Archive for the Joshua Ghana Category

Between Two Kings… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2022 by paulthepoke

ISAIAH 7:10-25

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).

Ahaz was a weak-minded and idolatrous king of Judah. He reigned in the days of Isaiah the prophet. As a confederacy of the forces of the northern kingdom of Israel and the heathen nation of Syria made plans to attack Judah, the Lord showed up for deliverance. He asked Ahaz to ask for a sign concerning any troubling matter. But the king presented a façade of meekness, saying he would not ask for a sign nor “tempt the LORD.”

But the all-seeing Lord would not be fooled. God’s grand purpose to defeat the devil and save mankind will be done, regardless of some men’s shiftiness, tardiness or refusal to cooperate. So, He proceeded to give the sign. Ahaz lost the golden opportunity to be the vessel through whom the prophecy about the coming Savior of the world would have been made.

Hezekiah

A contrast came some decades later when another king of Judah, Hezekiah, was given the chance to ask for a sign following a sickness that was about to take his life. He called for a sign from the Lord who not only healed him, but also prolonged his life by fifteen years. Hezekiah was a righteous monarch, who was not afraid to present his supplication before the Lord; unlike Ahaz who was scheming to forsake the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for an alliance with Assyria. Ahaz trusted in the Assyrian army, not the Lord of hosts.

Man is the loser when he turns down His Maker’s open invitation for a resolution of the conflicts in his life. The ‘Immanuel’ the Lord promised would establish heavenly peace in the hearts of those who believe in Him through His presence.

But wicked men and women, regardless of their status in society, will not enjoy His presence until they acknowledge Him and His signs, wonders and miracles; the greatest being the salvation He brought to the fallen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Rejecting the sign of Immanuel leads to eternal regrets.

The Bible IN ONE YEAR: NUMBERS 16 – 18

Mighty To Save… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , , on April 28, 2022 by paulthepoke

TEXT: ISAIAH 33:13-24

“And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity” (Isaiah 33:24).

Only through Christ Jesus can mankind secure the double cure for the double malady of sin and sickness.

Our passage today shows the reaction of the inhabitants of Zion to the miraculous defeat of the Assyrian army and portrays the final defeat of the antichrist and false prophets by Christ. God has used this event to call all that are near and afar to consider their ways and turn to Him. First, we see the hypocritical sinners in Zion gripped with fear at the mighty power and holiness of God.

“Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burning?” Throughout the ages, the response of God has always been the same to all who seek to be in His presence (Psalm 15:2; 24:4).

He is gracious and merciful to those who walk righteously, speak uprightly, avoid oppression, deceit and blood guiltiness. Those with clean hands and a pure heart will see the King in His beauty.

How then can sinful and defiled man come before the Most High God? It is only through repentance from sin and faith in Christ’s atoning work. God sent Jesus Christ to take away our sin and cleanse us from its pollutions. He came and preached repentance and new birth as a means of coming into the presence of the holy God.

“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).

The benefits of a right relationship with God and living according to His word are many: we enjoy safety and security from our foes, healing from diseases and the final salvation with God in eternity.

Indeed, it can rightly be said of those who make Jehovah their Lord, “Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins” (Isaiah 40:2).

*THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:* He who saves also cleanses from all sin.

Cleanse the House… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 11, 2022 by paulthepoke

TEXT: LEVITICUS 14:33-57

Leviticus 14:52 “And he shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird, and with the running water, and with the living bird, and with the cedar wood, and with the hyssop, and with the scarlet.”

Hyssop is a protected plant in Israel. It is a small, hardy shrub from the basil family. It is said to have cleansing properties. The hyssop plant in the Bible symbolizes spiritual purification.

Certain rituals were performed to cleanse any house leprosy was found in the Old Testament. First, the house is shut up for seven days. After this period, the house is checked. If the house had signs of leprosy spreading, the entire house had to be pulled down. But if the disease did not spread, then the house was healed. The priest then performed a ceremony for cleansing the house which involved two live birds, cedar, hyssop, scarlet and running water from a river. One of the birds was killed over the basin of water and the cedar, hyssop and the living bird was dipped into the water and the house was sprinkled with it, after which the living bird was set free.

Leprosy represents sin because it has the capacity to spread from the heart into every part of the body. The heart represents the house where the leprosy originates; for from the heart proceeds all evil thoughts which the entire body is compelled to act upon. The product of this process can be found in people’s harsh speeches, immoral actions, violent behaviors, wickedness and the likes.

Cleansing has to begin from the heart. Nothing so far has been found effective in achieving total cleansing for the sinful heart of man. Religious ceremonies and rituals, together with human efforts have unfortunately yielded no results. The only solution to the ‘leprosy’ of sin lies in the precious blood of our sinless Christ who died on the cross to save humanity.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: The blood of Jesus is the all-time antidote to all forms of uncleanness.

The Bible IN ONE YEAR: JOSHUA 11 – 14  

A Deceitful Heart??? Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2021 by paulthepoke

TEXT: EXODUS 8:25-32

Key verse: “And Moses said, Behold, I go out from thee, and I will intreat the LORD that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, to morrow: but let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD.” (Exodus 8:29)

Photo: Wikipedia

The Scripture says, “The heart is deceitful above all things…” The assassination of Julius Caesar was the result of a conspiracy by many Roman senators led by Gaius Cassius Longinus. They were said to have stabbed Caesar 23 times. But the stab that pained and surprised the dying Caesar the most was the one made by his trusted ally, Brutus.

Man, by nature, is not to be trusted. Pharaoh had proven on several occasions that he was not to be trusted as he reneged on his agreement with Moses. In the passage under consideration, Moses thought it wise to tell him his fears and tried to obtain Pharaoh’s authentic assurance. But like every sinner who operates on the dictates of Satan, he could not keep his words.

There are people who enter into agreements they know they cannot keep. Their heart is deceitful. Believers should not be deceitful. Our ‘Yes’ must be ‘yes’ and our ‘No’, must be ‘no’, regardless of the consequence. We must not honour agreements only when it favours us. We must be honest enough to follow through to our promise, whether written or verbal. Some people slip into a lying mode when they discover that things are not working in their favour. In his dealings with Pharaoh, Moses offered no compromise with the evil intent of the king. Thus, he demanded that he let his people go so that they would offer their sacrifices to the Lord. Moses knew that if they accepted to do the sacrifices in Egypt, the Egyptians would stone them for sacrificing sacred things in their land.

As believers, we must not behave cowardly in standing for the truth and in defending the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is no room for compromise. Our motives must be pure as we relate with God and fellow men.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Integrity is not something you show others; it is how you behave in their absence.

The Bible IN ONE YEAR: MARK 4 – 6

Pay Day Is Coming… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , , on September 15, 2021 by paulthepoke

TEXT: JEREMIAH 25:15-29

Key Verse: Jeremiah 25:29 “For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts.”

On December 25th, 1908, a newspaper published in Messina printed a parody against God, daring Him to make Himself known by sending an earthquake. Three days later, the city and its surrounding district were devastated by a terrible quake that killed 84,000 people! Payday is coming someday for all. It is the duty of the Christian to prepare for God’s judgment.

The passage under consideration unveils the decision of God against Babylon. Babylon would be destroyed for her wickedness and cruelty, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. Jeremiah was to warn of this impending judgment. He was also assigned by God to inform people that the cup of His wrath was soon to be poured on Israel and other nations like Egypt, Edom and the Philistines.

comeandreason.com

Judgment is coming. God has appointed a day in which He will judge the world for her sins. The present world system will not escape the judgment of God. All human deeds are on record and there would be no room for falsification of facts. Every action of man will be judged. Every thought (good or bad) will be brought to light. Boys and girls, and all adults of every race and in every continent will face the consequences of their professions.

The treatment we give to the word of God will determine our eternal destiny. Therefore, believers should not relax in their evangelistic outreaches because the judgment of God remains unchanging for all unrepentant souls from generation to generation.

Persecutors of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ will not escape the wrath of God except they repent. The train of God’s judgment is coming slowly but surely and it is important for all and sundry to be prepared.

*THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:* Judgment day is coming!

Jesus has taken judgment for those believe His death on the cross paid the price for sin. He was buried and resurrected proving He has power over death and sin.

1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with Him.

The Patient God… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , , on July 21, 2021 by paulthepoke

TEXT: EXODUS 7:14-25

Key verse: Exodus 7:14 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh’s heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go”

God has limitless ways of bringing a man into subjection. He allows the wicked to ply his trade and carry on as if the whole world is under his control is to prove His attribute of being a long-suffering Father.

If He had wanted to crush all Egypt to liberate Israel, He would have done so. It was not difficult for Him to strike all the Egyptians with blindness to free the Israelites. But He knew what He was doing by bargaining with Pharaoh. Even before Moses opened his mouth to tell Him that Pharaoh had remained adamant, He knew. He was being patient and wanted Pharaoh to exhaust his period of grace. God is a righteous Judge. He would not destroy Egypt without sufficient reason. Eventually, Pharaoh refused and rejected all the entreaties to release the people.

Wikipedia

There are Pharaohs all over the places who carry out their wicked and rebellious activities on a day-to-day basis, thinking it is in their power to do so. These Pharaohs oppress, intimidate and hinder the progress of God’s people. Sometimes, believers would wish for instant judgment against them. Far from it! We must see the pattern of God’s dealings with man. He gives man a long time to repent. It is after He must have exhausted all avenues of bringing Pharaoh to his senses that He allows him to stew in his own juice. Believers must have the mind of God by suffering long and waiting on Him to dispense judgment.

Wait on God and wait for Him. Do not run ahead of Him. He will surely deliver you. Despite Pharaoh’s headiness and high-handedness against Israel, at the end, he bit the dust. By the same token, all those who have elevated themselves to the status of Pharaoh against your progress will bow and you will laugh last.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: In His time, God makes all things beautiful. 

Are You Chosen? Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , , , on June 24, 2021 by paulthepoke

TEXT: DEUTERONOMY 18:1-8

Key Verse: Deuteronomy 18:5 “For the LORD thy God hath chosen him out of all thy tribes, to stand to minister in the name of the LORD, him and his sons for ever”

Often, people get themselves into a frenzy when they argue about who is called and who is not. Some people arrogate to themselves the status of “being called” just for the sake of it without doing the duties that “the called” of God are expected to do. It is like confessing Christ but not willing to bear the cross. A lot of people today are only interested in the benefits that accrue from wearing the toga of “servant of God,” without really doing the work.

The tribe of Levi was appointed by God to work as the spiritual servants for the nation of Israel. For this reason, they were given no portion of land, though they were given 48 cities throughout Canaan. The Levites, as God’s ministers were in full-time service and so, it was the responsibility of the rest of Israel to provide for them through their offerings. This tribe was “called”; it was specially chosen for special duties. It would be unthinkable for anyone from any other tribe to have usurped the office.

The passage teaches us that people must stay in their appointed offices. People must not hijack offices that are meant for others. There was no account of envy on the part of others and no one considered the Levites as “parasites” who fed on the sacrifices of others. Other tribes in Israel had their special assignments and God-appointed roles.

Likewise in the body of Christ, roles have been assigned. Believers must stay true to their roles and concentrate so well in order to deliver on their duties.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Know your calling.

The Bible IN ONE YEAR: PSALM 68 – 71

Tragic End… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , on June 10, 2021 by paulthepoke

TEXT: Job 24:14-25

Key Verse: Job 24:24 “They are exalted for a little while, but are gone and brought low; they are taken out of the way as all other, and cut off as the tops of the ears of corn.”

Experiences in life differ from person to person. Sometimes, those who seem to be faring better are those least expected. This is more so when the best things in life seem to be happening to people we consider to be undeserving of God’s favor and mercy. What many lose sight of is that irrespective of how successful a sinner is on earth, if he does not repent, he will meet with an ignoble end.

Job’s friends had concluded that the enormity of the suffering and pain he was experiencing could only be because he was a great sinner. In his response, Job did not dispute that God reserves harsh punishment for the sinner. In seeking to show himself as undeserving of their negative characterization as a sinner, he outlined what a wicked man looks like. He likened such a person to a murderer who takes the poor and needy unawares and kills them. He is like an adulterer who disguises himself and commits immorality under the cover of darkness. He said such a wicked person goes to any length to device his evil acts and cover up his tracks.

But in the end, he is consumed by drought and heat. He is broken, forgotten and eaten by worms in the grave. Though exalted, he is soon cut down, withered and cast off with no remembrance any more. He obviously considered that he was not like the person he had been describing and therefore, wondered who could successfully contradict what he had said.

Sometimes, God allows such experiences to draw our attention to the fact that sin will always be judged and the outcome will be fearful and fiery. It is therefore necessary for the sinner to retrace his steps, turn from his life of indulgence and evil, and follow Christ without wavering. Otherwise, he is courting unmitigated disaster.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: No sinner can escape the long arms of heaven’s law.

The Bible IN ONE YEAR: I Corinthians 5 – 7

The Real Deal… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , , , on May 2, 2021 by paulthepoke

TEXT: PSALM 19:7-14

Key verse: “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb” -Psalm 19:10

Over the centuries and ages, nations and communities have gone to war for spoils in the form of gold, silver and for territories bearing rich mineral resources and promising vast untapped wealth. Africa was violently balkanized between the 19th and 20th centuries because of her enormous potential riches. Till today, there is still more strife on the continent as a result of the quest for the control of riches. But the word of God insists that mankind could save itself needless heartache, loss and stress if it follows the counsel of its Creator.

“The statutes of the LORD are right… More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:8,10,11

Not only is the way prescribed in the Bible better; when we keep to it, there will not be payback of regrets as man has witnessed in struggles over wealth.

There is a double portion of blessing packed into adhering to God’s precepts. While it offers far more than what this world gives, it also warns about what the Lord requires to enable one make heaven. Now, knowledge of that is certainly a precious possession, weightier and nobler than all the wealth of the world.

Man has incurred much loss through the centuries for placing earthly earnings above God’s laws. But the real and perfect deal is the word of God, which suffices for peace and contentment here on earth and for eternity with Christ Jesus in heaven.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Aim for heaven’s golden streets, not ephemeral earthly earnings.

The Omnipotence Of God… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , on April 16, 2021 by paulthepoke

TEXT: ISAIAH 40:12-20

To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?” (Isaiah 40:18).

God’s influence is overwhelming and can be perceived everywhere. A songwriter, after a cursory look at the creation, was left with no choice than to chant, “How great thou art”.

Prophet Isaiah tries to put in perspective and in a language that can be easily understood, how powerful God is. His ability to forgive sin can also be discerned from here. The prophet says that the nations were as nothing before Him, not merely because of His immensity but because of their insufficiency to make any atonement by their oblations for the iniquities which they had committed.

Isaiah describes the foolishness of idolatry and how the practice makes a lot of demand on the practitioners above their abilities and capacity.

“He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved” (verse 20).

Yet, God does not make such a demand on His worshippers. In looking at His plan for our salvation and the eventual coming of Christ to atone for our sins, we have every reason to be grateful to God, serve Him and entrust our whole being to Him.

In view of the great power of God and the incomprehensibility of His might, those who refuse to follow and worship Him are reveling in His long-suffering; but if they fail to repent, they will regret when He comes in His fury upon all children of disobedience. To avoid this fate, submit yourself to His omnipotence, repent of all known sin and ensure you serve Him unreservedly.

The Bible IN ONE YEAR: ACTS 9 – 10

*THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:* God’s mercy is great towards all who serve Him. 

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