OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL
FRIDAY 8 APRIL 2016
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. 1st Corinthians 11:1
Read: Hebrews 6:9-15
9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,
14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.
15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
There are certain spiritual pacesetters in the Church who when a conscientious Christian takes time to emulate, heaven would be his limit. It is unfortunate, however, that these spiritual pace setters are very few nowadays unlike in the days of old when an apostle wrote:
“And ye become followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost. So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.”
1st Thessalonians 1:6-7
What were the outstanding Christian living standards that the early disciples lived by? Some could be deduced in the above quoted scripture: Firstly, they received the Word with joy despite the fact that it was hard. Today, Christianity has become a ‘bread and butter’ affair. Any New Testament injunction that brings about a slight affliction is thrown away as it comes from the pulpit. This has made many post-modern preachers not to bother about preaching the hard truth any more. They see it as an exercise in futility, so you hear them say, “don’t preach such things; they won’t accept that from you!” At the beginning of this apostasy, it was the modern day Christians who picked and chose what they would accept, while they threw the rest back at the preacher. These days, it is the preachers who ‘carefully’ select the message that will be ‘offensive’ to their congregation. These are no spiritual pace setters. I will like to warn a preacher using this devotional with the Words of the Lord in Ezekiel 33:7-8
“So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I required at thine hand.”
Apart from warning the evil-doers and sinners against wickedness by word of mouth, a spiritual pace setter must practice what he preaches. A Christian, and particularly a preacher, must live as a light in this world. The Bible says: “…of all that Jesus began both to do and teach” (Acts 1:1). This exactly was the pattern of life of the early apostles; the reason they were able to admonish brethren to be followers of them as they were of Christ. In transparent faithfulness, Christians should set the pace for the unbelievers. In godliness, believers in Christ must be spiritual pacesetters and perfect examples of their generation. Jesus Christ said:
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Father, please make me a spiritual pacesetter so that millions may come to Your Kingdom through me.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: 1 Samuel 18:17-20:42 and Proverbs 6:28-7:9
HYMN 14: ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS
1. Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
Forward into battle, see his banners go!
Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.
2. At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee;
On then, Christian soldiers, on to victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.
3. Like a mighty army moves the church of God;
Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.
We are not divided, all one body we,
One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.
4. Crowns and thrones may perish, Kingdoms rise and wane,
But the church of Jesus constant will remain.
Gates of hell can never ‘gainst that church prevail;
We have Christ’s own promise, and that cannot fail.
5. Onward then, ye people, join our happy throng,
Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song.
Glory, laud, and honor unto Christ the King,
This through countless ages men and angels sing.