OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL – TUESDAY- 05/08/2014 – A VISION PROPELLED LIFE BY PASTOR E.A. ADEBOYE

OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL – TUESDAY- 05/08/2014 – A VISION PROPELLED LIFE BY PASTOR E.A. ADEBOYE

A VISION PROPELLED LIFE

MEMORISE
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isaiah 55:8

READ
1 Timothy 3:1-7

1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

MESSAGE
Paul’s two letters to Timothy and his letter to Titus are known as his Pastoral Epistles because they deal with the life of the Church. At the time they were written, the Church had been in existence for about thirty years and the apostles were passing away. It was therefore necessary to consider the changing leadership of the church and how the church should be organised. So Paul wrote to give church leaders guidance on how to administer the churches for which they were responsible. Today’s passage acquaints us with Christian leadership and the need for them to be positioned for good success. You can enjoy wealth, good health, miracles, signs and wonders when you are guided by a heavenly vision. Vision is the product of effective thinking. It is mentioned in literature that great men think because they are great, and great men are great because they think. An aspect of thinking that differentiates great men and women from mediocre ones is the ability to handle a vision. How important is vision to renowned men and women? It is very critical. Vision can be described as foresight, based on insight with the benefit of hindsight. A man of vision sees what God has for him before its fulfilment. Vision is no doubt one of the most powerful forces available to man on earth today. Vision gives meaning to life. It keeps us alive and conditions our lives. Proverbs 29:18 says,

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

Someone once said: “Action springs out of what we fundamentally desire”. A man with no vision is at best a living corpse. He desires nothing and so achieves nothing. Every great person in history is a personal owner of a vision. A lady was once asked: “What would be worse than being blind?” She answered, “To have sight with no vision.” This quote emphasises the need for vision or the power of imagination to guide one’s life. We need a vision for our business. Personal ownership of a vision is needed for our walk with the Lord Jesus Christ, for our home and for our family. A man or woman of vision achieves good success in his or her endeavours. Are you a man or woman of vision? To actualise your vision, be resolute, be prepared for a change and be prayerful. Note that success has other price tags on it and these price tags read: courage, determination, discipline, risk-taking, perseverance, consistency and doing the right things for the right reasons.

ACTION POINT
When David had a vision, he conquered Goliath. When David lost his vision, he could not conquer his lust. Is your vision intact? Do something about it.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR
Matthew 26:69-28:20

Job 16:1-17

OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL – MONDAY – 04/08/2014 – THE WAYS OF GOD BY PASTOR E.A. ADEBOYE

OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL – MONDAY – 04/08/2014 – THE WAYS OF GOD BY PASTOR E.A. ADEBOYE

THE WAYS OF GOD

MEMORISE
He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
Psalm 103:7

READ
Exodus 33:12-23

12 And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.

13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.

14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

15 And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.

16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.

17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.

18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.

19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:

22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:

23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

MESSAGE
A miracle is a supernatural act of God. I believe in miracles. However, God’s ways are more important than His acts. The acts of God are meant to lead us into appreciating His ways. Every incontrovertible act of God is designed to propel men to seek the ways of God. God moves in mysterious ways. Isaiah 55:8 says,

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.”

The way God reasons is radically different from the way we reason. His foolishness is wiser than the wisest genius on earth. Since God’s thoughts are higher than ours and His ways are superior to ours, it is imperative for us to learn His ways as He reveals them to us.

How do we learn God’s ways? First, we learn His ways through intimate relationship with Him. As you interact with God in prayer and the study of His word on a daily basis, you learn the ways of God. You learn How God relates with His saints, how He answers prayers and corrects mistakes. Secondly, we learn God’s ways by learning to fear Him (Psalm 86:11). We should not misunderstand the fear of God. The fear of God is not tyrannical fear. This is because our God is not a tyrant. Our God is Love (1 John 4:8). Rather, to fear God means to love Him so much that you would neither want to offend nor disobey Him. The best friend a person can have is God. He is also the worst enemy you can have. If you fear God, you will have access to enjoying life in its fullness because in God is true life. The fear of God is attained when you allow your life to be instructed by wisdom (Proverbs 15:33). The fear of God prolongs days (Proverbs 10:27) and is better than great treasure (Proverbs 15:16). It requires understanding (Proverbs 2:5). You can be taught to fear God through the ministry of a teacher (Psalm 34:11). The worst human enemy you can have is someone who does not fear God. Such a person can steal your goods, and destroy you and your children. He or she can even use you for rituals. If a person confesses that he or she does not fear God, that person should be avoided like a plague. God is however constant. His acts are constant and serve as catalysts that propel men to learn His ways. It now depends on you as a recipient of His miracles to either seek His ways or not. God revealed His ways to Moses because Moses was His friend. If you live in perfect obedience to God’s perfect will and you allow your life to glorify Him, there is no way God will not reveal His ways to you.

ACTION POINT
The life of Moses brought praises to God. In what ways has your life brought praises to God?

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR

Matthew 25:31-26:68

OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL – SUNDAY – 02/08/2014 – THE CENTRE OF A WISE FAMILY BY PASTOR E.A. ADEBOYE

OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL – SUNDAY – 02/08/2014 – THE CENTRE OF A WISE FAMILY BY PASTOR E.A. ADEBOYE

THE CENTRE OF A WISE FAMILY

MEMORISE
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
1 Peter 3:8

READ
1 Corinthians 7:1-7

1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.

7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

MESSAGE
A Christian home is a training ground where virtues are developed. It is a place of safety and security. It is a centre for creativity and the transmission of values such as the importance of people, the idea of love, as well as moral and spiritual values. For the survival of Christianity and the betterment of society, parents should employ godly wisdom in the number of children they give birth to. In addition, money, time and energy must be invested in training children according to the perfect will of God. Children are gifts from God as stated in Psalm 127:3:

“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”

Children should be trained to love God, especially from infancy to childhood. A Christian family will achieve good success when there is genuine repentance and all members avail themselves of the grace of God by spending quality time together in prayer and in the study of the word of God. The family altar is the centre of a wise family, uniting the home and building up faith (Psalm 133:1-3). It also manifests the presence of God (Matthew 18:18-20). It shows the relevance and need for God each day. It gives members of the family the opportunity for self-examination (2 Corinthians 13:5). It empowers members to overcome problems within the family and makes the home a place where the Name of the Lord is honoured. Do you have a family altar at home? Note that the family that prays together stays together. You can organise the family altar by first and foremost preparing your mind to learn from God (Ezra 7:10). After this you should gather your family together. It is the responsibility of parents, especially fathers, to gather members of their families together and share the word of God with them. A good family altar should start with a session of worship and praises. This should either be preceded or followed by a short prayer. The crux of the family altar is the word of God. All members of the family should study the word of God together. This is better done with the assistance of a devotional aid. It is important that we study the word of God together because the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:21). The Bible is also the only means of knowing how to be reconciled to God. From it, we get valuable information on what to do after you have made a start in the Christian life. It is through the Bible alone that we can know what lies ahead, what the world is coming to and what happens after death. The Holy Scripture is available to make you wise for salvation and produce the life of God within you. How strong is your family altar?

ACTION POINT
How strong is your family altar? Do something positive about it today.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR
Matthew 21:28-23:36

Job 14:18-15:6

OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL – SATURDAY – 02/08/2014 – A LOVING & PERMANENT GUEST BY PASTOR E.A. ADEBOYE

OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL – SATURDAY – 02/08/2014 – A LOVING & PERMANENT GUEST BY PASTOR E.A. ADEBOYE

A LOVING & PERMANENT GUEST

MEMORISE
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Matthew 6:26

READ
John 7:38-39

38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

MESSAGE
Based on the fact that the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Jesus after His baptism (Luke 3:22), the dove is used as an emblem of the Holy Spirit. A study of some characteristics of the dove will therefore give us insight on the Person of the Holy Spirit. The most striking characteristic of the dove is that it is one of the cleanest birds on Earth. God the Holy Spirit is pre-eminently holy. Holiness is so essential to His nature that His name consists of the word “Holy”. Whenever the Holy Spirit moves, He convicts the heart of men of sin, of righteousness and of judgement (John 16:8). He is a clean Spirit, and to be a friend of His, you have to move close to Him in holiness.

Another characteristic of the dove is that it is gentle in manner (Matthew 10:16). Why is the dove gentle in manner? In my research into the nature and habits of the dove, I came across this truth: “One reason for the gentleness of the dove is because the bird has no gall. Gall is considered by naturalists of old as the source and fountain of contention, the bitterness of the gall being supposed to infuse itself into the spirit.” There is no bitterness in the Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Holy Spirit, among other things, is gentleness (Galatians 5:23). To come close to the Holy Spirit is to come close to meekness and gentleness. Someone once said, “Nothing is as strong as gentleness and no one is gentler than the Holy Spirit”. The gentleness of the Holy Spirit must not be seen from the perspective of weakness because in His gentleness lies His strength, and in His strength lies victory, deliverance, prosperity, healing, salvation, promotion, protection and all that you need now and in future. Another characteristic of the dove is that it is swift of wing. The main strength of a dove is its wings. Upheld by its wings, a dove can fly for many days so that other birds pursuing it are unable to overtake it. The Holy Spirit is very swift in His dealings and He is never at a loss of what to do. As a swift and prompt Spirit, God the Holy Spirit attends to the needs of the people of God. He prays with us while we pray, He guides us in our choice of a life partner and He helps us in our business transactions. The best business is one whose senior partner is God the Holy Spirit. Invite Him into your business. He assists us in our inadequacies, comforts us in our sorrows and cheers us in our despondency. He guides us in our difficulties and He quickens us when our faith is weak. Cast your burdens upon the Holy Spirit. Let Him take over your burdens, for He cares for you.

PRAYER POINT
Lord delight in me. Bless me. Fix your gaze upon me and transform my life for better today.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR
Matthew 21:28-23:36

Job 14:18-15:6

OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL -FRIDAY – 01/08/2014 – ARE YOU A HYPOCRITE? BY PASTOR E.A. ADEBOYE

OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL -FRIDAY – 01/08/2014 – ARE YOU A HYPOCRITE? BY PASTOR E.A. ADEBOYE

ARE YOU A HYPOCRITE?

MEMORISE
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Matthew 6:5

READ
Mark 7:1-6

1 Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.

2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.

3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.

4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.

5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?

6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

MESSAGE
Hypocrisy is a type of behaviour in which a person pretends to have moral standards or opinions, but does not actually live by them. Hypocrisy is a decadence condemned by the church and society. Paradoxically, its manifestation is commonplace in both the church and the society. The Bible warns against and condemns hypocrisy in the strongest terms. Luke 11:44 says,

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.”

Hypocrisy is manifested in many ways. First, it is manifested in giving (Matthew 6:1-4). Giving is good and scriptural. A Christian is expected to give cheerfully, abundantly, sacrificially and lovingly. We should give our time, money, talents and energy for the expansion of the kingdom of God and the furtherance of His work on earth. However, when giving, a hypocrite is pretentious. He either gives sparingly while giving the impression of abundant giving, or refuses to give while at the same time passing off as the best giver. A hypocrite wants every act of his giving to be acknowledged in public. He engages in charitable work simply for self-aggrandizement. Are you a hypocrite? How do you give? What motives are behind your acts of charity?

A second area in which hypocrisy finds expression is in prayer. Prayer is an obligation, and God answers prayers. He enjoins us to ask and instructed us to pray without ceasing. The hypocrite prays. He however has a wrong motive for praying. He cannot be said to be praying to God. A hypocrite prays to be seen of men (Matthew 6:5). Hypocrites do not engage in secret prayers; they will only pray where men can see and acknowledge them as prayerful persons. What is the motive behind your prayers? When do you pray? Why do you pray? How do you pray? Do you limit your prayers to places where men can see or hear you pray? Do you pray to be acknowledged by men as a prayer warrior? A third area in which hypocrisy finds expression is in fasting. Fasting is scriptural. Christians should however not be hypocritical in fasting (Matthew 6:16). A hypocrite fasts in order to be seen by men. He announces his fast and does things to make men acknowledge the fast. This is unscriptural. Whenever you fast, let it be between you and God. Finally a hypocrite is fraudulent. He is dubious, exploitative and through pretexts appears to be religious. Are you a hypocrite?

ACTION POINT
If you notice any act of hypocrisy in your life, repent and turn a new leaf.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR
Matthew 19:1-21:27

Job 14:7-17

OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL -THURSDAY – 31/07/2014 – A FRIEND IN JESUS BY PASTOR E.A. ADEBOYE

OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL -THURSDAY – 31/07/2014 – A FRIEND IN JESUS BY PASTOR E.A. ADEBOYE

A FRIEND IN JESUS

MEMORISE
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
John 15:14

READ
1 Samuel 20:16-17

16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Let the LORD even require it at the hand of David’s enemies.

17 And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul.

MESSAGE
A friend is someone who you share your heart with and who you can trust. A friend is also a person you like a lot. There are different categories of friends. There is a friend in need who is a friend indeed. This is a friend who helps you when you really need help. Ideally, friendship is reciprocal and the Bible enjoins those who have friends to reciprocate with a friendly attitude. Proverbs 18:24 says:

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

Jonathan was a friend indeed to David. He could perceive that David would succeed his father – Saul as king. Although this was a threat to his own personal ambition of becoming the king of Israel, nevertheless he loved David as his own soul. Are you a friend indeed? There are many so called friends who will always scheme to frustrate and destroy the destinies of others. Such people cannot be described as friends indeed. With such friends, who needs enemies? There are people who say they are your friends but will treat you badly. One of such persons is Judas Iscariot the betrayer. In Matthew 26:14-16, Judas Iscariot sold out the Lord Jesus Christ for thirty pieces of silver. What type of friend are you, Jonathan or Judas Iscariot?

Friends, no matter how sincere, can change. There have been cases of people who started as friends indeed but later became betrayers. There are also those who started as betrayers but later became friends indeed. The greatest issue is not who you are presently but who you will eventually turn out to be. Will you turn out to be a friend indeed or a betrayer? There are also situations where friends who are friends indeed disappoint. This might not be because such people are betrayers but because they are human. As human beings, we have our limitations, and there is an extent to which the most sincere of men can help. Who then is the best friend indeed? Jesus! He is the only one who will never disappoint. He knows the worst about you yet He loves you all the same. He is the best friend indeed. Since friendship should be reciprocal, who are the friends of Jesus? The Lord explains this in John 15:14, He said his friends are the ones that obey His commandments. Have you been doing whatever Christ commands? Such commandments include the injunction to live holy. Are you living holy? Do you follow peace with your fellow men? Everyone who claims to be a friend of Jesus should pay their tithes and offerings and also witness for Him. Are you His friend indeed?

KEY POINT
The sincerity of our friendship with Christ hinges on obedience to His commandments.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR
Matthew 16:5-18:35;

Job 13:17-14:6

OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL -WEDNESDAY – 30/07/2014 – SUCCESSFUL THROUGH MEDITATION BY PASTOR E.A. ADEBOYE

OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL -WEDNESDAY – 30/07/2014 – SUCCESSFUL THROUGH MEDITATION BY PASTOR E.A. ADEBOYE

SUCCESSFUL THROUGH MEDITATION

MEMORISE
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Joshua 1:8

READ
Psalm 1:1-6

1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

MESSAGE
One of the inevitable benefits of righteousness is the ability to generate good success. Success is self-inviting and attractive. It has a compelling force around it that draws people to its possessor. Everyone desires good success. We all are being drawn by the compelling force of success consciously or unconsciously. There are many ways of describing success. Success describes the process of setting out to achieve an outcome and actualising this outcome as anticipated. Someone observed that there are at least two indispensable requirements of good success. These are creativity and innovation. Creativity describes thinking up new ideas and concepts while innovation describes doing new things, products and processes. The relationship between creativity and innovation generates success.

The above mentioned qualities of good success are inseparable and tally with scriptures. The Bible reveals that the alignment of creativity and innovation to produce good success is made possible by proper planning, creating a vision, creating a viable mission, continued learning, being prayerful and diligent, building a team, delegating and encouraging intuitive thinking, risk taking, effective listening, prompt obedience to the word of God, practicing coherent communication, accepting responsibility, promoting and developing products and services, new designs and new outcomes through patience. It can be deduced from the foregoing that proper meditation on the word of God will no doubt result in good success.

Are you born-again? Are you a child of God? You are designated for success. Outstanding success is of God. It is your covenant right, it is your redemptive right and it is your kingdom right. Success is your heritage in Christ while failure is an abuse of redemption. Be aware of the fact that mediocrity is not righteousness. No ordinary son is a pride of his father. A father only rejoices over his outstanding children, not those that are failures. If God is your Father, then you are designated for good success. Good success will however come when we meditate on the word of God and promptly do whatever it says (James 1:22).

PRAYER POINT
Father, grant me the grace to always meditate on your Word and to practice whatever it says.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR
Matthew 13:44-16:4;

Job 13:1-16