Archive for Ghana

The Fall of the Arrogant… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , , on November 14, 2020 by paulthepoke

TEXT: ISAIAH 10:1-19

“And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory?” (Isaiah 10:3)

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Arrogant and godless man is infirm and helpless in the face of the fury of the elements such as when there is a severe earthquake or a devastating hurricane that comes with massive flooding. Trees are uprooted, buildings are brought down and entire heavily-populated settlements are swept away. We look small and present a pitiable sight when these disasters visit us.

If man can scarcely survive the onslaught of nature, how will he stand the greater fury of the Almighty? That was the message the Lord had for the people of Judah, Israel and Assyria in the days of Isaiah the prophet when they had all gone astray. The kings and governments made laws that alienated the weak of the society from their right to the good things of the land. They also worshipped idols to whom they ascribed their successes, prompting the Lord to ask derisively: “Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith?”

God declared a two-prong war against two nations. He would use Assyria as “the rod of [His] anger” to judge Samaria for forsaking the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and going after idols which had left the children of Israel vulnerable in the hands of its enemies. But the Lord said He would follow that up with a punitive action on Assyria which arrogantly assumed that its prowess was responsible for its successful military campaign in Israel.

Today all that is left of the great Assyrian Empire are stone relics, a testimony to the fulfilment of God’s promise to “punish the… stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks”. God’s action on Assyria’s pride was because the land refused to acknowledge Him as the Source of its power. Divine judgment led to its extinction. It symbolically foreshadows the eternal judgment that awaits unrepentant sinners who trust in themselves.

*THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:* Extinction follows rejection of God.

The Bible IN ONE YEAR: NUMBERS 35 – 36  

His Abiding Faithfulness… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , on October 7, 2020 by paulthepoke

TEXT: ISAIAH 40:1-11

Isaiah 40:11 “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”

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The story was told of a saint who died and eventually got to heaven in spite of the turbulent Christian life. On arrival in heaven, he engaged our Lord Jesus Christ in a conversation. He showed him in a panoramic flashback, his Christian pilgrimage on earth immediately he became born again. His Christian life was illustrated by footprints of two pairs of feet (his and Jesus Christ’s) on a sandy shore. They both traced the marks of the pairs of feet and got to a place where there was only a pair of feet, instead of two; the other pair had disappeared. The man became curious.

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Tracing the history of his life, he realized that that time coincided with the period he faced the greatest challenges to his Christian faith. He was dejected and wondered aloud, “My Savior, it appears you abandoned me during the period of my greatest travail. I could see only one pair of feet.”

To which Jesus Christ replied, “No, that pair of feet were not yours but mine.”

“Then where was I?” He wondered. “I was carrying you in my arms,” was Jesus’ reply.

The passage today is the affirmation of comfort and promise of assistance to God’s people. When Jesus Christ left the glory of the Father in heaven to come to the earth, He was armed with a job description (Luke 4:18). He was anointed to preach the gospel to the poor (in spirit), to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, the recovering of sight to the blind and to set at liberty those that are bruised.

Though He has gone to be with the Father, He still performs such functions to the redeemed today. And you can always be a partaker of glorious blessings if only you will dare submit to the majesty of His will.

*THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:* God’s faithfulness and kindness are matchless and unsearchable.

Heartfelt Plea… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , , on August 4, 2020 by paulthepoke

TEXT: PSALM 17:1-15

Key verse: Psalm 17:13 “Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword”.

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When the Roman Empire was being sacked by the hordes of godless barbarians that invaded the territory in the fifth century, Leo, the praying Bishop of Rome, approached Attila the Hun, leader of the occupying armies, to plead for the Church and the city. He made a passionate plea that Rome be spared from the savagery and the destruction that had attended the attacks of the soldiers. Leo warned Attila not to risk the vengeance of heaven by plundering Rome and the Church. He listened to the churchman’s desperate prayer and withdrew his men.

More than one thousand five hundred years earlier, David, the future king of Israel, had also found himself in a tight corner that threatened his existence the same way the Church and the city of Rome were about to be brought to their knees. He and his men were being hounded by King Saul.

As no help was in sight and with Saul seeming to close in on him and his men, David turned to heaven for help. He spoke of coming face to face with death. It was not all despair, however, as he also talked of the mercy and power of a great God who saves those who sincerely call on Him in times of danger. The Lord did not disappoint the young man who discarded his own military prowess and called for divine intervention when he was at his wits’ end. David had the last laugh as the Lord gave him the final victory and confounded Saul. Man is also ensnared by problems he has brought on himself through the pursuit of false philosophy and rebellious religion, all of which have alienated him from God and the truth. He cannot get relief or redemption in any earth-bound solution. Only a renunciation of the world’s sin and a plea to God for help can deliver him.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Man without God is helpless in the face of satanic challenges.  

The Greatest… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , , , , on July 7, 2020 by paulthepoke

TEXT: PSALM 19:1-6

Key verse: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1).

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Any presentation that proclaims the Irrefutable greatness and glory of the Creator of heaven and earth must itself be great! Anything that celebrates the majesty of Jehovah and His “handiwork” is itself distinguished.

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Since the world has turned into crowds of gainsayers who do not accept the fact of a galactic system put in place by a Designer, believers like David and followers of Jesus Christ cannot but constantly join “the heavens (to) declare the glory of God”. That is what the “sweet psalmist of Israel” harps on as he reveals that it is impossible to have a great design (the universe comprising heaven, our planet, the sun, moon, stars, outer space, etc.) without a Designer – God.

His works assert the matchless magnitude of the One who brought them into existence. They do not need evolutionists or scientists to tell them the creation story. They, the work of His hands, constitute enough evidence of the creative force that spoke the planetary system into existence. That knocks out all other contrary claims and renders them unacceptable by heaven. Beyond that, they serve as a perpetual pointer to God’s existence.

If these non-living works of creation would recognize and honor their Creator, He deserves infinitely greater acknowledgement from those He formed in His own image. He needs the believer’s worship in complete holiness. He wants the sinner to receive the salvation plan He worked out through the death and resurrection of His dear Son, Jesus Christ. He expects the backslider to return to the narrow path of righteousness. Above all, He wants us to obey His commandment to preach the gospel to the entire world without ceasing.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Preaching salvation to the lost amounts to aligning with heaven to declare the glory of God.

The Bible IN ONE YEAR: NUMBERS 3 – 4  

A More Perfect Way… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , , , , on June 19, 2020 by paulthepoke

TEXT: LEVITICUS 16:20-34

Key verse: Leviticus 16:30 “For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD”

@beholy404

Sin is man’s greatest challenge on earth. It separates man from God. Sin enslaves and no one can on his own free himself from it. The more man attempts to pull himself out of sin, the more he sinks into the abyss of helplessness. To be free from sin therefore, would require the intervention of superior power; the One who created man, Who alone knows how to disentangle him from the tyranny of evil and wickedness.

God took the initiative with the children of Israel when He appointed Aaron to be the High Priest. His job was essentially to make atonement for their sins. To do this, a day was set aside each year for him to enter into the most holy place in the temple, make animal sacrifices to cleanse his own sin and the sin of the people. The animal sacrifices only covered sins for a short period but could not cleanse it indefinitely. So, every year, the entire nation stood still to allow the high priest repeat this ritual of atonement under very strict rules. Without doubt, this old system of atonementor covering sins, was grossly limited and did not provide a permanent solution to man’s sin problem.

Whilst Aaron’s animal sacrifices only succeeded in temporarily covering the sins of the people, Christ’s sacrifice of Himself brought total cleansing from sin, once and for all. While Aaron made long preparations before appearing before God, we can now come boldly to His throne to obtain mercy and grace in time of need. Of course, now, we do not just prepare our body but our hearts as we approach God in prayer of faith through Christ.

As many as are willing can have their sins forgiven and their guilt removed as they confess and forsake their sins; accept Christ as Lord and Savior and place their trust in the spotless Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the whole world.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: In Jesus is found the only route to God.

Rest Easy, God Is In Control… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , , , on June 6, 2020 by paulthepoke

JOB 21:22-34

Key verse: “Shall any teach God knowledge? seeing he judgeth those that are high” (Job 21:22)

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Things are not always what we expect them to be. Irrespective of how prepared we are to face life, situations may arise that would severely test our staying power and prove how resolute we are in standing with God.

None was ever so tested in history like Job. He suffered a deluge of calamities and disasters. Yet, he was convinced that he had done nothing to merit such an experience. He became confused though as to why God could have caused such misfortune to befall him. Yet, he never doubted God’s sovereignty and superior understanding. He recognized that He is the ultimate Judge of all men. The wicked who are mighty in this life would suffer the fate of all sinners for their evil deeds. What bothered Job most though were the wrong thoughts of his friends who concluded that he was suffering because of his great sin. In frustration, he queried them: “How then comfort ye me in vain, seeing in your answers there remaineth falsehood?”

As humans, there are times when events and situations weigh dangerously around a believer that he/she begins to wonder why things are so. But we must realize that at such a period, only absolute trust in the never-failing word of God is all that we need to keep going. Someone said, “The only way God can show us He’s in control is to put us in situations we can’t control.”

When troubles arise in life, especially those that are inexplicable, we must realize that it is a time to show our true attitude towards God. We must never yield to the temptation to become angry and bitter at Him. Even if we are wrongfully accused by those who should know better, we should understand that ultimate vindication awaits those who trust in God. So, when you are tried, ensure you shine forth as gold.

*THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:* When God is with you, storms should not alarm you.

The Bible IN ONE YEAR: JUDGES 8 – 10  

The Ultimate Shelter… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , , , on May 19, 2020 by paulthepoke

TEXT: PSALM 18:1-19

Psalm 18:19 “He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.”

@beholy404

A bunker is a defensive military fortification designed to protect people and valued materials from falling bombs or other enemy attacks. Chiefly underground, they were deployed during the two world wars and in the long period of the cold war that followed the second global conflict in the 20th century. But they were not invincible. They would fail in the event of very powerful blasts or when hit by bunker-busting warheads developed to penetrate hardened targets buried deep underground.

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These military-type shelters, despite their limitations, might have come in handy for David to hide as Saul and other enemies sought to destroy him. Caves, mountains and the wilderness were his hideouts. Death always stalked him and his fellow fugitives, numbering about six hundred as informants exposed him often.

Finally, after being severely buffeted by the “sorrows of death”, “the sorrows of hell”, and the “floods of ungodly men”, David ran into the arms of God, the ultimate and unfailing Shelter, more secure than a thousand and one bunkers put together. That was where he got deliverance and sweet relief. Thereafter, instead of walking in the shadows of caves and mountains for the fear of Saul, he was brought “into a large place” by God.

Today, Jesus Christ is the Tower all men and women worldwide should run to for deliverance from a warring Satan and his agents. The sinner needs Him for the salvation of his soul. The backslider must go to Him for restoration to his first love. How about the redeemed? We must remain with Him in faithfulness and ask for more grace to continue to serve Him in righteousness and holiness till the end.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Trusting in God thrusts you into His everlasting arms for protection.

The Bible IN ONE YEAR: NUMBERS 11 – 13  

Be Courageous… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , on April 15, 2020 by paulthepoke

Key verse: Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

TEXT: JOSHUA 1:1-9

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Courage is a contagious virtue, but discouragement and despair are strong weapons in the hand of Satan to destabilize and derail a seemingly mighty strategist. Many mighty men have lost the battles of life in moments of discouragement and despair. So, add to your faith courage to have good success. Joshua was a brilliant military strategist, a warrior and a special assistant to Moses before the latter died. God told him to take over the leadership of Israel to lead them to the Promised Land. He repeatedly encouraged Joshua to be strong and be of good courage.

Change is a natural occurrence in life. Times of difficulty, depression and dire needs often come and go. These periods of crises and challenges are not strange to men and women of God in every generation. Standing on the promises of God courageously is the only panacea when believers are faced with illness, fear, discouragement, disappointment and seemingly overwhelming tasks and circumstances of life. The exit of one person does not necessarily close the chapter of God’s promises for His own people.

Moses’ death was a great blow to Joshua and the nation of Israel. Joshua needed courage to move ahead and fulfill God’s instruction for his life because he was afraid to lead a rebellious nation like Israel.

Courage is the bedrock of success or achievement in life. Only those with persistence, faith and courage can obey divine instructions when the task seems impossible. Absolute dependence on God moves Him to pour His grace upon us and we are empowered to achieve great things.

*THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:* Courage is like a propeller that moves the engine.

The Bible IN ONE YEAR: LUKE 17 – 19

Virtue In Your Vision… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , on March 30, 2020 by paulthepoke

GENESIS 11:1-32

Genesis 11:6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

Joshua of Ghana @beholy404 on Twitter

@beholy404

John Sculley, a former chief executive officer of two blue chip companies in the USA once said, “The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.” Vision is what keeps a person going. Working without vision is like laboring without a purpose. It is like travelling without a destination. Vision is the picture you have on your mind or heart that makes you look beyond yourself, abilities, environment and present state.

What the builders of the Tower of Babel sought to achieve through their vision and efforts was, at best, self-serving. God’s original command to man after creation was to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth (Genesis 1:28). But contrary to this command, they opted to build a city and tower to reach heaven because they would not want to be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

We need to recognize that there are Satan-inspired visions. These are the kinds that Satan and his cohorts emboss on people’s minds or hearts. Such was what the builders of Babel had. There are also self-generated visions, society-imposed visions and Spirit-inspired visions. Before you run with your vision, it would be wise to check up the source. Spirit-inspired or God-given visions do not give success or breakthrough alone; they also give peace and joy. The Scripture says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he” (Proverbs 29:18).

Vision without virtue is destructive. That is what happened to the people who tried to build the Tower of Babel. What kind of vision do you have? Our visions must be in line with God’s purpose for us. For the believer, the right kind of vision is to reach the unsaved and backslidden with the gospel, whether they are adults, youths or children.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Vision without virtue is destructive.

The Bible IN ONE YEAR: DEUTERONOMY 25 – 27

Right Attitude in Trouble… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , , on March 21, 2020 by paulthepoke

ISAIAH 26:12-21

Key verse: “LORD, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them.” Isaiah 26:16

Joshua of Ghana @beholy404 on Twitter

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Charles Swindoll once said, “The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace from that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string that we have and the string is attitude.”

In this prophetic song in our text about the latter days, Isaiah prophesied what the attitude of Judah will be in reaction to the judgment of God in scattering them among the nations. Judah had lived in sin and God had visited them with judgment, allowing their enemies to take them into captivity. However, in this song, Isaiah was hopeful that Judah would eventually demonstrate the right attitude by turning to the Lord in repentance. For this reason, they will be saved from the onslaught of the antichrist who will torment the world.

It is clear from the submission of Isaiah that what is needed while in trouble and perplexity is the right attitude. Unfortunately, however, many people portray an adamant attitude when faced with God’s chastisement. Rather than return to God, they choose to go farther away from Him. Conversely, the attitudes of some others are even more alarming when God shows undeserved acts of mercy and kindness to them. Rather than being grateful, they choose to be contemptuous.

It is important for everyone to know, as Swindoll has noted, that we all have a choice concerning the attitude and course of action we adopt each day. A positive attitude goes a long way to determining an eventful end. It is futile for anyone to fight his Maker. How we need to humble ourselves and wholly submit to God’s counsel even while passing through divine chastisement!

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: The heart focused on God will never cease to beat.

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