Friday, 29 July 2011

TRUST AND OBEY

Genesis 6:8
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord”


At the time of Noah God was displeased with man and he wanted to wipe out the entire human race, they did not have favour (grace) in his eyes. They were engaging in all sorts of immorality which greatly displeased God. However Noah found favour with God despite the disobedience of those around him – he was not influenced by his environment. Favour sets you apart – when everyone around you is being ‘wiped away by a flood’ – you will remain standing to claim the promises of God. Why did Noah have favour with God? Whatever pleases God will lead to favour? So what pleases God? OBEDIENCE. God is pleased when we are obedient to his commandments. Noah showed obedience to God in the following ways:

1) Noah honoured God – by faith he built an ark in preparation for a flood! This was a crazy thing to do at the time because Noah had never seen rain before – it had never rained at this time. It is like God telling you to dig a massive hole in the middle of Hyde Park because in a couple of months money will fall from the sky so the hole will be needed so that the money could be collected! How crazy! This is how ludicrous God’s instruction to Noah would have been. Noah was warned about something that he couldn’t see – however he applied his faith to the situation. The Amplified Bible definition of faith sums up Noah’s situation in it that  “…faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses] (Heb 11:1). Noah believed in God’s declaration that it would rain – he took God’s word as confirmation, as God had said it he believed that it would surely come to pass – he did not doubt God. He believed that it would rain even though he had never heard or seen it before – it had never been revealed to his senses. All Noah had to stand on was God’s word. It was Noah’s believe that God is a covenant – keeping God (Genesis 6:18).

This produced the faith that he needed in this situation. He had hope in something he had not yet seen and this enabled him to honour God. In life when God gives us an instruction we can become too wise and rationalise his instructions. You and I must understand that God’s instructions will not always make sense to our natural mind as his ways are higher than our ways. We need to learn to trust in the Lord and not to rely on our own understanding (Proverbs 3: 5). Reasoning with God leads to confusion. We will never totally understand why God instructs us to do certain things but all we can do is to ‘trust and obey’  and rest assured that “all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

2) Noah was obedient:  Noah acted according to what God commanded. God requires prompt obedience – “obedience is impatient”!  When we are given instructions – we usually wait to understand why God has instructed this and whether it makes sense – we cannot afford to wait to understand! We must act promptly. This promptness was clearly demonstrated by Abraham when he was instructed to sacrifice his only dear son Isaac. When we wait to understand, this gives the enemy a foothold in our minds. It provides an open door for him to sow doubt, fear and confusion in our mind.  In the gospel of Matthew in chapter 16 verse 8; Jesus warned the disciples of having little faith because they were trying to reason among themselves – however Jesus reminded them of the feeding of the five thousand – we must not wait and allow the devil to affect our faith. When we reason our faith weakens! Don’t wait to understand, just act! With God there are many commandments we will not understand until we first obey them. Obedience is one of the most difficult things to do! It is not natural for the carnal mind as it does not make sense. However as we walk in obedience God will begin to reveal his plans for our life’s!

3) Blessings: God will always bless you when you are obedient and faithful. There is no one in the bible that was not blessed for their obedience. Noah as a result of his obedience was told to ‘Be fruitful and increase‘(Genesis 9:1) and Abraham become the father of all nations and was prosperous as a result of his obedience to God. Abraham’s obedience has resulted in ‘generational blessings’ for the Jews. One act of obedience has impacted on the nation of Israel even today! The reward will always be greater than your obedience and God will always remember your obedience. ‘God remembered Noah” (Genesis 8:1). 

4) Partial obedience:  At many times we try to obey God ‘partially’ and then we will still expect to receive full blessings. “I’ll attend church but I won’t tithe, “I’ll read my bible but I won’t forgive my friends’. Partial obedience is the same as disobedience. The bible says a person is “justified by what he does not by faith alone” (James 2:24). What is the point of having great faith but not acting on the instructions that God has given to you?  Faith and works go hand in hand! If we obey partially should we expect partial blessings?!  Obeying partially is like asking God for a car and then he answers your prayers by giving you a car with no wheels! Partial obedience stops you from receiving the ‘full package of God’s blessings’. ‘Faith without works is dead’! God will test our faithfulness with instructions – to show our faith and trust in him. We need to act on these instructions – if we refuse to, our faith is just as good as dead - void! “Noah did; according to ALL that God commanded him” (Genesis 6:22, 7:5). Noah followed ALL not just some of the God’s instructions.

So why is obedience important? Jesus said that if you love me, you will obey my commandments. So by obeying the word and the instructions God gives to us we can show our love and trust in him. Listen to God – he will always give instructions before he blesses you. Follow the instruction and position yourself to receive your blessings. Do not wait to understand! As the songwriter  puts it “Trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey."

Further readings: Genesis 6-9; Genesis 22; Proverbs 3: 5-7

2011 Rianne Sintim. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD

2 Corinthians 5:21(Amplified)
For our sake He made Christ virtually to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness.



God requires our fellowship, everything in the Bible indicates this. When God created Adam and Eve He created them with the idea that this beautiful creation would fellowship with Him. So can you imagine how distraught God must have been when Adam and Eve sinned. This was not the intention of God but before I go on I must at this point, point out that God had given them free will. When God went to fellowship with them they ran to cover their naked selves. God being so good recognised they had sinned and sacrificed an animal (first blood shed in the Bible) to cover their sinful behaviour. This blood shed could only last for a limited period, God could no longer fellowship with them as they were no longer righteous but God did not leave it at that. God continuously looked out for the human race but the enemy had already began to infiltrate. When humans sinned, in the Old Testament, they would offer animals as a sacrifice the blood shed of an animal was not enough. Sins could only be covered with this blood and the fellowship could not take place.

God had a plan. God being so good and longing for the original plan to be fulfilled became human for you and I! God sent His Only Son. The word "Only" shows that God knew this plan would work, there was no Plan B. The Son of God was free of sin and dwelled on the earth. His actions showed that God was ready for man to fellowship with Him once again. However this was not enough. His blood had to be shed, therefore took my sin, your sin and the sin of the world and stretched His arms and died on the cross. He shed His innocent blood, the only blood that could bring fellowship between man and God. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. (Hebrews 9:12 NKJV)

Jesus clothes were shared amongst the soldiers cast away through lot. But you know what, Jesus no longer needed to be covered. Adam once covered himself to cover his iniquities but Jesus took away that cover that separated us from God. We became righteous. The great exchange had taken place. This means once again we can fellowship with God. Jesus has set us free. Who the son sets free is free indeed. Do you realise that once you have accepted Jesus as your personal saviour you are righteous and can start your intimate fellowship with God. God sent Jesus for YOU and I. Remember Jesus said no one gets to the Father except through me. The work is done so accept your righteousness and start your fellowship with God. He is waiting for you.

Further reading:

John 10:7-9

2011 By Rose Sintim. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

AN INVITATION TO DINE WITH THE LORD


Psalms 34:8
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

I never understand before what the Psalmist meant by "How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!." I just didn't get it because how can someone's words be sweeter than honey? But the closer I am getting to the Lord the more it makes sense to me. I most times can't help myself when I am reading the word or stuying the word. It's almost like an out of body experience not knowing who I am. You just have to spend sometime with my Pastor (David Antwi) and if your impressions of who God is doesn't change then I don't know what heart you have. I believe even the person with the most dead heart, choked with all the junk of this world will still have their hearts revived back to life.

21 months ago when God finally planted me in the church He Had specially predestined with me in mind even before it came to being; my whole life, service to Him and my priority for His Kingdom completely changed. To tell you the truth, I hardly recognise this new improved creature called Enyonam Gbekle no wonder my friends don't either. I love this new creature because she is more vibrant, always has a smile on her face, is content, have the peace that I never thought was ever possible, her heart is filled with God's love and in turn is able to love, show and share love with all, doesn't get tired or weary of putting herself out for others and most importantly for once submits to authority in all humility. And all this comes with very little effort with the help of the Holy Spirit. What will I do without the grace of God eh?  I still have a long way to go but so far I am enjoying the beautiful ride with all the wonderful sight seeings and attractions. I am still growing everyday and learning new things as I am continually learning to let God be God because after all it's all about Him really and not about me.

When you taste and see that the Lord is good as I have done, you will cherish every moment with Him and will continually want to hang out with Him. He isn't as boring as most people think He is and His commands aren't so burdensome either. He is the most fun and versatile person I have ever known in my entire life yes I am referring to the Almighty God the creator of the whole universe and all things. He is my best friend, got that! Friends, to taste and see that the Lord is good is an invitation to sit at a huge banquet table filled with delicious flavors. Where God always has delicious and mouth watering flavours that replaces every troubling and nasty flavor in our lives. He has given me a garment of praise for my broken spirit and His oil of joy is afresh every morning in my life. What more can a girl ask for.  He has given me beautiful white robs of His forgiveness in exchange for my filthy rags of sin. I have found peace in my then troubled heart and I am now hopeful for the future.

This morning I came to tell you, the Lord has sent out His invitation for you too to come and taste of all these wonderful flavours of joy, forgiveness, peace, hope and love but the choice is for you to accept this invitation to and be willing to sit at His table for a taste of all these goodies He has prepared for you. He is such a gentleman that He will never make any of you or force you to taste of His goodness. That is entirely in your control and you have the choice to make it happen. I want to encourage you this morning to choose wisely for He cares for you more than you can ever imagine.

Food for thought:
Try it, I know you will love it. Just take the first step of obedience in following God and you will not be disappointed but you will come to the knowledge of how good, kind and merciful He really is. As you learn to trust Him daily, you will experience His goodness and His forever faithfulness.

Verses for meditation:
Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.--Psalm 40:4

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!--Psalm 119:103

When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty.--Jeremiah 15:16

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

SECOND CHANCES


Mark 11:25-26
‘And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins'.

 
How many of us have ever been given a ‘second chance’?  The world teaches that if you make a mistake then it’s your fault and that you are not entitled to a second chance. This we know is contrary to the principles of the kingdom of God – the principle of ‘forgiveness’. In the Word we are constantly reminded to forgive others so that we can then expect to receive forgiveness from our Heavenly Father. If we cannot forgive then how can we expect God to forgive us of all our sins? Jesus constantly taught about the principles of forgiveness and he showed us the best example of forgiveness during His last days on earth. Jesus experienced extreme betrayal when His disciples abandoned Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Jews put Him up for death in place of the serial killer Barabbas, He was ‘sold’ by Judas and one of His best friend’s – Peter denied knowing Him when questioned ! Wow! Can any of us say they we have experienced such betrayal by friends and love ones? Despite this Jesus practiced what He preached - forgiveness.

Forgiveness can be said to be in two stages. Firstly, the ‘proclamation of forgiveness’. When on the cross, one of Jesus’ last words were “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Interestingly Jesus acknowledged that the people who had put Him to death did not know what they were doing. Most of the time when people hurt us or offend us it is usually a ‘mistake’ – people make mistakes when they are ‘mis’ informed and they ‘take’ inappropriate action which can result in hurting the receiver. Mistakes are not intentional and I believe that people do not intentionally seek to hurt however there are people who take pleasure in this - however there are deeper psychological issues at play here. This was the case with the crucifixion. The Jews did not have the revelation that Jesus was the ‘Son of God’ and in fact the ‘King of the Jews’ – they mistook the truth for blasphemy and disrespect for God. If only they knew! However the crucifixion of Christ was the chief part of God’s master plan for this world and if they had known then the prophecy would not have been fulfilled and our sins would not have been forgiven! In His last moments Jesus openly proclaimed that He had forgiven His oppressors because He knew that they did not know what they were doing!

Secondly, the act of forgiveness. It is very easy to say that you have forgiven someone but then if you still avoid them and refuse to talk to them then you haven’t actually ‘acted out’ your forgiveness. Words are easy, but actions are hard! When someone hurts us what we tend to do is to harbour the resentment and the bitterness. The longer we do this the greater the bitterness becomes and the harder our hearts become and then it gets more difficult to forgive the person. God struggles to work with hard hearts- he requires soft malleable hearts – hearts that the Holy Spirit can minister too. The enemy knows this all too well and so when we are hurt he will constantly whisper to you and exaggerate and intensify what could have been a very small issue. Refuse to listen to him – the devil is a liar! The quicker we forgive the easier the process will be for us. Prolonging the process of forgiveness gives the enemy more time and space to intensify the situation and to cause our hearts to harden. You need to ‘release’ that person – that person will still carry on with their life but if you and I do not forgive we will spend our life holding onto that person and they will become a weight on our heart – a burden! Who then is in a better position? We need to ask God for the grace to forgive because forgiveness is one of the most difficult things for us Christians to do - How ironic!

Jesus put forgiveness in action when he rose from the dead. He immediately forgave Peter even though he had denied knowing him on three occasions as well as his disciples who had abandoned him when he needed their backing the most. Imagine you where on your way home with a group of friends and you were mugged and beaten by a gang and all your friends ran and left you to defend yourself! This is just a taste of what it must have felt like for Jesus however he still forgave them instantly! When he was raised from the dead the first people he wanted to see were these friends who had betrayed him. It is like you being discharged from hospital after being beaten up by the gang and then going straight to visit the friends who had abandoned you!  The message that came from the angel of the Lord at the tomb was “Tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you in Galilee” (Mark 16:7). Do you notice he said ‘the disciples and Peter’? Before Jesus had been crucified he had prophesised that he would go ahead of them to Galilee and despite the betrayal he still included his friends in his plans! Jesus didn’t say ‘oh well you messed up I’ve risen now so I wont include you in my plans! No! He was quick to forgive and put his forgiveness into action. Even Peter who betrayed him to the greatest extent – he specifically made a point to include him in his plans. Just like Jesus we should be quick to forgive – proclaim forgiveness ‘I forgive you’ and then put this forgiveness into action. Show that you have forgiven that person by treating them as if they have not hurt you. Today ask God will for the grace to forgive because his grace is sufficient for us. Forgiveness can not be carried out with human strength but only by the grace of God. I want you to join me in making it our prayer today to say ‘Dear Jesus, Thank you for dying on the cross for me to save my sins, thank you for your forgiveness. Lord give me the grace to forgive those who have hurt me, in Jesus name, Amen!

2011 Rianne Sintim. All rights reserved.

Monday, 25 July 2011

IS HE YOUR JESUS?

Matthew 7:22-23
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

My weekend has been very overwhelming as I had so much going on and yet again God came through as He always does unfailingly and faithfully for me. But the truth is, the situation I found myself in could have been avoided if only I had taken the necessary measures needed and been prepared rather than waiting till things almost got out of hand to start panicking and stressing which the Bible on so many occassions has taught and told me to avoid.  Come on girl, you should know better -yes I know :-)! I need to learn to take everything in my life either small, big, important or not so important seriously and stop being complicent sometimes. But you know what I love about God, even when I take certain things for granted, not being alert and in the process almost getting myself all entangled in a situation giving the enemy the opportunity and the chance to blow it out of proportion, into a  huge fuss of confusion and embarrassement; God is still faithful in coming to my defence and rescue even at the very last minute.

You know why? Because the Bible says in Romans 9:33b, " ...and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame." What a great honor and privilege we have as daughters and sons of the Great I Am! But then, I got on the bus this morning at 7am and all I saw in the faces of people were look of uncertainty, lack of enthusaism, worry, dispair even though for me its been a yet another glorious morning and with an overfolw of God's goodness and assurance from over the weekend - they just seem to be dreading what the week has instore for them even before it began. At this stage the lady I was sitting next to didn't look very happy with me, now don't ask me how I know but l just know - instincts Lol!

You see these people didn't understant why I looked so cheerful with a huge silly smile on my face that early in the morning because they either haven't met  "My Jesus" or know Him as initmately as I do. Todays, scripture says, "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" Which implies that we could be going to church every sunday, attending every weekday meeting or be speaking the most complex tongues, seeing all sorts of visions during prayer and still not know who Jesus is and Him not having any clue who we are even though in our own little mind we may think we do.

It's not enough to say we are Christians and yet not being fruitful in all areas our lives always lacking confidence with no hope and constantly living in fear of the unknown like I saw on those faces this early morning. I don't know what my day is going to be like but I know who does and He is "My Jesus" - My confidence and my hope. Now I want to share with you how you too can make Him "Your Jesus and the Lord of your life." Learn to spend time with Him on a daily basis, rubbing shoulders with Him every minute and second through personal quiet time with Him, consistent study of the word - and gradually He will become the Lord of your life too.  As we spend more time talking, listening, praising and worshiping Him for who He is, He will be with us every moment of our day watching over us and His spirit will direct our every step. I go no where without Jesus, so for me that makes Him the Lord of my Life.  We are insperable! 

Today, I want to encourage you to take some time to examine yourself and ask yourself this question - Is He My Jesus? And also examine how you spend your time, and with whom you spend it with as the truth can only be revealed to us by examining our own lives. Paul explains this in 2 Corinthians 13:5, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test? By you and I examining ourselves on a regular basis to see if we are in the faith only then can we know for sure if  He is truly "My Jesus" or "Your Jesus"!

Food for thought:
Who are you spending most of your time with?
Who do you call your best friend, sister or brother in Christ?
Remember God doesn't necessary know everyone just because they are in church regularly or call on His name when in trouble and its not about our over spritual attitude either.
 
Verses for meditation:
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?--1 Corinthians 9:27

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,---Ephesians 3:17

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.--James 1:22
 
2011 Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Friday, 22 July 2011

MY JOY

Psalm 16:11
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.


One of the things I have come to love and appreciate very much about God is, He just know how to make a girl go soft in her knees :-). Once upon a time many many many years ago when I was much younger; I was a very jolly and cheerful growing young girl. But somewhere along the way, life's demands and expectations drove me into becoming a rather miserable and stuck-up adult. I completely lost all sense of what it meant to live and better still what it really meant to experience the Lord's fullness of Joy. I very quickly became excellent at faking it. The unfortunate thing was, the people who suffered it the most were my sisters, the people who worked with me, then my very close friends. And if you were an acquaintance, then you didn't even stand a chance because in my eyes you didn't even exist. What a mizhog Lol!

Truth is, that Enyonam wasn't God's idea rather the world's and most times we don't even realised it because we get so caught up and entangled up in all the drama that we end up losing who we really are.  I can't tell you how grateful I am to God for His continuous mercies, compassion and unfailing love towards me even when I completely didn't take any notice of Him except when I needed something. Better still, He gave my close friends ( I call them my Angels) grace, courage and strength to love me unconditionally and in the process to stick with me through thick and thin. I sometimes wondered what it was that they saw in me that made them stay so loyal and faithful? Jesus, this is got to be your doing, thank you! When I decided in my heart 21 months ago to rededicate my life to Him, I didn't have any clue what was in store for me. However, all I knew was I didn't want the life I lived or had and l was desperate to exchange it with His after all it's got to be better than mine. Death couldn't even hold Him down and  not only that, He rose up from death after three days - wow!  He has got to have something that is worth far more than my rather lifeless (dead) life.

All I am trying to say is, "Fullness of joy" is found only in the presence of the Lord. I don't care what you say or think because I am a full living testimony of that fullness of joy. You had to know the Enyonam before and after to appreciate what I am saying. Even for me, I never thought it was possible. However, I am blessed that I believed enough to apply my faith and held on to His word in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." And not only that I also decided to put on the new self, created to be like God in His true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24). This is because His fullness of Joy can only be found in His presence and  I knew perfectly well I didn't qualify to be in His presence unless I put on my new self, created like God in His true righteousness. After all that is the very reason why He purposefully suffered all that extreme shameful death on the cross so you and I can go before God with all boldness and in confidence to experience His fullness of Joy and His pleasures forevermore. Isn't it awesome? I am just so crazy about Him!


With all sincerity l wish I had words to express what my heart is feeling right now as I right but unfortunately I don't; it's an experience you will have to encounter for yourself to understand.  All I have to do is to remain connected to Him through spending quality time in prayer, worship, reading and studying His word, fellowhipping with other Christians, making His sanctuary my home and things that matters to Him my business; the more I do the more I experience His fullness of joy. This joy is different because Jesus refers to it as, “My joy” (John 15:11b, "that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full") which implies, it is a different kind of joy that we are not used to or the world offers. And this joy can only be found in Jesus through our personal relationship and commitment to Him.

I just want to encourage you today to know that this joy is everlasting and the beauty of it is Jesus already paid the price so you and I can have it freely without having to sell our souls. Remaining in God is the key to experiencing this fullness of Joy. God's promises always comes with an instruction attached, and you and I just need to make a commitment in placing our trust in Him; depending on His sufficient grace to be obedient to His word so we can share in benefits. Today, consider setting aside some additional time for the Lord and set a purpose in your heart to find a place within His presence where an abundance of joy is found and pleasures forevermore.


 Reflections:
Aren't you tired of living life on your own terms and at the expense of your joy?

Applications:
Today, be determined that no matter how busy or over worked you are; you will make the time to spend some quality time in His presence so He can shower you with His fullness of joy.

Power verses:
For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation.--Psalm 149:4

Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs.--Isaiah 61:7


If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.--Job 36:11

How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.--Psalm 36:7


2011 Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

SHIFT THE FOCUS

 Jeremiah 2:8b
“And walked after things that do not profit”.


Cars, clothes, food, alcohol, ..…the world promotes excess in everything we do. Everything we own should be purchased or engaged with excessively. How many of us feel pressurised to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ to purchase the latest model of our favourite car but at the expense of our finances - running up credit card bills and constant debt. Don’t get me wrong God wants us to enjoy life and have good and nice things however the question is ‘How much emphasis and value do we place on the things we own’ and do we place a greater emphasis than that of God? God is a jealous God and only He alone deserves all the worship and honour - God is too magnificent to be replaced by a car!

God knows that when we place a greater emphasis on what we own we lose sight of Him and replace Him with our possessions. Remember the story of the rich man who came to Jesus and asked what He should do to inherit eternal life and Jesus told him to sell his possessions – he went away sad (Mark 10:17-26). It was much harder for this man to give up all his possessions as a wealthy person owns more so would have more to give up. This is a profound. The more we have the more difficult it can be to give it away as we have more to lose. How many of us can say that if told to sell all of our possessions we would willingly do so? Yes, this would be difficult! However it would be easier if you didn’t place too much value on what you owned. Jesus knew this and constantly warned within His teachings not to place too great an emphasis on our worldly possessions (Psalm 62:10).

I’m sure I am not alone in my passion for fashion. I used to constantly fret that I didn’t have enough clothes, enough shoes; despite the fact that my wardrobe was always full. My focus on accumulation made me used to fret about what I didn’t have as opposed to what I did have – a cupboard full !  ‘Better is little with fear of the Lord than treasure with great trouble’ (Proverbs 15:16). I received revelation that it is not necessary to over accumulate and that I did have enough and that as Paul said ‘I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content’ (Phil 4:11), so even though I may not have a walk in wardrobe like the celebrity houses on MTV cribs I have learned that I will always have enough and that wherever I lack ‘God will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus’ (Phil 4:19).

How many pairs of shoes do you actually need? Think about it. Over accumulation shifts the focus of God and onto ‘self’. In the end times ‘men will become lovers of themselves, lovers of money’ (2 Tim 3:2). Ultimately ‘we brought nothing into this world and it is certain that we will carry nothing out’ (1 Tim 6:7).The enemy enjoys shifting our focus onto what you don’t have, as opposed to what you do have so that it will cause you to chase things that do not profit. For some of us; ‘keep up with the Joneses’ has caused us to sacrifice the ‘fellowship of the saints’ with working overtime at work. In these times people may need to work extra hours due to the rising living costs however it should not be at the expense of fellowshipping with the saints and God  on a Sunday ‘Those who are planted in the house of the Lord…they shall be fresh and flourishing” (Psalm 92:13).

For others fellowship with God though prayer or through personal study with the word has been replaced by modern technology. The Internet has become the biggest distractor for modern day Christians today. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Skype have taken so much of our time that we have become too busy for God when instead we should be busy with God. Do not get me wrong there is nothing wrong with using such sites – I’m a regular on Facebook. However again the question is how much emphasis do we place on this? The two hours straight that you spend on these sites, are you able to spend even half an hour with God in the morning praying and reading the word? I would encourage you that if you have become too busy for God to ask for God's forgiveness and to ask Him to show you those areas of His life that He wants you to change.  Ask God to search your heart, speak to Him about your anxieties and fears (Psalm 139:23). I got to that stage where I was too busy for God however I was able to spend time on social networking. 

However God spoke to me and told me to set aside at least one hour in the morning to fellowship with Him. This was a big sacrifice as I enjoy my sleep; however obedience is better than sacrifice. One hour out of 24 hours is nothing to spend time with my God and I cannot place a value on how my morning devotion for God has caused me to grow as a Christian. I would encourage you if you do not already; to find time in the day to fellowship with the Father through prayer and study of the Word. The wisdom found in the word has the ability to extend our life – within His word God can direct our steps and prevent us from making harmful decisions ‘it will lead us in the right paths so our steps will not be hindered…the word is life’ (Proverbs 5:3). We are so busy enjoying and chasing ‘life’ in this world however life is found in the Word! Seize the life that is found in the Word. You can guarantee that when you engage with the Word you will not remain the same and will gain something you didn’t already have – wisdom, understanding and direction (Joshua 1:8). Intentionally applying God’s Word to your life will produce great success!

What we gain here on earth is temporal and doesn’t last and cannot be replaced. The car that you are driving lost its value once it left the showroom ! However the things of God increase in value and profit us the more we engage in them. The world’s system is temporal and constantly needs to be replaced. God’s system is constantly added to and doesn’t take away and increases in value daily. If the above where displayed as two business ideas – the latter – God’s system would be the most profitable! Let us not lose focus and let us aim to make the things of God a priority in our lives. Once we recreate this balance then this will lead us to instinctively ‘walk after things that profit the soul’.

2011 Rianne Sintim. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

I WILL BE WITH YOU

Isaiah 43:1-2
But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.

Often as Christians we believe that we should never go through trials and tribulations. We believe that once we give our life to Christ everything should be a bed of roses, and we should never face challenges. This leaves many of us frustrated when we face a challenge and it is not resolved immediately we start to get frustrated with God. However the God's word does not say we will be challenge or trial free in fact it says the opposite. But through these trials and tribulations God says: 'I will be with you.'

Whilst we are this earth, there are always going to be challenges but for us as Christians we must hold on to the promises of God that says, 'Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV)

God will be with us through every trial we face in life because we are His and as our creator He knows what is best for us. To enable Him to do this we must be completely dependant on Him. Once we do this we can walk through the fire (any challenge in life) and not be burned, we will come out victorious and His name will be gloried. However when we try to go ahead of God we will end up limiting God. We try to determine the outcome and leave little room for God to take charge. God is a problem solver but God has a bigger vision for us His children. God is the only one who knows what the outcome is going to be and it is not for us to worry ourselves over because the He says in Isaiah 55:8,"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD."

When going through any trial or challenge it is often easy to use our carnal mind and just run with what we think is best but is this likely to end in frustration. A completed product cannot write a user manual it must be the creator who explains how to use the product. Therefore because God is our creator He must be our sole guide and we must follow the directives He sets out for us. When facing a challenge allow God to order your steps because He knows you better than you know yourself and knows what the end product is going to be so surely He is be your best director!

2011 Rose Sintim. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

RENEWED JOY

Psalm 51:12
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.

There is a joy that is unexplainable when we enter into a relationship with Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. Although this new-found joy is like nothing we have ever experienced before, eventually circumstances in our lives begin to choke it out when we don't learn to consciously submit our free will to God on a daily basis. The other day, I was having a conversation with someone and the person said to me; you have no idea what I am going through and how difficult it is. For how long will I be living on a happy pill or keep pretending it is going to be okay? First of all we don't have to pretend!

I don't think this question is alien to most of us, in fact a lot of us even though we are regularly in church and serving; have never learnt to surrender our  total will to God trusting Him wholeheartedly with our all through faith. And I say this because I was one of those people. For years, I dealt with God on my own terms and rules because I didn't trust Him enough to take Him for His every word and that was also because I didn't know Him intimately, neither did I know His word for it to be in my heart long enough to take root for it to grow and strengthen me in my walk with Him.

I totally believe life can be extremely difficult at times even when you are a Christian especially. Jesus Himself made it known to us when He said in John 16:33, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." This is a promise I choose to hold on to regardless what is happening around me. Nevertheless, you are probably saying to yourself it is easier said and yes you are absolutely right about that. In my personal experience, what stops me from enjoying and living the "Joy of my salvation"; is no other than what is known to us all - Sin, unforgiveness and bitterness!

My sins for years, drew a wedge between me and God making Him seem very distant in my life. The more I felt ashamed and not worthy of His love the more I was unwilling to ask and accept His forgiveness; the longer the enemy used my situation to make me feel guilty and condemned. My life for years was unfulfilled with continuous struggles, full of pain and sorrow because of lack of knowledge of not knowing what my real identity was in Christ. We tend to get use to the ways of the world where forgiveness is a rare find so our normal instinct is to shy away from God when we have sinned. Funny enough though, He already knows we are sinners and yet He still choose to love us and in the process demostrated His love for us by sacrificing His life on the cross so we can freely have this very forgiveness without the feeling of condemnation (Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us".) wow!

In today's scripture, we both see how David; a man after God's own heart in all his glory felt this way too when he sinned against the Lord. Now the difference between David and most of us is, when he finds himself in this situation; he quickly goes to God in prayer with a repentant heart making known his wrong doing and asking for the Lord's forgiveness and help to live life according to His will in order not to lose his intimate relationship with Him. God wants us to confess our sins to Him no matter the extent of it because an unconfessed sin in our heart chokes His joy and makes it impossible to be intimate with Him. And intimacy with Him is what He created and saved us for. The Bible says in John 3:16 (emphasis added), "God so loved you and l so much beyond comprehension, that he gave you and l his only Son, that as we believe in him we would not perish but have eternal life with Him forever."

I just want to encourage and to remind you of what you are entitled to as a covenant child of God - His unspeakable joy through His Son Jesus Christ. If you are feeling as though your smile has been broken and stolen due to sin or lack of faith in Him, go to Him in prayer today and ask Him to restore the Joy of His salvation into your spirit for a restored relationship. God has renewed my joy on countless occasions when I have felt as though life has stolen my joy. And I am glad to say His word in Psalm 23:3 assures me that, "He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake."

For His name's seek, I will never be put to shame and no matter what it cost - I just need to ask in faith! God is the author of our unspeakable joy. All we need to do is to ask and become recipient of this amazing and awesome special unspeakable joy. He loves you and will do it because a heavenly Father’s love is great toward His children and for His name's seek.

Reflections:
Are you feeling stagnant in your faith?

Do you feel like you are just going through emotions?

Applications:
As you receive and experience God's forgiveness, remember to reach out to others who are in need of this forgiveness too. Share your your renewed joy with others you come in contact with today.

Power verses:
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.---Psalm 19:7

But you, O Sovereign LORD, deal well with me for your name's sake; out of the goodness of your love, deliver me.--Psalm 109:21

Although our sins testify against us, O LORD, do something for the sake of your name. For our backsliding is great; we have sinned against you.--Jeremiah 14:7

2011 Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Friday, 15 July 2011

AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST

 1 Thessalonians 4:12
“…that you may walk properly toward those who are outside”


We all carry multiple identities – gender, age, favourite football team and the list goes on. But how many of us can say that we consistently carry our Christian identity outside of the church building? Some of us are ‘Christians in disguise’ – top secret Christians! Only you know that you are a Christian. If we were to ask your neighbours, work colleagues or even some members of your family they would be shocked that you are a Christian. You are constantly gossiping, back stabbing and refusing to talk to certain people in the church. Some people think that the best way to show that you are a Christian is to be ‘over –spiritual’ and judgemental and to show how much of the bible you can quote.
  
Although it is good to know and be familiar with the Word, if this was all it meant to be a Christian how will we reach out to the unbelievers? Actions speak louder than words! The song ‘The Last Jesus’ by Kirk Franklin and the Family puts it beautifully; as a Christian when you are out in the world you have the responsibility to reflect your identity through your conduct and behaviour because you could essentially be the only Christian or the ‘The Last Jesus’ that a person comes into contact with that day or that moment in time. If people struggle to see the Christ in you then they will struggle to see the appeal in getting to know Him and to accept His free gift of salvation. ‘Our words are empty if it does not reflect Christ to unbelievers!

One of the biggest problems today with many of us Christians is that; we are confused within ourselves and these confusions has also brought confusion amongst the unbelievers we come in contact with. Many unbelievers are searching for ‘Christ’ in the world but cannot find Him in us who are called to be a reflection of His light and truth. Many of us Christians lack integrity! On Monday we are Christians, on Tuesday we are cursing and fighting our colleagues. I call them ‘schizophrenic Christians’ – one cannot be sure whether or not they will encounter their Christ-like side when you meet them. Paul tells us to ‘walk properly towards those who are outside’ (1 Thess 4:12). As Christians, we are a walking and a living testimony of God's generous gift to mankind ‘salvation’ and His goodness in our lives. We are call to be ‘ambassadors for Christ’

An ambassador is ‘an official sent by a higher authority to represent it on a temporary mission’. So as ambassadors for Christ we are representing Jesus here on earth and our mission is to win souls for Him through our Christ-like conduct - 1 Peter 1:15, "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;". We are to walk in love, peace, goodness…self – control - Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith."  Easier said than done huh! Who said it would be easy following Christ? But then again nothing good in life comes easy.
 
However as we submit our flesh and learn to ‘walk in the spirit’ this will bring gradual movement from mental rules and disciplines to an obedience rooted in the heart’s judgements and convictions. Our lifestyles as ambassadors should attract others as light in contrast to the darkness of the world. Many of us Christians do not realise what a great honour and privilege it is to be an "ambassador for Christ." We should be bringing the lost to Christ and through our lives people should glorify our Father!
 
Reflections:
Have you begun your assignment?

If not what are you waiting for? 

The world needs you to be the light so your heavenly Father can be glorified. Let your actions speak and words reflect Christ - win souls for Christ!

2011 Rianne Sintim. All rights reserved.
 

Thursday, 14 July 2011

PICK UP, GOD IS CALLING YOU!

1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV)
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

When you read this Scripture you may think if we are a chosen generation, and His own special people; why are there people who are not saved? The answer is simple, there are two parts to this scripture. The second half tells us that God has called us out of darkness and into His marvellous light. When Jesus died on the cross that call was made. The key word is "call". God called us and then He gave us free will, a choice to decide whether or not to respond to that "call". It's just like a mobile phone. When somebody calls you, you can chose to answer, silence the call and maybe answer later or you can simply choose to reject the incoming call.
 
People reject the call of God in many ways, they say non-sensical things such as there is no God, or they out rightly sin and have no care of the consequences. Then there are the people who want to buy now and pay later. They want to receive the blessings but they are not ready to stop mixing with the world. They are lukewarm Christians! They silence the call for the mean time and wait for a call at a later date.
 
But when you answer the "call", you accept Jesus as your personal saviour, He takes the burden of your sin and nails it to the cross! You become a member of the chosen generation. You are truly set free and apart. My senior associate Pastor, Pastor Awo Antwi puts it so mildly and at the time same time with so much humour - "God likes it Hot". So to be part of this chosen generation we must answer this "call", because when Jesus died God put out the call all we need to do is ANSWER! Determine in your heart today to answer His call; because He has already called and is waiting for you to answer.
 
Further reading: Isaiah 5:26
 
2011 Rose Sintim. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

THE JOY OF THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH

Nehemiah 8:10
"Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

Joy is not happiness! Happiness is temporal and is dependent on your circumstances and the comfort of your flesh, joy is the opposite! Joy like faith is a spiritual force which needs to be actively stirred up. As Christians the Bible instructs us to walk by faith and not by sight so even if your world appears to be crumbling down we are told not to focus on our circumstances, but on God’s saving power to deliver us from our circumstances. We would do well to remember that the aim of the enemy is to shift our focus from dependence on God onto our current situation. When we do this we are not walking by faith – instead we are walking by sight which essentially causes us to walk in fear.

The ‘joy of the Lord’ is a place where we get to where we can stand firm in assurance that for God there is no situation too hard for Him to deliver you and I from (Jer 32:17) and that only He has the ability to do it for as (Psalm 20:7). When we get to this place we experience a supernatural peace which stirs up ‘joy’ within our heart. This joy kicks ‘fear and worry’ out of our heart and joy takes residence within our spirit and flows like blood through our spirit and causes our spirit to experience supernatural strength. God tells us that we must ‘enter His rest’ (Heb 4:10-11) and to cease from trying to do God’s work for Him and to let Him take full control of our lives. We are to cast ALL not some of our burdens upon Him so that He can exercise His full power in our lives! Some of us are too busy trying to do God’s work that we have never entered into ‘His Rest’ and are constantly frustrated and tired with life – we are all guilty of this!

However with ‘the joy of the Lord’ it doesn’t matter the circumstances, you and I can feel rest assured that a brighter day is to come. The knowledge and experience of this can be likened to a person who walks alone down the high street with a big smile on their face. You may think that they are deluded or has just remembered a joke; however this person knows the secret. They know how to possess the supernatural strength which is a product of experiencing ‘joy’ even though their circumstances  contradict this. Have you experienced ‘the joy of the Lord’? If you haven’t shift the focus from your current situation, and back onto God. This joy is not exclusive and is available to all who have faith and dare to believe that there is nothing too hard for Jehovah (Jer 32:17) and that when He takes over the battle, the battle is over !

2011 By Rianne Sintim. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

FINDING YOUR PURPOSE

Jeremiah 1:5
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.


What a beautiful thought that as we grow in the womb, God we are a seed carrying our package of destiny to fulfil our God given purpose here on earth! As He has created us He is the only one who knows our purpose! When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone he created it to fulfil the purpose he intended for it. Therefore if you wanted to know the purpose of the phone you would consult its creator – Mr Bell. So if this is the case and God is our creator then we should ultimately consult God when we need direction in our life. However this is not the case with most people. Before consulting God many people either consult friends or even more popularly horoscopes. How many of us naively read the horoscopes in the magazines and newspapers we read ? Coincidentally they mention things that you may have gone through and then you begin to get addicted to reading them to see if they have managed to state the date that you will meet your future spouse - however they are not from God!

God tells us in the book of Jeremiah that ‘ He knows the plans He has for us’ (Jeremiah 29:11) so if we want to know these plans we need to consult God through pray and constant fellowship with Him. It is Jehovah, the one who knew us before we were born and the one who knows our purpose ! Has God revealed to you His purpose for your life yet? If not, then why not? Have you been consulting other mediums apart from God? If so then speak to God today to reveal His will for your life and He will gradually unearth this to you (Hab 2:3). He knew you before you were born and has appointed you for a time like this!

2011 by Rianne Sintim. All rights reserved.

Friday, 8 July 2011

ALIVE IN CHRIST

Ephesians 2:4-5
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

We have been freed from a life of bondage - brought about by our transgressions or “violations” of God’s spiritual laws - is what “being saved” is all about. Jesus Christ has saved us from the law of sin and death. We were dead in our sins- no ifs or buts about it. My Pastor in the last few weeks has been teaching us in our Bible study group about the importance and the centrality of the Cross in our lives as Christians and what it means to our faith.

As Christians, it is important we don't ever lose sight of the importance and the validity of the Cross to our faith. Today's main scripture reminds us that the penalty of sin and it's power no longer has power over us becasue it was destroyed by Jesus Christ on the Cross for you and I. And through faith in Him you and I boldly stand acquitted, "not guilty" before God. Ephesians 2:6, "And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus."

The truth is before we were saved, we were dead in sin and slaves to our sinful nature; but now God’s love takes our spirit that is dead because of sin and causes it to be alive other translations say "quickened"  with love, joy, peace and contentment in Christ. What a priceless gift!

Reflections:
Without the Cross our salvation means nothing - Never lose sight of that!

Power verses:
For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.--Luke 15:24

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.--Ephesians 1:3

God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.--2:32

For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.--Romans 6:14

2011 Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

GOD'S ANTIDEPRESSANT

Psalm 42:5
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

Today's scripture has helped me overcome many difficult issues in my life which I sometimes find myself either concerned, troubled or gloomy about. The question I ask myself sometimes is, why do I even permit these feelings to control and fill my thoughts? However this passage has given me hope to set my faith in the Lord. As I learn daily to entrust my hope in God, I realise the unease, anxiety and sorrow go away. My soul is no longer so distressed and I am filled with His indescribable joy. The Bible says in 1 Peter 1:8-9, "Though you have not seen him, you love him. And even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls" This is the power of God’s Holy Word. It is able to direct us far away from our destructive thoughts and guide us towards a faithful God who can fix everything.

Depression is one of the most common emotional ailments and for me the perfect medication for it, is to meditate day and night on God's spoken word over our lives. Holding onto His promises with the knowledge that the scriptures cannot be broken and He is not man that He will lie either. With God's help, we are able to set our minds high above any distressing circumstances in our lives and move our thoughts away from our inability to help ourselves by simply putting our Hope and trust in the author and finisher of our faith.

FOOD FOR THOUGH:
When you feel depressed, just remember to take a double or even multiple dosages of God's antidepressant - THE WORD! This is the one time overdose is permitted :-)

VERSES TO MDEDITATION:
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.--John 16:33

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.--John 14:27

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.--2 Corinthians 2:14

2011 Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

BE READY IN AND OUT OF SEASON

2 Timothy 4:2
preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

If someone were to approach you today and asked you, "Why should I give my life to Christ?" would you be ready to answer according to God’s word? Could you explain to them what it means to be a Christian? Do you understand why Jesus died on the cross? There are many scriptures to be studied,
understood and even preached in the word of God. However, the basic foundation that Jesus Christ is the son of God, He came to this earth, died on the cross and rose again, to pay the price for our sins so that can have life, and that can have it more abundantly (John 10:10).

Having an understanding of this truth and being able to share it with others is very important for as all Christian, not just for those in full time ministry. If you need help in understanding this truth or knowing how to share it with others, perhaps a close friend who is matured in the Lord, your church leader or your Pastor could help you understand how to explain what Jesus has done for you. Today's scripture says to "be ready in season and out of season," meaning we should always be ready to preach and to share the Gospel whether or not it is convenient.

We all live very busy lives and have fully loaded social calenders, coupled with demanding family responsibilities. To make matters just a little difficult, the kind of work we do and the caliber of people we sometimes interact with on a daily basis; makes it almost impossible and even sometimes inconvenient to take a stand for Jesus and to share our most priceless testimony - our salvation. But I want us all to remind ourselves that sharing the Gospel and preaching God's word is the most important responsibility we the church have been entrusted with and not only that it also a command. (Matthew 28:18-20).

The Bible also reminds us of how the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few (Luke 10:2). Let us therefore join foces together in reaching the lost souls. There are so many of them out there, even friends who are just waiting for you and I to share our hope in Jesus with them today. I came to encourage you to be prepared, courageous and sensitive to your call as a disciple of Jesus Christ today. Be ready now, not tomorrow or the day after, now is the time!

Applications:
No matter how much the truth hurts, you must be willing to listen to it so you can fully obey God. He is coming soon and He desires to find us His faithful children to be ready!

Reflections:
We are to reprove and rebuke. It is sometimes very difficult to accept correction and to be told we have to change when you are so stuck in your own way. But remember, without change you and I cannot reach our full potential neither can we fulfill our Divine purpose in Christ.

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

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,--Ephesians 1:18

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,-- Isaiah 61:1

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Monday, 4 July 2011

PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF PEACE


Romans 10:14-15
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

I am so glad that someone told me about Jesus when they did because I can't imagine my life now without Him. As followers of Christ, we are commanded to go out and share the Good News of God's word with others so that they can hear it and respond to it. I hear a lot of Christians saying how much they love Jesus and yet say they are not comfortable sharing their greatest and most priceless testimony of salvation with others especially, their work colleagues, family and friends with the fear of being rejected or being called names. Does it really matter what others call us because of our faith and in whom we believe?

If there is anything I have learnt from my forty years of being alive, is that nothing worthwhile comes for nothing. There is always a price to pay and like Pastor David Antwi so mildly puts it, "freedom isn't free." You have to give something to get something, the higher the cost the better the price. Our salvation didn't come cheap at all, it came with a very expensive price tag - one you and I can never pay back even if we wanted to. Because it is priceless and a precious glorious gift from our Father the giver of all good and perfect gifts!

The Bible never said, it was going to be easy being a follower of Christ neither our witness for Him. However, it says in 1 Peter 4:14 that, "If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you." and it continues to say in verse 16 that, if we suffer as a Christian, we should not be ashamed but to praise God that we bear His name. Hallelujah!

God is calling you today to take part in making His message known in your work place, community, in your family and even in your local church to the ones who don't have a personal relationship with Him and to encourage them in the growth of their faith in Him. I am very sure there is at least one person you know who needs to hear the Gospel of Jesus today. Think of something you can do or help him or her hear it. Take this opportunity to spend time in prayer and with God, then go and share the love of Jesus with someone at work, on the train or the bus. Don't hesitate or think too much into it, just do your bit and leave the rest to the Jesus to take care of!

Reflections:
Just think, how will your friends, family, work colleagues and others hear the Gospel of Christ unless you tell them. And don't lose sight of the end goal and prize -  Philippians 3:14, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

Power verses:
who has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,--2 Timothy 1:9

Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.--Hebrews 3:1

It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else's foundation.--Romans 15:20

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Friday, 1 July 2011

WHAT WILL YOU FOCUS ON TODAY?

Romans 8:5
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

Every day we have a choice to either focus on sinful things or to follow after the things of the spirit. What will you be focusing on today?

In this time we live in, it is possible to be totally surrounded by the things of God throughout our day. We have thousands of Christian radio stations to listen to, many different translations of the Bible to read and a book on every subject that you can think of in terms our spiritual growth. We have at our disposal more than enough to help us keep our mind set on godly things.

Yet, even with all of these great tools to help us, it all boils down to the choices that you and I will make. We can either choose to walk in the flesh or choose to stay focused on God. As Christians, we must consciously choose to daily center our lives on God. And in doing that, our lives will always be filled with His peace, love and unspeakable joy even in this turbulent world we live in. And not only that, this will also help us grow, increase and strengthen our faith in Him too. I always found that, finding me a quiet, solitary place to spend time in prayer really helps me to focus on  the spiritual things.Why don't you try that today, it doesn't have to be for hours on end. You could even use part of your launch break and you will be amazed how rejuvenated your spirit will be when you go back to work.

Reflections:
Do not allow yourselves to be controlled by your carnally mind. You have a choice to choose right and you also have the grace of God to make perfect all your weaknesses. You need not do this alone nor by your own strength.

Power verses:
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.--2 Corinthians 12:9

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.---Ephesians 3:16

being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully.---Colossians 1:11

2011By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.