WHEN YOU PRAY FOR RELIEF, WORSHIP FIRST.

Scripture:

 

“King Jehoshaphat went and stood before [the people] and prayed aloud” – 2 Chronicles 20:5-6 (GNT).

 

Message:

Life includes times when you feel like you’re in an impossible situation, when you feel like you’re being attacked from all sides. That’s what happened to Israel’s King Jehoshaphat, who prayed to God when he faced armies from three different nations. To get through those times, you need to learn how to model your prayers after Jehoshaphat’s so that you can get relief.

 

Jehoshaphat did three things in 2 Chronicles 20 that you can do, too:

Refocus on God. Even with your problem looming before you, shift your focus to God’s character and promises. Jehoshaphat prayed, “God, you’re bigger than all the nations. You are bigger than anything I will ever face.” Your problems may be too big for you to handle, but they will never be too big for God. Change your perspective by shifting your focus.

 

Remember God’s faithfulness in the past. Jehoshaphat recalled all the ways God had worked in Israel’s past. Remembering God’s faithfulness in the past will help you trust him for the future. You need to recall the times God has worked powerfully in your life.

 

Request God’s help. Jehoshaphat essentially prayed, “My problems aren’t too hard for you, God. You’ve helped us in the past. Please do it again!” God loves you, and he cares about your problems.

Jehoshaphat’s prayer is built around three questions: “Are you not God?” “Did you not help us in the past?” and “Will you not do it again?”

 

When you are overwhelmed, you need God’s help. But it’s important to understand that your Father isn’t a vending machine who gives you whatever you want just because you’ve deposited a few prayers. God wants your worship first. You worship when you focus on him and thank him for his faithfulness. Then you pray and ask for his help.

 

Jehoshaphat was faithful to worship the Lord and ask him for help, and God delivered him from his enemies. God will do the same for you.

 

STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: Culled from Pastor Rick Warren.

 

TOTAL COMMITMENT TO GOD (PART 2)

 

Scripture:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2.

 

 

Message:

Last week we discussed Romans chapters 12 and 13, which urge us to live vibrant, practical and fruitful lives through our total commitment to God characterized by love and care for one another as well as loyalty to our nation.

We ended on Romans chapter 12:9, which says that to be totally committed means to hate what is evil. We continue this week with more highlights. Please enjoy.

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF ROMANS CHAPTERS 12 AND 13

ROMANS 12:10 – Total Commitment Means To Be Devoted To One Another.

All those devoted in faith to Jesus Christ must be devoted to one another as spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ, with sincerity, sensitivity and kindness. We must be concerned for the welfare, needs and spiritual condition of others, empathizing with them and helping them through their sorrows and troubles. We must honour and respect one another, recognizing the good qualities in other Christians. In this way, people who do not know Christ will notice and be drawn to His love, which they see reflected in us.

 

ROMANS 12:12 – Total Commitment Means To Be Faithful In Prayer.

The Bible recognizes that most of us will struggle, not only to keep an attitude of prayer. This verse encourages us to be faithful and persistent in prayer because it is our access to God for a life of spiritual intimacy and power. It is also the means by which God advances His kingdom purposes on earth.

 

ROMANS 12:18 – Total Commitment Means To Live At Peace With Everyone.

Christ’s followers are to do their best to cultivate peaceful relationships with others. Jesus Himself pronounced special blessings on peacemakers. This does not mean that Christians are allowed to compromise their faith and values for the sake of getting along with or pleasing others. Christians must often take a bold stand against worldly values and behaviours, particularly when these things make their way into the church and steal people’s devotion to God and His Word. Still, when it comes to how Christians behave toward others – inside and outside the church – they should seek to influence people through compassion and kindness in an effort to “overcome evil with good”.

 

ROMANS 12:19 – Total Commitment Means To Avenge.

God’s avenging is not revenge but is related to His perfect justice in punishing those who do wrong.

 

ROMANS 13:1 – Total Commitment Means To Submit To The Governing Authorities.

God commands Christians to respect and obey those in government as an institution established by God. He has instituted governments because in an ungodly and disorderly world people need certain restraints to protect them from the chaos and lawlessness that is a natural result of sin. God has determined that governments should be agents of justice that restrain evil by punishing offenders and protecting the good in society. When it abandons its proper function, however, it ceases to operate according to God’s purpose. For example, when government requires something contrary to God’s Word, Christians must obey God rather than other humans. Yet, even when government officials themselves are not following God, Christians, in most cases, are still required to handle themselves graciously and respectfully toward their leaders.

 

ROMANS 13:8Total Commitment Means Not To Let Any Debt Remain Outstanding.

Christians must avoid unnecessary debt, and they should be responsible in paying their bills. This does not mean that we are prohibited from borrowing from others in case of serious need. The only “debt” we are to remain under is that of love for one another.

 

ROMANS 13:10 – Total Commitment Means Our Love Should Not Harm Our Neighbours.

“Love” is fulfilled not only by positive commands (things we are to do), but also by “negative” ones (things we should not do).  Love must always look to the good and best interest of others. Love is positive yet it must also be negative (placing restrictions on certain behaviours) in that it takes into the overwhelming human tendency toward sin, selfishness and cruelty. Eight of the Ten Commandments are restrictions (they address things God’s people must not do) because sin comes naturally, while goodness does not.

The first evidence of Christian love is turning from offenses and willingly giving up anything that brings harm and sorrow to others. Christians who use their liberty and freedom of conscience to act in ways that might mislead, confuse or cause others to violate their consciences are not acting in love. True Christian love concerns itself with what builds others up spiritually, whether that be in the things we do or the things we avoid.

ROMANS 13:14 – Total Commitment Means to Clothe Ourselves With The Lord Jesus Christ.

We must be so united and identified with Christ that we imitate His example as our pattern for living. This means that we adopt His values and principles, obey His commands and become like Him. This calls for a complete rejection of immoral behavior and the acts of the sinful nature. Christians must demonstrate outwardly the spiritual changes that have taken place inwardly.

 

CONCLUSION

Peter had reached the point of no return. He left everything and followed his Lord. Yes, there were failures yet to come in Peter’s life. Total commitment does not mean perfection. It’s a matter of taking self-off every throne of life and enthroning Christ. How committed are you to Jesus Christ? Have you “pushed out a little”? Have you “launched out into the deep”? Or are you still hung up on the beach? Total commitment means Jesus Christ is Lord of all.

 

Stay Blessed!

 

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

Email:  saltnlightministries@gmail.com

Website:  saltandlightgh.org 

GOD ENABLES YOU TO CONTROL YOUR THOUGHT.

 

Scripture:

“You will keep in perfect Him whose mind is steadfast, because He trusts in you.” – Isaiah 26:3

 

 

Message:

Your thoughts are your servant. Your thoughts influence your deeds because what you think and believe is the result of your circumstances. It is therefore imperative to discipline your thoughts in order to have a positive and constructive disposition towards life.

 

The greatest force in a healthy and emotional life is allowing the Holy Spirit to take control of your thoughts. You can, through the strength that Christ grants you, control your thoughts, and in doing so, experience the peace of God. There will be moments of disruption when evil thoughts will try to re-establish themselves, but if you focus on God and give Him control, nothing will destroy your peace.

 

 

Prayer:

You are my only Savior. Help me to trust in God as my shield against the Evil One. Amen.

 

STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment Devotionals.

WHAT IS THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF ILLUMINATION?

 

Scripture:

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. – Psalm 19:7-11.

 

Message:

  1. Simply put, illumination in the spiritual sense is “turning on the light” of understanding in some area. Throughout the ages, people in every culture and religion have claimed some kind of revelation or enlightenment from God (whether true or not). When that enlightenment deals with new knowledge or future things, we call it prophecy. When that enlightenment deals with understanding and applying knowledge already given, we call it illumination. Regarding illumination of the latter type, the question arises, “How does God do it?”

 

  1. The most basic level of enlightenment is the knowledge of sin, and without that knowledge, everything else is pointless. Psalm 18:28 says, “You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.” Psalm 119, which is the longest chapter in the Bible, is a song about God’s Word. In verse 130, it says “The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” This verse establishes the basic method of God’s illumination. When God’s Word enters the heart of a person, it gives light and understanding to them. For this reason, we are repeatedly told to study the Word of God. Psalm 119:11 says “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Verses 98 and 99 say “Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes.”

 

 

  1. Regular study of the Word of God will give direction and understanding in the issues of life. This is the first method of God’s illumination and the starting point for us all. In Psalm 119 we also find another type of God’s illumination. Verse 18 says, “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” These are not new revelations, but things which have been written and revealed long before, and just now understood by the reader (one of those “aha!” moments). Similarly, verse 73 says, “Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands.” The plea is for personal understanding and application of God’s laws as they are studied by the individual. Fifteen times in this psalm, God is asked to teach or give understanding regarding His laws.

 

  1. One passage that sometimes stirs controversy regarding illumination is John 14:26, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” Jesus was speaking to His disciples in the upper room, giving them last instructions before His death. This special group of men was to be responsible for spreading the good news of Jesus Christ to the whole world. They had spent three and a half years with Him, watching His miracles and hearing His teachings. They would relay those things to the rest of the world, and would need God’s special help remembering those things accurately. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would teach them and remind them of what had been said, so they could give it to others (including the writing of the Gospels). This verse does not teach that the Spirit will do so with all believers (though there are other verses that speak of the Spirit’s illuminating work).

 

 

  1. What is the Holy Spirit’s illuminating work in believers? Ephesians 1:17-18 tells us that the Spirit gives wisdom and revelation concerning Jesus Christ, and opens the eyes of understanding so we can know God’s purposes in our lives. In 1 Corinthians 2:10-13, God has revealed His plans for us by His Spirit, who teaches us spiritual things. The context here points to the Word of God as that which has been revealed. The Spirit of God will always point us to the Word of God for our instruction. As Jesus told His disciples in John 16:12-15, the Spirit simply repeats what the Father and the Son have already said. This repetition helps us remember and fully hear what God has already told us. Sometimes we have to hear things several times before we actually hear them. That’s where the Spirit comes in.

 

  1. One thing that is sometimes overlooked in the discussion of illumination is the purpose of it. To hear some arguments, it would seem that the whole purpose of illumination is an accurate and academic understanding of God’s Word. There is no question that God desires us to accurately understand what He has given us. Words have meaning, and we must pay attention to the details in those words. If, however, we stop there, we simply have an academic understanding of facts or philosophies, which do no one any good.

 

 

  1. Going back to Psalm 119, we find purpose statements connected with the illumination verses. “I will meditate on your wonders” -v. 27, “I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart” – v. 34, “that I may understand your statutes” – v. 125, “that I may live” – v. 144. The illumination always points to action. Why does God help us understand His Word? So we are able to live in its light. First John 1:6 challenges us, “If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.” We could paraphrase it to say, “If we say we’ve been enlightened, but still walk in the dark, we lie about understanding God’s Word.” The Spirit of God, who enlightens us to hear and understand God’s Word, then takes that knowledge and guides us in living it. Romans 8:14 says “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” The illuminating and leading work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is a confirmation that we are indeed children of God.

Source: gotquestions.com

Remain Blessed!

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GOD’S PERFECT TIMING.

Scripture:

“I am the Lord; in its time I will do this swiftly.” – Isaiah 60:22

 

Message:

Very often we find it difficult to accept God’s timing, but we must never get impatient with the fact that He does not always react when we want Him too.

 

It is wrong to try to subject the omniscient God to your timetable. We only see the circumstances and problems that weigh us down now, while God sees the bigger picture from an eternal perspective. God’s timing is always perfect, even though it may not seem that way to you now.

When His will becomes our primary concern, then we will start to understand God’s perfect timing and will no longer be subject to fits of anxiety caused by circumstances.

 

Prayer:

Lord, you are omnipresent. When I lose all hope, you are there. Thank You that I may know that my life is safe in your hands. Amen.

 

STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment Devotionals.

 

Salt and Light Ministries

P.O.Box AN 15007, Accra North

Contact: 0302 772013,026 8130 615/0243588467

Email: saltnlightministries@gmail.com

Website : saltandlightministriesgh.org

THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD.

Scripture:

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want” – Psalm 23:1

 

Message:

Those of us who belong to the Lord do not need to face the future with fear, because our Shepherd is already there and He will walk before us every day, leading us to our eternal destination.

 

Do you feel unsure about the path you have to take? The Shepherd will guide you. Do you feel that you need spiritual food and strength? The Lord will provide an abundant feast of good things.

The psalmist tell us, “I shall not be in want.” So I shall not be in want of anything that I truly need. For every phase of life, every circumstance in which I may find myself, I truly do not need to fear. God will certainly be there to carry me through.

 

Prayer:

Lord God, it is a glorious reassurance to me that you are my Shepherd and that in your hands I am safe and secure. Amen.

 

 

STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment Devotionals.

 

Salt and Light Ministries

P.O.Box AN 15007, Accra North

Contact: 0302 772013,026 8130 615/0243588467

Email: saltnlightministries@gmail.com

Website : saltandlightministriesgh.org

THE CENTER OF CHRIST’S PEACE.

 

 

Scripture:
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27
 

Message:
Few people can honestly say that they do not long for peace of mind and inner tranquility. The troubles and pressures of life can drive many to seek comfort in different things; be it tranquilizers, drugs, professional help or even alcohol. Others simply give in to despair and just go through the motions of life.

The only proven way to handle the problems and tensions of life is by having a faith that is steadfastly grounded in the living Christ. Hold on to Him in all circumstances, talk to Him and, regardless of how desperate your situation might be, trust that He is always with you. His peace will then fill your heart, helping you overcome all your fears.
Prayer:

Prince of Peace, please help me to turn to You first in everything that happens to me today Amen.

 

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment Devotionals.

PEACE BE WITH YOU!

 

 

Scripture:

“For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.” – Psalm 122:8
Message:

The world has enough problems without us adding to them by engaging in bitter quarrels and harboring hurts against others. To enjoy life fully, it is essential that you live in peace with your fellow man – but you can only do that if you have peace within yourself.

During His earthly ministry, Jesus had to handle a tremendous amount of adversity and enmity. He endured mockery, hatred, humiliation, unfair criticism and rejection. But, He never allowed circumstances to get the better of Him.

This was only possible because He was at peace with God, with Himself, and with all people. Accept it and express it through your life and you will experience a life of harmony and peace.
 

Prayer:
Savior, because I found You, my life is filled with an indescribable peace. Amen.

 

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment Devotionals.

TOTAL COMMITMENT TO GOD (PART 1)

 

 

Scripture:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2.

 

Message:

As Christians we are committed in various aspects of life: to our families, neighbours, employers, the church, our health, and in all things we do and say. But the Bible also teaches that the chief commitment of our lives is to God Himself. Ultimately, what our Father in Heaven will require of us is more than a contribution; it is a total commitment, a complete devotion, all that we are and all that we can be. This means that we must hold nothing back from Him because God holds nothing back from us John 3:16.

Total commitment is not commitment to the Church and its activities. It is more specifically a commitment that is shown in our individual behavior, in our personal integrity, in our loyalty to home and family and community, as well as to the Church. Being totally committed to Christ, may apparently bring opposition and trouble to our life. Being totally committed to God may even cause us some trouble out of the very people that are supposed to be on our side.

Total commitment to God means that Jesus is our sole authority, our guiding light, and our unerring compass. Being committed to Christ means being fruitful; it means being a servant. Our axiom is simple and succinct: “For me to live is Christ” – Philippians 1:21.

Today we bring you Romans chapters 12 and 13, which urge us to live vibrant, practical and fruitful lives through our total commitment to God characterized by love and care for one another as well as loyalty to our nation.

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF ROMANS CHAPTERS 12 AND 13

  • ROMANS 12:1 – Total Commitment Is Presenting Ourselves As A Living Sacrifice To God

Being a sacrifice is surrendering ourselves to the Lord. It is putting the Lord first in our life. It is making Him our priority. That is total commitment. That might mean giving up something precious to us in order to put the Lord first. Out of gratitude to God for His mercy and salvation, we should be completely devoted to loving Him, living by His standards and serving His purposes for our lives.

  1. Our goal should be to show God’s holiness (moral purity, spiritual wholeness, separation from evil and complete dedication to God) in all we do. This requires separation from the patterns and practices of the world so we can pursue a deeper relationship with God.
  2. We must offer our bodies to God as dead to sin and alive to God and as the temple of the Holy Spirit.
  3. We must realize that true godly worship involves a lifestyle that brings honour to Christ in words and actions. It is not necessarily a great sacrifice to voice our worship to God in a church service where people are gathered for that very purpose.

 

ROMANS 12:2 – a) Total Commitment Means Being Totally Transformed. 

There is a very real pressure to conform “to the pattern” of this world and be squeezed into its likeness on many different levels. Christians must firmly resist the temptation to accept and imitate the world’s ways of thinking and behaving. Our refusal to conform to this world’s values, must go even deeper than just behavior and customs; it must be firmly planted in our mind.

The reason we must resist adopting the world’s way is because it is evil, it is under satan’s rule, it is hostile to God and His people and it is built on wisdom and values.

Christ’s kingdom is not of this world. This world’s kingdom is full of spiritual darkness, deception and seduction. Christ’s followers are called to be light in the midst of this darkness. Our lives should reflect a positive difference that those in the world cannot help but notice. This includes resisting the temptation to conform to the varied types of worldliness common in society, including greed, selfishness, humanistic thinking, a desire for power, envy, hate, revenge, filthy language, sexual lust and impurity, ungodly entertainment, fashions that are immodest and seductive, substance abuse, relationships that do not honour God and other such things that defy the standards of God’s Word.

Our minds must continually be renewed and transformed (changed) to God’s way of thinking. This can only happen as we spend time reading and meditating on His Word (pondering over and over what it means and how it applies to our lives). This will allow our visions, values, behaviours and plans to be directed by God’s eternal truth, rather than by the world’s temporary and deceptive pattern.

  1. b) Total Commitment Means Submitting To God’s Will.

By having a spiritually renewed mind and transformed life through a growing relationship with Christ, we are able to discern and follow God’s will – His desires, plans and intentions based on His character and purposes. This is His highest best way of life for us (though not necessarily the easiest). Some mistakenly regard the references to “good, pleasing and perfect” as three levels of God’s will, but this is really a single description of God’s ultimate purposes. God’s will is “good” because it leads to a Christian’s spiritual and moral growth. It is “pleasing” to God because it serves His purposes, even though we may not always understand it. It is “perfect” because we cannot improve on God’s will; it is absolutely what is best for us in relation to fulfilling His purposes.

 

ROMANS 12:6 – Total Commitment Means Requiring Different Gifts, According To The Grace.

The gifts if grace are God-given inclinations or desires, as well as special enablement’s or abilities. The Holy Spirit equips us with these gifts so that He can use them to build up God’s love to others. Every Christian has at least one such gift. However, one’s primary gift does not mean that he or she cannot exercise other gifts as needed. We need to use our gifts to serve Him and others.

ROMANS 12:8 – a) Total Commitment Means Serving…Teaching.

“Serving” is the God-given desire, ability and power to lend practical assistance to members and leaders of the church to help them better develop their gifts and fulfill their responsibilities to God.

“Teaching” is the God-given desire, ability and power to examine and study God’s Word and to help others better understand and apply it. Teaching involves defending and proclaiming the truth of God’s Word in such a way that others grow spiritually and develop godly character.

  1. b) Total Commitment Means Encouraging…Contributing…Leadership…Showing Mercy.

“Encouraging” is the God-given desire, ability and power to uplift others and inspire them to trust God, use their gifts or take positive action. Often associated with teaching, this gift involves delivering God’s Word in such a way that it touches the heart, conscience and will of the hearers, inspiring greater faith and producing deeper devotion to Christ. While a teacher shows others what should be done, the encourager helps them do it.

“Contributing” is the God-given desire, ability and power of one who has the financial or material resources to give freely so that others’ needs are met and God’s work is advanced.

“Leadership” is the God-given desire, ability and power to guide and oversee the various activities of the church for the spiritual benefit of all.

“Showing Mercy” is the God-given desire, ability and power to help and comfort those in need or distress. All of these abilities should be exercised “cheerfully” – as God-given opportunities – not grudgingly or reluctantly, as if they were a chore.

ROMANS 12:9 – Total Commitment Means To Hate What Is Evil.

It is not enough for God’s people to love what is right and true; they must also, like their Saviour, hate evil. We see this reality of Christ’s devotion to righteousness and His hatred of wickedness in His life., ministry and death.  There are two things that increase our love of righteousness and our hatred of evil:

  1. Growing in genuine love and compassion for those whose lives are being destroyed by sin
  2. Experiencing a deeper relationship and greater union with our God and Saviour, who “loved righteousness and hated wickedness”

To Be Continued!!!

Stay Blessed!

 

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

Email:  saltnlightministries@gmail.com

Website:  saltandlightgh.org 

GOD’S PEACE IS UNFAILING.

 

 

Scripture:

“Who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God?

 

Message:

Often when people are experiencing problems, or if they need advice, they turn to a friend for help. But human effort always falls short.

If you find yourself in a difficult situation, don’t underestimate the power and love of God. Complete healing flows from an absolute and unconditional trust in, and surrender to, the living Christ. It doesn’t matter what your problem is, the only lasting solution is to be found in the unfathomable love which God, through Jesus, bestowed on humanity.

Never be too proud or too afraid to turn to Jesus. Lay all your problems at His feet. He gave His life for you and will grant you the healing balm of His peace.

 

Prayer:

I want to hold on to You, Lord, when the storm winds blow and I feel insecure. Grant me Your peace. Amen.

 

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment Devotionals.