Today is Bible Sunday and it is celebrated to draw the attention of Christians to the relevance of the Bible to matters of life and conduct. This year, the focus is on “the Bible and Integrity”. The world and its norms are pushing hard against the kingdom values that the Bible upholds. As Christians, we are called upon to reflect Christ in Society and to live above reproach so that we can overcome the darkness that has engulfed the world. This year’s theme is calling on all of us to go back to the Bible and identify the values that it teaches, which includes integrity and manifest it. I am convinced that if about 25% of all who profess faith in God rise up in our nation and live as people of integrity, things will change for the better in Ghana. Let us be counted among that number to bring about change.
The parable of Jesus in Luke 14:25-33 states unequivocably that the one most important step in the discipleship venture is counting the cost. Every good thing has a cost component and so is discipleship because it is a lifelong venture with benefits both for now and in the future. God’s love for man caused Him to give us His only begotten son so that all who believe in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. Assessment of one’s life in the light of God’s Supreme love helps us to encounter Him and to respond to this love more appropriately. If it cost God so much for the purpose of our salvation and reconciliation, then we must count the cost and make the resolution of not turning back in our Christian journey. On our own, we would fail and since we can do all things only through Christ who strengthens us, it is my prayer that we would pause and count the cost. It will be more than we can bear but responding to God’s love by faith will surely enable us to finish the race in Jesus’ name. He who puts his/her hands to the plough and turns back is not fit for the Kingdom.
“Called to be a prophet?” One might ask, Yes God has called us to proclaim His message to all people. Every person on this earth needs guidance and one duty of the prophet is to serve as a vigilane and caution those who are going wayward and encourage those who are doing their best to make it. We are each accountable to God and the words we speak, the signals we use to communicate and how we reach out to others must make an impact for the better on others. Whatever God has gifted us with must be used to His glory. We should not let fear cripple us, we must be bold yet communicate ini a way that would make others love to hear us. May the Lord open our eyes to see those around us who need a prophet to speak into their lives so that we can be a blessing to them.
Our theme for reflection this year is RAISING CHRIST-LIKE DISCIPLES (Col. 1:28). Last week our attention was drawn to the fact that becoming a Christ-like disciple begins with obedience to Jesus’s call: “Come and follow me…”. It is when we respond to the call and follow Him that He makes us fishers for other people. This step is important, otherwise our participation in the Church is without recognition by our Lord and master Jesus the Christ. It is should be stressed however that merely coming to Him is not enough; we have to commit ourselves to follow the master and grow to reflect Him as Christians. One might ask, “How can I build on this step and grow?” The answer to this shall be the focus of today’s discussions. Blessed are those who hear and do it.
At the beginning of His ministry, the Lord Jesus gave an invitation to people to follow Him, “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men”, He said. As a matter of fact,
Today, we begin our “Disciple-Making” journey and studies and pray, that we will have more insights into what it means to be a Christ-like disciple.
Today, we celebrate our covenant relationship with God and remind ourselves of its implications with that of our neigbours. The concept was conceived by John Wesley for the Methodist society based on the Old Testament. Today, many churches have adopted it for celebration during the early part of each year. The Israelites were continually reminded by their leaders and the Prophets of the sacred nature of the relationship they shared with the LORD for which reason they couldn’t live anyhow like the other nations. Similarly, when we celebrate the Covenant Service, we seek to remind ourselves that we are not expected to live anyhow since we are in a covenant relationship with Him. We have to examine our way of life and see if there be any wicked ways in us and if there are any broken walls, and amend them. May the Lord use this service to break us up, melt us, remould us and fill us with His Spirit so that we can live right and love God as well as our neighbors while we are yet alive. Christ in you the hope of glory.
How did you grow in the past year? Did you conform to the way Christ Jesus grew while on earth? The Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ mandates us to make disciples of all nations that include you and I. As the Second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ draws closer, it is important for us to examine our stand in Christ and to know whether we are becoming Christ-like disciples or we are using our own parameters to assess ourselves. It is for this reason that we are focusing on the theme RAISING CHRIST-LIKE DISCIPLES for the year as part of our overall theme of rebuilding our broken walls. The activities in the year are all geared towards making us arrive at this goal. I pray that while we play our part as leaders of the Church by nurturing you, you will also work out your salvation with reverence for Christ and His Kingdom. Please plan to grow in all dimensions of life so in the years ahead so that the Lord will find each one of us as Christ-like disciples. Happy New Year to you. Shalom.
“Growing old! Growing old! I wish I’d never grow old.” This is recalling a stanza from an old popular song. As we all know, growth is accompanied with ageing. It is how we age that should occupy us and not the fear of growing old. The young shall grow old and therefore, we must all join our hearts with the Psalmist to pray the Lord to teach us to count our days so that we may gain a wise heart (Ps. 90:12). As we celebrate our Senior Citizens, let us also be reminded of the fact of ageing and age gracefully. We salute our Senior Citizens for all their labours under this sun. It is our prayer that the days ahead would be more glorious than the former.
I am not sure whether this Christmas has been any different from previous ones that you have celebrated. Even though the ages of Christmas keep changing the message of Christmas has been the same; its relevance has not changed. It reminds us that the Messiah about whom prophets of old spoke, came in the person of Jesus the Son of Mary. He was born in a manger and every prophecy concerning Him was fulfilled. He has come as the Prince of Peace to reconcile us to the Father and to our neighbours. God no more counts our sins against us and He welcomes us home to enjoy fellowship with Him. May this Christmas bring peace into our homes and to relationships outside our homes. It should focus on peace on earth and goodwill to all our neighbours. Let us however be reminded that Jesus the Christ will come again just as He has promised. So let us enjoy the first Advent (Christmas) and look forward to the Second coming.
Today, we join our children and grandchildren to have a foretaste of Christmas and to see them act the Nativity drama. This is to help them organize their thoughts on the essence of Christmas. As we watch them perform, we should be thankful to God for these fruits of our womb. These children could have gone wayward but they have chosen to stay in the Church and to be nurtured in the Christian faith. While commending the children for their display of skills and knowledge, it is also important for us to applaud the efforts of their teachers.
I suggest that individual families take steps to appreciate these teachers and their assistants. On behalf of the Council, I say “kudos” to the children and their teachers. It is my prayer that they will always remember these recitals and grow to appreciate them.
As the year draws to a close there are many thoughts that are running through the minds of many of us. Some are wandering how they will celebrate the festivities; others are not happy that some of their plans for the year had not materialized. In all these, the scriptures exhort us not to be anxious about anything. Instead we should rejoice in the Lord because He is the God of the impossible. He moves in mysterious ways and besides, being anxious, we are reminded, will not add a lifespan to our years. Therefore in times like these, the Apostle Paul exhorts us to look up to God and rejoice in Him. There surely is hope and what we need to make us rejoice is our faith in the Lord. So rejoice in the Lord my brother, my sister rejoice.
Have you ever given thought to how you became a Christian and why the Christmas occurrences are relevant to your salvation? We have been saved by the grace of God and therefore have nothing to boast of except what we have in Christ Jesus. That is why we should rejoice in our salvation, knowing how costly it was and how it resulted in Jesus being born in a manger and finally shedding His blood. He will come again as He promised to take His own to Himself so that all who believe and can rejoice in their salvation shall be where He is. This is the assurance that we have; so let us rejoice in our salvation and look forward to His second coming. The count is getting lower every day.
Advent is with us once again to remind us that if the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ was prophesied long before His birth (First Advent), then the Second Coming is sure to take place. As part of our preparation, we want to spend today in prayer with the intent of putting our hearts in order. In some countries, Advent marks the beginning of shopping for Christmas and all efforts are made to celebrate the occasion with great joy. For us too, the bells at Trinity will soon begin belling with beautiful carols, etc to usher us into the Christmas season, with many changes to show. As with these physical changes, we too require change. We should therefore, pray that the Lord will help us change spiritually for the better so that when the roll is called up yonder, we shall be there.
We have all been looking out for signs or indicators that Christmas is around the corner. The Christmas season is marked by Advent and this will be celebrated soon. The first coming of Jesus Christ reminds us of the Second Coming. The question is “Are you ready for Christ’s Second Coming?” Faithfulness to the end is key to our Christian journey and the theme for today is to help us assess our commitment to Christ and to establish our readiness for the Lord’s Second Coming. It is one thing starting the journey and another arriving at the destination. Let us therefore, not abandon the journey midway; let us press on to the end. The Lord is there to help us so let us be encouraged and hold on to His word.
Some years ago, one of the common inscriptions to be seen on posters had the caption “Jesus is Coming Soon”. These days, such posters have become rare. Notwithstanding this however, the signs of the times currently speak so loudly and is openly indicative of the possibility of the warning which the posters so innocently announce, therefore, we should not downplay the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are urged by the Bible to know the signs of the End time because our Lord said He will come unexpectedly as a thief does. Let us therefore, watch and live in readiness so that when He appears, we will not be found wanting. The world has become so distractively busy and can easily make us forget why we are in this world but not of it. We are strangers so let us be reminded by today’s theme, to know the times and be wise.
What shall I render to my God
for all His mercies store?
I’ll take the gifts He hath bestowed
and humbly ask for more.
(Methodist hymn 339; stanza 1)
Indeed, each of us has cause to give thanks to God with a grateful heart because He has been gracious in giving us His only begotten Son. So we are saved! Our duty therefore, is to give back to God out of all that we have and are. This must be done in love because God gave to us out of love. May this privilege of giving to God cause us to give willingly for God loves a cheerful giver.
For the past two months, various ethnic groups in Ghana have been celebrating festivals to give thanks to God and the gods for another year in their calendar and to purify themselves and the stools. We also have cause to thank God for bringing us this far in the year. Indeed, the Lord has been good to us; despite the challenging times, we have survived and have hope of a bright future. As we bring our sacrifice of praise to God, may we be empowered to bring our substance to Him next week as a demonstration of our appreciation to Him. Praise the Lord. Let everything that has breath praise His holy name. He will surely receive our praise and offering as living sacrifice and bless us.
Today, we welcome into office a new Council for this Church. We salute the outgoing Council members for all their inputs which has brought the Church thus far, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is our prayer that they will continue to avail themselves to God at all times keeping in mind, the adage that “once a leader, always a leader”. As the new Council is inducted into office, it is necessary to be reminded that, servant leadership is the model that our Lord and Master Jesus Christ left for us to emulate. At all times, we should pray to the Lord who has called us to increase in our lives so that, the “self” will decrease. We serve God through the service we render to His people. Let us, as Church members also remember them in our prayers and cooperate with their leadership at all levels to move the Church forward.
During the celebration of YAF’s Tenth Anniversary, we were reminded that each one of us has a contribution to make towards rebuilding of the Church. Today’s theme builds on that and urges us to offer this service in a selfless way. We should give our all in service to God because He first loved us and gave His begotten Son to us. The joy of working or giving to God should stem from this act of God so that we can also serve without seeking recognition. God knows our labour for Him and will reward us accordingly. Let us, therefore, be selfless in our service to God and humankind.
Today, history is being written as we celebrate the 10th Anniversary with members of the Young Adults’ Fellowship. It is a great joy to see how this group has been able to sustain her members over the years. The theme for the celebration; “My Church, my contribution” is appropriate. I hope that this theme will energize the new YAF members as well as the graduates to keep the flame on and be aglow for Jesus. The Church needs every individual since each one of us has a contribution to make. Congratulations to the pioneers, the Church Council then as well as the members and leaders of YAF. Keep flying high. Happy Anniversary.
One of the key teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ was on the Kingdom of God. He used many parables to describe this kingdom and showed that the kingdom of God is now with us. It represents wherever God reigns; therefore, anyone who receives the kingdom of God, becomes a child of God and represents the kingdom as a heir. From your personal reflection on your identity, do you think that you are a child of the Kingdom? Do you hold a citizenship identity? If you do, then let everyone see that you are a child of God. If you are not sure, there is hope; you can receive the kingdom of God and also become a heir by accepting Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord today.
Today’s worship is a Prayer Service. We want to call upon the name of the LORD based on His word.
The LORD appeared to Solomon at night and said: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices. “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 2 Chronicles 7:12-16.
This is the basis for our prayer and we are confident that He will hear us. Believe and know that Prayer is the key of heaven and faith unlocks the door.
Indeed Jesus was right when He said there are some sheep outside the fence and they must be assisted to enter. Last week’s teachings on Islam and Christianity made it clear that the Muslims are our neighbours even though there are some areas of divergence in what we believe and what they do. That does not stop us from loving them as our neighbours. We should use the love that God has loved us with, to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ to them. Today’s teachings will focus on Rastafarianism and it is my prayer that our eyes will be opened the more through this exposure
Jesus made a statement in John 10:16 “And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also and they will listen to my voice.” This is an indication that some of our neighbours are outside the fence and the Lord Jesus has not forgotten them. But we cannot reach out to these neighbours when we do not know who they believe in, what they believe and how we should relate to them. In the next two Sundays, we will therefore, be focusing on some of these neighbours in the other faiths. It is my prayer that such insights will position us to love God and also love our neighbours, including those of other faiths. Through this, we would be able to bring them into the fold.
An old preacher used to say, “There are two parts to the gospel. The first part is believing it, and the second part is behaving it.” The hearer only is the one who is satisfied with just believing without behaving. That is what James describes as dead faith (James 2:17). Dare to act on your faith. That is the currency of receiving from God. Remember, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” (Heb. 11:6). Be encouraged by Mark 7:24-37. In this episode, a Greek woman who supposedly does not deserve to receive from Jesus received deliverance for her child afflicted by a demon. Her faith will not let Jesus go without receiving her answer. Are there any areas of demonic afflictions in your life? Turn in faith towards Jesus and claim deliverance in His name. Remain whole from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet. Amen.
Today’s address is the last of the series in the second part of the theme chosen for the year: Loving God and loving my neighbour. Do you know that the one who sits next to you, in front of you and behind you in Church are all your neighbours? Are we aware that some are Ghanaians while others may come from other parts of the world? How do they find our fellowship with God, and with those who are our neighbours? Are they able to agree with the Psalmist who said ‘I was glad when they said unto me, let us go to the house of the Lord’? These are questions for our respective reflection. We are all children of God and our love for God must reflect towards others so they will feel that they belong. May the Lord continue to speak to us in today’s worship so that anytime we enter and leave the Church, we will know that we met another group of our neighbours who deserve to receive God’s love through us.
Have you gone through the confirmation rite in a Church before and do you remember the vows you said? If no, I urge you to listen attentively to what our friends or children will be reciting and remind yourself of what you said. If you were baptized as an adult and did not go through any confirmation, I ask you to use this ceremony to remind yourself of the covenant relationship we have with our Lord and God. A number of those who pledged to God some time past that they will not forsake Him have deserted the faith, after having tasted of Christianity. The Lord is asking us whether we also will go. Brethren, the world might have something for us but the end is destruction and eternal death. It is my prayer therefore, that we will renew our allegiance to our Maker and affirm to Him that whether we live or die, we are His. He will surely not forsake us. So let us press on and not join those who have backslided from the faith. Our Redeemer reigns. Halleluyah. Say to the Lord today, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You alone have life.”
Today’s Service gives us another opportunity to call on the name of the LORD as a corporate body. The prophet Jeremiah exhorted the Israelites to seek the welfare of the city and pray to the LORD on its behalf for “in its welfare you will find your welfare” (JER. 29:7, ESV). My brothers and sisters in Christ, we have to pray without ceasing for our Church and nation. Many of our people are using lawful means to seek the welfare of the land, forgetting that the law has its own shortcomings. If we cease to pray for the land and the leaders, we must not be surprised to see a collapse of the systems. Let us pray, giving the LORD no rest until our nation’s systems and structures become beneficial to our welfare. As we pray, let us expect God to answer and like Nehemiah, position ourselves to be used in the reconstruction.
Are you one of those who partake in the Holy Communion? If yes, why do you participate in the sacrament? If no, why have you been staying away from such an important ritual? Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, initiated this sacrament and commanded all His disciples to observe it until He comes again. This is a sacred act that should be observed with purpose. The Apostle Paul cautions that whoever eats the bread or drinks of the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord (I Cor. 11:27). This does not mean we should come to the Lord’s Table with fear; rather we should come with gladness and reverence: We should remember the essence of the Lord’s Supper by examining our lives and where we fall short, ask the Lord for forgiveness and strength to live for Him.
Today, we celebrate another day of giving to support God’s work – the Youth Harvest. It is the second of the Harvests lined up for the year. Let me use this opportunity to congratulate each one of us for our generosity in giving to rebuild the Lord’s premises. The monies raised so far has gone a long way to almost complete the Youth Centre. The Church Council looks forward to relocating the Junior Youth there, for their Sunday Services and also provide facilities for all the groups to use as and when they are needed. The theme adopted as a motivation for us to give and more, during this year’s Harvest is LOVING GOD AND LOVING MY NEIGHBOUR: GREATER LOVE. Our love for God motivates us to do several things in life; it moves us to love our neighbours and also seek their welfare. Whether we are young or old, we have a commitment to each other and this is what should bind us in a Church such as Trinity United. We are the body of Christ and when one part rejoices, the whole body does so. Let us all join the Youth to raise funds to furnish the building to its maximum best so that the building can be put to use as soon as possible. So let the greater love of God which moved Him to give us His only begotten Son, Jesus the Christ, motivate us also to give of our best to Him and His Church, for there is much blessing in doing this.
When I was growing up, there was a popular song in which the musician used to wonder why his mother put his father’s food in a big bowl while his was always in a small one. When he grew up, he came to realize that his father had a big share because it kept him busy while strategizing or reflecting on how to keep the home going. On the occasion of the Men’s Fellowship 40th Anniversary, I congratulate all Men in the Church and especially the Fellowship for coming this far. I am aware that they have been meticulous in their responsibilities and activities, and I commend them for it. My prayer is that, this anniversary will serve as a reminder to all men in the Church to rise up to our responsibilities everywhere, especially in the home so that we can help raise up homes where peace is the fragrance. This, I hope, will stabilize our society beginning with the families. Rise up oh men of God. May the good Lord bless the Men’s Fellowship to achieve their goals and to draw more men into the Fellowship.
Have you ever been to a shop to make some purchases only to meet a sales person with an unfriendly face? Or you met a customer who is simply difficult to handle? These are situations we meet in our everyday life situation and very often we fail to take note of the fact that these customers or sales persons need to experience the love of God through us. The theme under consideration requires that our love for God reflects towards such neighbours. Due to the frustrations we see on people’s faces, many of us retaliate and some of us sadly, have lost customers as a result of our attitude towards them. Beloved, let us love, for love is of God. In God alone has love its true abode. Remember that your customer or client is also your neighbour who must receive God’s love through you. Similarly when you have a need to be met, you become a customer to someone and must relate with those who can help meet such need. In the same way, we must treat our customers with the love of God.
Under the year’s theme: “Loving God and our neighbours,” we are today throwing the light on our duty as citizens of this nation respectfully requested to pay our taxes. This is a Christian duty without any excuse. Romans 13:6-7 exhorts us to pay to all, what is due them - taxes to whom taxes are due. Very often, we hear complaints of underdevelopment in the nation and many citizens crying for development. Where does the money for such activities come from? It is our taxes that strengthen the hands of the government to undertake such developmental works. Ours is to pay the taxes as citizens and have a clear conscience that we are fulfilling our Christian duty. The Scriptures command us to be subjected to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God (Rom. 13:1) and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. Paying our taxes undoubtedly shows our sincere love, for our nation, and is demonstrative too of our love for God and also our neighbours
This month, we will be throwing more light on another part of our theme for the year: Loving God and our neighbours. The emphasis is on “our neighbours” under which, topics to be treated, will focus on the environment, the government, and customer relations. Our love for God is expected to reach out to our neighbours since our love for them makes life more comfortable for us as well. Today, our focus is on the environment. Simply put, the environment is anything outside of us, the natural world and also that which affects human activity. God created the environment for our benefit and gave us dominion over it, to take care of and depend on it. Neglecting the environment is disobedience to God and this has consequences for us. Let us therefore be sensitive to the world around us, for we are to love God and also love our neighbours.
Death is a topic whose discussion does not easily attract audience, even though we all know that death is inevitable and anyone born of a man and woman is bound to die. The good news about today’s theme is that Christ Jesus has conquered death by dying on the Cross. He suffered this fate for our sake. The writer of Hebrews gives us a reason for this: He states that “Because God’s children are human beings made of flesh and blood, Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he deliver those who have lived all their lives as slaves to the fear of dying (Heb. 2:14-15)”. Therefore beloved, fear not, for Jesus has conquered death and if only we believe, we will not perish but have everlasting life. Do you believe this?
For those of us who live close to the coast and might have observed the storm, we would appreciate what it would take to calm such a storm. The present economic hardship and the stress that has accompanied it feels like sailing on a storm. Almost everybody is complaining and some people are even capitalizing on the situation to stir the waters so that life will be unbearable for us. The good news is that our Saviour Jesus Christ is Lord over the storm. He has the whole world in His hands and is able to sleep in a boat that is sailing amid the storm. His message to us in the midst of the storm around us is “FEAR NOT, I AM LORD OVER THE STORM.” Therefore let us be still and know that He is Lord.
The Bible exhorts us to pray without ceasing and in times like these, when tension seems to be mounting all around us, it is necessary that we pray ceaselessly. Our nation is still in transition, yet to recover fully from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moving forward, we as a Church are also preparing excitedly for the election of our new Council members. I am sure that as an individual, you too may have some pressing needs which you will want to talk to God about. This is why today’s Prayer Service, with all its importance, has brought us together to pour our hearts out to God who answers prayer. Let us therefore pray as if everything depends on us and God will surely answer our prayers.
The world we live in is so noisy that often, the word of God or His voice is not heard clearly. As a result, many people are wallowing in the darkness.
God speaks daily to us in living echoes of His tone; ours is to be like Samuel by responding. If we hear a voice and we are not sure, we can ask the Lord, through His servants for clarity. There are many “Elis” around us who can guide us to know God’s will for our lives. Obedience to God’s word enables us to experience His power in our lives. Therefore let us hear the voice of the Lord and respond. It will be for our own good.
Today, we will have the last presentation for this Mission Awareness month from Christian Organizations. I have come to the conclusion that indeed there are many individuals and groups who are doing their best to propagate the Gospel using various methods as the Lord so leads them. We as a Church have an obligation to be involved either directly or indirectly in this mission of God. Our prayers, donations, words of encouragement and personal involvement will go a long way to empower our brothers and sisters who are at the front line to do exploits for God. Listening to these presentations has made it clear that the fields are still white and the harvest is waiting. Let us therefore, use this opportunity to give bountifully to support God’s work and our names will surely be remembered by God who calls and sends. While we are supporting a good cause, let us also remember that there are people who are close to us but who might not have yet heard of the Gospel, and require to be told of the love of Jesus as He continuously wrestles to reconcile us to the Father. Heaven rejoices over one sinner who repents and we should cause this to happen by snatching the lost people for Christ. The opportunity to do this is with us now.
Recently a picture was posted to my platform which summarized missions. It showed how a missionary who sought to save a drowning sheep was held to safety by the Church. It implied that missionaries without the Church are bound to fail; this is because the missionaries must be sent by the Church and when the souls are won, they must be nurtured by the Church. The Apostle Paul and his team were sent on the various missionary journeys by the Church in Antioch of Pisidia and when they had challenges, they reported to the pioneer Church in Jerusalem: that is the expected model of missionary work and we, as individuals or a Church, have a role to play in sustaining the work of the missionaries. This might be an opportunity for you and so let us grasp it for we have no excuse.
One of the major news highlights in the media lately, has been the Church of Pentecost’s donation of a completed and well furnished prison complex made to the Government. As expected, there has been several comments, some of which are without doubt, due to ignorance. For any Church that is mission-oriented as the Church of Pentecost however, it must be commended highly for wisely investing into the rehabilitation of these brothers and sisters who may find themselves in the prison. Strategically, as might be interpreted, the Church of Pentecost is positioning itself to win the inmates for Christ. I am sure that any inmate male or female who worships in this well furnished chapel and uses the facilities in the prison will be more than willing to listen to the good news that the Church may bring from time to time. This is one way of helping to fulfill the Great Commission. There are other means by which other groups are helping to win souls for Christ. It is my prayer that as individuals, groups or Congregation, we will all support such worthy steps as we listen to the Literacy and Evangelism Ghana share with us.
In last week’s presentation, we were made aware that Mission is of God. It is He who sends. A Missiologist, Christopher J. H. Wright has defined Mission as “our committed participation as God’s people, at God’s invitation and command, in God’s own mission within the history of the world for the redemption of God’s creation. This mission of God is undertaken by individuals or corporate bodies who are called into various areas of ministry. During this month, the Lord through these groups will help us see the varieties in missions. This should challenge you and me, as members of the body of Christ, to identify with the Great Commission and share the Good News with someone either directly or indirectly. The fields are white, and the harvest is waiting; who will bear the sheaves away? Can you get involved today? Yes, you can.
This month of May has been set aside to broaden our knowledge on what God is doing through other groups outside the Church. Commonly referred to as Para-Church groups, they fulfil the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:18-20 – a mandate given to the Church by Our Saviour and Lord, Jesus the Christ. It is every Christian’s responsibility to help in this mission of God either directly or indirectly. That is why we are celebrating God’s goodness through the activities of these selected Para-church groups. Each week, a group will highlight its activities to us and my prayer is that the Lord shall burden our hearts to pray and possibly give directly or indirectly to support these groups. May the good Lord open our eyes to see what He is doing.
Today marks the Children’s Harvest, an opportunity given to our children in this Church to be involved in raising funds to support the Church’s projects. Considering the wonderful performances put up by the children last week and what we are expecting at today’s Harvest, it is obvious that this Church has a bright future. The theme for our reflection is “The Good Shepherd” and among the characteristics that Jesus described of such person is the ability to know the sheep and vice versa. Our role as parents, guardians and as a Church is to draw our children closer to us so that they do not fall prey to the numerous attractions that surround us. It is my prayer that through such programmes, the children will know what it takes and what it means to give what they have to support God’s work and to offer themselves as living sacrifices to God. Our God is faithful and will do far more than we can to bring up these children to His glory.
One activity that is significant on the calendar of most Churches is Children’s Day. It is an opportunity that is given to the children to demonstrate to God, the abilities He has given them in worship. Today, a cross-section of our Sunday School children and their Teachers are leading us in worship. We are grateful to God for such ministry to children and we appreciate the efforts of the Teachers in preparing the children for such programme. I commend the children for their sense of purpose and love for the things of God. Proverbs 22:6 exhorts us with these words “Train children in the right way and when old, they will not stray”, (NRSV). It is my prayer that this preparation of the children will go a long way to prepare them both for the present and the future. Let us use this opportunity to affirm the efforts of the Sunday School Teachers and the children and to keep them in our prayers.
The Lent season, though over, does not mean that we should go to sleep. We are called to prayer “in season and out of season.” The Christian journey is not an easy one and constant contact with our Maker through prayer brings much victory to those of us who pray. Our Saviour and Lord, Jesus the Christ, demonstrated this by retreating often to a place to pray. Prayer is said to be the key of heaven and faith unlocks the door. As we pray therefore, let us believe that God answers prayer. He surely will. Let us continue to press on in our Christian faith and keep in touch with our Lord through prayer and the study of the scriptures.
THINE be the glory, risen, conquering Son,
Endless is the victory Thou o’er death hast won;
Angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
Kept the folded grave-clothes, where Thy body lay.
Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son,
Endless is the victory Thou o’er death hast won.
Lo! JESUS meets us, risen from the tomb;
Lovingly He greet us, scatters fear and gloom;
Let the Church with gladness, hymns of triumph sing,
For her LORD now liveth, death hath lost its sting.
No more we doubt Thee, glorious Prince of life;
Life is nought without Thee: aid us in our strife;
Make us more than conquerors, through Thy deathless love:
Bring us safe through Jordan to Thy home above
WHEN I survey the wondrous Cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, LORD, that I should boast,
Save in the death of CHRIST, my God
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down:
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were an offering far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
Palm Sunday is with us again and it still marks Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem to face His own death. The activities which climaxed in the crucifixion of Jesus show that, indeed, our Saviour and Lord did not fear death. He humbled himself to such an extent that a donkey was enough for Him to ride on to victory. As we enter the Passion Week, our minds should be reflecting on the agony of our Lord Jesus Christ who though being God, stoop so low to die in such a humiliating manner. He did this to open up a new covenant with His blood on our behalf. As we celebrate this Palm Sunday with palm fronds and branches from trees nearby, let us also humble our hearts for Jesus to enter in and demonstrate to us, the power of God over death. May we also be empowered by this remarkable act to be prepared at all times to face death, which Jesus, by His own death, conquered, and live in the hope of His resurrection. Hosanna-Save us now.
One of the most painful emotions that one could go through occurs when our love for somebody is not reciprocated. Love is an expensive attribute and that which was shown to us by our Lord Jesus Christ is described in Isaac Watts’s composition in the Methodist Hymn 182, the last sentence of stanza 4; Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all. Indeed the Saviour’s love which was showed to us on the Cross stares us in the face and beckons us to respond by giving our all to our Saviour and Master, Jesus the Christ. As we continue our journey through this period of Lent, fasting and praying, let us also give our lives and our “all” to Him as a demonstration of our appreciation for what He did on the Cross for us. That is the only way we can make our Lord happy and assure Him that His labour has not been in vain.
Easter is a few weeks away from today and the Lent season continues to provide us with the opportunity to reflect on the mission of our Lord Jesus the Christ. The season teaches us to learn from the afflictions that Jesus went through for our sake. His sufferings have made us children of God and heirs with Christ but that is for those who believe and accept the finished work of Christ and its benefits. I urge you therefore to use these days of Lent to reflect on your status in Christ. Do you know Him as your personal Saviour and Master? Are you sure of your salvation and are you confident that whether you live or die, you belong to Jesus? The decision is best known to you and it is my prayer that each one of us will choose life and live in eternity with Christ since He came for that purpose.
God’s sacred and mighty word, as elucidated in the Bible, is expected to be a lamp unto our feet and a light for our path. Unfortunately however, there are many Christians who have Bibles, and read them but do not see the connection between the various books therein. It becomes more embarrassing when we find it difficult to locate the different books of the Bible. It is for this reason that we want to go back and gain some knowledge of the books and what their contents are generally. It is my prayer that we will be reminded through these teachings to appreciate the uniqueness of the book called The Bible, and be able to use it as a daily guide. God has gracefully overlooked, the days of ignorance but now, He calls us to a committed Christian life, and the Bible is a basic guide for us to use.
One of the important activities of Lent is the opportunity we have to give to support God’s work and others. It is therefore appropriate that the Harvest Launch has fallen within this period. Our focus this year for giving towards the Annual Harvest and Thanksgiving is to complete the Youth Centre for use by members of the Church. This does not preclude other generational groups from the use of this facility. The stand of the Leadership of the Church is to have a permanent place of worship for the Junior Youth, and for the Youth to also have their meetings. We already have a Sunday School Block for the children and a Chapel for the Youth, Young Adults and Adults; we deem it necessary to provide a place for the Junior Youth as well. It is my prayer that the Lord will put an amount on your heart to give, not only today but also pledge to enable us present a well furnished building to our teenagers for their daily nurturing in the house of God. Be a giver and you will not regret. God will not forget your donation, for that is His promise.
Today marks the first Sunday in the Lent Season and since this period puts emphasis on prayer, fasting and giving, and as a time for reflecting on our lives, we have gathered to reflect and pray. We find ourselves in challenging times and the pressures of life often causes us to make utterances that is unworthy and do not glorify God. The tongue is a powerful part of the body. According to Apostle James, the tongue is a small member of our body, yet it can boast of great things (James 3:5. It is a fire, and can stain the whole body and set on fire the entire course of life. (v.6). Therefore we should on continuing basis, examine and evaluate ourselves to see what we have been doing with our tongue. May this season of Lent help us to tame our tongue as we submit it to the Lordship of our Saviour, Jesus the Christ. May the season bring freshness to our lives so that our all shall be surrendered to our Lord.