HOW MANY FRIENDS IS TOO MANY?

Scripture:
Greater love has no-one than this: that He lay down His life for His friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. – John 15:13-15

INTRODUCTION
Before Facebook, we would have had to make several phone calls or send dozens of texts to figure out what all our friends were up to. Social media platforms such as Facebook listed all those updates in one seamless news feed where we know what’s going on with our friends in just a few minutes. It was a new world. Now, we could make new friends and keep up with the old.
But now, I’m not so sure. Now that we have lived with nearly a decade and a half of social media, can we say that our friendships better off? Have we gained more than we’ve lost? While I see nothing wrong with social media, the advent of this technology forces us to work harder at forming healthy habits in friendship.
Let me explain what I mean. If we aren’t careful, we will stretch ourselves too thin, trying to have 100 deep friendships when we are only capable of a few. If we aren’t careful, we’ll end up with many long-distance friendships but no one physically present in our day to day lives to be there for us. If we aren’t careful, we may lose the ability to enjoy and cultivate seasonal friendships and begin demanding that every friendship be a forever one.
So what wisdom does the Bible offer as we seek to build healthy, stable, and satisfying friendships in the age of social media? While there’s much to say, let me share three principles that are helping me
1. Embrace your limits,
2. Have an eternal perspective,
3. Remember your mission.

1. EMBRACE YOUR LIMITS
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. — Proverbs 18:24
Contrary to the message our social media accounts preach, it is not possible to have hundreds of friends. We just don’t have the capacity. We are limited people with a limited amount of relational bandwidth. Even Jesus accepted this human limitation in His time on earth, choosing only twelve apostles and within that twelve only three — Peter, James, and John — who He regularly brought in to His most intimate moments.
What makes us think we can manage more than that?
Before all this technology, most people were forced to embrace the limits that jobs, moves, and children placed on them. The challenge now is that we are no longer forced into limitation, we must choose to limit ourselves. And that’s far more difficult. It takes a lot of self-control and intentionality to build local friendships after you move rather than just keep up with your friends back home via facetime. But if we don’t make these decisions, we’ll miss the real joys and benefits that flesh-and-blood friendships have for us.

2. HAVE AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. — Colossians 3:2
Unlike the world around us, we don’t have to live as if this life is all there is. Jesus has purchased for us a reality of unending fellowship with Himself and with one another. The future of our friendships with all who trust in Christ are secure! There is no more fear of missing out when you keep eternity in mind.
In my own case considering eternity has freed me to allow for seasonal friendships. I have friends from secondary school and university that are precious friends, people who I dearly love! But I no longer keep up with them because I can’t, I don’t have the capacity right now. But I know one day, because of our mutual faith in Jesus, we will be able to sit across the table from one another in the new heavens and new earth and catch up on all we missed in this life! I have eternity with those friends! So even if it is goodbye for now, I know I’m not really losing anything.

3. REMEMBER YOUR MISSION
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. – 2 Corinthians 5:20
Social media can quickly convince you that keeping up with everyone is priority number one. It can create anxiety in us when we aren’t doing a good job managing our many relationships in person and online. But is this our goal in life? To keep up with our social networks? No way! As Christians, we have something so much bigger to live for!
We are ambassadors for Christ, carrying the hope of the Gospel to a lost and dying world.
Please don’t misunderstand me here, I think friendships are of paramount importance! But when we try to have too many friends, we end up running around from one leisure meeting to another and can lose the ability to see the lonely neighbour in the house next door or the struggling single mother at the market or shopping mall. And they may be in desperate need of the hope that we have.

CONCLUSION
So as you interact with your many online and in person – connections, keep these truths in mind. Humbly embrace the limitations in your life and be content with fewer friends. Choose to remain uninformed about all those online friends every now and then so that you have space to notice the people God has placed right in front of you. Set your mind on eternity and remember you have a mission, and it’s something so much bigger than socializing. You are an ambassador carrying the great news that there is a good God who has befriended sinners through the life, death, and resurrection of His son, Jesus! Living for this will not take away from our friendships but will infuse them with more meaning and joy than we thought possible!

TO PONDER
Do your friendships bring you joy? Or are you spread too thin with too much time spent on social media? Maybe it’s time to take a break and get with a real-life friend. Maybe it is time to disconnect online and connect with a neighbour, a widow from church, or a brand new friend. Let’s ask ourselves who could use the love of Jesus through your phone call or a face to face meeting?
This article was inspired by a devotional message from a friend.

Stay Blessed!

For further inquiries please contact us on Tel Nos. 0302-772013 or 0268130615
Email: saltnlightministries@gmail.com
Website: saltandlightgh.org

WHO IS A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST?

Scripture:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19 – 20.

Messsage:
The Greek term for “disciple” in the New Testament is mathetes, which means more than just “student” or “learner.” A disciple is a “follower,” someone who adheres completely to the teachings of another, making them his rule of life and conduct. The Pharisees prided themselves in being disciples of Moses – John 9:28. Jesus’ followers were called “disciples” long before they were ever called “Christians.” Their discipleship began with Jesus’ call and required them to exercise their will to follow Him -Matthew 9:9.
Jesus was quite explicit about the cost of following Him. Discipleship requires a totally committed life: “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple” – Luke 14:33. Sacrifice is expected: “Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me’” -Matthew 16:24.
Not all of Jesus’ followers were able to make such a commitment. There were many who left Jesus after a while. “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him” (John 6:66).
Biblically speaking, a Christian is a disciple of Christ. A Christian is someone who has placed his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ -John 1:12. A Christian has been born again by the power of the Holy Spirit -John 3:3. A Christian “belongs to Christ” and is daily being transformed into the likeness of Christ – 2 Corinthians 3:18.
A true Christian (and not one in name only) will have to be a disciple of Christ as well. That is, he is someone who has counted the cost and has totally committed his life to following Jesus. He accepts the call to sacrifice and follows wherever the Lord leads. The Christian disciple completely adheres to the teaching of Jesus, makes Christ his number-one priority, and lives accordingly. He is actively involved in making other Christian disciples.
A true Christian disciple is a believer in Christ and possesses new life through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Because he loves Christ, a Christian will also be an obedient disciple (John 14:15). Paul describes the reality of being a Christian disciple: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
GO…MAKE DISCIPLES…BAPTIZING.
These words are referred to as Christ’s Great Commission (i.e., His primary command, instruction and task – along with the authority to carry it out). This command applies to all His followers of every generation. Christ states the goal and responsibility of His church. We are to take His message to people of all nations and cultures. Thus spread the message of Christ as revealed in His own teaching and through the teaching of His apostles.
The primary purpose of Christ’s commission was to make disciples – disciplined “learners” and followers of Jesus who live by His commands and are continually growing in their relationship with Him. To make disciples is the only direct command in this passage.
Christ’s words are really a commission to the deeper aspect of discipleship – which goes beyond evangelism and on to solid teaching and continual spiritual nurturing that produces growth and progress. We should not intend make converts to Christianity but train and mentor (train by teaching and example) other people who will faithfully follow Christ and lead other to Him as well. A church’s spiritual energies and efforts must not be focused merely on enlarging church membership, but in making true disciples – life long followers of Christ who avoid evil, follow Christ’s commands and pursue His purposes with all their heart, mind and will.
Those who believe in Christ – who accept His message by faith and actively yield their lives to Him – are to be “baptized” (being immersed or put completely under water.) It represents a person’s spiritual pledge to turn away from sin and immorality, to die to one’s on sinful nature and, with God’s help, to be raised up to live a new life. In this new life we are completely committed to Christ and His purposes, and through the presence of the Holy Spirit we will be able to fulfill the task to take Christ’s message wherever we go.
It has always been God’s desire to reach the whole world and so we should be under no assumption that this command is something new. God, in the very beginning intended to bring mankind into fellowship and relationship with Himself. It has always been God’s desire to reach the world of lost people and bring them to fellowship with Himself. In 1 Timothy 2:3 – 4 we read, “God our Saviour who will have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Knowing who a disciple is, a simple definition in Pastor Rick Warren’s book, “The Purpose Driven Life which I find useful says:” A life of discipleship is understood in terms of living out the five purposes. A disciple is one who:
1. Is pleasing God every day, this is true Worship.
2. Is an active member of a local body of believers, which is Fellowship.
3. Is learning to be more Christ-like in their behaviour every day, which is Discipleship.
4. Is serving sacrificially within the local body of believers, which is Ministry.
5. Is sharing God’s love, forgiveness and hope with people who do not know Christ, which is Mission.
To Ponder:
SAVIOUR WHILE MY HEART IS TENDER – MHB 395

1 Savior, while my heart is tender,
I would yield that heart to Thee;
All my powers to Thee surrender,
Thine and only Thine to be.

2 Take me now, Lord Jesus, take me;
Let my youthful heart be Thine;
Thy devoted servant make me;
Fill my soul with love divine.

3 Send me, Lord, where Thou wilt send me,
Only do Thou guide my way;
May Thy grace through life attend me,
Gladly then shall I obey.

4 Let me do Thy will or bear it;
I would know no will but Thine;
Shouldst Thou take my life or spare it,
I that life to Thee resign.

5 Thine I am, O Lord, for ever
To Thy service set apart;
Suffer me to leave Thee never,
Seal Thine image on my heart.

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.

LYING LEADS TO TROUBLE.

Scripture:
Then Jeremiah the prophet said to Hananiah, “Listen, Hananiah! The Lord has not sent you, but the people believe your lies. Therefore, this is what the Lord says: ‘You must die. Your life will end this very year because you have rebelled against the Lord.’” Two months later the prophet Hananiah died. – Jeremiah 28:15-17.

INTRODUCTION
Is honesty always the best policy? Or are there times when it may be best to lie? Ethicists may debate whether certain circumstances justify deception, but Scripture seems clear that lying leads to trouble. Deceit turns on its source, exacting a high price in the long run.
For example, Hananiah the prophet misled the people of Judah by denouncing Jeremiah’s prophecy and then giving a prophecy of his own, preceded by the words, “Thus says the Lord.” But in fact, the Lord had not spoken to him. That kind of false prophecy was a grievous sin, punishable by death – Deuteronomy 13:1-5; “Suppose there are prophets among you or those who dream dreams about the future, and they promise you signs or miracles, and the predicted signs or miracles occur. If they then say, ‘Come, let us worship other gods’—gods you have not known before— do not listen to them. The Lord your God is testing you to see if you truly love Him with all your heart and soul. Serve only the Lord your God and fear Him alone. Obey His commands, listen to His voice, and cling to Him. The false prophets or visionaries who try to lead you astray must be put to death, for they encourage rebellion against the Lord your God, who redeemed you from slavery and brought you out of the land of Egypt. Since they try to lead you astray from the way the Lord your God commanded you to live, you must put them to death. In this way you will purge the evil from among you.” Not surprisingly, the Lord called Hananiah to pay for his deception with his life as we read in Jeremiah 28:15-17.
THE WORD OF GOD LYING
A. The Bible gives numerous other examples to show that “A false witness will not go unpunished, and a liar will be destroyed.” – Proverbs 19:9, and that the Lord hates dishonesty; “There are six things the Lord hates—no, seven things He detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent”– Proverbs 6:16-17:
1. Sin and death were introduced into the world because a lie was told and believed – Genesis 3:1-7; Timothy 2:14.
2. Cain tried to lie his way out of accountability for killing hos brother Abel. The result was a lifetime of running from others – Genesis 4:1-16.
3. Rebekah engineered a lie for her son Jacob to tell his father Isaac in order to gain the family blessing. The result was estrangement in the family and generations of hostility between the offspring of the two brothers.
4. Joseph’s brother’s lied to their father about selling the boy to slave traders, resulting in profound heartache for their father – Genesis 37:28-35.
5. Potiphar’s wife crafted a lie to frame Joseph with attempted rape, resulting in an unjust prison sentence – Genesis 39:7-20.
6. David practiced a gruesome form of deception by arranging for the murder of Uriah to cover up his affair with Bathsheba. Through Nathan the prophet the lie was exposed. Bathsheba’s child died, and a lifetime of painful relationships ensued in David’s family – 2 Samuel 11-12.
7. Peter denied that he even knew the Lord when asked by several bystanders in the courtyard of Caiaphas’s house, resulting in great shame and sorrow. – Matthew 26:69-74.
8. Ananias and Sapphira lied to the early church and the Holy Spirit about a financial gift, which brought about their untimely deaths – Acts 5:1-11.
Jesus spoke clearly about the nature of lying when He declared that lies are of the devil – John 8:44. By contrast, Jesus is the source of all truth, and those who speak and practice the truth show that they belong to Him. Are you a person of truth and integrity, or is lying a way of life with you?
B. Proverbs 26:28 says, “A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.”
a) Good words do not prove good intentions. Liars and flatterers are out to destroy you, no matter how good their words sound, no matter their excuses – Proverbs 26:24-25. A wise man rejects both kinds of men, just as David did – Psalm 101:3-8. If you tolerate these deceitful people in your life, they will take you down – Proverbs 20:19; 29:5. They are hiding hatred and destruction behind their lying words, and noble and prudent men will stay far from them.
b) A man lies for advantage or to protect himself. He is selfish and wicked, so he feels no guilt about deceiving you in order to advance himself. It does not matter what his relationship is to you or how kindly he speaks at other times. If he has lied to you, then you should run far from him, whether it is a slander about you or a lie to your face. His deceit proves that he hates you. He is out to hurt you or use you. True friends never lie.
c) Flattery is praise designed to deceive you into doing what the flatterer wants you to do. It is a form of lying, but it is harder to detect and resist. Men love praise, so they are easily lulled to sleep by flattery. It is poison in a spoonful of honey. A flatterer is more dangerous than a slanderer, for he is crafty, friendly, and subtle in working his deceit, while liars are more easily detected by their open malice and wickedness.
d) Are you vigilant and intolerant against deceivers? Aggressive salesmen may lie or flatter to sell an inferior product. Many girls have lost their virginity or women their marital fidelity to lying flattery of whoremongers – II Samuel 13:1-13. Many men have been led to hell by flattering lies of whorish women – Proverbs 2:16-18; 5:3; 6:24-26; 7:5,21-23. Many citizens have voted for corrupt politicians due to flattery and false promises, for the election process in most nations is based on words rather than character or performance.
e) Parent, you must punish lying and flattery, and you must teach children to reject liars and flatterers – Job 32:21-22. Teach them that God hates liars, He will judge them, and liars are going to hell – Proverbs 6:16-19; Job 17:5; Ps 12:2-3; Rev 21:8. Teach them that friends who tell the truth even when it hurts are better than kisses from an enemy – Proverbs 27:5-6. Teach them that men should be judged by their actions and lives, not words – Proverbs 20:11.
f) Religion has many lies and flattery, for the devil has used it since Eden – Genesis 3:1-13; John 8:44. The Jews flattered and lied to Jesus to trap Him – Luke 20:20-21. False teachers use good words and fair speeches to deceive simple hearers – Romans 16:17-18. Rome tells the lies of abstaining from meat and marriage – I Timothy 4:1-3. But God’s faithful pastors and teachers never use flattering speech or lies – II Corinthians 2:17; 4:2; I Thessalonians 2:3-6.
Jehovah is God of truth, and so is His Son Jesus Christ, Who is Faithful and True – Revelation 19:11. He expects honesty and truthfulness from His children, and He punishes all liars and flatterers. All who take His name must make sure their every word is honest, sincere, and true – and obviously so in the ears of all others – Deuteronomy 32:4; Romans 12:17; I Peter 2:12.
TO PONDER:
John 8:44 – You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Lying is specifically mentioned as a characteristic of the devil; he is the source of dishonesty and deceit – Genesis 3:1-6; Acts 5:3; Revelation 12:9. This means that lying, cheating and other forms of dishonesty are totally opposed to the mind and nature of God, who is truth – Revelation 19:11. An unconcerned attitude about the sin of lying is one of the unmistakable symptoms of an ungodly condition. It is sign that the person is not “born of the Spirit” but is under the influence of Satan. Where do you stand?
Stay Blessed!

For further inquiries please contact us on Tel Nos. 0302-772013 or 0268130615
Email: saltnlightministries@gmail.com
Website: saltandlightgh.org

THY WILL BE DONE

Scripture:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” – Matthew 6:9–10.

“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” – Matthew 26:39.

INTRODUCTION
“Thy will be done” is one of the requests in the Lord’s Prayer which the Lord Jesus taught His disciples to pray in Matthew 6:9-10. Jesus Himself pleaded for God’s will to be done in the Garden of Gethsemane. Prior to His crucifixion, as we read in Matthew 26:39. Jesus was committed to seeing God’s will accomplished, and the prayer “Thy will be done” was a theme of His life.
1. Most simply, to pray, “Thy will be done,” is to ask God to do what He desires. Of course, we’re praying to the God who said, “Let there be light,” and there was light – Genesis 1:3, so we know that His sovereign decree will be accomplished, whether or not we pray for it. But there is another aspect of God’s will, which we call His “revealed” will or “preceptive” will. This is God’s “will” that He has revealed to us but that He does not force upon us. For example, it is God’s will that we speak the truth in love – Ephesians 4:15 and that we not commit adultery – 1 Corinthians 6:18 or get drunk – Ephesians 5:18.
2. When we pray, “Thy will be done,” we are asking God to increase righteousness in the world, to bring more people to repentance, and to further the cause of the kingdom of His Son.
When we pray, “Thy will be done,” we acknowledge God’s right to rule. We do not pray, “My will be done”; we pray, “Thy will be done.” Asking that God’s will be done is a demonstration of our trust that He knows what is best. It is a statement of submission to God’s ways and His plans. We ask for our will to be conformed to His.
The Lord’s Prayer begins by acknowledging God as Father in heaven. Jesus then models petition, presenting three requests to the Father:
a) That God would cause His name to be hallowed; in other words, as Albert Mohler explains in his book “The Prayer That Turns the World Upside Down: The Lord’s Prayer as a Manifesto for Revolution”, “that God would act in such a way that He visibly demonstrates His holiness and His glory”
b) That God would bring His kingdom to earth; that is, that the preaching of the gospel would convert sinners into saints who walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and that God would rid the world of evil and create the new heavens and new earth where God will dwell with His people and there will be no more curse and no more death – Revelation 21—22.
c) That God’s will would be done “on earth as it is in heaven” – Matthew 6:10. In heaven, the angels perform God’s desire completely, joyfully, and immediately—what a world this would be if humans acted like that!
As a point of clarification, “Thy will be done” is not an impassive prayer of resignation. Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane was not passive or fatalistic in the least; He bared His heart before the Father and revealed His ultimate desire: for God’s will to be accomplished. Praying, “Thy will be done,” acknowledges that God has more knowledge than we do and that we trust His way is best. And it is a commitment to actively work to further the execution of God’s will.
To Ponder
Romans 12:1–2 says, “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.” Understanding who God is, we submit ourselves to Him and allow Him to transform us. The more we know God, the more readily our prayers will align with His will and we can truly pray, “Thy will be done.” We can approach God in confidence that “if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” – 1 John 5:14–15.
By faith, we know that praying, “Thy will be done,” is the best thing we can ask for. “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” – Ephesians 3:20–21.
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 Hymn and their Stories.

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 

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!

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.

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 IS SOVEREIGN AND FAITHFUL.

 

 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.  They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills.  Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. From their callous hearts comes iniquity; the evil conceit of their minds no limits.  They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten oppression.  Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.  Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance. They say, “How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?”  This is what the wicked are like- always free of care, they increase in wealth.  Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence. All day long I have been plagued, I have been punished every morning.

If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed your children.  When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.  Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin.  How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!  As a dream when one awakes; so when you arise, O Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.

When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.  Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.  But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds. – PSALM 73.

This psalm deals with a disturbing problem. Although God is sovereign (He has absolute power and authority to do as He desires) and His justice is complete, still wicked people often prosper while those who serve God seem to suffer more. The psalmist, who serves God faithfully, has become discouraged as he compares his troubles with the ease and happiness of many who reject and disobey God. However, his confidence in God is renewed when God reveals the tragic destiny of the wicked and the true reward of those who remain faithful to God.

DESTINY OF THE WICKED.

  1. This revelation helps the psalmist view his problems in a more balanced way. He realizes that he and other godly people will enjoy the best for eternity, but they also have the greatest benefit in the present life as well. They have access to God’s power and presence. In the end, everything will be made right. All God’s people will be victorious with him, while the wicked will perish.
  2. Considering how short life is, if we evaluate things simply from our limited, earthly, human perspective, we will almost certainly become discouraged. We must depend on God’s Word and His Holy Spirit in order to complete our life’s journey with faith and confidence in God’s goodness and justice.

GOD IS ALWAYS WITH US

No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Joshua 1:5

God’s foundational promise to Joshua – “I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you” – is the same promise God gives to all of His followers as they go through the struggles of life walking by faith. God’s constant presence is now a reality through His Son and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:8.

The New Testament applies this promise to all who sincerely receive Christ as Lord and Saviour.

Believers are assured that if they love God above all else and depend on Him rather than on material security, the Lord will never desert nor forsake them. He will be their helper.

Because of this promise, we must “be strong and courageous”, persevering in trials, resisting temptations, trusting in the Lord and fully obeying Him.

 

THROUGH THE LOVE OF GOD OUR SAVIOUR – MHB 525

1 Through the love of God our Saviour,

All will be well;

Free and changeless is His favour,

All, all is well:

Precious is the blood that healed us;

Perfect is the grace that sealed us;

Strong the hand stretched forth to shield us;

All must be well.

 

2 Though we pass through tribulation,

All will be well;

Christ hath purchased full salvation,

All, all is well:

Happy still in God confiding;

Fruitful, if in Christ abiding;

Holy, through the Spirit’s guiding;

All must be well.

 

3 We expect a bright tomorrow;

All will be well;

Faith can sing through days of sorrow,

All, all is well:

On our Father’s love relying,

Jesus every need supplying,

Then in living or in dying,

All must be well.

Mary Peters, 1813-1856

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.

WHAT IS THE LOVE OF GOD?

Scripture:

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in His love – John 15:9-10

 

Message:

Remain in my love – Jesus calls us to a life of holy intimacy and personal devotion to Him. This is possible because of God’s love for us, which he has poured into our hearts by the holy spirit (Romans 5:5). God demonstrated His great love through Christ’s dying for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). We remain in Jesus’ love by pursuing spiritual intimacy and communication with Him, and by obeying His commands, just as He did with the Father.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. – 1 John 3:1

CHILDREN OF GOD

The truth that God is our Heavenly Father and we are His children is one of the greatest revelations in the New Testament.

  1. Being a child of God, adopted in Christ as His very own (Ephesians 1:5), is a high honour on privilege of our salvation. (Galatians 4:7).
  2. Being a child of God is the basis for our faith and trust in God (Matthew 6:25-34) and our hope of glory for the future. As God’s children, we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:16-17; Galatians 4:7).
  3. God wants us to be increasingly made aware through the Holy Spirit, the “Spirit of Sonship” (Romans 8:15) that we are His children. The Spirit produces the cry “Abba, Father” in our hearts (Galatians 4:6) and gives us the desire to be “led by the Spirit” (Romans 8:14).
  4. Being a child of God is the basis for our discipline by the Father (Hebrews 12:6-7-11) and the reason we live to please God.

God’s ultimate goal in making us His children is to save us forever (John 3:16) and to conform us to the likeness of His Son (Romans 8:29).

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is an activity and behavior and not just as an inner teaching or motivation. Other aspects of love are characteristics of God Himself who has been revealed by our Lord Jesus Christ.

The love of God is His passion to sustain and uphold and exalt His holiness and His Son for your everlasting enjoyment. If you put yourself at the center, you’re suicidal because it robs you of the very glory of God and his enjoyment.

1 John 4:8 describes one of God’s primary attributes as love. “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” This verse does not define God as love; it describes God’s love as permeating His essence in all He is and all He does. As for today’s headlines tout stories of scandal, tragedy, and war; believers can be confident knowing all they need is God’s love.

I agree with the Theologian A.W. Tozer once stated, “Nothing God ever does, or ever did, or ever will do, is separate from the love of God.” Everything He has ever done has been out of love.

THINGS WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE LOVE OF GOD

  1. God’s Love Is Incomprehensible. – “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” – Ephesians 3:17-18.
  2. God’s Love Is known and Proven – “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.
  3. We Can Trust In God’s Love.
  4. God’s Love is Pure
  5. God’s Love is Perfect:
  6. Our Salvation Is An Expression Of God’s Love.
  7. Our Ability To Love Is Enabled Through God’s Love.
  8. We Can Rest In God’s Love.
  9. We Can Have Confidence In God’s Love.

REMAINING IN THE LOVE OF GOD THROUGH OBEDIENCE

Jesus tells us four times that this love is of such a nature that it results in the keeping of Jesus’s commandments (John 14: 15)

Verse 15: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

  • Verse 21: “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me.”
  • Verse 23: “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word.”
  • Verse 24: “Whoever does not love me does not keep my words.”

The first thing to notice is that loving Jesus is not the same as keeping his commandments. It precedes and gives rise to keeping the commandments. Keeping his word is the result of loving him, not the same as loving him.

  • Verse 15: “If you love me, [the result will be that] you will keep my commandments.”
  • Verse 23: “If anyone loves me, [the result will be that] he will keep my word.”

John 15:9 says: “As the Father loved Me, I also loved you. Remain in My love”. Jesus knew that His disciples would not find love in the world. He knew that the world would hate them and His message. Jesus declares to His disciples that as the Father loved Him, He also loved them with the same love. In other words His love for each of His disciples is patterned after the Father’s love for Him for He said “Just as the Father has loved me, I also have loved you.”

Jesus commands us as He did His disciples, to “remain” or continue in His love by keeping His commandments.

We should understand that “obedience does not bring us into God’s covenant grace nor makes us a citizenship in the kingdom of God for salvation is by grace through faith alone. Faith in God’s atoning work on our behalf at the cross through Christ Jesus which is a gift from God to all who would believe.

Obedience is our obligation and expectation from God to us. Jesus gives His disciples a picture of what love looks like in a relationship with Him.  It is seen in the love relationship between Him and his Father. Love for God and love for one another is what we are commanded to daily pursue and in doing so our obedience will reflect our relationship with Christ.

When asked what was the greatest commandment. Jesus said the first is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul and the second is like unto it and that is to love thy neighbor as thyself”. Upon these two commandments hangs all the laws and the prophets.

Loving others as God loved us is the heart of Christian discipleship.  When we love one another we fulfill the second of Jesus’ two Great Commandments. When we love Jesus, He becomes our true best friend. Friends have our best interests in mind, just like Jesus does. Friends will be with us in good times and bad times just like Jesus is.

When we are obedient to Christ the result is that we will bear fruit that will remain and the final result will be fellowship with God that is united in love. The mark of a true disciple of Christ, a born again believer is that they will bear the fruit of obedience to the commands of Jesus.  John 15:10-When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

As Christians we follow the example of Christ by the power and leading of His Holy Spirit that is within us.  Just as Jesus obeyed through the power of the Spirit, so we too must obey so we too could walk in the newness of life given us by grace through faith. We must daily submit to the power of the Spirit of God so that we may obediently follow the example of Jesus.

Love obeys God’s commands. We love Him because He first loved us!

Stay blessed!

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

Email:  saltnlightministries@gmail.com

Website: saltandlightgh.org

LIFE OF PURPOSE: CHOSEN AND APPOINTED TO BEAR FRUIT

 

 

 

Scripture:

I have spoken these things to you that my joy might be in you, and that your joy might be complete.  “This is My commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.  No one has greater love than this, that a man should lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.  I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not know what his master is doing.  I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I heard from my Father. You have not chosen Me but I have chosen you, and I have appointed you to go out and to bear fruit, of such a kind that it will remain. I have done so that the Father will give you whatever you ask Him in My name. These are my orders to you, that you love one another. – John 15:11-17.

 

 

Message:

INTRODUCTION

The central words of this passage are those in which Jesus says that His disciples have not chosen Him, but He has chosen them. Out of this passage we can compile a list of things for which we are chosen and to which we are called.

  1. CHOSEN FOR JOY – However hard the Christian way is, it is, both in the travelling and in the goal, the way of joy. There is always a joy in doing the right thing. The Christian is the man of joy, the laughing cavalier of Christ. It is true that the Christian is a sinner, but he is a redeemed sinner; and therein lies his joy. How can any man fail to be happy when he walks the ways of life with Jesus?

 

  1. CHOSEN FOR LOVE – We are sent out into the world to love one another not to compete, quarrel or dispute with one another. We have been filled with love and we must live it out.

 

 

  1. CHOSEN TO BE JESUS’ FRIENDS – intimacy with God which surpasses the relationships which the great men of old never knew – including servants of God such as David, Joshua, Moses etc. This calling to be friends of God and friends of the Lord Jesus means that Jesus is no longer a distant stranger but a close friend.

 

  1. CHOSEN TO BE AMBASSADORS – sent out to represent Jesus in our generation. Great privilege to be ambassadors, considered to be the true representatives of our Triune God.

 

  1. CHOSEN TO BE ADVERTISEMENTS FOR THE LORD JESUS – He chose us to go and bear fruit which will stand the test of time. The wear to spread Christianity is to be a Christian. The way to bring others into the Christian faith is to show them the fruit of the Christian life. We are not sent out to argue people to be Christians or threaten them with hell but to attract them into it; our lives should be so wonderful others will deserve to belong to Christ.

 

  1. CHOSEN TO BE PRIVILEGED MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY OF GOD – The Lord Jesus chose us so that whatever we ask in His name the Father will give to us. We will receive everything for which we pray for.

 

 

WHAT KIND OF PRAYING MUST WE DO

  1. Prayer of faith (James 5:15). One praying must not be a formality, a ritual a routine or a conventional repetition of a form of words. We must pray as people with an invincible belief in the all-suffering love of God.
  2. Prayer must be in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. This means that we cannot pray for things we know that Jesus would disapprove. If what we are asking for will hurt others. We cannot pray in the name of Jesus who is love for vengeance on our enemies. We cannot turn prayer into something to satisfy only our ambitions and desires.
  3. Our prayers must always say ‘Your will be done” not “Your will be changed”. Our prayer must always be in recognition that God knows better. He loves us so much He won’t do anything to hurt us. (Romans 8:32).
  4. Prayer must never be selfish. The world is not a population of ourselves so when we pray, we must ask ourselves whether what we ask for in prayer will be for the good of all people. (1 John 5:14-15).

The Lord Jesus chose us to be privileged members of the family of God. We can and must take everything to God in prayer but we must accept the answer which God in His perfect love and, perfect wisdom sends to us and the more we love God, the more it is easier to do that. And how do we love God more. The Lord Jesus shows us how in this passage. We remain in Him the Lord Jesus!

  • Bible study
  • Meditation on God’s Word
  • Live practical Christian life
  • Maintain fellowship with God and believers

Church is not a social club. It is a place we go as brothers and sisters in the family of God to meet with Him and hearing Him speak to us.

TO PONDER

Disciples (followers, students, learners) in Jesus’ day usually choose the particular rabbi, or teacher, whom they wanted to follow. But Jesus chose His inner core of disciples, and for a purpose – to “bear fruit”. All Christ’s followers have that purpose. This fruit-bearing refers to:

  1. Spiritual values and godly character, such as the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23 – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
  2. Working for the spiritual salvation of others who do not yet have a personal relationship with Christ.

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.