Saturday, October 24, 2020

How Do We Treat Each Other

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 1 Corinthians 8:12 (NET) If you sin against your brothers or sisters in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.

Liza observed that she was going through a season of spiritual dryness. She couldn't understand why this was happening because as far as she knew, she did everything right. She kept to her Bible study and prayer schedule, was faithful in her donations to the church, etc. But she observed that her prayer time was becoming dry and unexciting. It was as if the Holy Spirit didn't show up anymore to empower her to pray.

After struggling like this for days, she became particularly concerned. 'Lord, what is wrong, why am I not experiencing your fellowship like before?'

As soon as she prayed this prayer, she felt the presence of the Lord again. She immediately knew that something was wrong. Moments later, she received a text message from one of her Christian sisters. This message detailed how hurt and offended she was by the way Liza treated her.

Liza immediately understood that the problem was that she had sinned against the Lord in the way she treated this sister. She immediately repented.

Jesus is really concerned about the way we treat each other as Christians. Every Christian you relate with is not just your sister or brother but is also a child of God whose heavenly father jealously cares for. It is particularly bad when more mature believers do things that become a stumbling block for weaker believers (see Mark 9:42).

Many believers have blocked the heavens above them because of the way they have treated their Christian brethren.

Go into today remembering that God watches the way we treat each other as a measure of our faithlessness and love. If you truly love God, it would show in the way you treat His people. See Matthew 25:35-40 and 1 John 4:20

—Pst Abraham Damilola Arigi

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

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Friday, October 23, 2020

To Live is Christ

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Philippians 1:21-23 (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

Chloe observed that unlike her, Mary her elder sister was no more afraid of untimely death. They were flying together in a plane when there was severe turbulence and at some point, it appeared that the pilot had lost control of the plane. Chloe started thinking about all the people that had died in previous plane crashes. She started to panic, but she observed that Mary was calm and undisturbed. A few minutes into the turbulence, Mary tapped Chloe and said "don't worry, I can't die now. We'd land safely". True to Mary's word, they landed safely despite the damaged landing gear of the plane. 

"How were you so sure that we wouldn't crash? How could you have been so calm?" Chloe frantically asked Mary after they landed. "God has shown me my future and the things I would do for Him in this life. I just know I can't die before I complete those things" Mary answered.

From when Mary was a teenager, she had known the Lord and was committed to pleasing Him in all things. Everything about her life was now towards advancing the gospel and pleasing the Lord. As she grew in the knowledge of God, she grew in His authority, and she was no longer afraid of death. Chloe was convinced that the reason their pane did not crash that day was because Mary was in it.

If you read today's Bible verses carefully, you will see that Apostle Paul had the authority and the choice to determine when he would die. Death for him was not something that could happen accidentally, it was something that could only happen when he was ready to go. This kind of spiritual authority is reserved for those who, like Paul, can truly say "for me to live is Christ". Everything about Apostle Paul's existence was for the fulfillment of the purpose and will of Christ. That was the secret of his authority. That is the secret to living a fulfilled life that cannot be cut short by an untimely death. 

Go into today remembering that only the life lived for Christ truly counts in eternity. A life that counts in eternity commands the power of eternity even in time. 

Prayer Confession: I live a life that pleases God in all respects. I have the authority of Christ and my life cannot be cut short. I will fulfill my earthly purpose and receive a hero's welcome in heaven, In Jesus’ name. Amen.

—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Plan: Psalms 108-110 (In Devotional Audio)

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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Fight the Fight of Faith

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 1 Timothy 6:12 (KJV) Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

 

Amaka had a very lucrative job and was very excellent at her work. Because of this, she became a favorite of her boss. But there was one day he gave her a new assignment, and this assignment would involve her constantly telling lies and violating her conscience. She thought about it and decided to politely ask him to give the role to somebody else. He asked her why she was turning down such an opportunity to be promoted faster than her colleagues. She simply responded: 'sir, doing this work would be against my faith'. He reminded her that he too was a Christian and even a deacon. When it was quite clear that Amaka wasn’t willing to take the 'opportunity' he was presenting her, he gave it to somebody else.

Amaka turned down the offer because she knew taking it would be violating her faith. I find it instructive to note that she didn’t say she couldn’t do the job because of her religion, she said she couldn’t do it because it was against her faith.

There are certain things that when a believer begins to do, he is doing it at the peril of his own faith. Telling lies for example, is a faith weakener. People who live by faith do not make a habit of telling lies because they believe God will come through for them and they don’t have to tell a lie.

If a believer continually walks in a way that violates his faith, he is rendering himself spiritually weak and ineffective.

Go into today remembering that as believers, we should fight the good fight of faith. This involves identifying the things that weaken our faith and running away from them.

-Abraham Damilola Arigi

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Yearly Plan: I Chronicles 25-29 (In Devotional Audio)

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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Are You Faithful?

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1 Corinthians 4:5 (NLT) “So be careful not to jump to conclusions before the Lord returns as to whether or not someone is faithful. When the Lord comes, He will bring our deepest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. And then God will give to everyone whatever praise is due.”

Faithfulness is one of God’s chief characteristics. It refers primarily to His reliability in keeping His promises. Faithfulness also stands as the hallmark of the life of the Christian, as we imitate the faithfulness of Christ. God wants us to be people who are dependable and capable of being trusted. God is faithful and rewards faithfulness.

But, you see, faithfulness is becoming a rare commodity in our generation. Many pulpits are manned by men who are unfaithful to their wives; many civil servants are unfaithful to their employer-the government; many politicians are unfaithful to the people who voted them to power. If you are not faithful to your wife, husband, employer, employee, neighbor, or even the government, you can’t be faithful to your God.

From today’s passage, we see that faithfulness is contingent on what we do when nobody is around. This is what God looks at in rewarding faithfulness. My question for you today is: do you have deep secrets which when brought to light would make you bow your head in shame? Or do you have private motives which if revealed would make people run away from you? If you do, then you are not a faithful person in the eye of God. Deal with those secret sins or they will deal with you later on. Remember that the Lord Jesus will return one day to reward those who will remain faithful to the end.

Prayer: Pray that the Lord will help you to remain faithful to Him and to everyone around you.
-Otuokon, Ubokudom

Yearly Plan: Numbers 17-20
Yearly Plan: Titus (In Devotional Audio)
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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Entering Your Rest 2

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Acts 2:42 (NLT) All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord's Supper), and to prayer.

When Gbenga first believed, he was in the community of sincere and loving believers. Because they were all graduate students on a university campus, they met every night and would have their dinner together at the end of their meetings. They did bible study, prayed, and were taught the word of God during most of their meetings. They all tried to contribute their best to meet the needs of members of the fellowship in need. The power of God was mighty in their midst to heal and deliver, and many joined them. Members of that group were so close that some thought they were a very tight-knit frat group or secret society.

This was the foundation that Gbenga had and grew greatly. Before he believed, he was a drug addict with many issues. After he believed and was totally devoted to fellowship, the word of God, and prayer, he was free of all his addictions and sins. He no more lived a life characterized by his formal temptations. He understood the grace of the Lord practically.

There is so much talk about grace today. Believers need to experience the practical aspect of grace that empowers them to live above sin. Grace teaches us how to walk in a way that would make it difficult for us to fall again (see Titus 2:11).

Go into today remembering that devoting yourself to the Word, prayer, and Christian fellowship, is the way to labor to enter your rest; a place where you have ceased from your own struggle to live holy because your life is now empowered by God's grace.

Prayer: Lord, please help me to experience your grace in every area of life. Amen.

—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Plan: Titus (In Devotional Audio)
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Monday, October 19, 2020

Entering Your Rest

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 Hebrews 4:10-11 (KJV) For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us LABOUR therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.


After Gbenga became born again, he was taught about sanctification. He was told that when he experienced sanctification, he would no longer struggle to be Holy.

He would spend hours reading the word of God and praying because he wanted to be sanctified.

In the seventies and eighties, this was a practice among the charismatic community in Nigeria, and they had very remarkable fruits.

The way a new believer receives sanctification and enters his rest is through serious devotion to the word of God, prayer, and fellowship (John 17:17, Acts 2:42). Anyone who recently believes, but does not give himself to these will struggle to enter into his rest. He will still do his own works in order to walk righteously, and he is bound to fail.

When a believer enters the rest of God, he ceases from his own work. This means his life is no longer sponsored by his own effort, but now by the grace of God. He no longer struggles with sins because he is now dead to sin. Even if he is tempted, it is clear to him that there is a way of escape.

Go into today remembering that God wants us to enter into our rest. He wants us to cast all our cares upon Him and receive His kingdom like little children.

Prayer: Ask the Lord to help you be more devoted to the word, prayers, and Christian fellowship.

—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Plan: John 13-15 (In Devotional Audio)

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Sunday, October 18, 2020

National Transformation

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1 Corinthians 7:19 (NKJV)
Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.

From when he was a child, Abu was told that his nation was under a curse, and because of that, they could never progress above their neighbors. He was also told that men from his nation behaved the way they did because of this curse. But he knew that in Christ, there was no curse but only blessings. For this reason, he was committed to preaching the gospel to the people of his nation because he wanted them to be free from curses and walk in the blessing.

We know from scripture that the Jews, being physically the defendants of Abraham, had a heritage of the blessing. But we also know that this blessing was activated only when they walked in obedience to God's commandments.

Today, those who are in Christ are the spiritual descendants of Abraham (Galatians 3:29). Jesus is the seed God referred to when He Promised Abraham that in his Seed [not seeds], all the nations of the earth will be blessed (see Galatians 3:16, Genesis 22:18). This means that even if your nation is under the limitations of curses, if the people of that nation accept Christ (Abraham’s seed) and abide in Him, they would be blessed above every curse.

Just like with ancient Israel, the blessing of God is activated in the life of the believer through obedience to the commands of the Lord. For example, God commands children to honor their parents. When blessed people obey this commandment, the blessing of long life; prosperity and seeing good days would be activated (see Ephesians 6:1-3).

Go into today remembering that Jesus commanded us to make disciples of nations (Matthew 28:19). This is because, through Christ, God wants to bless nations and set them free from the dominion of curses.

Confession: I am blessed above all curses because I am in Christ. Amen.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible in 1 Year: Joel (in today's audio)
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Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Knowledge of God

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2 Peter 1:3 (NET) I can pray this because his divine power has bestowed on us everything necessary for life and godliness through the rich knowledge of the one who called us by his own glory and excellence.


Gbenga was 13 years old when he accepted the Lord Jesus, but after years of accepting the Lord Jesus, Gbenga was still suffering from different demonic oppressions. By the time he was 23, he shared his experience with a friend who was a leader in their campus fellowship. This friend simply laughed and asked him if he had been baptized in the Holy Ghost. "You are being afflicted because even though you have believed, you have not yet been filled with the Holy Spirit" his friend said. That was the day Gbenga got baptized in the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. From that day, he felt a hundred times stronger in his spirit and closer to the Lord. He now had the ability to exercise authority over demons.

The first sign the Lord says will follow those who believe in Him is that they would cast out demons in His name. But this promise is actually for those who believe and are baptized (see Mark 16:16-18).


From today’s Bible verse, we see that the way we can access the rich provisions of God is through the rich knowledge of God. The more you know the Lord, the more His power can be made manifest in your life. Just like with every other relationship, when you give quality time to spending with the Lord each day, you will get to know Him more and see more of His glorious power. Being filled with the Spirit affords us the privilege of the sweet fellowship with God through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Praying in the Spirit is a great spiritual asset every new testament saint has.

If we truly desire to know the Lord more, let’s be determined to give more quality time to spend with Him each day.

Go into today with a strong desire to know the Lord even more(see Phillipians 3:10). It is the people that know their God that shall be strong and do exploits (see Daniel 11:32).


Prayer: Heavenly Father, please help me overcome distractions that prevent me from knowing you as much as I should, In Jesus’ name. Amen.
—Pst. Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible in 1 Year: Psalms 105-107 (In Today's Audio)
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Friday, October 16, 2020

Don't Deceive Yourself

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Ephesians 5:5 (NET) For you can be confident of this one thing: that no person who is immoral, impure, or greedy (such a person is an idolater) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

Ikenna now understood that he was deceiving himself and had believed the doctrine of demons when he found that he no longer could walk in the authority of Christ to cast out demons. All he now had were empty confessions and social media likes for his soothing doctrines to the flesh. Before he started believing certain doctrines his teachers called grace teachings, he lived under the authority of Christ and had this authority of Christ, but as he received doctrines that made him indulge his fleshly desires and deceive himself that he is secure, he became empty of spiritual authority without knowing it. A visit to his village was what opened his eye to this reality. Household demons he had overcome years ago were now tormenting him all over again, and he couldn’t exercise authority over them like before. He went back to the city with an infirmity.

There's been this idea floating around today that says as long as a person believes in the Lord Jesus, even if he continues to be an immoral person or to participate in any known sin, he would still inherit the kingdom of God because of his faith. Those who believe these doctrines use punchlines like "we are saved by faith alone, not by what we do but by what we believe". They intentionally forget that scripture makes it clear that any faith that fails to produce corresponding works is dead faith(James 2:26). Believers who hear the word of God but do not live according to it are said to be deceiving themselves(see James 1:22). They are deceiving themselves because they sincerely believe that they are eternally safe even though they are not.

It is possible for a true believer to be overpowered by temptation and trip because of a sin that easily entangles, but no true believer takes his place in that sin but would be relentless in fighting for freedom like a drowning person. Any believer that says sin does not matter is only proving that he has not truly believed, or has had a shipwreck of faith, and is suffering from serious self-deceit. Those who have truly believed receive the seed of God in their spirits and this seed repels and hates sin so much that if they find themselves overpowered by it, they would feel miserable inside(see 1 John 3:9).

Today's Bible verse is very clear, it says no person who is immoral, impure, or greedy has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ. It does not say “no unbeliever”, it says no person. This includes “believers” and unbelievers.

Go into today remembering that you are not alone in this world. The Lord is with you to empower you to live a godly fruitful life(2 Peter 1:3). Remember to begin each day in His presence asking for strength to overcome temptations and power to represent Him well.

Prayer: Ask the Lord for grace to never be found a participant in any fruitless work of darkness, but rather to reprove them (see Ephesians 5:11)
—Pst. Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible in 1 Year: I Chronicles 20-24
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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Bless And Do Not Curse

 
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Romans 12:14 (AMP) Bless those who persecute you [who are cruel in their attitude toward you]; bless and do not curse them.



Pastor Joe, you're too slack! That man obviously assaulted you and all you did was sit back and look? Being a Christian does not make one is a fool, your own however seems to have turned you into one. Thank God he did not try it with me, I would have shown him that I'm not an ordinary man of God; I'm anointed, and must be treated as such.

I want to be like Jesus by all means, replied Pastor Joe. Do you think Jesus would have retaliated? Certainly not! “When he was reviled, he reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not, but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously" (1 Peter 2:23 KJV). But Joe, that man insulted you; he even spat on your face, just because you attempted to preach to him.

The command from today's text is, “bless and do not curse".

It is your everyday actions and behavior that show whether Jesus Christ is Lord over you or not; if He has become your Lord, obeying Him becomes your foremost priority.

There will be people around you who will seek to take undue advantage of you, some will because they know that you are a child of God. It is your response to such persons and attitudes that will show your true identity in God.

In 1 Peter 3:9 (AMP), we were told to never repay evil for evil or insult for insult (scolding, tongue-lashing, berating), but on the contrary, we should bless (pray for their welfare, happiness, and protection, and truly pity and love them). For know that to this you have been called, that you may yourselves inherit a blessing [from God–that you may obtain a blessing as heirs, bringing welfare and happiness and protection].

Go into today knowing that imitating the life of Jesus is the easiest way to show that Jesus is Lord over you. It is only a life that shows submission to Him that can consistently manifest His authority (James 4:7).

Prayer: commit yourself in absolute submission to the lordship of Jesus.
—Dr. Emmanuel James

Bible in 1 Year: Numbers 13-16
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How Do We Treat Each Other

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