"He does not know how to play the game of football. He keeps breaking the rules of the game of football."
Have you heard this said about the way someone plays the game?
Have you heard someone say about a footballer:
"He argues with the referee, who is supposed to be in control of the game. He tells the referee that he know the rules. So several times, the referee has sent him off the field."
What happens if you break the rules?
Now we know football players will suffer if they break the rules of the game. They may get a warning, or be sent off, or they may be dropped from their team.
We should also know there is a reason why so many people suffer in this life. It is because they break God's rules of living in His world. They may suffer either in their bodies or in their minds. So when people ask you, "Why do I have to suffer so much trouble in this life," you should ask them, "Have you obeyed God's rules for living this life on earth?"
You can add, "If anyone of us disobeys God's rules for living this life, then they will have to suffer."
However they may say, "I cannot stop myself from doing wrong things."
So explain to them, "You can obtain the power of God to say 'No' to selfish desires. You will then avoid much trouble."
"Michael Jones is currently the best rugby player in the world. He is the most successful capped New Zealand All-Black player of all time," people say. It is said that, "Michael Jones is never willing to play a game of rugby on any Sunday, even it if means being left out of important international games."
Michael himself says, "I owe much to my mother. My mother told me, 'Put God first in all you have to decide. If you do that, you will not go in a wrong way. All things work together for good to those that love God and are called according to His purpose for their lives.'"
How I find real happiness
Michael Jones also tells us, "When I was a boy I understood what my real problem in life I was. So I asked God to forgive my sin. I believe that when Jesus Christ allowed men to kill Him, that was punishment for my sin."
Now he adds, "I know God is interested in every part of my daily life. I do what God requires of me. In this way I find real happiness in living."
People say of Michael Jones, "You can always trust Michael to help you when you need it. He is a real Christian."
This story is told by Essential Udo Ukpe, Nigeria.
"We arrest you! We know you killed that man!" the police shouted at me that day.
"I did not kill him!" I cried back at them.
But the police would not listen to what I had to say. "We know you killed him," the police kept saying.
So I found myself in prison. Then later they brought me before a judge. "We accuse this man of murder," the police told the judge.
And they considered I should be punished by death. Then six false witnesses stood up. They said we know Essential killed the man. However I was not the only man accused of this murder. Another man was also accused.
Now the judge, after hearing what I said, turned round and said, "Essential Ukpe, I find you not guilty. You can go home. You are free."
Then the judge turned to the other accused man and said, "I find you guilty of that murder."
So they took him away to be hanged.
I was interested
During the time I stayed in prison, someone gave me a copy of a SOON paper to read. Now I was interested to read how the lives of people were changed. I read how these people escaped from the control of their bad selfish desires. So I decided, "I will find out more about what these people say God can do for us."
I wrote to SOON for the Bible Study Course. I then studied what the Bible says God can do for us. I also spoke to God. I asked Him, "Please forgive all my wrong doing. I believe Jesus Christ allowed those men to kill him as punishment for my sin."
Do you know, I then found God delivered me from the problem of that angry voice inside me.
So I encouraged others in that prison to also study the SOON Bible courses. Now when I got out of prison, I arranged a SOON Readers Club. I now enjoy helping other people obtain the forgiveness of their sins and find the power of God's Spirit to control their lives.
"Why do some people possess more than their fair share of things?"
Do you ask "Why do I struggle with what I need"?
"If there is a God that cares, why does he allow this?"
Do you know that these rich people, who own more than their fair share of possessions, suffer from a real problem. And this problem limits the happiness they can enjoy. To experience real happiness, they need to know how to escape from the control of their selfish desires. But you should also know – all over the world many people are finding the answer to this problem.
People are saying, "I realise now why I was not happy".
"I asked God, please forgive me selfish wrong doings. Now when I did this God's spirit took control of my life, I found peace of mind and joy in living," they say.
Finding real happiness
Now a famous man called John Wesley said, "I found real happiness when I gave more than a tenth of my weekly income to people in need of help."
Yes, he decided to give nine tenths of his weekly income to meet the needs of other people. He realised how much happier he could be if he did this. So if you ask many Christian people, "Tell me why you seem to be so happy?" they will tell you, "I do what the Bible says. I give a tenth of my income to people who need my help. After that I also give offerings to them."
Then some Christian people will tell you, "I find as I give to people in need, God provides me with all that I need. God leads other Christians to help me."
Give to others
You see, the Bible says, "Give and it will be given to you."
So why miss really enjoying life today? Ask God, "Please forgive my sin and give me your spirit."
You will then find your desires are changed and you will enjoy living as never before.
Story told by Stephen Kagoda, Uganda
"You suffer from the AIDS sickness," the doctor turned to me and said as I lay there in hospital. I was shocked as he added, "The AIDS disease is at an advanced state. You cannot live very much longer."
"What am I to do?" I cried as I suffered the effects of AIDS.
I had much chest and head pain. I suffered continuous fever in my body. My skin was also continually painful. I could not stop going to the toilet. I suffered much pain in the joints of my body. People also said, "Stephen caused the death of his girlfriends. He gave them AIDS."
On my way home
So I told the doctor, "I want to go home to die."
But on my way home to die, someone spoke to me. They asked me, "Why not come with us to a meeting where God is healing people from their diseases."
So I decided to go with them. Now at the meeting they said, "If you want God to heal your body, you must first get your wrong-doing forgiven by God."
So I asked them to speak to God for me. They then asked God, "Please forgive Stephen's sin."
I also told God, "I believe Jesus Christ died as punishment for my wrong doings."
Now as this was happening, I felt something was happening in my body. Yes, I knew God was healing my body.