Archive for Ghana

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.

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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.

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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…”

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  

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