Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Keep your lamp burning

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Luke 12:35-37 (KJV) Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

Henry went through some things that made him almost discouraged and give up his faith. His faith seemed waning and his joy in the Lord diminished, but because he was properly taught, he understood that all the devil was aiming at was to extinguish [the fire of] his faith. He thus strengthened himself with the remembrance of the hope of the Lord's coming and the glory that shall be revealed. Just like the Thessalonians were instructed to do(see 1 Thessalonians 4:18), Henry found encouragement in being focused on the hope of our calling(the resurrection of the dead and the glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ).

In the midst of the raging storms, if you take that hope away from the believer, his faith will be extinguished. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. 

In the verses above, we see a call to alertness and keeping our fires burning. You cannot be alert and ready for the Lord's coming if your fire is not burning. This quickly reminds me of the Parable of the wise and foolish Virgins in Matthew 25:14-30. In order for the virgins to be ready for the coming of the bridegroom, their lamps needed to have oil and the fire burning.

In Isaiah 62:1, we see righteousness and salvation likened to a burning lamp. A believer whose fire is burning is one who is living the life and working the work. He is one who is not discouraged, weary or distracted, but one whose salvation continues to produce the attendant fruits. A believer whose light has gone out is one who has backslidden.

Go into today remembering that God does not give us warnings that are not necessary. There is the threat of many people's lights going out because of discouragement and distractions, but he that endures to the end shall be saved.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please help me remain alert and keep my fire burning. Deliver me from discouragements and distractions. Amen. 
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Bible Plan: Habakkuk (In Devotional Audio)
Credits: Audio Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan). Music(CeCe Winans - He's Never Failed Me Yet)

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Monday, November 29, 2021

Do Not Allow Sin To Grow

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James 1:15 (ESV) “Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death".

For about three and a half years Judas Iscariot was with Jesus, for all of these years he lusted after money. He sometimes helped himself with money from the purse (John 12:6) but when the little money from the purse could no longer satisfy him, the devil brought him a proposal on how to "hit it big". “Sell you boss" the devil whispered. Judas Iscariot yielded (Matt 26:14-26) and sold Jesus out. What he did brought him under a curse that led him to eternal damnation (Matthew 26:24).

Learn to control your desires, but if your desires have given birth to sin, don't let sin grow.

You will gain control over your desires by renewing your mind (Romans 12:2) through the word of God (Eph 5:26). You cut the life of sin short by confessing and forsaking it (John 1:9; Prob 28:13), but when sin is allowed to grow, it will produce death (see Romans 8:13).

If you refuse to confess and forsake your sins but condone and cover them, you will not have mercy (Prov 28:13), that is to say, you will be judged (condemned) because it is mercy that triumphs over judgment (James 2:13).

After you have confessed and forsaken a sin, watch out for the desire or desires that produced it, then constantly and vehemently combat such desires in the place of prayer using the appropriate scriptures until grace to control such desires has been supplied.

Go into today knowing that learning to subject your desires to the truth of the word of God is the secret to victory over sin.

Pray: Lord Jesus, help me to live victoriously over sin and death. Amen
—Dr. Emmanuel James

Bible in 365 Days: Ecclesiastes 1-2
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Sunday, November 28, 2021

He Created All

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Colossians 1:16 (NET) For all things in heaven and on earth were created by him - all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers - all things were created through him and for him. 

 Before spiritual thrones were occupied by demonic beings, the Lord made them, and his plan was for them to be occupied by man. He also made angels. But a third of them fell and became beings of darkness. Man also fell and became flesh. Because of man’s fall, these thrones have been occupied by the fallen angels.

Hebrews 2:5 & 8 reveals that God's plan is for humankind to rule all things [created]. This is the plan that caused war in heaven because Satan wanted to take the position reserved for man and become ruler over all things. But as glorious as he was, he was created as an angel: a servant and not a son [heir]. His designation was not for his throne to be exalted above the stars (angels see Rev 1:20) of God. That was the designation of man (see 1 Cor 6:3, Heb 2:5, 8).

Since man fell and could not fulfill his eternal destiny, the Lord became like man who had become (flesh), so that He would fulfill this destiny, and we in Him might all fulfill it. He became the last Adam.

Think about how valuable and powerful a man in Christ is. He has been made alive and brought back into his eternal destiny. He is no longer going to end up as mere flesh but will be resurrected into the glorious destiny of God’s sons.

Go into today remembering that what we (Christians) have in Christ is much more valuable than all the wealth in the world. God wants to give us His kingdom (Luke 12:32). He wants to make us rule over all things; including the whole universe.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me walk worthy of my calling and please you in all regards. Amen. (See 1 Thessalonians 2:12).
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Bible Plan: Psalms 122-124 (In Devotional Audio)
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Saturday, November 27, 2021

Amazing Grace 1

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1 Timothy 1:7-9 (NET) They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not understand what they are saying or the things they insist on so confidently. But we know that the law is good if someone uses it legitimately, realizing that law is not intended for a righteous person, but for lawless and rebellious people, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers

John Wesley was once asked how he so succeeded in preaching and getting so many people saved. He said when he rides into a community, he begins by teaching them the law of God for days. He said he would notice that the mood of the people would change and they would become uncomfortable because they are seeing how guilty they are. When he notices this, he would start introducing the gospel to them and revealing the grace of God and forgiveness of sin. Many of them would repent because, through the law, they are first made to understand how sinful they are and are thus delivered from all self-righteousness.

A self-righteous person cannot receive the grace of God. But through the law, we are delivered of all self-righteousness so we can receive the grace of God. The only person that can be guiltless under the law is the one who is walking in the spirit and bearing the fruit of the spirit, "[for] [a]against such there is no law" (see Galatians 5:22-23).

Just in case a person reads the laws of the Old Testament and believes that he is blameless because he has been able to keep the ten commandments, such a person needs to look at God's law in its most pristine form as presented by the Lord Jesus Himself. If you read Matthew 5-7 and see the law in its most pristine form, where Jesus gives us God's true standard of righteousness(without human adulteration), no one who is sincere would be guiltless if he has not found the grace supplied by the Holy Spirit. No one can claim he has never lusted or hated or used an improper word, or not retaliated when offended, etc.

After a person who has been feeling self-righteous under the old Testament comes to the New Testament and sees the law given by the Lord himself, he would be delivered from his self-righteousness and would be ready to receive God's grace.

I believe one reason many of us believers do not receive from God when we come asking for things we need is that we are self-righteous and ask God from that place of self-righteousness. But self-righteousness is as filthy rags before the Lord.

When you compare yourself with other people, you may become self-righteous, but when you compare yourself with God's perfect law of liberty, you cannot be self-righteous. And if you are appropriating the grace of the Lord to live a truly blameless life, you cannot be self-righteous but only thankful because you would acknowledge that without God's help, do not have the ability to keep God's law.

Go into today knowing that those who receive and appropriate God's grace are those who have been set free from all self-righteousness. Those who live by grace cannot be self-righteous. They cannot be judgmental of others that fall because they know that it is only by grace that they stand.

If you want to receive the grace of God to be forgiven of your sins and empowered to keep standing victorious, ask the Lord to forgive you for your sins. He has paid for your sins so that you can be forgiven when you accept Him as your Lord and Savior.
If you have already received the forgiveness of the Lord, go into today being full of thanksgiving and joy for God's unmerited favor that found you.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for arranging for me to be saved when I didn't even know anything. All I have to say is thank you.
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—Abraham Damilola Arigi

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Yearly Plan: II Chronicles 25-28 (In Devotional Audio)
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Friday, November 26, 2021

Make not provision for the flesh


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Romans 13:13-14 (NET) Let us live decently as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in discord and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to arouse its desires.

Gabriel used to be an alcoholic before he accepted the Lord Jesus. After he met the Lord Jesus, he vowed never to drink alcohol again. He kept this vow and was enjoying his growing relationship with the Lord until his cousin came visiting from another country and he had to spend a lot of time with him.

Because Gabriel's cousin was an unbeliever, he wanted them to visit clubs and bars together. Because Gabriel wanted to be a good host, he did not decline like he usually would have done. He followed his cousin a couple of times to the club, and on one of those nights, he took some alcohol, became drunk, and did some things he vowed never to do again. After all these and he came back to his senses, he regretted with tears. He ran to his pastor to confess what had happened. His pastor exclaimed, "oh, you gave room to the flesh". He then went on to explain to Gabriel that the flesh cannot be transformed but would ultimately be changed during the resurrection. Before then, we must ensure that we do not give it room.

No matter how high you go in the spirit, if you give room to the flesh for a moment, you will be shocked at how untransformed the flesh is, and how it seeks to colonize you. The flesh is an unrepentant rebel that must be perpetually mortified.

There are songs, environments, thoughts and imaginations, that if not quickly arrested would ultimately give room to the flesh. There are companies that if not severed, would give room to the flesh.

Go into today remembering that no matter how high you've gone, if you give the flesh a little room to dominate your soul, it would ultimately cause you to fall. Remember to guard your heart with all diligence. Watch out for the things that give room to the flesh, and cut them out of your life.

Prayer: I enjoy Christ's exceeding grace; I walk in the Spirit and please the Lord in all things. I give no room to the flesh; sin has no dominion over me. 
— Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible In 1 Year: Deuteronomy 4-6 (In Today's Audio)
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Thursday, November 25, 2021

The First Works and the First Love

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Revelation 2:5 (NET)Therefore, remember from what high state you have fallen and repent! Do the deeds you did at the first; if not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place – that is, if you do not repent.

Someone asked me what the secret behind staying consistent and growing in the grace of God was because according to him, many who were on fire for God on campus left campus and lost the fire.

Losing the first fire and love is a real existential problem among believers everywhere. The truth is that if there was a time you were closer to God and more on fire for God than you are today, it is a sign that something has gone terribly wrong (see Prov 4:18).

I don't believe it was a coincidence that this was the first matter that came up in the letters the Lord sent to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3.

We see a remedy for this malady in today's Bible verse. Here the Lord tells the believers who have lost their first love to repent and do the deeds they did at first. The way to stay on fire is to never stop doing the deeds you did at first.

One reason people lose their first love and fire is that they stop doing the deeds they did at first when they were on fire for God. It’s a slow fade, and this usually comes when believers begin to have the mindset that they have already attained. This mindset is contrary to that of a true disciple (see Phil 3:13-14). A young man who used to pray for hours when he was on campus now ‘does not have the time to pray for more than a couple of minutes because of work or even the demands of a growing ministry. A lady who used to spend quality time reading faith-building books now only reads novels because they are more interesting and ‘there is nothing new to learn again’.

Go into today remembering that consistency in the works of the first love keeps the fire of the first love burning.
— Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible In 1 Year: James 1-3 (In Today's Audio)
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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Are You A Good Steward?

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1 Peter 4:10 (KJV) "As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."

A cell is the smallest structural and functional unit of an organism, a cell is typically microscopic. A group of specialized cells forms a tissue, which is a group of cells that have a similar structure and that function together as a unit, a group of tissues that have been adapted to perform a specific function forms an organ and a group of organs that work together to carry out a particular task forms a system. The human body is a complex of eleven different and interdependent systems whose activities make for the smooth running of the body. When a cell, tissue, organ, or system begins to function independent of the others (this is how cancers develop), the insufficiency of the other parts becomes pronounced, causing the whole body to suffer. When such continues uncontrolled, it will eventually lead to the death of the whole body.

Similarly, the church is the body of Christ, Christ himself being the head and every child of God is a small part of the body (1 Corinthians 12:27). These small parts must work together in agreement and interdependently to ensure the smooth running of the body. God seeks to achieve this by assigning different responsibilities to different parts and giving then them varying gifts, abilities, and capacities, and also ensuring that no single part can do all or is self-sustaining.

Which part of Christ's body are you and which part are you connected to? Which part of the body is enjoying and thriving because of you?

Are you using your gifts and abilities to soothe and establish yourself, while the parts that depend on you suffer? If this is how you're currently living, you're not a faithful steward of the gifts and grace of God.

Go into today remembering that God gifted you those gifts, abilities, and capacities so you can serve others with them. Remember also that, you will give an account of how you use what he's given you.

Prayer: examine yourself and see if you’re being a faithful steward or not. Ask God for grace to be faithful.
— Dr. Emmanuel James

Bible In 1 Year: Acts 7-8
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Tuesday, November 23, 2021

God Finishes What He Authored

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Galatians 4:30 (KJV), “Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman."

Richie's parents threw a party and celebrated their son's admission into the university only to discover after five years that, he'd lied to them. They realized this when he refused to return home when all his friends returned. After several threats and persuasions, he confessed that he was never offered admission, “I couldn't bear the shame of staying at home, so I moved to the university campus with the hope that I'll eventually get admitted, but all efforts failed. The only way to survive was to keep getting cash from my parents whom I deceived earlier" he said.

Richie left home, lived on campus, and even attended lectures like other students for five years, but he never got certified. The university didn't offer him admission, hence, they didn't certify him.

What God wanted when he promised Abraham and Sarah an heir was Isaac, but by their own devising, they brought forth Ismael. God, however, didn't use Ishmael to achieve what he had planned because he didn't author that process. The bondwoman and her son were cast out.

God is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending (Revelation I:8) and he completes what he started (Philippians 1:6). If you started a move, work, or process by your own volition without the involvement of God, he will not help you finish it, no matter how good and promising the move, work, or process may look.

If you truly want God's involvement in what you do, you must discard that which he didn't author and allow him the chance of starting what he will finish, unless you want to be discarded at the end like the bondwoman and her son was.

Go into today knowing that God only finishes what he authored. If he didn't author it, he will not finish it.

Prayer: Father, please pardon my past mistakes. Henceforth, help me never to take a step when you're not involved. In Jesus' name. Amen!
— Dr. Emmanuel James

Bible In 1 Year: Nahum
Credits: Audio Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan), Music(Jaci Velasquez, God who moves the mountains)
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Monday, November 22, 2021

Your Spiritual Diet Determines your Growth

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Hebrews 6:1 (NET) Therefore we must progress beyond the elementary instructions about Christ and move on to maturity, not laying this foundation again: repentance from dead works and faith in God 
After Gbenga believed in the Lord Jesus, he attended a church where all they taught were elementary things about the faith. After being in that fellowship for years, Gbenga did not grow into maturity but he did not know this. He came in contact with a brother in his office who was more spiritually mature than him. As they became closer and he started reading the books and listening to the sermons that this brother was listening to, he observed that he became more mature spiritually and God could now hand him more kingdom responsibility.

Before, because of spiritual infancy, he believed that God existed only to meet his needs and fight his battles, but as he became more mature because of the teachings he was now exposed to, he realized that God had expectations for him that he had to complete if his life would be considered fruitful in the kingdom.

From today's Bible verse, we can learn that the level of instructions about Christ that you receive is what determines your maturity. If all you know are elementary instructions, you will remain a baby who is not mature. But the right order is that after receiving and understanding the elementary instructions, you are to move on to receiving instructions that make one mature or perfect. You don't grow beyond the instructions(level of doctrine) you receive.

God cannot use spiritual babies to do very serious kingdom work. Some major differences between a baby and a fully built(mature) man are strength, endurance, and the ability to take responsibility. The gates of hell cannot be brought down by a baby church that has not yet been built up. Jesus says I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Go into today remembering that it is the built-up believer or church that will be able to withstand and resist the gates of hell. It is the built-up believer that would be able to do fruitful kingdom work which is the basis for receiving our eternal rewards in the kingdom of God (see Revelation 22:12).

Prayer: Lord, help me grow into maturity. Lead me to teachings that will help me grow into maturity, In Jesus name. Amen.
— Abraham Dami Arigi

Yearly Bible:  Proverbs 3 (In Today's Audio)
Credits: Audio Bible(Bible Experience, Zondervan)
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Sunday, November 21, 2021

Loving The Lord

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Psalms 91:14 (KJV)Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

There are times that it may seem the enemy has come upon us in a way we were not prepared for or able to handle. And whereas we are used to casting out and binding, it would appear as if the situation is immune to all that.

At times like this, we need help from above because it would appear that the enemy we face is too strong for us. See how David puts it in Psalm 18:17 "He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me."

The good news (from today’s Bible verse) is that those who set their love upon God will receive His help and deliverance even when it appears their enemy is too strong for them. Those who love God are those known by God (1Cor 8:3) and the Lord Himself will arise to help them in the time of need. This is a great privilege.

How do we set our love on the Lord? The first way is to appreciate how much He loved us and how much it cost Him to forgive our sins (he that is forgiven much loves much). After realizing this great love that the Lord has lavished upon us, we must determine to dwell in this love and love the Lord with all our hearts. Loving the Lord is a decision we can make, that's why there's a commandment to that effect (see Matt 22:37).

When we truly love the Lord, it would show in our love for His brethren the believers. An undeniable manifestation of love is giving (see John 3:16). If you love the Lord, you would give your life: time, and resources to serving Him and advancing the agenda of His kingdom here on earth.
— Abraham Dami Arigi

Yearly Bible: Psalms 120-121
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Saturday, November 20, 2021

Acceptable Service And Location

 

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Jonah 1:1-3 (KJV) “Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord."

Jesus chose his disciples, trained them in Israel, and sent them to Jerusalem, then Judea, afterward Samaria, and eventually the uttermost parts of the world (Acts 1:8). He didn't send them out randomly to wander and choose where they wanted, he instead sent them to specific places. When Apostle Paul came on the scene, he also confirmed that God had sent him to a group of people, the gentiles (Romans 15:15-16).

One of the factors that will determine the acceptability of your service is your location. Where has God sent you to? What people group or demography? Anyone who can't answer these questions shouldn't be found pioneering a work for God, this person should be found under a trainer serving and learning. Whenever God calls a man, he also gives specifics, God will never leave you to decide what you want to do for him by yourself, he'll instead ask you to do what He wants.

Jesus, in John 15:16 (KJV), said, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you".

If you don't know why God ordained you, and where or the people he has sent you to, or if you have abandoned your location and have chosen a new location for yourself, serving God acceptably may be impossible.

Go into today knowing that captured in the volume written concerning you is a location (or locations)  where God wants you to serve. Don't start running until you must have known where you're headed, else, you might just run in vain.

Prayer: Father, I ask that you reveal my place of service to me and help me to serve you acceptably there. Amen!
— Dr. Emmanuel James

Yearly Bible: II Chronicles 21-24

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Friday, November 19, 2021

Run To Win 2

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1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (KJV) Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

Because Temitayo wanted to win the trophy, she was willing to do whatever it took. It became impossible for her to hide this from people around her. Everyone now knew she was an athlete because she was always doing something that showed she was preparing for the championship.

It doesn't take time for people who have to deal with really serious athletes to know that they are athletes. It is very difficult for them to hide this fact about them. It shows.

In the same way, when a believer is really serious about his kingdom assignment and winning his prize, he cannot hide his identity as a believer for long. Under normal circumstances, any believer who has successfully been able to hide his identity from his coworkers for several months may have been able to do so because he is not really striving for the prize of the mark of the high calling in God. Daniel worked in a most godless environment, but it was impossible for him to hide who he really was. Moses couldn’t either.

When your kingdom assignment takes over you and becomes the most important thing in your life, you will find that you are a witness for Christ everywhere you go. The Holy Spirit would begin to give you insight into people's lives just because He wants you to share the gospel with them.

Go into today remembering that you are first and foremost a witness for Christ in every place He has planted you. Ask the Lord to help you to this end. Ask for the wisdom to be a soul-winner.
— Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Bible: Deuteronomy 1-3
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Thursday, November 18, 2021

Christ in us, our hope of glory

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Colossians 1:26-27 (KJV) Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory

When Caleb preached the gospel to Robin and he believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, Robin was really excited because of the good news of the gospel that Caleb made him understand. Caleb made him understand that he was going to inherit God's eternal kingdom, was going to rule and reign with Jesus on the earth during his millennial reign(Revelation 20:4) and was going to inherit all things that belong to God(Revelation 21:7), only if he would abide in Christ, and let Christ abide in him. Robin had never heard such great news and hope in his life. Prior to that day, he lived a very hopeless life filled with depression, but for some reason, in his heart of heart, he believed what Caleb was saying as he kept opening scripture upon scripture to show him the good news of the glory God had prepared for him in Christ Jesus.

Robin asked Caleb an all-important question. He said: "Caleb, all these things sound too good to be true. How can one be sure that he will not miss out on all this?"

Caleb went on to explain to Robin that the reason we get to inherit God's kingdom is that we are in Christ and Christ is in us. When God sees us, He sees Christ. That is what makes us joint-heirs with Christ. He explained that as long as we are in Christ and Christ dwells in us, God cannot reject us because He cannot reject His son. Caleb also explained that God has given us the Holy Spirit as a seal and proof, and we receive the promise of the Holy Spirit is proof that every other thing God has promised will come to fruition.

Christ in us is indeed our only hope of glory. Christ dwells in us through the Holy Spirit. He rules and reigns in the lives of those who inhabit Him. One way to be sure that Christ dwells in you is that you will be under His authority. He will literally call the shots in your life, and you will know it. You may lose the whole world, but as long as you don't lose Christ, you've not really lost.

Go into today remembering that the secret to inheriting eternal life is abiding in Christ and Christ in us.

Prayer: Lord, let the words I say and the things I do demonstrate my submission to your authority.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible in 1 Year: Hebrews 11-13 (In Today's Audio)

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Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Serving God Faithfully: Wives

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Genesis 3:12 (KJV), “And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat"

God had promised Abram an heir from his own bowels (Genesis 15:1-4), but when that seemed delayed, Sarai his wife counseled him to marry Hagar her maid, he listened to her and Ishmael was the result. Ishmael however wasn't God's planned heir for Abraham because God eventually gave him Isaac who became his heir. Just as death was the result of Adam's sin when he listened to his wife's wrong counsel (Genesis 2:17), a wild man was the result of Abram listening to his wife's wrong advice (Genesis 16:12).

According to Genesis 2:18 and 20, a wife is a woman given to a man by God to sit in the seat of a helper for that man. God knows that man has certain weaknesses, he also knows that he cannot help himself in those areas, therefore, God made him a helper. But when help fails, weaknesses become obvious just as it happened with Adam when he fell and Abram when he brought Ishmael forth. Both unfortunate consequences could have been avoided if the women involved had not failed as helpers.

Another person called helper in the Bible is the Holy Spirit and one of his duties is to help our infirmities or weaknesses (Romans 8:26). If a woman wants to serve God acceptably in the capacity of a wife, she must be very conversant with the person of the Holy Spirit by studying him, knowing how he operates, and learning from him because, she will need to operate in similar ways, if she must function as a good wife who's services will be acceptable to God.

Go into today knowing that being a woman is not a disadvantage neither is it a curse, instead, a wife is her husband's advantage, his strength when he is weak. She is a major player in determining whether or not God's counsel for the union will be accomplished. The wife is sent by God to her husband to help make up for his faults and weaknesses.

Prayer:
Woman: ask the Lord for grace to serve acceptably in your office as a wife.
Man: ask God to help your wife serve God acceptably in her office as your wife.
—Dr. Emmanuel James

Bible in 1 Year: Acts 5-6 (In Today's Audio)

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Tuesday, November 16, 2021

The Royal Law

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James 2:8 (NET) But if you fulfill the royal law as expressed in this scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.

When Robin was in the university, he had a roommate called Caleb. Caleb was a believer who lived according to the word of God. Robin made up his mind that he was not going to get along with Caleb because Caleb’s life convicted him, but when he fell sick and none of his party friends showed up to see how he was doing, it was this roommate he treated so badly that was there for him. This was what broke him and he eventually accepted the Lord Jesus.

Robin's roommate could win him for the Lord because he lived in accordance with the royal law of our eternal kingdom.

Loving your neighbor as yourself means treating people the way you would want to be treated. It means talking about people the way you would want to be talked about even when you're in the wrong.

From today's Bible verse, we see that the believers who do well are those who obey the royal law of our eternal kingdom which states that we should love our neighbors as ourselves.

Go into today remembering that it is the believers who do well that will be told "well done! Good and faithful servant". A believer who does a lot of "kingdom work" without practical love for his neighbor will discover that his work amounted to nothing (see 1 Corinthians 13: 1-3).

Prayer: Lord, help me truly walk in love and radiate your nature. Amen
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible in 1 Year: Micah (In Today's Audio)

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Monday, November 15, 2021

You Are Here for a Purpose

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Psalms 40:7 (KJV)“Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me.”

How do I become what God has ordained me to be?

Are you born again? If Yes, God has chosen you and ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruit (John 15:16), He wrote a volume concerning you. So, success is a measure of how much of the volume written concerning you you have fulfilled.

The volume written concerning you by God was written by the Holy Spirit, who now dwells in you. God gave you the Holy Spirit so He could lead you into all truth.

Knowing purpose has been difficult because many only have the Holy Spirit within them but do not listen to Him. Jesus said in John 16:13 that, “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come.”

Your purpose is part of the “things to come” which the Holy Spirit will show to you if you ask Him. You see, to know and do the volume written concerning you, you must know and listen to the Holy Spirit.

Please read Proverbs 8:22-36

Go into today knowing that the Holy Spirit is the greatest gift you have and can ever have. He will guide you into all truth, speak to you of Jesus and show you things to come. Dare to trust Him.

Confession for today: I walk in my God-ordained purpose and destiny. My life reflects the glory of God, In Jesus' name. Amen.
—Dr. Emmanuel James

Bible In 1 Year: Proverbs 29-30 (In Today's Audio)

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Sunday, November 14, 2021

Acceptable Service

 

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2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1(NLT) Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.
Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.

If you want to feed a dog from a plate, you might not need to wash the plate and ensure it is sparkling clean, just make sure the food is accessible to the dog, even if it is on a dirty or dented plate, the dog wouldn't mind, it would gladly eat the food. But when you want to eat, you don't go to the kitchen sink to pick an unwashed plate with which to dish your food. You'd take time to wash the plate you intend to use if all the plates in the kitchen are dirty.
In like manner, God doesn't use just any vessel in His house. (See 2 Timothy 2:20 - 21).

We serve a loving God who has bought us with a price and brought us into his household (1 Corinthians 6:20). In order for the Lord to be able to use us for His good pleasure, we need to let Him sanctify us by the washing of water through His word (See Ephesians 5:26).

We serve a Holy God, and as we present our lives to Him in worship and service, if we must be acceptable, we must be holy. Romans 12:1 says we should present our bodies to Him as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable...

God cannot use just any vessel for His good works, He can only use holy vessels. From today's Bible verse, we see that the onus is on us to cleanse ourselves from everything that defiles. There are TV shows and movies that defile, there are thoughts and imaginations that if not cast down, they defile. There are communications that defile and corrupt, indeed, evil communication corrupts (1 Corinthians 15:33).

Go into today remembering that God's great promise of practical sonship can only be appropriated by those who walk toward complete holiness. Holiness is what happens when righteous people sanctify and separate themselves unto God and His use alone. Believers who still want the best of both worlds(the world and the kingdom) cannot experience the power and beauty of practical holiness.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please help me understand that you are enough. Help me separate myself unto your use alone. Help me live a truly holy and powerful life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible in 1 Year: Psalms 119 (In Today's Audio)

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Saturday, November 13, 2021

Useful But Not Acceptable

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1 Kings 19:15-17 (KJV) “And the Lord said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay.

During Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem, he'd rode on an ass and the multitude of his disciples went ahead of him singing, shouting, and chanting “Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest" (Luke 19:38 KJV). Some Pharisees however tried to stop them, saying to Jesus, “Master, rebuke thy disciples" (Luke 19:39 KJV). Jesus responded saying, “I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out" (Luke 19:40 KJV).

If the men had held their peace at the instance of the pharisees' demand, the stones around would have been useful, at least for a season. There are many who are serving God and having great results yet God is not pleased with them. God is using them just the way he would have used the stones in today's story.

One of such was Jehu, who perfectly carried out God's intentions. He fulfilled the prophecy regarding the death of Ahab, Jezebel, and their children; he totally annihilated them (2 Kings 9:22-37; 10:1-11), destroyed the worshippers of Baal (2 Kings 10:18-27) and “destroyed Baal out of Israel" (2 Kings 10:28), but himself was not acceptable to God.

See what was recorded concerning him, “Howbeit from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, to wit, the golden calves that were in Beth-el, and that were in Dan. And the Lord said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel. But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin" (2 Kings 10:29-31 KJV).

I believe you don't want to end like Jehu, I, therefore, admonish you to examine yourself to see if you are truly acceptable to God.

Prayer: Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24 KJV). Amen!
—Dr. Emmanuel James

Bible in 1 Year: II Chronicles 16-20 (In Today's Audio)

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Friday, November 12, 2021

The Attitude of Acceptable Service

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Psalms 100:2 (KJV) Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Clement was a committed worker in his local church assembly, but he was so sickly that it now bothered his pastor. One of those days when his pastor visited him in the hospital, he cried out: "...but Lord, Clement serves you Faithfully. I can attest to that. Why is he always afflicted?" He thus went on to confess Exodus 23:25 over Clement and prayed for him.

Clement's pastor made that plea before the Lord because he also knew that there was no presumptuous sin in Clement's life, but Clement seemed to be one of the most faithful but most afflicted workers in the church.

As if in response to his pastor's prayer, the Lord caused Clement to read Psalm 100, and from the first verses, he immediately realized where the problem was. Whereas he was serving the Lord, he never served with the right attitude of mind. He was committed to service because he wanted to pay his kingdom due and was not serving with gladness but as a chore. As he made the appropriate changes, he started enjoying divine health.

Sadly, many disciples like Clement have missed out on the fulness of the blessing accrued to faithful kingdom service because of the wrong attitude towards service to the Lord. We are to serve the Lord with gladness, not with sadness. Even fasting, according to the new testament order, must be approached with a spirit of gladness, and not sadness(as was the old Testament norm). Read Matthew 6:16-18.

As you face life victoriously, remember that the way you live your life as a witness unto the Lord is service unto God. Let the joy of the Lord fill your heart(Philippians 4:4). Be deliberate and intentional about filling your heart and mind with whatever produces joy and thanksgiving - don't let unhappy thoughts, news, and imaginations dwell in your heart. Diffuse the negative force of sad news with perpetual Thanksgiving. (Philippians 4:8-9).

The devil understands the trick of keeping you heavy so that it can drain your spiritual strength (for the joy of the Lord is your strength). Overcome his whiles. Don't forget that the way to serve God acceptably is with gladness in your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the garment of praise(Isaiah 61:3).

Prayer Confession: I serve the Lord with gladness. My heart is full of joy, and my mouth with laughter. My life is flooded with blessings. In Jesus' Name.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible in 1 Year: Numbers 33-36 (In Today's Audio)

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Thursday, November 11, 2021

What If Serving God Is Difficult?

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Luke 4:13-14 (KJV), “And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about."

As a little boy, I knew I am to serve in one of the fivefold ministries. My parents were godly, they were my role model, they laid the foundation of my walk with God, but they weren't rich. What I knew about myself wasn't hard for me to accept as a child but as I grew older, I wanted my parents to have a good life, so I decided to pend what I've always known since my childhood days and choose what I believed would fetch me money. “After I must have become a Professor, I'll retire and spend the rest of my life serving God," I said to myself. It didn't take too long for me to discover the futility of the decision I had made. I lost both parents. After their demise, this thought jumped at me, “now that they're both gone, will you follow God's plan for you now?" It took me time to forgive myself because I felt my parents had died because of my disobedience to God.


Is following God difficult for you just like it was for me? Or, are you following God already but without tangible(material) proofs and you’re getting discouraged? Let us learn from Jesus' experience together.


He was the son of God who agreed to forsake his glory, was made like a man (Hebrews 2:17), and wasn't even given birth to in a rich man's home (Matthew 13:55). After all this, the Holy Spirit led him into the wilderness where he fasted for 40 days and was tempted by the devil (Luke 4:2). Who would have thought that the son of God would be brought to the point where he'll be tempted by the devil, the same devil he created. Serving God was really tough for Jesus but he didn't quit even when he had to surrender himself to death (Philippians 2:8). Because he didn't quit, he finished God's work and was glorified at the end (Philippians 2:9).

Go into today knowing that if you follow and serve God as our Lord Jesus did, God will be pleased with you and He'll glorify you, but if you turn away from serving Him because of actual or perceived difficulties, you'll miss out on His glory.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I want to serve you faithfully like Jesus did, please help me, In Jesus' name. Amen.
—Dr. Emmanuel James

Bible in 1 Year: Hebrews 8-10

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Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Walking In God's Will 2

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Hebrews 10:23 - 25 (NLT) Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.
 
After Sharon graduated from the university and got a very good job, she became so busy that she no longer had much time for her fellowship with the Lord and with the brethren. She didn't know that this was draining her spiritually until she traveled with her family to the village for Christmas and found that she was now being afflicted in her dreams. Something that used to happen to her when she was a little girl before she accepted the Lordship of Christ Jesus.

When she got back to the city, she determined that she was not going to continue to run after everything else but God. She started waiting on the Lord in prayer and fasting. She started having long prayers with her friends over the phone daily, she now became more serious about finding a church that upholds the truth of God's Word because the church she was attending in the city was just a 'feel-good' church with very little spiritual substance of life. Most of her colleagues who were workers in that church were fornicators and she knew this.

Many believers backside when they change environment because they are not diligent to maintain their spiritual disciplines that may now not fit into their new environment. Believers who would continue to grow are those who value their Christian fellowship and fight to maintain it.
Today, we are in an age of information technology--let's take advantage of it. Because of conference calls, it is easy to maintain fellowship and prayer meetings with your brethren (of the same spirit) even if you are now far away from each other.

Go into today remembering that your company matters a lot. That's why God has commanded us not to neglect the fellowship of our brethren. Much life and power is generated when believers who love the Lord and each other gather together under His authority.

Prayer: Father Lord, please help me not to neglect the fellowship of my brethren. Strengthen me with might in the inner man by your spirit, in Jesus' name. Amen.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible in 1 Year: Acts 3-4

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Tuesday, November 9, 2021

What Is Good?

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Matthew 20:15 (KJV), “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?

A young man met Jesus and asked, “Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" (Matthew 19:16). After a brief chat with him, Jesus' final response was, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me" (Matthew 19:21). When he heard this, he went away sorrowful because he had great possession. This young man couldn't do the good thing required for him to have eternal life simply because he couldn't follow Jesus.

What is good? Jesus in Matthew 19:17 said, “there is none good but one, that is, God". So, the short answer to the question will be, God [and all that is born of Him] is good.

We live in a world where bad people do “good things", Many great philanthropists are occultic. Several owners of companies and industries are devilish, yet, they are the greatest employers of labor. Many persons with loud influence don't even know God, but their names are household names, our children have these people as mentors and many even wish to be like them. What is good?

Our world now has its own definition of good as whatever is comfortable, soothing, and enriching. If it responds to your need, you call it good, but is this really true?

According to Jesus, “only God is good", thus whatever is from God is good and whatever is not from God is not good. If your definition of good is contrary to this, you are wrong and you have to meet with Jesus Christ.

Go into today knowing that, a man, thing, or an action is good only when it is sourced in God and whatever is not from God is evil and devilish. To know good begins with following Jesus.

Prayer: Father, please help me to see life the way you see it, in Jesus' name. Amen!
—Dr. Emmanuel James

Bible in 1 Year: Jonah

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Monday, November 8, 2021

God Breathed Scriptures

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Ephesians 2:20 (KJV) And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.

I recently saw a post on social media where a young man was claiming that he had more revelations and Rhema than the apostles did because Jesus said we would do greater works. He went on to rebuke and criticize those he deemed as ‘myopic’ and ‘religious’ brethren who think they cannot have more revelation than what the apostles wrote in the Bible.

People who believe what he believes are those who say things like ‘Paul wrote that because he had not yet received sufficient revelation into the mystery of the gospel’. They are those who teach the ‘deep things of Satan’(see Rev 2:24) and call them the deeper things of the gospel. They forget that All scripture is God-breathed (see 2 Tim 3:16).

Every piece of writing that made it to the Bible (scriptures) made it as a result of God’s divine orchestration.

The Apostles and prophets referred to in today’s Bible text are the ones who wrote the Bible under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Under the inspiration of God, the Old Testament was written by The Prophets, and the New Testament was written by The Apostles. The Church is built on this foundation. Everything they wrote has Jesus as the chief cornerstone.

If tomorrow, we find Apostle Paul’s personal journal and jottings or we discover other letters Apostle Peter wrote to the churches, neither the discovered jottings nor letters would become part of scripture, and would not be treated as such. Many other letters were written by the apostles, but the ones the Holy Spirit allowed to make it into the Bible is now our scripture.

Go into today remembering that the Bible is God's gift to you. It was carefully orchestrated and arranged by the Holy Spirit over many centuries. Any revelation that is 'deeper' than what the scripture reveals is nothing by a false doctrine of men and demons.
Prayer: Ask the Lord to keep you from the spirit of error.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible in 1 Year: Proverbs 28

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Sunday, November 7, 2021

Growing In the Knowledge of God

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Colossians 1:9-10 (NET) For this reason we also, from the day we heard about you, have not ceased praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may live worthily of the Lord and please him in all respects - bearing fruit in every good deed, growing in the knowledge of God

Mitch observed that whenever his roommate slept in the room, he did not have the terrible nightmares and demonic attacks that had now become part of his adult life. Even though he was now a believer, he knew that his roommate walked in greater spiritual authority. He found out that this was because his roommate had a more robust relationship with the Lord. As Mitch started giving himself more to spiritual disciplines that would make him grow, he realized that he too was no longer a slave to fear.

The last part of today's Bible text makes it clear that it is possible for a believer to grow in the knowledge of God. This growth is the secret of manifesting great spiritual power. This is the secret of multiplied grace that makes us manifest the divine life in this present world (2 Pet 1:2-3).

We also see that it is possible for us to be fruitful in every good work. God wants you to be fruitful in every good area of your life. Living worthily of the Lord is the most important fruitfulness that makes it possible for you to have a robust relationship with God and grow in His grace and mighty power. Remember that the fruit of the Spirit affects the way you live.

Being fruitful in every area is only possible when you are filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

Go into today remembering that the knowledge of God’s will is received when you pay attention to His word.

Prayer: Ask the Lord to help you apply your heart to His word.
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—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Plan: Psalms 117-118 (In Devotional Audio)

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Saturday, November 6, 2021

Service To The Belly

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Romans 16:17-18 (KJV) “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple."

Rick's parents were poor, his mother had died when he was only 10years old of a simple disease that over-the-counter medication would have handled. The only family that had a good life in his community was the Pastor of the only Pentecostal church, seeing this he decided as a 10year old boy to do whatever it takes to become a Pastor of a pentecostal church. True to his decision, he chose to serve under this Pastor and he soon became very familiar with the practical steps that make a Pentecostal Pastor. He served diligently, fasted and prayed a lot, and spent almost all he had on sowing seed; he got gifts for every single minister of God he met. These ministers kept praying for him and he soon began to see a level of God's power manifest in his life. For a season he seemed genuine and committed to doing the work of God, but as he grew in influence and wealth, the original intent of his heart was made manifest, because he used every style and means possible to make members of his church give their resources to him; such means as teaching, payment of consultation fee, selling of anointing oil and mantles, etcetera.

According to Philippines 3:19, there are persons whose god is their belly, they mind earthly things. They come close to God pursuing their own ambition; they do all they know to get God's power which once gotten is used to merchandise God's people.

Balaam was a typical example; he placed price tags on the power of God and sold it to the highest bidder (See Numbers 22). These people like Balaam are perverse with corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness. God warns that you withdraw from such (1 Timothy 6:5) and also declared that their end is destruction.

Why are you pressing into God? Is it for your belly? Are you selling God's power and gifts? Are you exploiting the people to enrich yourself? If your conscience condemns you, you have need for repentance so you don't end in destruction.

Go into today knowing that if you serve God for the wrong purpose, he will not accept your service.

Prayer: Father, help me to serve you acceptably in Jesus' name. Amen!
—Dr. Emmanuel James

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Yearly Plan: II Chronicles 11-15 (In Today's Audio)

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Friday, November 5, 2021

Maturity and the blessing


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Ephesians 4:14 (NET) So we are no longer to be children, tossed back and forth by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching by the trickery of people who craftily carry out their deceitful schemes.

Sandra had a challenge that really troubled her. She was a believer and had certain spiritual gifts, but this challenge proved stubborn. After praying and fasting for months over the issue, she decided to meet her discipler concerning it. He got a prophetic insight into the problem and prayed for her from that standpoint, and the problem was solved. Sandra’s discipler could pray once and solve a problem she had battled for months because through spiritual maturity, he walked in more spiritual might and authority than her.

Sandra knew it was time for her to become spiritually mature and stable.

One attribute of spiritually mature believers is the willingness to give. Babies don’t give anything or contribute anything to the family, but only know how to take. But when babies grow to become responsible adults, they begin to give to their parents and not just take.

There are believers who give to the work of God, but only because they believe that is a way to get more out of God. This is the same ‘take" mentality of spiritual babes.

The spiritually mature gives because of love. They give because they know they are blessed [with all blessings in heavenly places], not primarily because they want to be blessed. Spiritually mature believers are stable and are not blown about by every wind of doctrine. They don’t give impulsively because someone promised a breakthrough in return. They give purposedly and cheerfully (2 Cor 9:7) because they see a need and desire to meet it, honor God by giving to His ministers and ministries; and honor God by giving to their parents (both physical and spiritual).

Go into today knowing that your spiritual maturity is determined by your actions. Renounce every way and conduct of spiritual infancy, and you will begin to see the fruits of maturity in your life. The fruits of maturity include spiritual stability, walking in spiritual might and authority, etc. 

Prayer: Lord, help me renounce childish ways and grow into the fullness of your will. Amen.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

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Yearly Plan: Numbers 29-32 (In Today's Audio)

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The Virus of False Doctrines

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