The Journey So Far

A Newsletter of Pens For Christ Ministry International

The Journey So Far

The Journey So Far


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WHO WE ARE

Pens For Christ (PFC) is a Christian ministry comprising passionate believers who work together, using all the power that God provides, to help people grow in their relationship with God. 

This non-denominational ministry draws membership from several Bible believing churches within and outside Nigeria.

On 31st of August, 2002, the vision was conceived by Dr. Babatunde Adewole who shared same with other Christian friends. What started as a discussion among a group of young Christian undergraduates has metamorphosed into a ministry of great impact in the body of Christ. Indeed, "The Lord gave the Word; great was the company that published it" (Psalm 68:11, KJV).

The vision, as conceived, identified a need within the body of Christ to provide a structured programme for new converts / young believers to get them rooted in Christ. Hence, PFC came with the aim of attending to the needs of new converts/young Christians mainly through writing.  (Please refer to ‘Our Mission’ on www.pensforchrist.org)

Pens For Christ is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria as ‘Pens For Christ Ministry International’ with headquarters in Ilorin, Kwara State of Nigeria. Our motto is ……helping you to grow in your relationship with God.

Our duties include:

Writing of serial follow-up articles appropriate for new converts/young Christians 

Writing of encouragement letters to new converts/young Christians

Keeping in touch with new converts/young Christian through writing

Attending to questions or issues that trouble the hearts of new converts/young Christians

Praying for new converts/young Christians 

We have adopted both a proactive and reactive strategy in carrying out our duties. On the one hand, we share with our “contacts” truths of God’s Word that has helped our walk with Him in the form of a systematic/serial follow-up guide through articles, Bible studies and personal letters. This we believe will also help them in their walk with Him. On the other hand, when challenges arise in their walk with God or other areas of their lives, we offer counsel and possible solution from God’s Word. Our Lord Jesus Himself said: ‘Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’(John 8:32, NIV)

   

We also make it a point of duty to ensure that our contacts clearly understand the gospel message thereby helping them to ascertain their salvation from the Word of God. ‘It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place. I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.’ (1 Corinthians 15:2-4, NLT)

To the glory of God, several lives have been touched positively through the ministry of PFC. This gladdens our hearts as we give praise to God for being partakers of the Ministry of Reconciliation.(Please refer to ‘Correspondences’ and ‘Feedbacks’ below)

 ‘And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people's sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.’ (2 Corinthians 5:18-19, NLT).


‘Why is it that he gives us these special abilities to do certain things best? It is that God's people will be equipped to do better work for him, building up the Church, the body of Christ, to a position of strength and maturity; until finally we all believe alike about our salvation and about our Savior, God's Son, and all become full-grown in the Lord-yes, to the point of being filled full with Christ.’ (Ephesians 4:12-13, TLB)


MEMBERSHIP  

PFC members are Christians who have sincere desire to help other Christians grow in their own walk with God. Many of us have had our own share of struggles that hindered our growth and thirst for God. Thus “we will be able to give them the same comfort that God has given us” (2 Corinthians 1:4b; NLT). 

Since inception, about forty (40) members have identified with the vision and worked towards its actualization. Following completion of studies, many have had to leave Ilorin. However, we have been able to take advantage of information technology to ensure continuity. Hence members are able to join meetings online and also send responses to contact via various internet platforms. We acknowledge the fact that not all who had participated at one point or the other have been able to continue in active membership. Nonetheless, our current membership comprises Christians from various walks of life.  

Membership of Pens For Christ keeps growing as believers of like minds express willingness to be part of the ongoing work. Intending members will be interviewed and also asked to go through some of PFC’s publications. This is to ensure alignment with the ministry’s vision as well fundamental Bible teachings.

Several church leaders have identified with us and supported the work, having perceived the vision as a divine assignment.


MEETINGS

Meetings are held fortnightly on Sundays between 3pm and 5pm. The current venue is at the residence of our current coordinator at No 6, Reservation Road, Flower Garden, GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State. 

Members who are unable to physically attend meetings due to location barriers have the opportunity of joining through Skype calls while updates and discussions continue on a group chat.

During our meetings, we undertake the following:

Praying for our contacts and one another

Exhorting one another

Reviewing responses and questions received

Assigning responsibilities to members

Discussing relevant plans, activities etc.


OUTREACHES AND ACTIVITIES

The list of contacts keeps growing everyday due to various outreaches by the group and individual members.

We work in synergy with some churches and schools to complement their own efforts in building up believers. Among some of our recent organizational contacts are:

ECWA Secondary School Ganmo - Ilorin, Kwara State

Christlife Dominion Assembly, Egbe, Kogi State

We also continue to reach out as individuals in our various locations to those in need of this ministry as perceived from our day to day interactions.

We usually require that our contacts respond to our articles by completing related Bible study outlines, answering questions that assess their comprehension of the topic or by simply writing their comments or questions. This helps us not only to know how well they understood the message, but also to note their specific areas of need, and respond accordingly.  As a means of encouragement for those who reach us by postal services, we supply duly-stamped envelopes in order to enhance their response and reduce their cost of correspondence.

However, we have not been able to continue in communication with all of those on our contact list. Some of the observed reasons include: change of contact’s address, lack of functional phone numbers, failure to continue correspondence etc. We make efforts to reach out to those we have not heard from after a while by phone calls and also to send out a New Year message at the beginning of each year. This has helped in reviving correspondence with some.

We are also grateful to know that many have strengthened through this ministry and gladly kept in touch. Some of them have proceeded to join the work force of PFC in order to also help others grow in their own walk with God. We do not fail to realize that we will be unable to quantify the impact of this ministry based on the responses we receive alone. We are convinced of God’s Word in Isaiah 55:11:


‘So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;

It shall not return to Me void,

But it shall accomplish what I please,

And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.’ (NKJV) 


Owing to the advent of various technological driven means of communication, the traditional postal system is gradually becoming less popular. To this end, our website is being upgraded to become more interactive to enable faster intervention and responses. Our desire is to provide the opportunity to access publications and submit responses online whether using the computer or any internet enabled mobile device. We will, however, continue to use whatever means is most suitable for each contact. This includes direct hand delivery or through a specified middleman. Letters are sealed with a reply envelope that can also be sealed to enhance confidentiality.

We have also utilized our facebook page (PENS For Christ) to post short messages and exhortations that has been accessed by a handful of users.

PUBLICATIONS

At present we have the following articles with their accompanying Bible studies and/or response columns: 

1. He Loves You- this is a simple presentation of the gospel message

2. Introductory Article – this further explains God’s plan of salvation

3. Welcome to His Family

4. Assurance of Salvation

5. Safe and Secure in Jesus Christ-parts I&II

6. Your Identity in Christ

7. Understanding God as Your Father

8. Overcoming Guilt

9. Overcoming Sinful Habits-parts I&II

10. Handling Temptations

11. Having Your Quiet Time

12. Talking With God (Prayers)- parts I&II

13. The Way To The City (In response to many academic concerns expressed by contacts) 

14. God-The Best Matchmaker Ever (in response to concerns about relationships with the opposite sex)

15. Being Filled With The Holy Spirit (in the process of production)

Many of these articles were developed based on Scriptural truths that have helped us in our own walk of faith and also in response to concerns raised by contacts in the course of our correspondence with them. 

We have also developed question sheets to assess comprehension by contacts as well to help them search out Scriptural truths. Some of those available at present are titled:

1. Basis of Salvation

2. Sin, Justification and God’s Love

3. Salvation

4. The Law and Salvation

5. Grace/Faith vs Works/The Law


In order to help contacts start their personal habit of Bible reading, we developed some plans suitable for young Christians. We currently have:

1. Welcome to The Book of John: A forty-five (45) day reading plan for the Gospel of John 

2. Ephesians (a study in God’s glorious grace): an eighteen (18) day reading plan for the book of Ephesians. 

We are the in the process of finalizing work on a similar guide through the book of Romans. 

We have also supplied easy to read versions of the Bible as deemed fit.

All our publications can be made available on request and can also be accessed on our website.


FUTURE PLANS

1. We hope to develop a standard App that can run on Andriod, Blackberry and iOS smart phones. This will provide on-the-go access to spiritual resources for our contacts.

2. We also hope to produce audio versions of our write-ups in order to make the message more accessible to many.

FINANCES

In carrying out an assignment such as this, the need for funds cannot be overemphasized. 

The ministry spends money on postal services, general printing works, telecommunications and internet services, web hosting, stationery supplies, Bibles and maintenance of office equipment.

Funds for our activities come from contributions of members, and support from ministry friends and partners. 


YOU CAN BE INVOLVED

We will be highly delighted to welcome your involvement with PFC. The following are possible ways through which you can be part of this ministry: 

i. Introduction of people who may benefit from our write-ups and/or correspondence with us (new converts or anyone who simply wants to grow in his/her walk with God) 

ii. Becoming a committed member of the ministry (location or church denomination is not a barrier)

iii. Supporting the work through all or any of the following ways: 

a. Commitment to prayers 

b. Contribution of relevant materials (Bibles, stationery etc)

c. Financial contributions

d. Relevant suggestions or advice 


CONTACT US

Postal Address: Pens For Christ, P.O. Box 4992, Ilorin, 240001, Kwara State, Nigeria. 

Email: pensforchrist@yahoo.com or info@pensforchrist.org

Website: www.pensforchrist.org

Phone / Whatsapp: 08109300225, 08071852651, 08103951667, or 07065946866

Banker: United Bank of Africa (UBA)

Account Name: Pens For Christ Ministry International

Account Number: 1019943041

(Cheques can be written in favour of Pens for Christ Ministry International). 

CORRESPONDENCES

Having sought permission from some of our contacts, we have included some of our correspondence with them. We hope that these give a clearer impression of what we do and possibly cause you to be encouraged in one way or the other. Actual names have been altered to protect contact’s identity.


1. Dear PFC,

I got saved in the year 2007 through an altar call in F.C.S which was not sincere. It was a Friday in my school fellowship. The topic was about students and their bad bahaviours. I was shocked that day when the man read out the following report on sex, abortion, drugs, pornography, ungodly music, dance, pressure groups. He talked about things that lead to these things- divorce of parents, leading to confusion and not knowing what to do.  The next thing you see yourself doing is sitting in the midst of friends drinking, (yielding to) pressure from friends. You do that or this (thinking) you might never have the opportunity/chance of doing it again, these and many other things.

I had being suffering from one of these things and it had become a burden to me making me want to blame myself.

The man then said: ‘you may tell it to your parent who may not trust you; your friends will only console you, not knowing you need something more than that. But, there is someone who is willing to listen to you, ready to help if only you can give him your heart.’

I had no choice than to let Him have it (my heart) because I was desperate to have someone who will understand me and will not judge me or condemn me.


ATS



Hello ATS,

It gladdens our heart to have received your mail.....

Concerning salvation, we were sinners, doomed for eternal destruction. Then Jesus came in the form of a man to redeem/save us from the curse/consequences of sin. Please note that we were naturally sinners, even before committing any sin because we had all inherited the nature of sin through Adam. Romans 5:12 says: ‘When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned’ (NLT). Hence, apart from the saving work of Christ, every one of us is a sinner doomed for God’s judgment. John 3:18 reads: ‘There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son’ (NLT). Thanks be to God for providing a way of salvation through Jesus Christ.

You mentioned in your letter that you were desperate to have someone who’ll not judge or condemn you. Well, that’s exactly the person that Jesus Christ is. ‘God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.’ (John 3:17, NLT). See again what the Bible says about Jesus in Hebrews 4:15&16: ‘This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most’ (NLT). Now, isn’t this good news?

You stated that you got saved in FCS but that it wasn’t a sincere one. (Can you please share with us why you regard that decision as insincere?) Would you now say that you have placed your trust in what Christ has done to save you? If we put our trust in Jesus, who is God’s means of salvation, we are assured of eternal life. 1 John 5:13 says: ‘I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life’. (NLT) John 3:16b also reads: ‘…everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.’ (NLT) Please find liberty to share this with us whatever doubts you may still have. We are however convinced you should find help in the new article we are sending to you. Do read it carefully and let us know what you learn as well as any question you may have. Also complete the assignment on ‘Basis of Salvation’. Be sure to read up the Bible passages in it........

We care and pray to be instrumental in helping you.

Lots of love,

Yemi,

For ‘Pens For Christ’


2. Dear P.F.C,

A good day to you in the name of Christ. Thanks for your prayers and good works, may God continue to guide and bless you immensely.

Thanks for being the vessel through which God is using to help me in my walk with Him. My devotion to Quiet time is getting better but recently, I’ve not been serious about it because of the theme. The issue of death, pain/hurt of the loss of a beloved one is being discussed. I realized that reading it only helps to make me depressed as it brings back the memory of my late friend. Even when I try to study, I find myself glancing through like it were the pages of a daily.

I would like to know how I can watch and measure my spiritual growth. How can I live a balanced life? Combining (studies) academics, Christianity, family and life (personal things) without falling short somewhere, somehow?

How can I help a (new) friend who does not believe in the Holy Spirit and Christianity? Once, when pressed, he gave his life to Christ because he knew he’d take it back in two shakes. What do you think and what is your opinion/perspective of what the Bible says about relationships (boy-girl stuff). How can I discover my talents and spiritual gifts? I’d like to share my prayer requests with you:

Admission to a tertiary institution (university) to study the course of my choice preferably this year and for school fees.

Family and friends

Sick grandma and bug aunt.

For good success in my WASSCE and NECO examinations

Thank God for helping me to excel I UTME of the JAMB.


Thanks a lot, God bless you all.


                                                                     “hope to be blessed through you soon”

                                                                       ST

Dear ST,

Thanks for your beautifully written letter and your open sincerity. You raised quite a number of issues to which we will attempt to provide answers based on God’s Word (the Bible). Please read through carefully and take particular note of the Bible verses quoted.

First of all, let us establish again the basis of salvation. Why is it necessary for someone to be born again? How exactly does a person become born-again?

In your summary of the article, you wrote that “we rebelled and became dead to sin”. The truth is, OUTSIDE OF CHRIST, everyone is dead to God (not to sin). We were actually dead IN SIN. It is when we become saved that we are dead to sin, but alive to God (Romans 6:11, Ephesians 2:5-6). This is a concept that you will come to better understand as you study the Bible’s teaching on salvation.

See what the Bible says in Ephesians 2:1(NIV): “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins”. Outside of Christ, everyone is spiritually dead: separated from the life of God, “without God and without hope in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).

When Adam sinned in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3), sin entered into the world and everybody born of a woman since then acquired the sin nature, thus being dead to God. Romans 5:12 (NIV) reads “therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.” Did you see that? A man only needs to be born to become a sinner. Why? Because Adam sinned and so sin (and death) passed unto all men (see Romans 5:12-14). Hence an intervention (change of nature) is needed. This is because even the person who never commits any sin and yet is without Christ, remains a sinner (See John 3:18).

 This was man’s pathetic state and thus Christ had to come, live a sinless life as God’s begotten Son and die on Calvary’s cross, shedding His blood for the forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14). Little wonder 2 Corinthians 5:17 reads: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come”. This speaks of the crucifixion (death) of the old nature. Jesus Himself alluded to this when He declared: “You must be born-again” (John 3:7 NIV). This is not anything physical, but rather a spiritual birth (John 3:6). Such a person becomes born of God (John 1:13). When this happens, a person is said to be saved and restored into fellowship with God. Salvation, therefore it is not just “an escape from hell”, but much more –restoration of fellowship with God, a guarantee of eternal life (See John 3:16, John 17:3, Romans 5:1-2, I Corinthians 1:9). 

The big question then is HOW does one become saved? The answer is this: BELIEVE in what Jesus Christ has accomplished through His death and resurrection. Read the following passages and take particular note of the word “BELIEVE” as the requirement for salvation: John 3:16, John 5:11-13, John 5:24, Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9-10, 1 John 5:1. It is clear from these verses and others in the Bible that salvation comes only through grace, by faith (believing) in Christ Jesus (see Ephesians 2:8). Indeed, this is simpler than A, B, C…

In your letter, you wrote that you are having difficulties in your quiet time mainly because of the theme of the study guide. To use your own words, you just “glance through it as if it were the pages of a daily”. Your quiet time ought not to be an obligation or duty, but rather a fall-out of an existing relationship with your loving Father. If you like someone, you would always want to be with him/her, possibly talking with each other. This is not because you must, but because you want to. 

As a Christian, you are a product of God’s love and you have a relationship with Him: He is your Father.

1 John 3:1(NIV) puts it this way:  “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God” Did you notice that word ‘lavish’? It means “large in amount”, “extravagant”, “luxurious” – that is how God’s love for you is described. You could see the Bible as a Father’s letter to the child (daughter) that He loves. If your reading guide contains disturbing issues, then you could just read the Bible ALONE. After all, 1 Peter 2:2 exhorts that: “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation”. Nonetheless, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 gives relevant encouragement concerning the loss of a loved one. Please read it! 

Studying the Bible is a good recipe for spiritual growth. The Bible is the final authority on all matters of doctrine. In a way, this also answers your question on how to measure spiritual growth (See 1 Peter 2:2, 2 Peter 3:18). As you give yourself to diligent study of God’s Word, and obedience to the same, growth becomes inevitable. Hebrews 5:14 reads: “But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” (NIV). Constant use of God’s Word helps to renew your mind (Romans 12:2) so that you are conformed more and more into His likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18, Romans 8:29).

A good way to measure your spiritual growth is by the FRUIT emanating from your life. Galatians 5:22-23 mentions the fruit of the Spirit, which is again echoed in 2 Peter 1:5-8 (please read). These give a good yardstick by which progress (spiritual growth) can be measured. Indeed, LOVE is the hallmark of progress in the Christian walk. Colossians 3:14 says: “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (NIV). 1 John 4:16 also says: “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in him”. Ephesians 5:1-2 admonishes: “Be imitators of God… and live a life of love.” Walking in love indeed is a good measure of spiritual growth. 

Concerning your friend who is not born again, the best you can do is to pray for him and let him understand the gospel of God’s love for him based on God’s Word. We also hope our correspondence with you has given you insight into this. Bear in mind that you cannot force or intimidate him-the choice is his to make. He should also know the consequence of accepting Christ (eternal life) or rejecting Him (condemnation). You can study and use John 3:16-18. 

About the “boy-girl stuff”, as you grow up, attractions for and from the opposite sex are bound to come. Often times, these are mere crushes which may not last for so long. As an advice, I think you are still young and it wouldn’t hurt to WAIT. Remember the Holy Spirit can help you be patient (Galatians 5:22). Moreover, God’s Word teaches on marital relationships (1Corinthians 7, Ephesians 5:19-25 etc) and He is concerned about every detail of your life (Luke 12:6-7). So why not take your time until you are considering someone with whom to settle for life. Let God’s Word renew your mind that you may know ‘his good, pleasing and perfect will’ (Romans 12:2 NIV). In the meantime, enjoy healthy, pure Christian relationships (1 Timothy 5:1-2).

On talents and spiritual gifts, we would encourage you to do all things as working for God and not man, serving Him with the strength He provides (Colossians 3:23, 1 Corinthians 10:31). 1 Peter 4:10-11 also speaks of this (please read), to the end that ‘in ALL things God may be praised through Christ’ (1 Peter 4:11, emphasis added). Glory to God!

Your prayer points are noted. However, please note that you can also approach God as your Father, to talk with him on any issue, casting all your cares (anxieties) on Him because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7, Philippians 4:6-7).  We will join you in prayers. 

ST, once again thank you for your letter. We eagerly await your response. Please read and re-read the Bible verses quoted in this letter and feel free to ask any questions or give your comments. We will answer (from the Bible) as God helps us. Till we read from you again, remain strong in grace. 


                                                                     Yours in our common grace,

                                                                      Olufemi Bewaji   

                                                                      For ‘Pens for Christ’.


3. This ministry has been able to help my walk with God and it has also helped me to be able to know my assurance of salvation; that with God all things are possible.

Yes my faith has been strengthened and my walk with God has been wonderfully well. The topic "Assurance of Salvation" has helped me to build my solid foundation in God Almighty. I believe with more write-ups, I will be gradually growing in God.

The write-up has been able to increase my knowledge on God's love for us. I have been able to know that God's love for us is unconditional, because nothing can stop Him from loving us. He loved us even from when we were sinners. He is also in place of interceding for us. He loves us when we are in trouble, calamity or problem. That we should not think He is against us when we are in trying times. Jesus Christ speaks to our Father in our defense. It is now left for us to have faith in Him and to continue to grow and nourish ourself through His word.

I need the ministry to continue to pray for me concerning the issue of being a Christian that my daddy has been against for a while now. I need the ministry to pray to God for His own salvation as well because I believe when he is touched by the Holy Spirit everything will become easy for me and I will be able to declare publicly that am a born again Christian.

OA


Dear OA,


We bring you warm greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are happy to hear about your beautiful walk with Christ. We are indeed encouraged to know that your faith has been strengthened through our correspondence with you. We believe that you are precious in God’s sight and as fellow members of His family, we are glad to be used to help strengthen your walk with the Father. ‘We are God's coworkers. You are God's field. You are God's building.’ (1 Corinthians 3:9; GW)

It’s encouraging that you are being convinced of God’s love. Indeed, our relationship with Him is based on His love for us. It is this love that made Him give His Son for us to reconcile us to Him. And, yes, Jesus died for us to justify us and lives on to intercede for us. Hallelujah to His name!  ‘What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.’ (Romans 8:31-34, NLT)

Every day as you study your Bible and pray to Him, your relationship with Christ gets sweeter for "the path of the just is like a shining sun that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day" (Proverbs 4:18, NKJV)


About your request for us to pray for the salvation of your father, we want to assure you that we will not relent in offering up prayers to God for the light of salvation in Christ to penetrate his soul. The Bible says: ‘And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.’ (1 John 5:14-15, NLT). We know that it pleases God for your father to be saved. ‘He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.’ (2 Peter 3:9b, NLT). ‘This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.’ (1Timothy 2:3&4, NLT)

I want you to know also that you are not alone in this situation; for my father too is an unbeliever. However, with prayers and over the time he has come to acknowledge my faith in Christ and accept me for my belief. This gives me the assurance that with consistent prayers and perseverance of your faith, your father also will soon see the light of Christ in you.


In the mean time, we want you to remember what David said in Psalm 27:10 – “Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.” (NIV) God, who has called you into his marvelous light, will never forsake you. He will be more than an earthly father to you. Continue to hold unto Him and He will do much more than you can imagine.


Your coming to Christ has brought you into a bigger family of citizens of heaven. We have one Father of all, who cares for His children. There is a great reward for leaving your parents’ faith for the way of eternal life. Jesus said in Matthew 19:29 – “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” (NIV) Jesus has promised to bless you abundantly for the step you have taken. Remember, He doesn’t lie. 

We’ll also like to refer you to an admonition given by the apostle Peter to married women who accepted Christ but still had unbelieving husbands. The admonition is definitely applicable in this case too: ‘In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives.’ (1 Peter 3:1&2, NLT). Let the light of Christ be seen in you as you relate with your father and honour Him. You may want to read the whole of chapter 3 of 1st Peter or even the entire book. It has just five chapters, which you can take one per day or one in 2 days. It was written to Christians who were being persecuted for their faith. You will find it both encouraging and instructive. Meanwhile, we leave you with this instruction: ‘Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.’ (1 Peter 3:15&16, NLT)


We look forward to sharing our article with you on ‘Understanding God as Your Father’. However, we wish to help you better appreciate the new identity you have by your faith in Jesus Christ as prelude to that. Also, let us know what lessons you learn from the book of 1st Peter.

We ‘entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself.’ (Acts 20:32, NLT)


Temilade, 

For PFC


4. Question: How do you feel when you when you want to approach God

     Answer: Guilty, afraid, confused.

    Question: Explain the reason for the answer provided above

    Answer: Because if I think of all the atrocities and things I’ve done wrong, I feel guilty and ashamed of myself and I’m afraid of God’s wrath.

TO

Dear TO,

We bring you greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, our savior and our redeemer. We received your response and we want to assure you that we are praying for you as you grow daily in the knowledge of Christ and His saving grace.

In your response, you talked of feeling ashamed and afraid of God’s wrath when you think of all your atrocities and things you’ve done wrong. Well, God neither wants you to be ashamed or afraid of Him. As a matter of truth, His Word admonishes us to approach Him with confidence (come boldly).    


‘So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.’ (Hebrews 4:14-16, NLT)

We come boldly not because of our own righteousness, but because Jesus has paid the price for all our sins. When we believe in Jesus, God accepts us on the basis of what Jesus has done for us and not on our own merit.

‘For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.’ (2 Corinthians 5:21, NLT)

 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. (Ephesians 2:8&9, NLT)

Please read also Hebrews 10:19-22.

So regardless, of what you may have done, God still loves you and Jesus’ death paid for all your sins. Paul considered himself the ‘worst of sinners’. He had been involved in murdering Christians and persecuting the church of Jesus Christ. But read what he wrote after receiving Jesus:

This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners"—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. (1 Timothy 1:15-17, NLT)


TO, we want you to be assured that Jesus died because of our sins. He did it because we could not help ourselves. See Romans 5:6, Galatians 2:21. All of this is because God loves us and does not want us to perish with our sins. He loves us and wants us to enjoy our relationship with Him.

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8, NLT)


And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.  For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people's sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19, NLT)


TO, this is the gospel of salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ. If you have accepted Christ, please be reminded of these truths. All the same, we are sending to you an article that clearly explains how we become saved. Please read it carefully and apply to yourself.


The Scriptures says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosever believes in Him will not perish but have an everlasting life” John 3:16. We will like you to know that the moment you accept Christ, you have a NEW life. Your past is forgiven, your sins are forgiven, Jesus Christ laid His life in exchange for your freedom and forgiveness. (2Corinthians 5:17).

On a final note, we like you to know that God is certainly interested in every area of your life. He has already blessed you with every spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3). Depend on Him, trust Him in every way. Pray always, He is a loving father and He loves you with an everlasting love. God bless and keep you as you. 


Shogo

For ‘PFC’

 



FEEDBACKS

1. God has been using you greatly in sharing His word and making people turn to God. Your questions are good and easily understood. They make someone close to God and His word (Bible). Your write-ups have also met my needs in many ways. It has also helped me to be familiar with some Bible verses which has been so difficult for me before.  AO

2. I thank God for this great opportunity and privilege to join this spiritual exercise and so far, so good.  It has really touched my life. Before I joined, my faith in Christ was a little bit shaking but I thank God am through with it. Most especially when I pray to God asking Him for something, I find it difficult to believe He is going to do it. I thank God I don't have that spirit of doubt anymore. JA

3. Pens for Christ,

It's been wonderful going through your articles and bible study outlines. Thank you for the expository way you make them and how you also realise them to our daily lives. It has helped me to see God more as a father and friend rather than a dreaded being.

My prayer life has also improved and I'm grateful for the encouragement and solutions provided about my relationship with others. I just thought it is right to write and let your labour has been paying off. May God bless you. Before I stop, I will like to seek prayers concerning my forthcoming examination that God will grant me success and help me to the next level and even beyond. May you not grow weary in doing His work.

I've gone through the bible outlines and that's what I'm sending back. I'll be grateful and happy to receive any other article that can be of help to me. Thank you and God bless. Yours in His vineyard.

O.E



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