The Director of the Pentecost Men’s Ministry (PEMEM), Apostle Emmanuel Ofei Ankra-Badu, has called on believers to examine themselves and portray godly character at all times.
Apostle Ankra-Badu said this on Friday, July 26, 2019, during the morning devotion of Staff of the Head Office.
Reading from John 12, the PEMEM Director indicated that people who surround Jesus (Christians) exhibit five different characters. Drawing lessons from the story of Jesus’ visit to Bethany, he explained that not all the people who came to see Jesus in Bethany came with the same motive and mindset.
He revealed that those who surrounded Jesus during His visit to Bethany portrayed some characters that Christians must emulate and others they must avoid. According to him, the first character exhibited was the character of service.
Apostle Ankra-Badu pointed out that the act of service could be seen in the character of Martha, the sister of Lazarus who rendered selfless service to Jesus and His disciples anytime they visited. “Martha prepared dinner and performed other chores to ensure Jesus’ comfort. Christianity is about service, however, many contemporary Christians don’t want to serve, but rather want to be served,” he posited.
The next character he identified was the Character of testimony which was portrayed by Lazarus. The PEMEM Director expounded that Lazarus whom Jesus had raised from the dead, sat close to Jesus to serve as a living testimony of the legitimacy of the saving grace and power of Christ Jesus.
He, therefore, stated that “As Christians, our lives are examples and testimonies to bear witness of Christ to the world. Your lives are letters that the unbelievers read in order to know God.”
He further expounded on the third character, sacrifice, as portrayed by Mary Magdalene. “Mary broke her alabaster box and poured out the perfume, which was her life’s savings and worth a year’s wages, just to wash the feet of Jesus and wipe them with her hair. She sacrificed all she had for the Lord Jesus Christ, and that is the greatest act of sacrifice in Christianity,” he indicated.
Apostle Ankra-Badu added that there was a fourth character, among those who surrounded Jesus and this was the character of the Critic which was depicted by Judas Iscariot. He explained that “most Christians play the role of critics in the church; they never make any effort but they always see something wrong with the effort of others. Judas didn’t offer anything to Jesus but complained when others did, and his complaints stemmed from a corrupt motive,” he stressed.
The last character portrayed, was the character of the ‘testimony-killer’ as depicted by the Chief Priests. According to the PEMEM Director, the Chief Priests were only in Bethany not to see Jesus but to kill His testimony which was the resurrected Lazarus. He explained that many of the people believed Jesus due to the testimony of Lazarus, as a result, the Chief Priests planned to kill Lazarus, in order to rid Jesus of His testimony. “Some Christians out of envy wish to steal the testimony of others, as such you must guard your testimony with all diligence,” he said.
Apostle Emmanuel Ofei Ankra-Badu, therefore, advised Christians to always endeavour to demonstrate the first three characters, which are service, testimony and sacrifice.