GRACE

He gave a deep glance at the defendant. His eyes filled with so much compassion, but justice had to be served. After reading all the charges against the accused, he passed his verdict. Death! The suspect was guilty.
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Being led out of the courtroom and directly to the execution ground, various thoughts flashed through my mind. “This is it! This is the end! No way out of this.” My soul burning with so much shame, regret and fear. Yes, I committed those crimes, but it was out of ignorance; I was naive. What i would give for a second chance. But it doesn’t matter now, it’s over.
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At the full glare of everyone, the criminal was blindfolded and tied to a pole awaiting the executioner and his troops.
Later on, we could hear the steps of commandos marching towards the ground having only one intention.
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Hearing the marching sound of the soldiers brought me back to reality. These were my final moments.
The Executioner gave the call: “READY….. AIM…… WAIT!”
WAIT??? … What’s going On? I thought to myself. Nobody seemed to be saying anything. At this point, the silence became deafening…
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“You are free to go” said the one who was getting me untied. “Why?” I asked, “The Judge! He wants to take your place”
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I stood and watched In horror as a man who I never knew, loved me enough to take my place and die for a crime I was justly guilty of. It didn’t make sense, but he did it. Took all bullets with the first going directly to His heart.
Now, I am a free man because of that great judge.
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“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow, not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” – Rom. 8:38
#Grace #Hope #Sacrifice #RecklessLove #Mercy #Faith
Written by: Samuel Marshall

The Reason for the Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21)

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8 (NLT)

Hello Friends,

Have you ever wondered about what actually happened during the Pentecost? If you are wondering what the Pentecost is, well this was the day when the followers of Jesus, the Apostles finally received the person of the Holy Spirit who was promised to them by Jesus before He ascended to heaven. Today, the ministry of the Holy Spirit is still active, continuing the works Jesus started in order to foster the fulfilment of the will of God till the end arrives.

 According to scriptures, when the Holy Spirit arrived, the apostles were said to be given the ability to speak in various non-Jewish languages. Why did that happen? Well, we explain reasons behind that miracle and its significance to the New Testament church of Christ.  Enjoy! 😊

The coming of the Holy Spirit:

“On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting.

Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.

At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.

They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages…”

  • Acts 2:1-8 (NLT)

Question:

Were the believers actually speaking in other tongues?

Answer:

Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. ” (Acts 2:3-4)

    According to Acts 2:4, “THEY BEGAN SPEAKING IN OTHER LANGUAGES as the Spirit enabled them to speak.” So they didn’t speak just one language (tongue), but various as the Spirit enabled them.

Question:

Why then did that happen? Isn’t praying in the Holy Ghost strictly Spiritual and shouldn’t be understood in Human Reasoning except the Holy Spirit grants understanding and interpretation?

Answer:

  • This happened to serve as a sign to the gentiles that God is now living among Men in the form of the Holy Spirit.
  • This also happened to serve as proof that the world has finally been reconnected to God through the Holy Spirit because of the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  • Finally, it served as a sign to assure the gentiles that God is for the world. Jesus died for the World and not for the Jews alone (John 3:16)

  According to the scripture (Acts 2:11), “They all could hear them speaking in their own language about the great things that God has done “. They heard the Gospel in their own language

… But others made fun of the believers, saying ‘These people are drunk!’ “– Acts 2:13  

Question:

Who were these other set of mockers?

Answer:

According to Acts 2: 14-15, Peter talking to the “Mockers”, stated;

 “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, listen to me and let me tell you what this means”.

So He then explained to the Jews who didn’t understand how the disciples spoke different languages from theirs.

Note:

  • If the believers had proclaimed the gospel in a Heavenly tongue, then both Jews and non-Jews (Gentiles) present there would have agreed that these people were indeed drunk
  • If they had spoken in their native tongue, then it wouldn’t have made any impact on the people.
  • God designed it to happen that way so the targeted audience, the Gentiles would realize that God was indeed with these people and anybody could now access God’s presence

It was a Sign!

It is very important to note that through out history, whenever the Lord visits the World with the purpose of redemption, He comes with various signs and wonders in order to bare testament of Himself.  

    According to scriptures, the God kind ( Father, Son and Holy spirit )  visited earth with the sole purpose of Redemption and Restoration of man with great signs to prove that He is indeed The Great Jehovah, The God of all impossibilities ( Gen. 18:14, Jer. 32:27, Luke 1:37)

Sign 1:

   God the Father, Coming to redeem the Children of Israel from slavery in Egypt.

   Text: Exodus 4:1-9

According to the text, God showed His chosen servant Moses some signs to PROVE to the Israelite that indeed He has heard their cries and had decided to redeem them from the bondage of Egypt.

In one of the signs according to the book of Exodus 4:3-5

“The Lord said, ‘Throw it on the ground’ when Moses threw it down, it turned into a big snake, and he ran away from it.

Then the Lord said to Moses ‘reach down and pick it up by the tail’ so Moses reached down and caught it and it became a walking stick again.

The Lord said ‘do this to PROVE to the Israelite that the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has appeared to you’ “

         Note: Egypt is symbolical to a land of sin and separation

Sign 2:

      The Coming of Jesus to redeem the World from the bondage of sin.

Text: Luke 12:8-12

According to this text, An Angel of the Lord appeared to some shepherds, sharing the news of our Savior’s birth and also giving them a sign to PROVE that the one they see is the chosen Messiah of the world.

  “And this is what will PROVE it to you: you will find a baby wrapped In cloths and lying in a manger”

       -Luke 12:11-12

Sign 3:

     The coming of the Holy Spirit to reconnect the Spirit of man with God.

   Text: Acts 2:1-21

According to the text, this was PROOF to show that the prophecies of the Prophet Joel had begun to manifest.

     “This is what I will do in the last days, God says: I will pour out My Spirit on everyone. Your sons and daughters will proclaim my message; your young men will see visions and your old men will have dreams.”   (Joel 2:28-32)

Question:

   Why did God choose the day of the Jewish Pentecost (shavuot) to send the Holy Spirit?

Answer:

   The Pentecost or Shavuot festival (feast of weeks) is one of the Biblically based Pilgrimage holiday known as “Shalosh Regalim”. It is associated with the grain harvest in the Torah

  In other words, the Pentecost was a “Pilgrimage Holiday” were everyone who practices Judaism from every corner of the world both Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) alike came together to celebrate the festival.

Final words

    It should be safe to put in mind that even as God dwelt in the tents and temple of the Israelites for a certain period and Christ Jesus also dwelt among men for a given period, the Holy Spirit is currently living with us but also for a certain period of time.

     Very soon, He would have to return to God. But the good news is, He wouldn’t be going back alone, but with the sons and daughters of God who had died and are raised with Christ our Lord Jesus.

     In that Glorious moment, we would be snatched away from this world filled with darkness, chaos and sin. Together with those who had already died in Christ and we all would be united with our Savior for all eternity. Hallelujah! (1 Thessalonians 4:1:18)

     Till then, we wait, we watch and we continue to work with our Lord and Savior in re-establishing His kingdom here on earth, as it is in heaven.

Thank You very much for your time, and may the Grace of Our Lord, Father and soon coming King Jesus Christ, be with all His people, from Now till forever more. God bless!

                                                                                                                                    

  • Bible Reference:
  • The Good News Translation (GNT)
  • The New Living Translation (NLT)

STORY TIME

         The Audacious Faith of a Servant

            …. From the marriage at Cana Story (John 2:1-11)

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1)

Going through bible history, there were stories of various men and women who showed unusual faith in God and therefore forever inscribed their names in the sands of time. Some of the most common tales include:

  • Abraham: The Old Testament tells the tale of man largely regarded to all Christians as the father of faith. Commanded by God to lead his family to the promised land of Canaan with the promise that if he does so, his descendants will become a great and numerous tribes.  His obedience, as well as that of his children and grandchildren, is severely tested as they prove their faith to God.
  • Ruth: The story of Ruth is a story of challenge, loyalty and faith. The Old Testament tells a story of a Moabite woman who was the newly widowed daughter-in-law of Naomi, who was also experiencing great sadness at the loss of her husband and two sons. Ruth shows great courage by leaving behind all she knew in complete loyalty to Naomi. At the end, God who is faithful compensated both she and Naomi for their loss.
  • Daniel: The life of Daniel provides a clear example of a man who had total devotion to God and was faithful to Him even in the face of life threatening trials.  

We could go on and on talking about more people and their various adventures, but there is a different story we would like to share. An account on an event which begun the ministry of a man who started the biggest revolution ever recorded in history.   

The Wedding at Cana

In a small village called Cana, right in the middle of Galilee, there lived a certain man named Micah. He was famous and influential among the villagers due to the nature of his job which was basically event planning and coordinating. There were no events in or around the village that he wasn’t handling, from weddings to birthdays and even funerals, he was always the man for the job having an enviable pedigree of successful performance in his catalogue and with more than twenty years of experience, you could understand why he was the regular preference.

                One evening, Micah was relaxing outside his house, watching the sun set and sipping his favorite brew while reflecting on how his day went when one of his servants walked into the house with a message from one of the most prominent people in the city of Galilee.

 “There is going to be a wedding and they would love you to handle It.” the servant said.

“What a way to end the day, another opportunity to make even more money” Micah thought to himself obviously excited about the message and having a sense of pride and fulfilment. He acknowledged the servant and from there on began preparation for the wedding.

                Now, this wasn’t like any other wedding Micah had coordinated. In fact, this was the biggest he’s ever had the opportunity of working on. Two of the biggest families in the country were about to tie the knot and he had been given a great responsibility of making sure it all goes according to plan. The success of this celebration would assure him of financial security and giving the calibre of people attending, it gives him the opportunity to make more contacts with top personalities in the country. Whereas, failure would pretty much mean the end for him.  But giving his acquaintance with this line of work, he was brimming with faith in his abilities to deliver.  

                Weeks went by and finally, the day was here. As expected, it was a huge event attended by people from both lower and higher echelon. A certain middle aged woman named Mary, who was mother to a young evangelist called Jesus and his disciples, was also in attendance.

                The event got going with the newly wedded couple being excited about their journey into hopeful marital bliss, their parents were occupied welcoming various leaders in society to the high table while the master of ceremony kept the celebrants and everyone in attendance entertained. The atmosphere was electrifying; everybody seemed to be in high spirit and seemingly satisfied with the amount of service rendered to them by Micah and his team of servants. There were foods and drinks everywhere; this was indeed the merriment of the season. Things looked to be going according to plan which was encouraging to Micah who was zealously making sure it ends that way, until the unexpected happened.

Micah was busy ensuring there would be enough space for more guest who were still being expected to come when one of his servants walked quivering towards him with perspiration written all over his face. “Sir, we have a problem” those were the very words the servant whispered into Micah’s ear.

Taking him to the side, Micah asked, “What is it?” Hoping it would be something he could solve at the moment.

“The master of ceremony requests that the guests at the high table who just arrived be served drinks, but we just realised we are out of wine” the servant said. “How can this be?” Micah thundered which got the attention of the women who were having a conversation at some distance close to where both men were standing.

                Mary being one of the women sensed there could be some serious problems, walked up to the men and asked, “What’s wrong?”

 Micah being too embarrassed about what was actually happening, and fearing the worst that could possibly happen at a wedding of this magnitude, retired to a nearby bench in order to gather his thoughts together as to what the next plan would be. The servant on the other hand, being left alone with Mary, felt the obligation to narrate what had been going on to her.

                At that point, Mary realized that there was indeed a serious problem which required an urgent solution. They needed a miracle.

                 During this period of total shock and confusion as to how something like this could happen, Mary had a brief recollection of an encounter she had about thirty one years ago, when an angel of the Lord approached and said to her “you will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the son of the most high. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David, and he will reign over Israel forever; His kingdom will never end!”

                Even as she thought about the encounter before the birth of her son, she also remembered the strange visitations after his birth. Moments after her son was birthed, some shepherds walks into the manger worshipping her new born as the King of the Jews and also explaining to her and her then fiance, Joseph on how Heaven’s angelic host appeared to them, announcing the birth of the messiah and also praising God, saying.

                “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased”

What about the visit of the mysterious men, who claimed to have come from the east bringing with them gifts befitting for a King. She thought

                Mary said to the servant “call some of your colleagues and come with me.” The servant did as she said and they followed her.

                Sitting in the centre section of the wedding hall was Jesus and his four friends (Peter, Andrew, Philip and Nathaniel) who were also regarded as his disciples. They were discussing the future plans of their new found ministry when Jesus mother, Mary cuts into their conversation, trying to pass a message across to her son.

 “They have no more wine” she said, which pretty much sounded hysterical to the disciples of Jesus. “That couldn’t be possible” they said to themselves, but Jesus knew his mother was serious and then, he said, “dear woman, that’s not our problem… my time has not yet come.”  But his mother was having none of that. Looking at the more confused servants, she said “do whatever he tells you.”   

                Jesus wanted to know if there were any vessels they could use for keeping the wine and the servants showed him six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing and each of them could hold twenty to thirty gallons. “Fill the jars with water” Jesus commanded. When the jars had been filled with water, he said “now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremony.

                Micah on the other hand, already conceded defeat and was envisaging on what the future would hold for him after this marriage disaster which was almost inevitable, saw the interactions between Mary, Jesus and the servants but was curious to what was happening.

                On hearing what had transpired between the servants and Mary’s Son, he almost had a heart attack realising that the master of ceremony and high guests were about to be served water. “This must be the end” he said to himself not just to his illustrious career he laboured to build, but most certainly his life. He definitely didn’t see himself living through the shame, insult and possible assault. “What was this Jesus of a man thinking? Why would he even attempt to serve the high guests water? He certainly must have had too much to drink.” Those were the thoughts going through Micah’s mind as the servant followed Jesus’ instructions and served the master of ceremony.

                The tension was so evident on Micah and his servants, but nobody understood why they looked so petrified. They were obviously oblivious to what had been happening.

                When the master of ceremony tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from, he called the bridegroom over and said, “A host always serves the best wine first, then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”

                Not believing his ears, Micah ran straight to the jars which had been filled with water from which the master of ceremony had been served, but was astonished by what he saw, the jars were filled with wine. “How did this happen?” he thought to himself. Still in doubt, he took a cup and tasted it for himself, it was wine indeed.

                Calling one of the servants, he asked, “Who exactly is that man?” pointing at Jesus while gulping down the remaining contents in his cup, relieving the anxiety and stress he once had some few minutes ago. “His name is Jesus, and he is a Nazarene” the servant replied.

 “What manner of man is this Jesus” Micah said to himself.

                This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

Lesson:

It took the audacious faith of Mary to believe that her son who is the Lord could do the impossible, and the obedience of the servants to carry out a task that looked and sounded foolish in other to save the marriage.

                Another great thing to note is that aside from the people involved in the miracle, everyone else was ignorant that a great miracle took place. This makes me wonder, how many miracles and battles the Lord has fought and is fighting on our behalf of which we are ignorant of.

The Bible says:

                                “He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber

                                  Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.

                                                                 The Lord Himself watches over you!

                                                The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.”

  –                Psalm 121:3-5

This story was written to encourage anyone who is being beaten down by life and you are at the brink of giving up on God and yourself. Do not lose hope, help is coming, you are not alone.

The Lord has promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us. He feels your pains, He understands your struggles. The storms we may be going through right now isn’t meant to break us, but to recreate us into a beautiful tasting new wine perfectly prepared by the master and served to the world for His glory. 

I love you and God bless you.

Wait on the Lord.

Monday Motivation

Though it hurts and feels like you won’t get pass the pain…

Though it looks like all hope is lost…

Though you’ve been knocked down more times than you can ever remember….

Wait on the Lord! God knows!

Nothing ever caught Him by surprise.

All things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Jesus said, “What is the price of two sparrows- One copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31)

Do Not Quit on God!

Do Not Quit on Yourself!

Daddy is Coming!

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

Born to be Re-born

Adam was formed from the dust (ground) to be a son of God. But then, he sinned and that brought about the curse of death which makes any man who comes after him live under the same curse.

                Christ on the other hand, came to correct that which went wrong in the beginning. He took upon His shoulders the sin caused by man and paid the penalty in full which was death.

                So like Adam, Christ was raised from the grave (ground) by God whereby He becomes the firstborn of the dead. So that for anyone who believes in Jesus Christ, death becomes the womb that conceives eternal life.

                Death had not only been defeated, but now becomes the channel through which God’s very own children, the elects of Heaven comes home.

                Death which was seen as a master and the greatest fear of all men becomes a slave to the children of God.

                                “…For anyone who believes in Jesus Christ, death

                          becomes the womb that conceives eternal life.”

  • What must I do to be saved?

By nature, we all go through physical birth and in God’s eye, this is the birth into sin.  We are all born as children of Adam.

                As we transition from the Kingdom of Heaven to earth, the very moment we become formed in our mother’s womb, our system becomes corrupted with a chronic virus called sin. We are all born with a sinful nature. No man can escape that fact. That is the birth that leads to death. We partake of Adam’s curse when God said “for dust you are and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19b)

                But then, there is a birth that leads to life and when I say life, I mean eternal life, abundant life, a life of favor with God and man. That is the birth the death of Jesus gave us.

    The Bible says “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that anyone who believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16}

So as we all were subconsciously born into sin i.e our physical birth, we then again need to be consciously reborn into the redemption that Jesus purchased for us. Not with gold, cash, nor any landed property, but with His very own blood.

In His very own words, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (john 15:13)

This is the spiritual birth that leads men redeemed by His blood into the very presence of God almighty, to reside in His eternal glory. There is no other way to go about this. Christ said “ I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the father except through me.”(John 14:6)

  • How do I get Reborn?   

Being spiritually reborn is the greatest decision any person can make because at this moment, the chains death had clasped on us becomes broken and then the lord’s spirit comes to dwell in us, to be our Lord and partner in walking this journey called life.

                Another great benefit of our rebirth is the inundated peace we experience knowing we are safe in the Lord’s arm regardless of whatever happens to our bodies.

We as humans have a natural belief that death can happen to everyone else except us and that we have everything under control, but if you have been doing life long enough, you would certainly realise that it’s far from the case. Living the next moment is not certain for any of us. In fact, according to statistics, an average of two people die every second in the world. That means that for every breath you take in, somebody somewhere is breathing their last. But what we tend to ignore the most, is what comes next after a soul leaves this earth.

                Well, let me explain what comes after. First our bodies and then our inner beings called ‘the soul’ is not permitted to reside on earth any longer. It then migrates from the period of time to a period without time called eternity. A place where the record of your life lived on earth would be reviewed by the creator to determine if you are still under the law of the physical birth which brings eternal death, or the spiritual re-birth which brings about eternal life.

                In order to be reborn spiritually, these following steps should be followed:

  • First admit to your sinful nature
  • Confess and repent from them
  • Ask the Lord Jesus into your heart
  • Start a relationship with Jesus by Praying, Reading, and Studying His words (the Bible) having fellowship with other believers.
  • Share the same good news you have received with others who are ignorant of it.

The Bible says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away; behold. All things have become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Have you decided?

If this message connects with you, and you would like to surrender the totality of your person to God, I would like you to say this prayer:

                Dear Jesus, I thank you for saving me, I thank you for redeeming me from the clutches of death with your precious blood. I believe you are the son of God, I believe you are the only way to heaven. Please have mercy on me, I repent of all my sin and I ask that you come into my heart and rule as my Lord and Savior.

If you said this prayer, I would love to be the first to say congratulations and welcome to the family of God. If I don’t get to meet you here on earth, it is my prayer and hope that we all be united in the very presence of our Savior forever. God bless.