OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL
DATE: TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 26TH 2023
THEME: PUT GOD FIRST ALWAYS
MEMORISE: Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: Proverbs 3:9
READ: 1 Kings 17:7 -16
7 And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.
8 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,
9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.
10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.
11 And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.
12 And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son
14 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.
15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.
One of the things l have discover about God in my little walk with Him is that He wants to be your priority at all times. He said in Matthew 6:33 that you should seek His kingdom and righteousness first. In Psalm 10:4, the Bivle describes those who do not seek God and have Him in their thoughts as proud. In Deuteronomy 26:2, God said that your very first harvest should be given to Him. He wants to be your number one or nothing at all to you. In fact, one of His names is 'Jealous' (Exodus 34:14).
Now, when God sees that you always put Him first and you have honoured Him, then He will begin to work out a befitting reward for you. In Proverbs 3:9-10, the Bible says: "Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:: "So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine." In our Bible reading for today, Elijah told the widow of Zarephath to prepare his meal first before making that of herself and her son. Some other women would have said "Popher, did you not hear that there is only one meal left to prepare for me and my son". Instead of saying that, she honoured God in the life of the Prophet in that difficult situation and in return, she never lacked food again. While the entire nation was starving, she had food in abundance. That is what happens when you put God first.
I was in Ilesha, holding a crusade many years ago when my Professor took my PhD thesis to the external examiner. Normally they post it, but he bought a ticket and took it. If you ask all those who got their PhDs back then, they will tell you that it usually takes months for external examiners to invite PhD candidates for an oral examination. While l was busy in Ilesha doing the will of God, my Professor took my thesis to the external examiner and said, "l am not going back until you read this". After the external examiner read it, he said"Go and give the boy his PhD". If you do the will of God first, He will take care of all your needs. When you honour Him and put Him first in all you do, what you will get in return will be a multiplication of what you sacrificed for Him.
Always put God first.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Zephaniah 1-3
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A ADEBOYE
HYMN 23: TAKE MY LIFE AND LET IT BE
1 Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
2 Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee,
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
3 Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee,
Filled with messages from Thee.
4 Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose,
Every power as Thou shalt choose.
5 Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart; it is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne,
It shall be Thy royal throne.
6 Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee,
Ever, only, all for Thee.