OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL: AND YE SHALL BE MY WITNESSES

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OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL
DATE: THURSDAY 12TH APRIL 2018
THEME: AND YE SHALL BE MY WITNESSES
MEMORISE:
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8
READ: John 3:1-10
1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
MESSAGE
The Lord’s decision to make us His witnesses is a divine set up for blessings, just like when He asks us to give to Him, in spite of the fact that He owns everything (Psalm 50:9-11). In the same vein, the Lord does not need our publicity, just as the sun does not need to be announced. When the sun rises in the east, it is seen as far away as the west, and we know Jesus is the Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2). It is an honour to be a witness of the Sun of Righteousness, because by virtue of this status, the world will see the grace of God upon our lives. When Elisha agreed to abandon his farming business to become Yahweh’s prophet, little did he know that the king would later refer to him as “my father” (1 Kings 19:19-21, 2 Kings 13:14).
What are the characteristics and responsibilities of Christ’s witnesses? The Lord hints us on some of these in Mark 16:15-18:
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 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.”
The primary character of the Lord’s witnesses is that they follow Him sincerely, and their primary responsibility is preaching the gospel. This responsibility is even more serious than what was committed to Jonah, because a very high price has now been paid for the redemption of mankind, which must not be allowed to go to waste. Another responsibility is to cast out devils. If we will take territories for the kingdom of our God, we must be ready to cast out the demons that currently reign over such territories. Speaking in tongues enables every witness of Jesus Christ to be an effective mouthpiece of God with man and mouthpiece of man with God in the place of intercessory prayer. Taking up serpents as referenced in Mark 16:18 could mean dealing with serpents that come in human clothing, deceiving people just like the old serpent did. The Lord’s witnesses must challenge such lies with the Master’s true message. When we do all these as witnesses of Jesus, souls shall be rescued from eternal damnation. This is our joy and goal. Are you an effective witness of Jesus?
PRAYER POINT:
Father, please make me an effective witness of Your Son from now onward in Jesus’ Name.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Joshua 20-21, 2 Thessalonians 3.
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE
HYMN 7: WONDERFUL STORY OF LOVE
1. Wonderful story of love;
Tell it to me again;
Wonderful story of love;
Wake the immortal strain!
Angels with rapture announce it,
Shepherds with wonder receive it;
Sinner, oh, won’t you believe it?
Wonderful story of love.
Chorus:
Wonderful! Wonderful!
Wonderful, wonderful story of love.
2. Wonderful story of love;
Though you are far away;
Wonderful story of love;
Still He doth call today;
Calling from Calvary’s mountain,
Down from the crystal-bright fountain,
E’en from the dawn of creation,
Wonderful story of love.
3. Wonderful story of love;
Jesus provides a rest;
Wonderful story of love;
For all the pure and blest,
Rest in those mansions above us,
With those who’ve gone on before us,
Singing the rapturous chorus,
Wonderful story of love.

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