Friday, December 31, 2021

Freedom In Christ

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Galatians 5:1 (NET) For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery.

Because Azubike didn’t want to go back to the bondage of the flesh, he now became legalistic. He noticed that it was easier for him to manage a life controlled by rules and regulations, and he started trusting in those rules and regulations as the reason why he is saved. His focus was no more on Christ Jesus.

It didn’t take him long to realize that he was no more filled with the Holy Spirit. The joy of the Lord that once filled his heart was no more there, and he was now becoming a very judgmental and unloving Christian.

There are two kinds of bondage believers can get entangled in. The first is the bondage of legalism. Paul talks about this in Gal 5:1-12. This bondage makes the believer think he receives his salvation because of certain rules and regulations that he now follows. Such a 'believer' is not free in Christ, but has gone back to bondage.

The second kind of bondage is the bondage of licentiousness or bondage to the flesh. Paul talks about this in Gal 5:13-26. This makes the believer think that because he has been set free from the bondage of the law, he can now indulge the flesh without any consequences. People in this bondage are those who use the grace of God as a license to sin. Such ‘believers’ are not free in Christ, but have gone back to bondage.

Go into today knowing that true freedom comes by believing in Christ, continuing to believe in Him, and living under His Lordship (authority) through the Holy Spirit. This means you will obey His word and desire to please Him in the way you live your life. Righteousness for the believer is not primarily administered by rules and regulations, but by our relationship with God through His Spirit.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Bible Plan: I John 1-3 (In Devotional Audio)
Credits: Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan)

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Thursday, December 30, 2021

What Time Is It?

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2 Kings 5:26 (KJV) And he said unto him, went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?

Kelvin was a big boy, everyone knows him as the tall, handsome, well-built Adonis of the Biochemistry department. Even those who have never quite met him have seen his sparkling silver Honda Muscle usually parked beside Dr. Idemudia’s quasi-rickety Mazda.

Anyone who knew Kelvin knew he was the Casanova of the department, he was smooth with words and had a way with women, and it didn’t help that he had a lot of money to throw around, and so he was never in short supply of willing ladies who clung to him like acne to the face of a teenager.

Which made it very surprising to see him, in Refinery Campus Fellowship midweek service, sitting silently and attentively in the middle row. And more surprising when he began to sob like a baby during the sermon and walked up to the altar to commit his life to Jesus.

He had come to fellowship on the account of Ruth after he experienced a miraculous recovery from a strange disease when Ruth had prayed for him. He was so appreciative and had asked what he could do for her to which she had insisted that she wanted nothing from him but to see him saved. His persistent insistence would not sway her, and this was an attitude that was strange to Kelvin. This is why he decided to go to her fellowship and see what exactly goes on there. Ruth receiving a gift from Kelvin wouldn't have been wrong in itself, but Kelvin would not have been saved if she did.

We need discernment to understand times and seasons. There is a proper time for every legitimate thing on the earth (Eccl 3:1). Naaman was still so steeped in the idolatry ways of his people and needed some certain encounters to surgically cut open his eyes and heart fully to appreciate the uniqueness and person of the God of Israel, and Gehazi allowed his greed to blind his own eyes and therefore (almost) truncate that process.

You have the need for discernment. Ask the Lord to help you allow the wisdom of God, which is built on the understanding of the will of God (see Ephesians 5:17), to always direct and redirect your heart so you can act wisely and rightly all the time as a faithful witness of Christ.

Go into today meditating on this truth.
—Ikechukwu Mpama

Yearly Bible Plan: I John 1-3 (In Devotional Audio)
Credits: Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan)

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Wednesday, December 29, 2021

God Promotes

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2 Kings 11:1-3 (KJV), “And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal. But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king's sons which were slain; and they hid him, even him and his nurse, in the bedchamber from Athaliah, so that he was not slain. And he was with her hid in the house of the Lord six years. And Athaliah did reign over the land".

The way Sydney rose through the hierarchy in her workplace to become the manager of the biggest branch was amazing. She got employed in one of the most competitive companies in her State and at the age of twenty-three, after working with this company for only four years, became the manager of the biggest branch. Being the youngest ever and the first female. Meanwhile, the other persons who had managed that branch in the past had worked with the company for at least twenty years coupled with a nearly impeccable record of their wealth of experience from the other companies they had managed. Because of these rigorous requirements, the managers of that specific branch were usually in their sixties, but Sydney's case was an exception. Her Dad, being the highest shareholder in the company, had used his influence to get her to this towering position.

From today's story, it is obvious that men can promote other men, and from our text, a man can even promote himself just like the king's mother did when she killed all the royal seed and made herself ruler over Judah. Because of these possibilities, many no longer wait for God's promotion, but disregard God's commandments and simply do whatever gets them the opportunity they desire.

A third option however exists; God Promotes. He promotes those who obey him. For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another (Psalm 75:6-7 KJV). David was a man promoted by the Lord, and unlike Athaliah who promoted herself, his dynasty has lasted and his influence eternal.

Go into today knowing that God promotes. He promotes those who please him just like he did to the Lord Jesus when He obeyed Him even to the point of death (read Ephesians 2:8-11).

Prayer: Father, I ask for the grace to always obey you in Jesus' name. Amen
—Dr. Emmanuel James

Yearly Bible Plan: Acts 17-18 (In Devotional Audio)
Credits: Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan)

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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

The Holy Spirit

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Romans 8:9 (KJV)But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

When you believed, you received the Lord Jesus as your personal Lord and savior. This means you now allow the Lord to rule your life through His Holy Spirit that is now within you.

If a person claims to be born again but is not practically submitted to the Lordship of Christ over his life, that person is a baby Christian at best or is not born again at all. Now, being a baby Christian should be a very temporal state in the life of a believer because it is a very dangerous place to remain as a believer. This is the reason why a believer can still be under the oppression and authority of demons and demonic circles and patterns may still find expression in his life.

Every believer has the Holy Spirit, and the Kingdom of God is administered in his life through the Holy Spirit. The most important mark of being a believer is the Holy Spirit living within you. The Holy Spirit dwells in you and administers the kingdom and government of God within you. He controls you, teaches you, counsels you, and comforts you. He intercedes for you with groaning’s that cannot be uttered (see Rom 8:26). He is the earthly executor of the heavenly ministry of Christ; He appropriates everything that Christ is to you and for you.

Go into today knowing that you cannot be a Christian without the Holy Spirit, you can only be a religious legalist void of the life and power of God that produces true holiness.

Prayer: Ask the Lord to fill you with the Holy Spirit again. Ask God to help you always remain in the sweet fellowship of the Holy Spirit (see 2 Cor 13:14). Amen.
-Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Bible Plan: Zechariah 8-14 (In Devotional Audio)
Credits: Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan)

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Monday, December 27, 2021

Living For Christ

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Philippians 1:21-24 (NET) For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. Now if I am to go on living in the body, this will mean productive work for me, yet I don’t know which I prefer: I feel torn between the two, because I have a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far, but it is more vital for your sake that I remain in the body.

Dozie used to be very sickly and was always on very expensive medication.
He attended a youth conference and discovered that life as a believer meant living for the purpose of Christ. He thus decided that he was henceforth going to live for Christ and fulfill his God-given assignment. With the help of God, he discovered God’s assignment for him per season and did his best to fulfill it.

Over time, Dozie observed that he was no longer sickly, and was no more needing those expensive medications to survive. He knew he was now walking in divine health. He later found that this was because he was now living for Christ.

In the Bible verses above, we see Apostle Paul deciding whether he was ready to die or whether he wanted to keep on living. It is clear here that Apostle Paul’s life was not at the mercy of anybody or of any disease.

But what was Apostle Paul’s secret? Why did he have such control over his life and when he could die?
Paul had such great control over life because he lived for Christ. That is what he meant when he said ‘living is Christ’.

Go into today remembering that believers launch into their orbit of power when they stop living for themselves and start living for Christ (see 2 Cor 5:15).
Prayer: Ask the Lord to help you live for Him and fulfill purpose and destiny
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible In One Year: Ecclesiastes 9-10 (In Today's Audio)
Credits: Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan)

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Sunday, December 26, 2021

The Believer and His Tradition 2

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1 Corinthians 11:2 (NET) I praise you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions just as I passed them on to you.

Akogun became so sick that it was looking like he would die. This illness started after he came back from his journey to the village for the holidays. As the intercessors in the church prayed for him, someone saw a vision that revealed that the reason he was afflicted was that he exposed himself to certain elemental spirits when he innocently partook in some cultural practices for a festival in his village during the holidays. 

I have heard of believers who got themselves into big trouble because they exposed themselves to some pagan traditions of their culture of birth after becoming believers.

When you became a believer in Christ Jesus, you became reconciled with God through faith in Christ Jesus. Because of this, you became a friend of God. But this meant you also became an enemy of the world- the prince of this world (the devil) and his company.

Traditions that were born out of pagan worship were designed to connect people with demons and keep them under the domain of principalities. If through a cultural practice, a believer (who is now an enemy of the devil and his kingdom) brings himself under their authority, he would be greatly attacked. Some believers have fallen asleep before their time because of this.

Before the coming of the gospel, every ethnic group on earth had a culture, and these cultures were shaped by their religion and gods. The only group of people who were relatively free from cultures and traditions inspired by demons was the people of Israel because they worshiped the one true God.

Being an apostle to the Gentiles, there were many things Apostle Paul had to teach and explain to the Gentile believers because they grew up in cultures that were antithetical to the divine life. 

In discipling people, it is expedient that you are diligent to identify unwholesome cultural practices and traditions that the enemy may seek to use to trap them. When you take away a bad tradition, it should be replaced with a good one.

Go into today remembering that because you are of a kingdom that is higher and better than any other, you are not to submit yourself to any cultural practice that does not glorify God and uphold His righteousness.

Prayer: Ask the Lord to deliver you from falling into the trap of practicing demonically inspired traditions.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible In One Year: Psalms 134-136 (In Today's Audio)
Credits: Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan)

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Saturday, December 25, 2021

The Believer and His Tradition

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1 Corinthians 11:2 (NET)I praise you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions just as I passed them on to you.

Sandra had a lingering misunderstanding with her mother-in-law because she and her husband were believers and they decided not to follow certain traditions that were not spiritually edifying. For some reason, Sandra’s mother-in-law insisted that Sandra was to blame for this (because she was from another ethnic group). With patience, great wisdom, and a show of love, Sandra succeeded in winning her mother-in-law’s heart.

There are hundreds of different traditions and cultures in the world today, and many of them stem from the religion of the people that practice them. It is often said that culture is the cloak of religion. For the believer, every tradition must be screened through the lenses of scripture. If a tradition or custom is contradictory to the truth of God's Word, it must be discarded by the believer. But if a tradition is not in contradiction to the truth of God's Word, it shouldn't be discarded.

As believers, we are a Holy nation (1 Pet 2:9), and we have our own traditions that are peculiar to us everywhere. Even though some outward interpretations of them can vary because of cultural influences, the spirit of every Christian tradition must be understood and upheld by believers. Walking in these ensures that we walk in the blessing.

Underlining principles and pillars of the Christian tradition are virtues such as love, honor, kindness, diligence, compassion, self-control, moral purity, justice & fairness, patience, humility, orderliness. Any human tradition that contradicts any of these principles should be discarded.

Go into today remembering that you are first and foremost a citizen of heaven. Every custom and tradition you practice must be vetted by the truth of God's Word and not found wanting. Some traditions must be rejected and done away with because they are mediums through which demons invade people's lives.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi


BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Deuteronomy 16-19 (In Today's Audio)
Credits: Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan)

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Friday, December 24, 2021

Living Circumspectly 3

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Ephesians 5:15-17 (NET) Therefore be very careful how you live – not as unwise but as wise, taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil. For this reason do not be foolish, but be wise by understanding what the Lord’s will is.

Michael and David were both security men in Mr. Amadi's organization. Mr. Amadi really liked David and would say "that boy is very wise". That wasn't really the case with Micheal, even though Michael was very dutiful and obeyed all the rules.

They had a rule in the organization that everyone coming into the complex must first show their ID card or visitors card before allowed entry.

On a certain day, Mr. Amadi's close friend and business partner really needed to see him urgently. This friend was known to all the security men, and everyone understood that he was close to the boss.

Michael was on duty that day and did not allow this Mr. Amadi's friend to enter the office because he did not present an ID card or visitors card. Mr. Amada was so angry when he heard that a security man prevented his friend from entering the complex. He said 'I'm sure if David were the one on duty, he wouldn't do that nonsense'. David was a wise worker because he did not just know the laws, he understood why the laws were put there in the first place. The law of ID was put in place to prevent unknown men(who could be criminals) from entering the office complex. If a person was already known to the security men as a staff or someone who is not an intruder, he shouldn't need to present an ID to gain entry. Micheal didn't know this because he did not understand the reason for the law.

It is one thing to know the Lord's will, but it is another to understand the Lord's will. It is good to know what the Lord wants, but it is better to understand why the Lord wants what He wants. We see in today's Bible verse that understanding the Lord's will is the definition of wisdom. You cannot truly walk circumspectly if you don't understand the Lord's will.

Go into today remembering that it is only those who understand the will of the Lord that will truly fulfill it.

Prayer: Lord, help me truly understand your will concerning every area of life. Help me live wisely in this world.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible In One Year: II Peter
Credits: Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan)

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Thursday, December 23, 2021

Living Circumspectly 2

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Ephesians 5:15-16 (KJV) See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

When Dara realized that the TV shows he watched really impacted his soul negatively because they were mainly godless programs, he decided to go on a TV fast, after which he determined to only watch Christian Television and the news. He now realized how important it was for him to protect his heart from the garbage on TV. His spiritual life experienced a boost because of this simple decision.

You cannot redeem the time if you don't walk circumspectly. Walking circumspectly means you're particularly careful with the way you live your life. It means you guard your heart with all diligence. What entertains you enters your heart. If you spend time watching a worldly TV show or having a carnal conversation, you have just wasted time that you cannot take back. We all have a total number of heartbeats that our hearts will beat. Every day gone is expended out of the total number of days you will spend on earth. And yet we all have kingdom assignments that we can only fulfill within this framework of this time. It is therefore wise to be careful how you spend your time.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit is the equipping you need to fulfill the assignments the Lord has given you within this time, no matter what the assignment may be. But you cannot maintain a Spirit-filled life if you don't walk circumspectly.

As you go into today, ask the Lord to help you maintain a Spirit-filled life so that you will be able to fulfill your divine destiny. Pray that on that day, you will not appear before the Lord ashamed because you failed to fulfill His assignments for you with the time he has given you.

Prayer: Lord, please help me fulfill the assignments you have for me within the time you have given me.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

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Bible In One Year: Acts 15-16
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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Living Circumspectly

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Ephesians 5:15-18 (KJV) See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit

Dara attended a very good church assembly where they were trained to live Spirit-filled lives. Whenever he attended church services, he usually came back home filled with the Spirit. But in just a matter of hours, he would lose that in filling and be ordinary again. He struggled with depression, but he realized depression disappeared when he was Spirit-filled.

Dara wanted to know why he couldn't live a Spirit-filled life even though he sincerely wanted to. As he sought the Lord to understand why? The Lord revealed to him that it was because he wasn't living circumspectly but carelessly. When he got back home from church and put on the TV, most of the programs he watched were worldly(godless) programs that, unknown to him, drained his spiritual power. Even though his closest friends were professed Christians, they were very worldly believers whose value system was the same as that of unbelievers. His communion with them was a drain to his spiritual life. As Dara made the appropriate adjustments, he was now able to remain filled with the Spirit and live a fruitful life.

It is instructive that today's scripture admonishes us to be careful to walk circumspectly before admonishing us to be filled with the Spirit. A believer who doesn't walk circumspectly cannot stay filled with the spirit. Careless living drains the power of the spirit within the believer. There are things you can say that would drain you fast. There are TV programs and movies that if watched would drain you. There are thoughts and imagination that if accommodated, would drain you and keep you from living a Holy Spirit-filled life.

Go into today remembering that your fruitfulness is dependent on your being filled with the Spirit. Being careful to only do and say the things that please the Lord is the way to keep your spirit from draining the power that makes for fruitfulness.

Confession: I live a Spirit-filled life. I cut off everything that drains my power. I am fruitful in every good work. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

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Bible In One Year: Ezra 1-5
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Tuesday, December 21, 2021

The Power of Doctrine

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2 Peter 2:1-2 (NASB)But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned.

When Bidemi and her fiance traveled home to see her parents, her stepmother found a way of letting him know that Bidemi was not a legitimate child. She also told him that Bidemi was pregnant when she was 16 and aborted it. Unknown to her stepmother, Bidemi and her fiance had no secrets between them, so her wicked plot did not work.

Bidemi’s stepmother was a leader in their church. She was very committed to the church, but she was not truly a Christian. This was not entirely her fault, it was the fault of the false teachers that they had in their church.

Because of her stepmother, it was initially very difficult for Bidemi to accept the Lord Jesus. She thought Christians were like her stepmother. But thank God she had the opportunity of meeting real Christians later in her life.

False doctrines usually have many followers because they are usually more appealing to the flesh and to the carnal believer.

Go into today remembering that the easiest way to identify false prophets and false teachers is by their fruits (see Matthew 7:15). The fruit of a person’s life is his character and his integrity. The fruit of a ministry is the quality of disciples produced through that ministry. If you observe that most of the members of a particular ministry you know are bankrupt in morality and integrity, please stay away from that ministry.
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—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible In One Year: Zechariah 1-7
Credits: Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan)

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Monday, December 20, 2021

The Coming Glory

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Rom 8:18-19 (NLT) Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.

Theo’s boss was to make recommendations for someone in the department to be promoted, and Theo was the most qualified, but his boss refused to recommend him. Theo had prayed and prayed, but it appeared the Lord was doing nothing about the persecution he faced at work because he was a Christian. Theo eventually stopped complaining and started thanking God daily when he realized that a time will come(after the resurrection) when he would be exalted above all earthly rulers and be glorified as ruler and judge of this earth with Christ Jesus (see 1 Cor 6:2-3). As thanksgiving filled his heart, he was more fruitful and the Lord blessed him above those that sought to frustrate him.

Child of God, there is no suffering you can face here on earth that is compared to the glory that the Lord will bring to you if you continue to follow Him.

The devil understands this and he knows that if you lose hope and start complaining and grumbling, you will end up like the Israelites who didn’t make it to the Promised Land( see 1 Cor 10:10). There are demons specially commissioned to constantly send thoughts of depression and despondency to Christians so that they would lose hope and begin to grumble against God in their hearts because of the [temporary] hard situations and trials they may be facing.

As you go into today, ask the Lord to open your eyes to see the riches of His inheritance for you [who believe in Him]. When this happens, you will have nothing but thanksgiving in your heart, no matter what trials you face in this time where everything is temporary. Don’t forget that God is able and willing to bring us the first fruits of this glory, even in this time and age.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please open my eyes to see the riches of your Inheritance for me. Help me by your spirit to partake in the first fruits of this glorious inheritance.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Bible Plan: Ecclesiastes 7-8 (In Devotional Audio)
Credits: Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan)

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Sunday, December 19, 2021

Love Also Receives 1

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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"

“Sweetheart, you complain too much, didn't you say you love me? If you truly love me, you will overlook my faults and mistakes because love always forgives. When God wanted to show his love for the world, he gave his son, and remember too that love covers a multitude of sins. Babe, if you truly love me, you'll stop complaining about my faults". This was Mrs. Rachel Raymond's response when her husband told her he did not like the attitude she has been putting up lately.

Just like Mrs. Rachel Raymond said, what is commonly heard is, “if you love, you will give" and nearly nothing is said about the other side of love— “love receives". While it is true that God proved his love to the world by giving us His Son Jesus Christ who died for our sins, it is also true that He did that expecting something in return; He wants you back on His side, He wants your affection, loyalty, and dedication, He wants your life.

You see, love is double-sided, having two ends; the giver on one end and the receiver on the other end. The giver gives and the receiver receives, then the receiver also proves their love for the giver by giving back to the giver. Jesus emphasize this when He said “If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15 KJV), then in John 15:10 (KJV) He says, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love".

The statement, “if you love, you will give", becomes a statement of truth when it applies to both parties— the giver and the receiver alike.

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

Prayer: Father, help me to love you the way you love me. Amen!
—Dr. Emmanuel James

Yearly Bible Plan: Psalms 131-133 (In Devotional Audio)
Credits: Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan)

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Saturday, December 18, 2021

Greater Riches - Choices

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Hebrews 11:24-26 (MSG) “By faith, Moses, when grown, refused the privileges of the Egyptian royal house. He chose a hard life with God’s people rather than an opportunistic soft life with the oppressors. He valued suffering in the Messiah’s camp far greater than Egyptian wealth because he was looking ahead, anticipating the payoff”

A complete consecration to God (and His divine cause) will spur the believer to do some things which a non-consecrated believer will not do. We will observe them in the life of Moses (and even other servants of God).

Moses did three things:

He refused: The bible says when Moses came of age, he refused the privileges of the Egyptian royal house (Heb 11:24 MSG). When you are totally committed to God (and his cause), it will show in the things you refuse. The things you refuse might not necessarily be unlawful, but for the sake of Christ, you are willing to let go of them (1Cor 10:23; Phil 3: 7, 8)

He chose: Moses chose a hard life as opposed to a soft life. Choosing between two good things is an easy choice compared to choosing between suffering and enjoyment. The world has pleasures to offer, even sin has its pleasures, but the consecrated believer has turned his back on all that. By choosing God, he has chosen whatever comes with his commitment to God. So be it pleasure, comfort, hardship, shame, or ridicule, it makes no difference to him. He has made his choice: God.

He valued: Moses valued suffering FAR GREATER than Egyptian wealth, why? Christ. He didn’t just value suffering, no, he valued suffering in God’s camp FAR GREATER than the best the world had to offer. This is how to value in consecration; make up your mind to do God’s will, and that whatever comes as a result of obeying God and doing his will is FAR GREATER than whatever pleasure or good that can come from not obeying His will.

Go into today remembering that there’s no middle ground, you cannot serve two masters at the same time. Serve the Lord.
—Ikechukwu Mpama

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Acts 15-16
Credits: Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan), Music(Jaci Velasquez - I Will Call)

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Friday, December 17, 2021

Live Ready

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2 Peter 3:14 (NET) Therefore, dear friends, since you are waiting for these things, strive to be found at peace, without spot or blemish, when you come into his presence.

Derek had a dream in which he saw the Lord Jesus return, but he was not prepared and was not raptured. It was not a good experience. He woke up with so much fear and terror that he could not eat. He thus went into a fast and started examining his ways and making the appropriate adjustments. There were relationships he knew he had to sever, inordinate affections he had to terminate, unjust business dealings he had to forsake, and laziness towards the things of God he had to repent of. His neighbors and friends called him pastor, but he knew that he was not truly ready for the Lord's return. But after he made the right adjustments and began to live in the expectation of the Lord's return (which motivates holiness), his friends and neighbors did not merely call him pastor, many of them were now convicted and brought to the point of repentance because of the Lord's glory that was now radiating through Derek's life

Unfortunately, many believers are like Derek who needed a wake-up call to be alert and live ready for the Lord's return. Living ready does not mean living in fear and uncertainty, it means you're living in faith and having a clear conscience before God and before man. It means you're living in obedience to the Lord and there is no known sin staining your spiritual garment.

Go into today remembering that God has supplied all the grace you need to keep your garment spotless and free from every blemish. A blemish is an imperfection you were born with, but a spot is an imperfection you adopt along the way. The blood of Jesus is strong enough to deal with both spots and blemishes. The key is remaining in Christ.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please help me always live ready for your coming. Deliver me from every manipulation of the devil.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Bible Plan: Deuteronomy 13-15 (In Devotional Audio)
Credits: Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan), Music(Maranatha Praise Band - I Will Trust In You)

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Thursday, December 16, 2021

Grounded In His Love

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Ephesians 1:5-6 (KJV) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Bidemi grew up with a feeling of worthlessness and insecurity because she was an "illegitimate" child, and her stepmother made sure she understood that. Because of this, she would react harshly to situations and would be very rude and difficult to communicate with. She always felt like she was in a deep dark pit, and could amount to nothing in life. But this all changed when she accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior. For the first time in her life, she knew she was accepted. She no longer felt like her life was a mistake, she knew God had a purpose for creating her, and she was happy to be alive.

One thing we must never forget as believers is that God accepted us before we accepted Him, that is why we could accept Him. Your salvation was not your own idea; it was God’s idea before you were born. This knowledge will help you rest in God’s love. It is very important that believers are grounded in the love of God.

Many times, before the devil can get a believer to fall, he will first get him to doubt the love that God has for him. This he does because he knows the power the knowledge of God’s love produces in the life of the believer.

See what Ephesians 3:19 (NLT) says: May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Go into today remembering that you are beloved of God. You are accepted in His beloved family.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Bible Plan: I Peter 4-5 (In Devotional Audio)
Credits: Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan), Music(Maranatha Praise Band - I Will Trust In You)

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Wednesday, December 15, 2021

What do you seek 2?

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Matthew 7:7-8 (NET) “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you.For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Rodney had received and understood the message of the kingdom, so when he found that there was unrighteousness in his life, he gave himself to spiritual disciplines till the unrighteousness was rooted out.

Rodney discovered that even though he was now a believer baptized in the Holy Spirit, he had a tendency to be angry, bitter, and unforgiving. This was even now affecting his marriage, so he decided to go on a fast to seek the Lord and find deliverance from these weaknesses. During his fast and retreat, he spent a lot of the time praying, reading, and listening to teachings that the Lord used to deliver him from the power of those weaknesses which he also observed in the life of his father.

As children of God, we have the power to fruitfully seek what we set our hearts upon. We can use this power to either seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness or to seek what the world seeks. The degree to which you would partake and participate in the kingdom of God is the degree to which you have been conformed to the nature of the king in righteousness and holiness. One of the signs that the kingdom of God is in a life or in a place is that there would be righteousness (see Romans 14:17).

Go into today remembering that the most important thing God is doing in your life today is to change you from the Adamic nature into the nature of Christ. The degree to which this change is allowed to happen is the degree to which you will be close to Christ the king and be great in His eternal kingdom.

Prayer: Lord, please help me always seek you and be transformed into your image and nature. Deliver me from deceptions and distractions.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Bible Plan: Acts 13-14 (In Devotional Audio)
Credits: Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan), Music(Maranatha Praise Band - I Will Trust In You)

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Tuesday, December 14, 2021

What do you seek?

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Matthew 7:7-8 (NET) “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

I was in a campground where many people go to pray. I saw old, young, and middle-aged men and women praying everywhere in that campground. I was getting excited about what I saw when I sensed the mood of the Lord. It was as though the Lord was saying: "I wish they were truly seeking me". Indeed, many of the people were seeking things(breakthroughs, open doors, healing, prosperity) in the name of the Lord, but pleasing the Lord was scarcely the object of their quest.

Many people understand the principle of seeking. They apply themselves to serious spiritual disciplines and stay consistent until what they seek materializes. The question today is "what do you seek?"

Time on earth presents us with the opportunity to seek the kingdom of God and lay hold on eternal life. But we can use that same time to seek the things of this world and lay hold on material things that perish. The fact that you're using prayer and fasting to seek it does not mean that what you seek is accurate.

We don't only have the ability to ask and receive, we have the ability to seek and find. But unlike asking, what we seek has a way of dominating our hearts and minds. That's why the Lord tells us what to seek. We are advised to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. See Colossians 3:1 also.

Go into today remembering that you have the ability to seek and find. God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. Don't waste this precious time you have to seek mundane things. Seek to please God always, and He will ensure that you don't need to seek any other thing.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please help me always remember to seek Your kingdom and Your righteousness above all else. Thank you, In Jesus’ name. Amen.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Bible Plan: Haggai (In Devotional Audio)
Credits: Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan), Music(Maranatha Praise Band - I Will Trust In You)

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Monday, December 13, 2021

Are You Tired?

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Judges 16:16 (Recovery Version), "And after she pressed him with her words every day and urged him, his soul was tired to death."

Samson was unique and had a very special assignment, but he died cheaply in the hands of his enemies. The tricks played on him failed and no battle could bring him down, even the lion's claws and jaw could not conquer him because the spirit of God enabled him in peculiar ways; he was the great deliverer who would have delivered Israel from their enemy the Philistines. This great man was However brought to his knees and cut short by Delilah. She accomplished this by getting him tired to death. By becoming tired to death or tired of life,  he became a cheap catch to his enemies (see Judges 16:4-31).

It was Delilah in Samson's case, but it can be something else in someone else's case; delay in getting a job, getting married, or having children, it could be a nagging spouse, a troubling in-law or boss. It might even be frustrations in ministry, etcetera. Whatever it is, it has the same aim of bringing you to the point where you are tired of life.

Jesus was not excluded, he had his own share of this experience. In Matthew 26:38 (KJV) he said, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me". But unlike Samson, he did not give up; he prayed and also asked his disciples to pray along with him. James also echoed this when he wrote, “Is any among you afflicted? let him pray" (James 5:13 KJV).

Whenever you are tired, do what Jesus did and heed James' admonition: Pray. If praying alone is not getting you the desired results, ask your brethren to join you, but by no means must you give in to tiredness.

Go into today knowing that whenever you are tired to death, it is Satan that is working on your case and God is the one who can help you. So, pray!

Prayer: Father, help me to pray whenever I am tired, afflicted, or in trouble instead of worrying, in Jesus' name. Amen!
—Dr. Emmanuel James

Yearly Bible Plan: Ecclesiastes 5-6 (In Devotional Audio)
Credits: Bible (Bible Experience, Zondervan), Music(Maranatha Praise Band - No Higher Calling)

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Sunday, December 12, 2021

The Purpose of Trials

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Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Lamide understood that all the trials and temptations she faced were working something eternally powerful in her life, therefore she rejoiced and did not draw back in faith. During this period, she developed great strength of character and became a person of great integrity and true love. As a result of this, she now always maintained a clear conscience before the Lord. This made it much easier for her to receive from the Lord and Great miracles started happening when she prayed.

Lamide got to this point of causing miracles to happen because the trials she went through developed endurance in her, and this endurance helped her develop strength of character which facilitated a constantly clear conscience before God and all men.

1 John 3:21-22 (GW) says: Dear friends, if our conscience doesn’t condemn us, we can boldly look to God and receive from Him anything we ask. We receive it because we obey His commandments and do what pleases him.

Strength of character is possible when a believer develops endurance and temperance. One effective way a believer develops endurance is through trials. That's why God says we should rejoice when we face them (see James 1:2-3).

Go into today knowing that trials and persecutions will only help you grow stronger and better. Remember that because you are in Christ, you will always overcome(see Romans 8:37, 1 John 5:4).

Prayer: Father, please help me always maintain a clear conscience before you and before all men (see Acts 24:16). Deliver me from an evil conscience In Jesus' name. Amen.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Bible Plan: Psalms 128-130 (In Devotional Audio)
Credits: Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan)

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Saturday, December 11, 2021

Are You Properly Dressed?

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John 17:12 (KJV), “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled”

Jesus told a story in Matthew 22 about a king who organized a wedding party for his son and invited some special guests. He had spent a fortune on assorted meals and drinks and had decorated the venue gorgeously to fit his class. Sadly though, the invited guests all turned down his invitation as though planned, and some even beat and killed his messengers.

The king's meal and effort however must not be wasted, he thus asked that any and everyone that can be found be invited for the party until the hall is full. But as the party began, the king saw a man without the wedding costume and asked, “Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?" The man, glued to his seat couldn't mutter a word. He was thrown out of the wedding to the place of pain and weeping because he was not dressed for the wedding.

From today's text, we see that Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus' disciples, became the son of perdition. Like that man without the wedding costume, he was numbered with the twelve disciples of the Lamb but lost his place because he insisted on remaining the old man he was before he met Jesus; all the time he spent with Jesus did not kill greed and lust in him.

The man in today's story found his way into the wedding venue, got a seat, and was waiting for the king to begin the party, but was later thrown out because he was not properly dressed.

You are permitted to come the way you are to Jesus and He will welcome you, but if you must remain in Him and enjoy the benefits, you will have to let Him change and conform you to His nature. If you refuse to be changed by him, you will be thrown out eventually like the man in our story. Unfortunately, this happens when there's no longer a chance to repent.

Go into today checking yourself to know if you're dressed ready for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you're not, make amends before the King comes, else, you will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Prayer: Father, I submit myself to your disciplines and corrections. Sanctify me and make me ready for Christ's return. Amen.
—Dr. Emmanuel James

Yearly Bible Plan: II Chronicles 33-36 (In Devotional Audio)
Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan)

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Friday, December 10, 2021

See Jesus

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Hebrews 2:8-9 (BBE) You put all things under his feet. For in making man ruler over all things, God did not put anything outside his authority; though we do not see everything under him now. But we see him who was made a little lower than the angels, even Jesus, crowned with glory and honour, because he let himself be put to death so that by the grace of God he might undergo death for all men.

God had a grand plan for man. We get a glimpse of this in Genesis where after making man, God gave him dominion over all things. Understand this, the supposed king of the jungle is the one endowed with one of the most imposing physical structures. In the sea, the greater in structure also rules over the lesser. But over all these, man was put in charge. He had neither the imposing physique nor the menacing features one would expect, but he was made in God’s image and likeness and given dominion.

So great was the throne God had prepared for man and so inexplicable was it that it was echoed in the prophetic words of David in Psalms 8 from verses 3 through 9. The Psalmist in amazement expressed his bewilderment with the words, “What is man that thou art mindful of him?”. Notice however in verse 6 he says, “Thou hast made him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet”. The Psalmist was speaking prophetically having a glimpse into the divine design for man.

It is no news that man lost his place to the devil and hence the plans of God for man was distorted. This is why we do not see all things under his feet as Hebrews 2 verse 8 also pointed out. However, God, through Jesus, brought man back into His divine plan. Jesus became flesh and reconciled man to God, bringing back man to the place where God originally designed for him. Now no man can attain the place of dominion and glory by and of himself, only in Christ can this be done.

He is exalted above every throne and name that is named and is crowned with glory and honor. Everyone who believes in Him will share in that glory as the scriptures have said, “Christ in me the hope of glory” (Col 1:27). Look to Jesus.

Go into today Giving thanks to Jesus for His sacrifice.
Prayer: Ask for grace to keep beholding Him and never take your eyes off Him.
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— Ikechukwu Mpama

Yearly Bible Plan: Deuteronomy 10-12 (In Devotional Audio)
Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan), Music(Casting Crowns - Voice of Truth)

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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Beware of Covetousness

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Matthew 6:24 (NET) “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

It wasn't long after Gerald rededicated his life to Christ that he was faced with the temptation to make some quick money [in an unrighteous way] . Because he was now born again and his conscience now alive, he felt a check in his spirit concerning that "opportunity" to make quick money. He wanted to be sure that he was not doing anything that didn't please the Lord. Unfortunately, when he discussed his concerns with one of his Christian brothers in the church, he could see that the brother was not truly interested in knowing whether it was the will of God for one to make money that way, the brother was only interested in making more money. Gerald almost got led astray by that brother, but his discipler came along and showed him why making money that way was unrighteous.

When it comes to matters of money, more believers stumble there than matters of demonic attacks or most other kinds of temptation. The biggest contender with God for your love is mammon. If a believer is not intentional and deliberate about overcoming the love of mammon, he would be cut in it without knowing how much his heart has been consumed by it. Remember, you cannot love God and mammon.

When a believer is not willing to know [and submit to] God's opinion and will when it comes to matters of getting money, it is a sign that he is now enslaved by mammon. On the resurrection morning, many will realize how much ground they lost because their hearts were enslaved by the love of money. May we not be found weeping and gnashing our teeth on that day.

Go into today remembering that one of the biggest threats to your spiritual life is the love of money. There is more warning about this in the Bible by the Lord and His apostles than there is warning about most other tricks of the devil. (see Luke 12:15, Luke 8:14, Hebrews 13:5, 1 Timothy 6:6-10, Ephesians 5:3-5).

Pray: Lord, deliver me from the love of money and help me love you in truth. Help me know that it pays much more to love you than to love mammon.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible in 1 Year: I Peter 1-3
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Yearly Bible Plan: Acts 11-12 (In Devotional Audio)Credits: Audio Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan), Music(Casting Crowns - Voice of Truth)

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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Seeing The Kingdom Of God

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John 3:3 (KJV) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

I remember something that happened when I was an undergraduate student. One of my Christian classmates was in a difficult situation, and doing certain things that would compromise his faith would have easily helped him out of that situation, but he refused to compromise. A second classmate who attended the same Christian fellowship with him kept advising him to compromise and make life easy for himself. When the second classmate didn’t stop his persuasions, my Christian classmate became tired and told him to his face: "you are not born again". This became an issue because the second classmate who was a leader on campus fellowship didn't hide the fact that he was deeply offended by what my Christian classmate said to him.

My Christian classmate refused to compromise because the kingdom of God was real to him and it regulated his everyday life--he could see the kingdom of God. My second classmate simply couldn’t understand why the first brother wouldn’t compromise, he apparently wasn’t conscious of the kingdom and wasn’t seeing life from a kingdom perspective.

Being born again brought us into the kingdom of light. We were once in darkness and could not see the kingdom of God. But being born again gives us the ability to perceive and be ruled by the kingdom of God. We begin to understand the purpose of life and how we are part of God’s eternal kingdom (A kingdom that will indeed rule over all). We begin to see life from that perspective and make our choices from there.

Go into today remembering that those saved into God’s kingdom should live under the authority of Christ. Anyone who has no Lord over him is not saved.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me see your kingdom and walk in the reality of your kingdom and power. In Jesus' name. Amen.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi
Want to be saved? Click here: streamglobe.org/33

Yearly Bible Plan: Acts 11-12 (In Devotional Audio)
Credits: Audio Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan), Music(Casting Crowns - Voice of Truth)

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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Test all spirits

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1 John 4:1 (NET) Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

When Lara was an unbeliever on campus, it was quite easy for her to identify false prophets from real servants of God. She knew them because they were the same men she saw patronizing certain red districts where her friends worked. Her best friend was the girlfriend of one of such prophets in town, and she also knew his friends who were prophets like him. Lara knew that those false prophets were liars and their main goal was to raise money, but she didn't care because they had some results to present and results were what she was after. So she was a parishioner in a church pastored by one of such prophets until she had an encounter with the Lord and got saved.

After she got saved, she found it difficult to continue to attend that church. But she did not know how dangerous it was for her to remain in that church until she read a book about the power of seduction and how evil spirits are transmitted in such places.

Our Lord Jesus warns us to steer clear of false Prophets(Matthew 7:15-20). He reveals to us that their fruits are what will ultimately give them away. The fruit of a man's life is his character; the fruit of a man's ministry is the quality of people produced by that ministry. If for example, all the followers of a prophet you know are only Christians by words, but not in character, steer clear of such a minister.

If a person claims to speak for God but does not acknowledge the authority of Christ Jesus by living visibly under it, he is a false prophet. A person who says "lord lord" to Jesus, but does not do His will is not living under His authority. The proof that you've truly confessed [to] the Lord Jesus is that you'll live under His authority.

Go into today knowing that false prophets are out there, and their assignment from hell is to devour the sheep of God. If a true believer exposes himself to false prophets for long, he would be impoverished and afflicted and may not know why.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please help me steer clear of false prophets and teachers. Help me fulfill my glorious destiny in you.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible In 1 Year: Zephaniah (In Devotional Audio)
Credits: Audio Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan), Music(CeCe Winans - Jesus, Youre Beautiful)

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Monday, December 6, 2021

Entering Into Your Calling

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Luke 9:23 (KJV), “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."

Peter, James, and John met Jesus in a very peculiar way. Being professional fishermen, they'd tried the best skill in their repertoires and having caught nothing all night retired to the shore to wash their nets. Something extraordinary however happened: Jesus was in one of their boats because he needed it as a stage for his sermon. But that wasn't all, because of Jesus's command, the professional fishermen who couldn't catch a single fish all night now caught so many fishes that they required an extra boat to ferry them to shore. This was the encounter that led to the call of these men. They had the most amazing response; they left all and followed Jesus (see Luke 5:1-11).

Just like it happened with these men, discovering one's call could follow a dramatic encounter; a vision, prophecy, miraculous healing or provision, etc. God does this so men may know that the one who is calling them is the All-Powerful One. But encounters alone, however breath-taking they may be, are not all that is needed.

The Lord Jesus in Luke 9:23 said, “ If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me". Denying yourself, taking up your cross, and following the Lord daily are the actions that set the stage for a great destiny. Peter, James, and John did these when they abandoned what should have been called "breakthrough" and followed Jesus; they chose not to be fixed on the encounter while neglecting the giver of the encounter.

Go into today knowing that entering into your calling will require you to look beyond the encounters and start listening, obeying, and following God.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please grant me the grace to forsake all and carry my cross daily and follow you. Amen!
—Dr. Emmanuel James
Yearly Bible Plan: Ecclesiastes 3-4(In Devotional Audio) 
Credits: Audio Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan)

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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Hidden with Christ

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Colossians 3:3 (NET) For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Uche observed that he was still very much bound by the powers that bound him before he came out for alter call to become born again. He could not understand why the promises the evangelist gave were not being fulfilled in his life. The evangelist promised that anyone who came out to accept Christ would be free from the bondage of darkness. But this was not the case with Uche. He started going from church to church, from vigil to prayer meetings, seeking spiritual liberty because he knew for sure that Jesus gives liberty.

He ended up in one church where the pastor asked to see him. This pastor knew by prophecy that Uche needed to see him in order for him to be free. After Uche had enumerated his ordeal, the pastor told him that he was still bound because he had not yet died to the old life. The only thing that changed in his life was that he was now going to church. He was still a liar, a cheat, a thief, and a fornicator.

Many believers claim the second part of today’s Bible verse while ignoring the first part. The reason why your life can be hidden in Christ is because you have died to the old life, and have awakened to the new life of Christ within you. The new life that now controls you can never be bound, but the old life controlled by the flesh ushers in demonic bondage. 

Go into today remembering that you have new life in Christ Jesus if you have accepted Him as your Lord and Savior, abide in Him and let His word abide in you.
Confession: I am dead to the old life of sin. The life that I now live is hidden in Christ in God. Jesus rules my life.
— Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Bible Plan: Psalms 125-127 (In Devotional Audio)
Credits: Audio Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan)
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