Open Heavens Daily Devotional For Today 4th April, 2018
THEME – TIME TO SHOW YOUR FACE
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. Isaiah 60:1
READ: 1 Kings 19:1-19
1 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.
2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.
3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there.
4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.
5 And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.
6 And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again.
7 And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.
8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.
9 And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?
10 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:
12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?
14 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
15 And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria:
16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room.
17 And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay.
18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
19 So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him.
Hiding our identity or deliberately putting ourselves in obscurity does not serve our interest or that of our Father in heaven. Some people misrepresent by thinking that being extremely introverted is a Christian virtue. Going by the command in today’s memory verse, this is not so. Some said the reason why the conjunction ‘and’ is not found between the words ‘arise’ and ‘shine’ in Isaiah 60:1 is because the rising and the shinning form a ‘simultaneous equation’. The rising presupposes a prompting to shine at the same time. In other words, there is no time lag between your rising and your shinning. A failure to shine while rising has certain implications. When you rise, the Lord knows that your light has come and that He has bestowed His glory upon you. It then follows that if you refuse to shine while the glory of the Lord is arisen upon you and your time passes away, you would have failed God and missed a great opportunity He gave you. May you not miss your opportunity in Jesus’ Name. Our Lord Jesus Christ in John 9:4-5 said:
“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
This statement should bring to your remembrance that a time will come when Christians will no longer be in this world. Therefore, it is time for us to show our faces. We children of God have been in hiding for too long a time; we must now show ourselves in the areas of education, commerce, politics, the military, transport, agriculture, science and technology, and in all other sectors of life. God needs His children to serve as lights everywhere. The good thing is that the time He wants us to do this is now. For this reason, I told my children during our annual thanksgiving service at the Redemption Camp that they should become active members of the political associations of their choice.
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In today’s Bible reading, we see how Elijah the prophet exhibited cowardice just after his exploits for God on Mount Carmel. Because he was afraid of Jezebel, the powerful queen, he ran for his life and hid in the wilderness. After encountering God on Mount Sinai, the Lord commanded to continue his assignment as prophet. 1 Kings 19:15a says
“And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus:”
In other words, he should hide no more. He had to show his face and complete his assignment as the prophet of God. Hiding our faces as children of God cannot help this generation. Some of us exhibit cowardice and are reluctant to face up to this challenge. We must show our faces by confronting ungodliness in all spheres of life if we will make meaningful impact in our generation.
Study the characteristics of a city set on a hill, light and salt (Matthew 5:13-16), and begin to exhibit these characteristics.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Joshua 1-2, Colossians 1:24-2:15.
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE
HYMN 16: STAND UP! STAND UP FOR JESUS
1. Stand up, stand up for Jesus!
Ye soldiers of the Cross;
Lift high His royal banner,
It must not suffer loss.
From vict’ry unto vict’ry
His army shall He lead,
Till every foe is vanquished
And Christ is Lord indeed.
2. Stand up, stand up for Jesus!
The trumpet call obey;
Forth to the mighty conflict
In this His glorious day!
Ye that are men, now serve Him
Against unnumbered foes;
Let courage rise with danger,
And strength to strength oppose.
3. Stand up, stand up for Jesus!
Stand in His strength alone:
The arm of flesh will fail you;
Ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the Gospel armour,
And watching unto prayer,
Where duty calls, or danger,
Be never wanting there.
4. Stand up, stand up for Jesus!
The strife will not be long;
This day the noise of battle,
The next the victor’s song
To him that overcometh
A crown of life shall be;
He, with the King of Glory
Shall reign eternally.