WHY SHOULD WE THANK GOD?

Should we give thanks to God all the time even when things are bad? The answer to that question is Yes!!! It is stated in Thessalonians 5:18… 1in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. The apostle, Paul, wasn’t teaching that we should thank God for everything that happens to us, but in everything. Evil does not come from God, so we should not thank God for it. But when evils strike, we can still be thankful for God’s presence and for the good that God will accomplish through the distress. There is a great example in the bible about this in the book of Job. Job was the most righteous and prosperous man of his day and God was well pleased with Job. Satan told God that the only reason Job praised and gave thanks to God was because of his wealth of blessings. Satan told the God if you take his wealth of blessing away Job would curse God. This is stated in Job 1:6-12… Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan[a] also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?”So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” 12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

In this passage of scripture, we learn a great deal about Satan, 1) Satan is accountable to God. All angelic beings, good and evil are compelled to present themselves to God. God knew Satan was intent on attacking Job. 2) Satan can be at only one place at a time. His demons aid him in his work, but as created being, he is limited. 3) Satan cannot see into our minds or foretell the future. If he could, he would have known that Job would not break under pressure. 4) Because Satan can do nothing without God’s permission God’s people can overcome Satan’s attacks through God’s power. 5) God puts limitations on what Satan can do. Satan’s response to the Lord’s question tells us that Satan is real and active on earth knowing this about Satan should cause us to remain close to God who is greater than Satan.

Another reason to be thankful to God in all things is that if you are a child of God everything will be for your good. Paul states this in Romans 8:28 … 2And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. In this passage of scripture God works in ‘all things’ not just isolated incidents for our good. This does not mean that all that happens to us is good. Evil is prevalent in our fallen world, but God is able to turn every circumstance around for our long-range good. Note that God is not working to make us happy, but to fulfill God’s purpose. Note also that this promise is not for everybody. It can be claimed only by those who love God and are called according to God’s purpose. Those who are ‘called’ are those the Holy Spirit convinces and enables to receive Christ. Such people have a new mindset, a new perspective on life. They trust in God, not life’s treasures, they look for their securely in heaven, not on earth; they learn to accept, not resent, pain and persecution because God is with them always.

Still another reason to be thankful to God is because every experience can produce Godly character in your life. Paul, the apostle, further expressed this in Romans 8:20-30 …. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. God’s ultimate goal for us is to make like Christ. As we become more and more like Christ, we discover our true selves, the persons we were created to be. How can we be conformed to Christ’s likeness? By reading and heeding the Word of God, by studying his life on earth through the Gospels, by being filled with the Spirit, and by doing his work in the world. Some believe these verses mean that before the beginning of the world, God chooses certain people to receive his gift of salvation. They point to verses like Ephesians 1:11 that says we are predestined according to the purpose of God who works all things according to the counsel of God’s will. ‘Others believe that God foreknew those who would respond to God and upon those God set his mark (predestined). What is clear is that God’s purpose for people was not an afterthought, it was settled before the foundation of the world. People are to serve and honor God. If you have believed in Christ, you can rejoice in the fact that God has always known you. God’s love is eternal. God’s wisdom and power are supreme. He will guide and protect you until you one day stand in God’s presence.

The last reason you should thank God in all things is that everything has the potential to teach you God’s ways. God desires to fellowship with us, but our perspectives and God’s perspectives are often different. God states this in Isaiah 55:9 … “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts
. God’s knowledge and wisdom are far greater that man’s. We are foolish to try to fit God into our mold, to make his plans and purpose conform to ours. Instead, we must strive to fit into his plans. God may teach us his way through putting us through trails or conflicts in our lives. To seek God’s purpose we must go through these trails. This is also express in Exodus 33:12-13… 12 Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this person.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’13 Now, therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.” … The purpose of knowing God’s ways is to know God!!! I have submitted a gospel video related to this article. Enjoy this video. Always remember “Keep the Faith, and God Loves You and So Do I!!”

What do you think? Your comments are welcome!!!

Written by Kofi Baruti

DON’T WORRY BE HAPPY

What does it mean to be happy in Christ? The definition of happy is a feeling pleasure and enjoyment because of life, situation, etc. Happiness is a synonym for joy. Happiness is superficial and based on circumstances, while joy is deep and based on Jesus. Looking at these previous examples we can conclude that happiness is temporary while joy can everlasting especially with Christ. The biblical definition of blessedness, or happiness, is much different than of our culture. Modern beatitudes would sound something like this:

Blessed are beautiful, for they shall be admired.

Blessed are the wealthy, for they have it all.

Blessed are the popular, for they shall be loved.

Blessed are the famous, for they shall be followed on Twitter.

But the word of God states in Matthew 5:1-12… 5 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    For they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    For they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    For they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    For they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    For they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you…. In contrast, Jesus beatitudes are much different than what the world beatitudes previously gave. For example, let’s take the first worldly beatitude “Blessed are beautiful, for they shall be admired” Jesus doesn’t speak about the appearance of a person because it is vain and not lasting. Instead, Jesus would say “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”… what Jesus means is that instead of being full of yourself with how you look to other people you should be humble and submissive to God and you will inherit everything God has in store for you on earth. The next worldly beatitude “Blessed are the wealthy, for they have it all.” Jesus again doesn’t care about money or wealth because it is vain and people tend to worship money more than God. Instead, Jesus would say “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”… what Jesus means is that being wealthy won’t grant admission into the kingdom of heaven but because of Jesus love and grace for all of us you can come into the kingdom of heaven regardless of your economic position. Another great illustration of this is when your rich man asked Jesus what must he do to have eternal life, in Matthew 19:16-24… 16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good[a]Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” 17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good?[b] No one is good but One, that is, God.[c] But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’[d] and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”[e] 20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth.[f] What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven 24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” in this passage of scripture this man seeking assurance of eternal life, Jesus pointed out that salvation does not come from good works unaccompanied by love for God. The man needed a whole new starting point. Instead of adding another commandment to keep or good deed to perform, the young man needed to submit humbly to the lordship of Christ. Jesus answers to what he finally had to do shock and disappointed this young rich man. Should all believers sell everything they own? No. We are responsible for caring for our needs and the needs of our family so as not to be a burden on others. We should, however, be willing to give up anything if God asks us to do so. This kind of attitude allows nothing to come between us and God and keeps us from using our God-wealth selfishly. If you are comforted by the fact that Christ did not tell all his follows to sell all their possessions, then you may be too attached to what you have. We cannot love God with all our hearts and yet keep our money to ourselves. Loving him totally means using our money in ways that please God. Because it is impossible for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, it appears impossible for a rich person to get into the kingdom of God. Jesus explained, however, that with God all things are possible in Matthew 19:26… 26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Even rich people can enter the kingdom if God brings them in. Faith in Christ, not in self or riches is what counts.

Still another worldly beatitude, “Blessed are the popular, for they shall be loved.” Jesus knew that how popular you are means nothing when you are talking about your own joy or happiness with god because you should put your faith in God not who you know. And finally, the last worldly beatitude, “Blessed are the famous, for they shall be followed on Twitter.” A lot of people you may know may brag about how important they are in the world, but to a Christian the only thing we should brag about is Christ. The point of all these worldly beatitudes is that are superficial because you can lose all of these beatitudes the very next day. Being happy in Christ is not about well you are doing in the world but how are using what you have to help others and your purpose in God kingdom on earth.

To be worry is to give way to anxiety or unease, to allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles. Well, Jesus also talked about this in his sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:25-34… 25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Because of the ill effects of worry, Jesus tells us not to worry about those needs that God promises to supply. Worry may damage your health, cause the object of your worry to consume your thoughts, disrupt your productivity, negatively affect the way you treat others, and reduce your ability to trust in God. How many ill effects of worry are you experiencing? Here, is the difference between worry and genuine concern – worry immobilizes, but concern moves you to action. In this passage of scripture to ‘seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness’ means to turn to God first for help, to fill your thoughts with God’s desires, to take God’s character for your pattern, and to serve and obey God in everything. What is really important to you? People, objects, goals, and other desires all compete for priority. Any of these can quickly bump God out of first place if you don’t actively choose to give God first place in every area of your life. So, planning for tomorrow is well spent, worrying about tomorrow is time wasted. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference. Careful planning is thinking ahead about goals, steps, and schedules, and trusting God in guidance. When done well, planning can help alleviate worry. Worries, by contrast, are consumed by fear and find it difficult to trust God. Worries let their plans interfere with their relationship with God. Don’t let worries about tomorrow affect your relationship with God today!!! For those you who don’t know our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ becoming will be your biggest step toward true happiness. I submit a video related to this article. Enjoy this video. Always remember, “God Loves You, and So Do I”

What do you think? Your comments are always welcome.!!!

Written by Kofi Baruti

LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR

 

Luke 10:25-28… 25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’[a] and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”[b] 28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”What do we mean by “Love Your Neighbor? In this previous passage of scripture this lawyer that spoke to Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18. He correctly understood that the law demanded total devotion to God and love for one’s neighbor. But the lawyer questioned Jesus further in Luke 10:29-37… 29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.35 On the next day, when he departed,[a] he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was a neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” In this passage of scripture the lawyer treated the wounded man as a topic for discussion, the thieves as an object to exploit, the priest as a problem to avoid, and the Levite, as an object of curiosity. Only the Samaritan treated him as a person to love. From this parable, we learn three principles about loving our neighbor. (1) lack of love is often easy to justify, even though it is never right, (2) our neighbor is anyone on any race, creed, or social background who in need, and (3) love means acting to meet the person’s need. Wherever you live, there are needy people close by. There is no good reason for refusing to help.

There was deep hatred between Jews and Samaritans. The Jews saw themselves as pure descendants of Abraham, while the Samaritans were a mixed race produced when Jews from the northern kingdom intermarried with other peoples after Israel’s exile. To this lawyer, the person least likely to act correctly would be the Samaritan. In fact, he could not bear to say “Samaritan” in answer to Jesus question. The lawyer’s attitude betrayed his lack of the very thing that he had earlier said the law commanded, love. Whether you see someone in need as a subject to discuss, or use or exploit, a problem to avoid, a customer to serve, or someone to care for . To Jesus , all of them and all of us were worth dying for.

Even Paul the Apostle talked about love your neighbor in Romans 13:8-10… Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,”[a] “You shall not covet,”[b] and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”[c10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the lawin this passage of scripture who is love for others considered something we owe? We are permanently in debt to Christ for the lavish love he has poured out on us. The only way we can even begin to repay this debt is by loving others in turn. Because Christ’s love will always be infinitely greater than ours, we will always have the obligation to love our neighbors. Somehow many of us have gotten the idea that self-love is wrong. But it this was the case, it would be pointless to love our neighbors as ourselves. But Paul explains what he means by self-love. Even if you have low self-esteem, you probably don’t willingly let yourself go hungry. You clothe yourself reasonably well. You make sure there’s a roof over your head if you can. You try not to let yourself be cheated or injured. Ans you get angry if someone tries to ruin your marriage. This is the kind of love we need to have for our neighbors. Do we see that others are fed, clothed, housed as well as they can be? Are we concerned about issues of social justice? Loving others as ourselves means actively working to see their needs are met. Interestingly, people who focus on others rathers than themselves rarely suffer from low-esteem. Christians must obey the law of love, which supersedes both religious and civil laws. How easy is it to excuse our indifference to others merely because we have no legal obligation to help them, and even to justify harming them if our actions are technically legal? But Jesus does not leave loopholes in the love of law. Whenever love demands it, we are to go beyond human legal requirements and imitate the God of Love.

t is further stated in James 2:8-9… If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,”[a] you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. The royal law is the law of our King Jesus Christ, who said ‘Love one another as I have loved you’. This law originally summarized in Leviticus 19:18… You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. is the basis for all the laws of how people should relate to one another, Christ reinforced this truth in Matthew 22:37-40… 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’[a38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[b40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” and Paul taught it in Romans 13:8 and Galatians 5:14. We must treat all people as we would want to be treated. We should not ignore the rich because then we would be withholding our love. But we must not favor them for what they can do for us while ignoring the poor who can offer us seemingly so little in return.  I have submitted a gospel video related to this article.  Enjoy this video. Always remember “Keep the Faith and God Loves You and So Do I”

What Do You Think?  Your comments are welcome!!!!

Written by Kofi Baruti

 

 

WHEN GOD LOSES PATIENCE

There are many times in the bible, “The Word of God” where it seems that God lost patience with mankind. To sight examples in the bible in Genesis 6: 5-8…Then the Lord[b] saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man, and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord….. Again in Genesis 19: 23-25….23 The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. Still again with Joseph in Genesis 37:18-20…18 Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him. 19 Then they said to one another, “Look, this dreamer is coming! 20 Come, therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, ‘Some wild beast has devoured him.’ We shall see what will become of his dreams!”and Genesis 37:26-28… So Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27 Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh.” And his brothers listened. 28 Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt. The lord displays another example in Exodus 32: 35… So the Lord plagued the people because of what they did with the calf which Aaron made….. Again in the Israelites complained against God in Numbers 14: 34-35,.According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, and you shall know My rejection. I the Lord have spoken this. I will surely do so to all this evil congregation who are gathered against Me. In the wilderness, that shall be consumed and there they shall die…. God still displays another example of the lack of patience or betrayal in Job when Job faith in God is tested. Job is portrayed as a wealthy man of upright character who loves God. Yet God allows Satan to destroy his flocks, his possessions, his children, and his health. Job refuses to give up on God, even though he does not understand why this is happening to him, in Job 1:6-12…Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan[a] also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come? “So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” 12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person. So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord …., even with Jesus His son, God allows Jesus to be tempted by Satan in the wilderness…Matthew 4:1-11….Them Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands, they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”,…still another example where it would seem that God’s son Jesus forsakes Martha and Mary when their beloved brother Lazarus dies, in John 11: 17-27….So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” The last example with Jesus’s death it seems that God has forsaken His Son in Mark: 15 33-34…Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sab ACH Thani?” which is translated, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?”

Now, what is the point of all these examples when it seems where God has lost his patience and forsaken us? The point is that God has not forsaken us or lost patience with mankind. Did God do all these acts against mankind? Yes God did. God hasn’t lost patience with us but with sin, and in every example given in this article sin has been committed. You may be a parent and want what is best for your children. Most parents love their children as God loves you. But just because we love our children are they perfect or sometimes they do the wrong thing. The act of disobedience from your children has to be dealt with in some manner. There are consequences for all our actions when we fail to do the right thing at times in our life. You sometimes have to punish your child when they do things that are wrong, should it be any different with your heavenly Father. In all these examples there was some act of sin in the individual’s trust, faith, ignorance, disobedience etc. Let’s explore these examples further to explain God grand purpose in showing His grace, love, and mercy.

 

The first example was that God was grieved that mankind was totally disobedient toward Him. They committed sin after sin in defiance of God. God was disappointed that mankind in this example turns away from God except for Noah and his family. They still believed in God and so God told Noah of his plan to destroy the world with a great flood. He told Noah to build an ark so that Noah and his family would be spared of this great flood that would destroy the world. God instructed Noah to gather all the animals by two so that Noah’s family, as well as the animals, would repopulate the world after the flood receded. God’s grand purpose in this example wasn’t to destroy mankind but God wanted to restore mankind. God even promise Noah that he would never destroy the world by the flood with the sign of the rainbow.

Sodom and Gomorrah were the most wicked place on earth at that time. The inhabitants there were evil doing all manner of things against God. Sexual desires, stealing from others, murder, idolizing false Gods and human sacrifices were common things in these cities. God grew impatience with the constant disobedience against Him, but still, there was hope for Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham a righteous man before God pleaded with God if he could find fifty righteous people God would not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. God told Abraham he would not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if he found fifty righteous people. Abraham was unable to find fifty righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham interceded for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah that if he could find forty-five, thirty, twenty or ten righteous people God would not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham couldn’t find even ten righteous in Sodom or Gomorrah. Sodom and Gomorrah were examples of what God intended for people living in any cities. Sodom and Gomorrah were perfect examples of cities where the disobedience toward God was an acceptable lifestyle. People in Sodom and Gomorrah knew how to act toward God but choose not to obey God. God’s grand purpose with this example was to show the world the consequences of God’s disobedience.

The story of Joseph in the bible is a great example of God’s grace, love, and mercy but it seems that God had abandon Joseph. Joseph’s brothers were very jealous of Joseph because of their father, Jacob favored Joseph. We as parents sometimes have a child that we might favor over all other children. It’s not that we love any of our children less it’s just with our favored child we might have more in common than our other children. It might also be that this favored child we might be more like us than the other children. In most case, however, this favored child just might be more obedient to our rules than our other children. We can judge Joseph’s brothers for sailing their brother into slavery but having a favored child in any family is enough to stir up jealousy.

Joseph had favor with God because he loved the Lord and was obedient to God’s will and for those who don’t know Joseph story, God also gave Joseph the gift of prophecy through his dreams. Joseph had the ability to interpret dreams and predict the future through others dreams. It would have seemed God’s favor with Joseph had ended when he was sold into slavery by his brothers. Joseph’s brother told their father, Jacob, that Joseph was killed by a wild animal. However, Joseph was sold to a good man of wealth and became a favored servant in this man’s household. Again it would have seen that his favor with God had ended when the wealthy man’s wife accused Joseph of raping her and Joseph was thrown in jail. However, in jail, Joseph was able to interpret the dream one of the king’s servant while that servant was in jail with Joseph. Joseph’s reputation of interpreting dreams was presented to the Pharaoh of Egypt. The Pharaoh keep having to reoccur that which none of his council could interpret accept Joseph. The Pharaoh of Egypt summonses Joseph to interpret his dreams. Joseph interpreted the Pharaoh’s dreams and told the Pharaoh that Egypt would have seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. The Pharaoh was so impressed by Joseph interpretation of this dreams that he placed Joseph in charge of Egypt during this period second only to him. Joseph was in charge of Egypt’s food and water supplies during Egypt’s famine. All the people of the regions had to go through Joseph in order to obtain their portion of food and water including Jacob’s family. Jacob sent his sons to Pharaoh’s camp to get provisions for food and water. Joseph during this time of famine Joseph married and had two sons. Joseph’s brothers went to Egypt as instructed by their father to get provisions for food and water. Joseph did recognize his brother when they came before him. Joseph remembered what his brother did to him held the youngest of the brothers in prison. Joseph accused his brothers of being spies and made a deal with them that he would give them their provisions but one of the brothers had to stay behind in prison and they had to bring back their youngest brothers to prove that they her honest men. Joseph actually wanted to see all his brothers. Joseph didn’t want to reveal himself to his brothers because he wasn’t sure what they would do. Joseph’s brothers went back to Canaan told their father, Jacob wants having happened and that they had to bring Benjamin, their youngest brother to Egypt for the provisions they had received. Joseph’s brothers return to Egypt with Benjamin. Joseph couldn’t restrain himself any longer and revealed himself to his brothers. Joseph told his brothers in Genesis 45: 4-8….And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not, therefore, be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt…. Joseph went with his brothers back to meet his father, Jacob. Jacob’s family moved to Egypt so that they may enjoy God’s blessing He had given to Joseph.

What was God’s grand plan in the story of Joseph story? God’s wanted to express to all of us that regardless of your gifts or whether you are the favor with God or not God will never forsake you. God will never leave you alone to deal with your problems in life, but we have to believe that God is on our side. We have to believe that God is with us in good times as well as bad times. Joseph committed no sin before God yet he was sold into slavery by his own brothers. I wonder how many of us would have the kind of faith Joseph had. In most case, we would have been complaining how life is not fair or maybe God is dead. So many of us don’t understand God is always in control. They say that some people say where was God when evil things happen to people? Where was God when the Jews went through the holocaust in Germany? Where was God when the African-American were enslaved? Where was God when the atomic bomb hit Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan? Where was God? God was there still in control. The fact is that mankind has two choices to do good or evil. Mankind has these choices because God loves us and you don’t control people’s mind when you love them. All people have to choose their own path in the world whether it is evil or good. Again as I stated earlier God loses patience with the situation of our sins but not us as sinners.

The example of the Israelites is a display of a lack of faith in God as their sin. God heard Israel’s cried for freedom from Egypt. God sent Moses to free His people the Israelites. Moses was once a part of Pharaoh’s court and was raised as his son and heir to the throne of Egypt. However, Moses a Jew (which Moses didn’t know of his Jewish heritage) murdered a servant of Pharaoh and was banished from Pharaoh’s kingdom. Moses found out about his Jewish heritage was residing in a distant land when God called Moses to free his people from Egypt. Moses through many trials and tribulations in Egypt convince the Pharaoh to set free the Israelites. But God hardens Pharaoh’s heart and he came after the Israelites and Moses. The Israelites were trapped between Pharaoh’s army and the Red Sea. The Israelites complained to Moses saying we would have been better off staying in Egypt as slaves than dying as free people in the Red Sea. Moses then stretched forth his staff and said see the salvation of the Lord and parted the Red Sea so that the Israelites could cross over. Just as the last Israelite cross over the sea closed their opening and drown Pharaoh’s army which had pursued the Israelites. The Israelites still complained while they were on their journey to a promised land because they didn’t have enough food or water. God provided a pillar which gave them food for the drink for their journey. Moses was instructed by God to go into Mt. Sinai to get the commandments for the people of Israel. The Israelites while Moses was at Mt Sinai getting the commandments from God grew impatient and made Arron Moses’s brother make a gold calf as a God for the Israelites to worship instead of God. The result of this constant complaining before God left our God no choice but to banish that generation of Israelites from the promise land. God made that generation of Israelites wander in the wilderness forty years until they were all dead. What was God grand plan in this example? Simple left that generation of Israelites to lives as they choose in disbelief and sin.

The example of Job in the bible is a great example of a Christian’s faith in God. In this example, Job didn’t sin or place himself in a situation where he was tempted to sin. This was just a testament of love for God and the faith that God will never forsake us. Job was stripped of all his flock and possessions as well as his health by the devil. God allowed this to happen to prove a point to the devil. The point God wanted to prove to the devil is that a person love for God has nothing to do with having great success in life. Satan told God that the minute Job lost his possessions and his health he would curse God. But this didn’t happen to Job he still kept his faith in God. What was God’s grand plan in this example? God’s point in this example was that no matter what happens to people who believe in God, God is still in control and will never forsake us. Job could have cursed God or complained about his faith in God but he loves God and knew that God is good and God is love. Most people think when they have or they are living a faithful like for God they will be immune to the things that happen to Job. The worldly things are ruled by the devil, not God and sometimes the devil can make things happen in our lives so that we could turn away from God. But Satan is a deceiver and will use any weapon to entice us to turn away from God.

Jesus temptation in the wilderness was a testament of faith and obedience to God’s laws for all of us. Jesus came as an example of what we in the flesh should be like as God’s followers. Satan used every means to tempt Jesus to turn away from God. But Jesus didn’t turn away from God and that means we should either. I stated before in previous articles that we are in a spiritual warfare with the devil. Our only defense is God’s love grace and mercy in us. We must follow the word of God no matter what temptation come upon us which is God’s grand plan in this example.

Jesus was able to perform many miracles during his ministry on earth. Martha and Mary were grieved that Jesus didn’t save their beloved brother, Lazarus from death. Jesus himself was grieved that Martha came to him wondering why Jesus didn’t save their brother, Lazarus. This is another example of having great faith in God promises. Martha knew Jesus was great and could perform miracles but didn’t understand why Jesus didn’t come to her brother’s aid when he knew Lazarus was dying. This is where we as Christians have blinding faith. This is to say by blinding faith is that we have to know God is in control even when we don’t understand what God is doing. We can’t explain everything that God does for us because most of the time we don’t that maturity of faith to understand God’s purpose. Jesus as well as God wanted to prove they have power over death by which Jesus was able to resurrect Lazarus from death

The last example is when Jesus called out to his heaven, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me.” This is a perfect example of what it is like to be totally separated from God. This was the case as Jesus cried out for Jesus knew this would happen to him. Jesus wasn’t crying out in disbelief or discuss He knew he was taking on all of our sins and in doing so at that moment he would be separated from his heavenly Father. What was God’s grand plan in this example? Very simple that mankind would be pardoned for all of our sins. Mankind will sin because we live in a sinful world but there is always hope because your heavenly Father will always forgive your sins if you repent. God has never lost patience with mankind only sins leave us absent from God’s grace, love, and mercy. I submitted a gospel related to this article.  Enjoy this video.  Always remember “Keep the Faith and God Loves You and So Do I!!!”

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Written by Kofi Baruti

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