Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Nigeria's Election 2015 #NigeriaDecides

The election process has been really wonderful, Nigerians have surprised plus stunned the world by making the election process peaceful.The suspense of having to wait for results in batches has been pretty interesting. It was like was the world cup with so much anticipation of who is going to win, you know that feeling right.
At a point I told my sibling to get me the system so that I could use excel for compute the result. Believe me the atmosphere was and has been really tensed up.
But one thing is sure that whoever wins...#Godwins
The interesting part of the election process are the graphics/edited pictures I received from friends. I will upload just a few, you are going to laugh your heart out...You probably might have seen some. The change we want is here!!!
Happy viewing...















 See moooore pictures after the cut:

OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL (TUESDAY 31 MARCH 2015)

Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
Tuesday March 31

PROMPT OBEDIENCE

Memorise:
And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
Matthew 8:21-22

Read:
1 Samuel 15:22-23
22  And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.   
23  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.


Message
In the service of God, sacrifice is good. God expects all His children to present their bodies as a living sacrifice to Him. He also expects our sacrifice to be holy and acceptable (Romans 12:1). However, He makes it clear that He prefers obedience to sacrifice. Jeremiah 7:23 says,
 "But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you."

Obedience is the act of doing what one is told to do. In the spiritual sense, obedience is total submission to the written and spoken word of God. It is an express but conditional commandment of God. In Exodus 19:5, God instructed the Israelites to obey His voice:
 "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:"
One distinguishing characteristic of those who are great in the things of God is prompt obedience. The Bible contains so many stories of men and women who became great for God as a result of their obedience to His word. A classical example of a person whose lifestyle was defined by prompt obedience was Abraham. Other heroes of obedience include Joseph, Joshua, Ruth, David, Elijah, Elisha and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

Obedience entails learning (Hebrews 5:8). It involves God taking you to His own school of theology. Here you are stripped of all knowledge and pomposity in order to obey God in simple holiness and truth. Obedience requires sincerity, genuineness and love. True obedience comes from a heart of love. It is real and not mere eye service. Obedience requires boldness. It takes boldness for a child of God to obey Him in this world of perversion and outright corruption. It takes moral courage to live holy and move against the tide of sin. Don't be a moral coward. Be bold enough to say "no" to all acts of unrighteousness. Speak out against sin anywhere you find yourself. 
A true Christian is one who is neither ashamed of the gospel nor a shame to the gospel. You can overcome the fear of man through reliance on the power of the Holy Spirit. Obedience requires humility. It takes the grace of God to obey God all the way to the end. Are you facing persecution because of your obedience to Christ? Don't give up! Don't compromise your stand. Don't allow yourself to be distracted from the path of obedience. Obedience must not be done haphazardly. Disobedience is rebellion, which is likened to witchcraft (1Samuel 15:23).

Action Point:
Obey God, obey those who share the truth with you, obey your leader and obey your body when it needs rest.

Bible in a year: Nahum 1-3 & Matthew 12:9-32... Read after the cut:

Monday, March 30, 2015

OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL (MONDAY 30 MARCH 2015)

Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
Monday March 30

GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Memorise:
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
1 Corinthians 2:9

Read: John 4:24-34
24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.   
25  The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.   
26  Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.   
27  And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?    
28  The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,    
29  Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?    
30  Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.    
31  In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.   
32  But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.   
33  Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?   
34  Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. 


Message
The Scripture reading of today shows us a marked difference between the priorities of our Lord Jesus Christ and that of His disciples at a point in time. Many of us, like the disciples, are often engrossed with how to meet our physical, psychological and emotional needs. We are immersed in things which are ephemeral in nature. These include what to eat, what to drink, where to live, how to be clothed, how to take care of our immediate and distant families, how to stay healthy, how to be wealthy and how to be famous. Jesus assured His disciples that the Father knew their needs and would provide for them (Matthew 6:31-32). Moreover, He stressed what should be the topmost priority of all heaven-bound Christians. Matthew 6:33 says,
 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

Passion for the things of God should be your topmost priority! It is often said that passionate people make the greatest contributions to society. Be passionate about the things of God. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and the necessities of daily life will be provided. Stop chasing shadows. Stop putting the cart before the horse. It is time to correctly prioritise your life and passions. 

God is called the God of glory in Acts 7:2. There are therefore great expectations for those who serve the God of glory in holiness and truth. There is a blessing of divine favour for all who consecrate themselves to serving God in spirit and truth. It should be noted that a day of divine favour is better than many years of labour. The blessing of divine favour is superior to what people ordinarily enjoy. I pray that you will enjoy the blessing of divine favour with effect from today in Jesus' Name. Those who consecrate themselves to serving God in spirit and truth also receive divine prosperity (Psalm 1:1-3). God is the only one who blesses without adding sorrows to it. Are you experiencing sorrow in any area of your life? I pray that God will turn that sorrow to joy in Jesus' Name. 

There is fruitfulness for all who consecrate themselves to serving God in spirit and truth (Psalm 92:12-14). They also have an assurance of victory over all known and unknown enemies (Psalm 132:18). God will reveal the secrets of all your enemies to you. He will stand by you and fight all your battles for you. He will render your enemies irrelevant and grant you victory over them. Finally, there is the assurance of making heaven at last for all who consecrate themselves to serving God in spirit and truth. What is the state of your consecration and love for God?

Prayer Point:
Father, grant me the grace to consecrate myself to serving you in spirit and truth.

Bible in a year: Micah 5-7 & Matthew 11:20-12:8... Read after the cut:

Sunday, March 29, 2015

OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL (SUNDAY 29 MARCH 2015)

Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
Sunday March 29

EMMANUEL

Memorise:
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.
Zechariah 8:23

Read: Matthew 1:18-25
18  Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.   
19  Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.   
20  But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.    
21  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.    
22  Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,    
23  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.    
24  Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:    
25  And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.  

Message
One reason why the Holy Spirit caused the Gospel of Matthew to be written is to show that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophesies concerning the Messiah. One of such prophesies is found in Isaiah 7:14 which says,
  "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
This prophecy was shown to be fulfilled by Jesus in our Bible reading today. One of the key points of this prophecy is that Jesus will be referred to as Emmanuel. The name Emmanuel means "God with us". There is nothing as good as when God is with a person. God is the eternal, independent, self-existing Being. He is the Being whose purpose and actions spring from Himself without any external influence. God is absolute in dominion and infinitely benevolent. He alone is the cause of all existence and the upholder of all things. Numerous benefits accrue from the presence of God. One advantage of having God with you is that no force, known or unknown can successfully detract you from fulfilling destiny (Romans 8:31-32).

For you to fully key into the revelation of "God with us", you need to understand who God is. God revealed who He is in discrete parts through His redemptive Names to the saints of old. He said to Moses in Exodus 6:3:
 "And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them."
An understanding of His redemptive Names gives us insight into His personality and allows us to profit from the consciousness that this personality is with us.

God is the Elshaddai: He is the All-Sufficient One. This means that He has enough resources to meet all your needs - be it spiritual, physical, emotional or psychological. Also, God is Jehovah Jireh: the Great Provider. He has the ability to turn your austerity to prosperity and poverty to wealth (Philippians 4:19). Another Name for God is Jehovah Rapha: the Healer. Are you sick? He has the ability to cure you of all ailments - be it pathological, soul sickness or spiritual sickness. God is also Jehovah Nissi: He is the Man of War. Are you facing any battle? The Almighty God has the ability to fight all of your battles for you and to grant you total victory. Are the enemies of your life mammoth? Turn to Jehovah Nissi today. Let Him be your Emmanuel. I prophesy that you will experience victory in all the battles of your life in Jesus' Name. 

Action Point:
Consciously carry the presence of God along with you wherever you go.

Bible in a year: Micah 1-4 & Matthew 10:40-11:19... Read after the cut:

Saturday, March 28, 2015

OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL (SATURDAY 28 MARCH 2015)

Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
Saturday March 28

IMPULSIVE PRAISE

Memorise:
And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Luke 1:46-47

Read: Acts 3:6-9
6  Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.    
7  And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.   
8  And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.    
9  And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 

Message
Praise can be described as a spontaneous outburst of thanksgiving by a grateful child of God in God's presence. When a person knows God and experiences Him intimately, he or she sings to the Lord with deepest praise! Our God is praiseworthy. He dwells in the praises of His children. Christ came so that men would be able to praise God in holiness and truth. The woks of Jesus caused men to rejoice and praise God. Luke 19:37 reports that:
 "And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;"

God created us to praise Him. This will be our activity when we are gathered around His throne in Heaven. No true child of God should have difficulty thinking of reasons why God deserves his or her praise. We should enjoy the times we have to praise our Lord, both privately and publicly. If your life is not filled with praise, it may be that you have lost your appreciation of God's mercy upon you. Please, don't forget what God has saved you from. Never take for granted what it means to have the assurance of eternity with God. Your lifestyle should praise God in holiness and good works. Jesus in Matthew 5:16 said:
 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

Moreover, don't disregard the spiritual kinship you enjoy with other believers. Take time often to recount the blessings God has poured out upon you and your family in the midst of God's people. Jesus in Hebrews 2:12 declared thus:
 "Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee."
As you contemplate the boundless love and mercy God has shown you, you will want to sing praises to His holy Name. Impulsive praise is spontaneous. It is involuntary and not pre-meditated. Here you can sing praises to God or mention His redemptive Names. Here you praise God because you are overwhelmed by His greatness, loving-kindness and goodness to you. Impulsive praise is credible praise. It does not have to be manipulated or orchestrated. It is a real and personal expression of a grateful heart and wonder-filled life that has encountered the Holy God. This is what God expects from you.

Key Point:
Sincere praise is the spontaneous response of one who meditates on the greatness and goodness of the Lord.

Bible in a year: Obadiah 1-Jonah 4 & Matthew 10:16-39... Read after the cut:

Friday, March 27, 2015

OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL (FRIDAY 27 MARCH 2015)

Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
Friday March 27

THE MARKS OF THE LORD JESUS

Memorise:
From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
Galatians 6:17

Read: 1 Timothy 6:11-14
11  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.    
12  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.    
13  I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;   
14  That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 

Message
A mark can be described as an impression, a distinguishing trait or quality. Marks indicate characteristics or symbols used for identification or indication of ownership. All heaven-bound Christians are children of God and by implication, belong to Christ (Mark 9:41, Romans 8:16). What are the marks of the Lord Jesus?

One distinguishing trait or quality that indicates one's ownership by the Lord Jesus is faithfulness. Everyone belonging to Christ is expected to be faithful in prayer, in tithes and offerings, in studying the word of God, in their marital relationship, general human relations and in service to God. Are you a child of God? Be faithful to God, yourself and others. Your faithfulness allows God to reveal greater insights to you. Faithfulness brings opportunities to you that are not given to the unfaithful. God takes pleasure in answering prayers that come from a faithful heart. Another mark of the Lord Jesus is obedience to the will of God. Christ came to fulfil God's perfect will for His life. Hebrews 10:7 says,
 "Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God." 

Are you living according to God's perfect will for your life? Anything that brings shame or reproach to the Name of God is not God's will for you. Are you involved in a business deal where it is required that you tell lies, engage in immorality and cut corners? That business venture should be reviewed. It is probably not God's perfect will for your life. As a spouse, are you obedient to the will of God in your marriage through fidelity, submission and love? 

Affiliated to obedience is love. Love is another mark of the Lord Jesus. John 13:1 says,
 "Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end."
God is love. The love of God is what indicates that you belong to Christ. You should be able to demonstrate true love to God and man. Love is a benevolent disposition of the mind towards fellow-Christians, growing out of sincere and fervent devotion to God. Indicators of love include kindness, selflessness, humility, self-discipline and purity. Love can endure evil, injury and provocation without being filled with resentment, indignation or revenge. Love is benevolent, bountiful, courteous and obliging. Love suppresses envy: it is not grieved by the good of others. Finally, love controls and restrains passions. Do you bear in you the marks of the Lord Jesus? 

Prayer Point:
Father, I submit myself to the Lordship of Jesus Christ; let His marks be seen in my life.

Bible in a year: Amos 7-9 & Matthew 9:27-10:15... Read after the cut:

Thursday, March 26, 2015

OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL (THURSDAY 26 MARCH 2015)

Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
Thursday March 26

ENJOYING LONGEVITY

Memorise:
For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
1 Timothy 4:8

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
23  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.   
24  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. 


Message
Every rational being wishes to be healthy, wealthy, fulfilled and enjoy longevity. The desire to live long and be healthy is scriptural. Psalm 91:16 says,
 "With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation." 
Man is a tripartite being. The Bible teaches that man consists of the spirit, soul and body. God is interested in our good health (3 John 1:2). He desires for us to be sound and complete in our spirit, soul and body. The working of wholeness in man starts in his spirit. It begins when God touches our spirit by the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 12:3). Has your spirit been touched by the Holy Spirit? The first miracle God does is to liberate man's spirit from sin. He justifies us from sin and reconnects our spirit man to Himself (1 Corinthians 6:11). He then continually bears witness with our spirit that we are God's children (Romans 8:16). After releasing our spirit from sin, the Holy Spirit works His way to our soul to heal and restore it. The soul of man is the seat of his emotions, intellect and will. The soul is the dwelling place of healthy and unhealthy emotions. It is thus possible for the soul to be healthy or sick.

The human body is that part of man which is aware of and interacts with the tangible, empirical world. The whole body of man is built around a bony framework of skeleton and consists of a great number of different parts. The human body consists primarily of cells, which together form tissues, which form organs, which work together as systems to carry out specific functions. It is worth noting that healthy living guarantees longevity. To enjoy longevity, you need to eat proper balanced diets. Experts in nutrition teach that our foods can be classified into two classes. One class consists of fruits and vegetables. The other class consist of fats, starch and proteins. 
A proper balance of these two classes of food will provide good health and a long life. An improper balance will bring poor health, sickness and can result in early death. Fruits and vegetables provide vitamins and minerals. Proteins supply building blocks for the body. Fats and starch supply heat and energy to the body. According to many health books, we should eat about 75% fruits and vegetables, while 25% should be protein, fats and starch. This 75 : 25 ratio should form the basis of the daily diet of every living person. To obtain and maintain good health, you must eat foods that contain generous amounts of vitamins and minerals. Foods low in vitamins and minerals lead to poor health, ailments, suffering and death. Enjoying longevity in good health is however not limited to the food you eat. Your state of mind and pattern of life can either accelerate or slow down the aging process. These also affect your good health. In addition, learn to exercise your body. Don't forget: "bodily exercise profiteth little."

Action Point:
Take stock of how you are treating your body. Adjust your nutrition and lifestyle if necessary.

Bible in a year: Amos 4:6-6:14 & Matthew 9:9-26... Read after the cut:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL (WEDNESDAY 25 MARCH 2015)

Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
Wednesday March 25

RENEWING THE MIND

Memorise:
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12:2

Read: 1 Corinthians 2:9-14
9  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.    
10  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.   
11  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.    
12  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.    
13  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.    
14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Message
One striking thing about holiness is that it is what makes God who He is. If a human being was asked this question: "Who is God?", you might get answers like: God is love, God is powerful, God is merciful, God is faithful etc. But if angels or celestial beings were asked this same question, they would chorus: God is Holy! The theme of the songs of celestial beings in heaven is the holiness of God (Isaiah 6:2-3, Revelation 4:8). Do you belong to God? Then be prepared to live holy. Why? God's people are a holy temple to Him (1 Corinthians 3:17). We are called to a holy priesthood (1 Peter 2:5), and we are described as holy brethren (Hebrews 3:1). The Father chose His own, so that they might be holy (Ephesians 1:4). 
This is the reason why Jesus died for us (Ephesians 5:25-27).The Holy Spirit was given, so that through the renewing of our minds, we might be holy (Titus 3:5, 2 Corinthians 3:18). The Holy Spirit renews our mind by convincing us and making us accept what God's Word says about us or about a subject-matter. This is critical because your mind controls your actions. The Word of God is spiritual; only the Holy Spirit can bring the mind to a state of conformity with its contents (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Holiness simply means obeying God totally and consecrating yourself to do His will from the heart. It is difficult to do God's will without knowing His mind. The Bible, which is the word of God, is a compendium of God's will. It is easy to know the mind of God and to renew your own mind when you meditate on the word of God. This meditation should however be a daily affair. It is imperative for every child of God to study and meditate on God's word. Merely reading the word of God is different from studying and serious meditation. 
Studying is an application of the mental faculties to the acquisition of knowledge. It entails a careful examination or analysis of the Bible - its promises, commandments, warnings, blessings, questions and answers. Meditation on God's word denotes focusing one's thoughts on it, reflecting on and pondering over it. In Joshua 1:8, Joshua was instructed to meditate on the word of God day and night because constant meditation leads to good success. This happens progressively. First, meditate on God's word on daily basis. Second, be observant enough to obey it unconditionally. Doing this will assure you of good success; i.e. full-blown success that is holistic, covering every imaginable area of life (spirit, soul and body). Renewing your mind makes it possible to discern what the perfect will of God is (Romans 12:2). Do you desire to know the perfect will of God for every aspect of your life? Renew your mind through constant studying and meditation on the word of God. Keep God's Word in your heart, allow it to permeate your entire being through the Holy Spirit and act on it.

Prayer Point:
Dear Holy Spirit, as I ponder on God's word, help my mind to accept the truth of what it says.

Bible in a year: Amos 1:1-4:5 & Matthew 8:18-9:8... Read after the cut:

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL (TUESDAY 24 MARCH 2015)

Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
Tuesday March 24

ATTITUDES TO WORSHIP

Memorise:
 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
John 4:24

Read: Isaiah 40:12-22
12  Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?    
13  Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him?  
14  With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?   
15  Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.   
16  And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering.   
17  All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.   
18  To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?    
19  The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains.    
20  He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved.   
21  Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?   
22  It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

Message
Prayer involves much more than asking God for our heart desires. It also involves praise and worship, both of which are very much related. While praise acknowledges God for what He has done, worship acknowledges God for who He is. We need to understand that God expects all creatures to worship Him (Revelations 5:13). No matter what or who they are, as far as they exist, God expects them to worship Him. 

Pretty much everybody in existence has received something from God (Acts 17:28). However, only those who acknowledge what they have received as coming from God can be deemed worshippers. Among this group of people, there are those who feel contented with what they have received from God. If you are in this category, praise and worship God. On the other hand, there are those who feel they have not received enough from God. These are people who feel God has done much but not enough for them. Such people believe they need more blessings from the Lord, and some even feel that God has not done enough to warrant their praises. It's among this category of people you will find those who compare their wealth and other tangible achievements with that of those they think are more privileged than themselves. More often than not, people who engage in such comparisons conclude that God has not been fair to them. No matter how little you think the goodness of the Lord is in your life, it is imperative that you praise and worship Him.

Many people feel as though God has done nothing for them. In their opinion, God is not good at all. This kind of feeling is wrong and dangerous. If the devil is ministering to you that God is not good at all, resist the devil and worship God for who He is. It is easy to fall into this state when you are afflicted. Examples of those afflicted are the bereaved, the sorrowful, the disappointed and the discouraged. We should worship God even when afflicted. A classical example of someone who did this is Job. Job was a man who worshipped God in prosperity (Job 1:5) and he also worshipped God in the midst of satanic afflictions. Job 1:20-21 says,
 "Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD."
Note that Job still worshipped God at the end of his trials (Job 42:1-5). Worship characterises vessels unto honour. Are you a vessel unto honour? If your answer is yes, go ahead and worship God, whatever your situation might be.

Prayer Point:
Father, grant me the grace to worship you, no matter what I am going through.

Bible in a year: Joel 1-3 & Matthew 7:24-8:17... Read after the cut:

Monday, March 23, 2015

OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL (MONDAY 23 MARCH 2015)

Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
Monday March 23

KEYS TO ANSWERED PRAYER

Memorise:
O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.
Psalm 65:2

Read: Matthew 7:7-11
 7  Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:   
8  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.   
9  Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?   
10  Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?  
11  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Message
If Christians can master the art and practice of prayer, this world will definitely become a better place to live in for them. Someone described prayer as a paradox. It is both simple and complex. It is the simplest form of speech that infant lips can try, and the sublime strains that reach the Majesty on high. What is prayer? John Bunyan, while in Bedford Prison, defined prayer as "a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the heart or soul to God, through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Holy Spirit, for such things as God had promised according to the Word for the good of the Church, with submission, in faith, to the will of God." Our God is a prayer-answering God. It is God's will to answer the prayers of His children. However, He operates on principles. There are conditions which activate the answering of prayers by God. These I will refer to as keys to answered prayers. Are you a child of God? It is the desire of your Father to answer all of your prayers (John 16:23). If your prayers are not being answered, look inward. Are you employing the appropriate keys to answered prayers?

One of such keys is contrition (2 Chronicles 7:14). Contrition describes a state of feeling or showing of sorrow and remorse for a sin or shortcoming. Do you want your prayers answered? Examine your relationship with the Lord. Are there sins not confessed in your life? Psalm 66:18 says,
 "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:"
Approach God with humility and confess your sins, iniquities and shortcomings to Him. Repent of them and ask for forgiveness. Another key to answered prayers is whole-heartedness (Jeremiah 29:13). This has to do with your commitment and intimacy. How committed are you to the Almighty God and to His work? How intimate is your relationship with God and His Word? John 15:7 says,
 "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."

Do you want all your prayers answered? Be a doer of the word and not a hearer only. The next key to answered prayers is faith. Faith is one of the most important factors required for prayers to be answered (Mark 11:24). How strong is your faith? To receive anything from God, you must believe that you have received what you asked for and then you will have it. The fourth key to answered prayers is righteousness (John 9:31). Simply put, righteousness denotes acting in accordance to the divine nature and being free from the guilt of sin. A righteous person is morally upright. Such a person abstains from all appearances of evil. The last (but not the least) key to answered prayers is that you must ask in order to receive (Matthew 7:7).

Action Point:
Do you have any unanswered prayer? Apply the keys to answered prayers to it today.

Bible in a year: Hosea 11-14 & Matthew 7:1-23 ... Read after the cut:

Sunday, March 22, 2015

OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL (SUNDAY 22 MARCH 2015)

Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
Sunday March 22

DO YOU HAVE TRUE LOVE?

Memorise:
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
1 Corinthians 13:7

Read: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
1  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.  
2  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.   
3  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.   
4  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,   
5  Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;    
6  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;    
7  Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.    
8  Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.   
9  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.   
10  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.    
11  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.    
12  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.    
13  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. 

Message
Our God is wonderful, and He has many wonderful attributes. Some of these attributes are unique to Him alone. For example, in all of heaven and earth, God is the only one who is all-knowing, all-powerful and is present everywhere. However, there are other attributes which God, as a wonderful Father, shares with His children. Some of such attributes are holiness, mercy, faithfulness and love. These attributes are scarce in the character of present-day society. Just like the Corinthians in the days of Paul, many homes, communities and churches nowadays are torn apart by contentions, are divided along party lines and are envious of each other. Such character proves that the love for God and love towards fellow man is waning. Love is paramount to God. Our numerous gifts and abilities are nothing in the eyes of God without love.

 "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God." 
1 John 4:7
Love should be differentiated from lust. While lust is impatient to get, love is always eager to give. John 3:16 describes true love:
 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
This is the kind of love God expects from us. True love means to have strong affection or deep tender feelings towards God, towards yourself and towards others. It means to love the way God loves. 
It implies knowing and worshipping God rightly, seeing yourself the way God sees you and caring for others the way God cares for you. Without true love, all gifts (however excellent) are useless in the eyes of God. A person who has outstanding gifts such as the divine ability to speak many languages, the gift of prophecy and understanding of all mysteries and knowledge, and the faith to remove mountains is nothing without true love. In like manner, sacrifice, no matter how expensive, profits nothing without true love (1 Corinthians 13:3).

Because true love is a commandment of God (1 John 4:21), you need it in order to enjoy the blessings of God (Isaiah 1:19). Know also that without demonstrating true love, it is impossible to make heaven. True love is praised in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. It is slow to anger and not predisposed to revenge. It is patient and forbearing, good natured, gentle, tender and affectionate. True love is never harsh or rude; it is rather polite and courteous. It is prompt in giving due respect to superiors and in showing respect for their opinions. True love is humble and unselfish. It does not seek its own happiness to the injury of others. Do you have true love?

Prayer Point:
Father, please grant me the grace to demonstrate true love.

Bible in a year: Hosea 6-10 & Matthew 6:16-34... Read after the cut:

Saturday, March 21, 2015

OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL (SATURDAY 21 MARCH 2015)

Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
Saturday March 21

SIN-DOMINATED?

Memorise:
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Romans 6:14

Read: Romans 6:1-6
1  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?    
2  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?    
3  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?    
4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.    
5  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:   
6  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Message
Mankind is the epitome of God's creative art. He was created by God to have dominion over all things (Genesis 1:26). God did not design man for sin, neither should sin have dominion over man (Romans 6:14). Sin is an enemy. It is our most persistent, determined and pernicious enemy. Sin seeks to rob us of every good thing God has designed for us. It is very subtle, bringing death and creeping into our lives when and where we least expect it. It packages itself so attractively that we are lured into thinking that it cannot really harm us.

Sin is undoubtedly a weight. In Hebrews 12:1, Christians are likened to sprinters:
 "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,"
The competition before us is fierce as sin stealthily and relentlessly tries to entangle our lives. We will never be able to run the race marked out for us as long as we are entrapped in sin. Anyone who is born of God has a nature that should not sin (1 John 3:8-10). However, children of God fall into sin by not being watchful. Sin should be recognised for what it is. Some people engage in self-deception. 
They call sin a mistake, a bad habit or a weakness. Sin is more than these. It is cancerous, terrible and results in outright destruction. Sin must be admitted and tackled at its root. It is dangerous to blame your sins on others; neither must you allow pride to convince you that it is too humiliating to admit the sin in your life. Sin can blind a person to its presence. It does not always command people's attention, but rather, it subtly and pervasively robs one of spiritual power and victory.

Are you living in sin? Are you deeply and dangerously entangled in it? There is good news for you: there is no extent to which sin can entangle us that God's grace does not abound to free us from it. Romans 5:20 says,
 "Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:"
Has sin robbed you of joy? Do you go about life in a manner that is moody and melancholy? Has sin prevented you from being the best husband, wife, son, daughter, friend, minister, boss or subordinate you ought to be? Is it keeping you from spiritual maturity and fulfilment in life, business, marriage and ministry? If you have become entangled with sin, God can release you immediately! He however requires repentance from you. Harden not your heart. Repent and recommit your life to Jesus Christ now.

Prayer Point:
Father, grant me grace to live above sin, Satan and all his allied forces in Jesus' Name.

Bible in a year: Hosea 1-5 & Matthew 5:43-6:15... Read after the cut:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL (FRIDAY 20 MARCH 2015)

Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
Friday March 20

SANCTIFICATION PRECEDES DIVINE COMMISSIONING

Memorise:
If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
2 Timothy 2:21

Read: John 17:13-19
13  And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.   
14  I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.   
15  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.   
16  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.   
17  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.   
18  As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.   
19  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Message
The most important thing a person needs is to be born-again (John 3:3). From personal experience and from the experience of others, certain things give you the assurance that you are born-again. If you are born-again, you stop thinking about yourself alone. You stop thinking only about what Jesus can do for you but also of what you can do for Jesus. This was the case with Paul after he met the Lord in Acts 9:6:
 "And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do."
You also begin to think about restitution (Luke 19:8), and you begin to serve God with the same vigour with which you served the devil (Acts 9:20-22).

After you are saved, you need to be sanctified before you can be divinely commissioned for service. An unsanctified believer is susceptible to backsliding, hence the need for sanctification. The state of the human heart before salvation is one of the reasons why sanctification is necessary. Jeremiah 17:9 reveals that:
 "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
Every person is born with a heart that is desperately wicked, and every of our actions originate from the heart (Matthew 15:19-20). Sanctification changes the nature of a person's heart (Ezekiel 36:26-27). 
Many people who were once born-again backslid because of their failure to get sanctified. A backslider is worse than a sinner who has never been saved. Backsliding is horrible. It can be likened to a dog going back to its vomit. Worldliness can cause a Christian to backslide. Demas was an example of a Christian worker who backslid because of his attachment to the things of this world (Philemon 24, 2 Timothy 4:10).

The ability to live holy is given by God. Jesus died for our sanctification. When a person is sanctified, he or she begins to think like Jesus. You forgive like Jesus and like Him, you become humble. You develop a servant-spirit and you become obedient and meek (Matthew 11:29). To become sanctified, you must believe that it is possible to live holy (1 Peter 1:15-16). You must then admit that you cannot do it without the assistance of the Holy Spirit (John 15:5). Finally, ask God to remove the heart of stone from you and replace it with a heart of flesh.

Prayer Point:
Father, sanctify me wholly; give me a heart of flesh that is in line with Your nature.

Bible in a year: Daniel 11-12 & Matthew 5:21-42... Read after the cut:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL (THURSDAY 19 MARCH 2015)

Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
Thursday March 19

SATAN'S ATTACK OR THE LORD'S CHASTENING?

Memorise:
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Hebrews 12:6

Read: Hebrews 12:4-6
4  Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.    
5  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  
6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Message
Christians are spiritual soldiers. We engage in constant warfare against principalities, powers and wicked spiritual forces that operate in high places. Ephesians 6:12 says that:
 "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
There is a tendency among Christians therefore to view anything unpleasant that happens to them as emanating from spiritual warfare. When a difficult situation arises, many immediately ask God to remove their distress. It is worth noting that not all problems that we face as believers have something to do with the devil or the spiritual warfare we are engaged in. In Galatians 6:7, the Scripture says,
 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

Some hardships, difficulties and unpleasant happenings arise as a result of sin, disobedience, pride or other shortcomings that call for disciplinary action from our Heavenly Father. Sin frequently attracts punishment. Sin can be described as transgression or non-conformity to the law of God in our inward or outward conduct of life, whether by omission or by commission. The Bible indicates that sin justly deserves punishment and that it calls down the righteous judgement of God (Romans 6:23). Various kinds of sins are mentioned in the Scriptures. These include presumptuous sin, secret or hidden sin and sin against the Holy Ghost. 

Presumptuous sins refer to defiant acts of sin. These are sins committed on the basis of assumption. Some people steal, tell lies, commit fornication or adultery, forge documents or engage in other evil acts. When such people are confronted with God's view on their waywardness and its implications, they argue that God understands. They assume that God is too holy and kind to send a sinner to Hell-fire. Presumptuous sin is dangerous. God is a God of both love and of judgment (1 John 4:8, Hebrews 10:31). King David wisely prayed that God should keep him from presumptuous sins (Psalm 19:13). Secret sins are sins which escape the notice of the soul. Many people commit sins without being conscious of it. These also attract divine judgment and chastisement. What such people need is repentance and deliverance. David also prayed that God should cleanse him from secret sins (Psalm 19:12). The last but not the least is sin against the Holy Ghost or what is referred to as "sin unto death" (Matthew 12:31-32, 1 John 5:16). This is a wilful rejection of grace. Are you facing unpleasant happenings? Look inward. God's expectation from chastising is repentance.

Action Point:
Examine yourself to see if there is any presumptuous or hidden sin in your life.

Bible in a year: Daniel 9-10 & Matthew 4:23-5:20... Read after the cut:

OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL (WEDNESDAY 18 MARCH 2015)

Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
Wednesday March 18

LIVING BY VISION & REVELATION

Memorise:
After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
Genesis 15:1

Read: Genesis 41:38-43
38  And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?   
39  And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:   
40  Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.    
41  And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.    
42  And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;    
43  And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.

Message
Vision is the energy of progress and a determinant of destiny. Vision is no doubt one of the most powerful forces available to man on earth today. It gives meaning to life, keeps us alive and conditions our lives. Vision inspired the Greeks to produce philosophy and art that still impacts the thinking of our world. It motivated the great Roman Empire to expand its influence and develop the known world. Vision inspired the explorers who circumvented the globe and ignited the creation and expansion of many of the nations we know today. It is your vision that determines your destiny. Proverbs 29:18 says,
 "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."

True vision is not based on what a person sees with the physical eyes alone, but on the images seen with the inward eyes of the mind. A man of vision sees what God has planned for him before its fulfilment. Vision entails planning and goal-setting. Every great person in history owned a personal vision. A man with no vision is at best a living corpse. He desires nothing and achieves nothing. Is your life directed by a clear vision? Do you know your potential for fulfilling this vision? Have you developed a concrete plan for your vision? What active steps have you taken towards the fulfilment of your vision? Do you recognise people's influence on your vision? These are all questions you need to answer if you will leave your prints on the sand of time. 

When you begin to act on your vision, it will stir up both those who want to help you and those who want to hinder you. How passionate are you about your vision? Vision requires faith for fulfilment. Have you built up the faith necessary for the fulfilment of your God-given vision? And most importantly, what is the source of your vision?

In addition to true vision, God's people live by revelation. A Christian is expected to operate on a God-given vision and by revelation. Christianity is an intimate growing relationship with the person of Jesus Christ. Every child of God should therefore live by the revelation of the Word. We should live by what the Word of God says. God expects you to arrange your life based on His Word, regardless of whether it makes sense to you or not, and regardless of whether it is convenient or not. God knows what is best for your future, your family, your church and your country. He wants to reveal what is on His heart to you, if only He can get your attention. He expects you to diligently pursue your vision and the revelations He drops in your spirit. Actualising your vision and the revelation God gives you requires diligence, integrity, focus, good human relations, prayer and faith. How prepared are you to live by these?

Action Point:
Dust up that vision or revelation God gave you so long ago and diligently run with it.

Bible in a year: Daniel 7:9-8:27 & Matthew 4:1-22... Read after the cut:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL (TUESDAY 17 MARCH 2015)

Open Heavens by Pastor E.A. Adeboye

Tuesday March 17

LEADERSHIP BY EXAMPLE

Memorise:
If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
John 13:14

Read: Daniel 2:46-49
46  Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.
47  The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.
48  Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.
49  Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.

Message
Daniel purposed in his heart not to partake of the king's meat (Daniel 1:8). He denied himself all the goodies associated with classical palatial living because he wanted to make a difference among his peers. Anyone who aspires to be a leader must be self-disciplined, carefully choose the kind of people he or she associates with and must consciously cultivate habits that will distinguish him or her. Like Daniel, leaders must fear God and be prayerful, respect authority, be diligent and have a penchant for hard work.
Going by his personal testimonies, young David was diligent in keeping his father's flock, and God rewarded him with a kingdom (1 Samuel 17:34-35). The way Joshua and Caleb delivered a minority report after returning from their assignment is a good example of how to have the right attitude when confronted with challenges (Numbers 14:6-8). Their level of faith in the Lord God determined their attitude and degree of courage. They admitted that indeed there were giants in the land and the walls were tall, but they confessed that the Lord would deliver the enemies into their hands. No wonder at age 85, Caleb could say, "Give me this mountain!" (Joshua 14:12). He knew it was not by his frail power or might but by the Spirit of God. That is an attitude fired by faith.

A good leader is a regenerated, distinguished personality (John 3:3). Because he draws his energy and inspiration from the Word of God, he therefore meditates on it habitually. The Word of God dwells in him richly, and he takes delight in living a righteous life. He is conscious of the right people to associate with, and he walks in the perfect will of God.
He is one who makes a difference among his peers, and must have been a good and consistent follower. He is a man of great and mighty vision, who remains focused at all times. He is a selfless and courageous champion on fire for God, a go-getter, very humble and willing to learn from others. When the young Joseph caught the vision of his future greatness, he developed the right attitude to remain focused. His attitude was spiced with integrity. He refused to be distracted, not even by the juicy mouth-watering offer of his master's wife.

Leadership by example can be summarised with two words: "GOOD SUCCESS" (Joshua 1:8). Because a good leader is connected to his source - God, he is ever fruitful, ever buoyant, ever prosperous, ever peaceful and ever joyful. Simply put, good leadership guarantees a holistic fulfilled life which in turn rubs off on any given human system.

Key Point:
You cannot lead successfully if you have failed as a follower.

Bible in a year: Daniel 5:13-7:8 & Matthew 2:19-3:17 ... Read after the cut:

Monday, March 16, 2015

OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL (MONDAY 16 MARCH 2015)

OPEN HEAVENS
Monday March 16 2015

A FRIEND OF GOD?

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

Read: John 15:13-15
13  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  
14  Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.  
15  Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Message
There are believers who know God, and there are those who claim to know God. Those who are friends of God will go all the way to do as He commands, no matter the sacrifice and pain required. In Genesis 5:22-24, it was repeated twice that Enoch walked with God. He walked with God to the point of no return. The friendship was so tight that God had to tell him, "There is no point remaining on earth again; let us continue our friendship in heaven!" God and Enoch were lovebirds. A young boy in a Sunday School class gave an interesting perspective of this friendship. This boy said, whenever God visited Enoch and He was about to leave, Enoch will escort God, and when it was time for Enoch to return home, God would do the same. Eventually, one day, after several repetitions of this exercise, Enoch escorted God so close to Heaven that God told him to walk with Him into Heaven.

As childish as this may sound, there are lots of lessons and revelations in what this boy said. The desire to maintain intimate friendship with man has been there with God from the very beginning of creation. God is looking for people to bless; people who will do His will and enjoy His benefits. To partner with the Almighty God, you must dislodge certain traits in your life. All those things that are capable of limiting the closeness of your relationship with your Maker must be taken care of.

Do you want to enjoy the kind of relationship that existed between God and Abraham? Do you want to be a friend of God? Then it is time to sit up. It is time to get serious with your salvation. You can't be a friend of God when you are still tolerating some nonsense in your life, because God cannot behold iniquity. After 24 years of lack of seriousness, God warned Abraham to sit up. No more Lot. No more hanging around with Hagar. There is no one who partners with God and remains the same. They become role models. If you desire a meaningful relationship with God, you can no longer be fooling around with that strange woman. You can no longer be courting that wrong relationship. You cannot afford to continue going where unbelievers meet to entice one another to sin (Psalm 1:1). No more lukewarmness and spiritual slothfulness (Revelation 3:15-16). No more disloyalty or lack of commitment.

You must be ready to go all the way. If your love for Him will count at all, it must put a demand on your heart, might and strength. No more helping yourself with church resources kept in your trust. No more seduction of young girls. No more jealousy or envying your colleagues. No more hatred for others. No more cheating of God in the payment of your tithes and offerings. No more using substandard materials when you have been mobilised to buy the best. No more pulling others down simply because you want to climb up.

Key point

Those who love God will never recover from His blessings.

Bible in a year: Daniel 4:4-5:12 & Matthew 2:1-18... Read after the cut: