights of joy that I may not reach
Till I rest in peace with Thee.

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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL MONDAY 6TH APRIL 2020–CONTENTMENT IS PRICELESS.

MEMORISE:
But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6

READ: 2 Kings 4:8-17

8 And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread.

9 And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually.

10 Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.

11 And it fell on a day, that he came thither, and he turned into the chamber, and lay there.

12 And he said to Gehazi his servant, Call this Shunammite. And when he had called her, she stood before him.

13 And he said unto him, Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host? And she answered, I dwell among mine own people.

14 And he said, What then is to be done for her? And Gehazi answered, Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old.

15 And he said, Call her. And when he had called her, she stood in the door.

16 And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And she said, Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid.

17 And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life.

MESSAGE

Money can be a blessing or a trap, depending on one’s attitude towards it. Money is a powerful weapon against poverty and plays such a vital role in life that Ecclesiastes 10:19 presents it as the answer to all things. It is this great power and influence attached to money that makes financial prosperity the desire of almost every human being.

Contentment however, is an important virtue that money cannot buy. Ecclesiastes 5:10 teaches that anyone who loves money will never be satisfied with it, and whoever loves wealth will continue to seek more.

I have repeatedly told my children that being wealthy is not evil and there is nothing godly about poverty. A poor person who refuses to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior will end up in hell, while a wealthy person who is born again will surely make it to heaven. When it comes to money, the real issue for us as Christians is our attitude towards it. Some have become slaves to money. Some also worship money and would do anything to get as much of it as they can. 1 Timothy 6:10 says:

“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

I pray for everyone who money has dragged away from God and may be in any kind of sorrow right now: Be delivered today and receive the grace to renew your fellowship with God in the mighty name of Jesus.

Godliness and contentment are gifts from God that money cannot buy. We must be able to say like Apostle Paul “….for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Philippians 4:11). May the Lord break the hold of covetousness over your life and fill you with godliness and contentment in the mighty name of Jesus.

PRAYER POINT:

Father, please fill my life with Your blessings that money cannot buy, in the mighty name of Jesus.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Ruth 1-4

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 8: HAVE YOU BEEN TO JESUS.

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?
o Refrain:
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 Savior’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 the mansions 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,
Oh, be washed in the blood of the Lamb!

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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL SUNDAY 5TH APRIL 2020–THE VALUE OF YOUR SERVICE.

MEMORISE:
If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 1 Corinthians 3:15

READ: 1 Corinthians 3:1-15

1And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

MESSAGE
Our God is great and mighty, the supreme ruler and final authority in heaven and on earth. He deserves the best of all things; He does not accept service that is substandard from anyone, neither does He reward anyone that offers halfhearted service to Him. Romans 12:11 reveals God’s hatred for slothful attitude to life and His service. It also shows a clear preference for people who are fervent in spirit and committed to His work.
Romans 12:1 says:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

While God is concerned about the quality of our service, He is even more concerned about our character and way of life. If the lifestyle of a person is not acceptable to God, then whatever service the fellow renders may not have real value to Him. The Bible in Ephesians 6:6-7 lays emphasis on rendering acceptable service not as men pleasers, but doing the will of God from the heart, as unto Him and not to men. 2 Timothy 2:21 speaks about the personality God will use: “ If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”

From the scripture above, it is very clear that God will not accept service of those not in right standing with Him.

1 Corinthians 3:13 also makes it clear that God will critically examine the works and service we render to Him and reward each person accordingly. Substandard service shall be consumed by fire, making such efforts a loss to the concerned persons. I pray that your service shall be acceptable to God and be rewarded accordingly, in the mighty name of Jesus.

PRAYER POINT:

Father, please let my works pass the test of fire on the last day, in the mighty name of Jesus.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Judges 19-21

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL SATURDAY 4TH APRIL 2020–THE AGONIES OF ETERNAL DEATH.

MEMORISE:

And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:42

READ: Revelation 21:8

8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

MESSAGE

Eternal death is the same as damnation to hell. It describes the condition of living in eternal without God. Eternal death is for those who die physically and depart this world without repentance from sin and acceptance of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. This is also known as the second death, which is the final banishment of unbelievers from God’s presence. To this effect, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 says:

“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:”

The agony of eternal death may be described in two major ways: (1) The loss of eternal peace of joy with God. (2) The hardship of eternal damnation in hell fire.
Romans 6:23 categorically states that eternal life is a gift from God. Romans 1:16 further tells us that this precious gift is available to those who believe in the saving power of the name of Jesus. Eternal life provides humanity with rest from the troubles of life and grants the pleasure of being in God’s presence forever. Thus, missing out on eternal life will be a major agony of eternal death. The second major agony of eternal death comes from the suffering, pain and anguish of hell itself. The Bible describes hell as an everlasting fire that is prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). Dwelling with the devil and his angels will be such a horrific experience. I pray that you will not partake in the agony of eternal death in the mighty name of Jesus.

To escape this agony, simply accept Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you are saved already, congratulations! Please guard your salvation diligently to the end (1 Corinthians 10:12). Acts 4:12 says “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

KEY POINT:

Father, please don’t let me partake in the agony of eternal death, in the mighty name of Jesus.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Judges 16-18

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 30: WHEN WE WALK WITH THE LORD.

1. When we walk with the Lord in the light of his Word
What a glory he sheds on our way!
While we do his good will, he abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

2. Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But his smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh nor a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

3. Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil he doth richly repay;
Not a grief nor a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blest if we trust and obey.

4. But we never can prove the delights of his love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor he shows, and the joy he bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

5. Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at his feet,
Or we will walk by his side in the way;
What he says we will do, where he sends we will go,
Never fear, only trust and obey.

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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL FRIDAY 3RD APRIL 2020–THE AGONIES OF SPIRITUAL DEATH

MEMORISE:
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Genesis 2:17

READ: 1 Samuel 3:1-15

1And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.

2 And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;

3 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep;

4 That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.

5 And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down.

6 And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again.

7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.

8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child.

9 Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.

12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end.

13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.

14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.

15 And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision.

MESSAGE

Spiritual death, described in the Bible as separation from God is a consequence of sin. It ultimately leads to eternal death if there is no repentance before physical death or the second coming of Christ. People who are spiritually dead are often ignorant of their status because when a person die spiritually, he or she may continue to live a normal life physically. Such people may be intelligent and successful in their chosen professions; they may even be morally upright and committed to ‘good works.’ Spiritual death is characterized primarily by a lack of communication between God and man. It is a state of complete severance of communion with God.

The Bible in Matthew 4:16, tells us categorically that the two major symptoms of spiritual death are darkness and the shadow of death. A man/woman that has been separated from God is living in darkness and totally unaware of the imminent dangers surrounding him/her. Often, calamities suddenly envelop such a man with neither warning nor remedy. Unless such a person retraces his or her steps to God in genuine repentance, the agony of spiritual death becomes a real experience. I pray for anyone that may be experiencing this: The Lord will deliver you today in the mighty name of Jesus.

To be spiritually dead is to live without God’s counsel and guidance. The Bible further hinted at the symptoms of spiritual death in Ephesians 4:18 by saying:

“ Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:”

Most human beings have come to accept a life of “suffering and smiling” as normal. However, John 10:10 tells us that Jesus came for us to have life in abundance. Therefore, you can confess your sins to God in true repentance and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Backsliders should also retrace their steps to God. Jesus in His love and mercy will reconnect with you and your life will never be the same again.

PRAYER POINT:

Father, please deliver me and my family from the agony of spiritual death, in the mighty name of Jesus.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Judges 13-15

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 20: MY GOD TO THEE.

1. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.

o Refrain:
Nearer to Thee!

2. Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
Darkness be over me, my rest a stone;
Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee.

3. There let the way appear, steps unto Heav’n;
All that Thou sendest me, in mercy giv’n;
Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee.

4. Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise;
So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee.

5. Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.

6. There in my Father’s home, safe and at rest,
There in my Savior’s love, perfectly blest;
Age after age to be nearer, my God, to Thee.

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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL THURSDAY 2ND APRIL 2020–THE BENEFITS OF TEMPORAL DEATH.

MEMORISE:
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. Revelation 14:13

READ: 2 Kings 13:14-21

14 Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.

15 And Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows.

16 And he said to the king of Israel, Put thine hand upon the bow. And he put his hand upon it: and Elisha put his hands upon the king’s hands.

17 And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the LORD’s deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them.

18 And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed.

19 And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.

20 And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year.

21 And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.

MESSAGE

The Bible mentions two kind of death: physical and temporal, which is the termination of life on earth and then eternal death. The latter is the final complete separation from God. When temporal death occurs, it opens the way to eternal life for children of God, but leads to eternal death for those who did not accept Jesus Christ during their physical existence.

Life is full of challenges that bring stress to the body and tension to the soul. The Bible presents this dilemma in Job 14:1 by saying “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.” As a result, the aging process takes its toll on everyone to the point that many aged persons become totally dependent on the society and are unable to help themselves. 2 Kings 13:14 says:

“ Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face…..”

The Bible records Elisha’s sickness as a natural occurrence and not a result of punishment. Great Bible characters like Isaac, Jacob and King David had almost identical experiences in old age, and a similar fate awaits all human beings. However, temporal death enables the body to escape the agony of sickness, particularly that which comes as a result of old age. But for death, my Father-in-the-Lord, Pa Josiah Akindayomi would still be enduring a body weakened by age. Thanks be to God; he is now at rest. Revelation 14:13 and Revelation 21:4 tells us sweet and wonderful thing that God reserves for His children after they experience temporal death. The saints will enter into rest from earthly labors and begin to reap the fruits of righteousness. They will not experience eternal death, sorrow, crying and pain.

I pray that as you close your eyes in physical death, you will rise to eternal life of Joy and peace with the Lord, in the mighty name of Jesus.

KEY POINT:

Temporal death marks the end of physical life but not the end of existence. Seek eternal life to escape eternal death.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Judges 10-12

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 27: TAKE MY LIFE AND LET IT BE.

1. Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
*Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise.

2. Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

3. Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

4. Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.

5. Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

6. Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL WEDNESDAY 1ST APRIL 2020: IF FIRE MUST FALL.

MEMORISE:
The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Mark 1:3

READ: I Kings 18:30-39

30 And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.

31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name:

32 And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.

33 And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.

34 And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time.

35 And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.

36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.

37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.

38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.

MESSAGE
Fire represents the potent and unlimited power of the Almighty God and also symbolizes His manifest presence. From the stories of the burning bush in Exodus 3:2-5, to the appearance of a pillar of fire in Exodus 13:21, fire often accompanies appearances of God in the Bible. Fire also signifies the acceptance of sacrifices made unto God as evident in Leviticus 9:24. Likewise, it also depicts divine intervention. The contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal is a classic example of God’s intervention in a situation with fire.

“Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.” 1 Kings 18:38-39

Whenever the fire of God falls, works of darkness are exposed and destroyed. Supernatural laws become activated, leading to unprecedented miracles, signs and wonders. I therefore call the fire of God to fall on you right now and destroy every work of darkness around you in the mighty name of Jesus. However, according to our Bible reading today, some activities must precede the manifestation of divine fire.

Firstly, one must be born again. This make you a bona fide member of the family of God. Secondly, we have to keep the altar of God in our lives pure and deal with sin decisively. Thirdly, we must obey all His instructions promptly and completely. These three steps will bring down the fire of God into your situation.

Are you standing at the crossroads seeking divine guidance? God requires absolute devotion from you. Jeremiah 29:13 says “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Seek God with all your heart and He will visit your situation with His fire in the mighty name of Jesus.

PRAYER POINT:
Father, help me to do everything necessary to bring down Your fire in my life, in the mighty name of Jesus.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Judges 8-9

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 25: ROCK OF AGES, CLEFT FOR ME.

1. Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save from wrath and make me pure.

2. Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

3. Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

4. While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown,
And behold Thee on Thy throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

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