Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
MEMORIZE: “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” (Heb. 12:6).
READ: Hebrews 12:5-6
Some years ago, I taught the students of School of Disciples that they ought to learn the art of effective praying, or else, in time to come, they may be casting out Demons for 36 hours. The earlier you get used to what is acceptable in God’s Kingdom, the better. The greatest challenge a believer will face is not from the devil but from God. It is a high thing to be loved by God who is absolutely perfect. Why? It is normal for every father to desire that his son is like him, if not better. Matthew 5:48 says we should be as perfect as our heavenly Father. God is strict but only with those He receives as His own. “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth” (Heb. 12:6). Any reasonable father will be tougher on his children than on other people’s children.
If we are casual friends, however little your effort would be, I would praise you. But I am usually stricter with my very close friends. For instance, if any of my casual friends comes to give me a gift, no matter how small, I would say ‘God bless you. The next time it will be more’. But if a close friend brings me a gift, I would say: ‘I hope it is more than last one; if not, take your money and leave after all, I am not begging for money’. One of my close friends gave me a million naira during a Christmas. I asked and found out that it was the same amount he brought the previous year, so I returned it to him. He left and returned with a cheque of one million and one naira, since I wanted more than the previous year’s. I turned it down. Then he brought another cheque of one million, one hundred naira saying that he was just trying to pull my legs. Yet, if somebody else gave me N10, I would show appreciation and bless the fellow. The same is true of God if you desire to be close to Him. In Deuteronomy 23:17, God says no harlot or homosexual will be allowed in Israel. In other words, they can be in other nations but not among His people. If God loves you, you cannot do what others are.
If God is strict with you, it means He regards you as His own. God knows your capabilities. Pray that you will never be an underperformer.
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