THE HOLY SPIRIT (PART IV)

Scripture:

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

 

INTRODUCTION

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

 

Please enjoy and pass it on!

 

THE MINISTRIES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

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

 

One:    His ministry concerning the universe

Two:    His ministry concerning the Scriptures

Three: His ministry concerning the nation Israel

Four:   His ministry concerning the devil

Five:    His ministry concerning the Savior

Six:      His ministry concerning the sinner

Seven:             His ministry concerning the Church

Eight: His ministry concerning the day of Pentecost

Nine:   His ministry concerning the believer

Ten:     His ministry concerning the spiritual gifts

Eleven: His ministry concerning the fruit of Christ

 

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

 

A.        HIS MINISTRY CONCERNING THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS

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

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

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

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

1.         THE DEFINITION OF A SPIRITUAL GIFT

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

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

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

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

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

2.         THE EXTENT OF THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS

a.   EACH BELIEVER POSSESSES AT LEAST ONE SPIRITUAL GIFT

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

 

b.   NO BELIEVER POSSESSES ALL THE GIFTS

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

 

3.         THE PURPOSE OF THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS

A.   TO GLORIFY THE FATHER

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

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

4:11

 

B.   TO EDIFY CHURCH

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

 

4.         THE ABUSE OF THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS

a.   NOT USING THOSE GIFTS IMPARTED TO US

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

 

b.   ATTEMPTING TO USE THOSE GIFTS NOT IMPARTED TO US

 

c.   NOT USING THE GIFTS IN LOVE

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

 

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

 

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

 

COME DOWN O LOVE DIVINE – MHB 273

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

And visit it with Thine own ardor glowing;

O Comforter, draw near, Within my heart appear,

And kindle it, Thy holy flame bestowing.

 

2 O let it freely burn, till earthly passions turn

To dust and ashes in its heat consuming;

And let Thy glorious light

Shine ever on my sight,

And clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

Bianco da Siena, (1367-1434)

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

 

To be continued!

Source: Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible

All Scriptures are from the New International Version.

Stay blessed!

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

Email:  saltnlightministries@gmail.com

Website: saltandlightgh.org

 

GOD’S KINGDOM VALUES – PART 3

 

Scriture:

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

INTRODUCTION

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

Please enjoy and pass it on!

JUDGING OTHERS

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

 

ASK, SEEK, KNOCK

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

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

 

THE NARROW AND WIDE GATES

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

 

A TREE AND ITS FRUIT

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

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

 

THE WISE AND FOOLISH BUILDERS

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

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

THEY WHO TREAD THE PATH OF LABOUR – MHB 601

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Henry Van Dyke, (1852-1933)

Remain Blessed!

Please continue to join us on Asempa 94.7 FM – Sundays 5.30 am., Sunny 88.7 FM – Tuesdays 5:30 am; and Uniiq 95.7 Fm – Saturdays 7:30 pm; for our Radio Bible Study as well as Sunny FM 88.7 FM every Sunday at 3:30 pm. for Hymns and their Stories.

 

THE ROLE OF THE BELIEVER IN GOVERNANCE

By Me kings reign and rulers make laws that are just; by Me princes govern, and all nobles who rule on earth – Proverbs 8:15 – 16

DEFINITIONS FOR GOVERNANCE

The word “governance” came from the Latin verb “gubernare,” or more originally from the Greek word “kubernaein,” which means “to steer.” Basing on its etymology, governance refers to the manner of steering or governing, or of directing and controlling, a group of people or a state.

  • The World Bank in a Poverty Reduction Strategy Handbook defines governance as “the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources for development.”
  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in its 1997 policy paper, defined governance as “the exercise of economic, political and administrative authority to manage a country’s affairs at all levels. It comprises the mechanisms, processes and institutions through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations and mediate their differences”.
  • Canada’s Institute of Governance (2002) offers another general definition as “Governance is the process whereby societies or organizations make important decisions, determine whom they involve and how they render account”.

 

TYPES OF GOVERNANCE

  • Theocracy: A theocracy, from the Greek word meaning “rule of God,” refers to a government controlled by religious authorities. The connotation is that the government is repressive and intolerant of values that conflict with the dominant theology.
  • Authoritarian: Less a form of government than a description, this term connotes an oppressive form of rule in which citizens’ rights are restricted, putatively for the society’s security and stability.
  • Autocracy: An autocracy (from the Greek words for “self” and “rule” but referring not to self-determination but to “one who rules by himself”) is a government led by one person with dictatorial power.
  • Dictatorship: This term, stemming from the Latin word meaning “to declare” and originally a reference to a temporary emergency government established by the Roman Senate, now refers to an autocratic rule by one or more people.
  • Federation: A federation (the word is from the Latin term for “compact” or “league” and ultimately derived from the word for “trust”) is a form of government in which subordinate jurisdictions such as states or provinces reserve some sovereignty and/or rights under a national government.
  • Junta: This term — also spelled junto and derived from the Spanish word for “joined,” refers to a post-revolutionary government and carries a sense of a tightly controlled government.
  • Democracy: In its literal sense, a democracy is, as its Greek etymology specifies, a rule of the people. It refers to a system of government in which the will of the people is carried out by elected representatives.
  • Monarchy: A monarchy (from the Greek term meaning “rule by one”) is a government led by a person usually selected by hereditary succession. However, the ruler’s authority may vary from nominal (a figurehead) to absolute (a despot).
  • Republic: A republic (the word is Latin for “public thing”) is a government whose authority is based on citizen voters represented by elected officials chosen in free elections, as opposed to a monarchy or a dictatorship.
  • Totalitarian: Derived from the Italian word for “totality,” this word describes a dictatorial government.
  • Tyranny: Tyranny is a condition in which a nation is under the rule of a tyrant, who seized power illegally and governs with few or no checks and balances.
  • Anarchy: Anarchy is from the Greek word meaning “no rule” and refers to a society without government. Because this is an impractical if not impossible condition, it is generally used in a looser sense of chaos.

 

THE VIEW OF GOD ON GOVERNANCE

Governance is an act of administration: Governance means leading and exercising authority over a group of people. God has called us into a life of influence, control and dominion – Gen 1:28. Believers(Christians) are to take charge in all areas of life including governance. As the light of the world, we are to dispel the darkness of unrighteousness, sycophancy –Matthew 5:15-16

  • God is the ultimate power who delegates functions to human beings – Romans 13:1, Genesis 45:8, Genesis 1:26.
  • Governance/Government/Ruling is a calling of the Holy Spirit – 1 Corinthians 12:28, Romans 12:8
  • Governance/ruling is a machinery for orderliness and sanity –Titus 1:5, Judges 21:25
  • God instituted governance for administration of justice and general welfare of citizenry – Psalm 72:4
  • God commanded the governed to submit to those in authority (the government) – Romans 13:1-2, Ephesians 6:5-8.
  • God instituted governance as a means of serving the governed i.e to govern is to serve – Matthew 20:25-28

God wants His children involved in governance to fulfil His mandate and for the best of the governed. The Bible contains examples of God’s children who governed and left indelible footprints in the path of history. Citizenry too have their duties to provide for good governance. Therefore, governance involved the government and the governed.

God instituted governance; it is not a secular concept or people’s creation. Believers should therefore take their rightful place in deciding the destiny of their nations and turn the kingdom of this world to the kingdom of God which is God’s divine mandate for us.

Romans 13:1- 16 confer the following responsibilities to those in government.

  • Judge/punish evil work (justice) – Romans 13:3,4
  • Reward good work (reward/award) – Romans 13:3
  • Ordained to do only what is good to the citizenry (Rule of law/fairness) – Romans 13:4
  • Attending continually to needs (welfare) – Romans 13:6

 

WHY CHRISTIANS SHOULD BE INVOLVED IN GOVERNANCE

  • To provide/effect positive and lasting change – Genesis 1:26, 41:33-38
  • To make righteous laws and decrees which will promote national progress – Proverb 14:34
  • To bring blessing and breakthrough to the citizens – Proverbs 11:11
  • To avoid paying costly price for bad leadership – Romans 13:12
  • It is God’s will and instruction – 1Peter 2:13-15

 

GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES IN THE BIBLE

Much of Daniel’s career was spent at the highest levels of the Babylonian government, where he served as the chief advisor to King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 5: 11- 12; and 1: 18 – 21) The Bible tells of several other people who served God while working in government positions. Some of them came to believe in Him while so employed. The table below lists some of the more noteworthy.

  • Joseph (Genesis 39 – 50) – After being sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, he was taken to Egypt, where God arranged matters for him to eventually become the Chief Executive Officer of the nation.
  • Caleb (Numbers 13 – 14) – He served a spy for Moses when the Israelites prepared to enter Canaan. Years later he served as a leader to help divide the land.
  • Joshua (Numbers 13 – 14; Joshua 1: 1-3: 17) – He served as a spy with Caleb and later was called to succeed Moses as Israel’s leader.
  • Deborah (Judges 4 – 5) – She is the only female judge over Israel mentioned in the Bible. After her military commander was victorious in battle with her help, she led her people in a victory song.
  • David (1 Samuel 16 – 31;2 Samuel 1 – 24) – He rose from obscurity as a Shepherd to become the permanent King of Israel.
  • Solomon (1Kings 3 – 11) – Successor to David, he was best known for His wisdom, but also excelled in international trade, building projects which included the temple, amassing great wealth, and writing much of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and probably Songs of Solomon.

 

Stay Blessed!

 

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

Email:  saltnlightministries@gmail.com

Website:  saltandlightgh.org 

 

 

LIVING DEEPLY IN A SURFACE SOCIETY

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope— the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good. – Titus 2:11-14

INTRODUCTION

We live in a culture that relentlessly pressures us to cover up our imperfections with the veneer of an image that shows worldly success. But no matter how hard we may work to seem successful, we can still feel like a failure inside, because even if we do achieve what our culture views as the “perfect” lifestyle, something will still be missing.

So what is that missing ingredient? The most important ingredient of all is a close relationship with God. Without that, we will be broken deep within, despite the veneer on the surface of our life.

We must go deeper than the surface lifestyle our culture promotes, so you can discover God’s perfect love and find real fulfilment. Here are 12 things we can do.

  1. Don’t try to live like a celebrity.

Ironically, the more you shine a spotlight on yourself while you’re seeking approval from others, the less satisfied you’ll feel. In God’s eyes, you’re valuable even when you’re not visible. Fame and fortune may bring you temporary happiness, but they can never bring you lasting joy. If you allow yourself to decrease and invite God to increase in your life, you can discover the extraordinary life God has planned for you. – Philippians 2:5

  1. Don’t search for meaning through consumption.

Every purchase you choose to make naturally reflects your personality and values. But if you think that you must buy certain products or brands in order to find personal meaning (such as buying a certain shirt because it makes you feel cool rather than simply because it’s functional), you’re giving products too much power over you. Never define yourself by your consumer choices, because that’s settling for far less than your true identity as God’s beloved child, made in His image. Only your relationship with God can really define who you are as a person. – 1 Timothy 6:6-7.

  1. Don’t use the virtual world of technology to escape the real world.

Hiding out in an online fantasy won’t bring you real satisfaction. God has wired you for real relationships, nurtured through face-to-face contact. Even the greatest online experiences can’t match the beauty, complexity, and depth of the real-world relationships God intends for you to pursue with Him and other people. – Jeremiah 31:3.

  1. Shift your focus from success to faithfulness.

Base your decisions on how you can best be faithful to God rather than how you can be successful according to cultural values. As long as your motivation is to express your love for God by doing your best to obey Him, you’ll be a true success no matter what results you get from your efforts – and God will give you the grace to recover from mistakes and keep moving forward toward a good future. – Joshua 1:8

  1. Shift your focus from impressing others to being honest with them.

Stop trying to impress other people by projecting a certain kind of image. Instead, ask God to help you clean the veneer off your life and honestly show the people close to you the kind of person you really are – brokenness and all – trusting that God will work powerfully in your relationships when you do so. – Psalm 27:1

  1. Encounter God in a transcendent way.

Stop trying to shrink God down to a size in which you feel comfortable with Him. Instead, make peace with the fact that God is much bigger than what you can fully understand, and embrace His mystery and awesome power. Spend time in prayer approaching God in a way that helps you discover the wonder of who He is, rather than simply accumulating knowledge about Him or approaching Him only as a religious act. Pour out your deepest thoughts and feelings to God in prayer, and invite Him to change you as you spend time with Him. Listen carefully to what God has to say to you in prayer. Be willing to make sacrifices and take risks as God leads you. Trust God with every part of your life, holding nothing back from Him. – Matthew 6:5-13.

  1. Relate to your fellow Christians as brothers and sisters.

Realize that fellow believers are in the same spiritual family as you, and you’ll be together for eternity. So build close relationships with others at your church and care for each other as siblings would. – John 13:34-35.

  1. Make habits of confession, repentance, and forgiveness.

Regularly confess your sins to God and repent of them, ask the people you’ve hurt to forgive you, and forgive the people who have hurt you. Incorporating these practices into your life consistently will help prevent damage to your relationships with God and others. – 1 John 1:8-9.

  1. Serve other people to serve God.

Overcome our culture’s selfish “What have you done for me lately?” attitude by serving others wholeheartedly whenever God calls you to do so. When you do, God’s power will flow through you and He’ll use you to help make the world a better place and draw people into relationships with Him. – Matthew 25:34-40.

  1. Remember that the things of this world are like vapour that will someday vanish.

Your house, your car, your clothes, your electronics equipment, and every other material thing in this world will be gone when you die, since you can’t take them with you into the afterlife. Then, all that will matter is what has eternal value: your relationship with God. So invest your time and energy into that, making God your top priority and loosening your hold on material things. – Matthew 6:19-21.

  1. Abide in Christ

Abiding in Christ means staying connected to Him. Every day, spend time with Him in prayer and through other spiritual disciplines (like solitude, silence, and Bible reading) to maintain a close bond with Him. Obey His commands, even when doing so is difficult. Pursue His kingdom first, and He’ll give you everything else you need. Ask Christ to align your passions with His so you can learn to value what He values. Every day, try to fulfill more of His purposes for your life. – John 15:4-5.

  1. Help others discover Christ’s love through you.

As you relate to people in your daily life, trade dissatisfaction for gratitude, getting for giving, hype for reality, transactional relationships for grace-filled ones, and what’s common for what’s extraordinary. Then you’ll help change our veneer-covered culture by leading the people within it to seek Christ. – Matthew 28:19-20.

End Note.

Life in Christ is exciting and fulfilling. Let’s enjoy the full benefits of being children of God. – 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLESSED WITH THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST

 

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. – Romans 8:9-10.

 

INTRODUCTION

Lent started on Wednesday 6th March, 2019 and is a period 40 days (excluding Sundays) that precedes the celebration of Easter and continues through Holy Thursday (April 18, 2019). Romans Chapter 8 gives a good understanding of what our new life in Christ entails. Enjoy it and share it with family and friends!

 

Life Through the Spirit

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.

 

Present Suffering and Future Glory

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.

 

More Than Conquerors

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

 

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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.

 

 

BEYOND GHANA @ 62

And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; – Acts 17:26-27

Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”John 8:36 (NKJV)

 

INTRODUCTION

The drums of March 6, 1957, have faded away into distant memories and dusty archives. And even the more recent beats of Ghana @ 60 fail to coax dance steps from people today. It is inevitable that the strains of festival music must fade out. But is we have experienced true independence, our hearts will quicken our feet to move in sync with the practical demonstrations of that freedom.

 

If there are more Christians in this country than those of other religions, as the figures show, why then does our beloved country still struggle to enjoy and manifest the fruits of true independence? Why do we still act as though we are a heathen nation?

We go back to our text, John 8:36. It is only if the Son of God makes us free that we can be free indeed. All other forms of freedom pale in comparison and none can stand complete outside it. And this is the freedom that the Lord Jesus Himself has called us out to. Not freedom from the colonial rule of man’s administration, but something higher and deeper. Then we will be different from other nations and reflect more correctly the God that we claim to serve.

This article is from the book “The Transformed Mind”, co-authored by Dr. Samuel Koranteng-Pipim and I. I pray that you will consider rethinking your role as a child of God in the development of our dear country Ghana.

Towards True Independence

In the words of a contemporary son of the nation, true independence calls for “mind liberation.” Dr. Pipim argues that despite our liberation from the “metal chains” of colonization, “mental chains” still bind us as Africans. He perceptively observes that “the heart of the African problem is the African heart.” Therefore he argues that what Africa needs is not simply more educated minds, but more transformed minds—“not merely mind improvement, but mind replacement.” Such a “mind replacement” or “mind liberation,” according to Dr. Pipim can only be effected by the Lord Jesus Christ.

In other words, more tact will not get us that freedom; more learning will fail us. It is not more words that we need, nor seminars and workshops about new advances, but first and foremost the true spirit of liberty that is found only in Jesus Christ. He alone can give that true freedom that we need, because He alone has it. He says: “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36)

Stated differently, Christianity presents what true independence really is: It is the transformation of the human heart. It is freedom from the slavery of sin. It is being set free from our warped mind sets and selfish hearts. It is, what our Lord Jesus refers to as, being “born again” by the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-8). This work of the Spirit in transforming our hearts starts from within and it becomes evident on the outside (Titus 3:3-5; Romans 12:2). That is, transformation or heart renewal is primarily internal, but it always shows on the outside.

The Word of God says: ‘But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.’ 1Peter 2:9

And not just that, for our independence is not merely political, but far stronger. As the Lord said to Israel of old, so He says to Ghana today: “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.  Deuteronomy 7:6

The Lord further affirms in His Word that all that we seek as a nation, He will grant unto us. The true independence that we are yet to enjoy fully, He will make possible. He leaves us with this two-fold promise and command: “The Lord has declared today that you are his people, his own special treasure, just as he promised, and that you must obey all his commands. And if you do, he will set you high above all the other nation she has made. Then you will receive praise, honour, and renown. You will be a nation that is holy to the Lord your God, just as he promised.” – Deuteronomy 26:18,19.

And after that has happened, Apostle Paul reminds us to “Standfast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” – Galatians 5:1

When you really think about it, nothing else beats these promises and assurances. Our diplomats, politicians, professors, businessmen, ministers, and the best of our young and old cannot make our nation truly independent. Wrapped up in this week’s text, only the Son of God can make us truly free, completely independent.

When we become truly independent, it will be evident in more love in our interaction with one another, more compassion, more honesty, better consideration for others, increased loyalty to the cause of our nation and improved services for others.  We will no longer act as slaves to sin, but as children of light and the light we radiate will brighten the path of our country.

The Need for Salt & Light

If the words of Christ have any relevance, then the time has come for those of us who claim to be Christians to begin playing our roles in society as salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16). It is not enough to go church every week or preach about miracles when we have not experienced the greatest miracle of all—the change of our hearts.

One 19th-century Christian devotional author said it best: “a profession of godliness without the living principle is as utterly valueless as salt without its saving properties. An unprincipled professed Christian is a byword, a reproach to Christ, a dishonour to His name.”

The same author argues that: “The greatest want of the world is the want of men [and women]—men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall. But such a character is not the result of accident; it is not due to special favours or endowments of Providence. A noble character is the result of self-discipline, of the subjection of the lower to the higher nature—the surrender of self for the service of love to God and man” (Education, p. 57).

The Lord is waiting to make us a nation that will be high above all other nations that He has made. What then do we stand to lose by taking Him up on His beautiful offer to grant us true freedom? Not merely freedom from man’s rule but freedom from the yoke and bondage of sin. From Satan’s tyrannical rule that makes beasts of men and demons of the best of us.  Why not let Him now?

An ancient hymn captures the sentiments of our hearts as a nation at this anniversary period. We know we’re not where we should be yet, but we have hope in the One that can lead us there. Known over the centuries of our nation’s history by different names, we call upon the One true God, the God of our fathers, the Almighty God of heaven and earth to help us at this time.  Without Him we are finished, and we seek for His guidance and leading to grant us true independence for our sin-yoked hearts, individually, and as a nation.

Join me to sing or pray the timely words of this ancient hymn authored by Daniel C. Roberts (1841 – 1907):

God of our fathers, whose almighty hand
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies,
Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.

 

Thy love divine hath led us in the past,
In this free land by Thee our lot is cast;
Be Thou our ruler, guardian, guide and stay,
Thy Word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.

 

From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence,
Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense;
Thy true religion in our hearts increase,
Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.

 

Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way,
Lead us from night to never-ending day;
Fill all our lives with love and grace divine,
And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine.

Stay Blessed!

 

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

Email:  saltnlightministries@gmail.com

Website:  saltandlightgh.org 

 

 

 

THE BEATITUDES

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.  Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. – Matthew 5:3-12

 

INTRODUCTION

“The Sermon on the Mount” found in Matthew 5, 6 and 7 as well as “Sermon on the Plain” in Luke 6:20–23, and commonly called Christ’s Sermon on the Mount, contain a powerful yet practical revelation of the principles and standards by which God expects all Christians to live. Of course, living up to these standards is possible only through faith in Jesus, the Son of God, and through the power of the Holy Spirit. In this message, Jesus teaches a large group of potential followers what it really means to follow Him and be part of God’s kingdom. All who belong to the kingdom are to demonstrate godly character and have an intense hunger and thirst for righteousness (i.e., to do what is right and maintain a right relationship with God. We begin today with what is called the Beatitudes – Be – Attitude.

Each attitude starts with “Blessed”…. The word “blessed” refers to the well-being and joy of those who, because of their relationship to Christ and His Word, find their place in God’s kingdom. The benefits of that “membership” include God’s constant love, care, presence and spiritual salvation. There are certain character requirements if we wish to receive the benefits of God’s kingdom; we must be guided by God’s purposes and values and not by the ways and values of the world.

  1. Blessed…Poor in Spirit.

The first of these requirements is to be “poor in spirit” – not arrogant or self-reliant. We must humbly recognize that we are not spiritually self-sufficient. That means that we cannot earn a place in God’s kingdom; we need the Holy Spirit’s life, power and grace (i.e., undeserved favour, love, enablement) in order to receive the benefits of spiritual salvation.

 

  1. Those Who Mourn.

To “mourn” is to recognize and feel sorrow over our own weakness in relation to God’s perfect standards and ultimate power. It also means grieving over the things that grieve God, such as the unfaithfulness, immorality and cruelty that are rampant in the world. Those who mourn over sin and its effect on people’s lives – and commit themselves to helping rescue people from evil – are comforted by receiving from God’s “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”.

 

  1. The Meek.

This does not simply suggest a modest attitude toward other people. The “meek” are those who are humble and submissive to God. They depend on nothing but Him for security in life and refuge from trouble. They commit themselves and the direction of their lives entirely to Him. They are more concerned about God’s work and God’s people than about what might happen to them personally. The meek, rather than those who aggressively pursue their own ways, ultimately will inherit God’s benefits and reign with Him in the end.

 

  1. Hunger and Thirst For Righteousness

This is one of the most important verses in the Sermon on the Mount. Without this intense desire for righteousness, a person will not pursue a deeper relationship with God or try to develop the rest of the character traits Jesus describes.

  1. The foundational requirement for all godly living is to “hunger and thirst for righteousness”. Such hunger is seen in Moses , the psalm writer and the great missionary, Paul. The spiritual condition of Christians all throughout their lives will depend on their hunger and thirst for: the presence of God, the Word of God, the interaction and friendship of Christ, the companionship, guidance and influence of the Holy Spirit; righteousness, God’s power and the return of the Christ.
  2. The Christian’s hunger for God and His purposes is hindered – and even destroyed – by the worries of life, deceitfulness of wealth, desire for temporal things, lust for life’s pleasures and failure to trust Christ and remain in a right relationship with Him. When a Christian loses his or her hunger for God and his standards, he or she will begin to die spiritually. For this reason, it is essential that we be sensitive and responsive to the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives and consciences, keeping us away from evil and drawing us closer to God.
  3. The Merciful

The merciful are full of sympathy and compassion toward those who are suffering either from sin or sorrow.  The merciful sincerely want to help ease and eliminate such suffering by influencing people to depend on God for help and to entrust their lives to Jesus Christ. Merciful people also get actively involved in meeting people’s need. By showing mercy to others, we “will be shown mercy”

 

  1. The Pure in Heart

The “pure in heart” are those who have devoted themselves to God and have been freed from sin power by God’s grace (i.e., his undeserved favour, love, help and enablement). That grace now enables them to please God and bring honour to Him by the way they live. They seek to have the same attitude that God has – a love for what is true and right and hatred of evil. Their heart (which includes mind, will and emotions;). This means that their thoughts and desires are pure according to His standards of holiness (i.e., moral purity, spiritual integrity, separation from evil and dedication to God). God requires holiness in His followers because He is holy and because only the pure in heart “will see God”. To see God means to be His child and experience a close personal relationship with Him, both now and in His future eternal kingdom.

 

  1. The Peacemakers.

The “peacemakers” are those who have been reconciled to God (i.e., restored to a right relationship with Him). Peace with God is available to anyone who accepts the sacrifice Jesus made for their sins by His death on the cross. Those who truly have peace with God will make every effort to show that peace to others – including their enemies – and to bring others into a relationship of peace with God.

 

  1. Persecuted because of Righteousness. People who follow Christ and live according to the principles of God’s Word will face opposition and rejection. Those who uphold God’s standards of truth, justice and purity, refusing to follow and walk in the ungodly lifestyles of society, will be unpopular. They will receive criticism and opposition from the world; and at times from those within the church. The Bible teaches that this is a time to rejoice because God reserves a special blessing for those who suffer for His sake. Christians must beware of the temptation to compromise their faithfulness to God’s purposes in order to avoid shame, embarrassment or loss. The principles of God’s kingdom never change: “…everyone who wants to live godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”. Yet those who suffer and endure persecution because of their devotion and commitment to God are promised a place of honour and reward in God’s heavenly kingdom.

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.

 

PREJUDICE

For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. – 1 Corinthians 12:13 (NIV)

INTRODUCTION

Prejudice is forming negative opinion about someone without adequate basis. In a very real sense, it is judging someone without all the facts, condemning them in the court of personal opinion. Prejudice can be formed against a person or an entire race of people. The Bible speaks out clearly against prejudice. God created all people equally; all humans are unique and special creations formed by the Lord Himself. We are not to be judgmental, but loving. We are not to be suspicious, but inviting.

  • Don’t be prejudiced for or against a person because of appearance.

Stereotypes abound – prejudice against fat people, short people, skinny people, ugly people, black people, white people, yellow people, people with skin defects, bald people – the list goes on. But the real person is inside; the body is only the shell, the temporary housing. It is wrong to judge a person by the temporary house he or she is in. The real person inside may be a person of incredible beauty.

1 Samuel 16:7 – …Don’t judge by his appearance or height…The LORD doesn’t make decisions the way you do! People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at a person’s thoughts and intentions.

Isaiah 53:2 – My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.

  • Don’t be prejudiced for or against a group because of one person in the group.

We often form an opinion about an entire group of people (nationality, church denomination, local club) based on the actions of one individual.

Esther 3:5-6. – [Haman] was filled with rage. So he decided it was not enough to lay hands on Mordecai alone.. he decided to destroy all the Jews throughout the entire empire.

  • Don’t be prejudiced because of a person’s financial state.

A wealthy person and a poor person came to church. Which is welcomed more? A wealthy person and a poor person speak up in a church committee meeting. Which one do you listen to more carefully?

Proverbs 14:20-21 – The poor are despised even by their neighbours, while the rich have many “friends”. It is sin to despise one’s neighbours; blessed are those who help the poor.

Proverbs 14:31 – Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but those who help the poor honour Him.

James 2:1-9 -…But if you pay special attention to the rich, you are committing a sin…

  • Don’t be prejudiced because of youth or old age.

How often have you heard the word “They are just children”? We don’t have time for children. We don’t listen to them as much as we would to an adult. In fact, children are the true VIPs of the world, for in their hands rests the future. To youth belongs the future, to old age belongs the honour of bringing us all to this point. Youth has the opportunity to win the world. Old age has the experience of victory. We should honour each for its contributions.

Matthew 18:10 – Beware that you don’t despise a single one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father.

1 Timothy 4:12 – Don’t let anyone think little of you because you are young.

1 Timothy 5:1 – Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as though he were your own father. Talk to the younger men as you would to your own brothers.

  • Don’t be prejudiced because of a person’s occupation.

God does not write off families or occupations, and perhaps that is why Jesus chose to come to the family of a carpenter rather than the family of a king. God loves each person regardless of occupation.

Mark 6:2-3 – “Where did he get all his wisdom and the power to perform such miracles? He’s just the carpenter, the son of Mary…”.

  • Don’t be prejudiced because a person is a family member or a “hometown” person.

Familiarity breeds contempt. We know someone well, so we don’t respect that person. Actually, when we know someone well, and if that person has integrity, we should honour that person even more. These people had God’s Son in their midst but couldn’t recognize Him because of his family and address.

Mark 6:4 – Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honoured everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.”

 

  • Don’t be prejudiced because of ethnic or racial differences.

In heaven there are no ethnic groups, no races, no distinctions such as these, so why should they be important now?

Luke 10:33 – Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt deep pity.

John 4:9 – The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans.

Acts 10:28 – Peter told them, “You know it is against the Jewish laws for me to come into a Gentile home like this. But God has shown me that I should never think of anyone has impure”.

Acts 10:34-35 – Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God doesn’t show partiality. In every nation He accepts those who fear Him and do what is right.”

 

  • Don’t be prejudiced against a person because of the place he or she grew up or now lives.

The other side of the tracks is often viewed as less than this side, but God lives on both sides of the tracks.

John 1:46 – “Nazareth exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from there?”

 

  • Don’t jump to conclusions about someone before you get all the facts.

The western tribes heard that the eastern tribes had built an altar. Immediately they jumped to the wrong conclusion – that the altar was built to rebel against God. In fact, it was built to honour God. Had they not sent a delegation to inquire, war would have broken out. Based on a single act, the western tribes developed a prejudice that could have been terribly destructive.

Joshua 22:10-34…- When the rest of Israel heard they had built the altar…the whole assembly gathered at Shiloh and prepared to go to war against their brother tribes…

 

  • The world is prejudiced against Christ followers.

When a person enjoys sin and wants to keep it, it’s natural to develop a hatred for Christ and His followers.

John 15:19 – The world would love you if you belonged to it, but you don’t. I chose you to come out of the world, and so it hates you.

  • Christians must be careful not to be prejudiced against other Christians, for whatever reason.

Romans 14:10 – Why do you look down on another Christian? Remember each of us will stand personally before the judgement seat of God.

Galatians 3:28 – There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female…you are one in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:14 – And the most important clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony.

Stay Blessed!

 

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

Email:  saltnlightministries@gmail.com

Website:  saltandlightgh.org 

 

GODLY INSTRUCTION

Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge. – Proverbs 23:12

Introduction
According to the Baker Illustrated Bible, the biblical book that bills itself as the instruction manual is Proverbs, which is presented in the form of parental instruction to a child. God offers everyone knowledge to guide how one should live, but if spurned, the offer may be withdrawn.

The people most likely to gain knowledge are those who are willing to listen. It is a sign of strength, not weakness, to pay attention to what others have to say. People who are eager to listen continue to learn and grow throughout their lives. If we refuse to become set in our ways, we can always expand the limits of our knowledge.

1. Pay attention! This is not a boring proverb. Get your heart and ears into it. The desire for instruction and the willingness to hear correction are marks of greatness and virtue. Very few apply themselves to learn knowledge and wisdom. They are more interested in entertainment and fun. Study sounds far too much like work.

2. There are great differences among men. Some are winners; some are losers. Some are wise; some are foolish. Men make choices that either cost them wisdom or gain them wisdom. A noble and virtuous man will sacrifice other things in life in order to pursue wisdom, but a fool would rather hear himself talk. “The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.” – Proverbs 15:14; “Sensible people keep their eyes glued on wisdom, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.” – Proverbs 17:24.

3. The man who seeks wisdom will have a happy and successful life, for he rightly understands the world, makes profitable decisions, and avoids pain and trouble. But the fool or scorner, arrogant in his own ignorance, goes on and is punished by his confused thinking and horrible decision-making. “Those who bring trouble on their families inherit the wind. The fool will be a servant to the wise.” – Proverbs 11:29; “A person with good sense is respected; a treacherous person is headed for destruction.” – Proverbs 13:15.

4. There are 1,440 minutes in every day. How many do you seek wisdom? How many do you pursue instruction? The average Ghanaian watches television 3-4 hours, or about 210 minutes, every day – and not a single minute of it teaches wisdom.

But television is not the only culprit in a pleasure-mad generation (II Tim 3:1-4). What about idle posting on social media, texting, tweeting, movies, magazines, music, sports, hobbies, lawn care, concerts, video games, and Internet surfing, among many more? When a person chooses to exalt these activities, he forfeits the advice given by Solomon in this proverb, for the 1,440 minutes in a day quickly rush down the drain and are lost.

5. Only a few great men and women will apply themselves to the pursuit of wisdom and reap the wonderful results. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” – Matthew 7:13-14.

  • Can you focus on the goal and put forth the effort to learn true wisdom each day? Do you read your Bible daily?
  • Do you attend a Bible-preaching church as often as possible?
  • Do you seek advice from wise and sober counselors before making major decisions? “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.” – Proverbs 11:14. Pay attention to this proverb!

6. Solomon described a man committed to wisdom. He applies himself in various ways to the goal, and he achieves his objective. But the fool’s mind is always wandering all over the place in its imaginations, even though wisdom is right before him. “Fools find no pleasure in understanding
but delight in airing their own opinions.” – Proverbs 18:2. So Solomon emphasized the necessity of applying yourself to obtain wisdom. “My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge.” – Proverbs 5:1-2; “Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path” – Proverbs 23:19,23.

End Note
How attentive are your heart and ears after hearing the instruction and knowledge of this proverb? What changes will you make today? Have you read God’s word for it to instruct you and increase your knowledge? Have you asked your parents’ for advice in a matter bothering you? Can you remember what was preached last Sunday? Instruction and knowledge are precious gifts; make good use of them, for life without them is painful.

I Want A Principle Within – MHB 626
1 I want a principle within
Of watchful, godly fear,
A sensibility of sin,
A pain to feel it near

2 I want the first approach to feel
Of pride or wrong desire,
To catch the wandering of my will,
And quench the kindling fire.

3 That I from Thee no more may part
No more Thy goodness grieve,
The filial awe, the fleshly heart,
The tender conscience give.

4 Quick as the apple of an eye
O God, my conscience make;
Awake my soul when sin is nigh,
And keep it still awake.

5 O may the least omission pain
My well instructed soul,
And drive me to the blood again
Which makes the wounded whole.
Charles Wesley, 1707 – 1788.

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.

 

THE SEVEN C’S OF SOUL WINNING

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” – Mark 16:15

INTRODUCTION
I found this on the net and thought it very relevant for our time because the article talks about the number one business of the Church: the business of winning souls. It is what I call “The Seven Cs of Soul Winning.”

1. Commission
God wants us to take the Gospel to Others. We need to get out into the world! Jesus was not crucified between two candles on a church altar. He was crucified out in the byways and highways of humanity, and that is where we must take the message.

Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” That is a promise. But you know what? You have to get to the water if you are going to catch fish. You have to get out of the four church walls, out to where hurting humanity is, and engage them with the gospel.

No one could catch a fish sitting in camp. A lot of Christians just hang around the camp. They form fishing clubs and talk about how important it is to fish. But they don’t fish. God wants us to go fish!

2. Compassion for the Lost
In Mark 16:16 Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”

This means eternally separated from God with no opportunity of rescue or retrieval. Forever lost. Think about it! Do you recall the story Jesus told of the rich man who died? It ought to send a shudder through the heart of even the most brazen sinner. Jesus tells us that the rich man died and was in torment, in flame.

Jesus goes on to say that the rich man lifted up his eyes, and begged for mercy. But no mercy came, even as it says in Revelation 14:11, “The smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever.” I know it is not a popular subject in the Church to talk about hell, but Jesus talked more about hell than He did about heaven. It is a very real place.

If we would consider just for a moment the end of the man or woman who rejects Christ, it ought to cause our hearts to be stirred with compassion. Our compassion for the lost ought to move us to do all we can to share Christ with them!

3. Common Ground
We need to endeavour to find common ground with people. In 1 Corinthians 9:19-24, Paul says, For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.

In this passage, Paul is talking about the way he ran—the method he used—to reach people for Christ. Verse 22 in The Living Bible puts it this way: “Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone so that I might bring them to Christ.” Paul didn’t run aimlessly. And like Paul, we have to find a point to relate to people so that you can build a bridge over which the gospel can come.
I encourage you today to find a common area of interest, a common ground, to relate to people in order to share Christ with them.

4. Character Counts
1 Corinthians 9:24-27, particularly verse 27, tells us the importance of character in witnessing to others, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.

Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
Paul said he was temperate in all things, that he disciplined his body. He would bring it into subjection, meaning he had problems keeping his body in subjection, just like you and I do.

Every one of us has a propensity toward certain sins. It is important, though, that we rein in our flesh and that we are temperate in all things because our lifestyle affects our message.
If your character is out of whack, people are going to have a hard time hearing what you have to say. Character counts!

5. The Comforter
Many times when Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit, He referred to Him as the Comforter. In Acts 1:4-5, after the resurrection, Jesus said something to the disciples that was very intriguing, “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

He had already told them to go into all the world, but then He said, “Hey, you need to wait for something. There’s some equipment you need before you go. Don’t go start a Bible study, don’t go pass out a tract, don’t do anything. You need something first. You need to be baptized with the Spirit.” Then look at what He said in verse 8, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

The Holy Spirit gives us power to be a witness. There is something beyond even living a life of integrity. There is a supernatural, captivating element when a person is filled with the Holy Spirit that makes the witness of the gospel even more inescapable. Jesus was so strong on it He said, “Look, don’t leave Jerusalem without it.” God has given us His Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to empower us to reach our generation for Christ.

6. Convicting and Convincing
John 16:7-9 helps us understand Jesus’ role clearly. Here Jesus is talking to the disciples about the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me.”

Jesus is not telling us that we need to pray, “Holy Spirit, go convict this person.” Rather, the foundation from which He is speaking is found in John 14. In that passage He says, “When the Holy Spirit comes, He will no longer just be with you, but He will be in you.” In the following verses, He then talks about all the things the Holy Spirit does within us. And here, when He talks about the Holy Spirit convicting people of sin, He does that work when we engage them with the gospel.
When we talk to people about Christ, the Holy Spirit then goes to work.

7. Wise Counsel
It’s important we learn to share the Word with people. Our testimony is powerful and should be shared. But even though that may move people and influence people, they need to know they are anchoring their trust in the promises of God. Not just in a feeling they have gotten, not just because they feel influenced and moved—even if that is by the Holy Spirit.

Why? Because feelings change. Our feelings can go up and down like a rollercoaster. God’s Word makes it clear that He never leaves us nor forsakes us. When a person is saved, they need to be anchoring their faith on the promises of God, not on their feelings.

Promises like Romans 10:9-10, “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
So when we witness to people, we need to give them the counsel, the promises of the Word of God.

8. The Coming Reward
Daniel 12:3, which says, “Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.”

There is a coming reward for those who turn people to righteousness. The dearest thing to God’s heart is winning humanity and bringing them into His family. Nothing is more important to God. He bankrupted heaven and gave His only begotten Son to save humanity. The Bible teaches us that there will be a reward, my friend: authority in heaven, a place in heaven, honor in heaven.

In addition to that, I want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Someday there is going to be a joy and a fullness in heaven, but there are some who will not experience that level of joy.
I think there is going to be something about being in heaven and seeing your fingerprints on people who are there because you shared, because you gave, and because you prayed. I believe there is going to be a greater joy for some because they did more for heaven while on earth than others.

Source: Answers with Bayless Conley.
Stay Blessed!

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