Saturday, May 23, 2015


Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye  
Sunday May 24


Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:17

Read: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.    
14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.    
15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.   
16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:    
17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.   
18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

The admonition of Apostle Paul in today's Bible reading is addressed to those he referred to as "brethren". His first admonition is against ignorance (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Ignorance is the first weapon the devil uses to make Christians not ready for the rapture! Going by the words of Paul's warning, other people on earth can afford to be ignorant, but we who are joint-heirs with Jesus Christ cannot afford to be. One reason why many Christians are not watchful anymore is the supposed delay in the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. They feel He may not come as expected; therefore, they have thrown godliness with contentment to the wind. Such Christians display their ignorance by not recognising the fact that although the great trump of God has not yet been sounded by the archangel, there is the individual trumpet, which the angel of death sounds when your time on earth is up.

In 2 Peter 3:1-11, Apostle Peter also attacked the spirit of ignorance in the brethren. Specifically in 2 Peter 3:8-9 he said:
 "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
Are you a beloved of the Lord? Then, you cannot afford to be ignorant of the fact that the two thousand and fifteen years following the Lord's first advent is just two days and a few seconds by the Lord's timing. One of my sons wrote an article at the end of the second millennium which he titled "Two Days Are Gone" - pointing to the truth in Peter's epistle above. We must do everything within the available grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship (the helpful partnership) of the Holy Spirit to be ready for the rapture. To remain rapturable, you need to take very seriously the words of Romans 12:1-2:
 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 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."

Action Point:
Carry out a personal assessment of your readiness for the return of our Lord.

Bible in a year: 2 Samuel 14-15 & Mark 13:24-14:9... Read after the cut:

2 Samuel 14-15; 

2Sa 14:1  Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was toward Absalom. 
2Sa 14:2  And Joab sent to Tekoah, and fetched thence a wise woman, and said unto her, I pray thee, feign thyself to be a mourner, and put on now mourning apparel, and anoint not thyself with oil, but be as a woman that had a long time mourned for the dead: 
2Sa 14:3  And come to the king, and speak on this manner unto him. So Joab put the words in her mouth. 
2Sa 14:4  And when the woman of Tekoah spake to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance, and said, Help, O king. 
2Sa 14:5  And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, I am indeed a widow woman, and mine husband is dead. 
2Sa 14:6  And thy handmaid had two sons, and they two strove together in the field, and there was none to part them, but the one smote the other, and slew him. 
2Sa 14:7  And, behold, the whole family is risen against thine handmaid, and they said, Deliver him that smote his brother, that we may kill him, for the life of his brother whom he slew; and we will destroy the heir also: and so they shall quench my coal which is left, and shall not leave to my husband neither name nor remainder upon the earth. 
2Sa 14:8  And the king said unto the woman, Go to thine house, and I will give charge concerning thee. 
2Sa 14:9  And the woman of Tekoah said unto the king, My lord, O king, the iniquity be on me, and on my father's house: and the king and his throne be guiltless. 
2Sa 14:10  And the king said, Whosoever saith ought unto thee, bring him to me, and he shall not touch thee any more. 
2Sa 14:11  Then said she, I pray thee, let the king remember the LORD thy God, that thou wouldest not suffer the revengers of blood to destroy any more, lest they destroy my son. And he said, As the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth. 
2Sa 14:12  Then the woman said, Let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak one word unto my lord the king. And he said, Say on. 
2Sa 14:13  And the woman said, Wherefore then hast thou thought such a thing against the people of God? for the king doth speak this thing as one which is faulty, in that the king doth not fetch home again his banished. 
2Sa 14:14  For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person: yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him. 
2Sa 14:15  Now therefore that I am come to speak of this thing unto my lord the king, it is because the people have made me afraid: and thy handmaid said, I will now speak unto the king; it may be that the king will perform the request of his handmaid. 
2Sa 14:16  For the king will hear, to deliver his handmaid out of the hand of the man that would destroy me and my son together out of the inheritance of God. 
2Sa 14:17  Then thine handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad: therefore the LORD thy God will be with thee. 
2Sa 14:18  Then the king answered and said unto the woman, Hide not from me, I pray thee, the thing that I shall ask thee. And the woman said, Let my lord the king now speak. 
2Sa 14:19  And the king said, Is not the hand of Joab with thee in all this? And the woman answered and said, As thy soul liveth, my lord the king, none can turn to the right hand or to the left from ought that my lord the king hath spoken: for thy servant Joab, he bade me, and he put all these words in the mouth of thine handmaid: 
2Sa 14:20  To fetch about this form of speech hath thy servant Joab done this thing: and my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all things that are in the earth. 
2Sa 14:21  And the king said unto Joab, Behold now, I have done this thing: go therefore, bring the young man Absalom again. 
2Sa 14:22  And Joab fell to the ground on his face, and bowed himself, and thanked the king: and Joab said, To day thy servant knoweth that I have found grace in thy sight, my lord, O king, in that the king hath fulfilled the request of his servant. 
2Sa 14:23  So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 
2Sa 14:24  And the king said, Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face. So Absalom returned to his own house, and saw not the king's face. 
2Sa 14:25  But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. 
2Sa 14:26  And when he polled his head, (for it was at every year's end that he polled it: because the hair was heavy on him, therefore he polled it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king's weight. 
2Sa 14:27  And unto Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter, whose name was Tamar: she was a woman of a fair countenance. 
2Sa 14:28  So Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and saw not the king's face. 
2Sa 14:29  Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to have sent him to the king; but he would not come to him: and when he sent again the second time, he would not come. 
2Sa 14:30  Therefore he said unto his servants, See, Joab's field is near mine, and he hath barley there; go and set it on fire. And Absalom's servants set the field on fire. 
2Sa 14:31  Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom unto his house, and said unto him, Wherefore have thy servants set my field on fire? 
2Sa 14:32  And Absalom answered Joab, Behold, I sent unto thee, saying, Come hither, that I may send thee to the king, to say, Wherefore am I come from Geshur? it had been good for me to have been there still: now therefore let me see the king's face; and if there be any iniquity in me, let him kill me. 
2Sa 14:33  So Joab came to the king, and told him: and when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king: and the king kissed Absalom. 

2 Samuel 15;

2Sa 15:1  And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him. 
2Sa 15:2  And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou? And he said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel. 
2Sa 15:3  And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee. 
2Sa 15:4  Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice! 
2Sa 15:5  And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him. 
2Sa 15:6  And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. 
2Sa 15:7  And it came to pass after forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the LORD, in Hebron. 
2Sa 15:8  For thy servant vowed a vow while I abode at Geshur in Syria, saying, If the LORD shall bring me again indeed to Jerusalem, then I will serve the LORD. 
2Sa 15:9  And the king said unto him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron. 
2Sa 15:10  But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet, then ye shall say, Absalom reigneth in Hebron. 
2Sa 15:11  And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, that were called; and they went in their simplicity, and they knew not any thing. 
2Sa 15:12  And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counsellor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom. 
2Sa 15:13  And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom. 
2Sa 15:14  And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword. 
2Sa 15:15  And the king's servants said unto the king, Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint. 
2Sa 15:16  And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten women, which were concubines, to keep the house. 
2Sa 15:17  And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and tarried in a place that was far off. 
2Sa 15:18  And all his servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men which came after him from Gath, passed on before the king. 
2Sa 15:19  Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou art a stranger, and also an exile. 
2Sa 15:20  Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee. 
2Sa 15:21  And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the LORD liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be. 
2Sa 15:22  And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that were with him. 
2Sa 15:23  And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness. 
2Sa 15:24  And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites were with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city. 
2Sa 15:25  And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me again, and shew me both it, and his habitation: 
2Sa 15:26  But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him. 
2Sa 15:27  The king said also unto Zadok the priest, Art not thou a seer? return into the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz thy son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 
2Sa 15:28  See, I will tarry in the plain of the wilderness, until there come word from you to certify me. 
2Sa 15:29  Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem: and they tarried there. 
2Sa 15:30  And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up. 
2Sa 15:31  And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness. 
2Sa 15:32  And it came to pass, that when David was come to the top of the mount, where he worshipped God, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his head: 
2Sa 15:33  Unto whom David said, If thou passest on with me, then thou shalt be a burden unto me: 
2Sa 15:34  But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king; as I have been thy father's servant hitherto, so will I now also be thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel. 
2Sa 15:35  And hast thou not there with thee Zadok and Abiathar the priests? therefore it shall be, that what thing soever thou shalt hear out of the king's house, thou shalt tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 
2Sa 15:36  Behold, they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz Zadok's son, and Jonathan Abiathar's son; and by them ye shall send unto me every thing that ye can hear. 
2Sa 15:37  So Hushai David's friend came into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem. 

Mark 13:24-14:9

Mar 13:24  But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 
Mar 13:25  And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. 
Mar 13:26  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 
Mar 13:27  And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. 
Mar 13:28  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: 
Mar 13:29  So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. 
Mar 13:30  Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. 
Mar 13:31  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. 
Mar 13:32  But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. 
Mar 13:33  Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. 
Mar 13:34  For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. 
Mar 13:35  Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: 
Mar 13:36  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. 
Mar 13:37  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. 

Mark 14:9

Mar 14:1  After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. 
Mar 14:2  But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people. 
Mar 14:3  And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. 
Mar 14:4  And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? 
Mar 14:5  For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. 
Mar 14:6  And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. 
Mar 14:7  For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. 
Mar 14:8  She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. 
Mar 14:9  Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. 

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