Sunday 16th September, 2018
[Thanksgiving Service for Rev. Stephen Ofori]
Hymn of meditation: PH 336
Word eternal, Great God,
You were hidden from us,
You remained so mute.
From the fall of Adam,
You have not departed,
The Word has remained.
This same Word is living Word,
In this Word there is great freedom,
We have life from this Word.
I thank God and the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church for making it possible for me to become a Minister. I have come to realize that when God calls you, it doesn’t matter how you appear and what you wear. I could have easily been denied entry into the Training Ministry but God granted me grace. Thanks to both the Northern and Ga Presbyteries for all the support.
The reading from Mark is the anchor for today’s theme. Are you looking to flow with what people have said about Jesus or you are looking for a personal encounter with Him? If you have never encountered the Lord, may you encounter Him and define Him with a conviction today.
Caesarea Philippi was not a normal route Jesus used. Often along the road He performed miracles but at one time, He entered into a beautiful city. It was a city where they served various gods. There, Jesus asked the question: “who do men say that I am?” Often easy to quote what other people have said about a person, the disciples readily begun to give the news of the hearsays around town. But when the question of “who do you say I am” came in, Peter boldly confessed: “you are the Christ!”
You may have read about Him in various books and studied Him under various subjects. You may have been in church right at birth till now but today, the big question is posed to you, “Who do you say I am?” The day you truly answer that question is when your salvation comes.
In Jesus’ ministry, even His family members neglected Him and at times, people from the towns referred to Him as one working with the power of demons and at times threatened to stone Him to death.
Let’s look at some remarkable confessions about Jesus Christ
- The woman of Samaria went to the well at a time when nobody could possibly be there so she would not be mocked by the people. One day, she met Jesus who told her everything about herself. Immediately, she left the jar and run to the city confessing “is this not the Messiah?” After witnessing to everyone, they, after encountering Jesus for themselves also came back confessing that “it is no more about what you told us but we now know for ourselves”
- Thomas moved very closely with the Lord. After Jesus’ resurrection, Thomas doubted until he met the Lord for himself and proclaimed “My Lord and my God” at that point, Thomas realized who the Lord was to Him.
- Nathaniel came to Jesus and said “Rabbi, you are the Son of God and you are the king of Israel”
These are people’s confession of Jesus Christ and who he is to them. Now, who is Jesus to you? Whenever you are troubled who do you go to? Who do you confide in when the problems begin to increase? When the trials aggravate to states that you cannot even control, who do you consult?
Take this opportunity to experience Him more. Do not be a Christian just by name but by the fact that you walk with Jesus as written in Acts. Forget about all that you have been doing in church and about the ministry you belong to; Do you really know Jesus Christ? It does not matter the number of times you have been to Church, get to know the Lord for yourself.
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
It starts with accepting Jesus as Lord and personal Saviour. Maybe you have confessed and been saved before, but you can testify by your own life and words that come out of your mouth that you are not living the Christian life the way it should be. Tell the Lord to make you a new person as Saul became when Samuel anointed him. So, when Jesus Christ the anointed one comes to live in your heart, you will also become another man.
He will cleanse you, make you whole, dwell in your heart if only you will confess and make Him Lord. Today is an opportune time to rededicate your life to Him.