By Samuel O. Doku (Washington, DC). In the words of Pastor Georges-William Ntemi, if one consciously or knowingly perpetrates evil against his or her neighbor or friend, one has crucified Jesus Christ a second time. In other words, what Pastor Georges wants Christians everywhere to be mindful of is that knowingly doing evil makes one as guilty as Caiaphas and his coterie of Pharisees that shouted defiantly for Christ to be crucified over 2,000 years ago.
On the basis of that, the moderators (Mr. Derick Mimba and Mr. Cedric Kamwa) and presenters on this week’s prayer line, focused on prayer points and themes that reminded us to refrain from deliberately sinning and later asking for forgiveness since doing that merely because we live in the time of grace might not bring about the mercy we are seeking.
On Monday, Mrs. Mary Asah taught on the attributes required of Christians in order to win God’s favor. “God’s favor is important for us to receive because it triggers us for achievements in life. Things we do on a daily basis must provoke God’s favor in our lives,” stated Sister Rose.
She read Proverbs 3: 1-4: “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments; for the length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee. Bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart; so shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man.”
Mrs. Asah then provided four conditions we must satisfy to be recipients of God’s favor. She gave these conditions as righteousness, goodness, and humility as well as putting God first in all things. She mentioned Noah and his family, the tax collector who prayed for forgiveness out of humility, and Mary and Joseph as examples of Biblical characters that were beneficiaries of God’s favor. Other verses she cited were Prov. 12: 2, Isaiah 66: 2, Matt. 6: 33, Psalm 5: 12, and Gen. 6: 8.
Ms. Euphresia Fombo presented on Tuesday, and she focused on forgiveness. Forgiveness is uncharacteristic of wicked people. Sister Euphresia chose the example of the wicked servant whose master forgave all his indebtedness to him, but when it came to his turn to forgive a fellow servant who was indebted to him, he refused.
When his master heard of his callousness and wickedness, he reinstated the debt and because of his inability to pay, he was imprisoned in Matthew 18: 21-35. “Revenge is of God, not of us. Forgiveness is a beautiful thing. Some say it’s not fair to forgive without revenge. But God says forgive. Christ empowered us to forgive 77 times seven to ensure we don’t begrudge those who offend us,” stated Sister Euphresia.
She added that if Christians should live exemplary lives, they would have a good relationship with the Lord. “Forgiveness is to pardon, meaning to no longer exercise anger with a fellow who has infuriated us with his or her behavior. The pardonable are the ones that are pardoned so don’t keep a record of wrongdoings against you.”
She narrated a story of a man bitten by a rabies-infested dog. Like Vergitable Teacake Wood in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, the man decided to bite others in an attempt to revenge before dying after being told he had no chance to live. “God won’t forgive such a man,” noted Sister Euphresia. She also cited Matt. 6: 14 and Gen. 4: 24.
Ms. Emelie Sophie Koagne was particularly impressed with Peter Simon’s faith and trust in the Lord that made him to courageously declare that “Christ is the Son of the Living God,” when others thought of him as the son of David, Jeremiah, Elijah, and John the Baptist.
Although Peter had great faith in Christ, Satan was able to mess up his mind as a result of which he would go on to deny Jesus three times, when he was on the way to the Crucifixion site.
The other disciple that contributed immensely to Christ’s crucifixion was Judas Iscariot who betrayed him for 30 pieces of silver.
Both Peter and Iscariot contributed to the crucifixion, but one was forgiven and became the cornerstone on which the Lord built his Church: that is Peter. However, Judas Iscariot committed suicide not too long after realizing the gravity of his action. The Lord therefore weighs the magnitude of our sins and exacts the appropriate price. 1 John 5: 17 says, “All wrongdoing is sin but there is sin that does lead to death.”
Sister Sophie pointed out, “Christ did great and miraculous things that his disciples marveled at, but Peter’s declaration that He is the Son of the Living God pleased Christ, so He decided to build his Church under Peter’s name. Trust the Lord and have faith and courage in Him and He will empower you to do great things in His name just like He did for Peter.”
The unmistakable voice of Mr. Elton Kamwa was heard again on Thursday, where he called on on participants not to disappoint the Lord by not capitalizing on the talent He has given them. Brother Elton asked poignantly, “What do you do with your talent? and read Matt. 25: 14-28, a parable in which Christ surmised that diligence should be rewarded while ingratitude and indolence should be avoided in order for one not to lose the talent God has magnanimously given to us.
Ms. Michelle Tchatat returned to the prayer line on Friday after a few weeks absence to reiterate on the salience of humility in the lives of Christians. She noted, among many things that the lives of many Christians have gone awry because of pride.
“Many Christians today are not humble. They lack humility although Christ is the foundation of the Church. He exemplified humility to the highest degree, but some of us behave as if we are so holy that we are above others. We put ourselves in a position where we can’t be approached. We need to change to be of help to others. As Christians, we must be like Christ and be of service to others,” said Sister Michelle.
She read Philippians 2: 1-11 and noted that God uplifts the humble, so we should eliminate pride from our lives and exercise humility in all things although we must ensure that we are not taken advantage of. “As Christians, we must make sure that we don’t do things to hurt and destroy the lives of others because if we did, we would surely pay the price for it,” stated Sister Michelle in a message full of admonishing but also replete with encouragement.