No Worries

“I, even I, am He who comforts you.  Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, and of the son of a man who will be made like grass?  And you forget the LORD your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth; You have feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, when he has prepared to destroy.  And where is the fury of the oppressor?… But I am the LORD your God, who divided the sea whose waves roared–the LORD of hosts is His name” – Isaiah 51:12-13 and 15.

I trust that these words from Isaiah will encourage you today.
God spans the heavens with the palm of His hand.  The nations are as a drop in the bucket before Him.  There is nothing too hard for Him, and nothing He cannot do.
A number of years ago, I had the chance to go elk hunting with a friend in Montana.  We were lying outside under the stars, and I was unprepared for the glory I saw.  I have never seen so many stars in my life!  It took my breath away!
As we lay there, I said, “You know what?  God spans the heavens with His hand, and you and I are worried about paying the rent!”  It was just one of those moments.  We both just cracked up at how ridiculous it was to worry when God was so big.
What are you worrying about today?  Whatever it is, place it into God’s hands.  After all, His hand spans the entire universe!

STAY BLESSED
Source: Culled from Answers for Each Day.

The High Cost of Compromise

1 John 2:15-29
In the world of politics, compromise is the name of the game. One thing must be surrendered in order to gain something else that is desired. We also make concessions in many other areas of life. Some compromises are good, such as giving up our desire to watch television when our children ask us to play a game with them. However, anytime we compromise issues of morality, integrity, obedience to God, or the truth of Scripture, we will pay a high price.
There is a battle going on within each of us. As believers, we have the indwelling Holy Spirit, who convicts us of sin, prompts us toward obedience, and teaches us truth. However, there is also a fleshly part of us that longs for selfish pleasures and values the priorities of this fallen world. As much as we may try, we cannot straddle the fence between the flesh and the Spirit. James 4:4 says that friendship with the world is enmity toward God. We must make a choice—and not just one time but daily and even hourly.

Compromising by giving in to our fleshly desires leads to internal corruption (Eph. 4:21-24). We may not notice it at first, but stepping beyond the boundary of obedience affects our mind and future choices. Each concession makes the next one easier. Satan first gains a toehold, which eventually becomes a foothold and then a stronghold. The final result is ruin, as God allows us to reap what we’ve sown.

Instead of sitting on the fence, let’s make up our mind ahead of time to follow the Lord wholeheartedly and reap the benefits of a life fully devoted to Christ.

STAY BLESSED

How to discover and use your spiritual gifts

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;  if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;  if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.  – Romans 12:6-8

INTRODUCTION

Spiritual gifts are something that have fascinated me for a long time. Not only do we all have different hobbies and talents, but there are gifts that God has given each of us to help perform our God-specific assignments on this Earth. It can be easy to see someone else using their spiritual gift and wonder how we could do what they do. This is why it is so essential that we understand our own individual spiritual gifts that make us unique and help us all to work together in the body of Christ.

Apostle Paul states in 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 that we each are a part of the body and hold very specific and different spiritual gifts: “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.”

So by now you may be wondering how to identify your spiritual gifts. These ten steps may be helpful in discovering and using your spiritual gifts for the glory of the Lord!

1. Understanding What Spiritual Gifts Are:

There are many spiritual gifts and this is a great resource to learn more about them! What do people often compliment you on? Are you easy to talk to or are the leader in your small group? If you like to pitch in behind the scenes at church without being asked you may think you are just helpful but it’s really the gift of serving that you are using! If you’d like to take a test to learn more about what gifts you have, you will find spiritual gifts listed in Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:27 – 31; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Peter 4:10-11.

2. What Are Your Dreams?

I fully believe that God instills dreams and aspirations inside of us that line up with our spiritual gifts. Do you dream of starting a church or a community group? Do you think writing a book to help others go through something you’ve struggled with and have overcome sounds exciting? Right now you may think these dreams are too lofty but understand that God gives you these dreams as encouragement to keep moving forward with your gifts!

3. What Do You Enjoy Doing?

By our teenage and adult years many of us understand what our talents and personality types are. These are just a part of what makes our spiritual gifts come alive! I love to write about my faith and lessons God has taught me through situations in order to comfort or guide others. So it makes sense that my spiritual gifts include discernment and faith.

4. What Do You Not Enjoy?

If you don’t enjoy speaking in front of people or going up to strangers to evangelize, you may not be gifted in those spiritual gifts. I have tried other ministry areas through volunteering at church and quickly realized that it just wasn’t a gift of mine. Could I still stay in that ministry? Sure, but if I am not enjoying where I am in the ministry of Christ, the fervour or reach of my “work” may not be as effective. People can sense when you are joyful or are just going through the motions.

5. What Do You Take for Granted About Yourself?

For many of us, things don’t always come easy. Being a part of the church body means that we all can play a part, no matter how big or small, in leading others to Christ and encouraging our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Ask a friend what they see in you that they admire or come to you for. Maybe you’re a great listener or are always willing to give financially to missions. These answers from trusted friends and family can also help to unlock your knowledge of spiritual gifts.

6. Using Your Gifts:

At this point you may be wondering how to put your spiritual gifts in action? I think the best way to get an opportunity to use your gifts is to volunteer! Churches, schools, and organizations/conferences are often looking for volunteers. If you have the gift of hospitality, you may want to offer hosting your small group one evening. If wisdom or teaching is a gift of yours, leading Bible classes or mentoring others may be something you’d enjoy!

7. Keep Your Eyes and Ears Open:

Many times, we come across opportunities without realizing them. You may have a gift of discernment, helping, or craftsmanship and have a neighbor that needs help cleaning out their garage or putting on a garage sale. Maybe you have a family member or coworker that needs donations for a mission trip or medical need that you can use your gift of giving towards!

8. Learning When to Say Yes:

After taking a spiritual gift test, you may find that you have multiple spiritual gifts. If so, you may feel pulled in multiple directions or may even feel an urgency to say “yes” to every opportunity that may come your way. Something I had to learn was that, although I may have the opportunity, I don’t have to say yes to every opportunity. When we fill up our schedule we can quickly “burn out” and then our impact can lesson or our energy to continue may dwindle. I have found that taking seasons of volunteering in one area at a time gives me time to delve into different gifts in a spaced-out rhythm.

9. What Are You Scared of?

Maybe your gifts “scare” you a little. You may have the gift of evangelism but fear where it might lead. I believe that taking opportunities, no matter how big or small, are useful for the kingdom. I also know that the areas that make us the most nervous are the opportunities that many times will make the largest impact.

10. Take the Compliment and Send It Upward:

When you find yourself in God’s will using your gifts you will undoubtedly get compliments from others that receive the blessings! These will serve to energize your hard work and efforts and make you want to keep on the good work! Although it’s nice to receive these compliments in and of themselves, we must remember to accept and then send the praise back up to the Creator of all good things! This will bless the giver, receiver and send glory up to the Father above, the originator of all good gifts!

Stay blessed!

Please continue to join us on Asempa 94.7 FM – Sundays 5.30 am., Sunny 88.7 FM – Tuesdays 5:30 am; and Uniiq 95.7 Fm – Saturdays 7:30 pm; for our Radio Bible Study as well as Sunny FM 88.7 FM every Sunday at 3:30 pm. for Hymns and their Stories & every Thursdays for Bible Studies at the Salt & Light office, Abelemkpe.

 

 

Winning an Offended Brother

A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle. – Proverbs 18:19

When this verse refers to a “strong city,” it means a fortified or a guarded city.  You cannot just waltz up to the gate of a fortified city and say “give up.”  It takes strategic planning to take such a city.  You have to think things through and have a plan.
It also means there is going to be strenuous effort involved.  And, more than likely, you will be in a vulnerable position.  In fact, you don’t take a strong city without taking risks, without becoming vulnerable.
The same things come into play when a brother is offended.  It takes thoughtful planning, it takes effort, and sometimes you have to become vulnerable when you do not want to be.
Perhaps you are struggling with a damaged relationship today, and you haven’t pursued healing this relationship because you don’t know how to do it.  It always starts with prayer.  You talk to God about them and about yourself, and then you need to go and talk to them.
When you do, I want you to listen carefully, it should not be with a view to prove that you are right.  Being right is not the goal.  Peace is.  Most of the time it is more important to be kind than it is to be right.
If you try to work something out, but only with the intention of having them understand your point of view so that you can prove you are right, you may win the argument, but you will never make peace.
So when you are endeavoring to win an offended brother, listen carefully to them, and endeavor to understand where they are coming from.  Seek to hear and not just be heard.  Though it may be difficult, you can win peace and see a broken relationship restored.

STAY BLESSED
Source: Culled from Answers for Each Day.

Role Model

By the grace of God I am what I am.’ – 1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV
Role models can shape you and make you, or, if they don’t really know what they’re doing, break you. That’s why they’re pretty important to get right. If you devote your life to being like somebody else – and especially if they’re the wrong type of person – you risk becoming something God doesn’t want you to be. Always remember, your ‘heroes’ wrestle with blind spots and character flaws too. Paul said, ‘I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God’ (v. 9 NIV). The same thing with Peter; when Cornelius sent for him, we’re told that as he ‘entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, ‘I am only a man myself”’ (Acts 10:25-26 NIV).
Say a friend starts a business and makes money, but when you quit your job and follow in his footsteps you go broke. Or say a co-worker wears something that looks great on her, but on you the same outfit looks like a sack tied in the middle. The danger in hero worship comes from bailing on your individuality and missing the path God has mapped out for you personally. Some of the lessons God teaches us may be similar. But another person’s gifts, purpose, journey, and time-frame will be different from yours. God is ‘jealous’ about you (see Deuteronomy 4:24).
He wants to protect you from anything that would snipe your uniqueness, or threaten your relationship with Him. If you want to be on safe ground, make Jesus your first-and-last role model.

What Now?
Ask God: ‘Am I surrounding myself with people who’ll lead me into my destiny? Should any of them change?’

STAY BLESSED
Source: Culled from United Christian Broadcasters.

How to Develop a Heart for God

Scripture: Psalm 119:9-16
What is your response when you read that David was a man after God’s own heart? (See 1 Samuel 13:14.) Many of us look up to him as a spiritual giant and think to ourselves, I could never be like that.

But the Lord hasn’t reserved this title for just one man. He wants all of us to seek Him as David did. One of our problems is the tendency to focus on just part of his story. We tend to forget that the scriptural account gives a record of David’s lifetime. He had to begin pursuing the Lord the same way we do—one step at a time.

A hunger for the heavenly Father doesn’t ordinarily appear all of a sudden, fully matured, in one’s heart. Most of the time, it’s something that must be cultivated, and the best place to begin is the Bible. That’s where we listen to the Lord as He speaks to us in His Word.

Another essential element is prayer. As you read His words, start talking to Him. If it all seems dry and meaningless, ask Him to work in your life to make Scripture come alive. He loves to answer prayer in accordance with His will.

The next step is meditation. Don’t “put in your time” so you can say you’ve read your Bible. Slow down and deliberately think about what you’ve read, asking, What am I discovering about God?

The last step is to commit. A hunger for God may not develop right away, but remember, you’re working for a changed heart that will last a lifetime, not a fleeting emotional experience. Continue to fill up with the fuel that brings transformation—the Word, prayer, and meditation.

STAY BLESSED
Source: Culled from In Touch Ministries.

4 Secrets to Answered Prayer

“Then [Nehemiah] said, ‘O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, listen to my prayer! . . . I confess that we have sinned against you . . . . Please remember what you told your servant Moses: “If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations. But if you return to me and obey my commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored.” . . . Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me. Put it into his heart to be kind to me’” – Nehemiah 1:5-6, 8-9, 11 NLT.
Here are four secrets to answered prayer from the life of Nehemiah:
1. Base your request on God’s character. Pray like you know God will answer you: “I’m expecting you to answer this prayer because of who you are. You are a faithful God. You are a great God. You are a loving God. You are a wonderful God. You can handle this problem, God!”

2. Confess the sins you’re aware of. After Nehemiah based his prayer on who God is, he confessed his sins. He said, “We have sinned.” It wasn’t Nehemiah’s fault that Israel went into captivity. He wasn’t even born when it happened, and he was most likely born in captivity. Yet he included himself in the national sins. He said, “I’ve been a part of the problem.”

3. Claim the promises of God. Nehemiah prayed to the Lord, saying, “I want you to remember what you told your servant Moses.” Can you imagine telling God to “remember”? Nehemiah reminded God of a promise made to the nation of Israel. In effect, he prayed, “God, you warned through Moses that if we were unfaithful, we would lose the land of Israel. But you also promised that if we would repent, you’d give it back to us.”

Does God have to be reminded? No. Does he forget what he’s promised? No. Then why do we do this? Because it helps us remember what God has promised.

4. Be specific in what you ask for. If you want specific answers to prayer, then make specific requests. If your prayers consist of general requests, how will you know if they’re answered?

Nehemiah was not hesitant to pray for success. He was very bold in his praying. Have you ever prayed, “Lord, make me successful?” If you haven’t, why? What is the alternative? A failure?

Is it okay to ask God to make you successful? It all depends on your definition of success! I believe a good definition of success is “fulfilling God’s purpose for my life in faith, love, and the power of the Holy Spirit and expecting the results from God.” That is a worthy life objective that you should be able to pray for with confidence.

Consider this: If you can’t ask God to make you a success at what you’re doing, you should be doing something else. God doesn’t want you to waste your life.

STAY BLESSED
Source: Culled from Daily Hope with Rick Warren.

8 HABITS OF A HEALTHY SPIRITUAL LIFE

Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. – I Timothy 4:7

We found this on the net and it is so relevant to our time that we feel led to share it with the. Please enjoy.

INTRODUCTION

Here is the question to ponder today: “how hard is it to die when you have so much wealth?” Consider this: People who lay up treasures on earth spend their life backing away from their treasures. To them, death is loss. People who lay up treasures in heaven look forward to eternity; they are moving daily toward their treasures. To them, death is gain.

Those who spend their life moving away from their treasures have more and more reasons to despair. Those who spend their life moving toward their treasures have more and more reasons to rejoice. Is the passing of time causing you and me to despair or rejoice? God’s ownership of everything is the reference point for all of us who serve the Lord.

God’s Word teaches us eight habits that can keep us spiritually healthy until death. Wouldn’t it be great to be in robust spiritual health, looking forward to Heaven? The habits recorded in Psalms 116 are not just for those who have one foot in the grave, they are actually good habits for all of our lives. Here are the simple habits that make our death precious in the sight of the Lord. These are the marks of a healthy spiritual life that takes the sting out of death.

  1. 1 Believe in Him that He is listening and watching and respond in love.
  2. 2 Cry out to Him. Get used to talking to the Lord. Pour out your heart, your fears, your woes—share them with Him.
  3. 9 Follow Him through your daily life. He is the Shepherd and we are His sheep.
  4. 13 Drink Him. He is our cup of salvation. We thirst and He alone satisfies. Let Him into your life to meet your deepest needs!
  5. 14 Obey Him. Do what He says. Give in and submit to Him.
  6. 16 Serve Him. Tell Him that, say it aloud, and offer it as an offering.
  7. 17 Thank Him. Think through all the many blessings and benefits the Lord has heaped upon you. If you have troubles, listen to some children pray. They thank the Lord for eyes to see, warm “blankies” to sleep under, food to eat, and all the other simple and sweet blessings of life.
  8. 18–19 Live for Him. From now on live for His glory, talk of His blessings, come into His presence, worship and adore Him.

Do your plans and priorities for the rest of this year mirror what the Lord desires? His desires are clearly laid out in His Word.

Our key passage, 1 Timothy 4:7, Paul says we are to discipline ourselves towards godliness. What encourages a godly life?

  1. The Discipline of Scripture.

Time alone with God in His Word, the Scriptures, is the great necessity of our spiritual lives. We need to be alone with God daily! We need to find times to get away alone.

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)

The Lord God of the Universe wants to arrange your life, and accompany your trip through life, and authorize everything needed from now on. Wow, that is the best life there is.

  1. The Discipline of Spirit-Filled Living.

Jesus explained the Holy Spirit in our lives by using the image of a strong river of water flowing out of us. On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink (present active imperative). He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John 7:37–39

Rivers of water is the way Jesus describes the normal life of believers, His children.

  1. The Discipline of Stewardship.

A life given back to God as an offering is what stewardship is all about. Stewardship is not about money; it is about life itself. Time and life are far greater treasures than money and possessions. God wants you 1st and foremost! A GODLY STEWARD KNOWS THAT GOD OWNS HIM AND EVERYTHING HE HAS.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. – Romans 12:1–2

and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. (2 Corinthians 5:15)

Conclusion:

He who lays up treasures on earth spends his life backing away from his treasures. To Him, death is loss. He who lays up treasures in heaven looks forward to eternity; He’s moving daily toward His treasures. To Him, death is gain. He who spends his life moving away from His treasures has reason to despair. He who spends his life moving toward His treasures has reason to rejoice.

Is the passing of time causing you and me to despair or rejoice? God’s kingdom was the reference point for these men. They saw all else in light of the kingdom. They were compelled to live as they did not because they treasured no things, but because they treasured the right things.

We often miss something in missionary martyr Jim Elliot’s famous words, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” We focus on his willingness to go to the mission field. That willingness started when he relinquished his hold on things as MINE!

Stay blessed!

Please continue to join us on Asempa 94.7 FM – Sundays 5.30 am., Sunny 88.7 FM – Tuesdays 5:30 am; and Uniiq 95.7 Fm – Saturdays 7:30 pm; for our Radio Bible Study as well as Sunny FM 88.7 FM every Sunday at 3:30 pm. for Hymns and their Stories & every Thursdays for Bible Studies at the Salt & Light office, Abelenkpe.

 

An Expert Searcher

“For thus saith the LORD God; Behold, I, even I, will both search My sheep, and seek them out” – Ezekiel 34:11.
This He does at the first when His elect are like wandering sheep that know not the Shepherd or the fold. How wonderfully doth the LORD find out His chosen! Jesus is great as a seeking Shepherd as well as a saving Shepherd. Though many of those His Father gave Him have gone as near to hell-gate as they well can, yet the LORD by searching and seeking discovers them and draws nigh to them in grace. He has sought out us: let us have good hope for those who are laid upon our hearts in prayer, for He will find them out also.

The LORD repeats this process when any of His flock stray from the pastures of truth and holiness. They may fall into gross error, sad sin, and grievous hardness; but yet the LORD, who has become a surety for them to His Father, will not suffer one of them to go so far as to perish. He will by providence and grace pursue them into foreign lands, into abodes of poverty, into dens of obscurity, into depths of despair; He will not lose one of all that the Father has given Him. It is a point of honor with Jesus to seek and to save all the flock, without a single exception. What a promise to plead, if at this hour I am compelled to cry, “I have gone astray like a lost sheep!”

STAY BLESSED
Source: Culled from Crosswalk Daily Inspirations.

Harming Yourself

“Why are you doing great harm to yourselves, so as to cut off from you man and woman, child and infant, from among Judah, leaving yourselves without remnant?” – Jeremiah 44:7 NASB

What is the purpose of God’s commands? Why does He tell us what is “right” and “wrong”? From a self-centered point of view, it can seem that He is “against” us and just wants to tell us what to do.
Driven by a desire for independence, many refuse to obey, reserving the right to determine theirown way. This spirit, first championed by Satan himself, fosters the assumption that we should be able to do whatever we want, regardless of what God or the Bible might say.
Many felt this way in Jeremiah’s time, feeling that they knew what was best, choosing to ignore or just disobey God’s words. But He knew that their understanding was limited. That their logic was flawed. That there was much that they either didn’t know or had forgotten. That they were being guided by imperfect human beings with imperfect understanding and limited abilities.
In fact, their decisions were resulting in the opposite of their goals. They were “doing great harm to yourselves.” God was not against them but for them. His laws were for their good. And obeying Him was the best way to experience happiness and fulfillment, and achieve success.
These same principles are true today. Many encourage us to question God’s Word and develop our own reasons for our beliefs and actions. Even some Believers have this attitude.
All the while, God watches. He knows what is best for us. He has given us His Word that we might succeed and experience fulfillment and happiness. That we might have wisdom to make the right choices, and receive His blessings.
Renew your commitment to seek God for the wisdom you need. Study His Word. Obey it, and do so joyfully. Don’t resist Him, but serve Him. Don’t trust yourself or the thoughts of others. But trust Him.

STAY BLESSED