Daily Devotional By Pastor E.A Adeboye
– Wednesday August 7th 2019
Memorise: This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2nd Timothy 3:1
Read: Matthew 24:4-13 (KJV)
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Bible in one year: 1st Samuel 1-2, Ezekiel 30:5-19, Hymnal: Sing hymn 17
Every discerning mind connected to heaven knows beyond any reasonable doubt that perilous times are here.
Happenings in different parts of the world are beginning to align very accurately with what the prophets of old and the Lord Jesus Christ foretold about the end times. This is why it is very urgent that we maximise the time we have left to propagate the gospel of the Lord to those who are yet to know Him. Speaking to us on this in Ephesians 5:14-16, the Holy Spirit says:
“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
Today, even the very elect are straying from the flock of the Good Shepherd. The devil is attacking our faith from all angles, and some brethren have been hit by his evil arrows, making their love wax cold. The faith of some others has suffered shipwreck and their love is now directed at the pleasures of this world. Those things that should not even be mentioned in the house of God are now being celebrated on some pulpits. There are now more lovers of pleasure in the Church than lovers of God. We are in dire times indeed.
In this modern age where people are ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, believers must watch against satanic wiles and temptations. We must avoid all forms of false doctrine being spread by the devil and his agents in the Church. Let us remain in the simple gospel of Jesus, which able to see us through to the very end. There are false teachers rising up every day with different kinds of teachings and beliefs, using their influence to spread erroneous teachings to unsuspecting believers. Avoid such people and reject their teachings. Let us run with the message of the true gospel to every part of the world, reminding people that those who are not on the Lord’s side on the last day will face eternal damnation
Let us do the work of an evangelist, which includes going after those people straying from the flock of Christ. These are those who started well but have become consumed with the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches. The signs of the second coming of Christ are daily being fulfilled before our very eyes. In order not to be caught unawares, we must prepare ourselves daily through self-examination. The enemy of our soul is out there seeking how to devour us, and we must not allow him to truncate our destinies. We must not make room for the flesh and we must put out all works of darkness around us. As you occupy in the Lord’s service until He returns, be wise and circumspect in all that you do. Above all, always be fully prepared for the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Father, help me to be a true ambassador of Christ, showing forth Your praise, in Jesus’ Name.
Speak unto all the people of the land, and say unto the priests, saying, when ye fast and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye fast at all unto me, even to me? Zechariah 7:5
Reading from the first verse of this passage, the people of Israel sent two men to the priests in the house of God to ask a very important question bordering their heart – “Should I (we) weep in the fifth month, separating myself as I (we) have done these many years?
For seventy (70) years, Israel have been fasting and mourning in the fifth and seventh months of each year, the destruction of Jerusalem and pleading with God for restoration. They therefore wanted to know if they should continue the practice, hence the message to the priest. However, to the shock of everyone, God asked a solemn question which appeared in our text for today- “when ye fast and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me?
You can imagine the shock, surprise and fear in the eyes of the leaders when this message was delivered to them. Seventy (70) years of consistent service, mourning, fasting and prayer by the entire nation was not and NEVER recognized by God? God even emphasized it, did ye AT ALL fasted unto me, even to me? God seems to be saying ‘I am not aware that you are doing this for me, it did not originate from me, and the way you go about it, it was definitely not for me. Was it really for me? Sorry, I am not aware, and I have no record of it! It’s all a wasted effort!’
One thing is clear, it was not as if God is against fasting and prayer. However, these people were doing it for themselves and as they liked, as a religion (…You are interested in religion– Message Bible, Verse 6), maybe to please their leaders and as a national pride. They have neglected the word of God, living in wickedness and sin, perpetrating all manner of evils. So, God said, you cannot live like this and fast, and expect me to accept it of your hands.
This was re-echoed in Isaiah 58. God said Israel was behaving as if they were a nation that seek him daily, delighting to know his ways. They also came asking why they fasted and God did not see it, nor recognize it, afflicting their souls but God seems not to take note (verse 3). God however responded by saying “Behold, in the day of your fast, ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high” V3, 4.
Beloved, are you the type that is very much interested in religion and activities, being busy here and there, jumping from one meeting and activity to the other for the Lord, but when it comes to the matter of righteousness, holiness and obeying the word of God, you have no standing? For some, their activities are actually meant to serve as a cover up or substitute for a holy living, and as compensations for their moral and spiritual deficiencies. You are still involved in all manner of evil act and thoughts, when you are alone in the dark with or without the opposite sex, terrible things happen, you habour malice and un-forgiveness, you are bitter even with fellow church or departmental members; pornography, masturbation and fornication still holds you in their grips, your love for money is on the next level and you cannot be trusted with money, and lying has become your second name. However, you always comfort yourself that because you are very active in church, give good offering and tithe, and that your pastor likes you, all is well.
Beloved, ALL IS NOT WELL. God is asking “All these activities, all this busyness here and there, all this preaching and witnessing, all this prayer and fasting, all this singing and dancing, are they all for me, even for me, even when you continue to live as you are now?
Jesus said in Matthew 7:21- 23 “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my father which is in Heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have casted out devils, and in thy name done may wonderful work? And I will profess unto them, I Never knew you. Depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (emphasis mine). Beloved, preaching and prophesying, casting out demons, doing miracles, signs and wonders, doing the works of ministry is NOT enough to gain the recognition of God, if sin is Involved. No matter your position in church, no matter your level of service, no matter how popular your ministry is, no matter your voice and your singing, no matter your spirituality (it takes the highly spiritual to prophesy, cast out demons and do miracle signs and wonders) etc, if you live in or walk in iniquity, sorry, both you and the work will not be recognized in heaven. Jesus said “I will tell them plainly, I never knew you, ye workers of iniquity! Was your work unto me, even to me? No wonder the Holy ghost through Paul said in 1Corinthians 3:13-15 “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abides which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so by fire.”. Some people’s work of a lifetime shall be burned completely without any trace, and therefore no reward because they were NOT unto him! What a pity.
In Haggai 2:11-14, God gave Haggai another solemn warning concerning services to God by someone defiled with sin. According to the law, if a Priest is wearing a Holy garment with the Holy anointing oil of God on his head, touches any object or item, it will not make it clean, in spite of his anointing. However, if someone who is defiled for example by touching a dead body, touches those same items, he will render them unclean. So God concluded “So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the Lord; and so is every work of their hands, and that which they offer there is unclean”.
Beloved, this is a fearful matter. If you have been defiled by sin, by lust, fornication, or malice, and you are engaged in the work of the Lord, you have succeeded in defiling not only the work, but also the people whom you ministered to. I wonder how many defiled works are going on for God in our churches today. Jesus said in Matthew 5:23-34 “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee, leave there thy gift before the alter, and go thy way, first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift”(Emphasis mine). This is simply because a gift offered on the altar when your brother has something against you (not even you having the challenge) is equivalent to defiling the alter of God, and will not be accepted by God (even though your pastor may accept it). Oh! how many people are offering defiled offerings and tithes on the Holy altar of God today! Some even bring the proceeds of their crime, their adulterous lifestyle, their cheating in the business places etc to the Church, and we happily collect them and pray for them.
It is time we sit back and evaluate our lives and services for God. Are they really unto God going by the way we live our lives, even unto him? The children of Israel were lucky they heard those words when they still have the opportunity to make amends. What if it is at the throne of Judgment that we hear our own, how terrible it will be. That your 70 years, 50 years, 30 years 10 years or even 2 years of services were never recognized by heaven, and there are no records of them, not even of you. How terrible it will be. Beloved, this is an important issue we cannot run away from, or throw away easily.
Has your services been unto God, even unto Him?………..
God have mercy on us in Jesus name.
At a time when the church has become a ground for entertainment, we need revival.
At a time when a music minister competes and compares himself with secular musician, we need a revival.
At a time when the altar of God is used for comedy, we need a revival.
At a time when a successful minister of the Gospel is measured by how rich he is and not how much impact he is making, we need a revival.
At a time, when passion for souls have been replaced with fashion parade in the church, we need a revival.
At a time when motivational speaking has replaced biblical preaching, we need a revival.
At a time when you really cannot differentiate between a daughter of Zion and an harlot, we need a revival.
At a time when pastors kill each other for post and higher position, we need a revival.
At a time when modern preachers now tell us that Jesus is not coming soon, we need a revival.
At a time when packaging and special effect has replaced the beauty of God’s glory, we need a revival.
At a time when sexual sin is referred to as weakness and the grace of God is taken for granted, we need a revival.
At a time when prophets prophesies by divination and profits from false prophecy, we need a revival.
At a time when the church does not know the difference between witchcraft spirit and the Holy Spirit, we need a revival.
At a time when filling the seats in our place of worship has become a priority than raising disciples of Jesus, we need revival.
At a time when sinners feel comfortable in our churches and saints feel no sense of urgency to preach the good news to the lost, we need revival.
At a time when pastors are more concerned about how much money members give than how much the members truly love the Lord, we need revival.
At a time when the word of God is scarce and the fire on the altar is going out, and the priests have become blind, the watchmen sleeping, and holiness is no longer our standard, we need a revival.
We need a revival not a programme. We need a reawakening of our souls and a new awareness of the power of God. We do not need another jamboree but true repentance coupled with a changed life. We do not need another noise, we need a shaking and a mighty rushing wind. We do not need another movement, we need a reformation. We need the Lord to come again and restore us unto himself. We need the Lord to open our eyes again that we may see Him. We want to see His Holiness again that we may see our depravity.
We need a genuine outpouring of the Holy Spirit, WE ARE TIRED OF SPEAKING IN TONGUES AND NOT LIVING CHRIST-LIKE.
There is no other desire that we have than to hear again the same voice that spoke in the valley of dry bones to BRING US BACK TO LIFE. Our nations are in darkness, yet we are the light. We cannot pretend anymore, Jesus come again in your power and reawaken us.
WE NEED A REVIVAL!!!
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“A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.” (Luk 15:11-13 KJV)
LORD, fire me up and set me on fire”… Let not grace diminish in my life. Let me not become obsolete, ever before the work is done completely.
The bane and doom of the Prodigal son was that he left home … he left the shadow of his father, into an open country … He took off, with confidence in his past experience and in a past blessing… He took off on a reservoir he gathered for himself… He left Baba (the father): the inexhaustible Reservoir, the Source that never runs dry and took off on a ‘Jerry can Reservoir’… How far can a man go on “gathered up” resources?
LORD, deliver me from taking off, solely dependent on little things I have gathered so far from Thy presence. Drive me back again and again until I no longer stray from this eternal lesson of total and absolute dependence on Thee.
He took off on his past dealing with God… He expected the glory that shone on his face while he beheld God continually to remain ever shining, even when he had left the source long ago. He expected some form of everlastingness, having left the ever-lasting God, the ever-living, the ever-burning, and the ever-loving God! What an impossible expectation!!
As soon as firewood is no more added to fire, existing wood must burn and get burnt into ashes. It starts by reducing in length, as it becomes very small pieces of charcoal and then it becomes the ash. LORD, help me to learn this wisdom once more in Jesus’ Name.
And took his journey “into a far country …!”
Why not a nearby country? When the devil wants to kill a man, and destroy his anointing … he sets his mind on a destination far away where he can be plundered and squandered without any immediate help from home. LORD, I desire not a far distance from Thy presence… The devil took him to places where even if he cried out for help, no one would hear. Home seemed so far away…!
LORD, help me to be tied with a strong cord around the horn of the altar. Let me lose my peace, my assurance and my confidence; the more I stray from Thine altar. Regulate the circumference of my operations. No amount of revelation knowledge, and No amount of divine unction; No amount of open doors granted unto me ought to entice and deceive me to seek personal independence from Thy presence. Revelation knowledge, divine unction, open doors, etc. are only meaningful for as long as I abide in thy presence; if I should take “my journey into a far country,” not because you sent me, I would soon discovered that such can only be sustained in your presence not anywhere else.
What keeps a man from spending the substance of grace God bestow on him “with riotous (reckless, uncontrolled and expensive thoughtless) living,” can only also be gotten from abiding in God’s presence.
No brake, No control and No inner check; No direction, No soundness of thought, No organisation and No arrangement… This is what happens when a man leaves the presence of God; trusting on a ‘Jerry can Reservoir,’ completely ignorant of how short lived “gathered up” resources are. When a man walks out of the Holy Spirit, he squanders all the truth riotously without any focus and without any meaningful application. Revelation knowledge is wasted in a riotous and loose living… ONLY, under the shadow of the Almighty God can my life, my work and my thoughts be properly focused and applied for measurable results.
The prodigal son lost all his inner checks and balances; he lost all sense of direction, as he wasted all he acquired in the presence of God. It takes years to build a prayer life. It takes years to become acquainted with the voice of God, and prove His perfect will. It takes years to have an open door into God’s word regularly… yet it takes just a few days out there to waste, squander and spend all these jewels of grace!
It takes years for Christ’s character (a treasure more precious than gold) to be formed in a Christian; it takes a combination of several things: sufferings, persecution, temptations and trials of faith to bring a Christian to a Christ-like experience and life style. Yet it takes a short moment only to destroy all these, and clothe the child of God with rags!
LORD, help me to guard jealously what you have taken several years to deposit into my life. Help me to remain within Thy shadows, so as to preserve Thy eternal investments in my heart for this generation, in Jesus’ Name.
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“Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the well of Harod, so that the camp of the Midianites was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley. And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’” (Jdg 7:1-2 NKJV)
I remember many years ago, I was crying to God for anointing. I had contracted a burden for God to revive His church. I used to ask, “Is it impossible, O God, for you to raise men in our land who will teach and get your people back on their knees?”
After many years of such praying when I thought God was already pleased with my life, I was praying again when He said something that baffled me . . .
He said, “Yes, I have heard you and I will use you, but I’m reluctant yet because I abhor betrayal of trust. I have put my power in the hands of many people before you but they have betrayed my trust. Even if I will use you I will first of all test you by putting you on probation.”
After twelve years of continual preaching from one village to another; from one meeting, one conference, one campus . . . to another, I was praying again one day when God said: “In the past twelve years, you have been on probation. I am beginning now to think of trusting you.”
I was taken aback. I said, “You mean for twelve years You have just been watching me? With all the preaching and traveling, I have been on probation?” Then I discovered that many times, what makes God to withdraw from committing Himself to a man is not just what that man has already done or what he is currently doing but what he is likely to do in the near or distant future.
So when I ask you to pray, I am not just asking you to think of the mistakes of your past. Yes, you have to cry to God and ask for forgiveness even for those ones. But I want you to go beyond that. I want you to say something like this . . .
“God, I don’t know myself. I don’t know those things that have been planted in my life which have not yet manifested today, but may manifest in the future. LORD, please, point at them and help me to uproot them that I may become useful in Your hand in the name of Jesus.”
When God desires to use a man, the crucial thing He checks again and again is the quality and condition of heart that that man carries. He must test and examine the disposition of that heart in many and diverse situations of life. He does not trust a life until He can trust his heart. So, if you want to commend yourself to God, what you must first check and work upon, is the integrity of your heart.
Are there seeds of sin already growing in your heart which may not have opportunity of outward expression today, until an opportune time in the future?
Is there a kind of secret ambition; perhaps an ambition for fame in your life that has made it difficult for God to trust you with a big work? If God knows that you cannot handle fame; and that if you have a little opportunity to become popular you will become pompous, then God may likely say, “Let’s peg his progress.” Only God knows how many of His servants whose progress He has had to peg because of what He saw in their hearts.
Will you wish to check where you are with God now? A few sobering questions will help you to check the state of your heart and your stand with God . . .
Is it taking several years for God to give you a breakthrough and to enlarge your life? Is there some secret ambition that God is querying in your heart, even though covered with zeal? Does God see the seed of pride and arrogance, which might spring up if He should fertilize you with anointing?
This is not the time to pray about other people. The people in Church are not the problem. If God gets a correct man in you to lavish His power on, the church will change overnight. It is time to focus on your own life first.
I take the liberty to challenge you here as a man that can become great in the hand of God. I challenge you not because of your height in God today but because of what I foresee God can work in your life before you leave the scene.
God may have begun with you on probation, teaching a Sunday school class. But such beginnings are usually for training and exposure. There are greater tasks ahead of your life. There is a large estate into which He would want to call you if you are faithful.
But one thing that scares God away from a man is his wrong heart. Is your heart pure? Have you gotten rid of every seed of sin in your heart?
And because there is a spiritual genetic connection between a minister and the people he reproduces, it becomes very necessary to be sure that there is no wrong thing in the life that trains others. Since what a man is, is what he will impart, whatever we do not want to multiply must not be given prominence in the Church. That is why God is not quick at picking men for His use.
Why not ask God to test every ‘gene’ of your life and throw out that which is injurious? Why not pray this hour and say, “Dear Holy Spirit, if leadership imposes such a serious demand on the life of those to be so appointed, do not delay in getting to work upon my life. No wonder You are not getting men so quickly to use today”.
Do not forget, my brother, that the back-up you need is not what a man can do for you. It is what only God can do. Everything God wants you to do, depend on if He is ready to place His approval on your life.
Do not forget that serving God is not a matter of competition with any man. I wish you could face God with the reality of your life situation. I wish you would ask God some serious questions today . . .
“God, are You still afraid of releasing Your power into my life? Are You still afraid of releasing Your Church into my hand? Why are You pegging my progress? God why are You afraid of lavishing upon me what I could have used to change my generation? LORD, are there still wrong things within my life that You are scared of?”
Will you please pray this hour for a divine intervention in your life?
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It is a betrayal of trust for me to allow Thy gifts to sever me from Thee, my LORD, Who gives me all.
It is a betrayal of trust for me to make a name for myself out of the revelations You gave me in mercy and specifically for Thy Body. A thing I never laboured for; how can I claim credit for it, if not with a serious spirit of error, betraying the trust I hold of Thee?
It is a betrayal of trust for me to carve out a line of loyalists behind me, out of men You graciously led to me, for their portion of meat which You kept in my care.
It is a betrayal of trust for me to covet and camp on the popularity that ensues from the manifestation of Thy anointing upon my life, which anointing was freely given for the benefit and edification of Thy church.
It is a betrayal of trust for me to abandon the place of prayer where You opened doors for me to serve Your people, in pursuit of open doors, majoring on moving here and there, fussing up and down as a professional preacher who always has something to say whether or not God is speaking.
It is a betrayal of trust for me to treat with levity the counseling cases of brethren, not bearing them on my breastplate at the altars; though You introduced them to me, because You thought I would be a faithful priest.
It is a betrayal of trust for me to exploit Thy people, who out of want, but with loving and obedient hearts give of their substance, for my upkeep and the ministry of Thy word, by living lazily, riotously and carelessly in the pretext of prosperity.
It is a betrayal of trust for me to be heartlessly prayerless, concerning the state of the Church and yet come forward to speak elegantly about the plan of God for this age.
Standing in His presence is my primary call! Standing before men can only be secondary. And I cannot stand before men, if I have not first stood before God for them.
It is a betrayal of trust for me to stand before men for God, for whom I have not stood before God. It is mere hypocrisy.
Father, help me! Call me to order each time, lest I betray the trust I hold of Thee, in mercy, In Jesus Name. (Amen)!