Open Heavens Daily Devotional – January 8th 2018

OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL

DATE: MONDAY 8TH JANUARY 2018

THEME: PREACH THE WORD

MEMORISE:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Matthew 28:19

READ: 2 Timothy 4:1-5

1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the D€ad at his appearing and his kingdom;

2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

MESSAGE

You will observe that parents often pass across their most important instructions to their children at the time they about to leave the world. In like-manner, our Lord Jesus Christ, when He was about to leave this world, gave us the instructions contained in our memory verse today. The Body of Christ refers to this set of instructions as The Great Commission. Due to the place of this mandate in the heart of God, I always encourage my spiritual children to be guilty of the error of neglecting to act upon it. Not only must we do the work of The Great Commission, we must also do it right. We must be like a certain torch bearer at a railway crossing, whose responsibility was to warn people from crossing the rail lines whenever a train was approaching. He indeed waived the torch at the sight of an approaching train, but alas, the torch had no light in it. You can be sure the result of such error of omission would be catastrophic. It is terrible to not engage in evangelism, but it is much kore terrible to engage in it as an empty routine. On the other hand, it is life-giving when we engage in it with all due diligence.

In 2 Timothy 4:2, the Holy Spirit gave us a template for what the mode of our evangelism and content of our message should be:

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”

From this scripture, we understand that the gospel should be preached when it is convenient (in season), and also when it sounds offensive to the society we live in (out of season). We also understand from this scripture that our gospel message should contain reproof, rebuke, exhortation and doctrine. Many preachers today chose not to dabble into doctrinal issues because they would not want to be caught in controversies. You hear them saying, “I am sent to preach prosperity or deliverance and not doctrine!” One wonders whether they preaching the same message given by the Holy Spirit to the early disciples, which put Stephen and James to death. Are they preaching the same gospel that landed and Paul and Silas in the midst of controversies and ultimately in jail? Should we, because of the fear of controversies, imprisonment or even death, fail to preach the word as we ought to? God forbid (Revelation 2:10)! I encourage you, if you have encountered the saving grace of Jesus Christ, to rise up for the salvation of others, in season and out of season, by preaching the unadulterated word of God to them.

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ACTION POINT:
Organise a line of action on evangelism in your local assembly and ensure that the undiluted word of God is preached regularly through it.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Genesis 19-20 and Revelation 7

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 7: WONDERFUL STORY OF LOVE

  1. Wonderful story of love;
    Tell it to me again;
    Wonderful story of love;
    Wake the immortal strain!
    Angels with rapture announce it,
    Shepherds with wonder receive it;
    Sinner, oh, won’t you believe it?
    Wonderful story of love.

Chorus:
Wonderful! Wonderful!
Wonderful, wonderful story of love.

  1. Wonderful story of love;
    Though you are far away;
    Wonderful story of love;
    Still He doth call today;
    Calling from Calvary’s mountain,
    Down from the crystal-bright fountain,
    E’en from the dawn of creation,
    Wonderful story of love.
  2. Wonderful story of love;
    Jesus provides a rest;
    Wonderful story of love;
    For all the pure and blest,
    Rest in those mansions above us,
    With those who’ve gone on before us,
    Singing the rapturous chorus,
    Wonderful story of love.

OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL

DATE: MONDAY 25TH DECEMBER 2017

THEME: WHO DO YOU SEEK?

MEMORISE:
And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. Matthew 28:5

READ: Matthew 2:1-11

2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

2:3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

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2:4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

2:5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

2:6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

2:7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

2:8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

2:9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

MESSAGE:

What you focus on will seriously affect your ability to achieve your destiny, realise your goals and glorify God. Many children of God were focused on Jesus Christ before they became exposed to luxurious cars, mansion and exotic lifestyles, but after the Lord prospered them, they began to ask the Lord questions as to why they should live their lives in accordance with His principles, which got them to where they are in the first place. While prosperity is good, it is only beneficial for as long as it is balanced with a lifestyle of godliness. Prosperity that does not have Christ at its center is vain and only a passing shadow. A beautiful mansion without Jesus is Hell, while a hut with Jesus in it is heaven on earth.

In todays’ Bible reading, we are told that some wise men came to seek Jesus. According to Bible scholars, these men must have travelled for at least two years before they got to their destination. They did not arrive immediately Jesus was born, as it is popularly depicted. From Herod’s enquiries on what time they first saw the guiding star, he could calculate that Jesus could be up to two years old when the wise men arrived. This was why in an attempt to kill the child, he decreed that children who were two years old and younger be killed (Matthew 2:16). When the wise men eventually arrived at the place where Jesus was, they worshipped Him and gave Him gifts. Worship is incomplete without an offering. Proverbs 13:20 says,

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“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”

If you want to be wise like the wise men, you will back your worship up with a good offering. Come before His presence with joy and singing; bring Him gifts and worship Him, and you will be glad you did. Why? Everyone who ever saw Jesus and worshiped Him benefitted from it. The wise men did not travel for two years in vain. After they saw the young Jesus and offered Him gifts, their deed was immortalized. For over 2000 years, their story is still being told around the world wherever the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached. Who or what would you really love to see? I want to see Jesus. After working with God for several years, Moses still asked God to show him His glory (Exodus 33:17-23). I often wondered why, before I got the revelation. Job equally had the rare privilege of seeing God (Job 42:1-6). If you search for Him this Christmas season, you will surely find Him. Are you focused on the reason for the season or lost in the vanity that the world seeks?

KEY POINT:
The wise men diligently sought for Jesus and they found Him. If you also seek Him diligently, you will surely be rewarded.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
Proverbs 24-27
Zachariah 12:10-13:6

AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

HYMN 2: WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS

  1. What a friend we have in Jesus,
    All our sins and griefs to bear!
    What a privilege to carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
    Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
    Oh, what needless pain we bear,
    All because we do not carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
  2. Have we trials and temptations?
    Is there trouble anywhere?
    We should never be discouraged—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Can we find a friend so faithful,
    Who will all our sorrows share?
    Jesus knows our every weakness;
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
  3. Are we weak and heavy-laden,
    Cumbered with a load of care?
    Precious Savior, still our refuge—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
    Take it to the Lord in prayer!
    In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
    Thou wilt find a solace there.

 

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