Monday, January 21, 2019

Christian's Are Called To Endure Test And Sufferings

“Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4 HCSB). 

The Endurance Of Test and Trials Produces God's Quality In Us

Although we have written about tests and trials before, those articles merely highlighted from a biblical perspective the existence of tests and trials. In this week’s article, however, we will be discussing how test and trials bring us closer to God. During last week, my wife and some brethren visited a pastor who needed help. Some of his church members were involved in some very serious spiritual issues. By the Lord’s grace, we identified the enemy, Satan. Having said this, people do not always recognize and appreciate tests and trials. When they are confronted with the test, they panic, doubt and end up questioning their faith in God. Please read on to learn how to accept test and benefit spiritually from it.

Broadly speaking, almost everything in life that is human-made is subject to some test to determine the quality and durability of thereof. It is also true that, given to the uncertain nature of life, as humans, we give ourselves some certainty as to the stability and usability of something or someone by conducting some tests. With the insistence on factual quality lately, we may attach no greater assurance on something if there is no proven assurance of quality, after enduring rigorous tests.

Likewise, people do not just blindly put their trust in somebody; they would want to know more about some person before placing their trust in that person. The ‘test’ often employed by people who has an express interest in somebody, is conducted using the questioning technique and a general inquiry into the life and work of a given person. By exercising an interest, which is frequently influenced by our values, we develop an attitude of a like or no like, trust or no trust. Whatever our decision, our value-based choice is not without reason. Whatever our reasons, and after we have conducted this simple test on some person, and after having accepted a friendship, we gradually start working on this new relationship and only the quality we both build onto it will determine if we would continue until forever. There may be some stages in the relationship, but the efforts we employ often determines the quality of any fellowship or relationship.

In contrast, if either of person fails to build quality onto a relationship, and if people are to part ways, there would be no strong feeling or some sense of loss. If however, one party added a quality effort to a relationship it is obvious that the pain of loss will be greatly felt by the person who gave more (Luke 7:47).

Test reveals the Strength and Quality of our faith

Like we acknowledged in some of our previous articles a test may be oppressive and intrusive (1 Peter 1:6). But it is necessary as it reveals the quality of our faith, our love for God and the durability of our patience and humility (1 Peter 1:7). Although God is using the test to determine our love and fear for Him, by exposing our shortcomings through these tests, He teaches us humility, gratefulness, submission to Him while leading us to repentance (Deuteronomy 8:2).

Therefore, the fruit of the test determines the quality we built into our relationship with God. It is for our good that we should appreciate the nature of tests and trials as our opening scripture above declares. In other words, the test by God or the devil gives us feedback on the state of our heart (Jeremiah 17:10). If the test led us to submission to God, our actions would proof reward some and truthful (Genesis 22:16-18). God has nothing to proof to us not His love nor His power and neither can we test God (John 3:16; Luke 4:12; Romans 1:19-20).

Knowing the humility that came from the cross, no Christian who truly experienced the cross would display arrogance, pride, lack of self-control and hatred for others. If these and other vices are present at any given time in any Christian, we may then conclude that such a brother or sister either ignored the value of tests or failed test and trials which resulted in the hardening of their hearts and attitudes (Hebrews 3:15). What we mean is this, to avoid test or trials people embark on pity parties, complaining and a fault-finding mission (Numbers 11:1; Exodus 17:1-3). Like the Israelites, they did not appreciate the value of the test, but the losses they're incurred as a result of the test, so they rejected the test and to their disadvantage, their complaining reaped them judgment (Numbers 14:2-4; 26-35).

Accepting Tests created by our Circumstances

Like we know it, life is unpredictable, and there are some unpleasant circumstances in life which we never wished or have asked for, but it will be there (Luke 17:1). If we could, we would have liked to avoid some test or trial which often manifest through our circumstances, and we seldom have a choice to alter it, isn’t it? Whatever the situation, whether it be to take care of someone or a family, losing a job, house, a close friend, brother, sister or parents. The presence of evil in some unpleasant situations often brings with it fear. I would like to add, the Lord told us that fear often leads people to ungodly behavior and conclusions (Job 27:2; Ruth 1:20). However, when the moment of the trial has manifested the content of our character, faith and endurance would be measured, and we should not fear it, but embrace it. As an encouragement, if we have the Lord in our lives, we would submit to Him and rely on Him to carry us through the storm (Isaiah 43:2). While the Lord would be busy working out our rescue package, we would be growing by taking in the positives (patience, endurance, humility, self-control, faith, and knowledge) as it cuts eternal virtues into our attitudes (2 Peter 1:5-8).

In our experiences with the Lord, one Wednesday evening while we were busy worshipping, the devil created a situation involving some of our children. In our reaction, which caused us great fear and panic which obviously resulted in us suspending our worship session. By the unfolding situation which was fuelled by evil, almost all of us were in a state of shock and fear. However, as we prayed and looked to the one we serve and worship, He gave us calm and restored our souls (Psalm 23:3). By God’s grace, no injury or any harm afflicted our children in that moment of the test. The next morning, however, and in a heartwarming encouragement to us as a ministry, the Lord said, That incident was just a test, but the devil did not succeed, Well done, Preparing for the Kingdom of God Ministry, you have shown that God is your Rock and the prosperity teachers depend on the arm of flesh”.

With this, we conclude saying, by encouraging you dear brethren that if are plagued with tests, trials and unwanted situations, don’t panic in fear but pray. The Lord encouraged us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) until He melts the situation away and when He did, we would only sit with the fruit of our endurance, faith and God’s promises (Hebrews 10:36).

We would like to extend an invitation to anyone who does not know the Lord Jesus Christ yet, or of you are not born again, to pray our suggested prayer on this link Prayer of Sincere Repentance
by faith and follow the Lord (Matthew 4:19). You may also contact us for any questions or comments about this article or our ministry.

Blessed grace in submission to Christ

Brother Glenn

Monday, January 14, 2019

Your Labour Of love Glorifies God

The Lord Knows About Your Good Works
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them" (Hebrews 6:10).
How often do we hear people saying, ‘God don’t seem to answer my prayers and things are simply not getting better’. Does this kind of statement not come from a sad spirit and a disappointed heart? True it does, and we are not going to add to your sadness by overloading you with information. In fact, we intend be brief in this article to allow you maximum absorption.
Not so long ago, the Lord send me on a preaching mission and the Lord primarily wanted us to reach those who were not saved and that the gospel message be a witness to everyone in that household (Luke 21:13). After preaching, the Lord gave a personal message to each and every one of those who were present that evening saying that none of them were ever forgotten by Him (Matthew 6:26) and if they commit their lives to Him, He would take care of them. Sadly, some of the people even after receiving such a faith boosting message turned their backs on the Lord, and those who did the Lord Himself warned them that they would end up in Hell for despising His Word.
Furthermore, on another occasion, a sister in the Lord decided to go on a few days’ fasting. A few days after her fasting she thought that the Lord forgot about her fasting and prayer request since the Lord said nothing about her. Let us learn from the Master here, just as the Lord wanted to reveal His Glory when He delayed going to heal Lazarus (John 11:21), He likewise He delayed to give this precious sister a message (which He later did) to teach us to be patient and said, “I have not forgotten about My daughter H...’s prayers and fasting”, and being encouraged by this, the sister and us learned that God does not forget and that His timing would perfectly reward our efforts. The goal is, faith expressed through patience with diligent service efforts waits on God’s timing (Luke 12:36-48).
Your Christian Works Of Service
We should remember brethren that our Christian works of service ONLY counts when this is being done consistently and this is just like any other ministry service. We may say, it is like practicing or living out our faith to the Glory of the Almighty God, for what we are doing pleases Him (1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17). Additionally, it is unlike the way some Christians operate, their service to the body is seasonal and while they expect great personal acknowledgment and often they’re service is based on their terms and feelings and if so, our service was driven by our feelings and not from the ‘pain’ of such a lofty sacrifice. Brethren, we need to highlight, a service of love issues from a committed heart in the absence of selfishness, God pleasing, regret less and which combines with a patient and quiet spirit (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
Also, I hasten to add, there are such Christians out there, we met a few and God knows how awesome it is for one’s own spiritual well-being to be encouraged by such God-fearing brethren (Hebrews 10:24) who have no appetite for human praise or credit. As a biblical fact, the Lord Jesus told us that Christians who takes credit for their ’works’ of service have already been rewarded (Luke 17:10; Matthew 6:2). We encourage you dear brethren, shine on and practice your Christ- like attitude and lifestyle, why allowing the dictates of faithless feelings to slow your act of service God ordained in your heart. Live it, love it, Obey Him, Embrace Your passion in painful (but not regrettable) service and enter eternal life after a well sacrificed and shared life! (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
Finally, dear one if have laboured in the Lord and decided you have done enough, don’t slow down continue working or ask the Lord to continue His labour of love through you. If you have faith you will be able to discern the gift of service God has for you in your personal ministry.
For those who are not saved yetIf you are willing to turn your life over to God, please start by praying this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.
Blessed Peace in Christ our Lord

Brother Glenn

Monday, January 7, 2019

Bring Back The Wandered Sheep

The Compassionate Heart Of The Lord

“The LORD is good to everyone; His compassion rests on all He has made” (Psalm 145:9 HCSB).

In this ministry, we have had the blessed and humble privilege of learning and hearing from the Lord and we will not be silent about the Lord’s Goodness to us and many other people. As Christian’s, we often reacts angrily and judgmentally towards some Christians and unsaved people who sins. Naturally, we tend to condemn and respond unsympathetic towards people who sins as painful the result of such sinning to us, how much pain does the ‘sinner’ feel or endure? As it is, we should remember the person who sinned have to deal with rejection, a feeling of worthlessness and shame (Jeremiah 6:15). Therefore, if we condemn we take the position of Satan the accuser (Revelation 12:10; Zechariah 3:2) instead of being clothed with compassion to win our brother or sister back.

A few years ago, we had a boy aged 10 who joined our ministry after he gave his heart to the Lord Jesus. Like most of us, he expressed a great joy in knowing the Lord and his dedication to the Lord was unquestionable. Being at such a tender age, he could not manage the pressure of his peers and the appetites of his flesh.

Additionally, we heard reports of some bad conduct regarding the boy which were really disturbing. In fact, the Lord Himself would reveal some things to us NOT to condemn but to correct and encourage the lad in the ways of the Lord (Romans 15:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:11). Honestly, our attitudes towards the boy were not sympathetic but harsh and this drove him to ran away from home and ‘escaped’ from the Lord which really added to his confusion and feelings of rejection. Upon his return home, the Lord addressed the boy saying, “You must be grateful that I am a merciful, forgiving and compassionate God”. As a result, the Lord commanded us to also commend the boy for his good behavior to encourage him.

Don’t Condemn The Wandered Sheep

Similarly, fairly recently a girl of about 12 years was accused of having stolen some money, when we inquired of the Lord regarding the incident the Lord said, “You (referring to our ministry) must just forgive without asking questions” (John 8:9-11). While we had an appetite to ‘deal’ with the girl for bringing such shame upon us (Joshua 7:24-25) the Lord taught us to be compassionate to re-assure the ‘sinner’ of His love and forgiveness.

Consequently, we shared with the girl what the Lord said and this strengthened her faith and confidence in the Lord’s compassion for her. We on the other hand, learned from this experience is to be merciful and to encourage the brethren who fell into sin to regain their confidence in the Lord. Does this incident not remind us of the one lost sheep which wandered? (Matthew 18:10-14). For sure, the Lord cares more for the lost than us, so let us not drive people away from the Lord and make them feel unwelcomed in our services or assemblies it is such people He calls (Luke 14:13-14). Furthermore, there is enough room for the rich folk too who are spiritually poor and they too are welcomed to serve and follow our Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 10:17-31).

The Lord’s Kindness Leads To Salvation

Recently, an elderly sister in the Lord called me to help her with her vehicle which had starting problems. As I explained to her how we should resolve the problem on her car, I overheard how she verbally warned and attacked one of her daughter’s who has a history of bad behavior. As it was, the young woman’s calm response to her mother’s insults broke my heart and I felt a deep compassion for her. Later that in the day, during our worship session, the Lord gave me a word to tell the elderly sister not to speak down on her daughter and be abusive towards her and when I told her she was stricken with guilt and she repented right there. As a result of the Lord’s message to her, she reported to me that she had apologized to her daughter who also showed remorse for her wrongs and that she (her daughter) expressed a desire to walk and obey the Lord.

Finally brethren, let us not fall into the habit of looking down on our weaker brethren and even speak abusively to them just because they sin purposely. As we have shown above, it is not our duty to condemn to discourage people but to show love and compassion while we gently correct (Galatians 6:1). Again, let us not be opportunist who waits in a spirit of self-righteousness to pour shame on a brother or sister who sinned. No! God forbid we know from experience that a brother or sister who sinned feels ‘wounded’ spiritually and he or she will react defensive and offensive. The above scripture to correct in a gentle spirit is the best remedy to win our brother or sister back just as the Lord restored Peter and the woman who was caught in an adulterous act (John 21:15-25; John 8:1-11). In conclusion, let us help to gather souls for God’s Kingdom and not scatter through gossip and malicious talk fueled by the Accuser Satan (Matthew 12:30).

If you would like to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please pray this Prayer of Sincere Repentance to get you started. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Blessed Peace

Brother Glenn