Many Somalis like to be involved in business: they like to buy and sell things; or own stores; or be taxi drivers. Somalis like to start their own businesses and work hard to be successful. But all the money in the world will not allow you to get into heaven because you cannot buy your way into heaven with money. And you cannot earn your way into heaven by the good works you do for God. This is because we are all covered with sin. We have all sinned and we need to be washed. The only thing that can wash away our sin is the blood of Jesus.
God says to us in the Bible:
“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like red, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red, I will make them as white as wool.” – Isaiah 1:18 (modified for easier understanding).
God is asking us to come to Him in our prayers and to talk to Him about the bad things we have done. God calls the bad things that we have done against Him as sins. A sin is anything we have done that does not agree with the Laws that God has given to us to follow A sin is also when we do not believe in God or if we stop believing in God. All these sins cause us to be dirty in the eyes of God. And we feel dirty as well. We feel bad for what we have done and sometimes we cannot sleep because of the bad things that we have done or because of the bad things that have been done to us.
Talk to God
God says that we can do business with Him. God says that we can negotiate with Him. That means we can talk to God in our prayers and in our hearts. God knows what we are thinking in our hearts and in our minds. And He wants us to talk to Him and tell Him about our sins, and tell Him that we are sorry for the sins that we have committed.
We can reasons with God, we can make a deal with God, we can bargain with God and negotiate with him. God wants us to talk to Him. So you can go and pray to God and let him know all about your difficulties and sufferings.
A Somali Christian calls out to God
A few years ago a Somali man heard about the Lord Jesus Christ through the website www.somalichristians.org. He listened to many of the teachings and began to ask a lot of questions. He started to believe that the Bible was the true word of God and contacted the ministry by email. He asked many questions of about Jesus, about God, and about the Bible.
One day Pastor Andrew told him that he could ask all the questions in the world for many years but that he would never find peace with God until he asked God to come into his life and to forgive him of his sins. The man prayed to God and asked God to help him find and job, and to take care of him, and to forgive him of his sins.
God heard his prayers and listened to the man. The man felt the peace of God come over him and felt his sins slowly rise away. His sins were washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ. He went to sleep very peacefully and woke up and went looking for a job. He found one the very next day and he knew that God has answered his prayers. Not only did this man find eternal life and the forgiveness of sins but he learned a very important lesson about God: God cares about us and wants to hear us talk and pray to Him; God wants to answer our prayers and wants us to have a personal relationship with Him.
This Somali man is now a Christian and going to church and raising a family in the church. He is committed to following Christ and he goes to Bible studies and enjoys his friendship with all his Christian friends. God heard his prayers and He will hear yours as well.
God is making us an offer
God is offering us eternal salvation and the forgiveness of sins; God is offering us peace with Him and a lifetime with peace in our hearts here on earth and also a lifetime of peace in the world to come. But we need to accept God’s terms and conditions.
In business the person who has the most power can control the negotiations. If you want to buy things to sell in your store and you go to the store to buy things for 50 stores you will get a better price; if you go alone you will pay more.
With God, He is the one who has eternal life; God is the one who can wash away your sins; God has everything that we need and everything that we want to receive the forgiveness of our sins, joy in our hearts, and everlasting life to live in heaven. He has all the power. And yet He is making us an offer. He is saying to you and to me: “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like red, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red, I will make them as white as wool.” – Isaiah 1:18 (modified for easier understanding).
The prophets of God say: “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.” (1 John 1:8-10).
We have to admit that we are sinners
We cannot hide our sins from God – we all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. None of us is perfect and righteous in every way; we have all disobeyed God; none of us is perfect. So our first step is to be honest with and tell Him that we have sinned. God is asking us to come and reason with Him, to talk to Him, to share with Him our hearts and ask Him for His forgiveness.
God is love; God is kind; God is merciful and compassionate. If we come to Him and tell Him all of our sins, He will not kill us or destroy, He will bless us. And how do we know this.
Christ died for us
We know this because God poured on His wrath upon His own Son who died on the cross for ours sins. The Son – the eternal Son – the Son who existed before the world was created. Yes the Son of God existed before time began; the Son of God was not created, He has no beginning and no end. And one day the Son of God became a baby so that He could grow up to be a man and die on the cross for our sins.
God loved us so much that He came sent His Son into the world that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life.
How many people must die in vain
Many people die in this world; many Somalis have died while working in their small convenience stores in South Africa – these shops are called spaza shops. They get robbed, beaten, and sometimes they get killed. They died because someone else sinned and wanted to get their money.
And there have been many people who have died sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Eleven of the twelve disciples of Jesus were killed and martyred because they continued to preach and teach others about the Lord Jesus Christ. Some Somalis have been killed because they too believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and died because they were telling others about Jesus, or because they wanted to go to church, or because they were listening to a Christian radio broadcast on shortwave radio. Some Somali Christians died because they were baptized. Other Somali Christians were pastors who shared the word of God with other Somalis and took of the Somali believers like a shepherd takes care of his animals.
How many more must die before other Somalis see and understand that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life.
God says “Though your sins be as red I will make you white and clean.” Many Somalis are guilty of killing other Somalis; some Somalis are guilty because they murdered Somali Christians; some Somalis are guilty because in their hearts they believe and agree that Christians should die because they believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
Do not make the mistake of following the evil that wants to control your heart. You need to keep trusting in God and living for Him. Love others and forgive them of their sins. Trust and believe in God.
God always hears you
The Bible says that God will hear your prayers. When Hagar, an Arab Egyptian woman was afraid and had to run away with her son Ishmael to save their lives, she cried out to God – and God heard her cries. He promised to protect Ishmael and bless them.
This is what God said to Hagar: “As for Ishmael, I will bless him also, just as you have asked. I will make him extremely fruitful and multiply his descendants. He will become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.” – Genesis 17:20
Hagar asked God to help her and He did. Hagar asked God to protect her son and He did. And God blessed Ishmael and made him into a great nation.
God hears your prayers; you can pray to God and He will hear you and He will answer you. God is not a mean tyrant, God is not a slave driver; God is love and is kind and gentle and compassionate and loves you and wants to help you. He is waiting for you to come home to Him.
Just like the son who left his father’s home and went off to live in the city many of us turned away from God and went to live our own lives and do whatever it is that we wanted to do. Then we came to our senses and realized that it is better to live for God, it is better to believe in God and live for Him, it is better to obey God than to live they way we want to.
God is waiting for you to pray and talk to him.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” – Luke 15:20-24