HOW DO YOU HONOUR GOD?

Mal 1:6-14

This post talks about a message God gave to the people of Israel through the Priests concerning their regards for Him as their father and master.

The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says to the priests: “A son honors his father, and a servant respects his master. If I am your father and master, where are the honor and respect I deserve? You have shown contempt for my name!

“But you ask, ‘How have we ever shown contempt for your name?’

“You have shown contempt by offering defiled sacrifices on my altar.

“Then you ask, ‘How have we defiled the sacrifices?’

“You defile them by saying the altar of the Lord deserves no respect. When you give blind animals as sacrifices, isn’t that wrong? And isn’t it wrong to offer animals that are crippled and diseased? Try giving gifts like that to your governor, and see how pleased he is!” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

“Go ahead, beg God to be merciful to you! But when you bring that kind of offering, why should he show you any favor at all?” asks the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

“How I wish one of you would shut the Temple doors so that these worthless sacrifices could not be offered! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “and I will not accept your offerings. But my name is honored by people of other nations from morning till night. All around the world they offer sweet incense and pure offerings in honor of my name. For my name is great among the nations,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

“But you dishonor my name with your actions. By bringing contemptible food, you are saying it’s all right to defile the Lord’s Table. You say, ‘It’s too hard to serve the Lord,’ and you turn up your noses at my commands,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “Think of it! Animals that are stolen and crippled and sick are being presented as offerings! Should I accept from you such offerings as these?” asks the Lord.

“Cursed is the cheat who promises to give a fine ram from his flock but then sacrifices a defective one to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “and my name is feared among the nations!

It is clear in the message that God frowns and does not encourage the act of giving/sacrificing to Him something that even we, mortals, would not be appreciative of when it is offered us. I want to use this scenario the buttress this point. Imagine your employer and master is throwing a big party in his house and you have been invited as a special Guest of honour. This employer of yours pays you a total sum of 800 dollars a month, but when the time comes for you to present him a gift on that special day of his, you presented him only 25 dollars. Considering what your employer did, does and will continue to do for you, your family and friends, your gift is definitely an act of ungratefulness. You ought to have gifted him even more than half of your earnings. That is what God says to you.

And He finished by saying, “Woe betides any man who thinks he/she is smart and will promise me a lot, but when the time comes will hide under the umbrellas of flimsy prevailing circumstances (excuses) and offer me little.” Watch the promise you make, and the gifts you offer to the living God so that you don’t even sin in your attempt to appreciate Him. For some of your gifts will only bring you curse. What best describes Christianity is giving, and that I preach everyday on this channel. God gave His son, and His son gave His life, all for our sake. What then are you giving in appreciation?

Don’t present or offer to God a stolen material, or the product of something achieved through dubious means. May God be with us all.

EXPERIENCING THE BLESSED TRINITY IN PRAYER

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is One. Paul said, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us now and forevermore. Christ and the Spirit are the functional essence of God. It’s beautiful when prayer comes from the Spirit in us, through Christ to the Father. In prayer we ought to experience the blessed trinity; knowing when and what the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is, does and wants. This knowledge and experience only comes by knowing Christ intimately. Amen!

By: Ameyaw Bernice Ama

BE READY FOR THE LORD’S COMING

Luke 12:35-48

Jesus taught about our preparation for His return even when he was alive. He told His disciples this:

“Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready.

“Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.”

And if your question is whether the illustration above is for you (who feel you have the responsibility or calling to lead the flock) or for everyone, this is what Jesus has to say in reply.

And the Lord replied, “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. But what if the servant thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? The master will return unannounced and unexpected, and he will cut the servant in pieces and banish him with the unfaithful.

 “And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished. But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.

What are you doing as you wait for the return of the Lord? Are you proud of it? Remember, God is watching and is beckoning you to His righteousness at all times. I want to entreat each and every one to live as if Christ died yesterday, arose this morning, and He is coming back tomorrow.

God grant us a great week, in the mighty name of Jesus. AMEN!

PRAYING PERSONALLY

Matthew 26:36-45

There is the great need for a personal or lonely or solitary prayer in times of trial. Even Jesus withdrew from His good friends – Peter, and the two sons of Zebedee – to confront the Lord in prayer. There is no doubt family prayer, church prayer, group prayer are all good, but it is evident in Jesus’ case in the text above that those with which you have group prayers would not have your trial, hence their motivation would be so down, and not keep watch with you. For all the three times that Jesus came back to check on His selected disciples, they were asleep.

Such a personal or solitary prayer time must have the following traits. I call them the two acts and the two utterances.

The Two Acts

  1. Separation: (vrs 39)

At certain times, one must distance him/herself from others to have a personal prayer time with the almighty God. “Going a little further” this is exactly what makes the prayer personal – your being alone somewhere talking to God.

  1. Humility

Even Jesus showed great humility in his personal prayer by falling on his face to the ground (vrs 39), how much more we. For the fact that we do not ask boastfully but humbly, let us spice up our prayers with humility for the Lord God himself to lift us up in His own time.

The two Utterances

  1. Filial ( – father)

It is when you tell someone of your knowledge about your relationship that they get the realization that you have the right to what you ask of them. It is His responsibility to protect and provide for you. And Jesus said to His father, the Lord God almighty, “my father”, for all the three times He separated Himself from His disciples and called on Him at Gethsemane. Reminding God of His relationship with Him.

  1. Resignation ( – your will)

Resigning oneself to the will of God is the wisest thing to do. Even though you wish you had gotten out of that trial, the will of God must be sought ahead of your own will. Jesus during His trial said (vrs 39), “if it is possible, may this cup be taken be taken from my head, yet not as I will but as you will”.

Separating oneself humbly to remind the Lord of your relationship and resigning to His will shall surely give you that breakthrough. Do not forget that the most important parts of asking/prayer are “please” and “thank you.”

ENDURE

“But, the one who endure to the end will be saved” – Mark 13:33.

Endurance is not just one of the several fruits of the Holy Spirit, a precious identifying virtue of a Christian, but also a foundation stone for salvation. Like it is said by almost all Christian literary writers, “the walk of a Christian is not a smooth one – it is marked by characteristic storms of afflictions, persecutions, hatred, abuse, temptations, etc.”

What proclaims or justifies the identity of a Christian is this virtue that Jesus in His speech to His disciples on the mount of Olive emphasized it will earn them salvation – Endurance. The Concise Oxford English dictionary defines endurance (the noun derivative of the verb endure) to be suffering patiently.

I have no idea what you might be going through in your Christian life in the past week, month, or year, but what I know for sure is that the humble call or appeal by our Lord and savior Jesus Christ is that you must endure to the end to seal you salvation.

God bless you and may He grant you the enablement to endure to the end.

DO NOT WORRY

(Luke 12:22-34)

Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

“Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

“And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.

“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.

“Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

BE PREPARED

(1 kings 13:4)

And when King Jeroboam heard that the Man of God (MoG) was speaking against the altar of Bethel (idol worshipping altar), he pointed at him and shouted, “Seize that man!” But instantly the king’s hand became paralyzed in that position and he couldn’t pull it back.

This text is an impeccable example of how God protects and rescues His children from the hands of the wicked. When God sends or instructs for something to be done, there and then He makes it His duty to protect that person in all circumstances that confronts him. Sometimes I just wonder why we would have excuses like Jonah, when this text emphatically grants understanding to what the Lord God is ready to do once He has assigned us a task to undertake for Him.

It is my utmost prayer that this spurs us on to function effectively and efficiently for God because no weapon fashioned against any anointed son of God prospers. And you enemy, be prepared to face the wrath of God when your plans and intentions for a son of His is just bad. It is my prayer that God grants us a fruitful week in Jesus’ mighty name, AMEN!