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September

Overcoming Discouragement

Written by Alfred Ofori Agyemang.

"For this reason, I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day" (NKJV) 2 Tim. 1:12.

The battle for spiritual and physical survival continues to be the greatest challenge of humanity. Satan is using many tools, some are obvious and others not. Some of the silent tools heavily used by the enemy include hatred, envy, jealousy, deceit, lying, and pride. One tool that looks harmless but with very devastating consequences is discouragement. We have set for ourselves many targets and society also has expectations of us and failure to meet such targets leads us to disappointment. Discouragement results in feelings of despair in facing all the obstacles in trying to achieve our targets. Only looking up to your challenges and abilities will lead you to discouragement, there is always a divine hand in the affairs of humanity that empowers us when the power of the physical ends.

Discouragement happens to all men alike. Great men of God like Moses got discouraged from dealing with rebellion and murmuring from the people of Israel (Num. 16:1-4). The prophet Elijah worked so hard for God but at some point saw little results, felt left alone, and even wanted to die (1Kg. 19:4-18). Some Christians have stopped evangelizing and doing good to others because they have been discouraged.

We deal with discouragement by anticipating it because you will always face opposition in this antagonistic world, having an open mind, and being willing to learn new things. Getting a strong pillar of support is key in dealing with present and future discouragement. Christ is the strongest pillar we can have and that’s why we all need to be Christians if were are not yet converted. Be diligent in Christ and in physical life.

Be focused on Jesus and your purpose in life. All the great people of faith face frustration, disappointment, and discouragement. We can either let these challenges strengthen us through the Holy Spirit or allow them to destroy us. You are not alone, there is a God who cares and wants us to cast all our burdens on Him (1 Pet. 5:7). You cannot stop disappointment from coming to you but you face it and conquer it with the great power of God and determination.

Be like the Master || More

Be like the Master

Written by Alfred Ofori Agyemang.

"Each one should use whatever gift he or she has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms." 1 Peter 4:10

It is common to see and hear that people are now too busy even when it comes to serving God and fellow humans. Varied excuses are given in order to avoid our duties as Christians. But we must all admit that our duty is to work for God’s work and serve others.

One of the greatest legacies of our Master Jesus Christ was that He was a servant of His people. Even though He is the Master, He was humble enough to serve and wash the feet of His Apostles. Jesus said, “But I am among you as one who serves.” (Luke 22:27).

Jesus Christ did not only serve but also taught his followers to serve everywhere they are. “Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am my servant also will be” John 12:26. God is so wonderful he gave all humanity the talents to serve in different capacities within the church and outside. We should never see serving as punishment or inferior duties but as service to God. “Each one should use whatever gift he or she has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10).

When we serve others, we serve Jesus. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for people, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23-24).

When we serve, we are blessed. “If any person would serve me, let that person follow me; and where I am there shall also my servant be; if any person serves me, that person will the Father honor.” John 12:26. Choose to serve well today and be lifted like our Master.

The welfare of others || More

The welfare of others

Written by Nana Kyei Baafour N.-K..

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." (NIV) Philippians 2:3

Bible reading: Philippians 2:1-11

Young Maxwell entered the mall to buy … Reaching the aisle, he realized there was just one of the item left. Just as he reached to pick it, an elderly woman approached who was also coming to buy the same item. Getting to it first, young Maxwell reached for it and handed it over to the old lady. He smiled and said, “I will just go grab one from the next grocery shop”. With smiles on his face, he went two blocks down the street to get the item.

Paul admonished the Philippians to “do nothing out of selfish ambition…but rather look to the interest of others” (Philippians 2:3-4). As we go through life as Christians, our actions should not be centred on self-gains. What kind of Christians would we be, if all we do is always think about ourselves?

Our Lord Jesus Christ, whom we emulate, did not consider himself equal to God (Philippians 2:6-7) but humbled himself and prioritized the salvation of man over his heavenly glory. He came to earth to die a shameful death on a cross for our sake. John 3:16 reads, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”.

I urge you to pulse and ask yourself this question; “what would have been the state of man if God or Jesus Christ was selfish?” As humans, our nature is tilted towards pride and greed but God is reminding us this day to blot out all acts of selfishness from within us and never cease to always regard the welfare of others.

Hymn: And Can It Be, That I Should Gain? by Charles Wesley

And can it be that I should gain

an interest in the Savior's blood! Died he for me? who caused his pain!

For me? who him to death pursued?

Amazing love! How can it be

that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

Amazing love! How can it be

that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

My gift to others || More

 

My gift to others

Written by Alfred Ofori Agyemang.

"And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as you have done unto one of the least of these brethren, you have done it unto me." (NKJV) Matthew 25:40

We want to satisfy ourselves with all the time, monies, cars, phones, computers, clothes and other things that bring physical pleasure. Sometimes we tend to forget others who need our attention, resources, and prayers. Other peoples’ blessings are in our possession even in our challenging moments.

We all have been endowed with special gifts and talents to benefits ourselves, our family, God’s kingdom and others. Always see whatever you have as from God and not for personal gratification alone. Identify your talents and manage them according to God's principles. If we are unable to identify our talents, we cannot develop them and maximally use them to the glorification of God. The more we know our potentials and use them for godly duties, God continues to bless us (Math 25:29).

Use your talents to serve others, which is the call for Christians. To love God is to serve the people created by God. Some of us have been given more on earth than Jesus had when He came on earth. What have done with all the gifts God has blessed you with? Jesus was so busy but kept worshipping God and helping others as His prime duties. He had time for His Father, for His friends, for relaxation, and for a good meal.

Never underrate any gift or potential from God as inferior as the man who was given one talent (Math 25:24-25). They are for your own good and for the service of others. By using our gifts to serve others, by managing our gifts according to God’s plan we can use our gifts for God’s glory. Let us change the world by our kind acts of using our gifts efficiently.

Focus on the Master, not the meat || More

Focus on the Master, not the meat

Written by Nana Kwame Owusu-Afriyie.

"The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure." (NLT) 1 Corinthians 10:13

A story is told of a dog and his master. The dog couldn’t resist the temptation of stealing his master’s meat despite incessant warnings from his master not to touch it. Anytime he steals the meat and eats it, he becomes grief-stricken and his guilty conscience will not even allow him to wiggle his tail to meet his master as he comes home from work.

Deep down, his relationship with his master matters more to him than the fleeting pleasure of feasting on his master’s meat. However, any time he turns his gaze on his master’s meat he can’t just resist its allurements.

Finally, he was struck by a thought: “What if I fix my gaze on my master and not the meat?” He realized there and then that if he focuses on his master, he will always remember his directive of not touching the meat and that can save him from that temptation.

As we strive to truly represent Christ here on earth, the temptation to sin will forever be on our trail. We can become like Oscar Wilde and say: “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it … I can resist everything but temptation” or we can lock our focus on our Master Jesus who will always show us the way out of temptations.

Yield not to temptation, for yielding, is sin

Each victory will help you or some others to win

Fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue

Look ever to Jesus and He’ll carry you through

Godly fellowship as a witness || More

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