Memorise: But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33
Read: Genesis 22:1-18 (KJV)
1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11 And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah Jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.
15 And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,
16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Numbers 5-6, 1st Corinthians 15:12-34
God is most pleased with His children when they put Him first in all endeavours of life. For this reason, He gave the commandment in Deuteronomy 6:5 which says,
“And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”
God often tests His children to see whether they will honour Him by putting Him first in whatever situation they find themselves. Today’s Bible reading contains a vivid demonstration of this. After God gave Abraham a son in his old age, knowing well that he loved the child so much, God decided to find out whether Abraham loved the boy (the gift) more than he loved Him (the Giver).
He therefore instructed Abraham to go on a journey and sacrifice his son, Isaac, to Him. When God saw Abraham’s determination to obey Him, just before he killed his son, God intervened and provided an alternative. You will pass God’s test in Jesus’ Name. After Abraham passed God’s test, God swore that He would bless Abraham the way no human being had ever been blessed before. God’s blessing on Abraham was the first of its kind, being one that is irreversible forever.
When we speak about the giving of first fruit, some people think it is a pastor’s way of making money, but they are making a great mistake. When you put God first, He makes sure you are blessed in a special way and that your blessing becomes irreversible. If you however try to show God that He is not number one in your life. You will not like what may follow.
There was a young man who came to me and said, “Daddy, God has answered your prayers”, and my response was “Amen!” I asked him what happened and he said one big chief in Lagos asked him to help him sell a property of his consisting of 13 flats, 12 of which were regular flats. The chief told the young man how much he wanted for the house, and that the young man could have any amount above this as his personal gain.
After narrating this, he looked at me again and said, “Daddy, God has answered your prayers; from this deal alone, I will be settled for life!” I congratulated him and asked him to give one of the flats to the church as his tithe, but he lamented that this was only his first breakthrough, and that God could wait for other future blessings.
About a week later, after he got a buyer who was willing to pay far above the owner’s asking price, he went back to the owner, but to his shock, the man denied ever asking him to look for a buyer for the house! He lost his blessing because He did not consider it necessary to put God first. May the Almighty God give you a blessing that will last forever in Jesus’ Name.
Prayer point: Father, please give me a heart that puts you first in all areas of life in Jesus’ Name.
Open Heavens Daily Devotional Lessons was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God