OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL
FRIDAY 1 APRIL 2016
28 And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou. 1 Samuel 15:28
Read : Acts 1:15-26
15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)
16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.
21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
Many people do not know that God has alternatives for all His plans. This is why they behave as if God exists at their mercy. Such people cannot be more wrong in their perception of the Almighty God. The truth is that God cannot be held to ransom on any issue or event. This is why He always provides alternatives that are more often better than the original plan. Our memory verse for today confirms this, as we read about how God saw David as a better alternative to the first King of Isreal, Saul. When a child of God becomes swollen-headed and he begins to disobey God in matters that seem very little like tithing and offering, first fruits and would winning, he or she is on the way to being replaced. My prayer for someone using this devotional is that you will not be replaced in the scheme of divine project in Jesus name.
In the Bible reading for today, there is a great revelation of God’s foreknowledge of all things and how this attribute makes Him provide alternatives beforehand. The replacement of Judas Iscariot was predicted by the mouth of King David who was also a prophet in his right. The implication of this revelation is that before Judas Iscariot chose to be a betrayer which in turn disqualified him among the twelve, God had planned an alternative for him! Another lesson we can learn from this as children of God is that whenever a way seems blocked, God has more than a thousand alternative ways to replace the blocked one. The bible says:
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Beloved, learning from the stories of King Saul and Judas Iscariot, we must be very careful about the way we live our lives, so that what happened to them does not repeat itself in our lives. 1 Corinthians 10/6 says “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.”
As I was growing up in my father’s house, I leant to be obedient through the experience of my elder brother with our disciplinarian father. My elder brother was a very strong young man with a good physique, strength and wresting prowess. Only a few young men among his contemporaries could dare challenge him to a fight. However, the day our father disciplined my elder brother and this so called ‘hero’ cried like a baby, I decided never to do anything that would make our father think of punishing me. God has alternatives to any child of His that is not law-abiding. Let us therefore beware of doing things that will make God replace us with someone else.
Father, help me never to do that which will make You replace me in Your Kingdom.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR : 1 Samuel 3-5 and Proverbs 3:13-27
HYMN 2: O JESUS, I HAVE PROMISED.
O Jesus, I have promised,
To serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me,
My Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle
If Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway
If Thou wilt be my Guide.
Oh, let me feel Thee near me;
The world is ever near;
I see the sights that dazzle,
The tempting sounds I hear;
My foes are ever near me,
Around me and within;
But, Jesus, draw Thou nearer,
And shield my soul from sin.
Oh, let me hear Thee speaking,
In accents clear and still,
Above the storms of passion,
The murmurs of self-will;
Oh, speak to reassure me,
To hasten, or control;
Oh, speak, and make me listen,
Thou Guardian of my soul.
O Jesus, Thou hast promised
To all who follow Thee
That where Thou art in glory
There shall Thy servant be;
And Jesus, I have promised
To serve Thee to the end;
Oh, give me grace to follow,
My Master and my Friend.
Oh, let me see Thy footmarks,
And in them plant mine own;
My hope to follow duly
Is in Thy strength alone.
Oh, guide me, call me, draw me,
Uphold me to the end;
And then to rest receive me,
My Savior and my Friend.