Two trees

Written by Alfred Ofori Agyemang.

"Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." (NAS) Genesis 2:9

Before God created man, all other things were in existence for man's survival. In His wisdom, God commanded man and animals to feed only on plants: “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to everything that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so (Genesis 1:29-30 NAS). Both man and animals enjoyed this meal.

In the midst of all the plants the Lord created in the Garden of Eden, two special trees were also present (the tree of life and tree of knowledge of good and evil). Follow up to first order that man can eat every plant, a second command was issued - do not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:16-17). Adam had the power to obey or to disobey.

The two special plants were created by God. The tree of knowledge of good and evil was pleasant to the eyes (Gen. 3:6). Man was left with the power of choice.

We have been ushered into a new year by divine selection. Our greatest duty is to make the right decisions to achieve our God-given purposes. Remember a lot of evil things will be presented to us in very pleasant visuals. We have a choice like Adam.

It was the desire of the enemy (Satan) that man eats of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God’s desire for Christians and the whole world is man to be in a great relationship with him but the desire of Satan is for us to taste the evil tree.

When Adam chose to eat the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, it resulted in sin and ultimately death. Choosing not to follow Christ will be a sin and will lead to eternal death.

Adam was driven out of the Garden of Eden after choosing the tree he was forbidden to eat. For those in Christ, eating anything evil will cause you to lose your salvation. Every morning when you get up from bed, you have two trees just by your side. The tree you choose to taste will determine how the year will be for you. Making the right choice requires living a Christlike attitude daily. Amen.

The patience of God || More

The patience of God

Written by Myles MacMillan.

"What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath-prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory - even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?" (NIV) Romans 9:22-24

In this part of the letter to the Romans, Paul brings up an excellent point about God’s patience. One of the incredible attributes of our God is that He is not bound by time and space as we understand time and space. Consider what Isaiah says about God in Isaiah 46:10: “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” We see here that God can see the “end from the beginning” meaning that He knows and has always known everything that will happen including the choices we will all make. This is why God is able to tell Moses that Pharaoh will reject His demands before he even sends Moses into Egypt (Exodus 3). The other discovery we can make from the Isaiah verse is that, despite the free-will choices we are all capable of making, God is still able to accomplish His purpose. This is why Romans 9:17 says “For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Our God is able to use people like Pharaoh who reject Him to accomplish His plans without taking away free will, this is truly amazing!

With this in mind, we come to the section of scripture from Romans at the beginning of this devotional. Since God is able to know our choices before we make them, we might wonder why He continues to allow people to go on rejecting Him time and time again – Pharaoh is one of the best examples of this: God knew that Pharaoh would reject Him but He still showed patience towards Him, giving Him ten chances to change His mind with each plague. Why didn’t God just wipe him out after the first time he disobeyed? I believe we find the answer to this question in Romans 9:23. Paul says that God shows patience to those who oppose Him so that others can see the “riches of His Glory”. Sometimes I think we forget how powerful our God is - the truth is that we are His creation and He does not owe us anything. God would be entirely justified in instantly wiping out anyone who opposed Him, but despite all of this, God chooses to show us patience out of His love for us. 2 Peter 3:9 says: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Again in 1 John 1:9, it says: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” If you’re anything like me, you can be as stubborn as Pharaoh from time to time. When we reflect on these verses we cannot help but feel blessed to serve a patient God who gives us time to come to repentance and confess our sins.

The new mind || More

The new mind

Written by Alfred Ofori Agyemang.

For as he thinks within himself, so he is. (NASB) Proverbs 23:7a

“The human brain is the most complex arrangement of matter in the universe.” - Dr. Duane Gish. Human beings have been created with the ability to reason and perform so many complex activities because we are made in the image of God. The greatest power God gave to mankind after creation is the power to choose and decide. No matter where you come from, who you are and what you’ve done, you can always change your mind.

We are entreated to have a new mind towards God every day. The goal set for us is to obtain the mind of Christ. We may have been having a mind of other areas of life, but now we must focus on having the mind of God. It is possible to have a mind of God as stated in 1 Cor. 2:16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct him?” But we have Christ’s mind.

How can you have the mind of someone you do not know? You need to know God before you can know his mind. God can be known through Jesus Christ. People who aren't Christians can't understand these truths from God's Spirit. “It all sounds foolish to them because only those who have the Spirit can understand what the Spirit means”. – 1 Corinthians 2:14. By knowing God and being close to him through his word, you can know the mind of God.

Sometimes, after knowing God and his mind, we still maintain our ways of life because we are not ready to surrender our power to him. You need to surrender control to God. “If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace”. – Romans 8:6.

We can all have new minds today. This can be achieved by knowing God and his mind for us and humbling ourselves to achieve what he created for us to do. With the mind of Christ, I am free to be the person God created me to be. Amen!

To whom can we go? || More

To whom can we go?

Written by Daily Inspirer Team.


“Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. "We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” (NIV) John 6:68-69

Life can be very challenging indeed and most challenging when you are a Christian. Some of us have faced terrible things in life, others have been disappointed, it is so hard to trust anyone again. Many of us have given up on our Christian lives because it does not guarantee the ultimate comfort the world offers. The pleasures of this world have had most of us rethinking if we made the right choice by sticking to Christ. But the question is and remains the same, no matter our personal circumstances, to whom will we go? Will we want to go back to the world from which we have been bought at a high price? If we attempt this, then we risk being punished according to Hebrew 10: 28-29.

Beloved, our God has not promised us a smooth journey in our Christian lives, but He has surely promised to see us through and to ensure victory for us. Jesus said in John 16: 33 “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." In Matthew 28:20 Jesus promised to be with us always to the end of the world.

Let us have faith in Him who has called us because He is ever faithful to His promise. Let us hold on fast to this faith (Hebrews 10:32-36) because He is coming soon with His reward in His hands (Revelation 22: 12).

The end from the beginning || More

The end from the beginning

Written by Nana Kwame Owusu-Afriyie.

“But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (NLT) Matthew 24:13

We have already done 27 days in the new year and before most people will put their acts together and settle in, January will be past and gone. It’s amazing how time shuttles by, leaving us wondering what we did with our lives.

We know very well that how this year will turn out to be for us will depend largely on how we use our time. The inspired writer Paul admonishes us in Ephesians 5:15-16 thus: “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days”.

One thing wise people do is to plan effectively (Luke 14:28). When it comes to cultivating planning skills for our daily living, there are limitless resources on the internet to make us effective planners. We just have to research and select those that will be relevant to us. However, when it comes to persisting to the end, it depends much on the strength of our internal locus of control.

We should desire so much to serve the Lord, live healthily, read good books, continue our study, build healthy relationships, etc. that absolutely no obstacles will stop us. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the USA made a very poignant statement about persistence: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

It is persistence alone that will translate our abstract plans into tangible outcomes. It is no wonder scripture enjoins us to endure to the end. Undoubtedly, tough times lie ahead of us but our Sovereign Lord is still the same. We will not win just because of our talent, ingenuity, or education. We will win because of our persistence.

God-led: The gate of the year || More

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