Archive for Ghana

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

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. 

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. 

Unfailing Prophecy… Joshua of Ghana

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

TEXT: DANIEL 8:1-12

Key Verse: Daniel 8:12 And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered.

On March 21, 1969, Time magazine of the United States conducted an investigative report that concluded that 1,220 out of the country’s 1,750 dailies had columns running forecasts about the unknown tomorrow. The stargazers failed miserably with their prophecies the same way a religious group has been forced to revise its predictions about the date of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ severally.

On the other hand, the true prophets of God have always proclaimed unfailing prophecies. Daniel was one such men of God. Two years after the Lord revealed the prophecy of the four kingdoms that would shape the world up to the rapture and the millennial rule and beyond, Daniel received more visions, this time of both long and short scopes. God, using domestic animals to represent the kingdoms unlike the wild creatures of the previous chapter, revealed that world powers would rise and fall. Daniel prophesied that “a notable… horn” would emerge.

Historians have identified this “horn” as Alexander the Great of the Greek Empire, who, as predicted died prematurely in 323 BC: “the great horn was broken.” The prophecy was made about 300 years earlier. Daniel also predicted that after Alexander’s death, the Greek Empire would collapse and give birth to four new ones. And so it happened.

Only He who knows the future reveals it to His genuine servants and to sincere seekers of the truth. Man is needlessly anxious about the years ahead, turning to idols and charlatans to untie the knot about the unknown. He will rope himself into more snares if he does not run to the God who, thousands of years ago, predicted what we are witnessing today: “the time of the end… shall be a time of trouble… many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased”.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Do not seek to know the future without first knowing its Owner.

The Bible IN ONE YEAR: GENESIS 21 – 23

Still Seeking the Master… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , , , on January 30, 2021 by paulthepoke

TEXT: JOHN 20:1-10

Key verse: John 20:1 “The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulcher.”

“Faith, like light, should always be simple and unbending,” says Martin Luther King Jr. Mary Magdalene was a true symbol of that faith and who was committed and unwavering as a disciple should be.

@beholy404

The Lord Jesus had been crucified and was buried prior to the compulsory Sabbath day that forced rest on all. His sepulcher was heavily guarded by security men sent by the chief priests and Pharisees to make sure “His disciples (did not) come by night, and steal Him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead…” Matthew 27:62-66. As it began to dawn on the first day of the week when it was yet dark, Mary Magdalene came to anoint His body only to discover the huge stone that covered the tomb had been rolled away. Unable to understand what had transpired, she went to report to Apostles Peter and John who also came, saw it and went back home. But Mary, who was determined to see her Savior, stayed back.

The extraordinary courage and steadfastness of this blessed soul in defying all odds in her quest to find her crucified Master is reflective of a heart full of grace and gratitude towards a Savior who had earlier delivered her from demonic possession (Luke 8:2) and saved her soul. God is never unmindful nor is He unrighteous to forget our work and labor of love (Hebrews 6:10). Christ is still calling His disciples to a wholehearted devotion and commitment to Him and His cause.

The all-consuming passion that Mary exhibited in seeking the Lord until she found Him must be the driving force that propels every believer to keep on following Christ at this present time so as to be with Him eventually in heaven (John 17:24).

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: When you truly seek, you will find.

The Bible IN ONE YEAR: ROMANS 1 – 3

Judas Iscariot… Joshua of Ghana

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

1 Corinthians 10:12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.

JUDAS ISCARIOT

å An Apostle who became an Apostate

å An Ambassador who became an Antichrist

å A Believer who became a A Betrayer

å A Convert who became Covetous

å A Disciple who became Devilish

å An Externally Righteous follower

å Extremely Rotten on the inside

å A Friend who became a Foe

å A man that fell from Grace to Grass

√• He was Heaven’s Candidate, he became Hell’s Captive

å He Forsook Jesus to Face Judgement

å He was Instructed but was Incorrigible

√• He was the King’s Acquaintance who became a Kissing Adversary

å The Love of the master had gone away from him, he had the Love of Money

å He was a Leader who became Lost

å A Minister who replaced the love of his Master with the love of Mammon

å A Negotiator at the price of perdition

å An Opportunist who became Obstinate

å A Preacher who became a Pervert

å He was a Quiet Fellow but of a Questionable Character

å He was a Reaper who became Reprobate

å A Schemer who Sold his Soul to Satan

å A Teacher who became Treacherous

å He was Used to become of no Use

å He was a Vulture who Violated his own Vow

å A Watchman who became a Wolf

å He was exalted to great opportunity but was expelled from Paradise

å Yoked to Satan after Yielding to the Savior

å He was Zealous for Money, he was Zero in ministry.

John 6:68 Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life…”

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