TRUE FRIENDSHIP!

Tb Joshua ministry, SCOAN

In Romans 15:1-3, the Bible stresses the need for us to always appreciate the fact that we are not evenly gifted. The strong should strengthen the weak with all their substance. What is your strength? Your strength might be in the area of money while mine is in the area of divine knowledge; yet another’s may be in the area of wisdom, counselling, healing or craftsmanship. Whichever area you are strong in, you are expected to use it generously to strengthen your fellow brother. This is the true meaning of ‘true friendship’.

Anyone who gives to others is, according to Apostle Paul, charitable. When you are in the business of giving charitably – I mean, sowing into other people’s lives – God, who is the Dispenser of all good, would give you, in His mercy, abundance of good so that you might enjoy sufficiency and abound in good works. So anyone who gives to others is conscious of the future. To the carnally minded, money, service or sacrifice given in charity may seem thrown away but when given in proper attitude and intent, it is seed sown from which greater increase is expected.

Works of charity should be given carefully and cheerfully in thought and design. It takes grace to give cheerfully. Those whom God calls for any service, He will make fit for it. If you are called to run by God, He will help you to maintain the speed. God wants you to run but with a purpose. If God calls you for what you are doing, He will make you fit for it. To maintain true friendship therefore, we should spend less on ourselves and more on others. This is the only way we can commit more faith and love in the society of which we are a part.

LEAVE THE ISSUE WITH GOD

Tb Joshua, SCOAN

It is the goodness of our cause that interests God, more than our physical and mental disposition. This explains why the young, rustic and seemingly inexperienced, tactless David could defeat Goliath in battle. This explains why weak people like me, who are without great strength, fast legs or smoothness of the tongue should ever remain grateful to God for the purpose HE has designed us for. HIS divine cause is what we are born for, it is what we are living for and it is what we are going to die for. As a Christian, when you understand this philosophy of life, you will continue to strive, press on – after that divine cause for your life.

After struggling, after our hard labour, God would still have to mark our work. When we have done everything, we must leave the issue with HIM. If we succeed, we must give HIM all the glory. However, there are factors beyond human control, which stand for unexpected events. We may meet failure and setback in those very plans we have promised ourselves high success and satisfaction. If we fail, we must submit to HIS will, for we may not know when our time is coming. Remember, everyone has a divine cause; the way and manner God executes HIS plans in people’s lives differ. That is why we should give all glory to HIM in success and submit to HIM when things seem otherwise.

CHOOSE THE BRIGHT COLOUR OF PRAISE!

Tb Joshua, SCOAN Prophet

If you find yourself in any unpleasant condition as a Christian, you should not despair but believe the more, have faith the more, pray the more and fast the more – because the situation is meant for your belief, just as you see your good times as a reason for your belief.

In the case of Paul and Silas, bodily pain counted for nothing. Instead of the beating and humiliation they received in the hands of the Roman officials and the mob to make them abandon their cause, I mean their faith, it made them have faith the more, believe the more and praise God the more (Acts 16:23-25). When Paul and Silas were imprisoned at Philippi and their backs were raw from beatings, they sang hymns. They chose the bright colour of praise instead of the dark colours of depression, bitterness, despair, self-pity and rejection. No matter what affliction or crisis we may face, we too can decide how we respond.

In the case of Stephen, the fear of being stoned did not scare him to abandon his faith. The more he was stoned, the more he confessed Christ, the more he became stronger in his belief, faith and conviction. At each stone they cast at him, he confessed, “Jesus is Lord!” He saw his pain as a reason for believing God just as he did his good times (Acts 7:59-60). The death of Stephen only seemed like death but it was not. The prison condition experienced by Paul and Silas only seemed like jail but it was not.

I LOVE YOU JESUS!

TB Joshua Ministries,The SCOAN

God measures our lives by our love for Him and for our neighbour. Anyone who does not love his fellow man, whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. This is His command: whoever loves God must also love his fellow man.

If we have all knowledge and ability but have no love, we have nothing. If we make all forms of sacrifices but have no real burning love for God and our fellow man, we have nothing.

Love for fellow man breaks down all barriers; it melts all hindrances. Love has ears to hear the heart. It dissolves prejudices, misunderstanding and suspicion. Love triumphs over our mistreatment, defilement and persecution.

How do you assess your love for God? By the practical things in our lives. We assess our love for God by the number of times we lovingly think of Him daily, by the degree of hunger we have to read His Word. I mean, the amount of time we save to read His Word. The more we love Him, the more precious His Word will become to us. If we love Jesus enough, we will make it our habit to say, “I love You, Jesus”.

When you walk to another room, say, “I love You, Jesus”. When you sit down in your car to drive, say, “I love You, Jesus”. When you stop at a traffic light, say, “I love You, Jesus”. When you bow your head before you eat, say, “I love You, Jesus”. The first person you think about in the morning and the last person you think of in the night should be Jesus.

DON’T LET YOUR SITUATION DICTATE THE DIRECTION OF YOUR PRAYER!

Tb Joshua Ministries,The SCOAN

Remember what happened at the graveside of Lazarus in John 11:38-44. Ordinarily, the situation did not call for thanksgiving but Jesus, being a man of faith was not influenced by the happenings around. What was seen did not influence the direction of His prayer.

When Jesus came to the home of Lazarus, where people were in a mourning mood, where people were crying, Jesus did not allow the general mood to overwhelm Him. In other words, Jesus did not allow the happenings around to dictate the direction of His prayer.

Today, when things are good, our prayer would be that of thanksgiving whereas when things are tough, our prayer would be petitional rather than thanksgiving. Consider the case of Paul and Silas in the prison in Acts 16. Their condition did not call for thanksgiving and praises but as men of faith, the happenings around them did not overwhelm them to murmur and despair.

CLEANSING BEFORE COMFORT!

Tb Joshua,  Scoan

How do we ask for forgiveness? We must ask for forgiveness in sincerity and humility of heart. This is what God requires. “Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:6-7).

Remember Psalm 51:6 reads ‘inward parts’, meaning the innermost being. This is the heart – the communication point for the Holy Spirit (Romans 9:1). If we are to ask for forgiveness, we should ask for forgiveness in the ‘inner part’, not in the form of fasting and praying or waving of hands in worship without a thorough reformation of heart and life.

What David was saying was that it was only after a thorough cleansing that he would be able to experience the joy of salvation. How do we then come before God in sincerity and humility of heart? We can come before Him when we ask Him not to comfort us until He cleanses us from our sin. In other words, we are seeking first the Kingdom of God, which is the salvation of our soul (Matthew 6:33).

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF FAITH

TB Joshua Ministry, scoan

The Characteristics of Faith

Faith sees what others cannot see. Its joy is in the reality of future things which enables the believer to understand the unseen universe and his right in Christ Jesus. A man without faith does not know his right in Christ Jesus. He believes until he shouts, cries and kicks, the Lord would not hear him.

Faith enables believers to overcome fear and other barriers that rob the faithless of God’s blessing. By faith, the Israelites crossed the Red Sea and brought down the walls of many cities. By faith, Moses stretched his staff to the Red Sea and the Israelites walked through the dry ocean bed (Exodus 14:16-22).

Faith provides strength for a believer to endure hardships and difficult times. By faith, Joseph endured the prison condition. By faith, Paul and Silas counted it all joy to suffer for Jesus in Philippi (Acts 16:22-25). Faith strengthens the believer to persevere even when the promise seems to delay in its fulfilment. Perseverance is an essential instrument of faith.

The Bible instructs us “to run the race with perseverance” (Hebrews 12:1-2). Hardship and temptation discipline us and improve our Christian character, thus making us better disciples of Christ. Even then, we have to throw off everything that could hinder our movement towards Christ. While running the race, we should fix our eyes on Christ – Christ alone – the Author and Finisher of our faith.