Morning Message of Motivation – The Compassion of Christ: 8

Morning Message of Motivation

The Compassion of Christ: 8
Rev Robert Ampiah-Kwofi

The “Good Samaritan” broke through three major barriers to help the wounded Jewish man.
*•Ethnic/Tribal barrier*
The Samaritans were of a mixed race, though they dwelt in Israel territory. After the death of king Solomon, Israel was divided into two nations. The “Northern kingdom” was called Israel and its capital was Samaria.
The “Southern kingdom” was called Judah and its capital was Jerusalem.
God’s judgement came upon the “Northern kingdom” because of continuous idolatry, and they were conquered by the Assyrians and taken into exile.
2 Kings 17:6 NIV
“In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in the towns of the Medes.”

Some of the Jews however remained in Samaria. The Assyrians sent Gentiles to replace the exiled Jews in the land of Samaria.
2 Kings 17:24
“The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Kuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim and settled them in the towns of Samaria to replace the Israelites. They took over Samaria and lived in its towns.”

The remnant Jews and these Gentile settlers intermarried over the years, and this mixed race of people became the Samaritans.
*•Religious barrier*
The “Woman by the well” asked Jesus about a major religious dispute between the Jews and the Samaritans.
John 4:19-20 NIV
“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

The Samaritans worshipped mountain gods.
John 4:22 NKJV
“You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.”

*•Social barriers*
The Jews and the Samaritans had never had a good relationship. The Jews believed that the Samaritans were impure because they were a mixture of Gentile and Jewish blood.
John 4:9 NKJV
“Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.”

The Good Samaritan, overcame all these three barriers, because of compassion.

May you be empowered to break through all barriers and limitations. May all negative generational tendencies, be broken, in Jesus’s name.

Morning Message of Motivation – The Compassion of Christ: 1

Morning Message of Motivation

The Compassion of Christ: 1
Rev Robert Ampiah-Kwofi

Jesus Christ was in every way tempted just as we are, yet He never sinned.
Hebrews 4:15 NIV
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are —yet he did not sin.”

Christ can feel what we feel. Jesus could understand human suffering and He was also ready to do something about it.
•Christ fed the multitude because of His compassion.
Mark 8:1 NKJV
“In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them,”

Great multitudes gathered to hear Christ preaching. The revival euphoria was so great that they even forgot about food. The meetings had continued for three days. Christ felt pity for the crowd because some of them hadn’t eaten in days.
Mark 8:2-3 NKJV
“I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar.”

Jesus Christ indeed was remarkably compassionate. Christ cared about whether the crowd would be able to make it home safely. Jesus cared about their return journey, especially those who had come from faraway places. Jesus knew there was a strong possibility that those who hadn’t eaten would faint during the long trek home. He cared enough to do something about it.
Mark 8:6 NKJV
“So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and they set them before the multitude.”

Jesus blessed some seven loaves and a few fishes and fed four thousand men.
Mark 8:7-8 NKJV
“They also had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He said to set them also before them. So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments.”

True compassion flows from true love.

May your heart be filled with an abundance of Christ’s compassion. May you become an instrument in God’s Hand to of help many people, in Jesus’s name.

Morning Message of Motivation – Gifts and Callings: 41

Morning Message of Motivation

Gifts and Callings: 41
Rev Robert Ampiah-Kwofi

Christ described one of the future judgments, in which the sheep will be separated from the goats.
Matthew 25:31-32 NKJV
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.”

Some bible scholars believe this judgment, is a judgment of the Gentile nations in regard to their attitude towards Israel during the future “Great Tribulation.”
However, apart from the eschatological interpretation, we can also learn a couple of lessons from the literal meaning of Christ’s words.
•The “goats” on the Lord’s left hand were cursed because of a lack of understanding of a divine principle.
They were not really wicked people, as such.
Matthew 25:41 NKJV
“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:”

The Lord will accuse the “goats” on His left hand of failing to minister to Him when He was in desperate need.
Matthew 25:42-43 NKJV
“for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’”

The “goats” protested vehemently. They said they had never seen the Lord in need. If they had ever seen Him in need, they would have come to His aid.
They were willing to help great people like the Lord, but could not be bothered by poor, ordinary folks. They didn’t know that the Lord places great value on ordinary, poor people.
Matthew 25:45 NKJV
“Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’”

Indeed, the Lord identifies Himself with the downtrodden in society. Most lords identify and associate themselves with other lords, but our Lord Jesus does the opposite.

May you discern and identify the people that God loves. May you have the grace to treat people with the same care that God has for them, in Jesus’s name.

Morning Message of Motivation – Gifts and Callings: 39

Morning Message of Motivation

Gifts and Callings: 39
Rev Robert Ampiah-Kwofi

Jesus often gave donations directly to the poor. When Judas rose from the Last Supper, to go and betray Christ, the other disciples thought Christ had sent him to give money to the poor. Judas was Christ’s treasurer.
John 13:29 NKJV
“For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, “Buy those things we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor.”

Judas’s most common duties as treasurer were,
1. To buy food supplies,
2. To give financial donations to the poor
The other disciples believed Judas was going to do one of these two things, because he did both things constantly.
Our Lord Jesus also explained the basis for the judgment of nations.
Matthew 25:31-32 NKJV
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.”

Jesus will put some people on His right hand and others on His left hand.
Matthew 25:34 NKJV
“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:”

Some people inherited the kingdom because of their attitude of helping the poor.
Matthew 25:35-36 NKJV
“for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’”

The righteous were surprised because they had never seen Jesus physically in any trouble.
Matthew 25:37 NKJV
“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?”

The Lord’s answer was astonishing.
Matthew 25:40 NKJV
“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”

Any good deed performed for Believers is actually done unto the Lord.

May God fill your cup with blessings. May you minister to the poor and needy brethren of Christ and gather heavenly rewards, in Jesus’s name.

Morning Message of Motivation – Gifts and Callings: 39

Morning Message of Motivation

Gifts and Callings: 39
Rev Robert Ampiah-Kwofi

Almighty God set out special labour laws to protect the poor in Israel.
Deuteronomy 24:14 NKJV
“You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether one of your brethren or one of the aliens who is in your land within your gates.”

There was to be no discrimination. These laws were to protect equally both Israelite and non-Israelite poor workers.
Deuteronomy 24:15 NKJV
“Each day you shall give him his wages, and not let the sun go down on it, for he is poor and has set his heart on it; lest he cry out against you to the Lord, and it be sin to you.”

Daily wages were to be paid to the poor before sunset. The poor folks lived from “hand to mouth.” Their whole hope was in their daily wage. Any delay in payment would disrupt all their financial projections.
The Lord warned the business owners of spiritual repercussions, if the poor labourers prayed against them from a wounded heart.
•Jesus campaigned for rich men to invite the poor to their feasts.
Luke 14:13 NKJV
“But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.”

Our Lord Jesus wanted the rich folks to favour the poor and to invite them into their company and to give them a taste of the bountiful life. This instruction contained a double opportunity to lift the poor.
•Association with the rich would give the poor access to the wisdom of the rich.
Proverbs 13:20 NKJV
“He who walks with wise men will be wise,
But the companion of fools will be destroyed.”

•The invitation to dine with the rich would give the poor folks a taste of the “other side of life” and develop in them a desire for improvement in their lives.
Proverbs 24:13 NKJV
“My son, eat honey because it is good,
And the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste;”

However, primarily Christ gave this instruction to encourage the rich to seek the heavenly rewards, that come from helping the poor. Instead the rich folks were circulating their blessings among themselves.
Luke 14:12 NKJV
“Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid.”

May you be lifted to lift others. May God grant you promotions that will pave the way for the promotion of many other people also, in Jesus’s name.

Morning Message of Motivation – Gifts and Callings: 38

Morning Message of Motivation

Gifts and Callings: 38
Rev Robert Ampiah-Kwofi

Almighty God gave instructions to Israel to cater for the needs of the poor.
Deuteronomy 24:19 NIV
“When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.”

Nobody in Israel was to go hungry based on God’s laws of gleaning.
Leviticus 19:10 NKJV
“And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God.”

It was this law of gleaning, that enabled Ruth and Naomi to have food to eat when she returned to Bethlehem-Judah from Moab.
Ruth 2:2 NIV
“And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor. ”
Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.”

Boaz came to his fields and found Ruth picking leftovers.
Ruth 2:5-6 NIV
“Boaz asked the overseer of his harvesters, “Who does that young woman belong to?”
The overseer replied, “She is the Moabite who came back from Moab with Naomi.”

Boaz realised that his relative Naomi, had fallen into poverty. He decided to help her.
Ruth 2:8 NIV
“So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me.”

Boaz decided to do even more than the law commanded.
Ruth 2:15-16 NIV
“As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, “Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her. Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.”

Boaz told his servants to deliberately leave handfuls of barley on the ground for Ruth.
Almighty God also warned rich landowners that He was the “Defender of poor workers.”
James 5:4 NKJV
“Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.”

May almighty God defend you from those who wish to defraud you. May you receive your rightful rewards for your labours, in Jesus’s name.

Morning Message of Motivation – Gifts and Callings: 37

Morning Message of Motivation

Gifts and Callings: 37
Rev Robert Ampiah-Kwofi

It is not God’s will to leave poor people under constant poverty. Charitable donations and alms don’t deliver the poor from poverty. It only makes their life a bit more bearable. God’s will is to lift the poor out of his poverty.
Psalms 113:7-8 NKJV
“He raises the poor out of the dust,
And lifts the needy out of the ash heap,
That He may seat him with princes—
With the princes of His people.”

God wants the poor to be lifted to the level of the princes. This vision requires the poor man to have a new mindset.
•Jesus praised the poor, who made an effort to plant seeds of faith.
Our Lord Jesus encouraged the poor to sow seeds of faith, by appreciating their sacrificial efforts and publicising them.
Mark 12:42-43 NKJV
“Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury;”

It is noteworthy that our Lord Jesus didn’t try to retrieve and return the widow’s money to her. Neither did He discourage her efforts to give to God. The scriptures always made room for the poor to have an opportunity to give.
Leviticus 5:7 NIV
“‘Anyone who cannot afford a lamb is to bring two doves or two young pigeons to the Lord as a penalty for their sin—one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering.”

Anyone who was too poor to afford a lamb for his offering was encouraged to bring two turtledoves. Anyone who couldn’t afford two turtledoves was given an even cheaper option.
Leviticus 5:11a NIV
“‘If, however, they cannot afford two doves or two young pigeons, they are to bring as an offering for their sin a tenth of an ephah of the finest flour for a sin offering.”

Almighty God has His own way of valuing offerings and it differs from our human calculations.
In God’s book, offerings of smaller monetary value, can be bigger than offerings of greater monetary value. The widow’s two mites was greater in God’s eyes than the far greater amounts given by others.

May you have grace to lift up disadvantaged people in the society. May the love of Christ enable you to be your brother’s keeper, in Jesus’s name.

Morning Message of Motivation – Gifts and Callings: 36

Morning Message of Motivation

Gifts and Callings: 36
Rev Robert Ampiah-Kwofi

The multitudes of poor people gladly followed Christ, while the Pharisees and rulers stood aside and criticised Him. The Pharisees tried to discredit Christ’s followers by calling them ignorant and cursed.

However, people who are called poor by worldly standards can be rich in faith and in the blessings of God’s kingdom.
James 2:5 NKJV
“Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?”

Jesus did many things to help poor people to empower them to rise up out of their misery.
•Jesus preached the good news to the poor.
Herod put John the Baptist in prison. John, from prison, sent some disciples to ask Christ if He was truly the Messiah.
Luke 7:20 NKJV
“When the men had come to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’ ”

Our Lord Jesus produced some proofs that He knew would convince John.
Luke 7:21 NKJV
“And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight.”

Our Lord Jesus sent John a message.
Luke 7:22 NKJV
“Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, *the poor have the gospel preached to them*.”

Christ proved His ministry to John by two things.
First: Miracles and healing the sick.
Second: Preaching the good news to the poor.
•Jesus tried to raise funds for the poor.
Jesus told His followers to sell their assets and give the money to the poor.
Luke 12:32-33a NIV
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor.”

May almighty God bless you mightily to be a supporter of the poor. May you have the same compassion for the poor as Jesus had, in Jesus’s name.

Morning Message of Motivation – Gifts and Callings: 32

Morning Message of Motivation

Gifts and Callings: 32
Rev Robert Ampiah-Kwofi

A healthy church must strictly observe certain regulations. It is possible to be highly gifted but still be lacking in character. The Corinthian church was very gifted.
1 Corinthians 1:7 NIV
“Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.”

They had such an abundance of prophecy that Paul had to impose limits on the use of the gifts.
1 Corinthians 14:29-31 NKJV
“Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.”

The Corinthian church was however sadly lacking in character. Apostle Paul was forced to address a wide range of problems in the lifestyle of the Corinthian church. Paul had to correct factionalism, immorality, pride, fraudulent practices, lawsuits against brethren, abuse of the Lord’s Supper, and abuse of spiritual gifts etc.
•Lawsuits against brethren.
1 Corinthians 6:6 NKJV
“But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!”

•Sectarianism and factionalism
1 Corinthians 3:3-4 NKJV
“for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?”

One of the greatest principles that the early apostles insisted on, was that poor people should be supported.
The apostles in Jerusalem endorsed the ministry of Paul and Barnabas, to the Gentiles.
Galatians 2:9 NKJV
“and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.”

They only asked apostle Paul to do one thing.
Galatians 2:10 NKJV
“They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.”

Paul however was already eager to support the poor.

May you be both highly gifted and highly disciplined. May God favour and bless you to be an effective supporter of the poor, in Jesus’s name.

Sunday Pulpit Series – The Travails and Triumphs of Paul: 13

Sunday Pulpit Series

The Travails and Triumphs of Paul: 13
Rev Robert Ampiah-Kwofi

The greatest controversy in the days of the Early Church, was whether or not Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah. Almighty God had two major ways to settle the doubts of the disbelievers.
•Signs, wonders and miracles.
Romans 1:3-4 NKJV
“concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”

Christ’s resurrection was an awesome display of power, that cannot be duplicated by any human being.
The message of the gospel of Jesus Christ was confirmed by signs and miracles.
Mark 16:19-20 NKJV
“So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.”

The early apostles required signs and wonders before they would consider that they had fully preached the gospel.
Romans 15:19 NKJV
“in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.”

•The Early Church also proved that Jesus was the Messiah by pointing to events in Jesus’s life that had been prophesied to happen to the Messiah.
•The scriptures predicted that Messiah would be called a Nazarene.
Joseph was compelled by the threat of Herod’s son to move from Judea.
Matthew 2:22 NKJV
“But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee.”

This was to fulfil the scriptures.
Matthew 2:23 NKJV
“And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”

May the scriptures be fulfilled in your life, as you go to church.