[1/7, 6:08 AM] 919063: Don’t give up on them
Tuesday 7th January 2020
‘Your sons are coming from distant lands.’ Isaiah 60:4 NLT
One of the lessons Jesus taught in the parable of the Prodigal Son is this: don’t give up on someone no matter how bad things may be in their lives.
We give up too soon because: (1) We see only their conduct. But we don’t know the experiences they’ve gone through that may have made them what they are. Sometimes people ‘act out’ of the pain of unhealed wounds and unresolved issues they carry inside them. Sometimes their anger is masking deep fear. Other times, they act like the dysfunctional parents who raised them, because those are the tools they were given to work with. And until someone shows them a new and better way to handle life, they’ll remain stuck. (2) We don’t know what people are struggling with. Don’t let their façade of success fool you. Someone can live in a nice home, and drive a nice car to a nice job, yet their marriage is falling apart, their children are in rebellion, and their mind is going crazy. They need your compassion. Instead of writing them off as a lost cause, ask God for words of wisdom. Isaiah said, ‘The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed’ (Isaiah 50:4 NIV). If you’ll keep praying for them and trying to help them, God will make you a paramedic of his mercy and grace.
So the word for you today is: don’t give up on them – because God hasn’t!
[1/7, 6:08 AM] 919063: *Above Only Devotional*
Tuesday, January 7
*Maximize God’s Grace to Plan, Prepare and Work Hard*
_Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV) , Luke 14:28 (CEV), Col. 3:23-24, Eccl. 9:10a_
_A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps. *Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. What is the first thing you will do? Won’t you sit down and figure out how much it will cost and if you have enough money to pay for it? *Whatever our hand finds to do, do it with all your might,… *And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ._
The grace of God is never an excuse not to plan, prepare and work hard. Rather, it is an empowerment that causes us to plan, prepare and work harder than others. The only difference is that our trust must remain fully in God and not in our plans, preparation and hard work, 1 Cor.15:10. Proverbs 21:31 says,“the horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.” This year, God will keep you safe and secure, but you must still be safety and security conscious. Do not be careless and clumsy. God will grant you the wisdom to make good plans for every area of your life and He will also direct you on the best way that you can execute or carry out those plans. As you trust God with all your heart, He will direct your path, Prov. 3:5.
Be clear and specific about what you want. Blind Bartimaeus came to Jesus, and Jesus said, “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus knew he was blind but Jesus wanted him to state what exactly he wanted, Mark 10:51. Put all your heart and all your might into all that you do. God will bless the works of your hand and He will make you above only indeed, Deut. 28:12-13. You can do all things through Christ that strengthens you, Phil. 4:13. This year, your hand will not be slack. It will be diligent always, Prov. 10:4. In John 5:17, Jesus said, “My Father is always working, and I too must work.” No wonder Jesus was fruitful and as productive as He was. This year, you too will be as fruitful and productive as Jesus. You will be faithful and diligent. You will be watchful and you will maintain the necessary foresight. You will see great opportunities ahead of you and you will prepare adequately and abundantly for them. You will be sensitive to the Spirit of God as He stirs your heart to Prepare and develop yourself.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you for the grace you have given me to continually plan, prepare adequately and work hard in every area of my life.
[1/7, 6:15 AM] 919063: OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL
DATE: TUESDAY 7TH JANUARY 2020.
THEME: POWER VS AUTHORITY II.
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19
READ: Mark 16:17-20
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
According to Acts 1:8, the moment you are baptized with the Holy Ghost, you have received power. But as we learnt yesterday, you need to go beyond the level of power to the level of authority. However, authority will only come when you go out to witness. That is why in Mark 16:17, Jesus said “And these signs shall follow…..” In other words, if you stay in one place- you won’t exhibit the signs, but if you go out to witness- the signs will follow you. Acts 10:38 says:
“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”
Although Jesus had been anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power, He did not stop there; He “went about” and because He did, He was able to heal all that were oppressed of the devil.
Peter and John were amongst the seventy disciples that Jesus sent out on evangelism in Luke 10. While they had been unable to cast out demons before then, by the time they went out preaching the gospel and returned, the demons had become subject to them (Luke 10:17). Still they did not understand the secret of this authority they had over demons, so they stopped evangelizing. It was on the resumption of their evangelistic activities, after Jesus had left them, that they were able to make the lame man at the Beautiful Gate walk.
Many Christians pray that they should also be able to heal the sick and raise the dead, but God is wondering why. They don’t go out to witness, not even in their office or to their neighbors, so why do they need signs and wonders? The signs are for unbelievers to believe (John 4:48) so if you are not ready to witness to them, please forget about signs and wonders. They are reserved strictly for those who witness for Jesus Christ.
Go and preach the gospel.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Job 14-16
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE
HYMN 2: ALL TO JESUS I SURRENDER.
1. All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.
I surrender all,
I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.
2. All to Jesus I surrender,
Humbly at His feet I bow;
Worldly pleasures all forsaken,
Take me, Jesus, take me now.
3. All to Jesus I surrender,
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.
4. All to Jesus I surrender,
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power,
Let Thy blessing fall on me.
5. All to Jesus I surrender,
Now I feel the sacred flame;
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name!