Open Heaven 24 April 2022 – Follow Jesus Closely I
Open Heaven 24 April 2022 TOPIC: Follow Jesus Closely I
MEMORISE: “And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.” – Mark 14:54
READ: Mark 14:50-72 (KJV)
50 And they all forsook him, and fled.
51 And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him:
52 And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.
53 And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.
54 And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.
55 And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none.
56 For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together.
57 And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying,
58 We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.
59 But neither so did their witness agree together.
60 And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
61 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?
62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
63 Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses?
64 Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.
65 And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.
66 And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest:
67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.
68 But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.
69 And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them.
70 And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.
71 But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.
72 And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: 2 Kings 21-23
Open Heaven 24 April 2022 MESSAGE:
Many churchgoers these days are merely paying lip service when they call themselves Christians. If you were to really check, you would discover that instead of carrying their cross to follow Jesus closely, many are only following Him from afar. The moment things get a little bit tough, they deny Him. Peter was an ardent follower of Christ; he was also very vocal about his beliefs, thus he was the last person one would have expected would deny Christ. We need to really enquire about what happened that day in Mark 14.
“And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.” Mark 14:54
Take note of the first clause in the passage above – Peter followed Jesus from afar. How closely are you following Jesus now? So many Christians are following Jesus from afar, hence they deny Him over and over again. Peter had boasted of how impossible it was for him to deny Jesus in Mark 14:27-31, but in Mark 14:54, he followed Jesus from afar and ended up denying Him. Why did he follow Jesus from afar? This is because he did not want to be associated with the persecutions of Jesus Christ. Are you also running away from the persecutions of Jesus? You don’t talk like a Christian in the office because you don’t want anyone to tag you with Christ. You go for business meetings and even though you are prompted by the Holy Spirit to pray before the meeting starts, you subdue the prompting because you don’t want the people you are meeting with to know how seriously you take God. You don’t preach the gospel to those you interact with daily because you don’t want them to start calling you a Christian fanatic.
When you let them know from the onset that you are a child of God, there are deals and suggestions that they would never bring your way. On the other hand, if you are following Jesus from afar, they will bring those temptations to you because they have never known you to be serious about your faith. In Church, when you are engulfed in the presence of God and boasting that you will never deny Him like Peter did, ask yourself, “When I get out there in the world, would I be following Christ closely or would I be following Him from afar?”
Open Heaven 24 April 2022 KEY POINT:
The only way you will not deny Jesus is if you are following Him closely and everyone can easily associate you with Him.
Open Heaven 24 April 2022 HYMN 28: When We Walk With The Lord
1. When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way;
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey,
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.
2. Not a shadow can rise,
Not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear,
Not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey
3. Not a burden we bear,
Not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss,
Not a frown or a cross,
But is blest if we trust and obey.
4. But we never can prove
The delights of His love,
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows,
And the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
5. Then in fellowship sweet
We will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do;
Where He sends, we will go,
Never fear, only trust and obey.
Open Heavens 2022 Daily Devotional guide was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer’s Ministries. The Open Heavens devotional application is available across all mobile platforms and operating systems: iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows Mobile and PC. Open Heaven for Today 2022