OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL.
MONDAY 23 MAY 2016
THEME : DO YOU LOVE GOD?
So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
READ : Deuteronomy 6:4-7
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
In today’s Bible reading, Jesus asked a pointed question from Simon Peter, “lovest thou me more than these?” Jesus was not in doubt whether Peter loved Him; He was more interested in knowing the level Peter’s commitment to Him when compared to other worldly things. Many truely love God, but they are more committed to other things like their profession, business, means of livelihood, fashion, sports, entertainment, food and delicacies, friends and family, social engagement, etc. Whenever God’s demand clashes with their interests, they will surely go for their interests. When the chips are down, God must play the second fiddle to the true love of their lives. In this respect, on Psalms 42:1, David says
“AS the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.”
In the above passage, the Bible recorded the Psalmist speaking of his yearning for God. He compares his yearning for God to the extreme teaching of a dehydrated deer, whose need for water is shown by its panting. We know the hart or deer does not pant except when it is being chased by hunter or when it is highly dehydrated. Do you know that for many people, it is only when they are being hunted by the devil or situations of life that they remember God? When everything else is in place: the store is filled with rich varieties of food, the bank account is bubbling, the contracts are coming, the family members are well and making progress and ministry is moving on; the need to search for God never arises in the hearts of many. But when there is trouble: a child is sick, there is no food to eat, the business is experiencing dryness and there are several challenges in the ministry; then suddenly the one at the receiving end would remember that he or she has a God. If you seek God only when you are hunted, you are a God-user and not a God-lover. You can be sure God knows the difference and He will deal with His seekers accordingly. John 21:15 says :
“So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.”
It is possible that you pursue God, not because you are in trouble but because you love him. Anything can happen when you are in love. Songs of Solomon 2:5 says it is even possible to become sick because of love. If you have an intense love for God, you will go to any length for Him. God has created us to be capable of loving one another, particularly Him. If you find it difficult to truly love God, it is because something else or someone else has stolen your love. Material things have stolen the hearts of many people from God. If you have lost your first love- the original quality of love once expressed towards Him when you first knew the Lord, then ask Him to help you recover it. Are you panting after God because you are hunted or because of love? If love drives you to God, love will drive Him to you in return and He will give Himself to you without reservation. Do you love God more than anything in this world?
Father, let my love for You grow stronger, and stronger, all the days of my life.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
1 Chronicles 16:8-18:17 and Proverbs 28:14-25
AUTHOR : Pst E. A ADEBOYE
HYMN : 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.