Evangelizing in season and out of season

Evangelizing in season and out of season

I love the passage in Acts 16:22-40 which tells the story of Paul and Silas in prison. They were thrown into jail falsely and around midnight while they were singing praises to God, there was a big earthquake that opened up the jail and caused their chains to come off. There jailer came out ready to kill himself because he was afraid the prisoners had escaped. Paul called out to him not to do so because they were all present. That was so amazing that the jailer converted and he and his whole household were baptized.
The next day when Paul and Silas were released, they asked why they were being released in secret when they had been publicly humiliated and arrested even though they were Roman citizens. The authorities apologized to them and let them go.
I learnt a lot from this passage that I’d like to share.
1. When bad and unjust things happen to me how do I react?  Do I see God’s hand in everything and choose to praise him or do I complain and gripe? Choose to praise always! It even breaks open prison doors.
2. And do I think of how my actions affect others? Imagine if Paul and Silas had taken the opening of the prison doors as an opportunity to escape. The poor jailer would have lost his job and been in disgrace. And if he had killed himself, his family would have lost their breadwinner. Instead by staying, they provided a witness that blew the jailer’s mind so much that he converted together with his family. How do I treat the witnessing opportunities I encounter?
3. Third lesson was about how Paul and Silas even bore the imprisonment. They only pointed out that they were Roman citizens after they had been released. Perhaps, you and I would have “fought” for our rights and taken the people to court. They let the people off with an apology….perhaps because they felt their work of evangelization was more important and urgent. They also left the people wondering…. who are these Romans who chose not to fight for their rights. Perhaps that wonder turned into  a seed of the word of God that bore fruit.
My prayer is that we will choose to praise at all times, see every encounter as an opportunity to evangelize and be willing to bear wrong for the sake of Christ. Impossible with man but possible with God!

Peace!
Angela Azumah Alu
23/5/17

in prison but praising3

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Happy birthday Annabel!

Happy birthday Annabel!

Dearest Anna,

Happy 13th birthday. It’s the beginning of your teens. I don’t remember too well the details of my teens (lol), but I’m sure God will see you through like He did for me.

You know, even though I’m the first born I was always the youngest girl till you came….and you’ve been an absolute blessing. The “reading gene” seemed to have skipped the boys….so it’s been amazing reading with you…even though you throw my books all over the place.

And of course, you! Your sense of style is amazing; your intelligence is breathtaking and you are generally wonderfully talented.  I really admire your music sense and your wit.

Baby, I pray that you grow up a confident and beautiful young woman….beautiful inside out. I pray that no matter the lies the devil tries to make you believe….you always stand on the word of God and let the devil know that you are a beloved child of the Great King.

Remember that the world is your oyster; you are in control. Don’t allow anyone to box you in. believe in yourself and trust God. Never be afraid to make mistakes; always try. No matter how difficult life gets, always remember that Christ is with you.

Know that I really love you and will always do my best to be there for you. You’re a miracle for me….coz I never thought that I too would have a little sister and get to do all those things sisters did as I read about in books.

I’m sorry for the times I’m not there for you. Always remember that my prayers are with you.

As you work out your life’s journey, remember to always trust God and know that God has a plan for you which He will reveal to you as you walk with Him. I commit you to His loving care and pray that He will always guide you.

Lots of love,

Angela.

anna-and-ang

Brief overview of the Bible

Brief overview of the Bible

So I wrote this for a friend who mentioned that she didn’t really get the bible. The point of the write up is to see the bible as one story …..

BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE BIBLE

The bible essentially tells the story of God’s interaction with man and how He wants to have a relationship with you and me.

So in Genesis 1&2, He creates a world for man and creates man and woman to live in union with each other and with Him.

He loves man so much that He gives him free will to choose to love Him and unfortunately man chooses to disobey instead. Man listens to satan, disobeys God and breaks the perfect union with God. The rest of the bible tells the story of how God uses various ways to repair that relationship until he finally sends His son Jesus Christ. Now even in Genesis 3, after man disobeyed God, God still prophesied of the seed of a woman who would one day crush the head of the serpent (satan).

So to begin this process, God begins to choose individuals….Enoch walked with God, he chose Noah and used him to save the world. He starts afresh with Noah.

Then he chooses Abraham, promises to make him the father of a nation and bless all people of earth through him. He chooses Isaac, Abraham’s son and then Jacob, one of Isaac’s sons.

Joseph, one of Israel’s sons, presents an image of a savior for his family. But God continues his line through Judah.

Then he brings the Israelites (descendants of Jacob) to Egypt to save them from famine and they live there for 400 years. After that they become slaves in Egypt. God then sends a savior in the person of Moses to rescue them. He does that through the Passover. He takes them to the wilderness, gives them laws to live by and makes them a nation. They travel till they finally reach Canaan, the promised land. And even in Canaan, they have to defeat various enemies so they can possess the land God promised them. This they do under the leadership of Joshua, another Jesus like figure.

Then in Canaan, he first gives them judges, people who lead them for a period of time-usually when necessary. Many times the people sin, God punishes them, they repent and cry, he sends a savior and then they repeat their sin.

Finally, the people ask for a king so thy will be like other nations. God gives them Saul, David and Solomon. Then after Solomon, the kingdom breaks into two and various kings rule the two kingdoms. Some are obedient to God like David but others are disobedient to God. Anyway, David is a descendant of Abraham and God promises to send them a king who is a descendant of David.

The people keep sinning even though God warns them through prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah and Amos. Finally, God sends them into exile in Babylon. Even there He speaks to them through prophets like Ezekiel and Daniel. He also saves them through Esther even in exile. Finally, after a set period (70 years), he turns the heart of King Cyrus who allows them to return to Israel. They go back and try to rebuild as we see in Ezra and Nehemiah. God also speaks to them through prophets like Haggai.

Then , finally, in his own time, God sends His own son to come and show man how to have a relationship with God. His son dies on behalf of all men and creates a situation where anyone who believes in Him receives a new heart and mind so He can be a son of God as seen in the gospels.

The Acts of the Apostles tells of how his followers go round proclaiming his message. The other letters talk of various aspects of faith.

And revelations shows that in the battle between God and satan, God finally wins and takes his people to heaven to be with Him. So God’s original intention in Genesis 1&2 of having a perfect relationship with man is fulfilled.

Thing to remember is that God is a Holy God who cannot stand sin. He loves man but man has sinned against Him and cannot have a relation with Him. Only a perfectly sinless person like Jesus could shed his blood (blood is the only thing that can wash away sin) and bring unity between God and man.