April 2017
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Use the Keys  by Joyce Meyer
…They who seek (inquire of and require) the Lord [by right of their need and on the authority of His Word], none of them shall lack any beneficial thing.
—Psalm 34:10

Jesus said, I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind (declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth must be what is already bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth must be what is already loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:19).

As a believer, you have authority to live a life of victory and to forbid the devil to torment you. It is not lawful for him to destroy you in heaven, so it is not lawful for him to destroy you during your days on earth. Use the keys of the kingdom of heaven that Jesus has passed to you. Loose God’s blessings upon your efforts and bind the evil works that come against the fruit of your labors today.


Failure is Not Final by Joel Osteen
“But I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.”
(Phillipians 3:13, NLT)

TODAY'S WORD:
Are you down on yourself today because of past mistakes you’ve made or because you’re not where you want to be in life? God knows every poor choice, every difficulty, every wrong turn you may have made, and He’s already planned your comeback! In scripture, Jonah took a detour, so to speak. It took him a little bit longer, but because he called out to God, because he believed, God not only rescued him, but God got him to his final destination.

Friend, know today that failure is not final. God always has the final say. Mistakes don’t have to keep you from your destiny. God’s plan can override every setback. Your world may be in turmoil today in a relationship, in your finances or health. But know this: not only will God rescue you; He will set your feet on a rock and lead you to your final destination in life. Remember, the promise He placed on the inside of you didn’t go away because you had some personal failures. No, that failure is only temporary but His Word remains forever! Keep hoping, keep believing because He will move you into the blessing and victory He has prepared for you!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, thank You for Your hand of victory and blessing that is on my life. Today, I shake off the past, I shake off failure, I shake off poor choices and trust that You are restoring me and leading me into the plan You have for me in Jesus’ name. Amen!


To Restore or Tear Down? by John Hagee
For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.

Constructive Criticism Seeks To Restore.  Destructive Criticism Seeks To Tear Down.
Constructive criticism attacks the problem, not the person.  Destructive criticism attacks the person and ignores the problem.  Its venom is planted by a twolegged viper trying to crush another person’s selfimage, character or spirituality with a selfrighteous vengeance.

To Restore or Tear Down?

Remember the account recorded in John 8 of the woman caught in the act of adultery?  The Pharisees wanted to kill her.  But Jesus found a way to restore her.  When something within us wants to hurt another person with our speech, we can be sure it’s the voice of evil trying to use our tongues to do its dirty work.

Constructive criticism says, I may not like what you do, but I like you.  Destructive criticism is designed from the outset to hurt, to create selfdoubt, to foster suspicion.  It’s one of Satan’s favorite weapons for destroying friendships, marriages and churches.

Jesus warns us “men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken.

There are times when unpleasant truth does have to be told.

Here are four commonsense questions to ask in handling these difficult situations:
Is what I’m about to say absolutely true?
Is it absolutely necessary to tell it, to this audience, at this time, under these circumstances?
Is it fair to all concerned?
Is my motive in telling it pure?

Source:  Being Happy In An Unhappy World


Jesus Is God’s Satisfaction by Joseph Prince
Leviticus 1:9
…And the priest shall burn all [the pieces of the bull] on the altar as a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord.

When Jesus was on the cross, He did more than just die for your sins. His one sacrifice did not just remove your sins, but it also clothed you in His righteousness and perfection. Jesus became the true “burnt sacrifice”.

In the Old Testament, whenever someone offered a burnt sacrifice, the perfection of the animal came on him. In the same way, every perfect attribute of Jesus your “burnt sacrifice” comes on you when you take Him as your Savior. And because God sees you clothed with Christ, you have the same acceptance and favor with Him that Jesus has!

When Jesus was offered on the cross, the fire of God brought out His perfections like perfume to God. In that one sacrifice, Jesus’ obedience and perfections rose as “a sweet aroma to the Lord”, which is what is emitted when the offering is burnt. This “sweet aroma” speaks of a savor of rest to God. Jesus’ perfect sacrifice gave God so much satisfaction that He rested.

You can also rest in the perfect sacrifice of Jesus, knowing that what He did, He did for you—“Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma”. (Ephesians 5:2) You can rest knowing that God the Father is satisfied with you because His Son’s sacrifice has caused His heart to rest with regard to you. You can rest because Jesus is God’s satisfaction for you.

Today, as you come before God, say, “Father, I thank You that Jesus is such a delight and joy to You. He satisfies Your heart completely. And what He did, He did for me. Because Jesus so satisfies You, I know that You are satisfied with me. Because Jesus is Your delight, I am also Your delight. Because Jesus so pleases You, I know I please You too. And because Jesus is my righteousness and perfection, I stand righteous and perfect before You.”

Beloved, when you speak of Christ and His finished work, it goes up to God as a sweet-smelling aroma, a savor of rest. And if God can rest in the perfect sacrifice of His Son, you can too!

Thought For The Day
You can rest because Jesus is God’s satisfaction, delight, righteousness and perfection for you.


A Call to Godly Living by Dr. Charles Stanley
Romans 12:1

The apostle Paul lived in an age when sensuality, the pursuit of pleasure, and rebellion against the Lord were prevalent. In response, he wrote letters urging Christians not to follow in the ways of the world. Like those early believers, we are to pursue godliness by...

Presenting our bodies to God. Our total being—mind, will, physical body, personality, and emotions—are to be turned over to our heavenly Father (James 4:7). Submitting ourselves to the Lord requires both a definite decision to give Him control and a daily commitment to remain under His authority. By surrendering to Him, we position ourselves for godly living.

Becoming living sacrifices. The Christian life is built around the concept of sacrifice. Jesus left the perfection of heaven to dwell among a sinful people so He might reconcile us to God. He offered up His life for our sake—to make payment for our sins (1 John 3:16) and to bring us into His family. And as believers, we are to follow His example. Paul called it a living sacrifice, because it is ongoing and repeated daily.

Life is full of options. Many decisions involve a choice between following God’s way or our own. Maturing Christians will increasingly sacrifice their own desires and embrace His will.

A life of godliness is characterized by a heart and mind bent toward the things of God. Although we will live imperfectly, our aim should be to obey His will and please Him. Let’s commit to becoming more like Jesus, the one who willingly gave Himself as a sacrifice for us.

Bible in One Year: 1 Chronicles 1-3


Beyond The Common by Jerry Savelle
Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you: “Behold, you despisers, marvel and perish! For I will work a work in your days, a work which you will by no means believe, though one were to declare it to you” (Acts 13:40-41 NKJV).

When Paul spoke these words to a group of worshipers in Antioch, citing the words written by the prophet Habakkuk (see Habakkuk 1:5), he was referring to the recent death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was clearly the most extraordinary demonstration of God’s love and goodness the world had ever seen.

Although God’s love has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (see Romans 5:5), God continues to look for opportunities to pour out His love and goodness in many other extraordinary ways. However, we oftentimes limit Him by setting our expectations only on what is common in our lives.

The word common means “general, ordinary, familiar.” It can also mean “mediocre or inferior quality.” On the other hand, one of the meanings of the word extraordinary is “beyond the common method and beyond the common course of things.”

God is saying, “What once was rare is going to become the norm.” I believe things that were once rare—breakthroughs in finances, in healing, and in the restoration of relationships—are going to become the norm. God said He is going to do a work that will be so marvelous, so wonderful, and so extraordinary that some people will not be able to believe it, even if it is clearly described to them in detail.

Now is the time to stretch our faith, stretch our imagination, and think bigger than we’ve ever thought before. Now is the time to believe beyond the common, and see God pour out His love and goodness in extraordinary ways.

Confession: I choose to raise my vision and my expectations above what is common in my life. I declare that what was once rare will become the norm as I see breakthroughs in every area of my life. I expect God’s marvelous work in my life to manifest, and I believe that I receive it now.

Author: Jerry Savelle


Our Place Of Glory And Victory In Him by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-6).

Ephesians 1:21 says Jesus Christ is seated in the place of authority in the heavenly realms, not just above or near above, but “far” above all principality and power, every rulership or government, and the authority by which they govern. The Wuest Translation says, “…over and above every government and authority and power and lordship….” Blessed be God! There’s none like Jesus! He has the supremacy and dominion over all things.

However, the most beautiful and inspiring part of it all is our connection to Him in His victory, glory, and authority. Remember that we’re members of His body; we’re connected to Him. Read our theme scripture again and see the connection; it reveals your current location, your place of glory and victory in Him. You’ve been raised up together, and made to sit together in heavenly places, in Christ Jesus.

This therefore means you’re over and above all principality and power, every rulership or government, and the authority by which they govern. You have the supremacy and dominion over all things. It doesn’t matter where you go in this world, be in charge and in control. Refuse to be sick. Say “no” to anything that hurts or binds. You’re not an ordinary person. You’re superior to Satan, demons and all

their influences. You’re a victor in Christ Jesus, born to reign and rule over circumstances. Always acknowledge and affirm who you are, what you have, your connection with the Lord Jesus Christ, and your place of glory and victory in Him

CONFESSION I’m seated with Christ in the place of authority, over and above all principality, power, and the rulers of the darkness of this world! I live in the dominion, victory, and glory of Christ; my life is the expression of God’s righteousness, and the manifestation of His wisdom and excellence, now and forever, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

READING PLAN:
Luke 24:13-35
2 Samuel 9-11

2 YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN:
Mark 6:45-56
Numbers 4

FURTHER STUDY:
Ephesians 2:1-6
Ephesians 1:19-21
Colossians 3:1-2  


Open Heavens: Overriding Doubts by Pastor E.A Adeboye
Memorise: 
Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it? Isaiah 43:13

Read: James 1:5-8 (King James Version)
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

6 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.

7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.


Bible in one year: 
Numbers 30-31,
Jeremiah 23:23-40,

Hymn: 
Sing hymn 1

Message:
God can make you laugh when He decides to overrule your doubts. Going by the standard set in today’s Bible reading, if you are double minded over an issue you brought before God, you should not expect anything from Him. However, if you doubted God in a given situation and He overlooks your doubt and grants your petition, know for sure He is doing it solely because of His grace. In Genesis 18:9-15, when God visited Abraham and said his wife Sarah was going to have a baby in nine months’ time, she laughed. She could not believe that she could ever be pregnant at age 90.

She laughed because she had never seen such a thing happen before. Are you laughing over God’s promises and declarations over your life? Are you laughing because you have never seen anyone who experienced that kind of miracle? Stop your laugh of doubt and believe God today! Why? If there is no precedent to follow, God can make yours the precedence that others would refer to.

A life of faith is so important to God that four different times in the Bible, He repeatedly said “The just shall live by faith” (Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, Hebrews 10:38). However, as a manifestation of His sovereignty, He also says that whenever He makes up His mind to do something, nobody and nothing can hinder Him – not even your doubts (Isaiah 43:13). I pray that every good plan and purpose of God for your life shall be established in spite of your doubts in Jesus’ Name! We see this truth demonstrated in 2nd Kings 4:8-17. When Elisha declared to the Shunammite woman that she would have a son after nine months, she replied, “Man of God, please don’t deceive me.” This meant that she did not believe him. Although Elisha did not say anything after that, God had already spoken, and so the matter was settled. She thereafter had her baby in accordance to Elisha’s declaration. This season, God will overrule your doubts and give you that expected miracle! There are some people who believe God’s promise for a little while and then fall into doubt again. Over the years, they have continuously swung back and forth between faith and doubt and so have not been able to receive God’s promise. This season, by the mercy of the Most High God, the Lord will override your doubts and make the impossible possible in your life in Jesus’ Name. God’s mercy will show up for you today! Your laughing season starts now.


Prayer Point
Father, in Your mercy, override my doubts and every stumbling block on my way, and cause my laughter to begin today.
Open Heaven Daily Devotional, written by Pastor E.A Adeboye,

The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer's Ministries.
iOpenHeavens is the electronic version of the Hard Copy. The Open Heavens devotional application is available across all mobile platforms and operating systems: iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows Mobile and PC. Click HERE to DOWNLOAD Daily Open Heaven Devotional from January to December 2017



Break Through the Wall by Kenneth Copeland
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Philippians 4:13

You’re running the race set before you, moving full-speed ahead with God’s blessing overtaking you at every step. Then suddenly, wham! You hit the wall. It may be a wall of sickness or financial trouble, of spiritual failure or family problems. But, regardless of the form it takes, the effect of “the wall” is always the same. It stops you cold.

The question is, once you hit a wall like that, what will you do? You’ll be tempted to quit, to turn back in defeat. But don’t do it. Because God will enable you to break through that wall and keep right on going.

I’m not going to tell you it’s easy. The truth is, it’s tough. But you have to push on through the tough times if you’re ever going to have a breakthrough.

Ask any athlete. He’ll tell you that! Because if he’s a winner, he’s been there. He’s pushed his body to what seems to be the maximum. His side has hurt. His lungs have ached. He’s had cramps in his legs and thighs. And just when he felt like he couldn’t go on, he’s heard some coach yell, “Come on! Move it!”

Athletes call that “hitting the wall.” It’s a time when the body says, “That’s it. That’s all I can do. I can’t go any farther. I can’t go any faster. I quit.”

But the seasoned athlete knows that “the wall” isn’t the end. It’s a signal that he’s on the verge of a breakthrough. If he’ll toughen up and push himself a little more, he’ll get a second wind. Suddenly, he’ll go faster than before. He’ll reach a level of excellence he couldn’t have reached any other way.

When you feel the worst, when failure is breathing down your neck, press in to the Word as never before. You may meditate on a particular scripture for days and even weeks sometimes, trying to get a revelation of it, seemingly without success. Then suddenly, like the dawn of the morning, light will come pouring in. You’ll see the way to break through. All you have to do is punch one little hole in that wall of problems, dig one tiny hole in it with your faith and with the Word of God.

Then keep tearing away at that hole. Don’t quit! And, before long, the forces of God will come bursting through, demolishing every obstacle in their path!

Once that happens you’ll never be the same again. You’ll be hooked. It will only take one breakthrough like that to make a never-dying, never-quitting champion out of you.

Scripture Reading:
1 Corinthians 9:24-27


God, the Peacekeeper By Billy Graham
He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord!
—Isaiah 26:3 (TLB)

You have an ego-a consciousness of being an individual. Of course, you do. But that doesn’t mean that you are to worship yourself, to think constantly of yourself, and to live entirely for yourself. Common sense tells you that your life would be miserable if you followed that course. God is infinitely more concerned about your happiness than you could possibly be. He says, “Deny yourself, and follow me.” There is many a person in the insane asylum today who thought excessively about himself, to the exclusion of God and others. Hypochondriacs who have a fanciful anxiety about their health will never be well, regardless of their physical condition.

Prayer for the day
Keep my mind on You, Lord, and help me to discipline the thoughts of self which crowd out Your peace.


Working Together to Bring People to Jesus by Rick Warren
“[God] reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18b NIV).

You and I have been given the same mission that Jesus had. It’s one of the most critical acts of mercy we can take.

The Bible says, “[God] reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18b NIV). Your mission is simply to pass on to others the same Good News about God’s love that somebody told you.

But God doesn’t expect you to fulfill your mission on your own. He gives you other Christians to support you. In fact, evangelism is something you can do as a small group.

God has given us a wonderful example of this in Luke 5:17-26. It’s the story of a group of friends who brought someone to Jesus. They couldn’t find a way to get into the house where Jesus was, so they lowered their paraplegic friend through a hole in the roof on a stretcher, right in the middle of everyone and in front of Jesus. Jesus was impressed by their faith and told the man to get up and walk, and the man immediately did! The people were amazed.

In this great story God gives us five principles for how your group can reach out to other people and how you can fulfill your God-given mission in the world.

The Principle of Compassion: This small group cared enough for a helpless friend to do something about his pain. Mercy is not just a feeling. It is love in action.
The Principle of Cooperation: God has assigned each of us a task in evangelism. Paul says, “I planted the seed and Apollos watered it” (1 Corinthians 3:6 BSB). In other words, you don’t have to do it all yourself, but you do have to do your part. And God will reward you for it.
The Principle of Faith: Jesus says that the faith of paraplegic’s friends leads to him being healed. Nobody is beyond the reach of God’s love. God specializes in doing the impossible. So don’t give up on people you care about. Have faith in what God can do in their lives.

The Principle of Action: The friends had a plan, and they put it into action. The paralyzed man needed other people to bring him to Jesus because he couldn’t get there on his own.
The Principle of Persistence: The friends could have been discouraged when they couldn’t get into the door because of the crowd, but they didn’t give up. They showed determination. They said, “Whatever it takes, we’re going to bring our friend to Jesus.”

Are you willing to go through the roof for a friend? Everybody needs to know Jesus! Without Jesus, people have no hope in eternity. The Christian who doesn’t care about the lost is really saying to the world, “I don’t care about you. You can go to Hell.” But the Bible says, “The Lord is . . . not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV).

Don’t get discouraged, and don’t give up. Keep praying, keep asking, keep inviting, and keep working to reach that person for Jesus.

Helping people get into Heaven is the greatest act of mercy you can do for them.

Talk It Over

What friends (or family members) can help you “carry” someone to Jesus?
In your small group, agree on four or five people you want to bring to Jesus as a group.
Of the five principles mentioned above, where do you most want to see growth as you work together with others to bring people to Jesus?


We Are The Same by Pastor Mark Jensen
In today's society, everyone is so quick to judge others, for the way they dress, the way they talk, the way they live.

There is no one on this earth that is better than another in God's eyes. Yes there are those who are in positions of authority and must be respected, but none the less they are not greater than I, just as I am not greater than you nor you greater than anyone else.

The day will come that each of us will stand before God and be judged. As believers we will be judged on the good works we have done; as non-believers, they will be judged on the good works they did not do.


Who God Rewards by Joel Osteen
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Hebrews 11:6, NIV

TODAY'S WORD:
When God is first place in your life, and you make pleasing Him is your highest priority, then you can fully expect to live a blessed, fulfilled life! In today’s verse, notice who God rewards. It’s not people who half-heartedly seek Him. It doesn’t say “people who only think about Him when they’re having a problem” or “people who will only come to church when something special is going on.” No, God rewards people who earnestly seek after Him. That means we are determined. We get up every morning and thank Him for His goodness. We go through the day meditating on His promises. We give Him praise in the good times and the tough times. We are constantly stretching, growing, learning and striving to know Him better.

Today, remember, when you diligently seek God, He promises that a reward is coming. He promises He will give you strength, wisdom, favor, good breaks, promotion, healing and restoration. When you seek Him with your whole heart, you will find Him, and you won’t be able to outrun His goodness and blessing and reward!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father, I desire to please You in everything I do. I declare that You are good and faithful. I trust You with my whole heart and believe that You are a rewarder of those who diligently seek You. I bless You and honor You today in Jesus’ name. Amen.


God’s Boundaries  by Joyce Meyer
Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.
—1 Corinthians 6:19-20

The word stress was originally an engineering term used to refer to the amount of force a beam or other physical support could bear without collapsing under strain.

In our time, the word has been expanded to refer not only to physical pressure but also to mental and emotional tension. As human beings, you and I are built to handle a normal amount of stress. God has created us to withstand a certain amount of pressure and tension. The problem comes when we push ourselves beyond our limitations, beyond what we were intended to bear without permanent damage. But like so many people, because I have things to do, I just keep pushing myself even though it is causing me physical damage.

Of course, when sickness tries to come on Dave or me, we immediately pray for healing. But if you become sick as a result of running your body down by pushing it beyond the limits God set for you to operate in good health, you need rest as well as prayer to restore your health. The boundaries He has set for us are for our own good.


The Critic by John Hagee
Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

The Successful And Happy Person Is The One Who Can Lay A Firm Foundation For Future Success With The Bricks That His Critics Have Tossed At Him!

What does Jesus promise will happen to us if we are peacemakers in a world at war?  Pure in heart while surrounded by corruption?  Merciful in a world without pity?  Meek while everyone else looks out for number one?

We have seen that our reward is persecution. Now Jesus expounds on this theme, broadening it to include the far more common everyday experience of criticism.  If we are going to be happy in an unhappy world, it’s vital that we learn both how to respond to criticism redemptively and also how to avoid being bearers of negative criticism.

The Critic

There are three ways to avoid criticism:  say nothing, do nothing and be nothing.  The person who is never criticized is probably not breathing.

It never works to say anything good to a person infected with a critical spirit.  Wish them a nice day and they snap back, “Don’t tell me what kind of day to have!”

The critic has no dreams.  He just rehearses defeats.  He never sees opportunities, just obstacles.  He knows no delight, no joy and no peace.  He looks to find fault in other people as though it were buried treasure.  He’s convinced others have all the advantages, and he has only disadvantages.

Learning From Our Critics

Not everyone who criticizes us is demented, deranged or demonized.  Our critics are often right.

If we’re not mature enough to take criticism, we’re not mature enough to handle praise.

Source:   Being Happy In An Unhappy World


Jesus’ High Priesthood Is Forever by Joseph Prince
Hebrews 6:20
...Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Jesus is our High Priest forever. This “forever” aspect changes the way we are blessed and how we receive our blessings from God. As our High Priest, Jesus represents us before God. Since His priesthood is after the order of Melchizedek, which is one of righteousness, His righteousness becomes our righteousness forever. This means that we are forever righteous in God’s eyes!

And because He will never die, but continue as our High Priest forever, we have an everlasting righteousness, not merely a here-today-gone-tomorrow righteousness based on our works. No, we have a perpetual and everlasting righteousness because Jesus is our High Priest forever.

This also means that blessings are perpetually on your head because the Bible says that blessings are on the head of the righteous (Proverbs 10:6), and you are righteous forever!

Unlike the priesthood according to the Levitical order, which blesses as well as curses, the priesthood of Jesus according to the Melchizedek order only blesses. There is no cursing, only blessing—always and forever!

And because Jesus is our High Priest forever, the blessings do not come to us in intermittent drips, but stream into our lives in a never-ending flow. Because He is our High Priest forever, we can never stop His blessings.

By being our High Priest forever, Jesus also touches the blessings that He gives us with a forever effect. He touches our lives and we have eternal life. He touches our ministry and its impact becomes eternal. And the more we see His priesthood as having a forever effect, the more permanent our blessings will be.

Truly, there is nothing temporal about what Jesus our High Priest does. It is not a case of blessed today, cursed tomorrow. The blessings we receive are sure and steadfast because Jesus is our High Priest today, tomorrow and forever.

So rejoice because Jesus your High Priest changes how you are blessed forever!

Thought For The Day
God’s blessings are sure and steadfast because Jesus is our High Priest today, tomorrow and forever.


When We Face Accusation by Dr. Charles Stanley
Matthew 26:7-13

From time to time, undeserved criticism is the lot of every Christian. On occasion, it comes when we offer our best to the Lord and our good intentions are misunderstood or even ridiculed by those who should know better. Such an event is described in today’s Scripture reading.

The passage describes a woman who took a bottle of precious perfume and poured it on Jesus’ head as He reclined at the table. There is no record of any great results coming from this loving gesture. No lives were saved, no converts were made, and nothing measurable was obtained. Worse still, the woman was scolded for her actions. Her efforts were viewed as extravagant, unreasonable, and irresponsible. Jesus, however, thought otherwise. The Lord’s commendation for this woman’s loving sacrifice was astonishing. In His mind, it deserved to be memorialized—He said, “What she has done will also be told, in memory of her” (Matt. 26:13 NIV).

We sometimes wonder how much God is noticing our efforts to please Him. At times some of our greatest sacrifices seem to bring nothing but misunderstanding or even criticism from our family members and friends. Voices from others—and even from within our own heart—rise up to condemn us for godly choices that now seem to be incapacitating us.

But Jesus Christ, who knows the depths of our soul, sees and understands the torment we face. He hears the condemning voices of our accusers. When our sacrifices for the heavenly Father make little sense to the inhospitable world around us, it is His voice that will prevail on our behalf.

Bible in One Year: 2 Kings 24-25


Faith Acts by Jerry Savelle
Men brought on a bed a man who was paralyzed … they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus. When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you”(Luke 5:18-20 NKJV).

The Bible says Jesus saw the faith of the men who were lowering their paralyzed friend through a hole in the roof. He saw that these men were so convinced He would heal, they were willing to risk tearing apart someone’s roof just to get their friend before Him.

One definition of faith is “simply acting like the Bible is true.” What you really believe can be seen in what you do.

True faith always acts in line with what it believes.
True faith never acts contrary to its belief.
True faith is always accompanied by corresponding action.

Many people say they believe the Word of God, but when it comes down to it, their actions reveal they are not completely convinced God’s Word is true. If you are unsure about what you really believe, ask yourself questions about your actions. For instance …

If I really believe God is faithful, why am I walking around in a state of depression?
If I really believe God said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay” (see Romans 12:19), why am I struggling to clear my own name?
If I really believe I am healed, why am I not out of bed and getting ready for work?

Today, take a look at what you are doing and ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” Your answer will reveal what you really believe. And remember, true faith is simply acting like the Bible is true.

Confession: I believe what the Bible says is true. Regardless of my circumstances, I will act in line with what the Word of God says. I will demonstrate my true faith to God and others by my actions.

Author: Jerry Savelle


Beloved. You have My undivided attention. I know your heart, Dear One. I know every thought before you think it and every word on your tongue before you speak it. I have a Book of Remembrance written before Me every time you speak of your Beloved. But did you know, Dear One, that I speak about you also? My thoughts toward you are more than the sands of the sea. I delight in you.

As an earthly parent cannot help but speak of his children, so I speak of you, Dear One. As a Bridegroom speaks of His Bride, so I speak of you. I speak of your beauty and your spirit. There is no spot in you, My Bride. You are the apple of Mine eye. You are Mine. You are My own possession. Pay no attention to the negative thoughts that come to you. These come from the accuser of the brethren, the devil. My thoughts about you are precious.

I speak about you with kind and comfortable words. I am your encourager and Comforter. My Eyes are always upon you. You are always in My conversation, Beloved.The One who made heaven and earth is your Beloved, and you are Mine. I speak of you and I speak to you, Dear One. My Spirit shall speak to you and through you in these last days. My Word to you shall edify you, comfort you, and encourage you. I have drawn you after Me; let us run. Behold, you are beautiful, My love; behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are Doves. Arise, My Love, My beautiful one and come away. Your King has brought you into His chambers.

...Psalm 139:17How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.
...Malachi 3:16Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. 17"They will be Mine," says the LORD of hosts, "on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son...

...Psalm 34:15 The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous And His ears are open to their cry.

...2 Samuel 23:2 "The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue."

...Zechariah 1:13 And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good (kind) words and comfortable words.

...1 Corinthians 14:3But he who prophesies speaks to men for their edification, encouragement, and comfort. 4The one who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but the one who prophesies edifies the church.

...Song of Solomon 1:4Draw me after you; let us run.The king has brought me into his chambers.


Pray Always by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints (Ephesians 6:18).

The Scripture above says, “Praying always…”; that means you ought to be in constant communication or fellowship with the Father. What most people know about prayer is making requests; that’s the lesser purpose for prayer. Prayer is primarily fellowship with the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit; and it’s something we’re called to do always, not occasionally.

Jesus said men ought always to pray and not to faint (Luke 18:1). The Amplified Translation of our opening scripture makes it clearer; it says, “Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).” That immediately lets you know that prayer isn’t just about asking God for things; prayer is a continual “intelligence” communication.

When you pray, you’re connected to “spiritual intelligence,” such that you’re aware of the happenings around you; you’re not in the dark as to what steps to take, or where to go. “Intelligence information” is constantly being given to you, such that you’re informed, enlightened, and guided by divine wisdom at all times; you’re never confused.

In the place of prayer, you receive impartations, ministrations, visions, and guidance from the Holy Spirit! There’s also the conditioning of your spirit to hear and respond to God correctly; a synchronization of your passions and emotions with His perfect will. These are part of what makes prayer exciting for us. I send out prayer posts for our fifteen minutes global prayer sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; through our social media platforms. Participate seriously in this endeavour, and watch your life grow.

God has given you the dominion and the authority to alter the course of events in the earth. It’s your responsibility, not His, to see to it that circumstances in your life, your family and in the lives of those around you are framed to conform to God’s perfect will; you can achieve this through prayer.

PRAYER Dear Father, I thank you for the privilege of prayer. I pray for new converts all around the world, that they be strengthened with might by your Spirit in their inner man. I declare that God’s Word of righteousness, healing, prosperity, deliverance and blessings is producing results in them, forming in them the character and mind of Christ, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

1 YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN:
Luke 23:50-24:1-12
2 Samuel 7-8

2 YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN:
Mark 6:30- 44
Numbers 3

FURTHER STUDY:
Matthew 7:7-8
Acts 13:1-2
1 Thessalonians 5:17  


Open Heavens: Spiritual Blessing by Pastor E.A Adeboye
Memorise: 
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. Ephesians 1:3

Read: Ephesians 1:1-14 (KJV)
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

5 Having pre-destinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Bible in one year; 
Numbers 28:29,
Jeremiah 23:9-22,

Hymn:
Sing hymn 6

Message:
From our memory verse today, we understand that there are physical blessings and there are spiritual blessings. The best way to distinguish between these two categories of blessings is to look at their lifespan. Physical blessings are temporal, while spiritual blessings are enduring and external in nature. Open Heavens Devotional 2017.  An example of a physical blessing is the rain that God sends on all of humanity. Another example is the air we all have access to breathe. Having a wife of a husband also falls under the category of physical blessings, and so also is having children. Both physical and spiritual blessings come from the Lord.

However, the better of these two categories of blessings is spiritual blessings. Spiritual blessings, though manifesting in the physical world, transcend the present age. This is why Apostle Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 15:19 thus:

“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”

Spiritual blessings cannot be quantified in material or monetary terms. They include the Holy Spirit and His gifts, power and victory over principalities and powers, redemption through the Blood of Jesus, the forgiveness of sins, etc. Open Heavens 2017 Sunday 30 April 2017:-Spiritual Blessing. The crux of all spiritual blessings can be seen in this response of our Lord Jesus Christ to the question about reward for sacrifice which Peter asked Him:

“And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive and hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life
Mark 10:29-30

The spiritual blessing of eternal life crowns the physical blessings we have access to through our fellowship with Christ. No matter how long we live on earth, we shall depart from it one day. The question is, “Where will you spend eternity?”Would it be in Heaven or in Hell? My prayer for you is that you will not spend eternity in Hell in Jesus’ Name.  

Action Point
Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour today, and you will be blessed with spiritual blessings. If you are saved, pray that the Lord will load your life with His spiritual blessings today.
Open Heaven Daily Devotional, written by Pastor E.A Adeboye,

The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer's Ministries.
iOpenHeavens is the electronic version of the Hard Copy. The Open Heavens devotional application is available across all mobile platforms and operating systems: iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows Mobile and PC. Click HERE to DOWNLOAD Daily Open Heaven Devotional from January to December 2017


Always Be Vigilant By Billy Graham
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
—1 Peter 5:8

When I was in the hospital in Hawaii, I read again of the shocking events which led up to the destruction of the United States fleet at Pearl Harbor. On that fateful day of December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked. We know now that that attack was invited by our failure to be always vigilant. The result was the destruction of our fleet-the cause was tragic indifference. When comfort and ease and pleasure are put ahead of duty and conviction, progress is always set back.

What makes us Christians shrug our shoulders when we ought to be flexing our muscles? What makes us apathetic in a day when there are loads to lift, a world to be won, and captives to be set free? Why are so many bored, when the times demand action? Christ told us that in the last days there would be an insipid attitude toward life.

Prayer for the day
Take away the apathy, Father, that so often blinds my vision.


Be a Cheerful Giver by Gloria Copeland
Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (that is, He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver.... And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance.

2 Corinthians 9:7-8, The Amplified Bible

Some people say you need to “give till it hurts.” Don’t you believe it. God doesn’t want gifts given in pain. He wants gifts given in joy! In fact, those are the only kinds of gifts that please Him.

That’s why He tacked His promise of abundance onto His command about cheerful giving. The two are connected.

Cheerful, full of faith, even hilarious giving—that is the key that unlocks the treasure house of God. Have you ever seen a group of people give that way? I have. I’ll never forget it. I was at a camp meeting years ago when offering time turned into a spontaneous, supernatural celebration. Ken was singing Bread Upon the Water, and the people were just dancing their way down the aisles to give their money. The joy in that place was glorious. Great healings and miracles were done that night.

But what stood out to me above all was how joyously and hilariously the people brought their offerings to God. The offering wasn’t extracted from them like a dentist extracts teeth. It was brought forth gladly.

The concept of “giving till it hurts” didn’t come from God. He’d rather you give 10 dollars with that kind of joy than 20 dollars grudgingly. In 2 Corinthians 8:11-12, the Apostle Paul urges the church in Corinth to give with eager willingness. Eager willingness. That’s what God looks for!

If you haven’t given that way in the past, make a firm commitment to start. Repent for the times you’ve given grudgingly. Then spend some serious time with God and His Word in your prayer closet, so when you give again, you can give from a willing heart.

Put the “pain” of giving behind. Become “a cheerful, (joyous, ‘prompt to do it’) giver,” and believe me, your blessings will abound!

Scripture Reading:
2 Corinthians 9:6-15


How to Be a Peacemaker (Part 2) by Rick Warren
“Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had” (Philippians 2:4-5 NLT, second edition).

Peacemaking isn’t a well-developed skill in our world today, but it’s a skill that can be learned. In fact, Jesus calls all believers to be peacemakers.

In yesterday’s devotional, I shared three keys to biblical peacemaking. Here are four more:

Listen to the other person’s pain and perspective. You’ll always find hurt in a conflict. How many times have you heard me say, “Hurt people hurt people”? In other words, the more I’m hurting, the more I lash out at everybody else. People who aren’t hurting don’t hurt others. That’s why peacemakers listen to the other person’s hurt and gets that person’s perspective.

As Francis of Assisi once said, “Seek to understand before you seek to be understood.” The Bible says, “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had” (Philippians 2:4-5 NLT, second edition). That means you’re most like Jesus when you’re focusing on the hurts of somebody else rather than your own hurts.

Speak the truth tactfully. The truth sets you free, but you have to say it with love. The Bible says, “Speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15a NLT). The truth is not enough. It’s not just what you say, but how you say it. If you speak offensively, it will be received defensively.

God is very specific about the kinds of words that are out of bounds. I call them WMDs — Words of Mass Destruction. These are words that raise the conflict to a whole new level. Angry, hurtful, blaming words are useless. They only stir up more trouble. Colossians 3:8 says, “You must no longer say insulting or cruel things about others” (CEV).

Fix the problem, not the blame. You need to learn to attack the issue, not each other. The blame game is a waste of time. Any time you’re busy fixing blame, you’re wasting energy and not fixing the problem.

Focus on reconciliation, not resolution. Reconciliation means re-establishing the relationship. It means you’re not holding onto any hurt. You’ve buried the hatchet.

Resolution, on the other hand, means you resolve every single disagreement. That won’t happen. We’re all different. We won’t agree on everything. But peacemakers can disagree without being disagreeable. That’s called maturity.

Our world is filled with conflict. Just pick up a newspaper. It’s everywhere: wars, divisions, arguments, stress between people, prejudices and racism, violence, tribalism, and terrorism. Our civilization is no longer civil. And as a result we have broken relationships, broken lives, and broken hearts.

My challenge to you is that you will commit to becoming an agent of reconciliation in a world filled with conflict.

Talk It Over

Why do you think peacemaking skills are in such short supply right now?
How can focusing on resolution rather than reconciliation make a problem worse?
What conflicts in your life are you willing to step into and be a peacemaker? What step can you make this week to make that a reality?
Discuss these statements in your small group:
You’re most like Jesus when you’re focusing on the hurts of somebody else rather than your own hurts.
The blame game is a waste of time. Anytime you’re busy fixing blame, you’re wasting energy and not fixing the problem.
Peacemakers can disagree without being disagreeable.


War With My Word by Deborah Waldron Fry
Beloved. War with My Word. For when you do, angels are on assignment to carry out your decrees. These are Warrior angels, My Child. They are strong and mighty and hearken to the Voice of My Word. They are ministering spirits sent to aid My Children in times of need. They are encamped around you.

They snap to attention and MOVE when they hear My Word in your mouth. Your intercession has MOVED your angels to battle the enemy on your behalf. There are MANY more for you than against you, Dear One. My Holy angels are supernatural beings who carry My anointing upon them. They are sent to assist the heirs of salvation.

They will move the kingdom of darkness out of your way. So speak LIFE and not death. Speak blessing and not cursing. Speak healing and not your disease. Speak the LORD's report and not the world's. My angels are ascending and descending from My Throne with messages, answers to prayer, gifts and healings. Fear not, My Bride.

Your angels accompany you wherever you go. So put them to work, Beloved. It is their delight to assist you. For I give My angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.

...Psalm 103:20 Bless the LORD, ye His angels, that excel in strength, that do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His word.

...Psalm 91:11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.

...Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

...Dan 10:13 However, the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for 21 days. Then all of a sudden, Michael, one of the chief angels, came to assist me!

...Genesis 28:12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

...Psalm 68:17 The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.

...Psalm 78:25 Man did eat angels' food: he sent them meat to the full.

...Matt 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven.

...Hebrews 1:7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.


Arinola O. Yinka

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