COME HOLY SPIRIT GIVE US LOVE

“If you love Me, you will obey what I command.  And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever –” John 14:15 -16   “But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.  He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.  He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you.” John 16:13-14 (NIV)

INTRODUCTION

Last Sunday, 20th May, was Pentecost Sunday – the birthday of the Church. Pentecost simply means “fiftieth” and refers to the celebration that is held fifty days after first fruits. It is said to refer to the day the Israelites left Egypt after their deliverance from Egypt after the Passover.

Pentecost” also refers to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ after our deliverance from sin through His crucifixion on the cross. The Old Testament “Pentecost” marked the day the Law was given on Mount Sinai and in the New Testament, it is the day of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Church. Both the Law and the Holy Spirit were given at Pentecost but with completely different results. The giving of the Holy Spirit led to the salvation of 3,000 unbelievers – Acts 2:41. While the Law brought judgment, the Holy Spirit brought love and life to us.

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS LOVE

The Holy Spirit continues to bring love and life to unbelievers.  The harvest that began on the day of Pentecost, more than 2,000 years ago, continues today, and will continue until the end of the Church age. The Holy Spirit is the agent of Pentecost and the revelation of the love of God. God loves so much that He will not leave us as orphans  but has sent the Holy Spirit to be always present with us – John 14:18. The Holy Spirit is a person and not a force or a thing as some believe. The Scriptures confirm this by the personal ways in which The Holy Spirit responds and the personal things He does. The Bible also makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is one with God the Father and God the Son – John 14:16.  Since God is Love the Holy Spirit is also Love.  This is seen in the attributes that are given to Him and which are without exception, the attributes of God. He is Eternal, Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient. The Holy Spirit is love and out of love gives us spiritual life so that we can relate to God. God is Spirit and the only way to relate to Him is in spirit and in truth. The proof that we belong to God is seen in our love towards one another, for God is love.

The purpose of the presence of the Holy Spirit is to confirm God’s love and His acceptance of Christ’s perfect sacrifice. The presence of the Holy Spirit is to reveal and glorify Jesus Christ and to fill us with His love. The Holy Spirit enables us to understand the revelations of Jesus perfect sacrifice. He reveals that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross has made the blessings of God available to all us. The Holy Spirit not only reveals and glorifies Jesus Christ but empowers us to love and to serve Him.

The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to give life. He gives life to those who are spiritually dead.  Christ has paid the penalty for our sin and made it possible for us to receive His life. Why do we want to wait? Let us accept Christ as Saviour and Lord so that the Holy Spirit can empower us to live the life of Christ – 2 Peter 1:3-4.

THE HOLY SPIRIT EMPOWERS US

The presence of the Holy Spirit empowers us with the grace and truth of Christ “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” – John 1:17 (NIV). It is by grace that we have been saved – Eph. 2:8-9. Grace empowers us to live the truth. Without the grace of God we could not love as God has commanded us to love and we could not manifest the truth of God’s Word in our lives. The love of God enables us to love even those who wrong us and persecute us.  Jesus died for us when we were still sinners because of His love for us. Jesus loved us to the end and prayed for us even when He hung on the cross in excruciating pain. Indeed it is by grace that we have victory in our lives. It is by grace that we are able to “…..to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy, nothing will harm you” Luke 10:19. The grace of God is sufficient for us.

When a loved one leaves us to go on a journey, we always urge him to write and inform us of his safe arrival. It is only when a letter arrives in the loved ones own handwriting, postmarked with the name of the place, that we are sure he has arrived (these days, we accept text, WhatsApp and Facebook messages).  On the day of Pentecost the disciples received a personal letter from Christ postmarked from heaven with the Holy Spirit, confirming that Christ Jesus had arrived at the seat of “all power and authority.” The evidence is so compelling that it requires far more not to believe in Christ than to believe in Him. Christ sent the Holy Spirit to lead the believer into the abundant life He promises in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  If we are not enjoying His abundant blessings in our lives then what we need to do is to accept God’s offer of salvation for grace and truth through Christ Jesus.

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS OUR HELP

The Holy Spirit is the greatest single help that God has provided for those who sincerely desire to enter into all the fullness of victorious and fruitful Christian living. We all need the Holy Spirit. Indeed Jesus places an obligation on all believers to seek Him when He says “If you then being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” – Luke 11:13. Let us ask the Lord to fill us with the power of His Holy Spirit so that our lives will glorify the Name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

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.

 

You Can’t Be a Self-Made Saviour

“Jesus Christ rescued us . . . by offering himself as a sacrifice for our sins. God’s plan is that we all experience that rescue” (Galatians 1:4 The Message).                      
David was one of Israel’s greatest kings – powerful, smart, wealthy. He could have anything he wanted, but he knew he was unable to truly save himself. Only one person could rescue him: “I stand silently before the Lord, waiting for you to rescue me. For salvation comes from him alone” (Psalm 62:1 TLB).

It is impossible to work our way, buy our way, or earn our way into heaven. When it comes to salvation, we are unable to save ourselves. The government can’t save us. Our popularity can’t save us. Our level of success can’t save us. “There’s no such thing as self-rescue, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. The cost of rescue is beyond our means” (Psalm 49:7-8 The Message).

If you didn’t need a savior, God wouldn’t have sent one. But he knew that your spiritual condition was much worse than your physical condition could ever be. That’s why he sent Jesus to rescue you.

There is no way you can get into a perfect heaven on your own. There is no way you can pay for your salvation. The cost is beyond your means. So Jesus paid for it by coming and dying for you on the cross. He made that ultimate payment with his life. God simply invites you to accept the free gift of salvation that Jesus makes available.

Talk It Over

  • What are some ways we attempt to rescue ourselves?
  • Why do many people find it difficult to accept the idea that we can’t work, buy, or earn our way into heaven?
  • How would you describe Jesus’ “rescue efforts” in your own life?

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

How to Walk Wisely

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and He will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6                           
Living a life that’s committed to Christ calls for following His wisdom. Let’s look at attitudes necessary for consistent Christ-centered lifestyle:

  • Determination.Walking in wisdom is not something that happens automatically. We must decide ahead of time to pursue godly living wholeheartedly.
  • Focus. To stay on the path of the Lord’s will, we must fix our attention on His Word. As we meditate on Scripture and absorb its truths, our minds will align with Christ’s, and our choices will be in tune with biblical principles.
  • Spirit Sensitivity. With determination to live a holy life and with close attention to Scripture, we become more sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit, our guide who indicates the direction we are to take.
  • Trust. Sometimes the Lord’s choice for us doesn’t appear sensible. It may seem foolish or require sacrifice. Trusting in His perfect wisdom is necessary if we’re to walk according to His plan.
  • Courage. Some things God requires of us may cause us to react with fear. As our trust in Him deepens, courage grows, and we discover the joy of embracing His choice for us.
  • Perseverance. It is one thing to start out on the right path; maintaining the course for a lifetime is something else. By depending on God, we can persist and choose wisely over a long period.

Walking in wisdom requires that we continually practice a few basics: Know God, trust Him, listen, and obey. Is this your pattern for living? Remember, a lifetime of godliness develops one choice at a time.

STAY BLESSED

IGNITING THE PENTECOST FIRE: NINE WAYS TO LIGHT THE SPIRITUAL FIRE IN YOUR LIFE

 

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. Acts 2: 1-3

INTRODUCTION

“Get on fire for God and men will come and see you burn”. – John Wesley

Tomorrow, Sunday 20th May, 2018 is Pentecost Sunday and I would like to invite us to allow the Holy Spirit to put us on fire.  Recently I have been thinking about what the Apostle Paul meant when He talked about being fervent in spirit in Romans 12:11 (NKJV):  ‘Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;’ The Greek word for fervent is “zeo” which means to boil with heat.  This means that we have a mandate to keep our fire for the Lord hot no matter what the spiritual climate is around us. I am sure that all of us can remember the very pointed quote about being hot or cold in the book of Revelation.

Revelation 3:15-16 – “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold.  I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!”

None of us want to be distasteful to the Lord.  None of us want to make Him sick.  None of us want to be viewed as tasking like lukewarm soft drink that has lost its fizz.  So what do we do to keep the flames of fire burning in our spirit?  Here are nine ways that will help you keep those revival fires burning.

NINE WAYS TO LIGHT THE FIRE OF THE LORD IN YOUR SPIRIT 

1 Feed the Flames with the Word of God

In Matthew 4:4 Jesus said that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. What I am talking about is not dutifully doing our daily devotion with sleep filled eyes every morning.  It is not about hungrily searching the scriptures for the voice of the Lord within their pages.  Just like the disciples on the road to Emmaus who had their hearts set ablaze when the scriptures were explained to them by Jesus – Luke 24:32 we need to dig into the scriptures and allow the Lord to start explaining the scriptures to us just as He did to them.

2 Stoke the Furnace with Prayer

There are three things we need to have a blazing fire, fuel, oxygen and heat.  Prayer is the oxygen we use to stoke the flames high.  Spending time in prayer is spending time in the presence of God and the presence of God is the air that our souls need to be on fire. Oswald Chambers puts it bluntly: “Prayer is the vital breath of the Christian; not the thing that makes Him alive, but the evidence that He is alive.”  When we pray, we are breathing.  We are taking in the vital element that gives life to our soul.

3. Worship the Lord with Extravagance

One of the things that keeps fire small is containment.  We cannot have a big fire in a small metal box.  The way to break these walls of containment is to worship the Lord with extravagance.  Let us go beyond our comfort zone.  Let us offer up sacrifices of praise with our lips in greater degrees than we are comfortable with.  Let us make praise and worship a true sacrifice of ourselves conscious and self inhibitions.

Let us firmly decide that we will praise God in a more vocal, uninhibited way this year than we have ever done.  If we need help praising God, let us play a recording by a favorite Christian artist and sing along.  Let us challenge ourselves to learn how to raise our hands, bow our knees in worship, and even fall flat on our faces.  These things will break down any walls of containment where we are keeping the fire in a small metal box.

4 Allow the Holy Spirit to Move

The Apostle Paul gives us a very pointed exhortation in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 – “Do not stifle the Holy Spirit”. Is there anything in your life that is hindering the Spirit’s work?  Are you resisting doing something or giving up something that you know the Spirit is tapping you on the shoulder about?  Do you have mindsets or mentalities that are contrary to allowing the Holy Spirit to move? Some of the greatest breakthroughs I have had in my life have been when I stopped telling the Holy Spirit how He can operate.  I am very good at setting up preconditions that the Holy Spirit has to fulfill before I believe that it is Him.  I may be good at setting those preconditions up, but I have found that the Holy Spirit will not know kowtow to my whims.  Those preconditions were stifling the Holy Spirit and I learned quickly to allow the Holy Spirit to have His way in my life.

5 Do a Spring Cleaning Of Your Heart

The Bible says that in the last days the love of many will grow cold – Matthew 24:12.  Many times this is caused by unforgiveness and bitterness taking hold and growing in our heart rather than love.  Let us take time to do a spring cleaning of our heart; let go of any unforgiveness we may hold towards someone and remove any roots of bitterness that might have sprung up. Let us forgive one another as in Christ God has forgiven us Ephesians 4:32 and Colossians 3:13. Nothing puts out the flame of God’s love faster than bitterness.  Do not let us allow unforgiveness to freeze our soul.  Let us guard our heart and deal with offenses quickly.

6 Bring Your Flame Closer To Other Flames

Those of us who have been Boy Scouts can remember having a raging fire at night during camping.  Many times in the morning there will still be some embers from the fire wood and if we need to build a new fire, the first thing we would do is gather all the smoldering firewood or charcoal together. This is why we should never live the Christian life in seclusion.  God has called us to be in community.  But let us make sure we are in a church that is on fire for God – because a dead church could put out what is left of our fire.  If our church compromises God’s Word or ignores the Great Commission, we should find a new church home.

7 Start Making Your Fire Useful

Spiritual passion is ignited when it is being used to serve others.  Start using the gifts and talents that God has given you to help others.  Every believer in Jesus has been given gifts and talents and you are no exception.  You must face your fears and stretch your faith as you begin to step out, but soon you will find there is no greater joy than being an instrument of the Holy Spirit to bless people. When you become obedient to stop burying your gifts and talents and start investing them into the lives of others, then you will be given even more to give as we read in Matthew 25:14

8 Find a Personal Firebrand

Everyone has to learn how to make fire.  We do not normally discover it naturally.  I have a friend whose dad showed her how to build a campfire.  He taught her how to light a furnace.  We need spiritual dads and moms to teach us how to light our spiritual fires.

Let us sometimes ask these firebrands to lay hands on us and pray.  We can also make appointments with them so we can glean from their wisdom and experience. It is certain that when Elisha saw Elijah go to heaven in a fiery chariot, he was affected by the heat, so let us also get as close as possible to those who are burning for God, and we will be ignited.

9 Spread the Flame

The biggest thing we can each do is to raise our spiritual temperature and light the fire of God in our life is to spread our flame.  There is nothing more exciting I can say than leading a person to faith in Christ.  Yet statistics show that 95 percent of Christians have never led one soul to salvation.  I guarantee if you step out of your timidity and share the gospel with a neighbor, a co-worker, a server at a restaurant or a stranger on the subway, your spiritual temperature will instantly rise 30 degrees – and you will want to share with someone else. Just as John Wesley said that if you light yourself on fire that men will come for miles to watch you burn.  Part of that is spreading the flame of the spectators.  Challenge yourself this year to speak of your faith, share your testimony, and pray with people who need the reality of Jesus Christ in their life.

Stay blessed!

For further inquiries please contact us on Tel Nos. 0302-772013 or 0268130615

Email: saltnlightministries@gmail.com
Website:
saltandlightministriesgh.org

HONOURING OUR MOTHERS (PART II)

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?  – Isaiah 49:15a (NIV)

INTRODUCTION

We said in our article last week that mothers are very important that we will spend some weeks reflecting on how God sees women as our tribute to mothers in the month of May, the second Sunday of which is celebrated as Mother’s Day.

MOTHERHOOD: A TASK WORTH THE EFFORT

A mother is one who bears and/or rears children.  References to motherhood are found throughout Scripture:

  • CONCEPTION – Genesis 4:1, “Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man.”
  • PREGNANCY Luke 1:24 “After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion.
  • CHILDBIRTH – Isaiah 66:7-9 “Before she goes into labor, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son. Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children. Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?” says the LORD. “Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?” says your God.”
  • BREASTFEEDING1 Samuel 1:23. “Mothers were to be respected and obeyed “– Exodus 20:12

More than a job or responsibility, mothering is a ministry.  There is no doubt, of course that it takes work!  It means sacrifice!  Children do not come off an assembly line, nor are they the by-product of an impersonal biological process; they are to be lovingly nurtured by their mothers as we read in – 2 Timothy 1:5 “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.”   Mothers divide time among their children but multiply their love for all their children.  To this they add the care of the home, often subtracting many extras in order to do so.

When Isaiah the prophet searched for an illustration of God’s constant love for His people, the best example he could find was a new baby’s mother “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? – Isa 49:15a (NIV).

 Mothers have enduring love that even the most trying circumstances or rebellious child cannot dim.  As a mother lets go of her own life for the sake of her child, she is reminded of the depth and height and breadth of God’s love for her, and a unique way she experiences the true joy of motherhood.  This is a truth that will transform any suffering or sacrifice into reward and joy. – 1 John 3:16

There are caring mothers in the Bible, for example:

  • HAGAR, wandering in the wilderness, wept for her child, and God responded to the cry of her heart by revealing a well of water nearby to quench the thirst of her and her child – Genesis 21:16,19..”…….. Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.”
  • JOCHEBED defied Pharoah in order to save the life of her son, Moses – Exodus 2:1-8
  • The mother who appealed to Solomon was willing to let another woman enjoy her child rather than see the child murdered – 1 Kings. 3:25.
  • The mother from Shunem loved her child so devotedly that she made the difficult journey to find the prophet and inspired him to come and seek life for her child so devotedly that she made the difficult journey to find the prophet and inspired him to come and seek life for her child – 2 Kings 4:22-35. 
  • HANNAH was devoted to her son, yet willingly offered him to the Lord – 1 Sam 1:27, 28.

On the other hand, there are wicked mothers such as ATHALIAH, the idolatrous mother of King Ahaziah, who guided her son into devotion to evil – 2 Kings 8:26,27.

God has a plan for mothers.  The high calling is an all-consuming task – “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up”  –  Deut 6:6-7 (NIV)

  • In the morning, you can read God’s Word to your child;
  • At mealtime you are to give attention to meeting physical needs as you are outside, you can teach your child about the beauty of creation,
  • At bedtime you can pray for your child and give assurance that God is lovingly taking care even while we are asleep. The reward is worth the effort as we read in 31:28 – “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.”

Godly mothers are the nation’s greatest treasure, the Lord’s best helpers, and the most blessed among women.

 

To be continued!

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.

How to Increase Your Faith

We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.    – 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4                                      
What are some practical steps you can take to increase your level of faith today?

1. READ THE BIBLE.
 Romans 10:17 explains, “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” That is, you must feed your faith a steady diet of God’s Word.

2. EXERCISE YOUR FAITH
. A bodybuilder doesn’t begin by lifting 500 pounds the first day. Rather, he exercises daily, gradually increasing his strength. Regularly exercising faith can bring about similar growth spiritually.

3. EMBRACE TRIALS.
 First Peter 1:3-9 reveals the difficult truth that adversity, when addressed in God’s power, creates greater faith. Just as a fire purifies precious metals, hardship strips away all but the pure core of faith.

4. EXAMINE THE TESTIMONIES OF OTHERS. 
A testimony is an individual’s own account of the Lord’s activity in his life. No one can ever deny, refute, or downplay someone else’s testimony. When you hear of God’s mighty deeds in another person’s life, your own faith grows.

5. PRAY
. You get to know someone by talking to him. That’s what prayer is: your personal communication with God. But don’t just talk; be sure to spend time listening. God wants to speak to you.

6. PRACTICE OBEDIENCE.
 You will never grow in your faith if you consistently disobey what God tells you to do. Perfect faith is a by-product of obedience. Put yourself in a position to see God’s best for your life, and your faith will soar.
Faith does not increase by accident. Growth takes time, dedication, and intentionality. Ask the Lord to help you exercise your faith today.
STAY BLESSED

How to Be Strong

“You shall therefore keep every commandment which I am commanding you today, so that you may be strong and go in and possess the land into which you are about to cross to possess it.” – Deuteronomy 11:8 NASB                                                
There are many types of strength. Physical strength. Mental strength, having the ability to research options and make correct decisions. Strength of will, to maintain the determination to avoid distractions and focus on goals. Spiritual strength, having the resources, discipline, and willpower to have the right priorities, the right sensitivities, and the right perspective.
So, what is the key to being strong? Certainly practice and experience. Solid training and good teaching. Having the right information. And the discipline to put these elements into action.
As they thought about the task before them, the Israelites knew the strength of the people who occupied the Promised Land. They knew that there were giants in the land, that the people had more resources and many strategic advantages. They knew the territory and the resources.
But Moses told them the right way to approach this task. And the right way to receive the strength they needed. It was to keep God’s commands. To do things His way, every time, and in every situation. And, if they did this, He promised that they would “be strong and go in and possess the land into which you are about to cross to possess it.”
This is the kind of strength they needed for the task at hand. And it was a complete package. Mental strength. Spiritual strength. Even physical strength, for God would enable them to have the ability to do what they needed to do.
This is the way all of us can receive strength in our daily lives. Every kind of strength. Strength to do what is needed. Strength to persevere, face adversity, and overcome adversaries. Strength to have discernment and the ability to do what needs to be done. Strength for combat, and for victory.

Today’s Inspiration Prayer
Father, I depend upon You for the strength I need. Give me boldness and clarity of mind. Give me courage and discernment. Thank You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
STAY BLESSED

Four Steps to Help You Stop Worrying

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” – 1 Peter 5:7 NLT.                                                
It takes more than willpower to stop worrying. You already know that, because you’ve already tried it. You’ve thought, “I shouldn’t worry about this,” yet you just keep on worrying about it.
It’s going to take more than your willpower to stop worrying. It takes four things:
1. You have to get to know God.
Jesus says in Matthew 6:32, “People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things” (The Message). If you don’t have a relationship with God, you have every reason to worry. You’ve got to get to know God! As a believer, you have a heavenly Father who has promised to take care of you. You are God’s child, and children get special privileges. When you worry, God says, “You’re my child. Why are you acting like an orphan?”

2. You have to put God first in every area of your life.
Matthew 6:31-33 says, “Don’t worry at all about having enough food and clothing. . . . Your heavenly Father already knows perfectly well that you need them, and he will give them to you if you give him first place in your life and live as he wants you to” (TLB). Anytime you take God out of the center of your life and put anything else there — no matter how good it is — you’re going to worry.

3. You have to live one day at a time.
The Bible says, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34 NCV). If you’re worrying about tomorrow, you can’t enjoy today. You miss today’s blessings. It’s okay to plan for tomorrow, but you have to live for today. Also, when you’re always worried about tomorrow, the future gets overwhelming. But God will give you the grace and strength you need when you get there. Right now, you only need enough power for today.

4. You have to trust God to care.
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7 NLT). How do you do that? One way is to memorize God’s promises in the Bible. They’re like an insurance policy for believers. When you know something’s covered, you don’t worry about it anymore. Another way is to pray. If you prayed as much as you worried, you’d have a lot less to worry about.

What’s the result of taking these four steps? Incredible peace of mind: “You will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand” (Philippians 4:7 TLB).

Pray this prayer today: “Dear Father, I admit that I often forget that you are with me. I often forget what you’re like. Would you please forgive me for doing that? I need to get to know you better. I need to get to know your Word and your promises better. Help me to put you first in every area of my life. Help me to live one day at a time. Help me to not worry about tomorrow but instead focus on what you’re doing in my life right now. I want to trust in your promise to take care of every one of my needs — financial, relational, physical, social, spiritual, and emotional. Help me to trust you more and worry less. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.”STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Daily Hope with Rick Warren.

How to Stay United in the Face of Division

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”    – John 17:20-21                                                        
Everywhere I go today it seems I see churches divided. I was in another state preaching awhile back and it felt like everywhere they drove me, there were little tiny churches. So I asked the man who was with me, “Why are there so many churches? Was there some kind of big revival here?”
And he told me, “Nope. Every church you see only has a few people who actually attend it. They didn’t start from revivals, but from church splits.” He went on, pointing to the churches as we passed, “That church split because of the color of the carpet in the sanctuary… and that one split because they brought in a modern praise band.”
As he told me about the church splits, I was saddened. But unfortunately, I wasn’t surprised. It amazes me how men and women of God can find so many reasons to divide rather than unite for the cause of Christ. It’s contrary to the biblical message!
It’s time to stop the division and unite under the banner of Jesus Christ. Don’t let petty things drive a wedge in the body of Christ. Keep your focus on Christ, first and foremost, and that which threatens to divide us will fade away as our Savior is brought into focus!

FOCUS ON JESUS, NOT PETTY DIFFERENCES, AND YOU’LL FULFILL CHRIST’S COMMAND TO STAY UNITED IN THE BODY!

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Crosswalk Daily Inspirations.

The Love of Money

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.  – 1 Timothy 6:9-11                                                               
In 1 Timothy 6:9-11, Paul gives us a critical insight.
I want you to notice: Before Paul tells us to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness, he says we must first flee the love of money. You have to be willing to flee the wrong things before you can pursue the right things, because you cannot go in two directions at once.
If you are pursuing riches, and the gaining of wealth and the achievement of success have become your number one priorities, pushing everything else, including God, to the side, then you are pursuing the wrong thing.
You may be thinking, “Well, that’s great for some people, but that doesn’t apply to me.” You need to understand that you can be eaten up with the love of money and not have a dime in your pocket. All of us are subject to such a temptation and such a trap.
It’s fascinating that Paul uses the word “drown” here. I live by the Pacific Ocean, and generally people who drown do so because, (a) they overestimate their own abilities as a swimmer; or (b) they underestimate the power of the ocean.
If you overestimate your ability to be free from this type of a temptation, or you underestimate the power of this type of a temptation, you are setting yourself up for disaster.

Flee the wrong and pursue the right. Stay on course with God.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Answers with Bayless Conley.