A Certain Helper

Gen 37:15 And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou? 16 And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks. 17 And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.

A certain man found Joseph and not vice versa. Help has been sent ahead to assist every decision to honor and obey God. His name was not mentioned, but the Bible gives the impression that this man was also sent to locate Joseph to help him. Who is this man in our walk of faith?

Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

The Holy Ghost, sent by the Father in the name of Jesus Christ, knows the right ways and paths and must be sent to the poor wanderer in need of comfort. The Holy Ghost knows the path of obedience and will be there to locate you and give you all the comfort and help that you require to come back. Like Joseph, you may be full of doubts concerning the awkward assignment you suddenly find yourself in and wonder where help and comfort will come. The Omniscience of God is revealed through the counsel of the Holy Ghost. No wonder, Christ warns His disciples to go and wait in the upper chamber until the day of visitation of the Holy Ghost.

Many things are done without the Holy Ghost but they are not just often fruitless but do not lead to the glory prepared ahead. We must praise and thank God, because the glorious destiny designed for our life is also fully helped by God Himself. No one will achieve anything close to the preplanned glory – without the certain man. Did you notice that it seemed that this man only ushered Joseph into more troubles and indeed many suggest Joseph may have been delivered from the pit if he had missed the certain man. It would have been a wrong deliverance to be rescued from the help of the Holy Ghost to die to self and our schemes. Still many have embraced this deliverance and rejoice in a great folly.

Reflect on this devotional to establish that you walk with the direction of the Holy Ghost. You need to be more than familiar with scripture to know that the Holy Ghost will not deny the word of God which asks us to also test the spirits if they be of God. Also, when the Holy Ghost asks “what seekest thou?” … the answer will not be that you seek your selfish wants and desires but first and foremost, the salvation of your brothers and not their destruction. Help did not come to Joseph to be connected to the path of his destiny until he got this answer right. The Holy Ghost is still asking before repositioning you for greatness. “What seekest thou?” … do you seek fame, gains and breakthrough alone? Power  to be victorious will come if our agenda is right.  God waits to help the one who seeks the salvation of the lost.

Song.

Once it was the blessing, Now it is the Lord; Once it was the feeling, Now it is His Word;
Once His gift I wanted, Now, the Giver own; Once I sought for healing, Now Himself alone.

Once it was my working, His it hence shall be; Once I tried to use Him, Now He uses me;
Once the pow’r I wanted, Now the Mighty One; Once for self I labored, Now for Him alone.

Words: Albert B. Simpson, 1904 

Prayer: O Lord, as I refocus on lost souls and my divine assignments. Send divine help to comfort and guide me. Amen

The Songs of Joseph is an integration of encouragement scriptural devotions, prayers and a compendium of songs of mercy, salvation, new beginnings and victory.  We can expect as we trust and obey that our end will indeed be ultimately glorious  because God works His marvellous agenda.   Be blessed as you read and sing along, daily.   Edited by  Bolade Apampa 

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THE COUNTERFEIT CHRISTIAN by Onuzo

The first question you ask yourself is this: Is there any such thing as a counterfeit Christian in church and in the world? Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ said there is, and right there in church. Here is the story He told His disciples:

It is not for me to go round looking for the counterfeit Christians in church but to look inwardly and ask myself: “Am I a counterfeit Christian? Have I truly experienced Christ? Is He alive in me at home, at work and in church? It is not my neighbours that make me a true Christian. They are there to test whether I am really what I profess to be. My life as a Christian is to reveal the life of Christ to my world beginning with the people I live with at home each day from my spouse to the rest of my family and moving outwards to the place where I work and then to the church where I visit less frequently each week.

We must recognize that a lot of good can come from religious observance, without the knowledge of the true God and His Christ. Take the life journey of a fake currency. A fake $500 note may be used to buy bread to feed the hungry. The bread seller may then pass it to the rice seller and then to the meat seller and after a journey of twelve years it would finally arrive at the bank to be lodged by a car dealer. Then the bank subjects it to scrutiny and detects that it is a fake currency. Now the fact that it was and had always been a fake currency did not stop it from doing some good along the way. It might even have visited churches and done some good there too. But all that good could not change the fact that it is a fake currency posing to be what it is not. This is why supposed Christians could go far but never far enough to prove the reality of Christ. Only the grace of God in Christ Jesus driven by the Spirit of God can empower us to stand up to the pressures of compromise with evil.  Counterfeit Christians may be hard to detect in church. We say here in Nigeria that every toad is squatting so it is difficult to say the one that has diarrhoea. In church we all put on our very best behaviours and try to say the nicest things to the most difficult people.  At work, we lose some of the constraints of church. At home where we may be king and queen, we tend to lose even more restraint. How often do very nice people at church and at work turn monsters at home? How often do very nice people at church turn monsters at work? Monsters are generally uncommon in church but not altogether rare.

Part of our self-examination as Christians must hinge on the word conversion or change. The truth of our faith is that God put on human nature so that through faith the nature of God can be experienced by man. It is not just that we become children of God by faith. It is that through faith we begin to reveal the nature and character of God in our dealings with others in the world. Faith draws down the spiritual inner strength that drives the change. And this is the change that must be for us to be sure that we are no counterfeits.  A young Christian asked me the other day how one could change his way of life. My response was straight forward: The first step is a very strong desire to change. The Holy Spirit always works effectively where He can see very strong desire. When we study the Word of God with this quality desire, the life of Christ will stare us in the face as we study and the Spirit of God will empower us to effect the necessary changes like – unyielding love, humility, integrity, kindness, compassion, willingness to forgive others as well as ourselves, self-control, self-denial in the pursuit of righteousness, consistent rejection of compromises with evil, seasoned speech that edify the hearers at home, at work and in church, suffering for what is right and much more. Nobody can work these works of righteousness in their own strength. We all need daily, nay moment by moment inner strengthening by the Spirit of God to stand up for Christ in this world.  The truth we must grasp is that Almighty God gave us eternal life in the person of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Through the knowledge of Christ, this eternal life is expressed in this world through our lives. This is that eternal life which our Lord Jesus Christ described in these words:

John 17[3]  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

It is when my life reveals that I know God: when my dealings with others show forth the character of Christ, then I can be assured that I am no counterfeit.   It is for this reason that we must make a difference wherever we are as Christians because we are expected to reveal the character of Christ no matter the cost.  This is a daily challenge and that is why those who had gone before us admonished us in this way:

Genuine Christians know the daily struggle to keep on the straight and narrow road at home, at work and in church. Counterfeits tend to struggle in church to stay godly but lose all restraint at work and at home.  If a nation that boasts that 50% of her population are Christians is not being transformed, then the churches in that nation must be full of counterfeits. This calls for deep self-examination. It poses a challenge to each Christian. We must know that God has called us into Christ so that the world around us can see Christ in us and through us. Every nation will change when a good percentage of its people are changed. I cannot control change outside of myself. My greatest challenge as a Christian is to be a changed person so that the world can see the nature of Christ in me and through me. If the world around me is not full of light, then it is either that I bear no light at all or that the light I carry is weak and faint and so cannot dispel the darkness around me. As Children of Light, let us rise and shine ever so brightly in every corner of our world – church, work or home, to the glory of our God. He who has called is very faithful and is a true and consistent rewarder of all those who love and serve Him. Our labours can never be in vain either in this world or in the world to come.

May the Holy Spirit empower you to take your place in the frontline of the struggle for righteousness in the very place where you are now, to the glory of God and His Christ, Amen.

Here is the true test of counterfeit Christianity for each and every professing Christian, myself included…

Dr. Onuzo is an acknowledged conference and seminar speaker in different parts of the world. He continues to be available for the work of the ministry despite his busy clinical work. He is also the Associate Pastor of the National Headquarter’s Church of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria. He is married to Mariam, a medical doctor and they have four children: Dilichi, Chinaza, Dinachi and Chibundu

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