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OPEN HEAVENS MARCH 2021 Saturday March 13
TOPIC: EXAMINE YOUR THOUGHTS
Memorise: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Read: Philippians 4:8
When Jesus says that by their Fruits you shall know them, I want you to Consider that passage carefully What produces fruit on a tree is inside it not outside. It is what is inside the tree that will ultimately produce the fruit on its outside. That is why Matthew 12:34 says:
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
Jesus also said it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man but what comes out of it (Matthew 15:11). This is because what comes out is a reflection or what is inside. When the tree is full inside, then it will begin to produce fruits. Ask yourself “What kind of thoughts do I think Are they still similar to the thoughts I had before I became born again Are my thoughts now more focused on heavenly things or still fixed on earthly concerns? If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
If you are truly born again, your thoughts will be focused on things above, not on earthly things. Ask yourself “Am I constantly thinking about how to please God or am I thinking of how to please men and myself?”
For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 1 Corinthians 11:31
Be honest with yourself so that you can start bearing fruits of repentance before it is too late. Do you still allow immoral thoughts to fill your heart? The Pastor cannot discover the thoughts of your mind, but God sees them. David said in
Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts:.
When it was clear to him that his mind had been corrupted, David cried:
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
the kind of thoughts you permit in your heart shows who you really are (Proverbs 23:7).
What fills your heart?
OPEN HEAVENS MARCH 2021 Hymn 29: What Can Wash Away My Stain?
prayer point: Pray the same prayer that David prayed in Psalm 51:10. Ask God to create in you a clean heart.
bible in one year: Acts 23-25
OPEN HEAVENS MARCH 2021 Sunday March 14
TOPIC: EXAMINE YOUR DESIRES
Memorise: Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2
Read: Psalm 42:1-2
By the time I became born again, was already a lecturer at the University or Lagos and thought I was very brilliant. At that time, I knew where a few of the books of the Bible were located. However, whenever I came to Sunday School in those days and the teacher asked questions, literate market women would get up and say as I understand that question, according to 1st Thessalonians..I didnt even know there was any book of the Bible called Thessalonians not to talk Of whether there is the 1st or 2nd one. I realised that though I had a Ph.D. in Mathematics, I knew little or nothing about the Bible, so I decided that if those market women could know the word of God, then I too would know it. Thus, every time the door opened for Sunday School, Bible Study, Mid-Week service or any programme where I knew that somebody would teach the word, I made sure not to miss it. I could understand what David Meant in Psalm 122:1;
I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
A hunger was birthed in me and since that time up to now that hunger has not eased.
What are you hungry for now? What are your desires? Are they for earthly or heavenly things Do you desire to know the Scriptures more? Do you desire to fellowship more with God? David said:
With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Psalm 119:10
What is your heart seeking? ls it cars, money, houses, power or is it the Lord? You cannot seek God and seek these things at the same time. The standard is that you seek God with all your heart
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall Search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
if your heart keeps desiring these things as you seek God, you will soon discover that they will turn your heart away from God. Desire more of God with your whole heart; don’t worry, these things will be added unto you (Matthew 6:33).
If you chase after them, you would eventually fall into the snare of the devil (1 Timothy 6:9).
OPEN HEAVENS MARCH 2021 Hymn 24: Take My Life, And Let It Be
Reflection: Your heart can only pant after one thing at a time; is it God you pant after or the world?
Bible in one year: Acts 26-28
OPEN HEAVENS MARCH 2021 Monday March 15
TOPIC: EXAMINE YOUR FRIENDS
Memorise: Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. Psalm 1:1
Read: Proverbs 1:10-18
The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead. Proverbs 21:16
Ask yourself “What company Am i comfortable with?”
The passage above talks about the congregation of the dead. There are congregations and there are congregations. There is a congregation of the dead and there is a congregation of those who are alive the children of God. Be sure that you don’t find yourself in the congregation of the dead. With whom do you feel comfortable – the children of God or the children of the world?
When I moved to Lagos from Osun State, I loved to attend parties. The parties were usually held by the road. My friends and I would sit beside the gutter, eating and drinking until very late in the night and then light mosquito coils to ward off insects. I thought that was fun; I didn’t know that I was in the congregation of the dead. In those days we talked about all manner of unprintable things. Then I met Christ, and I was no longer comfortable spending time with such people. I was now alive and thus had no place amongst the dead anymore. They were also not comfortable in my company because they were not willing to join the congregation of the living. Luke 24:5 says:
.Why seek ye the living among the dead?
The living is not to be found amongst the dead. If you still feel comfortable with friends who smoke, drink and have all manner of dirty conversations, you need to examine yourself to know whether you are alive or dead.
What kind of television shows and music do you enjoy Check: what kind of congregation are you comfortable in?
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
1 Corinthians 15:33
OPEN HEAVENS MARCH 2021 hymn 28: What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Reflection: Make a list of your friends: what percentage are truly born again
Bible in one year: Exodus 32-34
OPEN HEAVENS MARCH 2021 Tuesday March 16
TOPIC: EXAMINE YOUR ACTIONS
Memorise: Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. Philippians 4:9
Read: Corinthians 9:24-27
When a person becomes born again, the things they enjoy doing would change significantly.
From the moment became born again, I have loved winning souls for Christ. I want to tell everybody that Jesus has saved my soul, I’m on my way to heaven and my name is now written in glory.
I still remember the Monday after I gave my life to Jesus Christ. As soon as got to work, everybody knew something had happened because I was bubbling with excitement. At that time, I was working towards my Ph.D. My supervisor looked at me and said “Enoch, what happened to you? Did you attend a party during the weekend?” I said “No Sir, but l’ve got an invitation to another party”. He asked “Which one is that?” and replied “A heavenly party. Jesus Christ is going to marry and I am the bride”. That was the very first Monday after gave my life to Jesus.
A few years ago,I was invited to receive an honorary degree at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria and I was told I had five minutes to appreciate them for the degree I thanked them for giving me the award then told them that there is another award in heaven and it would be disastrous not to qualify for it. I also told them that the qualification for the award is to become born again. Before my five minutes were up, I had made an altar call. Nothing gives me more joy than to see those who were going to hell coming to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ. Do you enjoy winning souls?
Jesus commanded us to take the gospel to the nations of the earth and to disciple them.
I feel a bit uncomfortable when, during services, Christians still have to be cajoled to give a good offering. Genuinely born-again Christians don’t have to be cajoled to give to God, they enjoy it! Examine yourself: do you enjoy giving to God? in 1 Samuel 24, David said he would never give something to God that cost him nothing. Many Christians are not even willing to give to God at all not to talk of giving what costs them something.
Examine yourself: do you enjoy giving to God Do you honour God with your tithe? Do you honour Him with your first fruit? In 1 Samuel 2:30, God said He will honour only those who honour Him.
OPEN HEAVENS MARCH 2021 Hymn 22: Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus
Key Point: From to day, make soulwinning a habit that you cannot do without.
Bible in one year: Exodus 35-37
OPEN HEAVENS MARCH 2021 Wednesday March 17
TOPIC: TOMORROW MAY BE TOO LATE
Memorise: And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 3:2
Read: Acts 5:1-10
When people hear the topic of today, they feel the preacher is only trying to manipulate them into surrendering their lives to Christ immediately.
There is no need for a preacher to manipulate you; if he says tomorrow may be too late, he knows what he is saying. I have seen, many times, where a fellow did not get the chance to repent before he or she died and went to face judgement in heaven. They refused to repent when they had the chance until it became too late.
There was a chief I had been preaching to for years, who kept saying he would repent but not yet. One day, he suddenly had a stroke but managed to tell his people to Send for me. I went, prayed for him and God healed him. Then I said”Chief, I sense that God only gave you a second chance. Will you give your life to Him now?” He said “Not yet”. The next time I heard about him, he was dead.
There was another man who was sick and at the point of death. I went to pray for him, but each time I came to the hospital, somehow, I was unable to see him. I kept trying to see him for about two days but couldn’t. At last when it seemed like I would be able to see him the next day, I arrived at the hospital and learnt that he had died. If only I had gotten the chance to see him, I would have asked him to give his life to Christ first before praying for him. If he had died then, at least I would have known that he went to heaven.
There was another man -a Pastor, someone people looked up to as a great man of God. I got the report that he was committing sexual immorality with girls and he denied it so I set up a committee to investigate. In the meantime, put the Pastor on suspension. The people investigating brought evidence to prove that he was guilty of the allegations against him. The plan was to walk him through a process of repentance, but while the investigation was ongoing, he died in a car accident
Beloved, it may seem as if there will always be time to repent and start living holy, but tomorrow really may Be too late. Everyone has a cup; the day that cup gets full is the day the fellow’s time to repent runs out. In your own interest, drop that sin and begin to live holy from today. A word is enough for the wise.
OPEN HEAVENS MARCH 2021 Hymn 29: What Can Wash Away My Stain?
Key Point: tomorrow may be too late.
Bible in one year: Exodus 38-39
OPEN HEAVENS MARCH 2021 Thursday March 18
Memorise: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Matthew 28:19
Read: Matthew 28:18-20
The charge to win souls Is not a suggestion, it is a command. In other words, is not negotiable. Every true believer must carry a burning desire and burden to reach out to the unsaved. If you love Jesus, you will preach His gospel to the lost because he does not desire the death of sinners, he desire every sinner saved (Ezekiel 18:23).
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or Sisters, Or brethren, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
From the passage above, we see that God will generously reward everyone who participates in evangelism because they are in partnership with Him. Not everybody can be a full-time evangelist, but in your Little corner, you are to win souls, as well as supporting and praying for the full-time evangelists risking their Iives to obey God’s mandate of preaching to the unsaved souls, Visiting their families and encouraging them financially. The work of missions is dear to God’s heart and ignoring it is ignoring Him.
At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the lord, and it be sin unto thee.
God said you should not owe anyone their wages and Corinthians 3:8-9 says those who are involved with missions are His labourers. In other words, the moment you begin evangelising your name enters His payroll and believe me honestly, He will never owe you your wages.
what exactly is your wage as an evangelist?
ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: at whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. John 15:16
The wage in the of an evangelist is a like a blank cheque from the richest being in the entire universe. If l were you, I would decide today to make soul winning my lifestyle
OPEN HEAVENS MARCH 2021 Hymn 15: Ive A Message From The Lord, Hallelujah
Action Point: Pick up your phone and call somebody to tell them about Jesus Christ now and make this a habit.
Bible in one year: Exodus 40
OPEN HEAVENS MARCH 2021 Friday March 19
TOPIC: THE SOULWINNER MAY BE INSULTED
Memorise: Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Matthew 5:11
Read: Matthew 5:11-12
To win souls for Christ, you need the Holy Spirit and you would also have to develop a thick skin. Once in a while, you will be insulted and even ridiculed for the sake of the gospel you are preaching. You need to ignore the insults and continue to go after the souls. If you let the insults get to you and fire back, the unbelievers will say “And you call yourself a Christian. If you decide to stop preaching because of the insults, you would have allowed the devil to win.
Many times, the people insulting you are even doing so on purpose. Several years ago, one of my daughters begged me to talk to her father (a former military governor) about Jesus Christ. when I visited him, he attacked me with insults. “You, look at yourself. Ph.D. in mathematics and you are going about carrying Jesus on your head. I know what you are doing. You think I don’t know your tricks? You are taking money from poor women and students so you can be rich. That is how you are using, your own Mathematics. I also know about the miracles that they say are happening in your Church. We know the babalawos (witch doctors) people like you consult. He just went on and on and I kept smiling.
When he finally got born again years later and was giving his testimony, he said “lf my gun had been nearby that day, I would have shot you”. I asked why he would have done that and he said “Because I was trying to make you angry and the harder I tried, the more you laughed and it was killing me”
When you are going to preach to souls, leave all your degrees and achievements at home. When you get there, it they accept your message, great. If they insult you, pray for them and leave. Some people have names they have been tagged with in their office or school because they keep preaching the gospel. A lot of these unbelievers know that what you are saying is the truth but they just want to make you angry
Winning souls is warfare because the one who you are trying to snatch them from is a strong man and will not let them go easily. He will also attack you in several ways for trying to snatch souls from him. He will attack your ego get you to stop but you must not. When you compare the rejoicing that will happen in heaven over that one soul to the insults, your ego will not matter.
OPEN HEAVENS MARCH 2021 Saturday March 20
TOPIC: A FRIEND INDEED?
Memorise: A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
Read: 2 Kings 4:3-4
I know that the widow of one of the sons of the prophet, whose story is told in today’s Bible reading, lived in a predominantly poor area. However, I also know, from their response to her request for empty vessels, that she was friendly with her neighbours. There are a few lessons you can learn from this story, as a believer.
First, you must acknowledge that you are living in the midst of opportunities. You don’t always have to relocate for you to make progress. God will open your eyes and like that widow, you too will see the opportunities available around you in Jesus name. You must also be friendly with people around you. Imagine what would have happened had the neighbours refused her request for containers because she had quarrelled with them all.
She would have had nothing with which to collect the object of her miracles. You must always be at peace with your neighbours, whether they are believers or not, without soiling your faith. Hebrews 12:14 says:
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
There are some people around you who are wealthy but do not have salvation; reach out to them and watch God do wonders. I recall a young lady who was able to win a rich man to Christ. This man became so filled with the joy of salvation that he decided to do something for this sister; he got her a brand-new car in appreciation. What God did for that sister, He can do for you too. Just like the story in Matthew 17:27, there is a river in your neighbourhood that harbours a particular fish; this fish has a golden coin in its belly. All you have to do is catch the fish, open its mouth and claim the gold coin that will enrich you for life. Evangelism brings material and eternal rewards. As you go out today, be a good neighbour to everyone around you by offering them messages of love, hope,
Salvation and deliverance. Show the love of Christ by evangelising to lost souls, then wait patiently for he bountiful harvest of your labour of love. It will certainly come.
OPEN HEAVENS MARCH 2021 Hymn 28: What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Prayer Point: Father, please help me to be at peace with my neighbours, so that I can be an effectve weapon for soulwinning, in the mighty name of Jesus.
Bible in one year: Romans 1-3
OPEN HEAVENS MARCH 2021 Sunday March 21
TOPIC: PREACH THE WORD
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Memorise: Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 2 Timothy 4:2
Read: Luke 8:38-39
There is a scarcity of watchmen in the Church today.
This does not mean that there are no evangelists; the challenge however, is the scarcity of those who are actually preaching the word. Many Christians enjoy God’s grace, forgiveness, healing, breakthrough, peace and joy from the preaching to others but fail to share this good news so more people can also benefit from God’s benevolence.
God does not want His children to be content worshipping only in beautiful Cathedrals, rather He wants us to go out and plant Churches especially in areas where there are none or very few. He wants us to share part of what we have been given. For this reason, the Lord is re-echoing what He said through Paul to Timothy that we should preach the word when it is convenient and even when it is not (2 1timothy 4:2). What makes our preaching worthwhile is when it contains reproof, rebuke, exhortation and sound doctrine. Only by this will people know and be able to obey the word of God. John 7:16-17 Says
Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. lf any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
Today’s Bible reading reveals a fundamental obligation of every genuine Christian which, unfortunately, is usually overlooked today. A demon possessed man encountered
Jesus, and was immediately delivered. After the encounter, the man wanted to stay with Jesus but He sent him forth to spread the good news among his people. This is exactly what the Lord expects of us. This injunction, however, does not imply that we should forsake Jesus and do whatever we like. In John 15:4-5, Jesus says:
Abide in me, and I in you… for without me ye can do nothing.
At the same time, He also says”…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15).
Therefore beloved, I encourage you to begin to spread the good news of what the Lord has done for you and what He is capable of doing for others as well. May God help you as you obey Him.
OPEN HEAVENS MARCH 2021 Hymn 22: Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus
Action point: Decide that you will not Sleep until you witness about the goodness of Jesus Christ to at least three people today
Bible in one year: Romans 4-7