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Ayodotun Folajuwon-Banjo
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Attended Olabisi Onabanjo University.
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Good morning to you all...today's open Heavens Topic:"RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT OPTIONAL"(Monday July 25, 2016)Vol. 16

Memorise:
As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death. Proverbs 11:19

Read: Hosea 10:12, (KJV)
12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

MESSAGE
It is interesting to note that the righteousness that mankind has detested from generation to generation, right from the fall, is not optional! Many scholars have endeavoured to explain away what righteousness entails and play down its importance to the point that sermons that encourage righteous living are now scarce. Sweet and pet talks have replaced sermons that demand righteous living. This is why St. Paul admonished his spiritual son, Timothy thus:
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”
2 Timothy 4:2-3

There are some lessons to be learnt from the above scripture; firstly, sermons that will produce righteous living must contain reproof, rebuke, exhortation and doctrine. Secondly, there is a time in the life of a Christian pilgrim when he will have to make himself intentionally available to reproof and rebuke. This is because, after a long stay in the Church environment, which might have earned him titles, he might no longer be teachable. Thirdly, righteous living required indoctrination; doctrines that are sound. In other words, there are doctrines that are not sound. So, believers must beware of doctrines of the devil.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”
1st Timothy 4:1

Today, some children of God make righteousness an optional virtue to their own danger because the scripture cannot be broken. It says:
“Fellow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord”
Hebrews 12:14

Beloved, it is true we shall be ultimately saved by grace. This is why we must pray for that grace to live righteously without struggle, because there is no grace is struggle. This is what makes the Christians faith unique. Our God is able to help us live for Him if we are willing and obedient. If we will not rationalise sin but admit it as it is and cry to God for help. The Bible says:

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”
Titus 2:11-12

I pray that as you desire righteousness today, the grace of God will bring it upon your life in Jesus’ name.

Prayer Point
Father, let your grace abound in my heart so that I may begin to live life pleasing to you as from now in Jesus’ name.

Bible in one year:
Colossians 1-4, Psalms 19:1-6
Author: Pastor E.A Adeboye
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Good morning to you all...today's open Heavens Topic:"NOT A VIRTUE!
"(Friday July 22, 2016)Vol. 16

Memorise:
As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly. Proverbs 26:11

Read: Proverbs 15:20-21, (KJV)
20 A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.

21 Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.

MESSAGE
Foolishness is not a virtue; rather it is a vice that costs its victim eternity in hell fire. The Bible says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). In other words, lack of the fear of God is the beginning of foolishness. So, when someone decides to live without the fear of God, he does whatever he pleases without consideration for the Word of God, he feels he is free to do whatever he likes with his life, he behaves as if he owns his life, but in actual sense, his life is borrowed and the Owner may ask for it anytime. Our Lord Jesus told a parable of a prosperous farmer who did not reckon with God in all his dealings. Considering the wealth he had possessed he said:

“And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?”
Luke 12:19-20

Some people who claim to be children of God behave foolishly sometimes. Our memory verse for today says: “As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.” Some brethren who had been modest and holy are now regretting their past pure Christian life! Those vanities they forsook in the past are now back in full force. This scripture is now fulfilled in their lives. Jesus said when a demon is cast out of a man, he goes away but after sometime he comes back to check whether that life is still empty. If he finds the life empty he goes back to take seven more powerful demons to take possession of the life (Luke 11:24-26). It is foolishness to go back to your old lifestyle after you have been cleansed from your former sins and impurities. The Bible says:

“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.”
2nd Peter 2:20

In the past, you could identify a child of God from afar off (with the few exceptions of those who were pretenders). Many things that are now being celebrated were abominations in those days. It is unfortunate that a wholesale return to those vanities is now in vogue. Some Christian scholars were brought to me in my office by their leaders many years ago and I saw assorted wild paintings – red, green, silver, brown, pink etc on their faces and lips. I could not help but tell them that was the first time I would see Bible scholars in such a wild exhibition of vanities. Their leader then promised that he would do something about it and that when Lazarus came out from the dead he was gradually striped of the grave clothes he had on. Theologians know how to explain things away. Beloved, going back from your first love is not a virtue; it is rather a vice. Repent today, tomorrow may be too late. (22 July 2016 Open Heavens)

Action Point
Check your life and see if there is any foolish act of sin, unrighteousness or backsliding. Repent.

Bible in one year:
Ephesians 1:1-4:16, Psalms 18:20-28
Author: Pastor E.A Adeboye
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Good morning to you all...today's open Heavens Topic:"VITAL INGREDIENTS OF PRAYER"(Thursday July 21, 2016)Vol. 16

Memorise:
And when ye stand praying, forgive if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:25

Read: Mark 11:22-26, (KJV)
22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

MESSAGE
Our Lord Jesus Christ did not only give us an outline for prayer in what is popularly called “The Lord’s Prayer” (Luke 11:2-4), He also gave us some vital ingredients of prayer. The first in our consideration is faith. The Almighty God demands that we have faith in Him. A man that prays without faith cannot get anything substantial from the spiritual exercise of prayer. When we pray, we should be assured that God is capable of doing whatever our desires are. Doubt is a grievous offence before the Almighty God. The children of Israel that doubted the capability of God were consumed by the fiery anger of the God who had been erstwhile benevolent to them, however, as many as believed in His Almightiness received great recompense for their faith.

“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.”
James 1:6-7

Another vital ingredient of the prayer that God will answer is forgiveness. This is a two-edged sword. Blessed is he that is forgiven, sin a hindrance to prayer. Unless we are forgiven, our prayer cannot be answered. This is why our Lord Jesus put an aspect of confession of sin in the prayer outline (Luke 11:4). No matter how old we may be in the Lord, if we discover any sin ranging from lying, outburst if unwarranted anger etc in our lives while we are getting set to pray, we must confess that sin first. The Bible says:
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1st John 1:8-9

On the other hand, our Lord Jesus Christ said:
“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Mark 11:25

Many of us come to the throne of mercy without the milk of mercy in our hearts. We come for mercy while we are not merciful; we come for forgiveness and we are not forgiving. What an irony? In Matthew 18:32-35, our Lord told the parable of the wicked servant who jailed his fellow worker that owed him a little after he himself had received pardon for a greater debt. His forgiving spirit made him forfeit the pardon for the debt he earlier received. Beloved, let us cultivate the habit of forgiving one another, at least for the fact that our Father in Heaven forgives every of our sins.

Prayer Point
Father, please increase my faith and put in me the spirit that freely forgive.

Bible in one year:
Galatians 4-6, Psalms 18:1-19
Author: Pastor E.A Adeboye
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Good morning to you all...today's open Heavens Topic:"THE HABITATION OF THE LORD"(Tuesday July 19, 2016)Vol. 16

Memorise:
If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous. Job 8:6

Read: Psalms 97:10-11, (KJV)
10 Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.

11 Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.


MESSAGE
The characteristics of the habitation of the Lord attracts our attention because of the blessings awaiting us there. The qualification of those who can be part of the habitation of the Lord is worthy of note. Our memory verse says:
“If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would wake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous.”
Job 8:6

The habitation of the Lord is the place where God blesses His people with diverse kinds of blessings – spiritual, physical and material. Only the pure and upright can enjoy the blessings of God’s habitation one of which is security.
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
Psalms 91:1

The issue of holiness is not a subject of debate for those who know that they stand to gain by living holy. If you live holy, you live holy for yourself as the Lord watches over the righteous (Psalms 5:12). Also, there is promotion for those who abide in the habitation of the Lord (Hebrews 1:9). Moreover, the Bible says;
“Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.”
Psalms 15:1-2

In other words, the habitation of the Lord is not an “all comers” affair, even though whoever chooses to be there can be there if the fellow is ready to pay the price. The price of living holy is what those who want to abide in the habitation of the Lord must pay. Our text for today emphasises the necessity of righteousness vis-à-vis divine protection:
“Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.”
Psalms 97:10-11

Nobody is careless about his precious possession. Anybody who chooses to live a consecrated life will enjoy divine protection. Such are precious stones in the sight of the Lord. The Lord watches over His heritage, i.e. His saints. This is why Psalms 125:3 says:
“For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity.”
He keeps them under His protection and ensures no evil befalls them. My prayer is that you will live under the watchful eyes of the Almighty.

Action Point
Search the scripture and find out all you must do to be able to abide in the habitation of the Lord.

Bible in one year:
2nd Corinthians 10-13, Psalms 15-16
Author: Pastor E.A Adeboye
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Good morning to you all...today's open Heavens Topic:"OUR CROSS BEARER"(Saturday July 16, 2016)Vol. 16

Memorise:
The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father; neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. Ezekiel 18:20

Read: Ezekiel 18:1-4
1The word of the Lord came unto me again, saying,

2 What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?

3 As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.

4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

MESSAGE
The righteousness of God demands that the soul that commits sin will die (Genesis 2:16-17). The first man and woman disobeyed God and then became sinners doomed for prediction. When Jesus Christ was sent to come and die for mankind, He made a demand on man to carry his cross and follow Him. The cross being referred to isn’t just two pieces of wood put together. Rather, it may be the consequence of the sins someone has committed. This is why Jesus came to help us with the cross of sin. He said:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart;: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

When we answer this call of Jesus Christ, He exchanges His light burden with our heavy load of sin. The Bible says that the reason Jesus Christ came to this world is that He may bear our burden of sin for us.
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
Isaiah 53:4-5

Beloved, come to Jesus Christ today and He will carry your burden of sin for you. As a matter of fact, the cross He carried during His earthy ministry was for you and me. All you need to do is to confess your sin and accept Him as your Saviour and Lord. The Bible says if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and there is no truth in us. We deny ourselves the privilege of the Cross bearer if we refuse to come to Him and make Him as the Lord of our lives. He must not just be a Saviour; He should also be the Lord. My prayer is that whatever heavy burden you are carrying will be lifted in Jesus’ name.

Prayer point
Father, I bring my burden to you today in genuine repentance, please forgive me and help me lift this burden.

Bible in one year:
1st Corinthians 14:26-16:24, Psalms 10:12-11:7
Author: Pastor E.A Adeboye
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Good morning to you all...today's open Heavens Topic:"DON’T BE AN INGRATE "(Thursday July 7, 2016)Vol. 16

Memorise:
We love him, because he first loved us. 1st John 4:19

Read: Luke 17:11-19, (KJV)
11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.

12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:

13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.

14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.

15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,

16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.

17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?

18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.

19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

MESSAGE
The attitude of ungratefulness irritates God. Where I come from in the western part of Nigeria, our people would say, “Don’t follow-up your benevolent act so that you don’t give the impression that you want a ‘thank you’ or some ‘hero worship’.” This saying is very correct because only God deserves our worship. As a matter of fact, it is only God that is capable of constantly following up His benevolent act and that is why He said;
“…When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest unto the priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you….”
Leviticus 23:10-11

Love is reciprocal. The question is how many people reciprocate the love being showered on them by fellow humans, not to talk of their attitude to God’s benevolent acts. The Psalmist saw the danger in the act of ingratitude and preached vehemently to his soul when he wrote:

“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:”
Psalm 103:1-2

The story in our Bible reading confirms that God expects us to appreciate Him sufficiently for His goodness. Our Lord Jesus Christ queried in Luke 17:17:
“…. Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?”
He went further to bless and perfect the healing of the grateful Samaritan. It is unfortunate that many children of God are already so used to the miraculous act of God that they are no longer moved by these acts. New comers into the Church who still remember clearly what they have suffered by the hands of the devil and his cohorts give thanks to God for every miracle. Whereas, some people don’t give testimonies of how God healed them of headache because they don’t see it as a “big deal”. Such people have forgotten that the headache they consider as ordinary has claimed the lives of thousands. My prayer for someone using this devotional is that you will never be ungrateful again in Jesus’ name. When you continue in your sins after you have been cleansed of them or when you backslide, you are ungrateful to God who gave His Son as ransom for your sins and to Jesus Christ who paid the supreme price of laying down His life for you. When you don’t forgive your brother who offends you, you are ungrateful to God who pardoned your numerous sins.

Prayer Point
Father, forgive me of my sin of ingratitude. Holy Spirit, help me to be grateful to my Father in Heaven always in Jesus’ name.

Bible in one year:
Romans 1-3, Psalms 1-2
Author: Pastor E.A Adeboye
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Friday, 24 June 2016

Open Heavens 24 June 2016: Friday daily devotional by Pastor E. A. Adeboye – Contented?

Topic: Contented? [Friday 24, June 2016]

Memorise: And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. – 1 Timothy 6:8

Read: Ecclesiastes 5:10-12 (KJV)

10 He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.

11 When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes?

12 The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.

Bible in One Year: Acts 4-5, Ecclesiastes 12:9-14

MESSAGE:

Lack of contentment is a sin because it is a sign of ingratitude to the Almighty God. There are many people who focus so much on what God is doing in the lives of other people and ignore what God is doing in their own lives. If you don’t want to end abruptly, do not give room for greed. Do not envy others. Envy is a sin.

Contentment means a life that is satisfied with the faithfulness of God. It is to be delighted with what God is doing in your own life, even as you appreciate what He is doing in the life of others. A contented person is someone who is thrilled and captivated with the grace of God upon his life. When God is on your side, it doesn’t matter what your present level may be, you can be rest assured that your tomorrow will be much better. You need to remember that it is only the blessings of the Lord that makes rich and adds no sorrows. Instead of envying others, why not just talk to God and ask Him for what you need. He says whatever you ask in the Name of Jesus will be given to you. All of God’s blessings have their seasons. You need to appreciate the phase you are in before you can move to the next phase. There are many people who have not done anything with the opportunities given to them and they are wishing for the opportunities of others around them. If you don’t learn to be contented, you cannot be a happy child of God. If you will not wait for the mangoes on your tree to get ripe, you are never going to enjoy them. I know people who are so materialistic in nature; these people live in debt simply because they want to be envied by others. Never live your life for anybody. Appreciate what God has given you and continue to trust Him, and work towards a better life.

Discontentment is an evil spirit that needs to be dealt with. It is a manifestation of the flesh and it should be crucified. This is why you need to know that it is not what you have that determines your state of happiness, happiness is a function of the mind. I know people who are very wealthy and do not have peace, and it is amazing that all around us, there are people who do not have much yet are very happy. One of the reasons why people lack contentment is that they always compare situations. Whenever people focus on what they don’t have, they become discontented. Be contented with what God has given you. That is not to mean that you can’t ask for something better, but it must not be from the point of ingratitude.

Children of God should not be in any worldly competition. It is all vanity. There is nothing as pleasing as living a simple life. There is nothing wrong with wealth. It becomes wrong when one has made the accumulation of wealth his sole purpose in life. 
Key Point: Contentment gives peace of mind.
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Good morning to you all...today's open Heavens Topic:"CALLED UNTO GREATNESS "(Wednesday July 20, 2016)Vol. 16

Memorise:
And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. Luke 5:10

Read: Luke 5:1-10,
1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,

2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.

3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.

4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.

7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:

10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.

MESSAGE
There is something special about the call of God from generation to generation and from dispensation to dispensation. For example, in Genesis, when God made a call among the Trinity about the creation of man, something great came out of that call and that is the uniqueness of man as a special creation. It should be remembered that there was no call at all when other creatures were being created. After the fall, there were many generations up to the time of Abram and when God called Abram and changed his name to Abraham, his life never remained the same.
In our Bible reading for today, we read about the call of Peter into the office of apostleship. When at the lake of Gennesaret, Peter had no idea of awesomeness of the call when Jesus said to him: “Fear not, from henceforth thou shalt catch men.” (Luke 5:10). Peter, an ordinary fisherman, became great as a result of this ‘simple’ call. Many Cathedrals have been built and named after Peter, the frustrated fisherman before his encounter with Jesus. One can see that a single encounter with Jesus can make a great difference in one’s life. Jesus is calling someone today as you read this devotional and He is saying:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
Matthew 11:28-29

To have a profitable encounter with Jesus, certain things must be done. You must answer His call. He is calling you to follow Him, but you must not just follow Him, you must learn of Him, and all the ideals He brought from His father must be imbibed by you. Jesus said:
“My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”
John 17:16-17

Learning of Jesus entails living according to how He lived here on earth. His life of obedience to the will of His Father must be emulated. The Bible enjoins us to have the same mind like Christ (Philippians 2:5-11), and we shall experience great elevation like Jesus did. God is calling us to be like Him; He wants to make us great. May we not refuse His call today; firstly for salvation and secondly for service.

Action Point
What area do you think God is calling you into? Answer Him now and be blessed.

Bible in one year:
Galatians 1-3, Psalms 17
Author: Pastor E.A Adeboye
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There were two houses standing next to each other. In one of them resided a very unhappy family. The spouses yelled at each other, they fought and quarreled all the time. The other was a place of happiness and calm.

During one of the fights a wife asked her husband:

“Did you ever hear them quarrel or yell over at that house? No!

So, go there and see what they do to avoid it!”

The husband stood at the window of his neighbors and watched. There they were busy doing their own thing. The wife was in the kitchen cooking, and the man sat at the table writing. The phone rang, and the man jumped up and headed to the hallway to get it.

On his way he bumped into a vase, it fell and broke. He got down to his knees and started picking up the pieces. The wife ran into the room from the kitchen. She also kneeled down and started helping her husband to pick them up.

The man said to his wife:

“I am so sorry. I rushed to get the phone and bumped into the vase. It fell and got broken.”

The wife replied:

“No, honey, it is my fault. I put it there on the way. That’s why you bumped into it.”
They kissed, and that was over. Both got back to what they were doing.

The man who watched them returned to his wife. She wanted to know what the secret of their happiness was.

What he said was fantastic:

“I know it now. In their family they both are guilty and in our family both of us are always right!”

That’s the secret of family happiness!

Food for thought.

The "trick" isn't in not wanting to take responsibility, but rather in not claiming right.

There are times you need to forfeit your right to win your peace: depends on which you cherish most.

This recipe is applicable, not only in the home, but also at work and in all relationships.
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Good morning to you all...today's open Heavens Topic:"FOOLISHNESS IN VOW TAKING"(Friday July 8, 2016)Vol. 16

Memorise:
Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Ecclesiastes 5:5

Read: Psalms 15:1-4, (KJV)
1 Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?

2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.

3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.

4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.


MESSAGE
There will be both pleasant and unpleasant surprises in Heaven. The reason being that many who we think will not make it to Heaven will make it in, just like the robber on the right hand of the Cross of Jesus Christ did. The Bible says;

“But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.”
Ezekiel 33:19

The lawful thing for the wicked to do is to repent, as God is more than willing to forgive and to cleanse him from all unrighteousness (1st John 1:7-9). However, the Bible equally says:

“When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.”
Ezekiel 33:18

One deadly habit of some 21st century Christians is making a vow and not fulfilling it. This is foolishness of the highest order. The Bible warns us against making vows and not fulfilling them. One of such cases is when funds are being raised for the work of God; careless children of God make very big vows ‘in faith’ that they are not able to fulfil. You hear them saying, “God understands!” How dangerous. Our memory verse says;
“Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.”
Ecclesiastes 5:5
Verse six of the same scripture further say:
“Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error; wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?”

Worse still, despite being capable of paying their vows, some refuse to, even after God has fulfilled His own part. Nothing could be more dangerous than this.
An aspect of vows that is even more delicate is the marriage vow. People no longer accept the fact that marriage vows remain valid until death separates the husband from the wife or vice versa. They give flimsy excuses for divorcing their spouses. Like one of my children would ask: “When you were saying ‘for better and for worse’, did you put a limit to the extent of the worse you were talking about?” You should never consider breaking your marriage vows. God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16)

Beloved, always keep and pay your vows, and if you have broken your business or marriage vow, repent, restitute and reconcile before it is too late. Covenant breakers will not enter into the Kingdom of God.

Action Point
Think of all the unfulfilled vows you have made and make amends without further delay.

Bible in one year:
Romans 4-7:6, Psalms 3-4
Author: Pastor E.A Adeboye
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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL

DATE: FRIDAY 1 JULY 2016

THEME: THE PRESENT HELP

MEMORISE:

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalms 46:1b

READ: 1st KINGS 17:12-16 (KJV)

12 And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.

14 For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.

15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.

16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.

MESSAGE

Bible writers under the influence of the Holy Ghost, wittily qualified or limited significant nouns common to human experiences. For example, in Psalm 103:4 when the Psalmist decided to qualify the kindness and mercies of God upon his life he wrote:

“Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies".

In other words, the kindness he received from God was not ordinary but the loving type. Also, the mercies were not the harsh type but the tender ones. My prayer for you is that this will be your own experience too in Jesus’ name.

In our memory verse for today, we read about an attribute of God that is noteworthy for our advantage; “The very present help in trouble". Going by this testimony of the Psalmist, God is help personified, and He is never a belated help; He is always on time. But for this attribute of God, the widow of Zarephath in today’s reading would have eaten up her last meal before the messenger of the God of multiplication arrived.

“And she said, as the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” 1st Kings 17:12

As I always tell my congregation in the Redeemed Christian Church of God, I strongly believe that the woman was saying that she was going to prepare the last meal, eat it with her household and then commit suicide but help came for her just on time. However, before the Present Help can come to your aid, you need to have the same spiritual conviction of the widow in our Bible reading for today. One of the virtues of this widow is that she believed in the God of Prophet Elijah. Another thing about this widow is that she believed that the God of Elijah was alive. This helped her to respond positively to the instruction of the prophet by going ahead to do what the prophet said, and there came the miracle of multiplication. The Bible says in 2nd Chronicles 20:20

“Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.”

Beloved, if you believe in God as your Present Help, it will show in your way of life. For example, you will not live in doubt of His promises and so you will respond in faith to his directives. You will not cut corners in order to achieve your desires, because you know that the Present Help shall always be there for you. This woman in our Bible reading had faith in the God of Israel and this she showed by according respect to the man of God. Do you have regard for God? It will show in how you regard you pastor and his words. May the Present Help be there for us always in Jesus’ name.

PRAYER POINT

O, Present Help, please help me today to solve all my problems.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Acts 16:16-18:17 and Song of Solomon 4:9-5:1

AUTHOR: Pst E. A ADEBOYE

HYMN 6: WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS.

What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.

Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge;
take it to the Lord in prayer.

Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he'll take and shield thee
thou wilt find a solace there.
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Good morning to you all...today's open Heavens Topic:"ACCEPTABLE SACRIFICE"(Wednesday June 22, 2016)Vol. 16

Memorise:
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. Romans 12:1

Read: Isaiah 66:1-5, (KJV)
1 Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?

2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

3 He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.

4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

5 Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

MESSAGE
Every disciple of Jesus Christ must realize that their bodies have become a living sacrifice to God. This should be the natural response of every spiritually minded individual in appreciation to the grace of salvation in Christ Jesus. No doubt, God’s grace was poured out for our salvation; our response should be obediently complying with the instructions of the One who had given His life for the remission of our sins.

There is so much deposited in us to be effective weapons in God’s hand for this generation, but the problem is that we have to remove those little foxes in our lives. Men and women who have not been purged cannot give acceptable sacrifices unto the Lord. From the scriptures, we understand that the reason the offerings of the Levites were not accepted by God was because there were issues they needed to settle with Him. Until we are purified and sanctified, our sacrifices of offering and service in the vineyard will not receive heaven’s attention. What are those things or who are those people in your life that have made your life unstable in Christ.

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in the present age”
Titus 2:11-12

We are to offer our lives in sacrificial worship and service to Him. As a vessel in the hand of God, we should no longer center our thoughts and actions on those things that pertain to this world. We should no longer engage in matters that will divert our attention from eternity. Our God is holy and He expects us to be holy. For our sacrifices to be acceptable before Him, we have to be like Him in every sphere of our lives. When you are holy, miracles will begin to happen in your life and the power of God will begin to flow in you and through you to other lives. This will enable us to continue the mission of destroying the works of the devil.

Many Christians are unable to access the reward of a new life because they are still tied to the culture of this world. They are still entangled with the ideas, principles and concepts of this world, and this has denied them the opportunity to manifest as children of God. You have to make a deliberate choice to be useful and acceptable before your Maker. Remove everything that has the ability to deprive you of your spiritual stature.

Prayer Point
Father, make me a vessel unto honour in Your hands.

Bible in one year:
Esther 8-10, Ecclesiastes 11
Author: Pastor E.A Adeboye
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