Devotionals

OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL SUNDAY 26th JANUARY 2020: MAKE JESUS TREND.

MEMORISE:

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15

READ: Matthew 24:12-14

12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

MESSAGE

This present time is often called the digital age. The internet possesses great benefits, but it is also fast becoming a curse. You can hardly visit the internet without a worldly picture popping up; they are either asking you to register on a dating site or advertising something with a half-naked woman. It is probably not so harmful for mature Christians, but what of our children who visit this same internet regularly? Less than fifteen years ago, we had magazines which were untouchable to children because of their explicit content, but today, the children have access to everything through their smart-phones! May God protect our children from the perversion of this world in the mighty name of Jesus.

The internet allows everyone to voice what they believe in. *The* problem is not with the people putting Christian content there. Many Christians are into advertising, yet they champion advert campaigns with half-naked models. In other words, they have been recruited by the devil to voice his own beliefs. If the children of the world are posting dirty things on the internet and you are joining them to do so, it is a shame.

On the other hand, if you have a social media account and you are not posting godly messages, then you are handing the world over to the devil on a platter of gold. I wonder why we Christians can’t ensure that no one goes on the internet without something concerning Jesus popping up. The devil is using the internet to corrupt our children; are you going to sit back and just watch? Won’t you fight for the spiritual sanity of our children? If there are five sets of explicit content on the internet, let us outmatch them with ten godly ones. 2 Timothy 4:2 admonishes:

“Preach the word; be instant in season……”

ACTION POINT:

Use everything you have to present Jesus to the world.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Genesis 41-42

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 25: 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 Savior above.

o Refrain:
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:
Oh, 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 SATURDAY 25TH JANUARY 2020-GOD’S SANDPAPER.

MEMORISE:
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Hebrews 12:11

READ: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.

10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?

12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

MESSAGE

When a carpenter is working on a piece of furniture, he has a picture of what he wants the finished work t look like. He puts in a lot of effort to make the piece of wood into what he has in mind, and if it is not smooth as he wishes, he smoothens it to the desired state with some sandpaper. Jesus Christ is our carpenter and He has a picture of what He wants us to be as He works on us; however, every now and then, we exhibit certain behaviors which can hinder His ultimate plan, so He employs the sandpaper (a person or situation) to smoothen us out. The experience, however, is always painful as noted in today’s memory verse but it is for our own good. If a piece of wood being sandpaper could express itself, it would scream in pain, but the beauty of the outcome will make it worthwhile. Hebrews 12:6 clarifies this:

“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth……”

When God wants to smoothen you out, He will put someone in your life as a piece of sandpaper, until you are well-polished. Your sandpaper could be your boss in the office or your pastor in Church. Despite their harshness, see the sandpaper in them. There is probably a behavior that God wants you to shed or acquire from working with the boss or pastor.

The most frequent piece of sandpaper I have seen God use on people is their spouse. He knows that you can resign in an office or leave a church, but your contract with your spouse is for life. So, He often uses our spouses to smoothen us out. The problem with most people however, is that instead of submitting to the process of change and becoming better, they choose to fight their spouses. It is no wonder many have remained on the one spot for very long. Yield to change. Listen to what your God-fearing spouse is trying to correct in your behavior- it is for your own good. If you allow yourselves to be smoothen by each other, you would advance fast in life and your home would be a better place to raise your children in. your latter years would also be more pleasurable.

KEY POINT:

The faster you let the sandpaper do its work, the better for you.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Genesis 38-40

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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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL FRIDAY 24TH JANUARY 2020–AMBASSADORS OF CHRIST.

MEMORISE:
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20

READ: 1 Corinthians 8:9-13

9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;

11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

MESSAGE

An ambassador is an accredited person who represents his/her nation in a foreign country.

When a country chooses a person to serve as an ambassador, it means the fellow has characteristics that reflect who they are and who they want the world to see them as. Many Christians, even Pastors call themselves ambassadors of Christ whereas Christ’s testimony about them is “I know you not” (Matthew 25:12), it is not just about claiming to be Christ’s Ambassador, it is about living the lifestyle of Christ (Matthew 7:21-23).

How do we know those who are true ambassadors of Christ? Jesus said it is by their fruit that we will know them. Is the fruit of the spirit evident in your lifestyle? Do you show love to those around you? Are you patient, meek, full of joy? Are you at peace in your mind and following peace with all men? Are you gentle? Do you have faith in God? If these things don’t describe you correctly, then you are not an ambassador of Christ. Jesus said in John 14:9 that if you have seen Him, then you have seen the Father. That is a true ambassador. Can people look at you and have a good picture of who Christ is?

A powerful Muslim cleric once said that if he can find ten Christians like Adeboye, he would convert to Christianity. This show how scarce true ambassador of Christ are. The moment you call yourself Christian, people begin to watch your lifestyle; what they see in you will determine how they take Christianity. Ephesians 6:20 states:

“For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”

While true Christians are saving souls from the grasp of the devil, don’t be the one to turn them away from Christ. If you will not live the lifestyle of Christ, don’t go around parading yourself as a Christian. Jesus said He knows His sheep and His sheep know Him (John10:14). The end is very near; if you do not repent and change your ways, you would soon have to join your real father- the devil. I pray that will never be your story.

REFLECTION:

Are you truly an ambassador of Christ?

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Genesis 35-37

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 26: STAND UP, STAND UP FOR JESUS.

1. Stand up, stand up for Jesus! ye soldiers of the cross;
Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss:
From vict’ry unto vict’ry, His army shall He lead,
Till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.

2. Stand up, stand up for Jesus! The trumpet call obey:
Forth to the mighty conflict, in this His glorious day;
Ye that are men now serve Him against unnumbered foes;
Let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose.

3. Stand up, stand up for Jesus! Stand in His strength alone,
The arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own;
Put on the gospel armor, and watching unto prayer,
Where calls the voice of duty, be never wanting there.

4. Stand up, stand up for Jesus! the strife will not be long;
This day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song;
To him that overcometh a crown of life shall be;
He with the King of glory shall reign eternally.

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Open Heaven Daily Devotional Thursday 23rd January 2020 -SALT OF THE EARTH

Memorise:

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Matthew 5:13

Read Luke 14:34 (KJV)

34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?

Message:-

The statement “You are the salt of the earth” means that without you, the earth cannot be sweet. Hence, the sweetness of this world depends on you.

One of the ways by which you can be like salt in your world is through the words of your mouth. Colossians 4:6 says:

“Let your speech be away with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”

Always speak soothing words to the downtrodden, never use harsh and abusive words and ensure your words are healing rather than killing those who hear them.

Another way to be the salt of the earth is to show kindness to others. Your little act of kindness is a great factor in making the world a sweet place for some other person(s) to live in. In Matthew 25:34-46, there is a list of people to whom you are expected to always show kindness. These include the hungry, the prisoners, the sick, those who have no clothes and so on.

If you don’t do these things, then you have lost your savour and Jesus said in Matthew 5:13 that salt that has lost it savour is good for nothing but should be cast out and trodden under the foot of men. You may say: But this world is very wicked place, how can I use nice words and perform kind acts in such a place?

Well, that is exactly the point. When you cook a cup of rice, you don’t add a cup of salt to it. The salt is always little compared to the rice. You should not expect the whole world to be salt too; it is your duty to influence others with your savour and bring out the sweetness in them. You cannot afford to become bitter just because others around you are.

Remain the salt of the earth. Don’t be weary in doing good. Your reward will surely come if you don’t give up (Galatians 6:9)

Prayer Point
Lord, please have mercy on me for all the times that I lost my savour. I promise from now on to remain as salt even in this wicked world.

HYMN 22 – O LORD MY GOD

1. O Lord my God!
When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all
The worlds Thy hands hath made
I see the stars,
I hear the rolling thunder
Thy pow’r thro’out
The universe displayed.

CHORUS:
Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God to Thee;
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God to Thee;
How great Thou art,
How great Thou art!

2. When through the woods
And forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds
Sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down
From lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook
And feel the gentle breeze;

CHORUS:
Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God to Thee;
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God to Thee;
How great Thou art,
How great Thou art!

3. And when I think
That God, His Son not sparing
Sent Him to die,
I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross,
My burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died
To take away my sin.

CHORUS:
Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God to Thee;
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God to Thee;
How great Thou art,
How great Thou art!

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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL WEDNESDAY 22ND JANUARY 2020: LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

MEMORISE:
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

READ: Matthew 5:14-16

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

MESSAGE

“….I am the light of the world.”

In the scripture above (John 8:12), Jesus introduced Himself as the light of the world, then turned around to say that we (Christians) are the light of the world in Matthew 5:14.

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.”

In other words, we share similar characteristics with Jesus Christ. Now, if you the great characteristics that Jesus Christ had while on earth, why are you hiding them.

Light is supposed to shine wherever there is darkness; why do you sometimes go in the midst of darkness and hide your light? Jesus never shied away from shining the light of the gospel on anyone that He saw living in darkness. Darkness can also mean confusion; when people are confused and do not know what steps to take, they are in darkness. When you find yourself amongst people who need direction on what next to do, you should ask God for guidance and relay what He tells you to them. Shine your light to clear darkness. Don’t join them in being worried and confused; if you do, you are hiding your light under a bushel. The fact that you are there should give them confidence that direction will soon come, because they know you are light.

You must note however that light usually goes off when disconnected from its source. The reason many Christians have stopped shining as light in their world it because they have lost their connection to the first Light- Jesus Christ. Once you disconnect the bulb from electricity, it will go off. Even though everyone can see the bulb and hope to get some light from it, they cannot, because it is not connected. If darkness is thriving around you, then you need to check your connection to the source. Do you still pray often? Do you still spend time studying your Bible? Do you still fellowship where the iron other Christians can sharpen yours?

PRAYER POINT:

Father, in every way that I have been disconnected from You, my source, please give me the grace to reconnect, in the mighty name of Jesus.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Genesis 30-31

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 15: IN CHRIST ALONE.

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! – who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe.
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL TUESDAY 21ST JANUARY 2020–CHILDREN OF GOD ARE PEACEMAKERS II.

MEMORISE:
Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another Romans 14:19

READ: Romans 14:17-19

17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.

19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

MESSAGE

when there is a dispute going on around you, there are three lines of action you can take: You can stay out of it, take sides or make peace between the quarreling parties. God expects His children to pick the option of making peace at all times. When you are known as a Christian, people respect and trust your judgment. Hence it would be of great effect if you attempt to make peace between quarreling parties. Your involvement can avert a lot of things like a full-blown fight, a long period of malice or an unresolved disagreement. If getting involved to make peace can have this effect, why be indifferent?

You could even be the one involved in a quarrel. At such times, I implore you to always choose the side of peace. Always look for a way in which both yourself and the other party can settle the matter amicably or peacefully. This may be difficult to do as it may result in you forgoing some benefits so as to let peace reign, but then it is the right thing to do.
Imagine walking by the road and you see me arguing violently with someone. If you know me very well, you are likely to conclude that it is just a look alike, and can’t be me. But if it happens to be me, then you would be greatly disappointed by my behavior. That is how baby Christians and unbelievers look at you too. They believe that as a Christian, you should act like Christ and He is not quarrelsome. Rather, He commanded that we should love our enemies (Luke 6:35). By quarreling, you show the world a wrong example of how a Christian should behave and God forbid that they carry on with that. Many people have decided against becoming saved because of how they saw some so-called Christians conduct themselves. Don’t deter someone else’s salvation. Fighting for your right can never be worth as much as a person’s soul. Paul said in Romans 14:21:

“It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.”

Choose to be a peacemaker today.

KEY POINT:

God wants you to be a peacemaker at all times.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Genesis 27-29

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 MONDAY 20TH JANUARY 2020–CHILDREN OF GOD ARE PEACEMAKERS.

MEMORISE:

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9

READ: Matthew 5:39-48

39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

MESSAGE

A peacemaker is a person who pursues peace at all times. When the fellow is offended, his response to the offender is to ensure that peace reigns. Sometimes, they take all the blame and suffer some consequences, but they are happy at the end of the day because all they are after is peace. Also, when they see other people in a quarrel, they intervene to ensure that they make peace with each other. God loves these people so much; Jesus specifically said that they will be called the children of God. Of course, they will be called the children of God because Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace.

Now, if the peacemaker is a child of God, then whose child is the troublemaker? When you always choose quarrels over peace, who do you resemble? A troublemaker may not know it, but he is not a child of God as he does not exhibit the character of God rather those of the devil. If whenever you see two people quarreling, you begin to say things that would fuel the anger of one or the other and cause the quarrel to become more heated, you are a troublemaker. If you are one who likes to cause quarrels amongst your colleagues, friends or family members, then you are a trouble maker; you need to repent and change your ways.

Many times, we want to make peace, but we don’t want to be seen as a weakling. The reverse is however the truth. It takes strength to control one’s ego, anger and work towards peace. Hence, it is a strong but wise person that will seek peace.

Whenever you’re tempted to fight, remember that unbelievers don’t read the Bible, hence it is we the Christians that model Christ to them. If you claim that the Prince of Peace lives in you and you are the quarrelsome type, many unbelievers will not want that your “Prince of Peace” to live in them. Secondly, making peace with others is one of the prerequisites to making it to heaven on the last day. Hebrews 12:14 says:

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:”

KEY POINT:
Always choose peace.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Genesis 25-26

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 SUNDAY 19TH JANUARY 2020: A PURE HEART.

MEMORISE:

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8

READ: Psalm 24:3-6

3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?

4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

6 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.

MESSAGE

To be pure means to be of only one form, to be completely undiluted. God expects your heart to be pure that nothing aside from Him can be found in it. This is standard for all children of God. Jesus, during His earthly ministry spoke about His purity in John 14:30 thus:

“Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.”
Your heart is the most delicate part of your body. The quality of your spirit is dependent on the content of your heart that is why Jesus said in Matthew 15:11:

“Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.”

And according to Matthew 12:34, it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.

You need to guard your heart with all diligence and keep it pure at all times (Proverbs 4:23). Keep it pure against malice, immoral thoughts, evil scheming and the like. It is what you expose the heart to that determines how it will be. If you keep enjoying worldly songs and movies, your heart would be filled with the culture of the world. If you keep having dirty conversations, your heart would harbor dirty images.

The word of God is the cleanser of the heart. David said in Psalm 119:11: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

The more of God’s word you study and consume, the purer your heart will be. Jesus said in John 17:17:
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”

A sanctified fellow is someone with a pure heart and this is impossible without the word of God. Believe me, if you don’t do regular in-depth Bible study, it will be difficult if not impossible for you to have a pure heart.

REFLECTION:

How often do you perform an in-depth personal Bible Study? Draw up a personal Bible Study plan today if you don’t have one and ask the Holy Spirit to teach and guide you as you commit to it.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Genesis 22-24

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 30: WHEN WE WALK WITH THE LORD.
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 or 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 or 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’ll walk by His side in the way;c fr
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 SATURDAY 18TH JANUARY 2020–BE MERCIFUL.

MEMORISE:

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Matthew 5:7

READ: Matthew 18:23-35

23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.

24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.

25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.

29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:

33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

MESSAGE

According to our Bible reading for today, it is unwise for anyone not to have mercy on those who offend them. The mercy you enjoy from God is enormous (Lamentations 3:22-23), how can you then not show mercy, even if just a little, to those who offend you? Jesus expects you to forgive any and every offence that is committed against you. He clearly demonstrated this in His conversation with Peter in Matthew 18:21-22:

“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”

It is foolish for you not to have mercy on those who offend you because you are only withholding mercy from yourself. In Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus taught His disciples thus:

“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Another side to demonstrating mercy is to show compassion on others. Many people pray endlessly that God should solve their problems, whereas there are people around them whose problems they can solve, but they refuse to help them. God is saying in our memory verse that it is those who show mercy to others that He will be merciful to. Furthermore, Proverbs 21:13 says:

“Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.”

So you see now why it appears God does not answer some people’s prayers.

KEY POINT:

Show mercy if you want to enjoy same.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Genesis 19-21

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 18: MY FAITH LOOKS UP TO THEE.
1. My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary,
Savior divine!
Now hear me while I pray,
Take all my guilt away,
Oh, let me from this day
Be wholly Thine!

2. May Thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart,
My zeal inspire!
As Thou hast died for me,
Oh, may my love to Thee
Pure, warm, and changeless be,
A living fire!

3. While life’s dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread,
Be Thou my guide;
Bid darkness turn to day,
Wipe sorrow’s tears away,
Nor let me ever stray
From Thee aside.

4. When ends life’s transient dream,
When death’s cold, sullen stream
Shall o’er me roll;
Blest Savior, then in love,
Fear and distrust remove;
Oh, bear me safe above,
A ransomed soul!

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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL FRIDAY 17TH JANUARY 2020–HOW HUNGRY ARE YOU?

MEMORISE:

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6

READ: Psalm 42:1-8

1As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

3 My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?

4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.

5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.

7 Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.

8 Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

MESSAGE

A hungry and thirsty fellow is one who is desperate for food and water. Have you ever seen someone who has been stranded on a desert for a whole month? If he sees water anywhere, he would do anything, and I mean anything, to drink it. The same applies to a person who has been deprived of food for many days. In the same vein, God expects us to hunger and thirst for righteousness. He expects us to desperately pursue righteousness. Jesus gave a parable in Matthew 13:44-46 that the kingdom of God is like a man who found treasure in a field and went to sell all that he had so he could buy that field and own the treasure. Psalm 63:1 says:

“O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;”

You should be willing to give up anything just to remain righteous. The revenue is the case these days; people are very quick to sacrifice their righteousness in order to gain some pleasure of this world.

Don’t deceive yourself with contemporary Christianity. If you are desperately hungry to live a holy life, you become easy meat for the devil. You need to be desperate enough to cut off your right hand if that is going to cause you to sin (Matthew 5:30). In other words, if social media is the means through which immoral thought get into your mind, then you must be ready to delete those social media apps from your phone. If you are lusting after your secretary, then you must be ready to let go of such a person. If being a staff in that organization causes you to stain your garment of holiness, then resign! Only the violent can take the kingdom of God and they must take it by force. Don’t be afraid to be asked why you pursue this Jesus so much. Fear of what people may say will make many lose their righteousness and consequently, the kingdom of God. You must hunger and thirst for righteousness at all times.

REFLECTION:

Is there anything or person limiting you from being holy? Let go of such now so you don’t lose the kingdom of God.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Genesis 16-18

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 12: I AM THINE OH LORD.
1. I 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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