Category: Open Heavens

FRIDAY 6TH JULY 2018

OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL

DATE: FRIDAY 6TH JULY 2018

THEME: FUNCTIONING AS LIGHT

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

Light is the manifestation of God’s creative word. Having been spoken into existence on the first day of creation, light came into being even before the sun and the moon, which were created on the fourth day. Light was separated from darkness and declared by God to be good (Genesis 1:4 & 18). Light and darkness are contrasted in several verses of the Bible, and in all cases, light is affirmed as superseding darkness. Ecclesiastes 2:13 equates wisdom with light and foolishness with darkness. Light is declared to be the path of righteousness, while darkness is the path of those who rebel against God (Proverbs 4:18, Job 18:5). I pray that the light of God will disperse every form of darkness in your life today in the mighty Name of Jesus.

At the beginning of creation, the world was filled with gross darkness. This prompted to create light as a solution to the problem of darkness, which is why He is referred to as the Father of lights (James 1:17). Jesus also declared Himself as the light of the world (John 8:12). As light, Christ’s role throughout His earthly ministry was to destroy the darkness of this world and enable humanity become children of light through faith (John 12:46, John 12:36). He succeeded in His assignment and raised for Himself a people who are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). As His chosen people, our light must shine before all men to provide guidance and leadership in a world full of sin, confusion, hatred, danger and all kinds of wickedness. Jesus lived an exemplary life as the light of the world, and we also must follow in His footsteps. Jesus illuminated the world by preaching the good news of the gospel with love and compassion. Through His own life, He showed us how to live in holiness and righteousness in a world full of sin. He brought joy to the hearts of men by healing the sick, delivering the oppressed and raising the dead. He was a father to the fatherless, husband to the widow and hope to the hopeless. Functioning as light therefore signifies replicating everything that He did while He was here on earth (1 John 2:6). We are to preach the good news of the gospel to all nations and ensure that lost souls are saved and properly made disciples of Christ. Holiness and righteousness should be our watchword, and truth should be found in us always. We must be agents of peace and progress in our communities as we show good neighbourliness. Through us, the sick should receive healing and the captives should be set free. We must provide succour to the fatherless, widows and the helpless in our society. We must speak out against sin, violence and wickedness in order to turn sinners to saints. The world must become a better place because of our presence and activities as light.

PRAYER POINT:
Father, please help me to function as light in a world full of darkness in Jesus’ Name.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
2 Chronicles 5-6, Acts 22:30-23:11

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 16: 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 armour,
And watching unto prayer,
Where duty calls, or danger,
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.

THURSDAY 5TH JULY 2018

OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL

DATE: THURSDAY 5TH JULY 2018

THEME: WEARY IN WELL-DOING?

MEMORISE:
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9

READ: 1 Kings 19:9-18

9 And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

10 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:

12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?

14 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

15 And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria:

16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room.

17 And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay.

18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.

MESSAGE

If good works always yield a good reward, why is the Holy Spirit encouraging us in today’s memory verse not be weary of doing good, and what does it really mean to do good? We will be reflecting on these questions today. Good works can be described as those activities that you are specially endowed by God to do for the betterment of others in obedience to His word. Several factors may discourage or hinder a child of God from continuing to do the good works that he or she is empowered to do. Such factors may arise from the fact that good works sometimes attract envy, opposition or persecution from others. Despite the huge investment of time and resources, good works may be misunderstood, may go unappreciated or even be misinterpreted as eye service. In John 3:19, the Lord Jesus Christ revealed the reason why good works may be antagonised by some, saying:

“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”

Just as darkness despises the revealing power of light, so do evil people detest the testimony of good works, because it exposes their inadequacies. For this reason, they usually respond to good works with hatred and persecution. Consequently, the Bible admonishes us to endure in the face of opposition or persecution of our good works, and ensure that we continue in well doing.

Are you weary from the opposition you have faced in spite of your good works? You can learn one or two lessons from Elijah. The Lord performed several great exploits and good works through Elijah, including great miracles of healing, provision and raising of the dead. The Lord also used him to singlehandedly destroy 400 prophets of Baal in a contest, ignite the fire of revival in the hearts of men and call down rain after three years of drought (1 Kings 17 & 18). However, soon after accomplishing these exploits, Elijah experienced the worst discouragement of his life when Jezebel threatened to kill him (1 Kings 19:1-4). He was so discouraged that it took God’s assurance and encouragement for him to continue his life’s journey. Similar attacks and discouragement can come against us from within the Church. Apostle Paul himself experienced this (2 Corinthians 7:5, 2 Timothy 3:10-11). Since persecution and discouragement can come from anywhere, endurance is a necessary component of the Christian life. I therefore pray that no matter what you are passing through right now, the Almighty God will support, encourage and see you through those challenges in Jesus’ Name. You need strength and courage to endure hardness as a good soldier of Christ. I pray that God will grant you these in Jesus’ Name.

PRAYER POINT:
Father, please give me the grace to faithfully carry my cross as I follow after Your Son in Jesus’ Name.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
2 Chronicles 1-4, Acts 22:12-29

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 10: MY FAITH LOOKS UP TO THEE

1. My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary,
Saviour 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 Saviour, then in love,
Fear and distrust remove;
Oh, bear me safe above,
A ransomed soul!

WEDNESDAY 4TH JULY 2018

OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL

DATE: WEDNESDAY 4TH JULY 2018

THEME: THE IRONY OF COMFORT!

MEMORISE:
But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. 1 Timothy 5:6

READ: 2 Samuel 11:1-5

1 And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.

2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.

3 And David sent and inquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?

4 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.

5 And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.

MESSAGE

While God is not against His people enjoying a comfortable life, He is against us living for pleasure. There is a life of comfort and pleasure that can ultimately lead to spiritual death. After God gave David rest from the life of wandering in the wilderness as a shepherd, fugitive, mercenary and warrior king, he started living in pleasure, so much so that he no longer went to battle. In the course of his life of leisure, pleasure and comfort, he fell into sin that would have destroyed his destiny, but for the mercies of God. He experienced spiritual death and had to cry to God for restoration (Psalm 51). Spiritual death is a condition of alienation from God because of sin. It is the absence of spiritual life, which means physically alive without having a relationship with God. Ultimately, it leads to permanent separation from God. By nature, all of mankind is dead spiritually. However, whosoever accepts Jesus as Lord and Saviour becomes genuinely born again and experiences transformative change. Such a person is liberated from spiritual death and is made alive by the Holy Spirit.

After experiencing new life in Christ, we are encouraged to take pleasure in everything God has created, but never to allow pleasure in His creation to overshadow pleasure in the Creator Himself. We live in times when the desire to live a pleasurable life is most paramount on people’s mind. We must not allow ourselves to become overtaken by the wanton desire for pleasure we see all around us. Remember that in the last days, men will become lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:4). In these perilous times, people are craving to satisfy the lust of the flesh through food, drinks, stimulants and sexual gratification. They also strive to satisfy the lust of the eyes through fashion, materialism and inordinate acquisition of the beautiful things of this life. Lastly, they live to satisfy the pride of life through the accumulation of titles, recognition, fame and other achievements. Children of God must not be caught in the snare of the devil. With respect to the pleasure of this world, the Spirit of God recommends restraint and discipline to every child of God. In 1 Corinthians 7:31, He says:

“And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.”

God’s people must have self-control, be generous and have consideration for others. The Bible insists that anyone who places priority on pleasure or invests much time and resources into a pleasure-seeking lifestyle is spiritually dead, even though alive physically. There are so many of such people in the Church of God today (Revelation 3:1)! I pray that God will help such people to recognise their state and move them to cry to Him for restoration.

PRAYER POINT:
Father, help me to overcome every craving in me that will lead to spiritual death in Jesus’ Name.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
1 Chronicles 28-29, Acts 21:37-22:11

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 15: NEARER 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!
Nearer, my God to Thee!
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!
Nearer, my God to Thee!
Nearer to Thee!

3. There let the way appear
Steps unto heaven;
All that Thou send’st to me
In mercy given:
Angels to beckon me
Nearer, my God, to Thee!
Nearer, my God to Thee!
Nearer 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!
Nearer, my God to Thee!
Nearer to Thee!

TUESDAY 3RD JULY 2018

OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL
DATE: TUESDAY 3RD JULY 2018
THEME: GUILTY OF BEING RIGHTEOUS!

MEMORISE:
“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” Matthew 5:11

READ: Daniel 6:3-10
3. Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because An Excellent Spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.
4. Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.
5. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning The Law of His God.
6. Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever.
7. All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.
8. Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.
9. Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.
10. Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

MESSAGE
A. Persecution is the harassment and suffering that people and institutions inflict upon others for being different their faith, world view, culture or race, with the intention to intimidate, silence, denounce, convert or even kill them. 
1. The story of man outside the Garden of Eden begins with the persecution of The Righteous by the unrighteous in Genesis 4:3-8. 
2. Abel was killed by Cain simply because God respected Abel’s offering and considered him to be righteous.
3. Hebrews 11:14 “For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.
4. Lot’s experience, as narrated in 2 Peter 2:7-8, illustrates the suffering involved in refusing to conform to popularity culture. 
5. 2 Peter 2:7-8 “and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)—“
6. Daniel was persecuted because he disregarded the king’s decree by praying to the God of heaven. 
7. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were persecuted because they refuse to worship the image of the king (Daniel 3). 
8. Psalm 119:84-87 speaks of the cry of the righteous one who was being persecuted for upholding God’s word. 
9. Various prophets of God in the Bible also suffered persecution because they tried to live out the will of God in adverse circumstances. 
10. Jesus Himself noted in Luke 11:50-51 that the persecution of God’s people began from the foundation of the world and would continue throughout history.

B. “Remember The Word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you…” John 15:20
1. Based on These Words of Our Lord, persecution is a hard part of life to be faced bravely, and a hallmark of Genuine Children of God. 
2. Are your Christian Virtues causing you problems with your friends, colleagues, neighbours, family members or boss? 
3. Have you been tagged antisocial because of your modest way of dressing, attitude to the opposite sex, refusal to consume alcohol or other stimulants, and rejection of a worldly lifestyle? 
4. Have you been told that you may never make it becomes you have refused to participate in illegal and fraudulent business practices? 
5. Have you been told as a woman that you may never get a man to marry you unless you wear skimpy dresses and make up excessively? 
6. Are you under any pressure to join a cult or swear allegiance to someone or something in order to make it in life? 
7. Are you under any attack because of your constant praises to God, Bible study or witnessing about Jesus? 
8. Do not yield to any of these threats or believe their lies.
9. Rejoice because The Lord has pronounced His Blessings on everyone who endures persecution to the very end.
10. Matthew 5:10-12 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is The Kingdom of Heaven.
11. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is Your Reward in Heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
12. The Blessings of The Lord will be permanent in your life In Jesus’ Name. 🙏Amen!

PRAYER POINT:
Father, Please strengthen my resolve to endure persecution to the very end In Jesus’ Name. 🙏Amen!

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
1 Chronicles 26-27, Acts 21:17-36

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN: I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS

1. I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.

2. The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
No turning back, no turning back.

3. Though none go with me, I still will follow;
Though none go with me, I still will follow;
Though none go with me, I still will follow
No turning back, no turning back.

4. My cross I’ll carry, till I see Jesus;
My cross I’ll carry, till I see Jesus;
My cross I’ll carry, till I see Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.

5. Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
No turning back, no turning back.