OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL
MONDAY 30TH SEPTEMBER 2013
MIDWIVES ARE REWARDED
MEMORISE: And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:3)
READ: John 14:1-3
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Ezra 8-10
Can you dare to stand alone? Can you dare to stand on the side of God while the government is against you? The midwives of Exodus 1 fell out of favour with the government of the day but they did not care. As a result of their sacrificial obedience to God, they entered into favour with God and began to receive special divine care according to Exodus 1:20. In fact, verse 21 says,
“And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.”
This could mean those who were single and searching found their right spouses and got married. It could also mean that those who were married had peace and multiplication in their homes. Also, this could mean that tenants among them became landladies by divine favour and speed. Beloved, are people laughing at you while you are obeying the King of kings? Are they calling you a fool because you refuse to compromise like others are doing to succeed? Are people saying you do not know the shortcut to prosperity? Never mind. Stay focused on your God-given assignment! God did not forget the midwives; He will also not forget you. God gave them households. God will not forget you or your labour in soul winning!
In John 14:1-3, the Lord assures us that He is building mansions for us. Many years ago, the Lord took me in a vision to a place in a city beyond compare in beauty. I saw a house under construction which was massive and had many rooms. The labourers were busy working at it. When I asked the Lord who owns the house, He said, ‘Son, this is your house’, expecting that since there is no night in Heaven, when my children come to pay me visits, they will have rooms to stay. He said the building is still going on as long as I am winning souls. Beloved, whether people believe it or not, I know what I saw. I saw mansions in Heaven. I have seen my own building. The Lord is equally building yours. Are committed to winning souls? Soul winners are so dear to God’s heart that He makes them relevant both
in time and in eternity. How much have you worked for your heavenly reward?
PRAYER POINT: Father, help me to serve you acceptably so that I do not lose my earthly and eternal rewards.
OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL
THURSDAY 26TH SEPTEMBER 2013
MEMORY VERSE: I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (John 15:5)
READ: Joshua 7:7-12
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Isaiah 64 – 66
Besides isolation from the source of fire and wrong company, another factor that could cause a firebrand to lose its fire is when it is unplugged. Take for example the electric pressing iron: if it is plugged to the power source, no matter how many clothes you iron with it, it will remain hot. But assuming while you are singing and ironing,
somebody unplugs it from the power source, you will continue ironing until you observe that the pressing iron no longer have impact on the clothes; by the time you check, the iron would have gone cold. Many leaders have gradually become cold unknowingly and as a result, they are ineffective in their spiritual assignments. This happened to
Samson. While he was toying with strange women, Delilah unplugged him from his source of power. He woke up and thought things were still the same, only to find out that he had been reduced to the level of the natural, having lost the supernatural edge (Judges 16:18-20). You cannot toy with the sins of pride, disobedience and immorality and expect things to be the same.
In Joshua 7:1-9, the children of Israel suffered a most avoidable and disgraceful defeat from Ai. Their leader did not just ignore it but sought God’s face concerning it. In verses 10-12, God told him the defeat was because He withdrew His support as a result of the sin of some of them. If you are no longer feeling God’s presence, check
your life. If the Holy Spirit is no longer moving you like He used to, check yourself. If you suffer a defeat from your enemy, check yourself. It is possible God is the One you are now contending with since you sinned. Trace the point you were unplugged. Repent with all sincerity and get
connected again. Are you separated from God, get reconnected. Pay whatever price He wants of you until you are re-plugged. You cannot serve God without His backing. So seek His face today until you find Him.
KEY POINT: Any time you break off from the Vine, you are left to handle issues and challenges with your own strength.
OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL
SUNDAY 22ND SEPTEMBER 2013
LET GO OF THE OLD
MEMORISE: Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. (Genesis 17:5)
READ: Genesis 17:1-7
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Isaiah 51-54
God is doing a new thing but some people are not prepared for it. In fact, some people have become so used to suffering that they are afraid of experiencing something different. I once prayed for somebody that when he is coming to the next convention of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, he would come in his own car. I noticed he did not say Amen, so I asked him if he heard what I said. He said he heard but that
when one gets a car, he will begin to bother about a
mechanic, insurance, fuel shortage and so on. There are some people who prefer to die poor. Why? They believe that if they are rich, armed robbers will begin to harass them; but are the poor also not victims of this?
If you were to compare, you will find out that being rich is still better than being poor, being full is better than being empty, progress is better than stagnation, etc. However, for the new to begin, the old must end. Take for example when Jacob experienced a change of name in Genesis 32:24-28, before he could be called Israel, his old name Jacob was done away with. God also changed Abram to Abraham and Sarai to
Sarah. If there is going to be a new beginning in your life, be prepared to part with old habits, thinking and stereotypes. If you think being sick gives joy, I believe you need to think again. If you think that poverty will get you into Heaven, you need to rethink. You can be the poorest man in the world and still end up in the hottest part of hell, whereas, you can be the richest man on earth and still be a king in Heaven. The
deciding factor is not in what you have, but in salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. God does not train His children with sicknesses contrary to what people think. He received stripes for you to be healed. He has paid for your healing already because He does not want you to be sick. He gains nothing in delaying your miracle. Make bold to receive with
thanksgiving what He has already accomplished for you on the Cross. Are you ready to let go of the old so that the new can have its course?
ACTION POINT: Ask God for the grace to completely leave the old for new blessings.
OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL
SATURDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER 2013
LIKE GREEDY DAVID?
MEMORISE: So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof. (Proverbs 1:19)
READ: 2 Samuel 12:7-10
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Isaiah 47-50
One enemy you must conquer on earth is yourself. If this is done, you will surely win other external battles because, the toughest battle is the one within. All who failed in external battles failed because they could not win the internal fight they had with lust, anger, pride, lies, disobedience, greed,
unforgiveness, bitterness or vain glory. It is never too late to start that fight. Start today! May the Lord deliver victory to you!
Every major bible character had their weaknesses. The only difference was that while some brought theirs before the Lord and received help to overcome, others simply ignored theirs probably because they thought it was very small, but later it ended up defeating them. The truth is, that little vice in your
character has great prospect for growth. If ignored over a period, the little foxes will become great giants. Some leaders who accommodated a little trace of anger some years ago cannot believe that today, the spirit of anger operates in them. The level of anger in them drives away enemies as well as friends, well-wishers, family and others. No sane person would like to stay or work with a highly temperamental person. Anger has destroyed several homes and relationships.
Greed had turned some friends into enemies. Greed has led to the untimely death of some business partners both in the world and in the church. Was it not greed that led David to murder an innocent servant – Uriah even after all that God
had given him? God hates greed! God has blessed some people in many ways but rather than being thankful, they are eyeing the little that others have. Do you know that some bosses are still eyeing the wives of their subordinates? Some believers that God has given several opportunities are eyeing the only
opportunity that some other believers have. Some people today do not mind killing Naboth to get his only piece of land even when they have several landed properties. Yet, God told David that if what He had given him was not enough, He could have asked Him and received more. Are you a captive of greed? Repent today and fight it until God gives you the victory.
PRAYER POINT: Father, uproot from my life every trace of anger, greed, bitterness and unforgiveness.
OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL
FRIDAY 20TH SEPTEMBER 2013
MEMORISE: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
READ: Acts 8:1-8
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Isaiah 44-46
From Mark 11:22-24, we understand that it is possible to move mountains. What is a mountain? It can mean a hindrance to progress. It can also be an obstacle preventing you from reaching your goal. A mountain can also be anything standing between you and your destiny. A hill is a problem while a mountain is a problem of a higher magnitude. Contrary to what many think and desire, mountains can really be useful. A mountain can be God’s own way of advertising you. Israel did not know David until Goliath came to the scene. God used the incessant harassment of Goliath to bring David to limelight. The mountain, through which God will advertise you, may you not run away from it. May it fulfill its divine purpose in your life!
Moreover, a mountain could be God’s way of waking you from sleep. In Acts 12:1, when Herod killed James, the church kept snoring, but when he grabbed Peter, they suddenly realised that if they did not do something about it, he would not stop at Peter but also kill the rest of them. So they began to pray. Are you sleeping spiritually? May the Lord get your attention by using a challenge to wake you up. In addition, a mountain can be God’s avenue for drawing you closer to Him. God can use it to develop you spiritual muscles. For instance, it was while Joseph was in prison that he became an interpreter of dreams. Until then, he was a mere dreamer. Also, a mountain can help you to discover your potential. Philip never knew he had the potential to be a great evangelist until the intense persecution against the church that scattered all of them. Until then, he thought it was not enough for him to aspire to be an outstanding deacon, but when his friend and fellow deacon – Stephen was killed, and Saul was throwing Christians into prison, he ran and that was how he got to Samaria and brought joy to the city after leading them to Christ. You may never really know what is in you until you face a big problem. Henceforth, problems will have their positive effects on you.
PRAYER POINT: Father, from today, let me see and benefit from the good sides of problems.
OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL
THURSDAY 19TH SEPTEMBER 2013
WATCHING YOUR COMPANY
MEMORISE: Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment: (Exodus 23:2)
READ: 1 Corinthians 15:33-34
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Isaiah 40-43
It is great to be God’s firebrand. But what could make a firebrand lose heat? This can happen when it is isolated from its source of fire. This means once you are a firebrand, do everything possible to remain connected with your source of power. God is our source of power and the greatest of fires originate from him. Hebrews 12:29 says He is a consuming fire. The fire of God is very fiery. His fire is the one that
neutralizes all other types of fire. When the three Hebrew children were thrown into Nebuchadnezzar’s fire which was the hottest fire as at that time, nothing happened to them because the more superior fire was already there before their arrival. God’s presence turned the enemy’s furnace into a suitable environment (Daniel 3:19-27). At the presence of the
consuming fire, all other fires lose their efficacy. Similarly, when this fire came down in 1 Kings18:38, it consumed what literarily fire cannot consume – stone and water. During ordination, we usually pray that the Almighty God will overshadow those ordained. By this we mean that God will rule over them. If a firebrand is isolated from fire for long, it can lose its flame.
In addition, a firebrand may lose its heat and become cold if it keeps the wrong company. If you take a firebrand and drop it inside water, what happens? The fire will go out! 1 Corinthians 15:33 says no matter how good you may be, if you continue to associate with evil people, it will definitely affect you some day. This is why 2 Corinthians 6:14 warns us not to be unequally yoke with unbelievers. We can simply explain Amos 3:3 to mean, show me your friends and I will show you who you are. Who are your friends? When you meet, what do you talk about? Do you talk about soul winning, anointing, expansion of God’s Kingdom or you discuss sports, politics, fashion, economy, etc.? If you will be a firebrand and sustain
it, you must be prepared to review your friends. Strictly abide by the instructions given in today’s reading.
ACTION POINT: Carefully examine all your friends and prayerfully determine which to drop, and which to retain.
OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL
MONDAY 16TH SEPTEMBER 2013
MEMORISE: But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:6)
READ: Matthew 18:3-7
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Number 11-14
Being a midwife is a highly sensitive and delicate assignment because if care is not taken, instead of facilitating life, the fellow might be facilitating disability or death. If negative impressions are registered in the hearts of young converts, they become almost indelible. Any believer who is supposed to be light but fails to radiate that light will definitely midwife souls in a wrong way. Today, many of us are sending souls thirsty for the Kingdom back to the world because of the love of money. A leader who condones sin and disobedience because the person in question is a financial supporter would find it difficult to uphold the truth of God’s Word. As a result of this, he would either have no standard or
operate multiple standards. When a financier offends, he will speak of mercy, but if it’s another person, he will wield the big stick. Such leaders forget that people, particularly young converts are watching them with keen interest. If converts who were expecting to see God’s standard of holiness see something even lower than what they left behind in the world, are we not encouraging them to go back to their vomit?
“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:6
One very unfortunate thing among Christians is the tendency to forget that every action would bring about some reactions. If people really believe in eternal judgment, they would avoid offending young converts like hell. A young sister gave her life to Christ and found herself in the midst of older believers – both male and female, they all put in effort to encourage her growth in the faith. But among them was this brother who was supposed to be the head of their Christian group. He sought to be alone with this young sister and to lure her into
fleshy lusts. When this became rampant, she began to wonder if fornication was allowed in the Christian faith because she did not know better until God helped her. are you painting Christ as a devil by your deeds?
PRAYER POINT: Father, let me never be an instrument in bringing down your converts.