[12/28, 7:03 AM] 919063: OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL
DATE: SATURDAY 28TH DECEMBER 2019
THEME: THE KING IS COMING.
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: 1 Thessalonians 4:16
READ: Acts 1:9-11
9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
One of the anchors of our faith in Christ ia the hope that He is coming back. Again (1 John 3:2-3). Unfortunately, not a lot of people are still excited about this great event, which will surely take place. As a matter of fact, teachings on the last days and second coming of Christ have not been heard in some churches in the last five to ten years! This is not surprising because this attitude is in line with what the Lord foretold would happen in the last days, saying in Luke 17:26-27:
“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.”
As revealed by the Holy Spirit in today’s memory verse, the Lord’s coming is not going to be a secret event. He is coming with great grandeur, in His true personality as the King of kings and the Lord of lords. It is laughable that some so-called scholars claim that Jesus has already come secretly, while some others claim He has changed His mind and is not coming back again! On the day of His ascension, the angels who spoke with the disciples made it clear that He will return the same way He left.
There are some salient truths about the King we are expecting that we need to establish today. First is that He interacted with His disciples for forty days after His resurrection from the Dead, and He even ate with them (Acts 1:3, John 21:7-15). So, He is not a ghost, an apparition or the result of the disciples’ hallucinations. He was seen by over five hundred men, not counting the women who were also His disciples (1 Corinthians 15:4-8). So, his resurrection from the grave is not based on the wishful-thinking of just a few fanatics. Secondly, He ascended into heaven through the sky in the presence of His disciples. There was no gimmick or hidden magic trick about it. After His ascension, angels testified that He would return in like manner. Therefore, nobody should be deceived that Jesus Christ has secretly returned. As a matter of fact, He has no reason to return in secret. In light of these truths, believers must be ready for the imminent return of the King of kings. The amazing thing is that despite the stories Jesus told about kings who traveled and returned requesting accountability from their servants, many do not seem to understand that these parables are intended to prepare us for the events of the last days. I pray that you will be wise enough as the children of Issachar to accurately observe and understand the times and seasons we live in (1 Chronicles 12:32). God will keep you to the very end in Jesus’ Name.
Father, please let me not be put to shame at the return of the King of Kings, in Jesus’ Name.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Ecclesiastes 4-7
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE
HYMN 17: HOLD THE FORTH.
1. Ho, my comrades, see the signal, waving in the sky!
Reinforcements now appearing, victory is nigh.
“Hold the fort, for I am coming,” Jesus signals still;
Wave the answer back to Heaven, “By Thy grace we will.”
2. See the mighty host advancing, Satan leading on;
Mighty ones around us falling, courage almost gone!
3. See the glorious banner waving! Hear the trumpet blow!
In our Leader’s Name we triumph over every foe.
4. Fierce and long the battle rages, but our help is near;
Onward comes our great Commander, cheer, my comrades, cheer!
[12/28, 7:03 AM] 919063: Paul’s thorn and yours (1)
Saturday 28th December 2019
‘I was given a thorn in my flesh.’ 2 Corinthians 12:7 NLT
Bible scholars disagree as to what Paul’s ‘thorn’ was. Some think it may have been poor eyesight, others a speech impediment, and others a physical challenge. Why doesn’t the Bible tell us? Well, if his problem was poor eyesight, then we would say, ‘That doesn’t help me because I have 20/20 vision.’ If it was a speech impediment, those with the gift of communication wouldn’t find comfort in his words. If it was a physical challenge, those with good health would think they’re exempt. The reason the Bible doesn’t tell us may be this: no matter what your particular struggle or affliction is, the same God who gave Paul victory over his thorn will give you victory too.
Who’s a person in your life you might describe as ‘a thorn in your side’? What’s the ‘thorny’ situation at work you face day after day? You can have a ‘thorny’ relationship with someone that requires extra grace, love, and prayer. That’s why Peter writes, ‘Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord… Jesus’ (2 Peter 3:18 NKJV).
Each of our thorns is different because God customises them to our need. Why? So that we will ‘grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord…Jesus’. God is more interested in our character than he is in our comfort, so sometimes when we pray for lighter burdens, he gives us stronger backs. The songwriter said: ‘He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater, he giveth more strength when the labours increase; To added affliction he addeth his mercy, To multiplied trials, his multiplied peace.’
[12/28, 7:36 AM] 919063: *Above Only Devotional*
Saturday, December 28
*Add Contentment to Your Godliness*
_1 Timothy 6:6 (NKJV, NLT), Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV)_
_Now godliness with contentment is great gain. *Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. *Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say, “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”_
The world will keep attempting to condition our minds to lose the great value that God places on being godly and being content. The world will keep celebrating people who are ungodly despite the negative manner in which they have chosen to live their lives. Do not be carried away by what men think about you at the expense of what God knows about you. Remain conscious of God’s life and power that are within you. A good investment is usually measured by its. long term profit or benefit. However, both society and the devil will have us only consider only short-term benefits, regardless of what it may cost us or what we might lose in the future. Godliness with contentment is great gain and godliness with greed or covetousness is a great loss.
Always remain grateful for where you are and for what you have. As you continually seek to please God, He will lead you and add every good thing that you desire unto you, Matt. 6:33. By His power in you, He will do exceedingly abundantly above all you ask or think (Eph. 3:20) and He will richly give you all things to enjoy. But, He wants your trust to remain in Him, not in those riches, 1 Tim. 6:17. The way you go about obtaining what you desire is very important to God. You must go about it God’s way. Don’t be deceived by riches and the things of this world, Mark 4:19. Do not allow your desire for anything to become such a god to you that you are willing to do just about anything to obtain it, even if it means compromising your faith. You are already complete in Christ (Col. 2:10) and you can do all things through Christ that strengthens you, Phil. 4:13. Rejoice in this.
Prayer: I am grateful to you Lord for where I am and for what I have. My trust is in you and I know you will keep blessing and lifting me up.Share On: