Wednesday, 30 January 2013

The Power of Friendship

Image Copyright: Maspero.com

















  • A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).

“Everyone needs somebody”—that is a very popular saying and it is true. No one is an island, we all need relationships and friendship to carry on in life. Every assignment, dream, vision and purpose God has for our lives are intertwined with the assignments, dreams, visions and purposes of God for other people.

 We need one another to complement each other. The kind of friends and company we keep matters a lot: Friends can make or break us. The advice and counsel of friendship is very crucial to our success. Every great individual assignment has been accomplished with the help of friendship.

Moses had Aaron (Exodus 4:14).

David had Jonathan (1 Samuel 18:3).

Jesus had His twelve Disciples

Peter had John (Acts 3:1).

Paul had Barnabas and later Silas (Acts 12:25; Act 15:40).

John Mark had Barnabas (Acts 15:37).

Who do you have?

Do you have friends that can challenge you to be the best in life? Don't ignore the power of friendship. It is a powerful biblical concept that needs to be embraced whole heartedly. Two obviously are better than one—the business world calls it synergy.
  • Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him thatis alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
  • And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him (Genesis 2:18).And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits (Mark 6:7).

Don’t take friendship for granted. Surround yourself with good friends who can challenge you and bring the best out of you. You deserve the best, so don’t waste your time around people who are not serious in life.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Navigating the Path of Life


“I am confused, I don’t know what to do with my life” Who am I, why am I here, what is God’s will for my life? These are very tangible questions on the lips of many. Have you ever felt like this before?
Unless I miss my guess, I am sure we have all walked that path before. It is not an exciting path—but it is also the path that will take you into your destiny. It is a very frustrating moment, but when you finally get the answers, you look back and you are grateful to God you walked that path. Truly, the defining moment in every person’s life is when an answer for the identity question is found.

My journey of frustration started during my level 300 days in the University of Ghana. I was going to graduate with Linguistics and Philosophy. I was clueless and had no idea of what direction my life was heading. But thank God eventually, I found my path. 

Now, it’s been about eight years since I left University and I will want to share a few things with anyone who wants to find clues about where their life is heading. 

1. Ask God


  • If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
 God created us. He created us for a specific purpose. If you want to know why you are here, just check with God. Pray and ask Him for direction, and you will get it. 

2. What are your natural gifts and talents? 
  • “A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.” Proverbs 18:16
Your natural gifts and talents are an indication of what you can do with your life. I don’t consider myself the best, but throughout my education—from JHS through to University, my essays stand out. Almost every teacher who taught me samples my essays and read them in-front of the whole class. It even happened in the University in a Classical Civilisation Literature class. (I have classmates on facebook, and I will dare not lie). Now, why on earth did I never look at this to develop a career out of writing? Why did it take me that long to know I have something I can “capitalise on?” Don’t look too far. Look at the things you do without “sweat”, they are big indicators of what you can do.

3. Look at your Family.

It is not for fun that certain things run through families. Things run through families, and you might as well look into your family and see what runs through it in terms of career. We are quick to see the negative things that run through our families but we miss the opportunities of seeing the positive things. My dad is a pastor. He was also once a union leader for Mankoadze Fisheries. My elder brother is a journalist (Stephen Anti of Multi TV). My Mum; O dear, that woman can narrate history and make you feel like you are there. My sister is a caterer, very creative. 

These things did not mean anything to me until I also started writing, preaching and organising programs. I belong to a creative family—we can write, we can talk and we can design. Don’t look too far—look at your family; the traits in there are big clues for your future aspiration. 

Trust me, you might be the first in your family to accomplish something that has not been done before, but if you go back and look at your family, you will realise what you have achieved is not new at all. It will only be a result of family traits. For example I have written a book—first in my family but it is a result of communication skills and creativity in the Family.

4. Your Passion and Enthusiasm

Your passion, enthusiasm and drive are an indication of what you can do with your life. What gets you excited, what gives you a sense of fulfillment, what things will you do even if you are not paid? Those are clues of what you can do. Let’s look at two persons from scriptures whose passion and enthusiasm gives us an indication of their assignment on earth was.

   (i) Moses:

  • And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.  And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known (Exodus 2:11-14).
Before God’s “formal” call came to Moses, he already possessed the passion and enthusiasm to defend and deliver Israel out of Egypt.
...he [saw] an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.

   (ii) Apostle Paul

  • I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women (Acts 22:3-4)
  • …an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless (Philippians 3:5c-6).
Paul was a Pharisee and very passionate in defending the law. By his education and upbringing, Paul already had a passion to defend the name of God. To him, the Christians of his time, before his conversion were blasphemers, blaspheming the name of God. Paul was persecuting the church, killing the Christians with such passion and zeal—and in his mind, he was serving God.

Read what he said again:
  • “…zealous toward God” 
The above statement summarizes Paul’s assignment on earth—zealous for God. The only problem was that he had a misplaced zeal and all God did was to redirect that zeal—and one of the greatest Apostles of all time was born. 
What do you have? Allow God to use it to bless humanity.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Excerpts













Follow the link below to read excerpts

http://books.google.co.uk/books?printsec=frontcover&id=pggTnCi12KwC#v=onepage&q&f=false

YOUR IDENTITY AS A CHRISTIAN


Who am I, why am I here, what is God’s will for my life? These are very tangible questions on the lips of many. The defining moment in every person’s life is when an answer for the identity question is found.
OUR IDENTITY IS IN JESUS CHRIST
  • In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not (John 1:4-5).
  • For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:9-10).
  • I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me… the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing (John 15:5).
  • For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring (Act 17:28).
“In Him…In Me…In Whom” are some of the fascinating phrases in scriptures that powerfully describe who we are as believers.

Our identity as believers is in Christ. This is not another psychology or self-help theory. Psychology and self-help attempts to deal with our emotions—but in Christ, the target is our spirit—described by Paul as the inner man (the hidden man)—the real us.

We are nothing—absolutely nothing outside of Christ. Our education, our careers, our family backgrounds, our achievements and medals if any are all “sinking sand” without Christ. He clearly and emphatically stated: “… without me ye can do nothing.”

In Christ we are anchored from the storms of life. The storms will come, the challenges will follow: but we are unmovable, unshakable and grounded in His everlasting love.

  • Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock (Luke 6:47-48).
We are in for great exploits if we settle our identity in Christ and walk in it. See some of the specific “things” we are In Him.

·       WE HAVE LIFE (John 1:4-5)
  • In Him was life; and the life was the light of men [and women]. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Life—essence, fulfilment, purpose, meaning, satisfaction and above all eternal life are all guaranteed IN HIM.
Jesus is the embodiment of life. John 1:3 says it well: “…without Him was not anything made that was made.

·       WE ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD 

  • Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12).
  • As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world (John 8:12).
Plain truth—outside of Christ, life is full of darkness: confusion, frustration, hopelessness and emptiness —but In Him—our life is filled with light—glory, radiance, illumination, understanding, wisdom, direction and confidence. Because we carry the life of Christ, we are also to be a source of light to other people—our light should illuminate other lives that are dark. So long as we represent Christ on earth we are the light of the world.

  • Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven ( Matthew 5:14-16).
The life of Christ in us serves as a light which brightens our path.
  • …the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble ( Proverbs 4:18-19).
  • Thy word [life] is a lamp [light] unto my feet, and a light unto my path( Psalm 119:105).
The light of Christ in us is a mystery to the kingdom of darkness—the kingdom of darkness doesn’t understand the light we carry— “…the light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not” (John 1:5). We confuse the kingdom of darkness with the light we carry; that is why the kingdom of darkness always seeks for an opportunity to destroy a child of God. We carry light: when we manifest darkness is dispelled.

Don’t settle for lies and intimidation from Satan. Our life is hidden in Christ—we are beyond the reach of the kingdom of darkness. We are indeed mysteries to the kingdom of darkness. We are dead, yet living. When Christ was crucified, we were crucified with Him. When He resurrected, we resurrected with Him—are we not mysterious?
  • For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).
  • I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).
Rise up and let your light shine:
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising (Isaiah 60:1-3).
Naturally, light dispel darkness and so do Christians; we chase and drive away darkness. Hence evil, sin and wickedness should not prevail in our lives.

·       IN HIM WE ARE COMPLETE
  • For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:9-10).
Jesus the son of God walked on earth as a human being and in Him dwelleth the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (vs 9). This means Jesus was carrying in Him or in His body the fullness of divine power, life, essence, attributes, nature and character of God. When Christ walked on earth the whole of the divine nature was deposited in Him—He was full of the Godhead—God the Father and God the Holy Spirit—and bodily [God the Son]. 

Now when we believe Christ, we become complete in him…(vs10). Understanding this should sustain us for the rest of our lives. Complete in Him? Wow! Jump back to vs 9 where the fulness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus. Mind blowing! If we are complete in Christ, it follows from vs 9 that in us also dwells the fulness of the Godhead— Am I peddling blasphemy? Of course not: 

  • Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16).
  • In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit (Ephesians 2:22).
  • And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace (John 1:16).
  • And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God (Ephesians 3:19).
  • Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him (John 14:23).
·        IN HIM WE HAVE POWER

  • But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you (Acts 1:8)
If we are the temple of the living God; then we have power—not just any power, but the power of God that is far above principalities and powers. 

Dunamis! That is the Greek word translated as power in the scripture above. It literally means the “ability to do”. This means the power of God within us gives us the ability to do.  The power of God within us makes us:

CREATIVE
  • In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (Genesis 1:1).
As Christians indwelt by the power of God, we have to be creative and make things happen. God’s creative power comes through Faith. The world should be a better place because of us. We should be problem solvers. We have to preserve a flavour on earth by our relationship with God.
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men ( Matthew 5:13).

EXCELLENT
  • Thou art more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey (Psalm 76:4).
If our God is excellent and our body is His dwelling, then we must also exhibit a spirit of excellence. Mediocrity must not be mentioned among us who believe in Christ. Everything we do should carry with it an excellent spirit.
…an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel …(Daniel 5:12).

WISE
  • Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen (1 Timothy 1:17).
Our God is a wise God so we also have to exhibit wisdom. Wisdom is just “a asking away”. Just ask:
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him (James 1:5). Wisdom also comes by studying the word of God.
  • The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple (Psalm 19:7).
HOLY
  • But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy (1 Peter 1:15-16).
PROSPEROUS
  • But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day (Deuteronomy 8:18).
We can’t talk about the power of God and not talk about wealth. Wealth is prosperity, affluence, riches and blessings. Prosperity is a controversial topic in Christendom today. Some believe the prosperity message has been blown out of proportion. Well, probably it’s because the poverty mentality was also blown out of proportion when sometime past Christianity was equated to poverty.

There is a world out there to be reached for Christ and no matter how anointed we are: our impact will be minimal if we don’t have access to finances. But the quest for wealth should not be our first priority. The first priority should be:
Seek[ing] first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness… (Matthew 6:33).
The effects of God’s power on our lives are unlimited—the list cannot be exhausted. We exhibit miracles, signs and wonders, and we declare the good works of the Lord by the power of God. We also

BEAR FRUIT
  • Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing (John 15:4-5)
In Christ we are FRUIT BEARERS—we get things done: we produce results, we affect lives, we change lives, we impact generations and we have success in whatever we do.

The only condition for fruit bearing is to remain In Him. We cannot by ourselves get things done.
 This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it (Zachariah 4:6-7).
No amount of trying can make us fruitful—if we want to bear fruit in our walk with God, we have to remain in the vine. To remain in the vine is to trust and obey.
  • Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil ( Proverbs 3:5-7)
  • Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper (Psalm 1:1-3).
IN HIM… ( Acts 17:28)
  • “…We live, and move, and have our being….”
It is only in Christ that WE ARE WHAT WE ARE.

I have already discussed our completeness in Him but will want to reiterate again the point that everything we will ever be or become is in Christ—we are absolutely nothing without Him. Those are not my words or interpretations. They are the very words of the Saviour: “Without me you can do nothing.”
Let’s settle this once and for all. Our relationship with Christ is not mechanical, it is not formulas, neither is it rules nor regulations— it is a relationship bigger than “do’s and don’ts”—it is beyond religion. It is life.
Our relationship with Him is our very life. Our existence and essence of life is drawn from Him.
Always remember that we are absolutely nothing by ourselves.
  • …because [He] live, ye shall live also (John 14:19c).
  • …by the grace of God I am what I am… (1 Corinthians 15:10).