In the arms of Love

“​In the absence of love we began slowly but surely to fall apart.”

  …. But in its arms never do we fall apart.  

Love is giving with no thought of getting. It is tenderness enfolding with strength to protect. It is forgiveness without further thought of the thing forgiven. It is understanding of human weakness, with knowledge of the true man shining through. It is quiet in the midst of turmoil. It is trust in God with no thought of self. It is the one altogether lovely, the light in the mother’s eyes, the glory in the sacrifice, the quiet assurance of protection.

Love is in the expectation of our Father’s promise coming true. It is the refusal to see anything but good in our fellow man. It is the glory that comes with selflessness and the power that comes with assurance of the Father’s love for His Children. 

Love is the voice that says “no” to our brother, though “yes” might be more easily said. It is resistance to the world’s lust and greed, thus becoming a positive law of annihilation to error.
Love … the “man” called Jesus…..the one thing no one can take from us … the one thing we can give constantly and become increasingly rich in the giving. 

Love can take no offence, for it cannot know that which it does not of itself conceive. It cannot hurt or be hurt, for it is the purest reflection of GOD, Good. It is the one eternal, indestructible force for Good. It is the will of GOD, preparing, planning, proposing always…… what is best for you……what is best for me…..what is best for all His universe.

AAT~ to thee the Glory be.

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​WHO ARE YOU BECOMING?

WHO ARE YOU BECOMING? (IN A SPLIT SECOND)

For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

 And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory. 

ROMANS 8:29-30

mostimportant-01Things can go sour really quick sometimes maybe because of our impatience, laziness and other pretty little stuff – things we know of, read on, and seem to understand the way they work but still …

They’re painful and annoying, we keep doing it or such situations seem to befall us day in day out and we can’t seem to get rid of, it becomes like a thorn in our flesh.

It really hurts and all we do is to be honest with God in such situations but they just don’t go like we expect it to be right? Like in a split second or at the blink of the eye.

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away (it: that thorn in the flesh). 

Each time he said, “MY GRACE IS ALL YOU NEED. MY POWER WORKS BEST IN WEAKNESS.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.   

2 CORINTHIANS 12:8-9 [NLT]

Hope you can relate, countless times we have asked God to take that thing away.

This brings me to my message, God is more interested in the long run who we are becoming than the just granting us wishes. Romans 8:30 shows us the process. Think about it; it is step by step and the Holy Spirit is not man that he will fail or disappoint us. Have faith in the God who chose you and has a purpose for you.

14. So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered Heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 

15. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testing we do, yet he did not sin. 

16. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. 

Hebrews 4:14-16

O what a loving, gracious God He is. He who knows our anxious thoughts but still loves us the same and gave His life for us May His name be praised forevermore.

God alone is our peace and joy. “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

In a split second we can lose all our achievements (degrees, houses, cars etc) we could lose even our loved ones but we can never lose who God has molded us to be and who He is in our lives, the peace and joy in our hearts, mind and souls in the midst of trials and pain.

Why would you ever complain, O Jacob,

or, whine, Israel, saying,

“God has lost track of me.

He doesn’t care what happens to me”?
Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening?

God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.

    He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.

He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.

    And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,

    gives fresh strength to dropouts.

For even young people tire and drop out,

    young folk in their prime stumble and fall.

But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,

They run and don’t get tired,

    they walk and don’t lag behind.

Isaiah 40:27-31

Much love.

Cecil O. N.

ROOT REMEDY

Well, well, well … Here we are again, drawing the curtains down on a very, very long vacation.

“Not so long”, you must be thinking. Well, we have approximately 3 weeks, in fact 2 Fridays more before reopening, and spending close to 80 days (1920 hours) at home … Wow!! That has been quick.

I believe we were enthusiastic about the whole vacation thingy, having our own plans going into the vacation and now that we are coming into a new semester we all have our plans as usual.

Over the years, if we are to draw a curve of our productivity based on what we plan, most of us including me would have that of a sinusoid: an up and down sort of thing. Hope we can relate? Well John C. Maxwell puts it beautifully as this, “sometimes you win and sometimes you learn”.

This message is not trying to let you know what you should’ve done but didn’t do. We have beaten ourselves and cried ourselves to bed over and over again on simple mistakes we keep on repeating and we need no reminder.

This semester de33 I won’t joke” – a popular cliché and many other mistakes all embodied in procrastination [and his relatives: laziness, lack of focus and concentration and the likes]. We read all the books, go to conferences and use all the great quotes as profile pictures or as status on social media platforms.

Well, I’m not against that, in fact, they’re good and build us up, but we end up not solving it entirely, do we?
At this moment you will be thinking, “oh I know where he is going, that man Jesus Christ right? … He’s got the answer right?? Oh yeah! I have heard of him and how he makes everything beautiful.”

Absolutely, you are right and you hit the nail right on the head but just as C.S Lewis said, “Man needs no new instructions but to be reminded.”

See how can we boldly sing and proclaim these words:

I’ve tasted the world, seen more than enough and its promises fleeting of water and wine I emptied the cup yet still I found myself wanting… But there’s a well that never runs dry. The water of life; the blood of the vine.

Jesus is the cup/well that never runs dry.

If we have not actually gone through these struggles and experienced how nothing else supersedes what Christ has for us.

So now instead of planning to do this and that, I just have to accept that I can’t trust myself to accomplish it but I can trust the one who never runs dry, Jesus Christ. Then we shall receive the grace, peace, strength and wisdom to go through and achieve whatever it is we want to.

So after this vacation of not so much productivity, I boldly say Lord I give myself away not like before or on a normal Sunday church service but because I’ve actually seen how wretched I am and the need to give myself away and not trust in myself.
This is a lifelong reminder I believe God has for us as a way of calling us back to himself, yet many a times after receiving this heartfelt connection and grace we tend to think: “okay now Jesus has passed the ball to me, He’s given me that salvation so now I have to score that goal then case closed” or “I have to this that and that to repay his kindness and goodness or something.”

But can we actually do that?
Can we actually repay?

We end up tired and worn out but how about if we do it like this instead, just as Paul wrote in Colossians 2:6;

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. NLT

Not enough? Heed the words of Christ then



John 15:4
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

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Deeply Rooted in Christ

Wow, all Christ wants is for us to be in that state of joy, peace, remorse, tears, calm all wrapped up in Grace and Love when we received him then and then will we get that motivation to achieve and bear all the fruits we want.

Yes don’t fret my dear, he hears you and longs to come to your aid.

If you truly believe he is the cup that will never run dry, then why do you worry and carry all this burden and pain in your heart.

My message is very simple, the one who created the world, the stars all those planets known to man and not yet known, absolutely everything is crazy in love with me and wants to reside in my heart to accomplish his own good works. (Those works in your heart you want to do but end up coming short, he actually put it there )

The question is will you let him?

Cecil O. N.

Who Is On The Lord’s Side?

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The following is a story which I keep telling whenever the opportunity presents itself. Today, I present a modified version of this untitled story which I did not come up with. Do read on …

The Come One, Come All Church of God was filled to capacity and in fact, overflowing. The occasion was a fundraiser in support of the church expansion project. Apparently, the auditorium of 1,800 seats was not enough for the many souls committed and passionate about worshipping the Lord God Almighty. If the fundraising goes on successfully as elaborately planned, there’ll be enough funds for an extra 419 seats to supplement those already in place.

The divine service was already in session, and the worship leader together with his team and band of music inclined instrumentalists ministered songs that stirred up the hearts of the congregation to lift up their hands and voices unto the heavens. After him came the prayer warriors, then the choir dressed beautifully in their woven Kente clothes. They too ministered a song plus two that saw some in the congregation moved to tears. Next was the preacher man.

The preacher man, who was also the church’s recently posted resident minister, took gentle steps towards the pulpit as the congregation sang in unison the popular hymn, “Lord thy word abideth, and thy footsteps guideth”, while the pianist played in the background. As the auditorium became silent in expectation of the words of the preacher man, the sound of screeching tires found its way  into the auditorium.

Before the preacher man and resident minister could start his first sentence, the doors at the main entrance of the auditorium burst open in a loud manner that caught some people off guard and almost off their seats in panic. As if that was not enough, men dressed in black overalls with hoods and numbering about twenty walked in through the opened entrance. Everyone was shocked, even the most tired of all the congregants who had been dozing off for the greater part of the service were now wide awake.

In a very dramatic manner, the men took up positions within the auditorium without the aid of any usher, who also watched on, rooted to the spot. Nothing was as scary about the men as the black bags that was strapped across their backs and was occasionally prevented from dangling using their hands clothed in black gloves.

The suspense in the air was thick, and as one them, presumably the leader, picked up a microphone and addressed the fear stricken congregation, everyone hoped against all hope with many independent thoughts running in over a 1800 minds.

In an awkwardly soft and calm voice, he said, “Peace be unto you brethren! We are here as followers of the Advanced Repopulation of Heaven and our sole purpose here is see to the immediate transfer of all true believers into heaven. As such, if you’re here today and profess Jesus Christ as Lord & personal Savior, then rejoice and prepare to meet your God any moment from now. However, if you wish to deny Jesus Christ as Lord and are not willing, for reasons best known to you, to take a bullet for him, then please exit the building now.”

While he made this utterance before the congregation, his fellows had already taken out what looked like AK-47s and were busy setting up for what had now been made clear to all. There was going to be a shooting, and only Christians qualified.

There was a seemingly long period of silence lasting about ten to fifteen seconds during which people shifted uncomfortably in their seats while others kept glancing at one another, most especially at the preacher man, who was clearly in shock and was leaning forward for support against the pulpit. It looked like everyone was going to take a bullet for Christ but not all were willing.

One lady slowly pulled her feet out of her high heel shoe and stood with her hands stretched up as if in worship. She was the choir mistress and wife of the assistant pastor. All it took was the click sound of one of the guns to set men and women of God in motion. The choir mistress was first to break into a run followed by a couple of choristers. They were followed by the Asst Pastor holding the hand his wife, some elders of the church, and other familiar faces seen playing active roles in the church regularly. The first to be out of the door were the ushers and many followed after them. Looking on were the men in black who aimed but did not shoot.

After about 15 minutes of commotion, the noise subsided greatly. For now, it was the cries of some babies who had been left behind by their parents or guardians that could be heard. There were far less people left in the auditorium now, including the preacher man. Shoes, bags, and bibles could all be seen on the red carpet aisles.

Many in the church now had their heads bowed and eyes closed, some on their knees, and a few drenched in sweat and tears.

All they heard next was the leader speaking specifically to the preacher man saying, “Sorry to have barged into this service unannounced. The weeds needed clearing, and that has been done. Now you can provide nourishment for the true seedlings as God willed for you to do.”

This he said, as his colleagues packed everything, and walked out the same way they came

Ideally, what is expected of today’s Christan in such a scenario?
Now, picture yourself as a member of the Come One, Come All Church Of God during this fundraiser and ask yourself whether or not you’ll remain in your seat and why you will or will not do so?

In the final verse of the Hymn, Who is on the Lord’s side?, it reads:

MHB  820

Stanza 4

  Chosen to be soldiers
In an alien land,
Chosen, called, and faithful,
For our Captain’s band,
In the service royal
Let us not grow cold;
Let us be right loyal,
Noble, true, and bold.
Master, Thou wilt keep us,
By Thy grace divine,
Always on the Lord’s side,
Savior always  Thine.

D. A.

Jesus, The Worthy Lamb

So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll or look at it. But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”
Revelations 5:4-5

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There are about a million verses in the Bible all underlying and the stating the fact that everything is working together for our good and encouraging us as well, yet we seem to judge ourselves unworthy because we are still singing the old song which is, “We’re not worthy, today we did this and didn’t do that.”

We keep basing our faith, hope, love trust, believe and worship on our day to day performances which will certainly not help because as far as we’re on this earth there are going to be some good and bad days. Are we not going to worship on those bad days then nor love nor have faith?

As Paul and Barnabas preached the good news in Acts 13:44-50 , it was to the Gentiles joy, but to the Jews it was all blasphemy, envy and the likes of it. The Jews like us know a lot of the scriptures and these should have made more sense to us but we don’t see it that way because we still think there’s something we need to do.

Yet the message is no longer about us and our performance of rituals, but about Jesus, the Messiah who came to die for our sins and called us to himself, that we should believe in him and we will have everlasting life … that we should come to him (that is, we that labor & are heavy laden) and He will give us rest … that our righteousness is Jesus and that this Grace that has appeared to us all will teach us what to do and not do [Titus 2:11-15] and we won’t just do things out of mere rituals but rather based on His worthiness and grace and love which compels us.

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Worthy is the Lamb

We’ve got to understand that God’s grace is bigger than our failings in this life and the promises in the Bible are true and will be true in our lives because worthy is the lamb. We will not be the tail but the head because worthy is the lamb. We’re going to be all that He has planned for us because worthy is He that has called us to himself. The devil has never and will never be the problem because Jesus the author and finisher of our faith has finished our books and signed it with his blood.

Worthy is the lamb! Worthy is the lamb!! Worthy is the lamb!!! Join me and the heavenly angels and the elders us we sing a new song:

“You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals;

For you were slain, and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every tribe and tongue

And people and nation, and have made us Kings and priests to our God;

And we shall reign on the earth.”

Worthy is the lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honour and

Glory and blessing!”

Blessing and honour is His and His alone!

Have a MERRY Christmas and remember all things are working together for you and in the right moment you shall reap because He is worthy and He is not a man that he will lie. Jesus alone is worthy.

To God be the glory!

– C. O. N.

A Godly Experiment

When the Bible says, ”Bad company corrupts good morals”, let’s take a mental experiment and cast our minds to our laundry bags or   laundry baskets.

(Not maths mental, please don’t get scared and go, read on…😃)

Pick your favourite shirt or dress reserved for that dinner next semester, just in case you get a date 😉. Neatly washed and ironed, put it in your laundry bag with your other dirty clothes you hope to wash when you get the time. (Don’t worry, the experiment is still in your mind, don’t give me that ‘seriously?’ 💁 look 😄

Now when you finally get the time to do your washing, or if you take it to the laundry, pick out your dinner dress (or shirt). Now have a look or even better, smell it as a means of gathering results for your experiment …

Are we getting such faces: 😁🙊😏😷?

Relax, 😄, it was only in your mind, now snap out of it to reality 🙇.

Putting that clean dress amongst dirty clothes and zipping that bag represented introducing a godly Holy Spirit filled believer into a world where ideas and thoughts and actions expressed through character are godless and different from your godly way of thinking.

Bad company goes beyond sitting in class or sitting on same bench or sleeping in same room with ‘bad people’. We would have to leave this world if we want to really escape godlessness. But Paul says you can be in this world and not be of the world

The company you keep is determined by the kind of people  you share common views with. They may be a 1000 miles away, but once you agree and give a thumbs up to say gay marriage, it’s a company you keep. If you agree Jesus is the only way, you have a company you keep

That laundry bag represented a sphere of thinking or influence, which may or may not necessarily be influenced by physical contact, though physical contact through media, friends, society and family act as facilitators.

Someone may now ask, so what if I put a dirty dress in a bag full of clean clothes, say your suitcase, will it make the shirt clean? Nope, certainly not. It will still be dirty and not get clean because it needs washing.

“Dirty” (unsaved) people need Jesus … No matter how much they associate with the sphere of thinking of saved moral men.

Finally, in our semester’s quest for godliness

… Let us not be conformed to this world: but let us be transformed by the renewing of our mind, that we may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12:2

Amen

Have a great Focus Study and I still have you all in mind

Samuel Ohene (Former BSW Coordinator)

Red Sparkling Wine, Fresh Tasty Bread

“23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.”
1 Corinthians 17:23-29

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Do this in remembrance of me. You proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Whoever eats and drinks without discerning the body of Christ drinks judgement on himself, the body, the church. If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home so that when you meet together, it may not result in judgment.

Imagine Jesus Christ preaching love and his disciples exhibiting greed, selfishness and no care for others when they participate in a ceremony meant to proclaim His death. A ceremony meant to proclaim His death; a ceremony meant to show the world what love really is. That, ‘Greater love has no man than this; that he lay down his life for his friends’. Death. To proclaim that this death was actually love. Imagine disregarding in totality the reason for the ceremony and doing something the exact opposite. The greed in wanting more and not caring about the other person is what Paul warned against.

Contemporary times; we no longer break proper bread, in fact, it’s just a wafer and a semblance of a cup of wine so it’s hard to get drunk whilst others go hungry. Truth is, if you bank your hope on the communion, you’ll go home quite disappointed but anyway back to the subject of matter, in these contemporary times, how do we drink of the cup in an unworthy manner?

Simple, it’s the same as before. See, underlying the drunkenness was greed, selfish motives, conceit … Simply put, no love for others.  

You gobble down the wafer and wine solemnly yet in an unworthy manner if you do not recognize the body, which is the church.

Granted, there are other ways of participating in the ceremony in an unworthy manner. But see, Christ didn’t die so that we live individualistic lives. More so he didn’t institute a divine mass ceremony so that we partake of it alone.

He wants us to wait for one another, care about one another, care for one another and partake of the cup together as loved ones and therefore proclaim His death; His ultimate show of love to the world until He comes.

So the next time you join the queue for your wafer and wine, take a moment, pause and think about the person behind you in the queue. Do you recognize him as a part of the body?

Yaa A.