WHAT ARE YOUR CONVICTIONS TO CHRIST?

What are your convictions to Christ? What do I mean when I ask this question to you? One basic definition of conviction is being so thoroughly convinced that something is absolutely true that you take a stand for it regardless if the consequences. This will be the main focus I will express in this article. Are you willing to take a stand for Christ regardless of the consequences in doing so? I will give several examples in the word of God on how we may or may take in certain situations in our daily lives.
The first example is that we are to use our spiritual discernment to judge all of this world or otherwise. In 1 Corinthians 2:14-15… 14 but the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no oneNon-Christians cannot understand God, and they cannot grasp the concept that God’s Spirit lives in believers. Don’t expect most people to approve of or understand your decision to follow Christ. It all seems so silly to them. Just as a tone-deaf person cannot appreciate music, the person who rejects God cannot understand God’s beautiful message. With the lines of communication broken, he or she won’t be able to hear God is saying to him or her. Only way they can is if they confess their sins to God, repent or turn away from their sins and turn to Christ for help or salvation instead of the world.
Another example would be when our hearts may or may not condemn us. In 1 John 3:19-20 states … 19 and by this we know[a] that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. 20 For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all thingsMany are afraid that they don’t love others as they should. They fell guilty because they think they are not doing enough to show proper love to Christ. Their consciences bother them. John, the apostle, has these people in mind in this passage of scripture. How do we escape the gnawing accusations of our consciences? Not by ignoring them or rationalizing our behavior, but by setting our hearts on God’s love. When we feel guilty, we should remind ourselves that God knows our motives as well as our actions. His voice of assurance is stronger than the accusing voice of our conscience. If we are in Christ, Christ will not condemn us, but if we are not in Christ our conscience will condemn our hearts. So if you are living for the lord but feeling that you are not good enough, remind yourself that God is greater than your conscience.
There is another example when we should prove all things and hold fast to that which is good. Meaning in 1 Thessalonians 5:20-2120 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is goodWe shouldn’t make fun of those who don’t agree with what we believe (meaning despise prophecies), but we should always ‘test all things,’ checking their words against the Word of God or the bible. We are on dangerous ground if we scoff at a person who is speaking the truth. Instead we should carefully check out what people say, accepting what is true through the word of God and rejecting what is false in the word of God.
There is also the example of when we are to use wisdom and judgement to approve all things that are excellent with God. In Philippians 1:9-10 it states9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, … Often the best way to influence someone is to pray for him or her. Paul, the Apostle, prayer for the Philippians was that they would be unified in love. Their love was to result in greater knowledge of Christ and deeper insight (meaning moral discernment). Their love was not based on feelings but on what Christ had done for them. As you grow in Christ’s love, your heart and mind must grow together. Is your love and insight growing? Paul prayed that Philippians believers would ‘approve the things that are excellent’, meaning that they would have the ability to differentiate between right and wrong, good and bad, vital and trivial. We ought to pray for moral discernment so we can maintain our Christian morals and values. The ‘day of Christ’ refers to the time when God will judge the world through Jesus Christ. We should live each day as though Christ could return at any moment.
Given all these examples where do you stand with Christ? What will you be willing to hold fast to regardless of the consequences. Do you shy away from a non-believer when he says you are crazy to believe in Jesus Christ? Do you have doubt your love for Christ as well as loving others such as your family or friends in Christ? Are you willing to listen to all spiritual things people might say to you and testing these spiritual thing through the word of God. Can you honestly say that you that you always try live a holy life with moral discernment knowing what is right or wrong? These are the questions you must answer for yourself. This article’s true purpose is only for you to explore God’s word to answer any or all of these questions. I submitted a video related to this article. Enjoy the video. Always remember “Keep the Faith and God Loves You and So Do I”
What do you think? (Your comments are always welcome).
Written by Kofi Baruti

HOW DO WE PRAY FOR OTHERS?

What are things you should consider when you are praying for other? This article will focus on several things we must believe when we are praying for others. To answer this question on ‘How to we pray for others?’ let’s take a look at several bible as examples of what you need to have when praying for others. This article will focus on the following things; wisdom and power, strength and knowledge of God’s love, discernment, spiritual understanding and knowing God’s will, steadfastness, and boldness in sharing the faith. All of these examples are also various type of prays we pray for others.

In the word of God, the bible, in Ephesians 1:18-20…18 the eyes of your understanding[a] being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,in these verses the hope we have is not a vague feeling that the future will be positive, but is complete assurance of certain victory through God. This complete certainty comes to us through the Holy Spirit who is working in us. The world fears the power of the atom, yet we belong to God of the universe who not only created that atomic power, but also raised Jesus Christ from the dead. God’s incomparably great power is available to help you. There is nothing too difficult for God. So when you are praying for others you must believe in the wisdom and power of God.

Regarding the issue of strength and knowledge of God’s love it states in Ephesians 3:16-19… 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God God’s love is total, says Paul, the apostle. It reaches every corner of our experience. Its width covers the breath of our own experience, and it reaches out to the whole world. Its length continues the length of our lives. Its depth reaches to the depths of discouragement, despair, and even death. Its height rises to the heights of our celebration and elation. When you feel shut out or isolated, remember that you can never be lost to God’s love. ‘The fullness of God’ is fully expressed only in Christ. In union with Christ and through his empowering Spirit, we are complete. We have all the fullness of God available to us. But we must appropriate that fullness through faith and through prayer as we daily live for him. Paul’s prayer in the scripture of passage is for you also. You can ask the Holy Spirit to fill every aspect of your life to the fullest. So when you pray for others you can always be assure that God’s love in your prayer will be done, because you are claiming God’s love and fullness of his promises.

On the issue discernment (meaning the ability to judge well in prayer) it states in Philippians 1:9-11And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God Often the best way to influence someone is to pray for him or her. Paul’s prayer for the Philippians was that they would be unified in love. Their love was to result in greater knowledge of Christ and deeper insight (meaning moral discernment). Their love was not based on feelings but what Christ had done for them. As you grow in Christ’s love, your heart and mind grow together. Is your love and insight growing? Paul prayed that the Philippians believers would ‘approve the things are excellent’ in other words, that they would have the ability to differentiate between right and wrong, good and bad, vital and trivial. We ought to pray for moral discernment so we can maintain our Christian morals and values. The ‘day of Christ’ refers to the time when God will judge the world through Jesus Christ. We should live each as though he could return at any moment. The ‘fruits of righteousness’ includes all of the character traits flowing from a right relationship with God. There is no other way for us to gain this fruit of righteousness than through Christ. So as for your prayer of discernment you must show love in your prayer even if the person doesn’t want anything to do with you or your prayer.

When you are praying in the spiritual understanding and knowing God’s will it states in Colossians 1:9… For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;… Sometimes we wonder how to pray for missionaries and other leaders we have never met. Paul never met the Colossians, but he faithfully prayed for them. His prayers teach us how to pray for others, whether you know them or not. We can request that they (1) understand God’s will, (2) gain wisdom and spiritual understanding, (3) please and honor God, (4) bear good fruit, (5) increase in knowledge of God, (6) be filled with God’s strength, (7) have great patience, (8) stay full of Christ’s joy, and (9) give thanks always. All believers have these basic needs as well as non-believers. So when you are praying for someone whether you know then are not you and use Paul’s prayer in Colossians as a blueprint for your prayer.

Regarding steadfastness it states in 2 Thessalonians 3:5 …now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of ChristYou have to be patience even when you pray for others. You must never stop prayer for others no matter how long it will take God to answer your prayer for them. There is an n old saying “The Lord may come when You need him, but he is always on time.” What this means that some people in which you pray for are not ready for to blessed them or answer your prayers for them. You need to have patience and know that when you pray for others through your faith that God will answer their prayer. I have submitted a video related to this article. Enjoy the video. Always remember, “Keep the Faith and God Loves You and So Do I”.

What do you think? Your comments are always welcome.

Written by Kofi Baruti

HOW DO WE USE OUR TALENTS TO GLORIFY GOD

In the bible talents are offer referred to as money, but in this article we will be talking about your special abilities, and gifts whether spiritual or not. Many people may have special abilities or gifts they were born with such as a very high aptitude for math, science, or music. However, God also gives all of us spiritual gifts by His love, grace and mercy. An example of some of the spiritual gifts God may give a person would be, the gift to teach the word of God, the gift to heal others of sickness, or the gift of prophecy (someone able to tell a future event(s)). What we want to accomplish in this article is how we use the abilities or gifts to glorify God. Obviously, we can use God’s gifts to glorify God by serving others as well as the church of Christ.

In 1 Peter 4:10-11… 10 as each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen In this passage of scripture some people well aware of their abilities that they have the right to use their abilities as they please. Others feel that they have no special talents at all. Peter addresses both these groups in these verses. Everyone has some gifts; find yours and use them. All our abilities should be used in serving others: none are for our own exclusive enjoyment. Peter mentions speaking and serving. How is God gloried when we use our abilities? When we use then as God directs, to help others, they will see Jesus in us, and praise God for the help they have received. Peter may have been thinking of Jesus words as stated in Matthew 5:16… ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven’… If we live for Christ, we will glow like lights, showing others what is like. We hide our light by 1) being quiet when we should speak, 2) going along with the crowd, 3) denying the light, 4) letting sin dim our light, 5) not explain our light to others, 6) ignoring the needs of others. You must be a deacon of truth, and never shut your light off from the rest of the world. So how from what was previous written can we glorify God through gifts? First, we have to know and acknowledge our gifts from God. Second, we have to use our gifts to help others. Third, we must explain to others that our gifts are from God and why we God gave you your gifts to help others. And fourth, give all the praise of gifts to God and not yourself (don’t take credit for something God gave you).

There is another aspect of using our talents to glorify God and that is building God’s church or the body of Christ. Sometimes working with people in the church of Christ can be difficult. What do you do when your gifts in the church or the body of Christ not utilized? I have been a deacon for nearly 30 years and I have seen or witness this happen with my own eyes. I will give a couple of examples. One church I served at had situation where the daughter of the chairman of deacon board, took a position as the music director at our church. I felt she did a great job and displayed her great gifts in music. But the Pastor of this church didn’t like here style of music and wanted to dictate to her what music she was supposed to play in church. Being frustrated his daughter quit as music director. There was a great falling out at a deacon meeting between the Pastor and our chairman of the deacon board. What did we do as a deacon board we use our gift of prayer to heal the rift between the chairman of the deacon board and our Pastor. Point here is everyone can pray and when you face with a situation like this sometimes the easiest thing to do is pray. God will always take care of his people through prayer.

Another example is when you may be serving in a ministry at your church and you have great disagreement with someone in the same ministry you are serving in. The word of God states in Matthew 5:24… leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift broken relationships can hinder our relationship with God. If we have a problem or grievance with a friend, we should resolve the problem as soon as possible. We are hypocrites if we claim to love God while we hate others. Our attitude toward other reflect our relationship with God.

Using your gifts to glorify God takes the courage the use them for others benefit not your own. When you don’t use your gifts at all it is like telling God you don’t appreciate any blessing has bestowed on you. Being selfish with your gifts will only been you further away from God’s blessing and others you may care about. Remember, you are a child of God, and God loves you so much that He was willing to give you a gift. Don’t ignore God love grace and mercy because your life may take turn for the worse no matter what special abilities or gift you have. I submitted a video related to this article. Enjoy the video. Always remember, “Keep the Faith and God Loves You and So Do “.

What do you think? Your comment are always welcome!!!

Written by Kofi Baruti

 

WHEN YOUR FAITH WAVERS

What is faith to the Christian believer? I want to answer this question before we get into why Christians or other others waver in their faith. The basic definition of ‘Faith’ is defined as belief with strong conviction, firm belief in something for which there may be no tangible proof, complete trust, confidence, reliance or devotion. ‘Faith’ is the opposite of doubt. To the Christian, faith is the experience of living in a dynamic and personal relationship with God through the transforming and indwelling power of Jesus in your body and life. We will explore and express why we all sometimes waver in our faith, as well as, what happens when we waver in our faith? The central focus of this article will be why we sometimes doubt God and rely on other things or people regarding our faith. This article may seem like it is focus on the Christians, but it is also focus on the non-believer as well. To the non-believer we want express a better way or a ultimate solution to your situation of doubt in your life.

In James 1:1-8 it states …James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings. My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. By wisdom James is talking not only knowledge, but about the ability to make decisions in difficult circumstances. Whatever we need wisdom, we can pray to God, and God will generously supply what we need. Christians don’t have to grope around in the dark, hoping to stumble upon answers. We can ask for God’s wisdom to guide our choices. Wisdom also means practical discernment. It begins with respect for God, leads to right living, and results in increased ability to tell right from wrong. God is willing to give us this wisdom, but we will be unable to receive it if our goals are self-centered instead of God-centered. To learn God’s will, we need to read God’s word and ask God to show us how to obey it. Then we must do what God tells us.

To ‘ask in faith, with not doubt’ means not only believing in the existence of God, but believing in his loving care. It includes relying on God and expecting that he will hear and answer when we pray. We must put away our critical attitude when we come to God. God does not grant every thoughtless or selfish request. We must have confidence that God will align our desires with his purpose. A mind that always wavers is not completely convinced that God’s way is best. It treats God’s word like any human advice, and it retains the option to disobey God way or answer. It vacillates between allegiance to subjective feelings, the world’s ideas, and God’s commands. If your faith is new, weak, or struggling, remember that you can trust God. Then be loyal to God. To stabilize your wavering or doubting mind, commit yourself wholeheartedly to God. If you have ever seen the constant rolling of huge waves at sea, you know how restless they are – subject to the forces of wind, gravity, and tide. Doubt leaves a person as unsettled as the restless waves. If you want to stop being tossed about, rely on God to show you what is best for you. Ask him for wisdom and trust that God will give it to you. Then your decisions will be sure and solid, not like the double-minded man who always waver in their faith or any difficult decision that may have to make in their life.

Now that we explain what God wants you to do with your wavering faith, lets talk about why we waver and what happen when we do. One reason why waver in our faith is that we allow our feelings to overcome our faith. Whether you a Christian or not all of us from time to time let our emotions take control of our reasoning. For example, lets say you are trying to convince a relative to do something that you know will help them. They refuse to listen to you and instead tell you to go to hell and mine your business. You can lose your cool in this situation because your relative may have had this problem a long time, but the best thing to do in this situation is place this situation in God’s hands. If you are not a Christian you may rely on a worldly idea that very well may blow up in your face, or make this situation worse. Another reason we waver in our faith is that we listen to the wrong advise. In any difficult situation the Christian knows that they can pray that God and have faith God will answer their pray. If you are not a Christian, you may have to rely on people to give you advice. When you do this there is no guarantee that this advise will help you in your difficult situation, and if this is a life changing situation you are playing Russian roulette with your life.

Still another reason a people may waver in their faith is that we focus too much on our circumstances. This may have happen to all of us Christian or not. We have a relative or child very sick maybe even dying. We have done everything we can to help this sick person get well, you have done everything the doctors have told you to do. But this relative is getting worse not better. What can you do now. The Christians understands that God can heal this relative through their prayers they have faith that their relative will be well. The person who is not a Christian can only hope that something will happen of which they have no idea to make their relative well. Sometimes in situations like this on we all have to let go and let God. The situation is beyond our abilities to solve. This is when you have hand the situation to God and trust in God that everything will be alright. Another reason we waver in our faith is that we may be carrying some guilt or sin we did in the past. Guilt can cause a person to do a lot of things which will not be good. Some people even disguise their guilt with the phrase “The Devil Made Me Do It!!!” Knowing very well they wanted to do it all alone. People that are caught up in these situation carry the hurt of guilt sometimes for many years. They see know way that God or anyone can for give them for the horrible sin they committed. But the Christian knows that this is not true. God will forgive for all your sins no matter how horrible they may be. Christians know from reading God’s word that there are many examples where God forgive man for horrible sins. One example, is the apostle, Paul, who pursecuted many Christains before God forgave him and made him an apostle. However, the greatest gift of forgiveness was Jesus Christ death on the cross for all of mankind sins.

So whether you are a Christain or not you don’t have to waver in your faith. God will answer all of your prayer if you have faith in God. God will answer your prayer if you believe that Jesus died on the cross for all of your sins. God will answer all your prayers if you believe and trust in God’s ways and not the world ways. The Christain with real faith never doubt God or their situations. You can have that same assurance if you believe in God and not just yourself. I submitted a gospel video related to this article. Enjoy the video. Always remember, “Keep the Faith, and God Loves You and So Do I”

What do you think? Your comments are always welcome.

Written by Kofi Baruti

THE STEWARDSHIP OF OUR TREASURES

What is the true meaning of stewardship? The definition of stewardship is the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care. What do we hold most valuable in our lives? What are our treasure that we hold most dear? The definition of treasures are the somethings that we hold great value to us. This article will focus on how we should manage our treasure in our lives. If you believe God or something created man and the universe then you also have to conclude that the creator has the power over all that they or God created. Meaning that to main focus of this article is concerning how God wants us to manage all that He has created or given to us.

Let’s start with money since we all need this form of our treasure to survive in most cases. It is stated in the word of God in 1 Timothy 6:10… 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows... What the scripture is talking about is greed leads to all kinds of evil, such as marriage problems, robbery as well as blowups in partnerships. To master greed you must control it at its root. This means to get rid of your desire to be rich. To some this statement might be strange to say that it is a sin to be rich. Read the scripture carefully it states ‘the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, not have money or acquiring wealth. God doesn’t really have a problem with rich people, but God does have a problem with rich people who places money over all other things one would need to live by. A great example of this is stated in Luke 16:19-31… 19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell[a] from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’ 27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead... In New Testament days the Pharisees considered wealth to be a proof of a person’s righteousness. Jesus startled them with this story where a diseased beggar is rewarded and a rich man is punished. The rich man did not go to hell because of his wealth but because he was selfish, refusing to feed or take care of Lazarus, the beggar. The rich man was hardheaded in spite of his great blessings. The amount of money we have is not as important as the way we use it. What is your attitude toward your money and possessions? Do you hoard them selfishly, or do you use them to help others? God wants us to manage our money wisely to help others and not just ourselves.

One last point about money. Many Christians don’t give a tenth of what they earn (or what is called the tithe) to the ministry of Christ or the church. According to Malachi 3:10… Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,”
Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you 
such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it in this passage of scripture the storehouse was the place in the temple for storing grain and other food given as tithes. The priest lived off these gifts or tithes, much like the Christian church survives off the tithes we give today. Malachi, the prophet, was urging the people to stop holding back their tithes, to stop keeping from God what He deserved. The people during this period ignored God’s command to give the tithe of their income to God’s temple. They may have feared losing what they had worked so hard to get, but in this they misjudged God. In Luke 6:38… ‘Give, and it will be given to you…’ When we give we must remember that the blessings God promises are not always material and May not be experience completely here on earth, but we will certainly receive them in our future life with God. So as Christians we must give the tithe (which God commands us to give a tenth of our income) because at the end of the today it is all of God’s money anyway!!!

Next, I would think that our relationships with others would be another form of treasure we may need in our lives. Regarding our relationships we are talking about our marriages friendships, business partnerships, as well as co-workers relationship. The word of God has many references in the way we must treat others people, but the central one in the word of God is in Romans 12:9-13…Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality most of us have learned to pretend to love others – how to speak kindly, avoid hurting their feelings, and appear to take an interest in them. We may even be skilled in pretending to feel moved with compassion when we hear of others’ needs, or to become indignant when we learn of injustice. But God calls us to real and sincere love that goes far beyond pretense and politeness. Since love requires concentration and effort. It means helping others become better people. It demands our time, money and personal involvement. We can honor others in one of two ways. One involves ulterior motives. We honor our bosses so they will reward us, our employees so they will work harder, the wealthy so they will contribute to our cause, the powerful so they will use their power for us not against us. God’s other way involves love. As Christians, we honor people because they have been created in God’s image, because they are our brothers and sister in Christ, and because that have a unique contribution to make to Christ’s church. Does God’s way of honoring others sound too difficult for your competitive nature? Why not try outdo one another in honor? Put other first!!! Christian hospitality differs from social entertaining. Entertaining focuses on the host- the home must be spotless, the food must be well prepared and abundant, and the host must appear relaxed and good-natured. Hospitality, by contrast, focuses on the guest. Their needs- whether for a place to stay, nourishing food, a listening ear, or acceptance – are the primary concern. Hospitality can happen in a messy home. It can happen around a dinner table where the main dish is canned soup. It can happen while the host and the guest are doing chores together. Don’t hesitate to offer hospitality just because you are too tired, too busy, or not wealthy enough to entertain.

Being a good steward with what God has given us means that whatever you may hold as valuable, God may require you to change what is valuable to you. No greater passage of scripture is this illustrated that in Luke 12:16-21… 16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ The rich man in Jesus’ story died before he could begin to use what was stored in his big barns. Planning for retirement – preparing for life before death – is wise, but neglecting life after death is disastrous. If you accumulate wealth only to enrich yourself, with no concern for helping others, you will enter eternity empty-handed. Essentially this means you take what of value with to your grave. Regardless whether you are a Christian or not you should be more concern on you treat or help others than what you may want to do with your treasures. 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

GETTING COURAGE THROUGH ALL YOUR DIFFICULTIES IN LIFE

Many of us whether we are Christians or not will go through difficulties and trails in our life. There are many reasons why we may go through these difficulties in our lives. It may be because we made bad decisions in our lives. It may be someone or people who are causing these difficulties. It could be our own desires that cause these difficulties. Whatever, reason why we go through these difficulties or trails will not be the focus of this article. The major focus of this article will be how we handle, respond or react to these difficulties or trails in our lives. More specifically the courage we may or may have when we are going through these difficulties and trails. This article will express the steps you will need to get or find courage through the word of God.

In the word of God it states in Deuteronomy 31:5-7… The Lord will give them over to you, that you may do to them according to every commandment which I have commanded you. 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.” Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it...Moses commissions Joshua to led his people the Israelites to the land God had promise them. God knew this was going to be difficult so God encourage Moses and Joshua to have courage because God will be with them in all there difficulties. It further states in the word of God in Joshua 10:25… 2Then Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; be strong and of good courage, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies against whom you fight.” … with God’s help Israel won the battle against five Amorite armies. Such a triumph was part of God’s daily business as He Worked with the people for victory. Joshua told his men never to be afraid because similar victories over all their enemies. God has often protected us and won victories for us. The same God who empowered Joshua and who had had led us in the past will help us with our present and future needs, meaning in this case our present and future trails. Reminding ourselves of God’s help in the past will give us hope and courage for the struggles that lie ahead.

I also state in the word of God in Psalms 27:14… Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! … in this scripture David knew from experience what it meant to wait for the Lord. He had been anointed king st age 16, but didn’t become king until he was 30. During the interim, he was chased through the wilderness by jealous king Saul. David had to wait on God for the fulfillment of his promise of reign. Later becoming king, he was chased by his rebellious son, Absalon. Waiting for God is not easy.. Often it seems that He isn’t answering our prayers or doesn’t understand the urgency of our situation. That kind of thinking implies that God is not in control or is not fair. But God is worth waiting for. Make good use of your period of waiting to discover what is God trying to teach you in all your trails.

So with all that has been previously written here are the three basic steps to gaining courage in our difficulties or trails. First, recognize that God is in control, to a Christian that might seen very obvious, to a non-believer maybe. Jesus said 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.”Jesus states in this scripture told his disciples anyone can be saved, but not by mankind but through the power of God. It is further demonstrated the God in control in John 5:5-9… Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. 10 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.”After 38 years, this man’s problem had become a way of life. No one had ever help him. He had no hope of ever being healed and no desire to help himself. The man’s situation looked hopeless. But no matter how trapped you feel in your infirmities, God can minister to your ddespest needs. Don’t let a problem or hardship cause you to lose hope. God may have special work for you to do in spite of your condition, or even because of it. Many have ministered effectively to hurting people because they have triumphed over their own hurts or trails. This man hadn’t walker in 38 years and was healed, but the Pharisees were more concern about their petty rules than the life and health of human being. It is so easy to get caught up in our man-made structures and rules that we forget the people involved. Are your guidelines for living God-made or man-made? Are you helping people, or have they become needless stumbling blocks? Knowing that God is always in control we all can find the courage over coming our trails in life.

Second, we must believe that God can do what He has promise through our prayers. Jesus said, in Matthew 7:7-8… “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. .. Jesus tells us to persist in pursuing God. People often give up after a few halfhearted efforts and conclude that God cannot be found or help in your situations or trails. But knowing God takes faith, focus, and follow-through, and Jesus assures us that we will be rewarded. Don’t give up in your efforts to seek God or ask God to give you the courage to face your trails. You must continue to ask God for more knowledge, patience, wisdom, love and understanding. God will give you your courage to face all you difficulties and trials in your life.

The last step to obtaining your courage in your difficulties or trails is that you must wait on the Lord. In the word of God in Isaiah 40:31… But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faintWaiting on the Lord is expecting that his promise of strength will help us to rise above life’s distractions-and difficulties. It also means trusting in God. Trusting helps us to be prepared when God speaks to us. Then we will be patient when he ask us to wait and expect God to fulfill the promises found in his Word. Trusting in God is the key in waiting on the Lord, because you don’t have to worry about what will happen to you while you are waiting on God to help overcome your trails. Jesus also states in Matthew 6:34… 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble… Planning for tomorrow is time well spent, worrying about tomorrow is time wasted. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference. Careful planning is thinking ahead about your goals or trails you may face. Then trusting in God’s guidance. When done well it in most cases eliminate your worries and you will have the courage tom face your difficulties and trails. Once you have conquered any worries about your trails in your life you will have the courage to face all the situation that may come your way in life. I have submitted a gospel video related to this article. Enjoy the 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

A NEW LIFE WITH CHRIST

We all or at most of us are welcoming the new 2017. What will your life be like in 2017? Will you be the same person you have always been or will you have a new or different life? You can have a new life with Christ. But what does that mean to have a new life with Christ? Whether you are a non-believer or you have just join the body of Christ, this article will focus the actions of what any Christian should do to have a life with Christ. This article is about what it means to have a new life with Jesus Christ.

When someone joins the church of Christ he or she become a new creature as it is stated in the bible in 2 Corinthians 5:17… 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become newChristians are brand-new people on the inside. The Holy Spirit gives them new life, and they are not the same anymore. We are not reformed, rehabilitated, or reeducated – we are re-created (new creatures), living in vital union with Christ. At conversion we are not merely turning over a new leaf, we are beginning a new life under a new Master, Jesus Christ. To most people this essentially means you have a different attitude or outlook on your life. For example, if someone was an addict before they came to Christ, they are no longer an addict when they turn their life over to Christ. Why because as stated above the Holy Spirit (which in this case Christ dwelling inside you) you are given the courage and resolve to quit your addiction). With this attitude your old life will be no more as you begin to live your new life with Christ.

You don’t have to be an addict to come to a new life with Christ. You can be anyone who desires to have a more fulfilling life. For example, anyone never been in trouble with the law, never became addict to any drugs, or stayed away from the street. This person is basically a good person. But they may feel something is missing in their life. They don’t know exactly was it is but something is just not right or they don’t feel fulfilled in their life. One day they may attend a church service and during that service or after sermon or message was given they decide to try Jesus Christ. To them they may have tried everything else during life why not try Christ. Perhaps it something the minister said in their sermon or maybe it was a song they heard during the service. Everyone will come to Christ in their own way. So you do what is stated in Romans 10:9-10… that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Now that you are a new creature in Christ what actions should take to have a new life with Christ? I believe the first thing you must do is get a good instructional bible. It really doesn’t matter what version of the bible as long as it makes sense to you. Why is this so important? It is because in the world of sin in which we live you will need a guide to help to stay on track to your new life with Christ. The bible is the most important book you will ever own as stated in the bible in John 1:1… In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God What does John mean by the Word? The Word was another expression for God. John’s description shows clearly that he is speaking of Jesus- a human being he knew and loved, but at the same time the Creator of the universe, the ultimate revelation of God. The living picture of God’s holiness, the One in which all things consist. The next thing you should do to have a life with Christ is join or find a church that has a great bible study class. Now this is important because you may not understand everything in the word of God or the bible, so a great bible class will be very helpful to you in perhaps getting a better understand of the word of God.

The next actions you should take with your new life with Christ will best the greatest benefit you will ever have other than your own salvation is to pray. One the great things about being a Christians is that whatever you pray for you will receive according to your faith and God’s time table not yours. Prayer is your direct access to God as a Christian, but it is through Jesus Christ who intercedes for all of us in our prayers. In the bible it states in Matthew 7:7-8… “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened Jesus tells us to persist in pursuing God. People often give up after a few halfhearted efforts and conclude that God cannot be found. But knowing God takes faith, focus, and follow-through, and Jesus assures us that we will be rewarded. Don’t give up in your efforts to seek God. Continue to ask Him for more knowledge, patience, wisdom, love, and understanding. Jesus will give then to you.

An important action with your new life with Christ is what type of ministry you will have in this journey with Jesus. It would be highly recommended that you should not join a church with a great bible study class, but also a church that practices the ‘Gift of the Holy Spirit’ or what is known to some people a full gospel church. Many people talk about certain people speaking in tongue, healing others, comforting others, teaching others etc. in the ways of Christ. You will have to seek what role you will have in the church of Christ. In the word of God it states in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11… there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same[a] Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills All Christians have faith. Some, however, have the spiritual gift of faith, which is an unusual measure of trust in the Holy Spirit’s power. In this passage of scripture what is meant in “Prophecy” is not just a prediction of the future, it can also mean preaching God’s Word with power. ‘Discerning of spirits’ means the ability to discern whether a person who claims to speak to God is actually doing so, or is speaking by an evil spirit. No matter what gifts a person has, each gift is given by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit decides which gifts each one of us should. We are responsible to use and sharpen our gifts, but can take no credit for what God has given freely given us.

One final thought to this new life with Christ is the ‘Great Commission’. To the non-believers the ‘Great Commission’ is the mission statement for all Christians regardless of their gifts or station in life. In the word of God in Matthew 28:16-20 states… 16 then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore[a] and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen God gave Jesus authority over heaven and earth. On the basis of that authority, Jesus told his disciples to make more disciples to make more disciples as they preached, baptism, and taught. With the same authority, Jesus still commands us to tell the Good News and make them disciples for the kingdom of God. Jesus assures us that why we are doing our ministry He is with us. How is Jesus with us? Jesus was with disciples physically until he ascended into heaven, and then spiritually through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would be the presence that would never leave his disciples. And Jesus continues to be with us today through his Spirit. I submitted a gospel video related to this article. Enjoy the video. Always remember, “Keep the Faith” and “God Loves You and So Do I”.

What do you think? Your comment are always welcome.

Written By Kofi Baruti

 

THE GIFTS THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

What was the best gift or gifts you have ever received? Now that we are in the Christmas season we are now going around from store to store trying to get the best gifts for our family and friends.

But have you ever wonder what was the greatest gift or gifts you received from God? I believe the greatest gift God gave to mankind was his son and my Savior, Jesus Christ. If you are a non-believer I will still ask the question what is the greatest gift or gifts you ever receive? Some people may say their children or their husband or wife. Perhaps some would say their Mother or Father or brother or sister or just a real life long friend. Whatever, your answer I believe God created every gift or gifts because God loves you and wants very much to have a relationship with you!!! In this article, we want to focus what is God’s greatest gift to mankind, Jesus Christ, and what gifts Christ gave to all of us if we only believe in Him.

The very core of all God’s gifts is love as stated in John 3:16… For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. The entire gospel comes to focus in this verse. God’s love is not static or self-centered. It reaches out and draws others in. Here God sets the pattern of true love, the basis for all love relationships – when you love someone dearly, you are willing to give freely to the point of self-sacrifice. God paid dearly with the life of his Son, the highest price he could pay. Jesus accepted our punishment, paid the price for our sins, and then offered us the new life that he brought for us. When we share the gospel with others, our love must be like Jesus – willingly giving up our own comfort and security so others might join us in receiving God’s love.

I believe that the greatest gift God gave to mankind was Jesus Christ. We must define or at express who this Jesus Christ is to the non-believer. Jesus Christ, as all Christians believe is the savior of the world. Jesus Christ came to redeem all of our sins. Historically, Jesus Christ was a man who lived during the height of the Roman empire. Christians believe that when Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross He died for all of the mankind’s sins. Christians believe that Christ rose on the third day after his death to prove that all Christians have not only conquered sin but death with eternal life with God. Christians also believe that Christ sits on the right hand of God and intercedes for all of our sins. The ‘Word of God’ or the bible Christians believe is our guide manual or testament of God’s instruction on how we are to live with God here on earth. This bible has 64 books written by men inspire by God and is divided in the ‘Old Testament’ and the ‘New Testament’. All through the ‘Old Testament’ it tells of Christ coming into the world on example is in Isaiah 7:14… 14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel… the word Immanuel in the passage of scripture means “God with us”. Also in Isaiah 9:6… For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us, a Son is given, And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
. Then again in Micah 5:2…“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.”…. This Ruler is Jesus Christ, the Messiah, Micah accurately predicted Christ’s birthday hundreds of years before Jesus was born. The promised eternal King in David’s line, who would come to live as a man, had been alive forever – ‘from of old, from everlasting’. Although eternal, Christ entered human history as the man Jesus of Nazareth.

We have express who Jesus Christ is to the mankind now we need to talk about what gifts Jesus gave to all who believe in Him. The most odious answer of one the greatest gift if not the most important gift Jesus gave to mankind is salvation. When we talk about the salvation we are referring to the act of God’s grace in delivering his people (Christians) from bondage to sin and condemnation, transferring them to the kingdom of His Son, Jesus Christ, and giving all Christians eternal life. This stated in the word of God in Colossians 1:13… 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, as well as Romans 6:23… 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. When the verse speaks of the wages of sin is death, they are not talking about physical death but a spiritual death. Besides, we all know whether you believe in Jesus Christ or not that we will all die one day. The question is do you want to die with Jesus Christ or not. Also in this Romans verse eternal life is a free gift from God. If it is a gift, then it is not something that we earn, nor something that must be paid back. Consider the foolishness of someone who receives a gift given out of love and then offers to pay for it. A gift cannot be purchased by the recipient. A more appropriate response to a loved one who offers a gift is graceful acceptance with gratitude. Our salvation is a gift from God, not something of our own doing. He saved us because of this mercy, not because of ant righteous things that we have done. How much more we should accept with thanksgiving the gift that God has freely given to us.

Finally, let’s talk about God’s gift of grace and mercy. While grace and mercy have similar meanings, grace and mercy are not the same. To summarize the difference, mercy is God not punishing us as our sins deserve, and grace is God’s blessings us despite the fact we do not deserve it. The gift of mercy is deliverance from judgment. While the gift of grace is extending kindness to the unworthy. All through the bible God has given gifts of grace and mercy to His people. God’s gift of was shown in Esther 2:16-17… 16 So Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. 17 The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of VashtiGod place Esther on the throne even before the Jews faced the possibility of complete destruction so that when trouble came, a person would already be in the position to help. No human effort could thwart God’s plan to send the Messiah to earth as a Jew. If you changing jobs, position, or location and can’t see God’s purpose in your situation, understand that God is in control. God may be placing you in a position so you can help when the need arises. Also, God’s gift of grace is expressed in Ephesians 2:8-9… For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast… When someone gives you a gift, do you say, “That’s very nice – now how much do I owe you?” No, the appropriate response to a gift is “Thank you.” Yet how often Christians, even after they have been given the gift of salvation, feel obligated to try to work their way to God. Because our salvation and even our faith are gifts, we should respond with gratitude, praise, and joy. When it comes to God’s gift of mercy in Psalms 51:1-4… Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me

thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just when You speak,[a] And blameless when You judge... David was truly sorry for his adultery with Bathsheba and for murdering her husband to cover it up. He knew that his actions had hurt many people. But because David repented of that sin, God mercifully forgave him. No sin is too great to be forgiven! Do you feel that you could never come close to God because you have done something terrible? God can and will forgive you of any sin. While God forgives us, however, he does not always erase the natural consequences of our sin – David’s life and family were never the same as a result of what he had done. In another expression of God’s gift of mercy in Romans 6:14-15… 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!…If we’re no longer under the law but under grace, are we now free to sin and disregard the Ten Commandments? Paul says, “Certainly not!” When we were under the law sin was our master – the law does not justify us or help us overcome sin. But now that we are bound to Christ, he is our Master, and he gives us the power to do good rather than evil.

So the gift’s of God that keeps on giving are salvation, grace, and mercy through God’s love for all of us. God will always be there for you if you have faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. Through Jesus, we all can receive the gifts of God that keep on giving. I have submitted a gospel video related to this article. Enjoy the video. Always remember, “Keep the Faith” and “God Loves You and So Do I.”

What do you think? Your comments are always welcome.

Written by Kofi Baruti

CAN WE BENEFIT FROM ADVERSITY?

Can we benefit from adversity? I want to answer this question through a passage of scripture in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10… And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. In the this passage of scripture we don’t know what Paul’s thorn in the flesh really was, because he doesn’t tell us. Some have suggested that it was malaria, epilepsy, or a disease of the eyes. Whatever the case, it was a chronic and debilitating problem, which at times kept him from working. This thorn was a hindrance to his ministry, and he prayed for its removal, but God refused. Paul was a very self-sufficient person, so this thorn must have been difficult for him. It kept Paul humble, reminded him of his need for constant contact with God, and benefited those around him as they saw God at work in his life. Although God did not remove Paul’s physical affliction, he promised to demonstrate his power in Paul. The fact that God’s power is displayed in weak people should give us courage. Though we recognize our limitations, we will not congratulate ourselves and rest at that. Instead, we will turn to God to seek pathways for effectiveness. We must rely on God for our effectiveness rather than simply on our own energy, effort, or talent. Our weakness not only helps develop Christian character, it also deepens our worship, because in admitting our weakness we affirm God’s strength. When we are strong in abilities or resources, we are tempted to do God’s work on our own, and that can lead to pride. When we are weak, allowing God to fill us with his power, then we are stronger that we could ever be on our own. God does not intend for us to seek to be weak, passive, or ineffective, life provides enough hindrances and setbacks without us creating them. When those obstacles come, we must depend on God. Only God’s power will make us effective for God and will help us do work that has lasting value.

Adversity can a tool God uses to call people to discipleship. Think about Paul the Apostle before he became an apostle on the road to Damascus in Acts 9:3-19… As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.[a] It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”

Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. 10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him, the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.”

And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”

11 So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. 12 And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.” 13 Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” 17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus,[b] who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized. 19 So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus. Damascus a key commercial city was located about 175 miles northeast of Jerusalem in the Roman province of Syria. Several trade routes linked Damascus to others cities throughout the Roman world. Saul may have that by stamping out Christianity in Damascus, he could prevent its spread to other areas. Saul thought he was pursuing heretics (those teaching non-Jewish laws), but he was persecuting Jesus himself. Anyone persecutes believers today is also guilty of persecuting Jesus, because believers are the body of Christ on earth. Saul was led away from this experience blind to go into the city of Damascus. God told Saul to go into Damascus where he will be instructed as to what he must do. The Lord then spoke a Christian disciple name Ananias telling him to go the house of Judas where Saul of Tarsus was praying and he was to baptism Saul that he may receive his sight. Ananias knew of Saul saying “Not him, Lord that’s impossible. Saul could never become a Christian!” In essence, that’s what Ananias said when God told him of Saul’s conversion. After all, Saul had pursued believers to their death. Despite these understandable feelings. Ananias obeyed God and ministered to Saul. We must not limit God- God can do anything. We must obey and follow and follow God’s leading even when he leads us to difficult people and places. Faith in Christ brings great blessing but often great suffering too. Paul would suffer for his faith. God calls us to commitment, not to comfort. He promises to be with us through suffering and hardship, not to spare us from them. Ananias found Saul, as he had been instructed and greeted him as ‘Brother Saul’. Ananias feared this meeting because Saul had come to Damascus to capture the believers and take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. But in obedience to the Holy Spirit, Ananias greeted Saul lovingly. It is not always easy to show love to others, especially when we are afraid of them or doubt their motives. Nevertheless, we must follow Jesus command and Ananias’s example, showing loving acceptance to other believers. Although there is no mention of a special filing on the Holy Spirit for Saul, his changed life and subsequent accomplishments bear strong witness to the Holy Spirit’s presence and power in his life. Evidently, the Holy Spirit filled Saul when he receive his sight and was baptized. Through this adversity placed on Saul now known as Paul the Apostle we today nearly half of the New Testament. Always remember that God always has a master plan for each of us when God allows adversity to enter our lives. I have submitted a video related to this article. Enjoy the gospel video. Always remember, ‘Keep the Faith and God Loves You and So Do I’.

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

Written By Kofi Baruti

 

CAN GOD FORGIVE US FOR ALL OF OUR SINS?

This question many people had asked. The answer to this question is Yes, God can forgive us for all our sins. Why, because Jesus Christ died on the cross for remission mankind’s sins. When Christ died on the cross God forgave our sins in the past, present as well as the future. Many people think that they have committed some unforgivable sins. But Jesus Christ took on all of the mankind’s sins as well as death. It is stated in the bible in Romans 6:23 … 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lordin this bible verse you are free to choose between two masters, but you are not free to manipulate the consequences of your choice. Each of the two masters pays with his own kind of currency. The currency of sin death. That is all you can expect or hope for in life without God. Christ’s currency is an eternal life which means a new life with God that begins on earth and continues forever with God in heaven. Yes, all your sins can be forgiven if you turn to Christ and have faith that Christ will forgive you of your sins.

Let’s look at some examples of Jesus forgiving people of their sins. The first one we will mention is when Jesus forgives an adulterous woman in the Gospel of John 8:1-11… But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Now early[a] in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him, and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught[b] in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded[c] us that such should be stoned.[d] But what do You say?”[eThis they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.[f] So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up[g] and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it,being convicted by their conscience,[h] went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her,[i] “Woman, where are those accusers of yours?[j] Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and[k] sin no more.” The Jewish leaders had already disregarded the law by arresting the woman without the man. The law that both parties to adultery be stoned. In this case, the Pharisees were using the woman as a trap so they could trick Jesus. If Jesus said the woman should not be stoned, they would accuse him of violating Moses’ law. If he urged them to execute her, they would report him to the Romans, who did not permit the Jews to carry out their own executions. When Jesus said ‘he who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her’ this is a significant statement about judging others. Because Jesus upheld the legal penalty for adultery, stoning, he could not be accused of being against the law. But by saying that only a sinless person could throw the first stone, he highlighted the importance of compassion and forgiveness. When others are caught in sin, are you quick to pass judgment? To do so is to act as though you have never sinned. It is God’s role to judge, not ours. Our role is to show forgiveness and compassion. Now it is uncertain whether Jesus was merely ignoring the accusers by writing on the ground, listing their sins, or writing out the Ten Commandments. When Jesus said that only someone who had not sinned should throw the first stone, the leaders slipped quietly away, from the oldest to the youngest. Evidently, the older men were more aware of their sins than the younger. Age and experience often temper youthful self-righteousness. But whatever your age, take an honest look at your life. Recognize your sinful nature, and look for ways to help others rather than hurt or judge them. Jesus didn’t condemn the woman accused of adultery, but neither did he ignore or condone her sin. He told her to leave her life of sin. Jesus stands ready to forgive any sin in your life, but confession and repentance mean a change of heart. With God’s help, we can accept Christ’s forgiveness and stop our wrongdoing.

Another great example of Jesus forgiving sins is in Mark 2:1-12… And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately[a]many gathered together so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic,“Son, your sins are forgiven you.” And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them,“Why do you reason about these things in your hearts?Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic,11 “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”in this passage of scripture the paralytic’s (a person affected by paralysis) need moved his friends to action, and they brought him to Jesus. When you recognize someone’s need, do you act? Many people have physical and spiritual needs you can meet, either by yourself or with others who are also concerned. Human need moved these four men, let it also move you to compassionate action. House in biblical times were built of stone. They had flat roots made of mud mixed with straw. Outside stairways led to the roofs. These friends may have carried the lame man up the outside stairs to the roof. They then could easily have taken apart the mud and straw mixture to make a hole through which to lower their friend to Jesus. Before saying to the paralytic , ‘Arise’ Jesus said, Son, your sins are forgiven you.’ To the Jewish leaders, this statement was blasphemous, claiming to do something only God could do. According to the law, the punishment for this sin was death. The religious leaders understood correctly that Jesus was claiming divine prerogatives, but their judgment on him was wrong. Jesus was not blaspheming because Jesus claim was true. Jesus is God, and he proved his claim by healing the paralytic. This is the first time in Mark that Jesus is referred to as the ‘Son of Man.’ The title Son of Man emphasizes that Jesus is fully human, while Son of God emphasizes that he is fully God. As God’s Son, Jesus has the authority to forgive sin. As a man, he can identify with our deepest needs and sufferings and help us overcome sin.

What if you continue to sin over and over again will God forgive you? Another great example of this is in Matthew 18:21-22… 2Then Peter came to Jesus and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seventhe rabbi taught that people should forgive those who offend them, but only three times. Peter, trying to be especially generous asked Jesus if seven (the perfect number) was enough times to forgive someone. But Jesus answered, ‘Seventy times seven,’ meaning that we shouldn’t even keep track of how many times we forgive someone. We should forgive those who are truly repentant, no matter how times they ask. If you are truly repentant Jesus will forgive you no matter how many times you continue to sin because we live in a sinful world and we may always sin against Go and others. I submitted a Gospel video related to this article. Enjoy the video. Always remember “Keep the Faith and God Loves You and So Do I.”

What do you think? You comment are welcome!!!

Written by Kofi Baruti

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!!!”

What do you think?

Written by Kofi Baruti

Your comments are welcome!!!

 

Ambassadors For Jesus Christ

Do you know that when you join the church of Christ that we are ambassadors for Christ? The simple definition of an ambassador is the highest-ranking person who represents his or her own government while living in another country. This meaning I have translated as “Ambassadors for Jesus Christ” we are all the highest -ranking people who represent God’s Kingdom while living here on earth. I am talking about the ‘Great Commission’ as it is called by Jesus to his disciples as stated in Matthew 28:16-20… 16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.19 Go therefore[a] and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.[b] . In this passage of scripture, God gave Jesus authority over heaven and earth. On the basis of that authority, Jesus told his disciples to make disciples as they preached, baptized and taught. With this same authority, Jesus still commands us to tell others the Good News and make them disciples for the kingdom. Further stating when someone is dying or leaving us, his or her last words are very important. Jesus left the disciples with these last words of instruction; they were under his authority, they were to make more disciples, they were to baptize and teach these new disciples to obey Christ. Christ told these disciples that He would be with them always. Whereas in previous mission Jesus had sent His disciples only to the Jews, their mission from now on would be worldwide. Jesus is Lord of the earth, and he died for the sins of people from all nations.

We as Christians are to go whether it is next door or to another country and make disciples. It is not an option, but a command to all who call Jesus “lord”. We are not all evangelist in the formal sense, but we have all received gifts that we can use to help fulfill this ‘Great Commission’. As we obey , we have comfort in the knowledge that Jesus is always with us. Jesus words affirm the reality of the Trinity (meaning God, the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit) Some people accuse theologians of making up the concept of the Trinity and reading it into scripture. As we see here in this passage, the concept comes directly from Jesus himself. He did not say baptize them into the names, but into the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. The word Trinity does not occur in Scripture, but it well describes the three-in-one nature of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The disciples were to baptize people because baptism unless a believer with Jesus Christ in his or her death to sin and resurrection to new life. Baptism symbolizes submission to Christ, a willingness to live God’s way, and identification with God covenant people. How is Jesus with us? Jesus was with the disciples physically until he ascended into heaven, and then spiritually through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would be Jesus presence that would never leave the disciples. Jesus continues to be with us today through his Spirit. The Old Testament prophecies and genealogies I the book of Matthew present Jesus credentials for being King of the world, not a military or political leader, as the disciples had originally hoped, but a spirit King who can overcome all evil and rule in the heart of every person. If we refuse to serve the King faithfully, we are disloyal subjects, fit only to be banished from the kingdom. We must make Jesus King of our lives and worship Him as our Savior, King, and Lord.

How does it mean to be an ambassador for Jesus Christ?We stated before that we have to serve and worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Many serve their savior by serving in the different ministries in their church. Others may have their own personal ministries such as helping disable people or feeding the homeless in their community. Whatever you do you must do it in the name of Jesus. This point in very important because God looks at your heart as you perform your ministries to him. Why are You doing this? Were you involved in this ministry to feel important or are you involved in this ministry to actually help someone? God’s knows your heart, as stated in Acts 15:8… So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, There is another example of this in a Jesus parable in Matthew 25:14-30… 14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise, he who had received two gained two more also.18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time, the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ 26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming, I would have received back my own with interest. 28 Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and be gnashing of teeth.’ This was known as the Parable of the Talents. In this passage of scripture, the master divided the money among his servants according to their abilities. No one received more or less than he could handle. If he failed in his assignment, his excuse could not be that he was overwhelmed. Failure could come only from laziness or hatred toward the master. The talents represent and kind of resource we are given. God gives us time, gifts, and other resources according to our abilities, and he expects us to invest them wisely until he returns. We are responsible for using well what God has given us. The issue is not how much we have, but how well we use what we have. Jesus is coming back – we know this is true. Does this mean we must quit our jobs in order to serve God? No, it means we are to use our time, talents, and treasures diligently in order to serve God completely in whatever we do. For a few people, this may mean changing professions. For most of us , it means doing our daily work out of love for God. This last man was thinking only of himself. He hoped to play it safe and protect himself from his hard master, but he was judged for his self-centeredness. We must not make an excuse to avoid doing what God calls us to do. If God truly our Master, we must obey willingly. Our time, abilities, and money aren’t ours in the first place – we are caretakers, not owners. When we ignore squander, or abuse what we are given, we are rebellious and deserve to punish. This parable describes the consequences of two attitudes to Christ’s return. The person who diligently prepares for it by investing his or her time and talent to serve God will be rewarded. The person who has no heart for the work of the kingdom will be punished. God rewards faithfulness. Those who bear no fruit for God’s kingdom cannot expect to be treated the same as those who are faithful. I 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

The Will To Serve Jesus Christ

Do you ever think that you were meant to do something special? If so what is it? Most people think about a special talent they may have such as singing or maybe playing an instrument. But have you ever thought about what God wants you to do? Every Christian has a ministry God has ordained them to do before the ages of glory as stated in 1 Corinthians 2:7… But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, … What is your ministry in Christ and do you have the will to serve? This will be the main focus of this article. Most people think that when you talk about a ministry in Christ they are talking about being a minister, some missionary in some foreign country. But that is not true for all of us the ministries of Christ are as vast as the stars in the heavens. We joined the church of Jesus Christ and we are joined with the body of Christ so every member of the church or the body of Christ are important!!!

When deciding what is our ministry in Christ we have to examine our talents as well as our gifts from God. There is a difference between a talent and a gift. A talent is some skill you have to develop over a period of time. A gift is something God gave you at birth. So when you are looking to identify your ministry in Christ you should be looking at your gifts. The bible states about spiritual gifts in Romans 12:1-8…I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. The first two verses in the scripture talk about personal responsibility. You really have a responsibility as a Christian to serve because of the sacrifice Jesus Christ made on the cross for the remission of our sins. We are to proclaim our body, heart, and soul as a living sacrifice before this world to glorify Christ our savior. Healthy self-esteem is important because some of us think too little of ourselves, on the other hand, some of us overestimate ourselves. The key to an honest and accurate evaluation is knowing the basis of our worth and our identity in Christ. Apart from God, we aren’t capable of very much by external standards, in him, we are valuable and capable of worthy service. Evaluating yourself by worldly standards of success and achievement can cause you to think too much about your worth in the eyes of others and thus miss your true value in God’s eyes.

Paul further states in this scripture of passage use the concept of the human body to teach how Christians should live and work together. Just as parts of the body function under the direction of the brain, so Christians are to work together under the command and authority Jesus Christ. God give us gifts so we can build up the church. To use them effectively, we must 1) realize that all gifts and abilities come from God, 2) understand that not everyone has the same gifts, 3) Know who we are and what we do best, 4) dedicate our gifts to God’s service and not our personal success, 5) be willing to utilize our gifts wholeheartedly, not holding back anything from God’s service. God’s gifts differ in nature, power, and effectiveness according to God’s wisdom and graciousness, not according to our faith. The “measure of faith” or the “proportion to God’s faith” means that God will give spiritual power necessary and appropriate to carry out each responsibility. We cannot by our own effort or willpower, drum up more faith and thus be more effective teachers or servants. These are God’s gifts to his church, and God gives faith and power as he wills. Our role is to be faithful and to seek ways to serve others with what Christ has given us.

Look in this passage at all the gifts and image the kinds of people who would have each gift. Prophets are often bold and articulate. Servers (those in ministry) are faithful and loyal. Teachers are clear thinkers. Encouragers (those who Exhort) know how to motivate others. Givers are generous and trusting. Leaders are good organizers and managers. Those who show mercy are caring people who are happy to give their time to others. It would be difficult for one person to embody all these gifts. An assertive prophet would not usually make a good counselor, and a generous giver might fail as a leader. When you identify your own gifts (and this list is far from complete) ask how you can use them to build up God’s family. At the same time, realize that your gifts can’t do the work of the church alone. Be thankful for people whose gifts are completely different from yours. Let your strengths balance their weaknesses, and be grateful that their abilities make up for your deficiencies. Together you can build Christ’s church.

The will to serve Jesus Christ comes with the gifts God has given you. I stated earlier every Christian has a spiritual gift or gifts God has given you. Some Christians explore and perform their gifts for their ministry some don’t. It is not enough for you to just attend church every Sunday waiting to hear the word of God. The true purpose of a good Christian church is to regenerate you to go out into this sinful world and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. You see most think their week starts on Monday when they go to work, when for Christian it really starts on Sunday. Most people think that their work is the most important aspect of their life. Oftentimes we have worked all week making a living for ourselves and our families and at the end of the week, we give God what is left. Our jobs or careers are only vessels for survival to do God’s work. Do you have the will to serve Jesus Christ? If you don’t you need to explore what is God’s spiritual gift or gifts and have a ministry to serve others in Christ. I submitted a gospel video related to this article. Enjoy this video and remember “Keep the Faith and God Loves You and So Do I”. What do you think? Comments are always welcome.

Written by Kofi Baruti

HOW DO WE REMEMBER SUNDAY?

Exodus 20:8-11… “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.In it, you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it

The question of ‘How do we remember Sunday?’ is a legitimate one, and is an important focus point in this article. The passage states that God wants us not to work on the Sabbath day. The Muslims recognized the Sabbath day on Friday the Christians on Sunday. This article will focus on the Christian recognition of the Sabbath on Sunday. Most people remember as a child of going to a church on Sunday. Whether they went to Sunday school usually before the church services or they just attended the church services shaped the memories on how they remember their experiences in church. These church experiences we remembered most likely shaped or taught us our moral sense of what was right or wrong with us and the world we lived in. This article will explore how we should express our respect for the Sabbath.

The basic meaning of the Sabbath is a day of rest. How should we honor and respect our day of rest? We should show our respect and honor the Sabbath praising God blessings, seeking a personal relationship with God, meditating on God’s word, and in pray with God. Praising God (meaning giving thanks to God) can be done in many ways. The word of God states in Psalm 150

Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament! 2 Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness! 3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! 4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! 5 Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals! 6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord! If you can’t play an instrument or sing well you still can dance, sing with the congregation as well as dance. Our Lord and Savour Jesus Christ loves when we give praises to His holy name with testimonies. It is said that when we praise God blessing comes down upon us. Meaning we will get blessings from God that we may not even expect. The one thing any Christians shouldn’t be shy about is giving thanks to God for the meaning blessing we believe God has given us. Anyone who believes there is a God should at the very least thank God for your health and that you are in your right mind (meaning not crazy). Also giving thanks to God for His many blessings is another way evangelizing the good news about Jesus Christ.

Seeking a personal relationship with God also can be done in several ways. The most important establishing a relationship with God is through with word. Many people seek an understanding of God’s word through the sermon the Pastor of the church gives every Sunday. But let’s say you have to work on Sunday and you can’t hear your pastor sermon what do you do then. You can tape your pastor’s sermons or listen to another taped sermon from another pastor. Many people have daily bible readings and devotionals to get an understanding of God’s word. The bible states in John 1:1-2… In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. It is very important for you to understand the true meaning of this passage of scripture. John one of the twelve disciples of Jesus wrote this to express of the word as Jesus in the flesh. Another way of expressing or reading John 1:1 … is by saying “In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God.” John wrote his book for Christians and non-Christians during that time period many people worshiped mythological gods whose supposed to have supernatural powers. But John, One of the twelve disciples who witnessed all of Jesus miracles wanted everyone to have no doubt that Jesus was the ultimate and only God and his word was true.

Seeking God’s word is very good way to honor and respect the Sabbath but it would be an even better way for you to honor and respect the Sabbath in meditating on God’s word. The word of God says in Psalm 119:148… My eyes are awake through the night watches, That I may meditate on Your word. You should get somewhere quiet where there are no distractions and read your bible. If you don’t understand the scriptural verse you are reading just pray to God to give the understanding of what you are reading. The word of God has different meanings to everyone who reads it. What one verse might mean something to one person but mean something completely different to you. When you meditate on the God’s word ask God what do you want me to do with your understanding of His word.

Finally, you should always pray to God in showing honor and respect for the Sabbath. I believe that pray changes all things. You prays must be made and consecrated in your faith in God and his promises. The word of God says in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18… 1Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Our joy, prayers, and thankfulness should not fluctuate with our circumstances or feelings. Obeying these commands – be joyful, pray continually, and gives thanks – often goes against our natural inclinations. When we make a conscious decision to do what God says, however, we will begin to see people in a new perspective. When we do God’s will we will find it easier to be joyful and thankful. We cannot spend all our time on our knees, but it is possible to have a prayerful attitude at all times. This attitude is built upon acknowledging our dependence on God, realizing his presence within us, and determining to obey God fully. Then we will find it natural to pray frequently, spontaneous, short prayers. A prayerful attitude is not a substitute for regular times of prayer but should be an outgrowth of those times. Regardless, whether you work on the Sabbath day or not you should always honor and respect this day of rest. It is your special time with God and will only improve your relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ where all blessing comes from. I submitted a gospel video related to Sunday church service most of us are usually attending. Enjoy this video. Remember Keep the Faith and God Loves You and So Do I.

What Do You Think?

Written by Kofi Baruti

THE DESIRES OF OUR PRAYERS

2 Samuel 24:18-25… 18 And God came that day to David and said to him, “Go up, erect an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David, according to the word of God, went up as the Lord commanded. 20 Now Araunah looked and saw the king and his servants coming toward him. So Araunah went out and bowed before the king with his face to the ground. 21 Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”

And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, to build an altar to the Lord, that the plague may be withdrawn from the people.” 22 Now Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up whatever seems good to him. Look, here are oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing implements and the yokes of the oxen for wood. 23 All these, O king, Araunah has given to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the Lord your God accept you.”24 Then the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing.” So David bought the threshing-floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25 And David built there an altar to the Lord and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord heeded the prayers for the land, and the plague was withdrawn from Israel. We pray for many things but is really the desires of our prayers to God? I believe that God answers all prayers to those who have faith and obey his commandments. Much like the passage above David was instructed by God to be an altar to the Lord. In this article, we will explore what are the conditions of prayer to God.

However, before we go into the conditions of prayer to God we should know why prayer in a Christian’s life is so important? The reason prayer is so important to us is that God wants a fellowship with you. In the word of God, I want to look at two passages of scripture. The first one is Psalms 63: 1… O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. David was hiding from his enemies in the barren wilderness of Judah, David was intensely lonely. He longed for a friend he could trust to ease his loneliness. If you are lonely or thirsty for something lasting in your life, remember David’s prayer. God alone can satisfy our deepest longings. The second scripture is 1 John 1:5-6 … This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. The light in this scripture represents what is good, pure, true, holy, and reliable. Darkness represents what is sinful and evil. The statement “God is light” means that God is perfectly holy and true and that He alone can guide us out of the darkness of sin. Light is also related to truth in that light exposes whatever exists, whether it is good or bad. In the dark good and evil look alike, in the light, they can be clearly distinguished. Just as darkness cannot exist the presence of light, sin cannot exist in the presence of a holy God. If we want to have a relationship with God, we must put aside our sinful ways of living. To claim that we belong to him but then to go out and live for ourselves is hypocrisy. Christ will expose and judge such deceit. Our relationship with God is based on how we will fellowship with God. When you go to God in prayer we are communicating with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. This is another reason prayer is so important to the saints. Whether we communicate with God in church or alone at home we believe that he will answer our prayers and thus favor the desires of our prayers.

 

 

We all want God to answer our prayers but what if you have prayed for something and your prayers haven’t been the answer? What are the conditions in which God will answer our prayer? When you pray one the first things we overlook is listening to God. Pray is our way of communicating with God. So how should we be listening to God? There are several ways you can listen to God. One way is to take the time to listen to God. By that, I mean set aside time regardless of your schedule to pray each day. Maybe at the beginning or end of the day. Next, you should relax. Consciously relax your muscles and get loose. There is no hurry. God can’t get through to you if you are all tense up. Tune into God. Open your heart. Either, silently or aloud say in a natural way ask what is God plan for your life or ask God to give you an answer to a problem or situation you are facing. Next, listen for God response be relax open your mind. Finally, you can write whatever comes into your mind, you may want to do this because to remember what God has said to you.

The next condition of God answering the desires of your prayers is to be obedient to God. The first passage above David was obedient to God and God restored the land. We must be obedient when God has told you what He wants you to do sometimes when you prayer. Being disobedient to God instructions have their consequences. I can remember the first time I was praying and thanking the Lord for saving me from my industrial accident when I was crushed between a forklift and a truck leaving me with a lacerated lung and in a coma for seven days, I should have died but God save me. At this I got an attorney to sue the company I had this accident with. I was thinking only about myself as I was praying and God told me I want you feed and help the list of the few (I knew what that meant when God told me that, God was talking about the homeless) Originally when I heard God said that to be I was shocked and I didn’t understand why he wanted me to help the homeless. If I had to write my first thought about what God had told me regarding the homeless it would have been “them people stink!” So went wasn’t really fully involved with what God wanted me to do regarding feeding or helping the homeless. God kept giving me chances to fully obey what He had told me but I disregarded what God said to me after many attempts by God to get my attention. Years later I lose anything and found myself in a homeless shelter. After being in a shelter for while I started working with an organization to feed and help the homeless.

The final condition you must have is faith that God will answer the desires of your prayer. Faith is the key Jesus said if you only have faith as little as a muster seed you can say mountain be moved and through your faith that mountain will be moved. So you don’t have to have a lot of faith, God only requires you to have a little to answer the desires of your prayers. Your faith must be that blinding faith where you know it hasn’t happen yet but you still believe. The word of God says in Ephesians 6:10-20 … 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[a]against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. I have given you these conditions as a guide to help in getting the desire of your prayers answers now.  I  have submitted a gospel video about prayer. Enjoy this video and as always Keep the Faith and God Loves you and So Do I!!!

What do you think?

Written by Kofi Baruti