Friday, January 28, 2022

The Virus of False Doctrines

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1 Timothy 4:3-5 (NET) They will prohibit marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creation of God is good and no food is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. For it is sanctified by God’s word and by prayer.

The reason Sheldon started attending that church where they taught license was because he grew up in one where they taught legalism. In his former church, they were so sin-conscious that they made the people perpetually feel condemned and unaccepted. They went as far as using the old Testament to proscribe certain foods and tag them as sinful. Remember, the believer is not under the law of Moses but under the law of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 9:21, Galatians 6:2).

There are two kinds of false doctrines out there. There are those that go on the side of license and the others that go on the side of legalism. Those that go on the side of license are usually laden with sexual immorality and high-sounding nonsense. They use the grace of God as a license to continue in iniquity and trivialize sin. The other kind of false doctrines out there are those that go on the side of legalism. They are those who insist on rules and regulations as the way to be right with God. They don't understand the righteousness of God but seek to establish their own righteousness by their own effort. They are as dangerous or even more dangerous than the license group. They do not walk by faith but by rules and regulations, and because of this, they do not walk in love but in accusations and condemnation.

Whenever you see two doctrinal extremes in the body of Christ, the truth is usually in the middle. Even though we are not saved by our works of righteousness, our faith produces in us works of righteousness(James 2:14, Ephesians 2:10). If it doesn't, then it is not living but dead faith.

Whenever you see a teacher always talking about rules and regulations and threatening believers with going hell as a consequence for breaking his laws, be wary. Whenever you see a teacher always talking about the grace that covers sins and never talks about how grace empowers believers to be godly and do what is right, be wary.

Go into today remembering that the grace of God teaches people to deny ungodliness and fleshly lusts. Legalism teaches people to set aside the grace of God and rather depend on their ability to keep rules and regulations as the reason why they are saved. Legalism and license are two sides of the same evil coin of false doctrines.

Prayer: Father, please guide me from the virus of false doctrines in Jesus' name. Amen.
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—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Bible Plan: Deuteronomy 32-34 (In Devotional Audio)
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Thursday, January 27, 2022

The message of His Grace

 

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Acts 20:32 (NET) And now I entrust you to God and to the message of his grace. This message is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

As a little girl, Anabel was repeatedly molested by her aunt's husband. Each time she reported the matter to her aunt, her aunt would curse her and call her a witch who has been sent to destroy her home. When she couldn't take that hostile environment anymore, she ran away and started living with her friends who were "call girls". She was 16 at the time.

By the time Anabel was 29, she had committed more than 18 abortions and had done so many other horrible things like joining a cult, blackmailing some of her clients, etc.

One morning, she was flipping TV channels when she saw a very popular secular musician preaching the gospel in a church. That caught her attention, and she remained on that channel to see what he had to say. That was the day she heard the true message of the gospel. She heard the testimony of how this notorious musician had accepted the Lord and was now living a life that pleases the Lord. She loved the way he and his wife were in love with one another and the Lord, and something within her knew they were legit.

One of the major points she got from that TV program was that her sins could be forgiven and never used against her in heaven again. She understood the sacrifice of Christ Jesus and how he became the payment for our sins. This was her first step to salvation.

The message of grace helps us know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ who became poor so that we through his poverty might become rich. The Lord became sin that we might become the righteousness of God.

If a person believes in the Lord Jesus and confesses him as Lord, that person becomes righteous before God and receives the power to remain holy and blameless before God.

Go into today remembering that the grace of God is the only reason any human being could ever be saved because all have sinned. Anyone who boasts of his righteousness and looks down on people because of their sins has not truly found grace but false religion.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Bible Reading: Jude (In Devotional Audio)
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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The Carpenter’s Son: Discerning God’s Gift

 

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Matthew 13:55 (KJV) Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?

Abayomi’s favorite football team was playing again tonight. He had barely refreshed from work before he rushed off to Mr. Alabi’s, to watch the match. Abayomi’s cable TV subscription did not broadcast some high-profile football matches, and so for that Mr. Alabi, his neighbor, was his plug, and he was ever so welcoming, even offering drinks and snacks while they watched the match, providing amateur commentary and sometimes throwing football banter at each other when the other’s favorite team lost or performed badly.

So, when Abayomi went with his boss to meet a tech consultant who came highly recommended to help them sort out a glitch in one of their company’s software, it was with great surprise that he saw that the said consultant was Mr. Alabi. The same football watching, banter-trading, neighbor Mr. Alabi? Abayomi berated himself for not making efforts to know his neighbor a little bit more, perhaps, maybe he would have been able to benefit from the wealth of wisdom and experience of Mr. Alabi as Abayomi himself was an early career software engineer.

From that moment henceforth, his relationship with Mr. Alabi changed. Because even though Mr. Alabi did not change, his perception and appreciation for his person was not the same and that changed his relationship, for good, with Mr. Alabi. He was no longer just a neighbor to him, he had become a well-respected senior specialist.

We sometimes do ourselves a great disservice when we fail to learn how to discern God’s gift. Understanding is critical here.

This discernment must be built first on the understanding that God deposits treasures in ‘earthen vessels’ or “jars of clay” (See 2 Corinthians 4:7 NET). God pours out his grace on men. Not just superhuman men, but men with ordinary antecedents, physiology, and anatomy. However, this must not serve as a hindrance for us to discern and therefore esteem God’s gifts.

Ephesians 4 speaks about the gifts of God in the form of men who he gave as Apostles, Prophets, etcetera. These men will have normal natural experiences of birth, pain, nutrition, gaffs, joys. They are men just like us as Apostle James said speaking about Elijah (See James 5:17). And that fact by no means invalidates the reality of who they are beyond the mundane details of their frail humanity.

We must learn to look beyond the carpenter’s son and see the One who has the words of eternal life. This was what set Peter (and the 12) from most in Jesus’ hometown.

Go into today with a discerning heart that is able to receive a Prophet in the name of the Prophet and not just as a community member.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Bible Reading: Acts 25-26 (In Devotional Audio)
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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

People of Love

 

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Colossians 3:14 (NET) And to all these virtues add love, which is the perfect bond.
When Kayode first believed, he didn’t know how to love people. The only person he had ever loved was himself. His parents did not love him, and no one ever showed him love before he met his roommate who preached to him and led him to Christ.

Because he was attending a living Christian fellowship, one of the first things he was taught as a new believer was to love. He was told that he now had the capacity and the ability to love God and love people...

You may be asking if it is possible to teach a person to love. Yes. The easiest way is teaching by example. Older women in the church are even to teach younger women to love their husbands and their children (see Titus 2:4).

A person who loves will give his time and his resources to the one he loves. For example, It takes love to give your time to pray for someone else. It takes love to inconvenience yourself to give your money to someone who is not you.

As children of God, we have been empowered to love. Whether we feel it or not, we now have the power to love people, whether they deserve it or not (remember that God loved us when we did not deserve it). The power of love is the most powerful in the universe. Only those who are born of God have this power to love the way God does (1 John 4:7-8).

Go into today remembering that Christians are to be people of love (John 13:35).
Prayer: Ask the Lord to make you a person of love.
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—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Bible Reading: Revelation 12-17 (In Devotional Audio)
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Monday, January 24, 2022

Our Daily Bread

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Matthew 6:11 (KJV) Give us this day our daily bread.

Because of a new special assignment at work, Harry was going to be traveling frequently. Two weeks before he got the assignment, he saw in a dream that he was involved in a ghastly motor accident. So when this new assignment came, he was greatly troubled because he knew he was going to be traveling a lot by road and by air. He decided to seek the Lord concerning his fears (Psalm 34:4).

One morning during this period of seeking the Lord, he woke up with the words of Psalm 121:7-8 in his heart. He continued to confess it. It says "[t]he LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore."

That was the word of God for Harry in that season(day). Because of this word, his fears were allayed and he became bold and confident that he would be safe from all harm and danger, and that was exactly what happened. He finished that assignment successfully without any accidents and got a huge promotion thereafter.

Remember that the Lord is the one who says "man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). Our bodies need physical bread to survive, but the bread for our spirits is the living Word of God. When we ask our Heavenly Father to "give us this day our daily bread", we are not only asking for physical bread for the body, we are also asking for spiritual bread for the inner man. There is a word from God that can carry us through every season, that is also our daily bread.

Go into today remembering that there is a word from Lord for you for every day(season) of your life. Your [spiritual] strength and prosperity depend on it.

Prayer: Lord, teach me to wait on you and receive bread to carry me through every season(day) of my life. Amen.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible In One Year: Song of Solomon 5-6 (In Devotional Audio)
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Sunday, January 23, 2022

Love Also Receives 2

 

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Hebrews 6:7 (NET), “For the ground that has soaked up the rain that frequently falls on it and yields useful vegetation for those who tend it receives a blessing from God"

I once read a story about a woman who risked her life to save her child. It was a fire incident and everyone ran for their dear life. She had bearly escaped the inferno when she heard the cry of her little baby. Her baby was in the building and the fire was blazing. Without a second thought, she ran right into the building, passing through the fire, and rescued her baby. Yes, the baby was rescued unhurt, but she was confined to the hospital bed for several months. Thankfully she survived but sustained irreparable deformities. May years later, the child had grown and was ready to get married, but something really disheartening happened; she did not invite her own mother to her wedding. she presented herself as an orphan to her in-laws to be. She did this because she considered her mum unpresentable.

How will you describe the child's action? What an ingrate! You’ll most likely exclaim. But, haven’t we all demonstrated certain measures of ingratitude? Unfruitfulness, in spite of the investment of God in a life, is a demonstration of ingratitude.

See how Jesus captured this in a parable: “a certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it : And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down” (Luke 13:6-9 KJV).

A barren womb is one that receives seed but does not bear fruits. If all you do is receive and give nothing in return, you are like that unfruitful tree waiting to be cut down.

Go into today knowing that love also receives and that God is expecting a harvest of love from you.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me love you the way you love me. Help me love others too. Amen.
—Dr. Emmanuel James

Bible In One Year: Psalms 146-148 (In Devotional Audio)
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Saturday, January 22, 2022

A Call to Action: Arise

 

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Isaiah 60:1(KJV) Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

She was still sobbing when the shrill loud voice of the cry of her son reached her ear. It pierced her heart sharply and her heart broke as she began to weep bitterly and sob uncontrollably. Her tears flowed unhindered because she felt the hopelessness of helplessness, I mean, what could she do, her son will soon die of thirst because they were in the middle of the desert, had gone for days without water, were weak from dehydration and there was no hope or water in sight.

She stopped with a start when she heard a voice call out to her, “Hagar, what is the matter?” The voice of the angel went on to instruct her to arise and go back to where she had left the child to die, for she couldn’t bear to watch him die, and to lift up the boy for the cry of the boy had been heard. As she arose to obey, her eyes were opened to God’s provision of water with which she was to revive and sustain both her son and herself. (See Genesis 21:14-20).

The call to ‘Arise’ is a call to action, a call to take a step of faith and obedience in order to experience and manifest the plan and glory of God. When Isaiah spoke/wrote these words, the people of God were in exile and had no physical token of reassurance that they were ever to be delivered from captivity. Yet, Isaiah spoke these words to them, even going on to say that “Gentiles will come to your light, and kings to your bright light” because when they arise, the Lord Himself will arise over them and his glory will be seen upon them.

God has done something already, that we are to arise in faith and obedience to take advantage of so we can also partake in what God also intends to do and accomplish. In the case of Hagar, the Lord had already made a provision of water and when Hagar arose, she then was able to experience the Lord’s deliverance. We must learn to move upon the call and impulses of the Holy Spirit within as he instructs and directs us.
Prayer: Lord 
—Ikechukwu Mpama

Bible In One Year: Esther 1-5 (In Devotional Audio)
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Friday, January 21, 2022

Living Sensibly

 

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Luke 15:17-18 (NIV) "When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.

The story here is about a son who took his inheritance to a far country and squandered it. Then the Bible recorded that he "came back to his senses" and said “I will go back to my father”.

A question I’d like you to consider is ‘when did he lose his senses?’ It wasn’t when he squandered his inheritance; it wasn’t when he came to a far country; it was the very moment he thought he could live his life outside the guidance and supervision of his father, that was the moment he got it all mixed up. We don’t judge right and wrong by outcome; we judge right and wrong by the revealed word of God. So even if this son had gone into a far country and invested his inheritance in a profitable business and grew wealthy, it still would not justify his leaving his father.

The specie of humans called the Christian, (or the believer, or the New Creation), only exists in Christ [2nd Cor 5:17] (also seen in the epistles as ‘in Him’ [Eph 1:4] or ‘in Whom’ [Col 1:14]). Outside His saving grace, we are damned; outside His Lordship, we are lost. Regardless of the physical outcome, life lived outside the revealed word and will of God is a life lived senselessly. Some decisions taken outside God’s will might look rational and sensible to the world, but that is understandable, “The unbeliever does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him…” [1 Cor 2:14]. Bible says in Luke 15:17, 18 ‘when he came to himself, he said … I will arise and go to my Father’ for when we desert our Father’s wisdom, we lose ourselves.

Go into today resolved to make bible sense by constantly, continuously and consistently walking in the will of God.
—Ikechukwu Mpama
Bible In One Year: Deuteronomy 29-31 (In Devotional Audio)

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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Expose Evil

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Ephesians 5:11(NIV) Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them

Todd met Raphael during his personal evangelism and the following conversation ensued:
Todd: Good morning brother Raphael.

Raphael: don’t call me brother, I’m not falling for that church thing.
Todd: why, aren’t you a believer?
Raphael: yes, but I don’t want anything to do with Church, after all, it makes no difference.

Todd was really surprised at Raphael’s responses so he pressed on by asking other questions. He eventually found out that Raphael had become hardened because of the kind of 'Christians' around him. Raphael’s friends were all 'born again Christians', but they clubbed, drank, smoked, and did other ungodly things together. So for Raphael, being born again made no difference.

The case of Raphael’s friends may be considered extreme, but there are milder cases where believers condone sinful acts around them even when they will not be a part of it themselves, and because they do not condemn but accommodate such acts, they cannot live as light in that environment.

Today’s text not only tells us to have nothing to do with the deeds of darkness, it tells us to expose them. As long as darkness is not confronted by light, darkness will continue to rule.

Go into today making up your mind to have nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather expose them.

Prayer: Lord, help me to always shine as light. Amen.Want to be saved? Click here: streamglobe.org/33
—Dr. Emmanuel James

Yearly Bible Reading: III John (In Devotional Audio)
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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Death to the Old Nature

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Colossians 3:5-6 (NET) So put to death whatever in your nature belongs to the earth: sexual immorality, impurity, shameful passion, evil desire, and greed which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience.

Fola was terribly afflicted in her body and she did not understand why this kept going on. She cried to the Lord for help.
 
One Saturday morning, Pastor Clara felt led to go pray for Fola. But before she started praying, she felt led to ask Fola certain questions. It became clear to pastor Clara that Fola was still living like an unbeliever, even though she was very committed to the church. Fola’s sinful life was the reason she was afflicted. She repented and confessed her faults to Pastor Clara and she became healed after Pastor Clara prayed for her and anointed her with oil. (see James 5:13-16).

The reason why believers must put to death whatever is in their nature that belongs to the earth is that we do not want to be partakers in the wrath of God that is coming on the sons of disobedience. Many believers suffer many things that they are not to suffer because they are still living like unbelievers.

Go into today determining to mortify everything in you that is not in conformity to the nature of Christ.
Prayer: Ask the Lord to help you to this end.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi 

Yearly Bible Reading: Acts 23-24 (In Today's Audio) 
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The Virus of False Doctrines

Click this link to listen to the audio version ☞ bit.ly/aud2171 1 Timothy 4:3-5 (NET) They will prohibit marriage and require abstinence fro...