Jun 13

Nothing But God Sent

god-sent

The Great Commission makes it the business of every Christian in every place to tell others about Jesus and to do his best to bring others to the Savior. The bringing of one soul to Jesus is therefore the highest achievement possible to any believer. Those who have answered the Savior’s call to salvation were brought in many ways.

Some were brought by a friend, a neighbor or a colleague. Others were introduced by parents early in life, while some were invited by the voice of an anonymous herald on radio or the city bus service. Yet, some others were brought in through a miracle of healing by a minister. However the invitation came, the channel used is undoubtedly, God-sent.

 

“And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him” (Luke 5:18).

The men mentioned in our text were God-sent, to introduce the helpless, sick fellow to Jesus for the healing of his diseased soul which was reason for his bodily infirmity.

These men knew they had not the power to help their friend in his predicament, but they obviously knew the Savior and they believed He could heal him.

The perseverance with which they carried the sick man in his couch and let him down through the opened roof to the place where Jesus was seated is the evidence of their faith.

Sinners are helpless in the hands of Satan and the flesh. They have no hope of eternal life if somebody does not tell them about Jesus who died to atone for their sins.

Every true believer is God sent to go and preach the gospel of salvation to every creature within his reach. And because we are sent to a people weakened, paralyzed and sick with sin, we must be willing to lend ourselves to be used as the hands, arms and feet to lovingly hold, carry and bring sinners to Jesus.

Nothing reveals our faith in Him better than perseveringly leading sinners into a lifetime of relationship with Him. There is the promise of reward for every work done faithfully in His name.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Be a channel of blessing to others.

 

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Spread The Word
Jun 07

What Is Your Motives

All over the continents, since the year 2000s we have witnessed the establishment of many worship centers. But many of such centers were established as money-making ventures since the unemployment level in the world is on the rise.

So, while it is commendable to build churches, if the major reason for doing so is material gain, it offends God and exposes those involved in it to divine wrath.

“And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart” (2 Chronicles 25:2).

In the passage of the scripture above, Amaziah was no enemy to religion, but a cool and indifferent friend. Like him, many do what is good, but not with a perfect heart.

He was vindictive, although he thought that sparing the children of those servants that killed his father was a deed of mercy, even when he killed their fathers.

It is dangerous to depend on the arm of flesh for success. Although appearing to be a strategist, Amaziah was embarking on a project that was doomed to fail. His life was going to be lost if he went ahead to war. He was clearly told about this, but he still trusted in his strategy. He had paid some people for hundred talents of silver. This, to him, should secure him some degree of victory.

Sinners, and those who do not have faith, however, always object to self-denying obedience. They give excuses, and like Amaziah, say: ‘But what shall we do for the hundred talents?’

  • As business men and women, they ask: ‘what shall we do if by keeping the Lord’s day holy we lose many good customers?
  • What shall we do without this gain? What shall we do if we lose the friendship of this world?’
  • Many endeavour to quieten their consciences by the pretense that forbidden practices are necessary.

 

The answer is, “The Lord is able to give you much more than this. He makes up, even in this world, for all that is given up for His sake.” Will you therefore submit to God’s perfect will and serve Him without questioning or disputing His authority? Obedience brings a blessing.

Whatsoever you do for Christ must be in line with His will. Good deeds veiled in hypocrisy have no reward in heaven.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: The unregenerated heart is desperately wicked…who can know it.

 

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Jun 06

In The Pursuit Of Truth

The great German reformer, Martin Luther, stood his ground when he “saw the light”. A former ordained priest of the Catholic church, he was plagued with an inner demand for true righteousness.

This brought him at cross-purposes with the powers that be. He denounced everything he had believed in Catholicism. He was denounced in Rome and was accused of heretical hostility to the Pope.

pursuit-of-truth

Luther made a show of his new faith by publishing three books, and dramatically severing himself from obedience to the Pope by publicly burning a copy of the papal bulletin. He sincerely believed that faith without works, without any merit, reconciles man to God and makes him good.

He believed Paul’s observation to the Romans that, “the just shall live by faith.” When summoned to appear before the German Congress at Worms in 1521 to answer charges of heresy, Luther said: “Here I stand! I cannot do otherwise! God help me.”

 

The book of JOHN 3:1-3, a well known personality in Israel, Nicodemus, got bothered about his life, and needed to seek help. He wanted to know the truth. He decided to consult Christ under the cover of the night. Jesus told him plainly and simply that he must be born again. There was no sand-papering!

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

Believers must always defend the truth when convenient and otherwise.

Though it may cost some important earthly things, yet it is better to stand one’s ground like Luther than to continue in the company of enemies of Christ.

You may be given a nickname, but nothing is more fulfilling than being branded for the sake of Christ!

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: It is wisdom to be unflagging in the pursuit of truth.

 

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Jun 03

A Worthy Legacy

Wildlife conservationists are, more than ever, fighting to save hundreds of animals regarded as endangered species. Their prospect of going into extinction stems from the disruptive activities of humans as well as climate change. So much money and effort are now being spent just to keep them on the face of the earth.

Abraham had a more vital reason to secure a bright future for Isaac, his son. It is true that he made a fatal mistake in his earlier years when he got a child through his housemaid. It is also true that, at old age, he got remarried to Keturah through whom he had many other children.

But when it got to taking out a will before his death, he made a significant difference. To his other sons, including Ishmael, he simply but fairly “gave gifts” (settled them). But he “gave all that he had unto Isaac”. He also ensured that all the other sons were sent away from Isaac.

“And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac” (Genesis 25:5).

Abraham did not only bequeath his vast earthly estate to Isaac, he transferred to him the privileges of the covenant. He did not lose sight of the fact that Isaac was his proper heir and child of promise (Genesis 21:12).

It was needful that Abraham’s other sons were put far away from Isaac and that this distinction be made while Abraham was still alive lest there be any rivalry after his death.

Isaac symbolizes the Christian believers who are now the heirs of promise and unto who, are reserved the blessings of a better covenant (Galatians 4:28).

In Christ Jesus, we are “a chosen generation… a peculiar people”. As such, God has a special portion for us. To others He gives common blessings but to His Isaacs He reserves peculiar temporal and eternal blessings.

Be rest assured today that your heavenly Father knows better and has your interest at heart. Just cling to His promises and at length you will find that “all things are yours”.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Nothing but your best will please the Master. 

 

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May 31

The Sons Of Ulam

sons-of-ulam

Today, there are local and on-line publications that are dedicated to compilation of remarkable people from different walks of life. The world has never come short in supply of such people considered to have distinguished themselves in their chosen fields.

Those who make these lists are not necessarily selected because of moral uprightness, but basically for the contributions they have made in leadership, religion, philanthropy, arts, science, social work, military, sports and a host of other human endeavors.

The books of 1st and 2nd Chronicles are basically historic account of the experience of the Israelites over a period of time.

1st Chronicles, in particular, contains a genealogical listing of the various tribes of Israel, from the earliest times to the death of David. Such a huge compilation of names hardly had room for reasonable biographical comments.

But in every tribe, there were names that were too remarkable to be listed without comment. In the tribe of Benjamin, the sons of Ulam are one of such. The Chronicler took time to remark that the sons of Ulam were mighty men of valor and archers.

“And the sons of Ulam were mighty men of valour, archers, and had many sons, and sons’ sons, an hundred and fifty. All these are of the sons of Benjamin” (1 Chronicles 8:40).

This set of people were very courageous and had mastery of one of the major ancient weapons – archery.

Bible commentaries noted that ancient archery required great strength and skill as the steel bow was bent by treading with the feet and pulling the string with both hands. The Ulams therefore, earned their honor by being masters in this area. They certainly endeavored to make the most of their God-given talent.

We may not be skillful in archery or have such earthly attainments that can earn us a place in the Who-Is-Who of this world. But we all have ample opportunities to live a remarkable life.

A child of God that makes the most of his God-given resources and gifts by positively touching lives; brightening the corner where he is, thereby glorifying God has booked a place of honor in heavenly chronicles.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Does your life count for God?

 

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May 25

Eat and Die!

eatanddie

A writer observed that if the modern scientific man were to be Adam, he would not have waited for the serpent’s suggestion: he would have gone straight for the forbidden fruit immediately after God gave the instruction and warning against eating it and turned His back. The reason is, contempt of God and His cause in the world is increasingly staggering.

 

Adam’s fall was the outcome of disobedience and unbelief in what God told him about the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. The instruction was clear that: “…of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden… Thou shall not eat of it”.

 

God warned, “for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). The modern man would have rushed to pluck and take the fruit to the laboratory to verify the toxic content. That is because the natural man depends and operates by his reasoning faculty.

 

“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4,5).

 

So, when Satan came with some assumptions that appeared reasonable with promise of some social benefits that they would not die but “be as gods”, they embraced it.

 

The strategy of the devil and those who have followed him since Eden has always been to destroy the Christian faith and commitment by introducing doubt about the Word of God through false and misleading assumptions and doctrines. He knows that “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6).

 

We are connected to God by faith in His Word. We receive forgiveness, benefits of salvation, assurance of eternity in heaven and all other blessings from God by faith.

 

God does not expect us to listen to any other teaching as Adam and Eve did because it will destroy our faith in Him. The word of God should be sufficient for us who are heaven-bound Christian.

 

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God’s word is nutritious.

 

 

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May 24

Not Your Background

Cynicism has always been the problem of many a man. People pass comments on the basis of experience, history, tradition or philosophy.

 

Thomas Didymus, a disciple of Jesus Christ fell into this problem of cynicism when he felt it was not possible for Jesus, whom he watched crucified and buried, to be alive again. So, when he was told that the Lord, the Master, had not only resurrected, but appeared before the disciples, he thought it was a fairy tale. He did not believe until Jesus reappeared at a meeting where Thomas was present.

 

Nazareth had been a small city. It was unthinkable that something good could come out from the place, let alone a unique personality of Jesus’ status. So, when he was told that the much-awaited Jesus had been found as was said in the law of Moses and the prophets, Nathanael expressed doubts.

 

“And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see” (John 1:46).

 

But one interesting thing about Nathanael’s kind of doubt is that it was not expressed out of disrespect for prophesy. He spoke out of confusion or mixed feelings of joy and consternation.

 

As a believer, you must realize that the wrong perception of people about you cannot change the counsel of God concerning your life.

 

If you are of inconsequential pedigree in the eyes of certain people or your self esteem is receding as a result of people’s perception of you, look up to the Maker of all flesh. Do not lose your head over what people think about you.

 

And the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who carefully piloted His dear Son till the successful fulfilment of His ministry here on earth despite His lowly parentage, will also safely lead you to actualize your dreams.

 

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: What matters is not your origin but God’s counsel for your life.

 

 

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May 18

The Broadened Entrance Gate For Many Into Degeneration

broad-is-the-way

Wide is the gate.” Ancient cities have walls around them, and they have gates through which people may go out or come in.

 

The wide gates are spacious enough to admit men and their loads or chariots while the strait, narrow gates take only individuals without loads or encumbrances.

 

The examples of wide gates (for big trucks and vehicles) and narrow gates (for pedestrians) are still very common in cities and communities today.

 

Our Lord, Jesus Christ, often used visible, known, natural things to illustrate spiritual, invisible, unknown, eternal realities.

 

For travelers to get into the way leading to their destination, they go through the wide toll gate. The gate is the only avenue of admittance into the way and it must be taken in order to reach the destination. All who enter the wide gate will travel on the broad way and the only place this way leads to is destruction, doom and damnation.

 

The wide gate is the gate through which multitudes enter into life from the age of accountability. The gate takes in everyone with loads of sin and evil without any restriction or restraint.

 

There is ample liberty for everyone desiring to go through the wide gate; the Pharisee and the Sadducee, the hypocrite and the reprobate, the covetous and the deceiver, the self righteous and the religious, the fleshly, sensual and pleasure-seekers, despisers of God and opposers of righteousness, private and public sinners, unconverted moralists and unashamed criminals, the proud and the worldly, vicious, violent men and vile, vulnerable youths, wicked people and wandering backsliders, tempters, temptresses and their victims all go through the wide gate that leads to the broad way of the world.

Further Scriptural reading: Matthew 7:13; Genesis 6:5,12; Psalm 14:2,3; Isaiah 59:7,8,13-15; Romans1:28-32; Romans 3:9-19,23; Ephesians 2:2,3; Philippians 3:18,19; 2 Peter 2:1-3; 1 John 5:19.

May 17

The Destiny Of Multitudes In The Popular Way

destiny=of-multitudesFrom the beginning and throughout the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord, Jesus Christ speaks about the Kingdom of heaven, the Kingdom of God (Matthew 5:3,10,19,20; 6:33; 7:21).

 

His focus was on the destiny of man. The Lord looks at life as a journey, a journey from time unto eternity. He reveals that there are only two gates – the wide gate and the strait (narrow) gate; only two ways – the broad way and the narrow way; only two destinations – destruction and life. There are only two destinations unto which any of us can get to; the path we are treading will lead to either eternal peace and happiness in heaven or eternal torments, sorrow and suffering in hell.

 

The choice we make of which gate we enter, which path, road or way we walk in will determine our final, eternal destiny after this life. God has ordained only two distinct places to be the final, eternal abodes of men after this life, and between them, He has fixed a great gulf so that none can pass from the one to the other (Luke 16:26).

 

There are only two gates, the wide gate of multitudes, the majority of the human race; and the narrow gate of the few who make the right choice which God has ordained.

 

And there are only two ways, the popular way, the spacious road on which broadminded multitudes travel, and the narrow way, the unpopular road traversed by the few who walk and follow the Lord closely and consistently.

 

There are only two destinations, not three. Some religious people have invented a third destination which they call ‘purgatory’. It is an imaginary place of human invention which does not exist.

 

Men enter through the wide gate or the narrow gate; there is no third gate. Men travel on the broad way or the narrow way; there is no third way.

 

There are only two classes of people –

  • believers or unbelievers,
  • saints or sinners,
  • the few or the many.
  • We are either in the light or in darkness;
  • in the truth or in error;
  • among the few or among the multitude;
  • either righteous or unrighteous.

 

There is no third category. There are only two ends – the end of the broad way or the end of the narrow way. There are only two destinations for travelers journeying through life – life or destruction.

 

There are only two destinies – heaven or hell. Where will you spend eternity?

May 13

The Compassionate Touch

palmtreeA palm-wine tapper was witnessed to by a local pastor for years to no avail. He would not receive the gospel nor come to church. No, not even on the Lord’s Day.

 

He esteemed the gain from his infamous trade more highly than the souls of many promising young men now turned drunkards in the small village; no thanks to the cheap liquor that was his stock-in-trade. He fell off a tall palm-tree as he went up to collect the product one Sunday morning and came down with injury to his spine.

 

Doctors pronounced his case to be hopeless. In hospital, he sent for the village pastor whose preaching he had spurned these many years.

 

The pastor arrived immediately, prayed for him and rallied church members round him in an intense prayer meeting for his recovery.

 

Three days later, doctors said he got better. About six weeks later, he was ready to go home. Christ had touched his soul and healed his pain not minding his shameful past.

 

“And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean.” (Luke 5:12,13a).

 

 

The leper in our text above must have heard of the ministry of Jesus for he knew He had power to heal him. However, he was not sure Jesus would be willing to touch him, probably because of his putrefying sores.

 

He was ignorant of the intense love, mercy and compassion of Jesus. Being humbled by his hopeless situation, he pleaded and cried out to Jesus for help: “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.”

 

The response from Jesus is ever so reassuring – “I will”.

 

That is Christ’s same answer to us whenever we turn to Him for help in our distressed, helpless state. He will never turn away those who penitently come to Him though they be untouchable sinners or diseased fellows.

Jesus is a compassionate and loving God. When you are suffering, remember that He feels your pain with you.

 

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: The Lord’s love and compassion are without parallel.

 

 

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