All posts by SIMPLE TRUTHS DEVOTIONAL

Rev. Dr. Samuel Somuah Asante is an ordained minister of the gospel, who is commissioned to project the Lord Jesus Christ. His ministry emphasis is on th divine elevation of the believer in Christ. He believes strongly that all who are in Christ have the privilege to live above sin and failure, walk in righteousness and the resurrected life of Christ. He encourages Christians, especially pastors, to live a life that manifests the glory of God through them. Rev. Somuah is a graduate of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST), Ghana and holds a Masters degree in Theology from International Theological Seminary (Ghana Campus), and a PhD in Biblical Studies from ZOE Theological Seminar (USA). He is the Chief Servant of Jesus Witness Ministry, based in Taifa-Burkina, Accra. He is married to Rev. (Mrs.) Doris Somuah Asante and are blessed with two sons, Samuel and Arnold. They make their home in Accra, Ghana.

CHARACTER STUDY: PAUL 21

KEY SCRIPTURE: Acts 14:26. And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled.

In our previous study, we asked, what made Paul and Barnabas so successful? The grace of God was the main thing that made them so successful in addition to their self-denial.

Our key scripture reveals that during the commissioning of Paul and Barnabas they were committed to the grace of God. Every call or commission is unto the grace of God. A good understanding of this would cause you to do more exploits for God.

Many Christians are living far below their potential and opportunities because they don’t really understand what this grace is about,  and so receive it in vain as revealed in 2nd Corinthians 6:1 “We then as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. Some people see God’s grace as only the mercy of God to overlook sin. This is a very small aspect of it. The grace of GOD is everything that our Lord Jesus is, that is given to us or placed at our disposal. It is our lord Jesus taking over our being to express or establish his works and abilities through us. 2nd Corinthians 3:5 put it this way “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God”. It is Christ’s fullness which has been made available to us. John1:16. “And of the fullness have all we received and grace for grace “.

They (Paul and Barnabas) were committed to the fullness of the supply and provisions of heaven. This put them at the disposal of the assistance of the angels in heaven. Colossians 2:10 says “And ye are complete in him which is the Head of all principalities and power”. The word complete is the Greek word “pleroo” which means to be made full of God. This grace is an amazing thing. It is an ability to excel. There is no failure associated with the grace of God.

The following is the testimony of Paul about  the grace of God .1st Corinthians 15:10 “But by the grace of God I am what I am and his grace which was bestowed  upon me was not in vain , but I laboured more abundantly than they all yet not I but the grace of God which was with me “. Apostle Paul says it is the grace of God that has made him what he is yet he laboured more abundantly. This grace of God will really be effective if you decide to do your best. We must willingly strive to do what the master has asked us to do.

In doing this the power in us works to execute whatever task we have to fulfill.

CONFESSION

The grace of God has made me a stranger to failure. I have the fulness of the abilities of the Lord Jesus working in me. I will forever remain productive  and successful in every endeavour.

FURTHER STUDIES.

Acts 9:5. And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Philippians 2:13. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

CHARACTER STUDY: PAUL 20

KEY SCRIPTURE: Acts 14:26 ” And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled.”

Shall we consider a phrase in our key scripture, Acts 14:26 “……for the work which they fulfilled”. In Acts 13, after the brethren had ministered unto the Lord with fasting, the Holy Spirit said “separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereto I have called them”.

Apostle Paul and Barnabas did not delay in any way. They quickly set off to do the work. They went on a missionary journey combing through most of the cities of the gentile world.

We learn the following from the experience of Paul and Barnabas.

1. That the work of missions is one which early engaged the attention of the Christians. Make up your mind to leave your comfort zone to step out into the missionary field.

2. It entered into their plans and the church was deeply interested. This call for missions should become the interest of every Christian organization.

3. The work of missions is attended with danger. People are now no less hostile to the gospel than they were in Lystra and Iconium. You should not be scared about it, for it pleases the father to stand for Him.

4. Missionaries should be sustained by the prayers of the church. Make it your duty to daily pray for all missionaries on the mission field.

5. The experience of Paul and Barnabas gives us an example for missionaries in founding churches.  

(Some of these thoughts are from the Barnes commentary).

One other important thing we learn from apostle Paul and Barnabas is that they fulfilled their mission. The discomfort of the voyages, the hostilities of the Jews and Gentiles and even stoning did not stop them. They went through every city raised churches and established elders to oversee the affairs of the churches. What made them so successful? They denied themselves and took up their cross. Matthew 16:24 “……if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me”. THE THREAT OF PERSECUTIONS IN HOSTILE NATIONS IS NOT THE REAL HINDRANCE TO THE SPREAD OF THE GOSPEL IN SUCH PLACES, BUT UNWILLINGNESS OF CHRISTIANS TO DENY THEMSELVES AND TAKE UP THEIR CROSS”. Paul and Barnabas conquered in their time, we can also conquer no matter the challenge or opposition for the grace of God that saw them through is also available to see us through.

PRAYER

Father, may the experiences of Paul inspire this modern church to take the challenge of missions aggressively to fulfill our Lord’s commission.

FURTHER STUDIES.

Matthew 16:24-27 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”

CHARACTER STUDY: PAUL 19

KEY SCRIPTURE: Acts 14:23 ” And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.”

Apostle Paul and Barnabas after ministering to the churches and strengthening them made sure that the church would remain running. They ordained elders to take care of the running of these churches.

An elder is not necessarily an older person but one called into a leadership role in the house of God. They were the main leaders who saw to the teaching of the brethren as well as other governing functions that keep the church together and sustained. In 1st Peter 5:1-4, apostle Peter elaborated on who these elders were and their functions. In 1st Peter 5:1 he said “the elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed.”

Apostle Peter says he is an elder. Peter was an apostle, that is a leading governing role in the body of Christ. This implies prophets, evangelist, Pastors, and teachers are all elders. The term elder is a very important role. In 1st Peter 5:2 he says “feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly, not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind”. One of their roles is to teach the flock of God. They must willingly do it. They should not use their role to extort money..

There is a great deal of sacrifice required from an elder, for he is an example to the brethren in every Christian discipline. (1st Peter 5:3). Acts 14:23 says they were ordained with prayer and fasting. This practice should be observed anywhere Christian leaders are being ordained. Any leader who cannot discipline himself to fast is not worthy of being a leader (except on medical grounds). Fasting is an act of sacrifice. Food is a primary necessity of every person. The urge for it is so strong. To abstain from food for the demands of the task ahead is very important. One main. demand for Christian leadership is sacrifice and self-discipline. No leader would amount to anything without sacrifice and self-discipline. One of Paul’s reason for employing such discipline is revealed in 1st Corinthians 9:27 “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection lest that by any means, when I have preached to others I myself should be a cast away.

Fasting also have a great spiritual significance. It isolates us from all the carnal cravings and attention to give proper attention to God. This allows us to better communicate and receive from the Spirit of God.

  PRAYER

Oh, Lord raise leaders for your body who are selfless and committed to pleasing you in all they do. May they be examples to your flock through their discipline and sacrifice, exhibiting a great ability to teach the flock

FURTHER STUDIES

Matthew 9:15. “And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.”

1 Timothy 3:2 ” A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;”

CHARACTER STUDY: PAUL 18

KEY SCRIPTURE: Acts 14:22 ” Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”

In our key scripture Apostle Paul exhorted the brethren to CONTINUE IN THE FAITH. This appears to be a very simple statement or instruction yet it entails a lot.

The faith in this context refers to the Christian life as a whole. It is described as a race in Hebrews 12:1 “wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us”. In every life endeavour there are two main enemies or forces that may impede on our advancement. These are internal forces and external forces. In the above scripture (Hebrews 12:1) it talks about only the internal forces that can keep us from making proper advancement. These internal   forces are:

1. Every weight

2. Sin that easily beset us

Weights are practices, actions which may not be necessarily sinful but they seriously keep us from running effectively. Some people are so much attached to their phones and this becomes a weight. Watching TV can become a weight, stealing your precious time. Your association with some friends can also be a weight. Just imaging an athlete, in a very competitive race wearing a pair of suits, a tie, with a hat and a platform shoe. How would such a person perform. He may not finish the race. This is what these weights does to us.

The second internal force that also affects our forward movement in this race is the sin that so easily beset us. Sin is falling short of God’s standard or breaking God’s law. Many people have certain sins that they are not able to handle. To some it is unforgiveness, lying, fear, worry, immorality etc.

Dear child of God you have received grace in Christ and can easily put all these things aside. Don’t allow them to impede your advancement in the faith.

There are also external forces that may slow or totally stop you. These include demonic attacks, persecution, challenges, worldly amusements and any other problems that may come your way.

To continue in the faith, you must aggressively commit yourself to doing everything that would keep you strong. Some of the things you have to do to get you going on are:

1. Maintain a constant fellowship with the brethren.

2. Get yourself involved in every activity of the church that helps your faith to grow.

3. Maintain a strong devotional life, praying diligently always

4. Have times to study the bible

5. Maintain a periodic fasting schedule.

6. Keep listening to messages of anointed men of God that would inspire you.

7. Share the gospel with neighbours and as many people that you can.

8.Be a practitioner of the word of God

If you do these things you will never grow weak in your zeal for the Lord. You will keep advancing in your faith and would be ready for the Lord anytime he should appear.

  PRAYER

I pray that the church of God would commit herself to getting to the end of the Christian race. Let non be drawn off by the deceptions of the world, in Jesus name we have prayed.

FURTHER STUDIES.

2 Peter 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 10:25 ” Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

CHARACTER STUDY: PAUL 17

KEY SCRIPTURE: Acts 14:22 ” Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulations enter into the kingdom of God.”

Apostle Paul confirmed or strengthen the souls of the brethren in various cities by teaching them the truth. He taught them that through much tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God.

Many Christians have not been taught about the necessity to suffer for Jesus. This makes very weak Christians. This also makes them converts. The word church is from the Greek word ‘Ekklesia’. It is coined from two Greek words. These are:

1. ‘Ek’ which means “out of” and the second word is “Kaleo” which means ‘to call’. The word church as used in the scriptures means the ‘called out ones’. We have been called out of the world. This implies our lifestyle should not be as the world is, but rather opposite to the pattern and way of the world (Rom 12:2). This would make the world hate us. The prince or god of this world who is Satan would instigate the world to hate and oppose us. This is the essence of persecution. It is very normal for every Christian to suffer for Christ. This should be taught to all Christians. If the church majors on the teachings of comfort, wealth and pleasure then we are in for big trouble. Most Christians would then not make it to heaven if we continue this way. Persecutions and tribulations are definite, and the Christian must be aware and prepared for it. The Lord taught the following in John 15:20 “Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you, if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also”.

The Lord admonishes the church to know that if he was persecuted then we his servants would also be treated likewise, for the servant is not greater than his master. Apostle Paul taught in Romans 8:17 that “And if children then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together”. There is glory for the Christian and suffering as well.

Now living right involves not engaging in certain things. A Christian youth must delay sex before marriage. The Christian must not cheat in exams when everyone is doing so. The Christian must sacrifice his money for God’s work. He must speak the truth even at the peril of his life. The Christian lady must reject sex for favours from bosses. Those who oppose the message of the cross would surely attack us who project it. All these are sufferings that we must endure for the course of Christ. As Apostle Paul said, we must pass through many tribulations to enter into the kingdom of God.

 PRAYER

Father open the eyes of all Christians, especially Christian leaders to prepare their members to stand for Christ in times of opposition and tribulations.

FURTHER STUDIES.

Romans 12:2 ” And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Revelation 2:10 ” Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”

CHARACTER STUDY: PAUL 16

KEY SCRIPTURE: Acts 14:22 ” Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”

Apostle Paul and Barnabas moved from town to town confirming the souls of the brethren. They reestablished or strengthened the souls of the disciples. The soul is the self-conscious part of a man. The soul comprises the mind, the emotion and the will.

When the mind of one is filled with error the enemy will have a field’s day in the life of that individual. One of Paul’s greatest passion was to see every convert he wins standing strong and making it to heaven. This must be our passion and pursuit. We must not win them and leave them to chance. This is what Apostle Paul says in 2nd Corinthians 11:3 “But I fear lest by any means as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtility, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ”. Satan is aggressively at way against the minds of every Christian. He has raised people who go teaching all kinds of things that are not biblical. There are Spirits who also speak directly to the minds of people. (Eph 2:2)

Every new Christian needs to be made strong in the mind. A strong mind means a strong emotion and subsequently a strong will.

The following verse teaches us the principles Satan uses to deceive or take Christians captive. Colossians 2:8 “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of this world and not after Christ”. Satan deceives Christians by two main sources:

1. Philosophy

2. Vain deceit.

He said these things have their roots either from traditions of men which are believe patterns passed on from generation to generation, or through the rudiments of this world, that is the physical principles around, basically called science. Philosophy is coined from two Greek words namely “Phileo” and “Sophia”. Phileo is to love and Sophia is wisdom. It means love wisdom or lover of wisdom. This is worldly wisdom. It is carnal wisdom.

We must establish the brethren with sound biblical truths not any worldly philosophies. This is what would make them strong so Satan would not be able to corrupt their minds to fall away from the simplicity that is in Christ.

PRAYER

I pray for all Christian workers to have a great love for every convert won, and to teach them diligently, so they would stand strong for Christ. In Jesus name I have prayed. Amen

FURTHER STUDIES.

2 Corinthians 11:2 ” For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ”.

Philippians 4:1 ” Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved”.

CHARACTER STUDY: PAUL 15

KEY SCRIPTURE: Acts 14:21 ” And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,”

After Paul rose up from the stoning, he went with Barnabas to Derbe. Paul did not go to rest in a home. He continued with his mission. He saw how urgent the work of God was.

The Lord Jesus said I must work the works of him that sent me while it is day, for the night comes when no man can work”. John. 9:4. There is a night for everybody. We are supposed to give our best shots when we are strong and youthful. Our work will be rewarded. We will be rewarded according to how effective and diligent we worked. The Lord will definitely come yet as humans we are not going to live forever. We have a time period to complete his mission. During the Lord Jesus days on the earth, he used to wake up early and after his prayer time, sets off going to preach the word. He goes from town to town speaking to groups and in some instances speaks to individuals. He comes back late to rest. In some moments He went into prayer. The Lord really worked hard. How are you working for Him.?

Please let’s consider what Apostle Paul did. Acts 14:21 “And when they had preached the gospel to that city and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra and to Iconium and Antioch”. This is amazing. Paul was attacked in Iconium and stoned in Lystra. Apostle Paul was simply a fearless man. He says in Philippians 1:20-21 “According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed but that with all boldness as always so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death; for me to live is Christ and to die is gain”. He says his earnest expectation is that he would not be ashamed about anything. Most humans are scared of shame. He is given totally to Christ and therefore careless about what comes to him. He says his concern and desire is that Jesus Christ would be magnified in his body, whether it be by life or by death. This is the best way to live. The essence of living is living for Jesus. This made Paul fearless. Fearlessness is true liberty. Fear has torment and makes a man a slave in his body. Live for Christ and magnify him in everything you do. Talk about him to all men. Do not let anyone intimidate you. He is worth living for, for he is the beginning and the end. He is the life and all things are subject to Him. Living for him is having every evil power subjected to you. O what a life!

CONFESSION

I do not live for myself or anything carnal. I live for Jesus. He is the only real one who abides forever. I have perfect peace and joy every day of my life. I have power to reign in this life. Oh, what a life.

FURTHER STUDIES.

Galatians 6:14, 17 ” But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”

Galatians 2:20” 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.”