OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL
PASTOR E.A. ADEBOYE
TOPIC: LIKE THEOPHILUS?
DATE: SUNDAY 6th AUGUST 2017
SING HYMN:1 – MY FAITH LOOKS UP TO THEE
“Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.”
Luke 1:1-4; KING JAMES VERSION (KJV)
1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,
4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
The name by which a person is identified is very significant. The Jews and a good number of Africa cultures attach great importance to the names they give to their children. It is amazing that God Almighty also recognizes the influences of names on the lives of their bearers. For example, while entering into a convenient with Abram, God changed his name to Abraham, and He gave reasons for this (Genesis 32:28). The Lord Jesus and His apostles also gave people new names (Mark 3:16-17, Acts 4:36).
In our Bible reading today, we read about a man whose name was Theophilus. ‘Theophilus’ in Greek means “lover of God”. It is amazing that this man loved God so much that he earnestly sought to know about Him and His Christ. His curiosity about God produced two of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament: the gospel according to St. Luke and the Acts of the Apostles (Luke 1:1-3, Acts 1:1). When you love someone, you would seek to know more about that fellow. This was exactly the attitude of Theophilus towards God. His drive to know God more, led Luke to write his gospel on the life of Jesus. However, his continued thirst made him unsatisfied with just one book about Him, thereby necessitating the need for a second book to be written by Luke, which is now referred to as the Acts of the Apostles.
There are several lessons we can learn from the life and attitude of Theophilus, one of which is that in spite of his highly exalted position, Theophilus still sought to know the truth about Jesus Christ. The Bible says you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free (John 8:32). Whenever you are confronted with an idea, be it religious or philosophical, try and find out the truth embedded in it. Some people completely fall for some religious ideas without first finding out the authenticity; hence, they have been deceived to believe lies. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, yarned to know more of Jesus (Philippians 3:10). If you love Jesus, you would want to know more of Him through regular Bible study and fellowshipping with genuine Christians. The benefits of loving God and His Christ are obvious from our memory verse. When you love God, he will deliver you from erring from the truth (John 10:1-14). He will also promote you because your personal relationship with Him will avail for you. Beloved, do you love God? To what extent do you love Him? Jesus Christ, in John 14:15, said:
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
By this benchmark, can you say you truly love Him?
Father, help me to love You as I ought to: in deed and in truth.
Bible in one year:
1 Kings 20-21; Ezekiel 20:39-49
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE
HYMN 1 – MY FAITH LOOKS UP TO THEE
My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary,
Now hear me while I pray,
Take all my guilt away,
Oh, let me from this day
Be wholly Thine!
May Thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart,
My zeal inspire!
As Thou hast died for me,
Oh, may my love to Thee
Pure, warm, and changeless be,
A living fire!
While life’s dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread,
Be Thou my guide;
Bid darkness turn to day,
Wipe sorrow’s tears away,
Nor let me ever stray
From Thee aside.
When life’s swift race is run,
Death’s cold work almost done,
Be near to me;
Blest Savior, then in love,
Fear and distrust remove;
O bear me safe above,
Redeemed and free!