Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Experiencing The Fatherhood of God


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2 Corinthians 6:17-18 (NET) Therefore “come out from their midst, and be separate,” says the Lord, “and touch no unclean thing, and I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,” says the All-Powerful Lord.


While Chinedu was still mingling with the world and running his business as an unbeliever, he was still having episodes of spiritual attacks and nightmares. There was a night that he literally saw a demon come into his bedroom to torment and oppress him. He wondered why these things were still happening to him. He was told that if he accepted the Lord Jesus, he would become a child of God and would no longer be susceptible to his previous attacks, but that didn't really seem to be the case. He was still having experiences that made him doubt if the power of God was real in his life?

As he decided to abide in the Lord and not go back to the world, he realized that the Holy Spirit moved him to separate himself from his old friends who were unbelievers. He also observed that his faith became much stronger when he did this. With time, he woke up one morning and observed that his afflictions had all disappeared. He was so preoccupied with seeking the Lord and growing that he even forgot about them.

Many believers in the Lord Jesus today are not having the experiential reality of the fatherhood of God and they wonder why.

Today's Bible verse was written to believers who even though they had the motions corresponding to faith in Christ Jesus, they needed to understand that those who would enjoy the fatherhood dimension of relationship with God are those who are wholly separated unto the Lord. This means separation from friendship with the world and living with the consciousness that they are indeed different from the world around them.
Go into today deciding to live a life separated unto the Lord and experiencing the fatherhood dimension of the Lord God.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible in 1 Year: Numbers 5-8
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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Sanctify The Lord In Your Heart 2

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1 Peter 3:15 (NET) But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess.

Sandra: Why are you not bothered that he's getting away with what he did?

Sophia: because I know he is not getting away with anything.

Sandra: but the Supreme Court has ruled in his favor. This matter is over sister, there’s nowhere else to go.

Sophia: people might escape judgment in this world, but if they only knew the truth, they would plead to be judged in this world rather than to have to face the matter in the age to come. People can escape human judgment, but no one can escape God's judgment.

You see, everyone born into this world would never really cease to exist. We are spiritual beings that would still be very much alive and conscious in the next millions of years. Do you know the real reason people are afraid of dying? It's because we are spirit beings and somehow we know in our hearts that what comes next after death is not certain. One of the deep things the salvation of Jesus does is to deliver people from that fear (see Hebrews 2:15).

It didn't take Sandra too long to notice that Sophia understood something that she didn't. Sophia had hope that transcended time, and she was able and ready to give an answer when Sandra asked about it. There is a deficit of hope in this world, and when people see that we have hope- a joyful expectation in spite of this imbalance and broken world system, they are naturally interested. Giving them a wise answer is important. Many souls can be won because of this.

Go into today remembering that you are an ambassador of Christ in this life. Being able to give an answer for the hope you have will be a product of applying your heart to knowledge, as you depend on the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth.

Prayer: Lord, help me to always have the right words to say when I am asked about my hope in you. Help me to be a wise soul winner. Amen.
 —Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible In One Year: I Timothy 4-6 (In Devotional Audio)
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Monday, September 28, 2020

Sanctify The Lord In Your Heart 1

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1 Peter 3:15 (NET) But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess.

As a little girl, Tanya was very playful and easy-going. Her father didn't live with them for a while and there were many speculations in the neighborhood about where he really was. Some said he had gone abroad and married another wife and had another family. Tanya really loved her dad and she knew that the reason he was away was that he was in the military and was on a posting overseas. People could say all sorts of things around Tanya but if anyone started talking about her dad in a way she wasn't conformable, she was very vocal and unashamed in her defense of him. You could talk anyhow about a lot of things, but when it came to the matter of dad, everyone knew Tanya was ready to give an answer. This was because she loved, honored, and had a very high regard for her father in her heart.

When Christ is set apart as Lord in your heart, it would show in the way you talk about Him and respond to those who do. There are certain jokes about the church(his body), his servants, or even about His person that you wouldn't be able to laugh about, even if people are saying 'it's just a joke'.

In today's scripture, we also see that we are to always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope we possess. As believers, the Blessed Hope of our calling should so permeate us that people dealing with us would notice, and many times, would ask about it. When they do, we should always be ready to give an answer. This readiness is a product of learning and study.

Go into today remembering that when you sanctify Christ as Lord in your heart, your life would bear the fruits of submission to Him (see James 4:7).


Confession: Christ is my Lord and God.  I live in a manner that honors Him. My life is fruitful and gives God glory, In Jesus' name. Amen.


—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible In One Year: John 5-6 (In Devotional Audio)
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Sunday, September 27, 2020

The Book of Life

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Revelation 3:5-6 (NET) The one who conquers will be dressed like them in white clothing, and I will never erase his name from the book of life, but will declare his name before my Father and before his angels. The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Names written in the book of life were written there since the foundation of the world (see Rev 17:8 and 13:8). The reason it is possible for a person to be saved is because his name was written in the book of life. But if a person rejects Christ, his name will be erased from the book of life. The human free will is a very powerful eternal force.

There are two ways people reject Christ. The first way is when they hear the gospel and are given the opportunity to receive Christ, but they reject the opportunity each time until their time on earth is done. Jesus teaches us that the reason why people reject the light is because their deeds are evil (see John 3:19). This is a profound doctrine that I hope we would be able to revisit more comprehensively.

The second way people reject Christ is when, after they have received Him, they turn their backs on Him and practically stop believing in Him (see 2 Pet 2:20, Heb 10:26-29, 1 John 5:16, John 15:6, Mat 5:13, Heb 6:4). This is one of the scariest things that can happen on earth, but it happens. The easiest way people set themselves on this path is by continuing in willful disobedience to God, and rebellion against constituted spiritual authority. Many Christians in Sardis were going to be in danger of this if after hearing the Lord’s direct warning concerning their error they did not repent but continued to slumber into spiritual death.

Go into today asking God to keep you from the evil one [the deceiver], and to deliver you from [doing] evil (Mat 6:13).
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible In One Year: Genesis 4-7
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Saturday, September 26, 2020

Remain In The Lord

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John 15:7 (NET) If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want, and it will be done for you.

After Chinedu accepted the Lord Jesus, there was the temptation for him to go back to the world and not remain or abide in the Lord. But he read John 15 and realized that in order for him to be fruitful, he had to remain in the Lord. He knew this meant he had to leave his friends who were a bad influence on his faith. He also realized this meant he had to submit to the Lord and let the word of the Lord rule his life and even his business practices.

Many believers today are not fruitful and are lacking in spiritual might and power because they are not abiding in the Lord. Even though they attend church services, they are still in the world and not in Christ because they are still dominated by the principles of the world (1 John 2:16). You cannot abide in Christ and continue in the principles of this world.

Those who remain with the Lord are those that have a relationship with Him. They care about how the Lord feels and seek to please Him in all things. The word of God will abide in them. Because the Word is living and active, it would renew their minds and transform them into the image of Christ (Rom 12:2, 2 Corinthians 3:18). At this point, whatever they want would align with God’s will, so whatever they ask will be given to them.

Go into today remembering that it is only those who abide in the Lord that will be fruitful. They are those who heaven responds to their prayer. Ask the Lord to help you abide in Him and be fruitful.

Confession: I abide in the Lord. I am fruitful in every good work. I am walking in the will of God in all things. In Jesus's name, Amen.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible in 1 Year: Daniel 7-12

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Friday, September 25, 2020

Gifts and Graces 2

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Ephesians 4:8, 11-12 (NET) Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he captured captives; he gave gifts to men.” It was he who gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, that is, to build up the body of Christ

One of the things Mrs. McClusky understood about gifts that Franka didn't understand initially was that gifts were given by the Lord for the sake of the edification of His body. After her interaction with Franka, Franka became fruitful in the administration of her spiritual gifts.

Franka was a gift to the body of Christ, but she did not know the purpose of gifts to the body nor did she know what exactly she was. Before she met Mrs. McClusky, she didn't know that God put her in the church for the sake of edifying the body. She assumed her gift was just meant for her and her family, so even when the Lord showed her things concerning people and she needed to share these things with them, she was too “shy” and “afraid” she would be rejected, so she kept them to herself and God's people suffered unnecessarily. When God showed her things in order for her to intercede, she didn't take the intersession as seriously as she should because she did not realize she was going to give an account to the Lord for her stewardship and use of the gifts He had graciously given her.

If God's people do not understand their gifts and the use thereof, the effect would be that the Church is not as edified as it should be.

If you are an apostle, prophet, evangelist, or pastor and teacher, you are a gift from the Lord to the church. He had a purpose in mind when he gave you. You must understand the purpose so that you would be fruitful.

Go into today remembering that your life does not belong to you but you have been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20) and you would appear before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of your stewardship. You should give due deligence to understanding so that you would live a fruitful life.

Confession: I am a fruitful branch. I am a blessing to the body of Christ. I am fruitful in every good work and bring my heavenly Father pleasure, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Plan: Proverbs 17-18 (In Devotional Audio)

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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Gifts And Graces

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Ephesians 4:7 (NET) But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

After Mrs. McClusky became friends with Franka, she realized that Franka had a spiritual gift she didn't know how to handle properly. Franka had very great prophetic gifts and she could see things concerning people very accurately through her dreams and visions of the night. Because Mrs. McClusky was a teacher of the word, she could help Franka understand her spiritual gift and guide her to use it profitably for God's house.

Today's Bible verse reveals that God gives us grace according to the gift we have received. Because Franka had the gift of prophecy, she had the ability to pray for really long hours with fasting, but Mrs. McClusky who had the gift to teach had the ability to spend hours upon hours studying the word and learning. Even though Mrs. Mcclusky spent a lot of time praying and sometimes fasting too, she knew Franka had extra grace in that area, and she did not try to be like Franka. If we do not understand that we have grace according to the gift we have received, we might spend our time and resources trying to be something that we have not been given the ability to become.

Because of Mrs. McClusky's gift, Franka was more effective and accurate in the administration of her gift. And because of Franka's gift, Mrs. McClusky was saved from making a decision that would have cost her her business. They both could excel in their gifts and be beneficial to one another because they understood the gifts they had and their attendant graces or abilities.

Go into today trusting the Lord to help you identify the gift you have received and the attendant grace or ability God has given you to help you excel in it.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please help me walk in your perfect will. Help me identify my area of grace and excel in it, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
 —Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Plan: Psalms 96-98 (In Devotional Audio)

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Members of One Body

 
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Ephesians 4:4-6 (NET) There is one body and one Spirit, just as you too were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Mrs. McClusky started being nice to Franka even though she didn't really like her at first, but when she discovered that Franka was a true believer in Christ, she advised herself to try and get along with her.

Mrs. McClusky had an understanding that many believers today have not been sober enough to ponder. She knew that because Franka was a believer, she and her had a common destiny. 'We're going to be stuck with one another for all eternity so we better start getting along now" she thought. "What joins me with this woman and other believers is stronger than flesh and blood" she would remind herself when her racist neibours would look at her funny because she was friends with Franka.

Mrs. McClusky knew that even in this life, there were blessings she could not inherit if she did not rightly discern the body of Christ. Treating her Christian neibour like a stranger because of race or tribal difference was the textbook definition of not rightly dicerning the body of Christ.

All believers have the same Lord, we were baptized into the same baptism. It is the exact same Holy Spirit that dwells in each and every one of us. We have the same destination and hope, and we are members of the same spiritual body. If your closest relative dies without Christ, you're not going to be reunited with them again. But if a believer you know dies, you're sure you'll still be able to see and fellowship with them again. You're sure you would still be able to spend quality time with that believer and never be separated by death again.

Many believers have suffered unnecessarily because they have failed to rightly discern the spiritual body to which they now belong. Any limb of your body that is positioned as if it is not part of the rest of the body for long will soon suffer severe pain because of the loss of blood circulation to it. Believers suffer when they don't rightly discern the body of Christ.

Go into today remembering that you share a common eternal destiny with your Christian brethren, even those who are not in your denomination. Let this understanding become a major factor in the way you relate with people.

Prayer: Lord, help me always remember that I am a member of your body. Help me be a force for unity and never for divisions. Amen.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Plan: I Chronicles 5-9 (In Devotional Audio)

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Resist Fear

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2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.


Uche was a very fearful person and he knew this. Somehow he knew that this fearfulness of heart was greatly limiting him in life. One day he read the Bible verse above and realized that he could walk above fear through the power of the Holy Spirit within him (Rom 8:13). He realized that fear was a work of the flesh and not a fruit of the Spirit, and he started resisting fear in his life by confessing the word of God and determining never again to act according to fear.

Fear is not a virtue but a vice. It should be fought with all diligence. Whenever a believer observes that he is becoming fearful, he should fight it and ensure that he overcomes it by the power of the Holy Spirit. Remember that we wrestle through prayers (see Eph 6:12, 18).

A fearful person cannot truly consistently walk in love, power and sound mind. A fearful person will easily become suspicious, and a suspicious person cannot be a loving person. Remember that Perfect love drives away fear (1 John 4:18).

A fearful person will not be able to walk in God’s great power because fear inhibits faith. Fear limits spiritual capacity and power. Satan used fear to root unbelief and hinder the people of Israel from entering the Promised Land and receiving their inheritance.

A fearful person cannot have a sound mind because his judgments and vision in life will be distorted by fear.

Go into today knowing that through the power of the Holy Spirit, you have power over fear. Do not let it rear its ugly head in your life.

Confession: I walk above fear in Jesus name. Amen.
-Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Plan: Numbers 1-4 (In Devotional Audio)

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Monday, September 21, 2020

Praying In The Spirit 3

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1 John 5:14 (NET) And this is the confidence that we have before him: that whenever we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

When Amara realized that the Holy Spirit helps us to pray according to God’s will when we pray in tongues, she was now interested in praying in the Spirit. She did not want to be left out of the fullness of God’s bounties.

She now observed that whenever she prayed about an issue and prayed in the spirit while praying about it, she got feedback and answers faster. Sometimes she would just know that the answer to the prayer will not come immediately, and sometimes she would know that the answer to the prayer will come instantly. She also now knew if she had prayed through concerning an issue, or if she still needed to pray and seek the Lord concerning it. Sometimes, while praying in the Spirit and praying with her understanding about a matter, she would receive insight and clarity and wisdom, and would know exactly what to do. All these never happened before when she only prayed with her understanding.

The most effective way to pray is to pray according to the will of the Lord. The most effective way to do this is by praying in the Spirit.

Go into today knowing that the Holy Spirit is received by faith. Praying in the Spirit is an act of Faith, and it pleases God because it is an act of faith (see Heb 11:6).
Prayer: Ask the Lord to help you pray more in the Spirit.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Plan: I Timothy 1-3 (In Devotional Audio)
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Sunday, September 20, 2020

Praying In the Spirit 2

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1 Corinthians 14:14-15 (NET) If I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unproductive.
What should I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind. I will sing praises with my spirit, but I will also sing praises with my mind.

The first time I realized that I could pray with my understanding while praying in the spirit, it revolutionized my prayer life.

When you pray in tongues, your spirit is praying, but your mind is usually not involved and it is even possible for your mind to wander away while you are praying in tongues. One wise thing to do while praying in tongues is to also engage your mind in praying and communing with God. Get your mind involved in praying while you are praying in tongues.

It is possible to pray all your prayers in tongues, but it is wise to also pray with your understanding as well. The Lord Jesus also taught us to pray with our understanding when He taught us to pray the prayer popularly called ‘the Lord’s Prayer’.

Go into today remembering that prayer is as important to your spirit as breathing is to your body. Just like you breathe without ceasing, you are to pray without ceasing. Don’t forget that Praying in the Spirit is a necessity for the believer, it produces spiritual power and might. We have been instructed by God to do so (see Jude 1:20, Eph 6:18).

Prayer: Lord, help me pray without ceasing.
-Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Plan: John 3-4 (In Devotional Audio)

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Saturday, September 19, 2020

Living In Vain

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Ecclesiastes 1:2-3 (KJV) Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?


A young man found himself in the company of professors who had spent the better part of their lives within the four walls of the university. They were disciplined, committed, and consistent in what they did and one would want to be them. But while listening to them, this question rose up within him: “ after all these, what is next?"

You might have asked yourself a similar question too, and that is not out of place. We all must come to that point where we ask the question: “what exactly am I living for? Is life worth living?

If you follow the natural order of life where a child is born, grows to adulthood, gets married, gives birth, becomes old, and dies, you are likely going to come to the same conclusion as Solomon who said “vanity upon vanity, all is vanity”.

Is everything truly vanity? If all is vanity, then life is not worth living because it will be a purposeless dead-end. Life would be worth living though if it has no end; if it has a system of continuity that surpasses the natural order described above. Living a vain life therefore is living without the hope of eternal life.

No matter how professional, wealthy, accomplished, and celebrated you get, it will all be vanity if you have no hope of eternal life.

Go into the day knowing that life is worth living only when it is lived to serve the purpose of God.

Prayer: Ask the Lord for the grace to live for Him.
—Dr. Emmanuel James

Bible in 1 Year: Daniel 1-6
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Friday, September 18, 2020

Don't Run Away 2

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Romans 15:1 (NET) But we who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not just please ourselves.


From her grandmother to her sisters and brothers in the choir, everyone was disappointed in Tiffany. "She has left the faith", Mrs. Mcclusky said with so much sadness in her voice. She was Tiffany’s discipler.

Tiffany used to be a worship leader in the church until the choir pastor got wind of her album deal and suspended her indefinitely. This emboldened her to leave the church altogether and go deeper into the world.

Thankfully, because she used to be in the prayer band, some of the members never stopped praying for her. They would raise a prayer for her every week. They would sometimes weep and groan while interceding for her. They insisted that they were not going to lose her forever.

While they continued to pray, she continued to go deeper into the world and became more popular and celebrated by the world, but they did not give up. They knew she was under strong demonic pressure.


One morning, she was flying in a private jet to a private island belonging to her boyfriend when the aircraft entered into a thunderstorm that affected the electrical system of the jet. The airplane was going to crash in a matter of minutes. At this point, Tiffany started thinking about her life and eternal destiny. She was so sure she was going to die that day that she started repenting of all her sins. Her life flashed before her eyes and she saw that she had been living a vain and hollow life. This was the turning point for her. Fortunately, the plane did not crash but landed safely. Tiffany called her grandma that morning and told her she was coming back home. She repented of her sins, went to rehab, started attending Bible study discipleship class, and was totally submitted to the authority of the church.

Even though she had millions of followers on social media, she deleted her social media accounts and went ‘off the grid’ for one year. She spent the year building herself up on her most Holy Faith.

Tiffany was not lost forever because some people never ceased to pray for her.

Is there someone around you who might have strayed away? Don't give up on them. Pray for them. Remember that the effectual heartfelt prayer of the righteous avails much. One of the most effective ways we bear each other’s burden is in the place of heartfelt prayers.

Go into today remembering that one of our most important duties as priests to God is to make intercession for the weaker people around us.


Prayer: Lord, give me a heart that truly loves. Help me be a reason why souls would not be lost forever, in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

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—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible in 1 Year: Proverbs 16 (In Devotional Audio)
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Thursday, September 17, 2020

Don't Run Away

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Isaiah 1:18 (KJV) Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Tiffany grew up in church and was in the choir all her life until she discovered that she could sing better than most people and started to also sing in pubs and clubs. She became really popular in her town and got a record deal for an album that was full of erotic and ungodly songs. She continued on that path and kept going deeper and deeper into the world. She knew she was living in sin, but she did not have the power to stop anymore. She ran away from God's people, church, and anything that reminded her of how close she used to be with the Lord.

There are two kinds of sinners in this world. There are those who are not aware of how sinful they are because they did not have the privilege of exposure to God's righteous standards. They are those that sin without the law. Their consciences are a law unto them and if they would be sincere, they would still admit that they are sinners.

There is the other category of sinners that are very aware of how sinful they are. They have gotten to a point where they have given up trying to be good. They have resigned to their fate of condemnation. They know that God is not pleased with them because their sins are as red as crimson. Unfortunately, instead of running towards the Lord who alone can cleanse them, they run away from him in guilt and shame.

The religious mind devoid of light believes that in order to communicate with the Lord, he must first be clean and guiltless. So he tries to clean himself and fails, and so does not ever have the boldness to come before the Father. But we see from today's scripture and from the Lord's prayer that we first establish communication and fellowship with the Father before we receive sufficient grace to address the matter of our trespasses and sins. The first line of the Lord's prayer is not "forgive us our trespasses". Knowing that our sins may be as crimson, the Lord invites us to come reason with Him. His presence is the only place where our sins can be truly washed away.

If only a terribly stained sinner can understand the grace of God and come to Him knowing that God is willing to clean him, he shall be made white as snow.

Go into today remembering never to make the mistake of Adam and Eve. If you trespass, don't run away from your Heavenly Father, run towards Him. Tell Him how it hurts. Open up about your weaknesses and fears, and you will find the grace that would cleanse you and make you white as snow. You will find strength in His presence to withstand and overcome the next temptation.

Prayer: Thank you Father for accepting and forgiving me. Please help me forgive myself and receive your forgiveness. Amen.
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—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible in 1 Year: Psalms 93-95 (In Devotional Audio)
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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

You Are Safe In Jesus

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Genesis 6:18-20 (KJV) But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.

It was shortly before the birth of Moses that the king commanded that every male child born to the Hebrews be killed by drowning in the Nile (Exodus 1:22). Moses’s mother hid him for three months but could no longer hide him after then. Wanting to keep Moses safe, she made an ark (a similitude of the name of the Lord) kept him inside it, and laid him by the riverside. Moses eventually grew in the house of the one who commanded his death. It became clear that Moses' mother knew something that other Israelite women did not know; she had access to divine wisdom; she knew the name of the Lord.

In Proverbs 18:10 (KJV), we see that the name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. When you know the Lord, His name becomes your tower of safety. This name gives you favor with even your enemies (Proverbs 16:7), wisdom to circumvent their plans (Exodus 2:3), and guaranteed protection (Psalms 61:3).

In the manner that God preserved Noah and his family from the flood in an ark, Moses in an ark from being drowned in the Nile, more potent is the name of Jesus to keep you safe from your enemies and to bring you into your inheritance in God.

Go into today knowing that with God, you will never be confounded. You are safe in Christ Jesus.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I choose to look away from my troubles and look up to you, knowing that, I am safe in you.
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—Dr. Emmanuel James

Bible in 1 Year: II Thessalonians (In Devotional Audio)
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Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Overcome the Works of the Flesh

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Galatians 5:19-21 (NET) Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God!

Kenneth and Bode were brethren who prayed together and had many things in common. Bode got a huge contract that turned him into a millionaire. It appeared that Bode's doors kept opening and things got better and better for him. Kenneth, on the other hand, appeared to be decreasing in many areas of his life. He used to walk in the visible power of God and the anointing, but even that was no more present in his life.

It now appeared that the better things went for Bode, the worse they became for Kenneth. That was the way Kenneth was interpreting it.

Kenneth became so troubled that he took out some days to seek the Lord (in prayer and through His Word) concerning what was going on. As he read the verses of today's scripture during his study, he was reminded that those who practice the works of the flesh would not inherit the kingdom of God. It was clear to him that the power [and reality] of the kingdom of God was no more [manifesting] in his life. The Holy Spirit helped Kenneth to see that when Bode got his first contract, he was envious and never dealt with the envy in his heart. Because of that work of the flesh he allowed to grow in his heart, he was no longer able to appropriate the power of the kingdom of God, and that was why since that first contract Bode got and envy entered his heart, it appeared that Kenneth's life kept diminishing and Bode's life increasing. Bode on the other hand noticed the fruits of Keneth's envy but continued to love and treat Kenneth like a brother.

I believe that one reason the Holy Spirit led the Apostles to mention the works of the flesh in scripture is so that the believer can identify them and get rid of them if any begins to sprout in his heart. Practicing the works of the flesh produces spiritual death and hinders our participation in the realities and power of God's eternal kingdom and divine life(see Romans 8:13, Galatians 6:8). Many believers are not nearly as powerful as they should be because there are certain works of the flesh that abide in them that are left untouched because they don't seem as bogus as idolatry or fornication.

Go into today remembering that it is no small matter to continue to practice any work of the flesh, no matter how small it might seem.

Prayer: Ask the Holy Spirit to help you identify and overcome any work of the flesh that seeks to overtake you.
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—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible in 1 Year: II Thessalonians (In Devotional Audio)
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Monday, September 14, 2020

Watch Your Company

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1 Corinthians 5:9-11 (NET) I wrote you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people.In no way did I mean the immoral people of this world, or the greedy and swindlers and idolaters, since you would then have to go out of the world.But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls himself a Christian who is sexually immoral, or greedy, or an idolater, or verbally abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person.
 
Because Tare was a believer, he would have never been that close to Tega if Tega were not also claiming to be a believer. Tare was very aware of God's instruction that we should not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14), but he was not aware of the instruction in today's Bible verses that says we should not keep company with anyone who says he is a brother, but who is an immoral person, or who still lives his life like an unbeliever.


Many believers have fallen into the trap of Satan because they have kept company with so-called believers who are actually unbelievers (wolves in sheep clothing) or believers who have acute spiritual diseases and who should be on spiritual quarantine.

Go into today remembering that you are to guard your heart with all diligence because out of it flows the springs of life (see Proverbs 4:23). One way to guard your heart is by being very careful about the company you keep. A man who would walk in the blessing of heaven is one who is careful with the company he keeps, and who delights in the word of the Lord (see Psalm 1:1-3).

Prayer: Lord, help me from this day to keep company with those who would help me delight in His word and grow.

—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible in 1 Year: Leviticus 25-27

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Sunday, September 13, 2020

It Gets Better When Used

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Hebrews 5:13-14 (KJV) For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Apostle Peter spent about three years following Jesus during His earthly ministry but didn't show any considerable improvement. He went back and forth; he spoke by the Holy Spirit at some point and spoke by the devil at another (Matthew 16:17-23), but he never stopped following Jesus. Because he continued, he was one of those who received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:13) and a new version of him emerged.

Peter did not plan to speak at the Holy Spirit's baptism, he used what he had received and he progressed from speaking by the Spirit (Acts 2:14-47) to the miraculous where a crippled man was healed (Acts 3:1-9). As he continued to exercise the power of God in him, the ability to judge by the Spirit was added (Acts 5:1-10), and eventually, his shadow healed the sick without the laying on of his hands (Acts 5:15).

Through a Parable, Jesus taught on the importance of using what we have been given. In this parable, Jesus concluded that “to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who are unfaithful, even the little they have will be taken away" (Matthew 25:29 NLT).

You don't have to wait for the mantle of Elijah, just begin to use the little that you now have and when God finds you faithful, He will give you more.

Go into today knowing that the anointing does not grow old neither does it depreciate, instead, it gets better with use.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to use all that you have given me so well that my profiting may appear to all.
—Dr. Emmanuel James

Bible in 1 Year: John 1-2

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Saturday, September 12, 2020

The Authority of the Church

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1 Corinthians 5:5-6 (NET)turn this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast affects the whole batch of dough?

In the Corinthian Church, there was a man who was cohabiting with his father's wife, and this man was still freely fellowshipping with the church without any shame. I don't know why they didn't appear to see anything wrong with this. Clearly, those who reported the matter to Paul did, but for some reason, the church was still moving on as if nothing was wrong.

In judging this matter, Paul commanded that this man should be turned over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh. What does this mean?



You see, every true church assembly (as represented by the leadership) has great authority in heaven because the church is the body of Christ. Jesus told the Apostles that whoever’s Sin the church forgives is forgiven and whoever’s Sin the church retains is retained (see John 20:23). He also told them that whatever the church binds on earth is bound in heaven (see Matt 18:17-18). Such is the authority of the apostolic church.

Every believer has protection from Satan (the prince of this world) because he or she becomes a member of Christ's body by virtue of his faith in the Lord. But if a church assembly decides to [temporarily] sever themselves from a member because of his embarrassing and shameful conduct, such a believer will no longer enjoy the covering and protection of the church, and will now be exposed to Satan’s assault.

If that believer was rightly judged by his church assembly, but rebelliously goes to join himself to another group of believers, if that group accepts him in spite of his rebellion, that group will share in his iniquity and share in his judgment because they have refused to discern the body of the Lord and have 'laid hands on him suddenly'(see 1 Tim 5:22).

Go into today remembering that the church of Christ has more authority than any human government and every member of this body has access to the authority of Christ.
—Pastor Abraham
Bible in 1 Year: Ezekiel 43-48

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Friday, September 11, 2020

Use What You Have Received

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Hebrews 5:13-14 (KJV) For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Paul noticed that Peter had achieved more for God than him, although they both received Jesus Christ as their savior and Lord at the same time. They also were exposed to similar exercises of praying, Bible study, fasting, etc. Although there were more prophecies regarding how God intends to use Paul in the future, Peter's achievements for God were overwhelming. Noticing this, Paul took time to study Peter and discovered that Peter always practiced what he learned from the Bible. Because of this frequent practice, Peter became more fruitful.

Many young believers today have had several prayer retreats; some lasting months from which they’ve had mind-blowing encounters and instructions. It is rather sad though that most of such encounters and instructions ended on the pages of dairies and jotters but were never manifested because the recipient did not engage them.

You are admonished today to use what you have received from the Lord. It is by use or practice that you manifest whatever gift you have received and it is this manifestation that profits the kingdom of God.

Go into today knowing that encounters are primers. They are sent by God to stir you into action but if not acted upon, they become useless.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to begin to use all that you have deposited in me for the profiting of your kingdom.
—Dr. Emmanuel James

 Bible in 1 Year: Proverbs 14-15 (in today's audio)
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Thursday, September 10, 2020

The Supernatural Dimension III

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Acts 9:10 (WEB) Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias!” He said, “Behold, it’s me, Lord.”
Before Dean received the Lord Jesus, it was commonplace for him to see spirits and talk with them. There were many demons under his control and he had even had encounters with Satan more than once.
The widow the Lord used to bring him to Christ was no novice in the things of the spirit herself. She had had angelic encounters several times. She had also had encounters with the Lord Jesus more than once.
So after Dean accepted the Lord Jesus, many demons were still appearing to him and threatening him to come back, but this his neighbor could help him through this period without any fear because, like him, she was no stranger to the supernatural dimension.


In today’s Bible verse, we see that a certain believer in the early church had an encounter with the Lord Jesus in a vision. These kinds of supernatural encounters were commonplace in the early church. Angelic encounters were not strange. So much so that when Peter was arrested and the church was praying for his release, when he came to them in the night and a lady in their midst said he was at the door, they all assumed she merely had an encounter with Peter’s angel (see Acts 12:15).


It was not strange for Paul to say things like ‘the angel of the Lord appeared to me and said…’(see Acts 27:23), or for Peter to say ‘the Lord said to me in a vision’ (see Acts 10:10-14, 28), or for Phillip to say ‘the angel of the Lord said to me that…’(see Acts 8:26).


Go into today remembering that Christians are supernatural and not merely natural people. Every sign that Jesus said would follow those who believe in Him are supernatural signs (see Mark 16:17-18). Ask the Lord to remove every stronghold in your heart that hinders the supernatural dimension.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible in 1 Year: Psalms 90-92 (in today's audio)
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Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Supernatural Dimension II

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1 Corinthians 12:1 (WEB) Now concerning spiritual things, brothers, I don’t want you to be ignorant.

Dean had become a grandmaster in the occult. He gave himself so much to the occult because he wanted power. He thought he had power until one prayerful widow moved next door to him within the same apartment.

This woman had more power than Dean had ever seen. She was a real prayer warrior. Many times she prayed in the night, Dean saw strange things like powerful angels whose presence terrified the demons that normally empowered him. Because she was his next-door neighbor and her presence and prayers kept terrifying and subduing him, he eventually surrendered to Christ because of her influence.

This woman could lead Dean to the Lord and effectively disciple him because she was not ignorant concerning the things of the spirit and the supernatural dimension of the faith. The first night she slept in that apartment, she discerned who Dean was in the spirit, and from then on she intentionally demobilized him spiritually. That was what ultimately led him to salvation.

She would have never been able to lead a man like Dean to the Lord if she was not exposed to the supernatural and prophetic dimension of her walk with the Lord. Revelations, spiritual gifts, angelic encounters, etc, were not strange to her.

Go into today remembering that you are more effective in life and ministry when you are not ignorant concerning spiritual things.

Prayer: Ask the Lord to guide you into all truth so that you may experience the supernatural and power dimension of His kingdom.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible in 1 Year: II Kings 21-25
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Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The Supernatural Dimension

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1 Corinthians 5:3-4 (KJV) For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ


When Elisha told Gehazi that he was there in the spirit when he went back to collect items from Naaman(see 2 Kings 5:26), this was not ‘word of knowledge’ but a function of the same reality apostle Paul talks about in today’s verses (regarding his spirit being with the Corinthians).

These are spiritual realities available to God’s people who take advantage of their prophetic heritage. Now, these dimensions are not the main thrust of our faith but are realities that we can experience as we grow in intimacy with the Lord and as the need arises. Believers don’t follow these signs but signs follow us when we are properly aligned to God’s will and purpose for our lives.

People have tried to explain away the reality of these supernatural dimensions of our faith, just like some ministers have tried to explain away the reality of divine healing and spiritual gifts because they do not have them in their ministries. But angelic encounters, spirit transport, and many other mind-blowing supernatural experiences seen in scripture are available for the believer even today.

As a believer grows in the knowledge of God, the supernatural becomes more and more natural and normal to him. That’s the way it should be if we do not close our hearts to the supernatural dimensions of our faith.

Go into today knowing that the fact that you have not experienced a reality in God does not mean it does not exist. Open your heart to the supernatural dimensions of your walk with God as you remain guided by the word of God and the Spirit of Truth.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible in 1 Year: Leviticus 22-24

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Monday, September 7, 2020

Once Saved Always Saved?

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1 Corinthians 5:1-2 (NET)
It is actually reported that sexual immorality exists among you, the kind of immorality that is not permitted even among the Gentiles, so that someone is cohabiting with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you have been deeply sorrowful instead and removed the one who did this from among you?

Femi now decided he was in the wrong church when he witnessed two ladies in his pastor’s office arguing over a man. One of them claimed the other stole him from her. Femi was surprised that in the presence of their pastor, the two ladies were not even ashamed of the fact that they were both sleeping with the man in question.

You see, their pastor had started teaching certain new doctrines concerning 'grace', and he had subscribed to the “once saved always saved” doctrine. A doctrine that is nothing but a concoction of half-truths and whole lies.

Whenever you see believers unashamedly walking in immorality or any other sin in any Christian community, it is a sign that something is terribly wrong in that Christian community.

Apostle Paul was embarrassed by the behavior of the Corinthians because, despite the shameful conduct of one of them, they were still proud. They probably felt the brother’s eternal life was secure no matter what, but they were wrong. They needed to take a desperate measure in order to ensure that they do not lose that brother eternally (see 1 Cor 5:5).

Go into today remembering that unrepented sin in the life a believer is not a small matter in the sight of God. We are to lay aside weights and sins that easily entangle (see Heb 12:1). We are never to use grace as an excuse to continue in sin (see Rom 6:1-2).
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible in 1 Year: I Thessalonians 4-5 (in today's audio)

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Sunday, September 6, 2020

Love, the Path to Greatness

 
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Ephesians 3:17-19 (NET) That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, so that, because you have been rooted and grounded in love, you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.


Because Gabriel was adopted when he was nine, he never understood love and could not give it. He struggled to adapt to the kind of life his parents wanted for him. He wasn't coping with their training. Mr. Anderson wanted Gabriel to be his son and be able to inherit and manage his great estate, but Gabriel wasn't getting it. He never felt part of the family and could not even do well in school or cooperate with any discipline his adopted father wanted to take him through in order to make him a great man like himself.


One night, Gabriel stayed in the mall late into the night and refused to come home because he was enjoying a video game. His father was worried sick. He was just arriving from a business trip when he realized Gabriel was missing. He couldn't rest until he found him in the mall. Gabriel who was now 13 saw for the first time that Mr. Anderson truly loved him because he saw the fear and restlessness in Mr. Anderson's face because he was missing. From that day, Gabriel started loving his adopted parents and was now able to cope academically and cooperate with the training of his father. He ended up becoming a very brilliant businessman like his father and was able to manage his father's great estate.

Understanding the Love of God is the key to loving Him and being like Him. When we understand how much God loves us, it begets love for God, obedience and a willingness to make sacrifices for the cause of Christ. The more like Christ we are in character, the more we can be filled with the fullness of God.

Go into today remembering that Christ dwells in you by faith. You have to believe that Christ indeed dwells in you because He loves you more than you can ever know. Let this love produce loyalty and transformation that would make you more like Him. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please help me understand your love and become more like you. Help me be filled with the fullness of God. In Jesus name. Amen.

—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible in 1 Year: Luke 23-24 (in today's audio)

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Saturday, September 5, 2020

You Can Be Sure


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Ephesians 1:13-14 (NET) And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation) – when you believed in Christ – you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit, who is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.


Someone asked me "how can I be sure I will be raptured when the Lord returns, or be sure I will go to heaven when I die?"

The Holy Spirit has been given to us as a seal of assurance. If you have the Holy Spirit within you, you can be sure you will be redeemed when the Lord returns.


Some believers do not know the Holy Spirit because they don't care about being holy. You cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit and be comfortable in an unholy life. The fact that you are uncomfortable in any form of unholiness may be proof that you have received the indwelling Holy Spirit, but only those who stay filled with the Spirit can know the fellowship of the Holy Spirit(see 2 Corinthians 13:14). The fellowship of the Holy Spirit is the sure proof that you have the Holy Spirit and is the token of assurance that you belong to Christ and will be raptured. You have been called to a higher life and this life is characterized by the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.


Christ dwells in your heart by faith(Ephesians 3:17). You received the Holy Spirit by the hearing of faith, not by works(Galatians 3:5). If you are going to stay filled with the Holy Spirit you will have to continue to believe that He dwells in you because God promises so to those who believe. Faith begets the experience and power of the indwelling Spirit (Acts 2:39).


As long as you abide in Christ, He will abide in you. Christ dwells in you by His Spirit. You dwell in Him by faith and fellowship: fellowship with the Spirit through prayer and the word of God, and fellowship with the brethren through love. Christian fellowship is guided by the fear of the Lord which begets submission to one another and accountability(see Ephesians 5:21). You submit because you know that the Lord cares deeply about how you relate with His brethren, and they are His body, acting as Him when they are in one accord with Him and with one another (see John 20:23).


Go into today thanking the Lord for dwelling in you by His Spirit. Ask that the Lord will help you cultivate deep fellowship with Him so that you can be filled with the fullness of God. Read Ephesians 3:17-19
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible in 1 Year: Ezekiel 37-42 (in today's audio)

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Friday, September 4, 2020

God's Educational System


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Titus 2:11-13 (NET) For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people. It trains us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, as we wait for the happy fulfillment of our hope in the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

After Byrum believed in the Lord Jesus, he was baptized in the Holy Ghost, and as a result, was empowered by the Spirit to overcome his addictions and live a godly life. This happened because he submitted to the instructions of righteousness given to him by his pastor. He had to change his apartment because his neighbor was his drug dealer. He had to leave his old friends and totally disconnect from his old way of living. He was filed with the Spirit and was taught to stay filled. In this way, his body was empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit(Romans 8:11) and he could cope with the withdrawal from the drugs. He spent a lot of time praying and singing in the Spirit because he needed to stay filled with the spirit. The infilling of the Holy Spirit affects even our mortal bodies.

One of the things the grace of God would teach us is that "bad company corrupts...(see 1 Corinthians 15:33). Those who are taught by grace become very particular about the company they keep. They guard their hearts with all diligence by guarding the information they feed into it.


We saw yesterday that the grace of God trains us or teaches us how to reject ungodly ways and fleshly lusts. There are very practical things we must be willing to do in keeping with the teaching of grace. We must be willing to forsake our worldly ways and deny the flesh.

Go into today remembering that as a student of grace, you have to be willing to obey the demands of God's kingdom for your life. This is the only way to allow the divine life to excel over the old life.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please lead me to your green pastures and help me be fed and led by your living word. Help me to live a godly and fruitful life. In Jesus name. Amen.
-Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Plan: Proverbs 13 (In Devotional Audio)

The Renewed Mind

Click here for the Audio Version: https://bit.ly/aud2559 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (NKJV) But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear h...