Category Archives: pearlsisters

Suffering for righteousness

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There are a few questions that have been on my mind for quite some time. Why is it that my life became more difficult when I decided to pursue righteousness and live for Christ? Why does it seem like life is easier for my non-believing friends? The concept of suffering for righteousness is difficult, but one we can overcome by grace. Desiring the life we had before salvation is a deceptive mind-set with no substance- we belonged to the enemy.  Now belonging to Jesus and salvation being our portion, spiritual attacks increase upon the children of God. Self-pity only makes one feel worse and discipleship never meant our earthly lives would become easier for accepting Jesus into our lives.

An example of this is John the Baptist. Born to obedient parents (Luke 1:6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly), his birth was predestined and foretold by his father having an encounter with an angel:

Luke 1:13-17 But the angel said to him: Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.  He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.  And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Moreover, he was the cousin of Jesus and was already a blessing before he was even born (Luke 1:41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit). When the angel delivered the message concerning John the Baptist to Zechariah, he did not say that he would suffer for righteousness but spoke about the blessing he would be to God’s people.

As John the Baptist pursued his God ordained purpose, he did not eat the fanciest food, nor was he dressed in royal robes (Mark 1:4-6 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey). He lived a humble life, and far for what the earthly standards would portray as ‘being blessed’.

Whilst doing the work of God, people would speak maliciously of him, yet he was blameless (Luke 7:33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon). One would wonder why a blessed man of God and a cousin of Jesus would undergo persecution. Moreover, the innocent man was brutally murdered, simply for speaking the truth:

(Luke 14:3-12 Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered John a prophet. On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist. “The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted and had John beheaded in the prison. His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus).

Whenever the trials of this world overwhelm you and it seems you are the only one encountering suffering, remember John the Baptist. His character, calling and ministry. His suffering was beyond his life, and through him, God has made the way for all of us. Even for you, He will use your suffering to become a testimony and to save generations from perishing- it is beyond what we can see!

Jesus encourages us on suffering by stating the following:

Matthew 11:7-11 As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.  This is the one about whom it is written: I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you. Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

We thank God that He has chosen us to partake in His suffering and that of John the Baptist, for we are indeed blessed.

I want to encourage you today to take courage, you are not alone. Within the body of Christ, we all encounter struggles differently. There are people in the bible who experienced worse struggles than we have faced and yet God was pleased with them. It was the way He had preordained their lives to be and as disciples of Christ we will suffer for righteousness. No matter what arrow the enemy tries to throw your way, you shall overcome, the goodness of the Lord shall remain over your life and salvation shall remain your portion in Jesus name.

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Salvation of a loved one

Salvation, the ultimate gift for a believer. Daily strive, daily battle– saved by grace we are indeed. A memoir that seems like yesterday, sweet 16, full of the springs of life. The 7th month, twenty something, the date and day I can hardly recall. The raising of arms, bended knees, a thrilling sensation filled with warmth and uncontrollable tears. My mouth uttering “Lord, I confess You as my Lord and saviour”my first encounter. I wanted to share this unforgettable, monumental experience with the person I loved most: my mother. As I uttered the narration of the life changing moment, disbelief and confusion were written on her face. Unable to comprehend the excitement of the encounter and the new found love for the creator, defense was her weapon of understanding. Disappointed I felt, optimistic I was, that one day, she herself would experience this encounter (Ephesians 2:8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”).

As each day went by, visions and dreams increased, prophecies were coming to pass. As much as I shared what I saw, the more she turned away from the ultimate gift of a believer. Delusional I was in the eyes of my loved ones. Five long years, unable to share the divine encounters, I prayed for the salvation of my mother. The more I prayed, the more the word was rejected. Threats restricted me too from attending church, so I had to obey my mother (Ephesians 6:2 “Honor your father and mother-which is the first commandment with a promise”). However I never stopped praying; “she will get saved one day, God will do it for me”.

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In the fifth year of my Christian walk, the six month, the Lord led me to attend a Christian retreat, 4000 miles away from home. I didn’t know what the purpose was, but knew He would order my steps. The finances I had, but the permission I hadn’t due to my mother’s resentment to my faith. I went before the Lord and prayed for favour. The Lord answered my prayer and she granted me permission to go. There I was, alone, on a journey, not knowing anyone and what to expect. Those twelve days were well spent, interceding for her salvation and believing God for a miracle. The man of God who was my overseer told me that he wanted to pray for her. In disbelief, I told him she would not agree. As he persisted, I called her and handed over the phone to him. As he prayed for her, I felt a relief, I was not alone on this (Matthew 18:20For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them”).

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When I returned back home from this adventuresome journey, I slowly started to see the physical manifestations of the prayers and declarations I made over her life. One year later, she gave her life to Christ. This year, God blessed her with the gift of speaking in tongues. As we speak, she is my biggest motivator, my biological and spiritual mother. She lifts me up when I am spiritually low and most importantly, she prays for me. Her transformation is the biggest blessing God has ever given me. I can freely share with her the dreams, visions and prophetic messages the Lord gives me and in fact, she enjoys hearing about them. It is a blessing being able to pray with my mother.

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It is our duty as believers to persistently pray for our loved ones to come to know the Lord. At no point did I give up or even doubt that my mum was going to get saved. She had too and would get saved, it was final. Regardless of how long it would take, I was willing to pay the price. I believe at times it’s best to quietly intercede for someone rather constantly preach the word of God to them. God works in mysterious ways and has a way of softening the hearts of the lost. The love of God is so powerful, let’s continue to demonstrate this to our lost loved ones. Just like Jesus prayed for us to get saved, lets continue to pray for our loved ones (Romans 8:34 “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised -who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us”).

He loves us unconditionally and demonstrates this in the parable of the lost sheep: Matthew 18:10-14 “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying?  And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish”. Persecution is tough, especially when it comes from someone close to you (John 4:44 “For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown”). But be encouraged, know that your saviour went before you and overcame this battle.

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Salvation of a loved one- prayers

Dear heavenly Father,

I thank You for this time and for allowing me to come into Your presence. Thank You for all the things You have accomplished in my life and are continuing to do. Thank You for the gift of life, for grace and for mercy. Thank You for loving me unconditionally even though I am not worthy. I ask that You would forgive me for all my iniquity and all the things I have done that are not pleasing in Your eyes- have mercy upon me. Father, it is Your desire that each one of us joins You in heaven and receives eternal life (Mark 16:16 “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned”). Right now, I come before You and lift up (state the persons name). Lord, I know You love this person, because You created him/her. The fact that he/she is still alive shows You still have a great plan for him/her. I pray for his/her salvation, for him/her to know You, to confess You as his/her Lord and saviour. For him/her to live a righteous life, to fulfill the purpose You have for him/her on earth. I pray that You will use his/her life, as a testimony to others to show that You are real. May he/her have a yearning for Your will and a desire to read the word of God. May You forgive him/her, and make them a new creation. Thank You for hearing my prayer, and I believe that it is done. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN

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