Be strong in the Lord to be able to achieve your avowed intention.
For all believers, our Lord Jesus is our spiritual looking-glass self concerning the way he had to undergo many-a-lot of harrowing experiences from conception to birth, post birth situations up to how he went to the cross, the grave and eventually to the sky. In spite of all odds, He accomplished his mission on earth. His immaculate conception was hard for Joseph the carpenter, the would be earthly father, to accept his betrothed Mary. King Herod out of jealousy sought to kill him. Matthew 1: 18-25. The devil tempted Him after His baptism Matt. 4:1-11; 27: 24 to the end; Luke 23. The most painful of the ordeals was Judas Iscariot’s betrayal to the High Priest and the Elders. The case of Brutus to Caesar was a child’s play concerning the person of our Lord and Savior. Jesus was not discouraged and did not chicken out of the divine race He ran and won by being able to return to sit at the right hand of God the Father in heaven.
Failures and near successes did not make Abraham Lincoln despondent . He eventually became one of the most revered presidents of the United States. Nelson Mandela remained uncompromising in his demand for freedom and abolition of apartheid. He endured twenty-seven years of incarceration but lastly went from prison to the Presidency of free South Africa. Steve Biko died in prison but succeeded in winning a place in the history of South Africa.The German heroic recovery from the ruins of the second World War showed that they buried despondency along with the losses Nazi German rulers inflicted on the good people of Germany. Today the German currency, indeed the economy, has been described as the strongest within the European Union economy. Over half a century ago, the Rapid Result College had this quotation on her correspondence tutorial booklets: “Do not for one repulse forego the purpose you resolve to effect”. It was a powerful inspiration to those aspirants in pursuit of quality education for better life.
Weak faith or outright unfaithfulness or total rejection of faith (God) is opposed to God’s love which He freely gives to mankind. In the Old Testament, kings as leaders except for few like Like David, Josiah, Hezekiah, and Solomon (early in his reign) all led Jews away from God. The decadence began from the Northern Kingdom and led to their punitive stay in exile. Prophet Amos from the Southern Kingdom of Judah and Jerusalem was God-sent to warn them against the coming judgement. It soon spread to Judah that also went into exile.
In the New Testament, we read “Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters, make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning away from the living God” Hebrew 3: 12 (NKJV). Apostle Paul in his zeal for God clearly identified those who became apostate by repudiating God. They are: Demas in llTimothy 4: 10; Hymenaus and Alexander were also cited in lTimothy 1:20. It is believed as written that they veered off the course of faith they so much professed because of the very cruel and intimidating persecution that beset the disciples from the Jews at home and abroad in Matthew 11: 6; Luke 8: 13. Mountains in the life of believers, God has always turned them to testimonies. Be strong in the Lord in all circumstances for the sake of eternity.
Simon was his name before Jesus Christ re-named him Peter (meaning Cephas or Stone). He was a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee. He wasn’t a city dweller neither was he as educated as the Pharisees or did ever belong to the Priestly lineage. No doubt he was a Jew and was expecting the prophesied Messiah. Matthew 4:18-20; Mark 1:16-18; John 1:35-41 The moment his brother Andrew introduced him to Jesus, he caught the intense fire of divine love for God, the Son and the Holy Spirit. He was bold to the extent that what others cannot say he would boldly say it. He was able to identify Jesus as the Son of God. He belonged to the inner circle of Jesus’ disciples. Jesus was the spiritual leader or Rabbi, Peter was the undisputed human leader of the disciples. He had periods of showing the human angle in his life as a disciple. For instance, while walking on the sea fear gripped him and forgot that he was under the anointing of Jesus but quickly asked for the master’s help.
At another time, he became belligerent and drew his sword in defense of Jesus when the High Priest asked soldiers to go and arrest him at the beginning of the passion of Christ. Jesus prevailed on him. Faced with the trial of Jesus he denied him. Immediately he realised that he has been untrue to his savior, he wept bitterly to atone for his failure. No wonder he emerged the leader of the first Church of Christ. In conclusion, divine love dictated his boldness to accept leadership of the fledging church in spite of severe persecution. Matt 26: 69-120; Mark 14: 66-72; Luke 22: 54-62. Peter possessed divine love that most human being do not have.
In continuation of our insight into the parable of the prodigal son, we are compelled to see him representing man as ungrateful ingrate who thought of his pleasure alone without the biblical maxim of “faith and work” as being inseparable. James 2:20 says “Faith without work is dead”. Up to the point of losing all his inheritance, he showed no divine love of God, his neighbor and himself, in particular. As he reflected on what he was missing in his father’s house, he was at the stage of rekindling the light of love for the father (God). The nostalgic feeling for the gracious life in his father’s estate (God’s Kingdom) led to his repentance. He realized his sinfulness and decided to return to his father and confess his sins so as to be re-admitted into his father’s household (God’s Kingdom)
For divine love to reign and be given free rein, carnal love, love of money or power associated with post at work or in the community, wealth, birth and much more must be subdued. Having put all these in place, divine love and righteousness will be achievable. Corinthians 6: 9-10; Luke 15: 11-32 (NKJV). God loves everyone and does not reject anyone. This is why God and the heavens rejoice when a sinner repents and returns to the realm of God. Believe in Christ Jesus as Lord and savior and doing the father’s will are prerequisites to the Kingdom of God by his grace.