THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE – (PART II) (THE CROSS OF CHRIST)

SCRIPTURE

Not by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered once for all into the Holy of Holies, having obtained eternal redemption for us. (Hebrews 9:12)

INTRODUCTION
In part one of our article on the above topic, “The Ultimate Sacrifice” (The Cross of Christ)
we pointed out that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross to save mankind was the most shameful death by anyone, yet it was designed that way, that the most abhorrent might bring the most glorious. We also indicated that sacrifices involve many things. But this Ultimate Sacrifice involved three things – a cross, a Saviour and a crown. The first was in the past, the second is in the present and the third will be in the future.

Enjoy the concluding part of the article and share it with others!

THE CROSS: THE EMBODIMENT OF MAN’S REDEMPTION
Man’s record of assistance spins uncontrollably between the realms of ‘unwilling when able and unable when willing’. Not so with Christ Jesus. Jesus’ mission in life was to save man. He Himself said concerning His mission: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” – Mark 10:45. (NIV)

At the core of that package was restoration of all that man lost in the Garden of Eden. He loved us too much to leave us to our own devices and sin’s dreary mire into which we had sunk. He alone also had the power to meet the demands of the law which we violate with impunity.

He chose to do that which none other was able or willing to do. Our sin was costly; we owed the debt of sin that we could not pay and Jesus paid the debt that He did not owe.
A lot of people do not realize what was lost, so they don’t feel the sense of loss. But man—that is, humanity—lost a lot. Eden was idyllic. It was peaceful, a place of beauty, where everything was declared ‘perfect.’ There was no pain, no sickness, no extreme temperature, and no drought. Man and animals lived together in harmony. The fishes in these as lived in harmony. None fed on the other. [I struck out this to avoid any confusion with New Agers and the heresy of Emergent Churches that is introducing ancient mysticisms into Christianity] There was harmony in all of God’s creation. God communed with His children, every evening He would go down to talk about the day with them. They could see, touch, laugh with and embrace God. But with sin, all was lost—but for Christ’s intervention.

THE CHANNEL TO ACCOMPLISH THAT MISSION WAS A CROSS
Barabbas Cross, My Cross: Yet the cross is not the issue, but He who hung on the cross. Jesus Christ hung on Barabbas’ cross. Afterwards, it came to symbolize life to all men until the end of time. Had it remained Barabbas’ cross, humanity would have been no better off today than in the hopeless state that plagued us after our sin in Eden.

The cross on which Jesus Christ hung has long since rotted away, but because the Sinless Lamb of God hung on it, that cross came to take on a life of its own.
No longer just the cross, but now the Cross of Jesus. Not susceptible to termite and decay, but alive and potent in the heart of every believer. Able to save to the uttermost every male, female, young, old, poor or rich person from Calvary to the end of the world, the Cross of Christ lives on today.

The Apostle Paul with his impeccable academic references, his excellent cultural and social pedigree, and his un-impeached adherence to religion-cultural norms, un-equalled and unparalleled passion for perfection of the status quo, declared fervently about his achievements: “…. I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ”- Philippians 3:8 (NIV)

He chose not to glory in his accomplishments and achievements. He chose rather to boast in the cross of Christ, the most abhorring object of death at that time: “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” – Galatians 6:14 (NIV) “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” – 1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV)

On that old, rugged cross on Calvary, the Son of God died to save man from his sins. There His blood was shed so that we will not have to die for our sins. That cross stands today, no longer representing shame and death, but as the symbol of redemption from sin and restoration back to our Creator.

Tears flow from the eyes of sinful man when we contemplate the depth of agony and love that mingled on that cross to complete the Ultimate Sacrifice. It is what has transformed our lives today and given us the right to be called the children of God. George Bennard captured it well in His well-sung hymn: The Old Rugged Cross.

As you ponder on the words, remember His pain. Reflect on His sacrifice. Review your life. He was nailed to the cross once for your sins. Celebrate the release from the bondage of sin that represents for you and do not nail Him to the cross again with your decisions and actions.

THE OLD RUGGED CROSS:
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross
The emblem of suffering and shame; And I love that old cross where the dearest and best;
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

Refrain: So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
‘Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it someday for a crown.

 

O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above;
To bear it to dark Calvary.

In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see;
For ‘twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died;
To pardon and sanctify me.

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true,
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.

To Ponder: George Bennard further said that ‘the cross is the only ladder high enough to touch Heaven’s threshold.’ It is clear that there is no other hope for man. We are dead without Christ Jesus for we cannot pay the penalty of sin. He was nailed to the Cross for us that we might be saved. Why not take Him up on the offer of that salvation?
Stay Blessed!
Please continue to join us on Asempa 94.7 FM – Sunday 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 Hymn and their Stories.

SIGNS OF THE END OF THE AGE

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ, and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. – Matthew 24:4-8
INTRODUCTION
Matthew 24:3-25:46 is called the Olivet discourse. Jesus’ prophecy was primarily a reply to the disciples’ question: “What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus gave them:
General signs and a summary of key events leading up to the last days.
Special warning signs that would announce the final days of the present age, which will be the great tribulation.
Spectacular signs that will occur when Christ triumphantly returns to earth at the end of the great tribulation “with power and great glory”.
A warning for those who have chosen to trust Christ during the horrible tribulation period, calling them to be alert to the signs leading up to Christ’s expected return to end the tribulation.
A challenge for believers living before the tribulation to be spiritually ready for the unknown time when Christ will come to take His faithful followers from this world, sparing them from the severe tribulation judgements He will unleash on the earth. Note that although Christ will remove His true church from the world prior to the tribulation judgements, some people will come to Christ during the tribulation; but they will do so under great persecution from the antichrist. Those who survive are the believers that Christ will rescue when He physically returns to earth to end the tribulation and destroy the forces of the antichrist.
A description of the judgement of nations after Jesus’ return to earth.
Notice that many details of Christ coming (and the end times in general) are not revealed in Matthew 24. For that matter, no one has so far been able to interpret or figure out all of the Bible’s prophecies about the end times with complete certainty. In some cases, the timing or order of events is uncertain; in other instances, the specific details of signs or events are not completely clear. No doubt, this is in the plan of God, as the New Testament writers and Jesus Himself were not trying to reveal all the details about the end times. Their main concern was to challenge God’s people to “keep watch” and to be ready for Christ’s coming. For this reason, Jesus’ prophecy contains an element of mystery requiring humility, readiness and a heart focused on the Lord Jesus Himself. We can expect God to give His people additional insight and understanding about end-time events as they unfold.
PROPHETIC ADDRESS FROM THE MOUNT OF OLIVES
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time.
“So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
“Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
THE DAY AND HOUR UNKNOWN
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, He will put him in charge of all His possessions. But suppose that servant is wicked and says to Himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Stay Blessed!

Please continue to join us on, 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 Hymn and their Stories.

DOING GOD THE FATHER’S WILL

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one 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 7:21-23
Jesus emphatically taught that carrying out God’s purposes and desires was a condition for entering the kingdom of heaven. This certainly does not mean that we can earn spiritual salvation by our own efforts or works. This is true for the following reasons:
God’s forgiveness comes to us through faith and repentance (i.e., admitting to God and following His purposes). It is made possible by the grace and sacrificial death of Christ, who gave His perfect life to pay the ultimate penalty for our sins.
The obedience to God’s will demanded by Christ is an ongoing condition for salvation; it does not save us, but it is a response and result of true salvation. Yet, it is still God’s power and grace (i.e., undeserved favour, love and help) that enable us to live by His standards. This means that we must continually pray for that grace, receive it and put it into action by true faith and devotion to Christ. Note the Lord’s Prayer and the many challenges and warnings directed toward Christians, telling them to put sin to death (i.e., to rid their lives of sin and not respond to its appeal) and to present themselves to God as living sacrifices.
Because of the gift of gift of God’s power and grace, we are capable of doing God’s will and living right as we follow Christ with all of our heart. God’s Word says that “by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…For we are God’s workmanship” – Ephesians 2:8-10.
God always gives us the strength and ability to obey Him and overcome sin. That is part of the full salvation He works out through those who have entrusted their lives to Him and have been restored to a personal relationship with Jesus. “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose” – Philippians 2:13. Yet God’s gift of grace – His favour, help and mercy that we do not deserve – does not cancel the need for action on our part. We must respond positively to God’s gift of obedience. We are always free to reject God’s grace, refuse to depend on Christ and refuse to pray for and accept the life of obedience.
MANY WILL SAY…LORD, LORD
Jesus clearly states that there will be “many” who believe they are serving Him and who appear to do great works for Him, yet in reality they never had a true personal relationship with Christ. To escape the temptation and deceit that will be very common in the end times, church leaders (or any follower of Christ) must be totally committed to the truth revealed in God’s Word. We must consider outward “success” or results from ministry as the standard by which to determine our relationship with Christ. Each of us must strive to know Him deeply and to live by the instructions and guidelines in God’s Word.
I NEVER KNEW YOU
Christ makes it unmistakably clear that people may speak about Him and even be involved in powerful, supernatural activity, such as driving out demons and performing miracles, though in their hearts they have no genuine personal relationship with Christ.
Scripture teaches that what seems to be great preaching, strong belief, enthusiasm for God and the working of miracles can be performed even under the influence and power of Satan. Unlike us, Satan obviously has supernatural abilities and will use them to deceive people inside and outside the church. Paul warns that “Satan himself masquerades (walks about in disguise) as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, that many of his servants masquerades as servants of righteousness”. Paul makes it clear that what might appear to be a powerful gift of ministry can be “the work of Satan”.
Many times God overrides Satan’s activity in false preachers in order to bring genuine spiritual salvation or healing to those who truly respond to God’s Word. This means that if the message is true – even when the minister is not – it can still have the proper godly effect on people’s lives. It is always God’s desire that those who proclaim His message are in a right relationship with Him. Yet, when an evil or immoral person preaches God’s Word, God can still work in the heart of those who receive the Word and trust Christ. God does not give His approval on any unrighteous minister or teacher, but He does honour the truth of the message and will save all who accept it in faith.

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 Hymn and their Stories.

GOOD CHRISTIAN CITIZENS

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 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 12:3-8
INTRODUCTION
When someone is born again, he or she is born into a family of faith for all eternity. This family, God’s people, is the church. Unlike any other earthly, entity, the church is not divided according to physical boundary, race, culture, education or any other reality. Instead, the church is unified because of its member’s common experience with the grace of Jesus Christ.
Unity, however, does not mean uniformity or a lack of diversity. Indeed, the great diversity of the church’s members is one of its unique aspects. Though each member is gifted differently, every member comes together to form the whole church. Furthermore, because of the variety of gifts possessed, every member is integral to the church’s healthy functioning. There is, then, no member greater than another, just as there is no part of the body that would boast over its position. The proper response if the Christian is to love and value the other members of the church because of their essential contributions to the health and well-being of the church worldwide.
Please enjoy these portions of scripture that speak to us directly about being good Christian citizens.
A LIVING SACRIFICE
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 12:1-2
HUMBLE SERVICE IN THE BODY OF CHRIST
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 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 12:3-8.
LOVE IN ACTION
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. – Romans 12:9-21
SUBMISSION TO GOVERNING AUTHORITIES
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour. -Romans 13:1-7

 

LOVE FULFILLS THE LAW
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. – Romans 13:8-10
THE DAY IS NEAR
And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. – Romans 13:11-14
Stay Blessed!

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TRUTH PRODUCES GENUINE GODLINESS

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord Christ you are serving – Colossians 3:23-24. (NIV)

 

Introduction

Some people say that it does not really matter what you believe, as long as you do the right thing.  However, Paul’s letter to Titus contradicts that sort of thinking.  He knew that people become what they think, and that everything they do is shaped by what they believe.

 

That is why he urged Titus, his valued associate who was pastoring a church on the island of Crete, to, “speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine” – Titus 2:1.  He knew that correct living is a product of correct belief.  Error can never lead to Godliness.  Only truth produces genuine Christlikeness.

 

In our world today, many streams of thought lay claim to being “true.”  Yet they produce nothing that even approaches the character, integrity, and humility of Christ.  That is why believers need to carefully pay attention to the teaching they receive.  Does it square with Scripture?  Does it honor Christ?  Does it acknowledge what Paul calls “the truth which accords with godliness”Titus1:1.

 

We have published this article a couple of years ago but we consider it very relevant today.  Please enjoy!

 

Titus’s Work in Crete

An elder must live a blameless life.  He must be faithful to his wife, and his children must be believers who are not wild or rebellious.  An elder must live a blameless life because he is God’s minister.  He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered; he must not be a heavy drinker, violent, or greedy for money.  He must enjoy having guests in his home and must love all that is good.  He must live wisely and be fair.  He must live a devout and disciplined life.  He must have a strong and steadfast belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with right teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong.

 

For there are many who rebel against right teachings; they engage in useless talk and deceive people.  This is especially true of those who insist on circumcision for salvation.  They must be silenced.  By their wrong teaching, they have already turned whole families away from the truth.  Such teachers only want your money.  One of their own men, a prophet from Crete, has said about them, “The people of Crete are all liars; they are cruel animals and lazy gluttons.”  This is true.  So, rebuke them as sternly as necessary to make them strong in the faith.  They must stop listening to Jewish myths and the commands of people who have turned their backs on the truth.

 

Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure.  But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are defiled.  Such people claim they know God, but they deny Him by the way they live.  They are despicable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good – Titus 1:6-16.

 

 

 

Promote Right Teachings

But as for you, promote the kind of living that reflects right teaching.  Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely.  They must have strong faith and be filled with love and patience.

 

Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that is appropriate for someone serving the Lord.  They must not go around speaking evil of others and must not be heavy drinkers.  Instead, they should teach others what is good.  These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to take care of their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands.  Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.

 

In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely in all they do.  And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good deeds of every kind.  Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teachings.  Let your teachings be so correct that it can’t be criticized.  Then those who want to argue will be ashamed because they won’t have anything bad to say about us.

 

Slaves must obey their masters and do their best to please them.  They must not talk back or steal, but they must show themselves to be entirely trustworthy and good.  Then they will make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive in every way.

 

For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people.  And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures.  We should live in this evil world with self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God, while we look forward to that wonderful event when the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.  He gave His life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us His very own people, totally committed to doing what is right.  You must teach these things and encourage your people to do them, correcting them when necessary.  You have the authority to do this, so don’t let anyone ignore you or disregard what you say – Titus 2:1-15

 

Do What Is Good

Remind your people to submit to the government and its officers.  They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good.  They must not speak evil of anyone, and they must avoid quarreling.  Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.

 

Once, we too, were foolish and disobedient.  We were misled by others and became slaves to many wicked desires and evil pleasures.  Our lives were full of evil and envy.  We hated others, and they hated us.

 

But then God our Saviour showed us His kindness and love.  He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of His mercy.  He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit.  He generously poured out the Spirit upon us because of His great kindness.  And now we know we will inherit eternal life.  These things I have told you are all true.  I want you to insist on them so that everyone who trusts in God will be careful to do good deeds all the time.  These things are good and beneficial for everyone. – Titus 3:1-8

 

Paul’s Final Remarks and Greetings

Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees or in quarrels and fight about obedience to Jewish laws.  These kinds of things are useless and a waste of time.  If anyone is causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning.  After that, have nothing more to do with that person.  For people like that have turned away from the truth.  They are sinning, and they condemn themselves Titus 3:9-11.

 

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.

 

FAITH IN PRACTICE

And the righteous will live by his faith – Habakkuk 2:4b

INTRODUCTION

Our whole lives depend on faith – from our rising from bed to the going back to it. We wake up, do the normal things because we believe that the earth will still rotate on its axis, that the sun will shine even through storms and rain.

  • That plants, crops, trees will grow even when there is drought;
  • That our vehicles and even aircraft will be able to take us to and fro. The streets will be able to hold our cars, never mind how many potholes;
  • That we will be able to eat and digest our food;
  • That doctors will be able to heal us;
  • Teachers, lecturers will be able to teach us;
  • That security agencies will be able to protect us from those who wish us harm;

We can go on and on. In fact, even right now most of us are comfortable sitting on our chairs because we have faith that they will hold our weight and keep us secure.

In fact, our whole lives revolve around things we believe in, both seen and unseen.

  1. SO, WHAT IS FAITH?
  2. The All Nations English Dictionary defines Faith as:
  • Strong belief, trust, confidence
  • Loyalty to ones promises or word of honour.

 

  1. Webster’s New World Dictionary also defines Faith as:
  • Trust
  • Unquestioning Belief in God
  • Anything believed
  • Complete trust or confidence
  • Loyalty
  1. BIBLICAL DEFINATION

We are talking about God and His Word so it’s important that we find out what God means by faith. In Hebrews 11:1, we read that Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This means that the nature of faith that is acceptable before God is a faith that is triumphant in the worst situations. In the New Testament faith conveys the idea of trust, a firm internal conviction regarding the truthfulness of someone or some claim.

It is faith that believes in spiritual realities and leads to:

  1. Righteousness
  2. Seeking God
  3. Believing in God’s goodness
  4. Having complete confidence in God’s Word
  5. Obeying God’s command
  6. Regulating life on God’s promises
  7. Rejecting the spirit of this present evil age
  8. Seeking a Heavenly home
  9. Persevering in trials and testing
  10. Blessing the next generation
  11. Refusing sin’s pleasures
  12. Enduring persecution
  13. Performing mighty acts of righteousness
  14. Suffering for God

A tall list but as we read in Philippians 2:13 (NLT) – “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.”; God who lives in us by His Spirit continues to work in us to give us the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. He is the originator of faith and He is our Helper.

  1. In 1 Kings 18:36-39, Elijah practises his faith by courageously challenging King Ahab for his disobedience (rebuking all of Israel, confronting the 450 prophets of Baal). His faith led him to use only the weapons of prayer and faith in God. His confidence in God is indicated by the brevity and simplicity of his prayer. He didn’t need a Genesis to Revelation kind of prayer nor did he stomp and wag his fingers at God. He prayed in agreement with God’s will. Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal and then his prayer was to reveal God’s grace to His people and thus turn their hearts back to God.
  2. We too must put our faith in practice as we see so much evil and wrongdoing in our society. Instead of the daily complaining we must put our faith to work by praying in agreement with God’s will. Titus 2:14, reveals to us that Christ has redeemed for Himself, a people who are His very own and eager to do good. We must therefore use Hebrews 4:14-16 as well as 1 John 5:14-15 to pray for one another so that we will live in the power of righteousness that we have been saved to practice. We must trust God to empower us to change our generation.
  3. In Galatians 1:1-10, Paul was horrified that the Christians in Galatia were allowing the Judaizers to persuade them to abandon their faith in the gospel of salvation by faith only in the Lord Jesus Christ and to accept the false notions that they had to become Jews through circumcision and adherence to rules and regulations before they could become true Christians. It was so false that Paul virtually reined curses on those who brought this false gospel. And are we not facing the same things? Prayer camps, strange prophecies and regulated practices, rituals and dogmas.
  4. Let’s put our faith into practice and accept that Christ’s saving purpose is the deliverance of us believers from the evil that dominates this world’s societies. We must live for God and refuse to be governed by the prevailing values, wisdom, opinions, corrupt desires and selfish pleasures of the people of this world. We must despise evil and love what is righteous – this is our faith – we are a people delivered from evil and brought into God’s marvelous light as we read in 1 Peter 2:9.

We must have our mind conformed to God’s way of thinking by reading and meditating on His Word as the Bible tells us in Psalm 119:11 & 148; John 8:31 – 32 & 15:7.

We must have our plans and ambitions determined by heavenly and eternal fruits and not by this evil, temporal and transient age, no matter how attractive. We must avoid being so gullible and faint-hearted. We say that God is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent. Acting out our faith is what makes us witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  1. In Luke 7:1-10, the Roman Centurion heard of the God of Jews and His mighty power being displayed in Jesus and he believed in Him and actually sought His help. His faith was commended by Jesus because it surpassed anything found among the Jews. The centurion’s faith combined a long concern for another person – his servant- with great trust in Jesus. He was deemed an unbeliever by the Jews but he had all the elements of a believer in Jesus’ eyes.

We are believers but is our faith in the Author and Perfecter of our faith in Jesus Christ evident in the things we do?

  • Do people see the power of Jesus in the way we practise our Christian faith.
  • Do we love one another us Christ has loved us?

 

Conclusion

Christ Jesus says He has overcome the world and indeed He has by His death and resurrection. His love is abundant – we know it and experience it daily. His grace is divine – we experience that too daily. By our actions let’s bring glory to God and enjoy the freedom and power that our faith brings us.

Let’s dedicate our lives to God and ask Him to increase our faith.

 

Stay Blessed!

 

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

Email:  saltnlightministries@gmail.com

Website:  saltandlightgh.org 

DEALING WITH BAD TEMPER.

Scripture:

 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. – Ephesians 4:31

INTRODUCTION

A LOOSE TEMPER

Losing your temper is a lot like losing your car keys—you never choose to and it always seems to happen at the worst moments. For some “losing your temper” means yelling, swearing, pounding a fist on the table. For others, lost temper is barely perceptible: a tightening of the jaw, a cold silence, but the angry feelings are still swarming, just hidden away inside.

Whatever our style, we all lose our temper sometimes. By “lose our temper,” I simply mean that you and I sometimes hand the reins of our behavior over to the feelings of anger in our soul. As your body begins to pump adrenaline, expand blood vessels, and tense muscles for a fight, your desire to feel vindicated (though all too often later reflection reveals you weren’t nearly so far up the moral high ground as you’d thought) takes over and hands you your script. Fundamentally, losing your temper means you’ve placed anger in the saddle and you are now galloping along at its command.

 

WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?

Despite the thousand coats anger may wear, anger is simple at its core. Anger always passes moral judgment. It is the moral emotion. Anger says “what just happened was wrong.” Now our anger may be accurate in its judgment of right and wrong or it may be out to lunch. For example, my children may get mad because I’m exasperating them, or they may get mad because I’m putting them to bed at a reasonable hour when they wanted to stay up. Either way, the core cry of anger is “That is unjust! That is evil! I condemn that!”

James 4:1–2 lays out the basic dynamic at play in our sinful anger. “What causes fights and quarrels among you?” James asks. “Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.” In essence, James is saying that our anger condemns anything that comes between us and what we want. Because, James argues, we are committed to our own wellbeing above all, when something or someone thwarts our desires, we feel unjustly treated and respond by calling out the troops to avenge the perceived injustice.

Ultimately then, a lost temper is just anger that’s been put in charge without checks or balances.

God promises to work in the hearts of those who love him.

IS ALL ANGER BAD?

It’s important to say one more thing before we identify solutions: this does not mean all anger is bad! God is angry against sin and the horrors it wreaks on his beloved children. We can and should be angry in the face of everything from sex-trafficking to a snarky spat between our friends (though even then we should never return evil for evil!). Further, even when our anger is indeed sinful and we are losing our temper and screaming at someone, many of the things we want are still genuinely good things to want! Physical safety for our families, fair treatment in the workplace, not being gossiped about at church, and a quiet evening at home after a long day are all perfectly righteous things to desire.

This is the point though: whenever you or I lose our tempers, it means we’ve gone from wanting some good thing, to demanding that we must have it or else. Sinful anger is so convinced of its own moral high ground that it feels perfectly justified visiting its wrath upon whatever, or whomever, has dared to transgress absolute justice (i.e., us getting whatever it is we want at that moment). Thus, while we may sometimes be “right” about the issue, giving anger total control of our response to a problem will always be destructive and sinful. “The anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God desires” – James 1:20.

 

WHAT CAN WE DO?

Thankfully we aren’t doomed to endlessly lose our tempers! God promises to work in the hearts of those who love him. He does not merely change our behavior, but also transforms us to “will,” to desire, according to His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). The more God changes our desires to mirror what he desires, the more our anger will be rightly directed at true evils (rather than the self-centeredness that naturally drives our anger without his transforming intervention); and paired with that, the more we’ll trust His ways of achieving what is good. No matter how right we are about the issue at hand, love for God resists the temptation to give our anger the reins. Instead, godly anger seeks restoration and protection for those who have been wronged without vengeance, cruelty, insult or any other form of returning evil for evil.

For those who find their temper to be a special problem, let me offer three brief suggestions:

1.WHAT WERE YOU WANTING?

When you’ve lost your temper, ask yourself what you were wanting. It’s amazing how much you can learn about your desires and the underlying motives when you simply slow down and consider what desire was being thwarted. Anger is always driven by desire—the better you understand your desires, the better you’ll understand how, why, when and where you’ll lose your temper next time and be able to prepare for challenging situations.

And take heart. The simple fact that you are even saying “Help! I keep losing my temper!” should give you great hope. Far too many angry people don’t realize they are angry at all. They just “know” they are “right” and everyone else is “wrong.” The more you see and deal with your anger’s underlying desires, the more you’ll be equipped to value and pursue the right things in the heat of the moment.

 

 

2.LOVE DEEPLY

Ultimately, our hope isn’t simply in exploring our problematic underlying desires. The only true way to reduce the problem of your temper is to actually increasingly value and cherish bringing good and blessing to those you love. Your biggest goal is not to understand yourself (as much as this helps!), but is rather to be altogether less focused on yourself and your desires. Instead, God would have you more focused on the good of those you love around you. The more your heart desires blessing for the people around you rather than your own comfort, reputation, etc., the less you will be prone to lose your temper when you don’t get what you want (and are sure you deserve) in any sudden moment.

One way to cultivate this is to daily spend a couple minutes praying Philippians 4:8 for those with whom you are most in danger of losing your temper. Pray for God to grow whatever is noble, right, lovely, pure, etc. in them and pray that you will more deeply appreciate who he has made them to be.

 

3.REPENT THOUGHTFULLY

Get serious about repenting to the people you hurt. I’m not talking about extravagant promises to never be angry again. Instead, pray for God’s protection against self-righteous anger in your heart and then go ask people you’ve harmed to help you understand how you’ve harmed them. Then really listen to the answer. Express sorrow for how you’ve hurt them (not just the fact that you did something “wrong” in some abstract sense).

It will be excruciatingly difficult at times, but it will give your conscience an enormous amount of ammunition with which to guard you against further outbursts. (And remember, this isn’t about you demanding forgiveness—by definition you may never demand it as it must be freely chosen).

It may also sometimes be helpful to share your awareness of the problem in your desires: “I’m sorry that I let my desire for a peaceful evening control me so much that I yelled at you when you tried to talk to me about our schedule for the week. I know that must have hurt you and been frustrating too as you’re trying to plan for the next few days. Will you forgive me?”

Gaining control of your temper by taming your tongue (and the hundred ways your actions can speak louder than words) is no easy task. But no application of the call to love your neighbor and honor Jesus Christ is more urgent and important.

Thank God that in our every need He gives more grace – James 4:6!

Stay Blessed!

 

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

Email:  saltnlightministries@gmail.com

Website:  saltandlightgh.org 

EXCELLING IN THE GRACE OF GIVING.

Scripture:

But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you — see that you also excel in this grace of giving. – 2 Corinthians 8:7.

INTRODUCTION

We are children of God the Father through rebirth. It is by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ who died that we may have life and have it more abundantly – Ephesians 2:8&9 & John 10:10b . We get this faith through the promptings of the Holy Spirit who convicts of sin and makes us know about the righteousness which is ours in Christ in God. So our spiritual rebirth is by the activity of the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We live because of our Triune God and He gives us all of Himself– it is a giving of the whole of the Godhead and it is total. The urge to give in the service of God is therefore God given because we have the DNA of God who is the ultimate giver. Praise God for the word of God which gives us not only examples but also insight into Biblical giving. Our motives are important. Our actual gift is also important. God will accept every offering which is given in true faith and dedication to righteousness as Abel did in Genesis 4.

If our offering lacks sincere obedient faith and our motives are evil, God will reject our offering as He did that of Cain. God takes pleasure in our offerings and thanksgivings only when we are striving to live a righteous life according to His will.

Jesus Christ’s willingness to give is an example that all believers are to follow. Our priority in life is not our own comfort – it is service, and we are to serve Christ by serving others. His grace toward us should be reflected in our grace towards others – grace not only in forgiveness but in the material blessings we have been given and should share.

Our attitude about giving has spiritual significance. Paul says it is evidence of our love – our concern for others. We all need to excel in the grace of giving. How do we do this?

Let us look at some 11 principles:

Principle 1: Outward circumstances and difficulties should not hinder generosity in giving. The Macedonians gave from poverty, not abundance. They willingly gave because they wanted to, not because they had to. Their giving far exceeded their financial ability.

Principle 2: All financial giving should be proceeded by self-giving. We give ourselves first!! 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. – Romans 12:1

Principle 3: As Christians we need to be taught the principle of grace giving and to abound in grace giving. Luke 6:38, clearly says “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Principle 4: Our goal in giving should be fulfilled and brought to completion. What we start out to do must be completed.

Principle 5: Generous giving is a tangible way to give evidence of the sincerity of our love. We put our money where our mouth is! If we love Jesus let’s give towards His work.

Principle 6: There is a connection between “the grace of God” and “the grace of giving” as we read in John 3:16, “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.” Our giving should be therefore rooted in His giving, He gave it all.

Principle 7: Grace giving moves God to supply and meet all needs. The needs are resupplied that work may continue. If we pledge to God to increase our giving each year, He will always supply for our every need so that we lack nothing. We will be left with more to give next time.

Principle 8: The willingness to give is more important than the amount given. The widow gave her mite and we can be sure that the Lord honoured her giving and supplied her needs immediately.

Principle 9: Generous spirit led giving will have a godly influence on others’ giving.

Principle 10: The attitude in which your money is given is of utmost importance to God. Think of Cain and Abel. God did not disapprove of Cain’s offering because it was from crops. His hearts attitude was wrong!! Abel gave with the right heart, the right motives and with righteous living.

Principle 11: Generous giving is the appropriate response to God’s unspeakable gift! God has given His all and so much. God is looking for generous givers. Are you one of them?

To Ponder: Let us pray MHB 923

WE GIVE THEE BUT THINE OWN

1 We give thee but thine own,

Whate’er the gift may be;

All that we have is thine alone,

A trust, O Lord, from thee.

 

2 May we thy bounties thus
As stewards true receive,
And gladly, as thou blessest us,
To thee our first-fruits give.

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.

GOD’S LOVE

Scripture:

I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. – Jeremiah 31:3b

Message:

When a person becomes a Christian, he or she gains all the privileges and responsibilities of a child in God’s family. One of these outstanding privileges is being led by the Spirit as we read in Galatians 4:5, 6 – “to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to son ship. Because you are His sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” We may not always feel as though we belong to God, but the Holy Spirit is our witness. His inward presence reminds us of who we are and encourages us with God’s love.

1 JOHN 3

See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but He has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as He is pure.

Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. Anyone who continues to live in Him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know Him or understand who He is.

Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. So now we can tell who children of God are and who children of the devil are. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.

This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another. We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous. So don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. If we love our brothers and sisters who are believers, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them. We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and He knows everything.  Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive from Him whatever we ask because we obey Him and do the things that please Him. And this is His commandment: We must believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with Him, and He with them. And we know He lives in us because the Spirit He gave us lives in us.

LOVING ONE ANOTHER – 1 JOHN 4:7-21

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. And God has given us His Spirit as proof that we live in Him and He in us. Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in His love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the Day of Judgment, but we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love. We love each other because He loved us first.

If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And He has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.

CONCLUSION

As believers, our self-worth is based on the fact that God loves us and calls us His children. We are His children now, not just sometime in the distant future. Knowing that we are His children should encourage us to live as Jesus did.

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.

GIVING TO THE WORK OF GOD

Scripture:
“Three times a year you are to celebrate a festival to me. “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread; for seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Aviv, for in that month you came out of Egypt. “No one is to appear before me empty-handed. “Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the first fruits of the crops you sow in your field. “Celebrate the Festival of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in your crops from the field. “Three times a year all the men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord. – Exodus 23:14-17.

Message:
Part of our calling us disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ is our persistent worship of Him. Let us therefore devote ourselves with pleasure to the service of the Lord. That portion of our time which He requires, and count His “sabbaths” and ordinances to be a feast for our souls. The Lord tells us today as He told the children of Israel that they were not to come before His presence empty-handed. In that respect we too must not come to God empty-hearted. On the contrary our souls must be filled with holy desires before Him, and dedications of ourselves to Him; because these are the sacrifices God finds most pleasing.
Today, I would like us to consider one of the portions of scripture that talks about giving.
CHRISTIAN GIVING
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “He has scattered abroad His gifts to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever.”
Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” – 2 Corinthians 9:6-11
1. There is no compulsion to Christian giving. We can give generously or we can be mean fisted and give only the minimum. Our reward from God is always commensurate with our giving. Let us remember that God does not expect us to give what we do not have. Christians can give either generously or sparingly, and God will reward them accordingly. To Paul, giving is not a loss, but a form of saving which results in great benefits for the giver. He is not speaking primarily of the quantity given, but of the quality of our hearts’ desires and motives.
The poor widow in Jesus’ comment in Luke 21:1-4, gave little, but God considered it much because of the proportion she gave and because of her complete dedication. Jesus gives a lesson on how God evaluates giving. A person’s gift is determined not by the amount he or she gives, but by the amount of sacrifice involved in the giving. The rich, at times, give only out of their wealth – making no real sacrifice. The widow’s gift cost her everything. She gave as much as she possibly could. This principle can be applied to all our service for Jesus. He judges our work and ministry not by its size or influence or success, but by the amount of sincere dedication, sacrifice, faith and love involved.
2. In a culture obsessed with materialism and convenience, it is not always easy to make personal sacrifices. But that which is convenient is not really a sacrifice and probably requires little effort or generosity. Don’t let a lack of faith keep you from giving cheerfully and generously. God wants people to sow His generosity by gladly giving time and money, particularly so that others can do and receive ministry. True generosity means giving with no selfish expectations.
3. In order for us to express true generosity outwardly, our hearts must become rich in true love and compassion for others. We should always pray and ask God to give us this kind of heart for others. Giving of ourselves and our possessions results in:
a) Supplying the needs of those of us who are lacking in some way
b) Praise and thanksgiving to God
c) Love from those who receive our help
CONCLUSION
To conclude, permit me to quote from Oswald Chambers who wrote in “My Utmost for His Highest”
“Our work begins where God’s grace has laid the foundation; we are not to save souls, but to disciple them. Salvation and sanctification are the work of God’s sovereign grace; our work as His disciples is to disciple lives until they are completely yielded and surrendered to God. One life wholly yielded to God is of more value to God than 100 lives simply awakened by His Spirit. God brings us to a standard of life by His grace, and we are responsible for reproducing that standard in others.”
 The great missionary to China, Hudosn Taylor, said, “The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed.”
 David Livingstone, who spent his life as a medical missionary and explorer of Africa, said, “If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?” Jesus has given each of His disciples the honor of helping to fulfill the Great Commission.
Hymn: MHB 400 – TAKE MY LIFE, AND LET IT BE

1 Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise,

2 Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee,

3 Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee,

4 Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose,

5 Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart; it is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne,

6 Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee,
Ever, only, all for Thee.

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.