Thursday, January 21, 2021

His Ways

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Psalms 25:9 (NET) The meek will he guide in judgment and the meek will he teach his way

Tosin was seething with anger as the message was going on. “How dare she make him the subject of her sermon? Just because she is a leader in fellowship doesn’t give her the right to embarrass him” He was going to give it to her once the service was over. However, even as angry as he was, he had a restrain in his spirit to not vent his anger on Sister Debby as planned, a part of him didn’t want to go with that nudge, but he knew that that was the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Just as the world has its customs and ways of doing things, there are also ways of perceiving life and doing things in God’s Kingdom and they are opposed to each other. Unless one begins to learn and act in the ways of God, he will act and live just like a wicked and unrighteous man (See Isaiah 55:7-9). One task a believer must preoccupy himself with is to know the Lord; to know His person and His ways. This requires great humility because this demands that the person acknowledges that all he knows amounts to nothing so he can begin to learn what is truly something.

It is this meekness that is highlighted in James 1 verse 21 “Wherefore laying aside all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls”. As one receives the word with meekness, his mind gets renewed and he gets transformed. This transformation is what produces maturity in believers that the beauty and nature of Jesus become easily displayed and manifested through one’s life.

It is a sad sight to see men and women who profess to be believers live as though they had never met the Lord. When you see believers who have no qualms living in immorality, swindling their friends and customers, who hold and carry grudges refusing to forgive, who strife and seek to have their way at all times. This is not God’s design. God’s design is that every believer becomes like Christ (See Romans 8:29). This is only achieved through committed and conscious learning and discipleship.

Go into today determined to know the Lord through submitting in meekness to learning and discipleship.
—Ikechukwu Mpama

Bible In One Year: Nehemiah 10-13 (In Devotional Audio)
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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Knowing The Lord 8

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Philippians 3:10 (KJV) That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death

Before Sandra and Uche met, she had given priority to knowing the Lord. Because of this, she was strong and now had a robust relationship with the Lord. Unknown to Sandra, there were some demonic powers that had vowed that she would never get married because her grandmother was a priestess but her family refused to continue in the traditions and rituals of their household gods. Sandra being the first daughter of her grandmother's first son was the one the evil spirits decided to afflict by keeping her unmarried. But Sandra was now born again and was now growing in the knowledge of the Lord. Uche, her fiance, was also a man that knew the Lord.

As her wedding date drew nearer, darkness began to rear its ugly head. It started with bad dreams that Sandra's fiance kept having concerning her. He would sometimes dream that she turned into a snake or a lizard. He almost broke the relationship but since he was a man that knew the Lord, he knew the Lord didn't want him to end the relationship. He knew the Lord wanted him to stand with her and win that battle.

When he discussed these troubling dreams with Sandra, she revealed to him that she too had been having similar dreams about him. The last she had was one in which he turned into a dog and bit her.

If Sandra did not know the Lord and the power of His resurrection, those demons would have succeeded in preventing her from getting married this time like they had done before, but the Lord gave her victory, and what the enemy meant for evil brought her and her fiance even closer. 

Go into today remembering that growing in the knowledge of the Lord is not a luxury but a necessity for life and destiny. 

Prayer: Lord, in this year, help me know you more than ever before. Help me walk in your mighty power more than ever before. Amen.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible In One Year: Deuteronomy 26-28 (In Devotional Audio)
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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Sharing His Suffering

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Philippians 3:10 (NET) My aim is to know him, to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings, and to be like him in his death

There is a sense of comradery and brotherhood that soldiers share that is uncommon with other kinds of friendship. Some veterans have admitted to forging deeper bonds with members of their units than even their wives. There is something about experiencing danger and threat of death together with a person, or persons even, which forges strong bonds. It is similar, in a sense, to the bond a mother has with her child because of the pains of childbirth. This is because these kinds of shared experiences opens up a man to his friend/companion in a way that casual experiences do not.

As believers, we have a unique opportunity here on earth to know the Lord in a way even angels cannot. We get to not just serve him, we get to partake in his sufferings and undergo persecution and afflictions, not just for him, but also with him. This is the reason why time and again the Bible admonishes and instructs that persecution for the sake of Christ must be greeted with joy from the believer, not because believers are masochists, but rather because of the blessedness it presents (See Matthew 5;12; Romans 5:3 and James 1:2-3).

The book of Acts accounts that when the apostles were persecuted they left “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name” (Acts 5:41). Suffering, shame, pain, persecution, for Christ’s sake is a badge of honor true believers wear proudly. It affords us the privilege of knowing the Lord more intimately and it makes us that we are able to bear the deep burdens of his heart.

Knowing him in this way and dimension doesn’t leave us the same, it refines us as gold and produces a reward for us. Hear how Apostle Peter puts it, “Such trials show the proven character of your faith, which is much more valuable than gold – gold that is tested by fire” (1 Peter 1:6a NET) while Apostle Paul phrases it this way, “For our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17 NET).

Go into today armed with the knowledge that there is great glory prepared for those who suffer with the Lord here on earth. Deepen your walk with Him by choosing to suffer for Him rather than conforming to this world.
—Ikechukwu Mpama

Bible In One Year: II John (In Devotional Audio)
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Monday, January 18, 2021

Knowing the Lord 7

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Philippians 3:10 (KJV) That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death

Clement: why are you not worried about this situation? 

Uche: Don't worry, I'll talk to the Lord about it.

The next day, things changed and it was clear that God had intervened in the situation because Uche had prayed.

Clement wanted to know why Uche's prayer was answered so soon while he had been praying(and worrying) about the matter for several days but nothing changed.

Clement: I had been praying about this situation for weeks and nothing changed. You just showed up and said you would talk to the Lord and everything changed.

Uche: I was not praying a religious prayer but I was talking to someone I know personally. That's what made the difference.
Every believer has the opportunity to know the Lord personally, it's just many do not try to know Him. 
After we believe in the Lord Jesus, we are brought into the privilege of knowing Him. But whether or not we would truly know Him depends on if we seek to know Him. Jesus is a person whose voice we can know. He is real and living. Just like with everyone you get to know, you have to give time to [seeking] Him. Give time to talking with Him and learning His ways.

When Apostle Paul wrote today's Bible verse, he had already believed for many years, but he desired to know the Lord more. After believing, the first step to knowing the Lord is a desire to know Him (see Phil 3:10). Those who have no such desire do not really get to know the Lord.


Go into today remembering that when you know the Lord, prayers would cease to be a monotonous chore and would become a conversation with your loving Father.

Prayer: Lord, reveal yourself to me. I want to know you more than I know any other person. Amen. 
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible In One Year: Acts 21-22 (In Devotional Audio)
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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Beyond the Fog and the Haze

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Ephesians 3:19 (AMP) [That you may really come] to know [practically through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!

Pa Lekan was beside himself with amusement as he watched his children and grandchildren run around frantically trying to put up a last-minute surprise party for their mother and grandmother, his wife, to celebrate her 70th birthday. Everything seemed set: jollof-rice, well-spiced just like she loves it, smoothies, cake, and peppered gizzard. The sitting room was well decorated with balloons, ribbons, and messages of all shapes and sizes prominent of which read: “Seventy Looks Good On You”. Everything was set except for the special gift that she would cherish greatly.

Tunde suggested they replaced her car with a new one, Shola opined that they get her gold or diamond trinkets of the highest quality. The suggestions just kept rolling in until out of sheer exhaustion, they decided to seek their father’s opinion and he simply informed them that if they could just sacrifice a weekend, along with their kids, and spend it with her, she would cherish that the most beyond any gift they could afford.

There is a knowledge that comes from walking experientially with a person, this knowledge runs deep like deep waters. It is what makes couples who have lived harmoniously for a long time know so much of the other that they can basically finish each other’s sentences, and tell what the other person is thinking and feeling to a great extent. The more people get to know each other the more they can communicate richly non-verbally.

It is important that a man spends his youth walking with the Lord and growing in the knowledge of Him through His word, fellowship of prayers, and practical obedience to the Holy Spirit. The more a man does this the more his being gets flooded with the Presence of God.

Go into today determined to know God more intimately and through fellowship and practical obedience.
—Ikechukwu Mpama

Bible In One Year: Revelation 1-6 (In Devotional Audio)
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Saturday, January 16, 2021

They Were Amazed

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Acts 4:13 (NET) When they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and discovered that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized these men had been with Jesus.

There is a marked difference between boldness and being bold-faced, this is a subject on which the seven sons of Sceva could hold a Masterclass. True boldness is backed by knowledge, a knowledge that is not just an academic inquiry but a tried and trusted knowledge usually obtained through encounters.

It is important that you understand the nature of God’s Kingdom into which you have been called as a believer. Advancement in this Kingdom is not obtained through education and academic learning, social status and pedigree do not add to it at all and neither does affluence nor opulence. In God’s Kingdom, growth and fruitfulness are guaranteed by abiding with and in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is because, as we abide with and in Him, grace is multiplied to us and this produces great boldness and effectiveness in us.

Staying with Jesus is what transforms erstwhile ordinary men into men that cause amazement. Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12) and it is only by abiding in Him and He in us that we become lights too that must shine that men may return glory to God (see Matthew 5:16). The degree to which you can impact the world for Jesus will be directly proportional to the closeness of your walk with Him.

Every believer who maintains a healthy walk with the Lord will always elicit amazement from the world as it will be clear he is operating from a different and higher frequency, indeed, there will be no doubt in the minds of onlookers that that believer is marching to a different drummer. This has the potential of provoking persecution from the world, but persecution/suffering for the sake of Christ is a badge any discerning believer must be willing to wear with joy.

Go into today determined to stay with the Lord, to build and nurture your walk with Him until He lives and manifests Himself through you to the amazement of the world and glory of the Father.
—Ikechukwu Mpama

Bible In One Year: Song of Solomon 1-2 (In Devotional Audio)
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Friday, January 15, 2021

Knowing How God Speaks

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Luke 24:32 (KJV) “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?"
“I've been a Christian for so many years now but I have never heard God speak to me. Am I growing at all? Lord Jesus, I won't leave here unless you speak to me; I want to hear your voice too" This was Paul’s prayer in a personal retreat. To his amazement, he saw nothing; no vision, no angelic visitation, not even a dream throughout the twenty one days of his prayer and fasting. He gave up after twenty one days of dry fast and just concluded that he'll live like every other Christian.

Sometime after this experience, he listened to a sermon and discovered that God has been communicating with him but he was the one who didn't pay attention. He sometimes just knew things without being pre informed. Often, he’d have loss of peace when he is to make certain unfavorable decisions. Sometimes, he would feel certain burning sensations in parts of his body when he is praying, etc.

Paul was like the disciples described in today's text, their hearts burned within them while Jesus spoke with them but they didn't pay attention to it. Many Christians are like this, they neglect God's unique way of communicating with them while expecting him to speak to them in certain popular ways.

In Matthew 9:4, “Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?" He didn't see a vision or dream, no angel visited him, neither was it by a prophet, he simply knew it.

Also, in Mark 5:30 (KJV) it is said concerning Jesus, “And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?”. This also was simply by knowing and not through some spectacular means.

Go into today knowing that if you desire a cordial relationship with God, you must understand how He speaks to you and respond to the same as He expects.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please help me understand how you communicate with me. Amen!
—Dr. Emmanuel James

Bible In 1 Year: Psalms 140-142
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Thursday, January 14, 2021

Knowing The Lord 6

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Daniel 11:32 (KJV) And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.

Sandra was strong because she knew the Lord. This was not a coincidence, it was because of deliberate actions she took to seek the Lord- She made time to pray, study and meditate on the word each day.

Before that year, if someone had told her what Mrs. Charles told her, she would have broken down in tears and entered another season of depression. It happened like that when she turned 32 and her grandma told her she was now an old maiden. It happened again when her aunt asked her when she was getting married because time was no more on her side.

But because she was now strong in the Lord and no longer heavy and depressed but had a cheerful and joyful countenance, the word the Lord gave to her came to fruition just as she heard it. She met Uche Amadi the next week, and he wanted to marry her. He was two years older than her and was already a professor. She didn't waste time to accept his proposal because the Lord had already spoken to her that she was going to enter a relationship and get married soon.

If she had allowed the words of Mrs. Charles to get to her and she entered her usual season of depression and heaviness, she would have missed her husband because her heaviness and sad countenance would have driven him away.

In Ephesians 6:9, we see that in order for us to put on the whole armor of God, we have to first be strong in the Lord. Knowing the Lord through fellowship with  Him is the way we receive His strength.

Go into today remembering that knowing the Lord does not just multiply his grace and peace in your lives, it increases your strength and ability to do His will.

Prayer: Lord, help me know you more each day, and walk in your glorious light. Amen.
Yearly Bible Plan: Nehemiah 5-9

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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Knowing The Ways Of The Lord

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Psalm 25:4 (KJV) “Shew me thy ways, O Lord ; teach me thy paths."

Cleo loved ice cream so much that she would sometime spend her last cash buying it. Her friend wasn't particularly comfortable with her excessive spending on ice creams so she downloaded recipes for making ice creams online, watched some YouTube videos and made her own ice cream for Cleo. “Thank you, but the one from that store has a unique taste that yours doesn't have" Cleo said. “Yes, I noticed it too, I think that store has some secrets that I don't know, I wish they could share them with me” Cloe's friend responded.

Cloe's friend couldn't make ice cream with the taste that Cleo loved because the secret was hidden from her. In the same vain, we will not be able to serve the Lord the way He wants unless His secrets are revealed to us.

According to Psalms 25:14 (NIV), “The LORD confides in those who fear Him; He makes His covenant known to them.” The ways of the Lord are His secrets, they are revealed only to His trusted friends. If you want to know the ways of the Lord, you must show yourself to be trustworthy.

It is good to have known the Lord as your savior, that however isn't all that there is in God, you need to learn how to become friends with God such that He can confide in you. It is only those in whom He can confide that His secrets are revealed.

It is the secrets of the Lord that you know that determines the level of victory you will enjoy. Moses for instance became great because he knew the ways of the Lord, the things that frightened the children of Israel didn't frighten him because of his knowledge of God.

Go into today knowing that you can have more of God by learning His ways and becoming His friend, This begins by determining to obey Him in all things. John 14:15 says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments."

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please give me the grace to obey you in all things so I can know Your ways and walk in your mighty power.
—Dr. Emmanuel James

Yearly Bible Plan: Deuteronomy 23-25
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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Are You A Friend Of God?

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John 15:15 (ESV) “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you."


Fred resigned from his old job and picked up a new one with better pay. He however became friends with the CEO's daughter whom he eventually married. Because of marriage and because his wife was the CEO's only daughter and heir, nothing was kept away from him as a secret. This changed his approach to work, he stopped working for the pay and began to work for the sake of the family.

Many surrendered their lives to Jesus because of problems and others did because they needed to be free from sin, death, and hell. Thankfully, God is interested in meeting our needs and solving our problems. Regarding this, Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

If you are serving God just because you want your needs met, you're no different from a servant. Servants serve for pay, they are loyal as long as their pay keeps coming.

I no longer call you servants but friends, Jesus said in today's text. So, what differentiates a servant from a friend? Friends stick close, sometimes closer than a brother (Prob 18:24). To stick close to a friend is to share intimacy, share their joys, pains, and sorrows.

Are you a friend of God? You are if you share intimacy with Him such that you're bordered by the things that border Him and enjoy the things He enjoys. But, if the opposite is true for you, you are not His friend yet, hence, taking time to pray “Lord, show me your ways (secrets)” will be a waste of time because you haven't shown yourself friendly to him yet.

Do you want to become God's friend? Fear and obey Him (Isaiah 66:2).

Go into knowing that, the friendship of the LORD is for those who fear Him, and He makes known to them His covenant (Psalms 25:14 ESV).

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please help me to care about what you care about; help me become Your friend.
—Dr. Emmanuel James

Yearly Bible Plan: I John 4-5
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His Ways

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