LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS

 

Scripture:

“To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ: Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance. – Jude 1-2.

 

 

Message:

It seems as if the world is in perpetual state of chaos. Lawlessness and violence are increasing, and people live in fear and insecurity. What is the solution to such a sad state of affairs?

There can only be one answer and that is to turn to Jesus Christ. He has already conquered this dark and hostile world and replaced fear with love so that you can confidently place your faith and trust in Him.

Believe in Jesus and His promises and He will give you the blessing of His peace that transcends all understanding. Trust in Him and He will lead you from the darkness into the light of His immeasurable love for humankind.

 

 

Prayer:

Thank You, my Lord and God, that you grant perfect peace to your children in this dark world. Amen.

 

STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment Devotional.

THE HOLY SPIRIT (PART IV)

Scripture:

“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” – Titus 3:5 (NIV)

 

INTRODUCTION

Four weeks ago, we began a study of the Holy Spirit.  So far, we have studied His personality, names and emblems and we are pleased to share with you this week, His ministries concerning spiritual gifts.

 

Please enjoy and pass it on!

 

THE MINISTRIES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Many erroneously believe the Holy Spirit first came to earth at Pentecost in Acts 2.  This is not true.  The word of God assigns no less than eleven mighty ministries of the Spirit, and the first three were performed in Old Testament times.  These eleven ministries are:

 

One:    His ministry concerning the universe

Two:    His ministry concerning the Scriptures

Three: His ministry concerning the nation Israel

Four:   His ministry concerning the devil

Five:    His ministry concerning the Savior

Six:      His ministry concerning the sinner

Seven:             His ministry concerning the Church

Eight: His ministry concerning the day of Pentecost

Nine:   His ministry concerning the believer

Ten:     His ministry concerning the spiritual gifts

Eleven: His ministry concerning the fruit of Christ

 

Because of our growth in the Lord, we will consider His Ministry Concerning the Gifts of Christ and His Ministry Concerning the Fruit of Christ.

 

A.        HIS MINISTRY CONCERNING THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called;  one Lord, one faith, one baptism;  one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.   But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When He ascended on high, He took many captives and gave gifts to His people.” – Eph. 4:4-8

In the Bible the entire Trinity is often described in the act of giving.  God loves to give.  It was the Father who gave His dearly beloved Son.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16.

It was the Son who freely gave His precious blood.   “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” – Luke 22:19.

Finally, after His arrival at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit began His ministry of gift-giving to the church, and will continue it until the rapture.

1.         THE DEFINITION OF A SPIRITUAL GIFT

A spiritual gift is a supernatural ability given by Christ through the Holy Spirit to the believer at the moment of His salvation.  At this point two distinctives should be and thus his talent can be made.

a.       The distinction between the gift of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit.  The gift

occurred at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came in answer to the promise of Christ.  The gifts occur today.

b.    The distinction between gifts and talents.  A talent is a human and natural ability given at birth.  It may be in the area of music, speech, organization, etc.  But no natural talent, however great it might be, can be used by its owner to glorify God until it is sanctioned by the Holy Spirit.  When this occurs, the talent then may become a gift.

To illustrate this, let’s consider an individual who is a brilliant and talented musician.  His ability is acclaimed by millions.  But the performer is not a Christian and thus his talent can never be used by the Holy Spirit for the glory of God.  But let us assume the man hears the gospel and accepts Christ as Saviour.  Now the Holy Spirit may determine to transform the man’s natural talent into a supernatural gift.  As there is no specific gift of music as such, the musician’s new efforts for Christ would probably fall under that of exhortation, which is a listed gift.

2.         THE EXTENT OF THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS

a.   EACH BELIEVER POSSESSES AT LEAST ONE SPIRITUAL GIFT

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” – 1 Peter 4:10.  “ But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.” – Eph. 4:7.  “ Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” – 1 Cor. 12:7.  “All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He distributes them to each one, just as He determines.” – 1 Cor. 12:11.

 

b.   NO BELIEVER POSSESSES ALL THE GIFTS

“Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?  Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?  Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.” –  Cor. 12:29-20

 

3.         THE PURPOSE OF THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS

A.   TO GLORIFY THE FATHER

“You are worthy, our Lord and God,  to receive glory and honor and power, for you

created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” – Rev.

4:11

 

B.   TO EDIFY CHURCH

“ until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” – Eph. 4:13.

 

4.         THE ABUSE OF THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS

a.   NOT USING THOSE GIFTS IMPARTED TO US

“ For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” – 2 Tim. 1:6.  “Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.” – 1 Tim. 4:14.

 

b.   ATTEMPTING TO USE THOSE GIFTS NOT IMPARTED TO US

 

c.   NOT USING THE GIFTS IN LOVE

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” – 1 Cor. 13:1.

 

How often are those blessed gifts abused.  Only eternity will reveal the number of men in the ministry who should never have been there.  On the other hand (and just as tragic) there has doubtless been a great company of men who were called into God’s service, but never answered it.  But perhaps the greatest abuse of all is the use of gifts without love.

 

If one rightly comprehends the material given thus far on gifts, he can understand why God sometimes seem to use a carnal Christian in a great way in spite of the glaring (or often secret) sins in his life.  However, in such cases God is only blessing the gift and not the man personally.  At the judgment seat of Christ (1 Cor.3) there will doubtless be many surprises as perhaps a number of world-famous Christian leaders receive so little actual personal reward from Christ because of their sins and carnality.

 

COME DOWN O LOVE DIVINE – MHB 273

1 Come down, O Love divine, seek thou this soul of mine,

And visit it with Thine own ardor glowing;

O Comforter, draw near, Within my heart appear,

And kindle it, Thy holy flame bestowing.

 

2 O let it freely burn, till earthly passions turn

To dust and ashes in its heat consuming;

And let Thy glorious light

Shine ever on my sight,

And clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

Bianco da Siena, (1367-1434)

Translated by: Richard F Littledale, (1833-1890)

 

To be continued!

Source: Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible

All Scriptures are from the New International Version.

Stay blessed!

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

Email:  saltnlightministries@gmail.com

Website: saltandlightgh.org

 

IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL

 

Scripture:

“Why have you rejected us forever, O God? Why does Your anger smolder against the sheep of Your pasture?

 

 

Message:

There are many people whose lives fall apart, and they feel abandoned and forsaken. Yet it is not true to believe that God will ever forsake you. He has promised to be with you always and to never leave you (Heb. 13:5). He even proved His unfathomable love by sacrificing His only Son on the cross for us.

God has a divine purpose for everything that happens in your life. Even when you are the victim of adversity, don’t despair. He wants to use these circumstances to bring about His perfect will in your life.

 

 

Prayer:

Be still, my soul, the Lord is on your side. Patiently bear all sorrow and grief and leave all decisions in His loving hands. When everything else fails, You, Lord, remain faithful. Amen.

 

STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment Devotional.

GOD’S KINGDOM VALUES – PART 3

 

Scriture:

From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near”.  Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed Him. – Matthew 4:17,23 & 25.

INTRODUCTION

We continue this week with our study on Christ’s Sermon on the Mount from Matthew Chapter 7.

Please enjoy and pass it on!

JUDGING OTHERS

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. – Matthew 7:1-6.

 

ASK, SEEK, KNOCK

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened to you.

“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. – Matthew 7:7-12.

 

THE NARROW AND WIDE GATES

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. – Matthew 7:13-14.

 

A TREE AND ITS FRUIT

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognise them.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name and in Your name drive out demons and in Your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ – Matthew 7:15-23.

 

THE WISE AND FOOLISH BUILDERS

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at His teaching, because He taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. – Matthew 7:24-28.

THEY WHO TREAD THE PATH OF LABOUR – MHB 601

They who tread the path of labor follow where My feet have trod;

They who work without complaining, do the holy will of God;

Nevermore thou needest seek me; I am with thee everywhere;

Raise the stone, and thou shalt find Me, cleave the wood and I am there.

 

Where the many toil together, there am I among My own;

Where the tired workman sleepeth, there am I with him alone:

I, the Peace that passeth knowledge, dwell amid the daily strife;

I, the Bread of Heav’n am broken in the sacrament of life.

 

Every task, however simple, sets the soul that does it free;

Every deed of love and mercy, done to man is done to Me.

Nevermore thou needest seek me; I am with thee everywhere;

Raise the stone, and thou shalt find Me; cleave the wood, and I am there

Henry Van Dyke, (1852-1933)

Remain 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.

 

LET OTHERS SEE CHRIST IN YOU

 

Scripture:

“He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” – Mark 16:15

 

 

Message:

Christians need to be witnesses for Christ. We must not be ashamed of our faith in Jesus Christ. It is, however, important to know when to speak and when to be quiet.

There is one sure way to testify about your faith without offending other people, and that is to follow the example of Jesus Christ. His whole life was a testimony of commitment to His duty, sympathy, mercy, and love for all people – regardless of their rank or circumstances. This is the very best way to be a witness for Jesus.

As the Holy Spirit to guide you so that others will see Christ in everything you do and say. In this way you will fulfill the command of the Lord.

 

Prayer:

Help me, Lord Jesus, to let the Holy Spirit live through me in such a way that others may know of your love for them. Amen.

 

STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment Devotional.

 

MAY YOU BE EQUIPPED

Scripture:

“May the God of peace, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him…” – Hebrews 13:20-21

 

Message:

The Bible often refers to the children of God as sheep that are totally dependent on the Shepherd for food and protection. Although we live in a society where individual performance is highly regarded, we should never think that we can be everything that Christ expects from us in our own strength.

We have been brought into a covenant with our Lord and with one another through the sacrificial blood of Christ. Pray that God will equip you, as well as the believers in your community and local congregation, to join forces in doing God’s work.

 

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, our Good Shepherd, equip your children so that they will want to do Your work together. Amen.

STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment Devotional.

 

 

THE PRAYER OF JESUS

 

Scripture:

“After Jesus said this, He looked toward heaven and prayed: ” -“Father, the time has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify you.” – John 17:1.

 

Message:

In preparation for the suffering that Jesus knew He would have to endure in the days ahead, He prayed for God to be glorified in His body at the Last Supper.

How could a terrible death on the cross bring glory to God? Jesus explains in His prayer that God is glorified through the obedience of the Son. We seldom feel that our suffering and defeat could be to God’s glory, yet we seldom look at things from a godly perspective.

God’s glory is reflected in our deeds of love, obedience and loyalty. Follow Jesus’ example today by praying that God will be glorified in your life and by your obedience.

 

Prayer:

Loving Father, help me to contribute to the glory of your name by doing everything in obedience to your will. Amen.

STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment Devotional.

MATURITY

 

Scripture:

 

“Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” – Ephesians 4:13

 

Message:

It takes time for intellectual and spiritual maturity   to reach its full potential.

In your efforts to reach maturity, you should have something against which to measure your progress. The apostle Paul teaches that we should measure our progress against nothing less than the character of Christ. Although this is an impossible goal, to aim any lower is to accept a secondhand life.

However, never forget Jesus’ love for us and that He identifies with us in our human frailty. God will give us the strength to lead a godly life if we confess our dependence on Him every moment of the day. Let’s draw daily from the strength that He makes available to us.

 

Prayer:

Through Your strength, Master and Saviour, I can aim to follow in Your steps. Amen.

 

STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment Devotional.

CHRISTLIKENESS

 

Scripture:

“What will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him.” – 1 John 3:2

 

 

Message:

The goal of every Christian should be to become like Jesus. Unconditionally accepting the lordship of Christ is the beginning of a new and satisfying way of life. Because you belong to Him, your love and mental and spiritual energy should be focused on becoming like Him.

Of course trying to do this in your own strength will only lead to frustration and disappointment. Pray that God will give you His Holy Spirit to help you with this process.

When you are united with Him, your faith becomes alive and your whole life is lived in total obedience to Him. Having a dynamic faith and obeying Christ will help you develop a Christlike Character.

 

Prayer:

Master, I ask that you would fill me with your life and goodness so that I can be completely obedient to you in all things. Amen.

 

STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment Devotional.

 

 

PRAYER IS ESSENTIAL

Scripture:

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed” – Mark 1:35

 

Message:

Some of God’s children are just too busy. Even if you are extremely busy in the service of the Lord but are not supported by the power of faithful prayer while you work, you run the risk of a complete breakdown and burnout of your spiritual life. You cannot fulfill your spiritual duty without prayer.

Prayer is the encouragement and inspiration for Christian service. It gives sincerity to everything that you embark on in the Master’s name and gives you a deep satisfaction that you cannot get from any other source.

 

 

Prayer:

Father, through your favour, may I experience more comfort in times of adversity, more sorrow over sin, more joy in my labours. May I be inspired by prayer and pursue your example diligently. Amen.

 

STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment Devotional