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.

10 BIBLICAL PURPOSES FOR FASTING.

Scripture:

So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with Him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashesDaniel 9:3

 


Message:

INTRODUCTION

Throughout the Bible we most often find God’s people turning to fasting as the natural, inevitable response to a grievous sacred moment in life, such as death, sin and tragedy. But other times a fast is not a spontaneous reaction and we have time to prepare to respond both physically and spiritually.

Fasting is not an end in itself, but a means of focusing our minds and bodies for a spiritual reason. Whenever we fast, we must do so for a reason that is mentioned or modeled in the Bible. Here are ten primary purposes for fasting mentioned in Scripture:

  1. TO STRENGTHEN PRAYER; “So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.” – Ezra 8:23

Numerous incidents in the Old Testament connect fasting to prayer, especially intercessory prayer. Fasting does not change whether God hears our prayers, but it can change our praying. As Arthur Wallis says, “Fasting is calculated to bring a note of urgency and importunity into our praying, and to give force to our pleading in the court of heaven.”

 

  1. TO SEEK GOD’S GUIDANCE; “Then all the Israelites, the whole army, went up to Bethel, and there they sat weeping before the Lord. They fasted that day until evening and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the Lord.” – Judges 20:26

As with prayer, fasting to seek God’s guidance isn’t done to change God but to make us more receptive to His guidance.

 

  1. TO EXPRESS GRIEF; “Then they took their bones and buried them under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted seven days.” – 1 Samuel 31:13

Expressing grief is one of the primary reasons for fasting. Ever notice that when you’re moved to tears by grief you lose the urge to eat? When we grieve, our family and friends often have to plead with us to eat because our body’s appropriate response to grief is to fast. A prime example occurs in 2 Samuel 1:12, where David and his men are described as having “mourned and wept and fasted till evening” for their friends, their enemies and their nation.

 

  1. TO SEEK DELIVERANCE OR PROTECTION; “Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek Him. – 2 Chronicles 20:3 – 4

Another common reason for fasting in the Old Testament was to seek deliverance from enemies or circumstances. In Scripture, this type of fast is generally carried out with other believers.

  1. TO EXPRESS REPENTANCE AND A RETURN TO GOD;When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the Lord. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the Lord.” Now Samuel was serving as leader of Israel at Mizpah.” -1 Samuel 7:6

This type of fasting helps us to express grief over our sins and shows our seriousness about returning to the path of godly obedience.

 

  1. TO HUMBLE ONESELF BEFORE GOD; “When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackclothand fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly. Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.” – 1 Kings 21:27 – 29

“Remember that fasting itself is not humility before God,” reminds Donald Whitney, “but should be an expression of humility.”

 

  1. TO EXPRESS CONCERN FOR THE WORK OF GOD; They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.”- Nehemiah 1:3 – 4

As with Nehemiah, fasting can be a tangible sign of our concern over a particular work God is doing.

 

  1. TO MINISTER TO THE NEEDS OF OTHERS; “Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’ “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high. Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? – Isaiah 58:3 – 7

We can use time we’d normally spend eating to fast and minister to others.

 

  1. TO OVERCOME TEMPTATION AND DEDICATE YOURSELF TO GOD; “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. The tempter came to Him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took Him to the holy city and had Him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” He said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command His angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” Then the devil left Him, and angels came and attended Him.” – Matthew 4:1 – 11

Fasting can help us focus when we are struggling with particular temptations.

 

  1. TO EXPRESS LOVE AND WORSHIP FOR GOD; “and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.” – Luke 2:37

Fasting can show, as John Piper says, that “what we hunger for most, we worship.”

PREPARING TO FAST

How should we equip ourselves when God calls us to “declare a holy fast”? Here are some four things to consider as you prepare for fasting:

  1. PRAY AND CONFESS YOUR SINS

A necessary step before fasting is to humble yourself before God – Psalm 35:13 and confess your sins – 1 Samuel 7:6. Prayer should be our sustenance throughout the fast, but it is imperative we begin the fast with a contrite heart.

  1. TURN TO SCRIPTURE

Spend additional time meditating on God’s Word, before and during the fast. – Psalm 119:15

  1. KEEP IT SECRET

Fasting is unbiblical and even spiritually harmful when we do it to show off our spirituality – Matthew 6:16 – 18 or when we focus more on our own fasting than on the clear needs of others – Isaiah 58:1 – 11. Don’t boast about your fast; tell people you won’t be eating only if necessary. Fasting should not be done when imposed for false motives – 1 Samuel 14:24-30.

  1. PREPARE YOUR BODY

Fasting, especially for days or weeks, can have unexpected and even detrimental effects on your health. There is no scriptural warrant for harming yourself to undergo a fast. Be sure to consult a doctor before starting any fasting regimen to make sure you can fast in a healthy manner.

Fasting is an appropriate bodily reaction to the grievous state of our soul. If it is done correctly you can expect many results, including growing closer to God, feeling more solidarity with those who suffer, and increasing self-control.

 

FOR REFLECTION

Rather than wondering whether you should fast, ask why you would want to miss out on the Father’s reward.

Stay blessed!

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

Email:  saltnlightministries@gmail.com

Website: saltandlightgh.org

INTEGRITY IN PSALM 15

Scripture:

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lord; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken. – Psalm 15.

 

Message:

INTRODUCTION

The book of Psalm can also be called the “Christian’s Psalm.” It sets forth, not so much the way a person finds the Lord, as it does the way we are to live after the Lord has entered our life. In other words, it doesn’t deal with how someone becomes a Christian but rather how a Christian should maintain a life of integrity. It sets forth many of the day-to-day lifestyle, both in public and in private.

ELEVEN SPECIFIC CHARACTERISTICS

  1. He who walks with Integrity: This has to do with who we are as well as where we go. The word integrity means “to be solid, wholesome, complete.” The believer who is interested in maintaining temporal fellowship is careful about how he lives and where he goes – he walks in the realm of truth. He refuses to live a lie.
  2. He who works righteousness: This has to do with what we do. Righteousness is to be the habit of our conscious life. Our dealings are to be honest; our activities clear of compromise. In today’s vernacular, we’re to “keep our nose clean.” To do less is to weaken our integrity.
  3. He who speaks truth in his heart: This has to do with how we think. Notice that the truth mentioned here is spoken “in the heart” – attitudes, reactions, and motives are in David’s mind. The source of these things (the heart – Proverbs 23:7) is to be a bedrock of truth, no place for deception or lies or a hidden agenda!
  4. He who does not slander with his tongue: This and the next two characteristics have to do with what we say. The Hebrew word translated slander literally means “to go about, to foot it” – we might even say “to hoof it”. It would include one who walks here and there spreading malicious slander, pouring out verbal venom and poisoning others behind their backs.
  5. He who does not do evil to his neighbour: The Spirit-filled believer is loyal and consistent – not fickle, not erratic. He does not consciously bring difficulty upon others.
  6. Nor takes up a reproach against his friend: This means he does not say sharp, cutting and scornful things about others, either behind their back or to their face. There is honesty yet gentleness in his character. – Galatians 5:22-23
  7. In whose eyes a reprobate is despised: This has to do with who we are with. A reprobate mentioned here is literally a “worthless reprobate”, someone who is totally disinterested in spiritual things. The genuine believer with strong integrity will discern the impact such a person can have on his own walk with the Lord, and will not cultivate an association with him. “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals’1 Corinthians 15:33.
  8. He honours those who fear the Lord: Like the preceding phrase, this is still dealing with our associates, only this phrase is the other side of the coin. It addresses those with whom we should keep company. The believer who walks with the Lord has a scale of values that is determined by biblical principles. Since we become like those with whom we spend our time, a Christlike friend needs to be sought out for companionship.
  9. He swears to his own hurt, and does not change: This means that we perform what we promise, even when keeping our word is difficult to achieve. Our word should be our bond. The Christian with integrity makes it his aim to do what he says he will do, even when it hurts – even when it is inconvenient.
  10. He does not put his money at interest: According to Deuteronomy 23:19-20 and Leviticus 25:35-38, the Jew was commanded not to loan a needy Jewish brother money on interest. He was to assist generously and unselfishly. The believer in Christ who offers to extend personal financial assistance to his brother in Christ should do so without interest, love being his only motive. (Needless to say, discernment must accompany love… or we will have more love than money!) Not every financial need among believers is a “need”. Some “needs” stem from careless spending.
  11. Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent: My Webster’s dictionary defines a bribe as “money or favour bestowed on or promised to a person in a position of trust to pervert his judgement or corrupt his conduct.” We have all read about what has come to be known as “influence peddling.” Not even Wall Street has been protected from such schemes. The Psalmist’s point is clear: One with integrity won’t stoop to that level.

THE PROMISE

We are promised that if these things become our practice, we will live stable, solid, dependable lives. Those who bring these areas under the control of the Holy Spirit will live wholesome lives as solid citizens of heaven. Or, using Ben Franklin’s suggestion, whoever lives like this will be considered a “Christian gentleman.” Such people are rare, indeed. No wonder they are not easily shaken! Integrity reinforces a life with steel.

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.

ATTRIBUTES OF GOD

Message:

ATTRIBUTES OF GOD – THE MEANING

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” So says A.W. Tozer in his classic book on the attributes of God, The Knowledge of the Holy. Why would he make such an extreme pronouncement? Tozer goes on to say, “Man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshipper entertains high or low thoughts of God.”

In our hearts we know the above is true. It is not enough to follow “god.” That word has come to mean so many different things today that it actually means very little. If we just make up our own minds concerning what He is like, then we are just creating an idol in our heads.

 

ATTRIBUTES OF GOD – THE BASIS

Jesus came to reveal the God of the Bible. And God has revealed Himself in His book. Any deviation from that insight from Him is a made-up god. Tozer in Knowledge of the Holy finds 18 characteristics of God in the Bible. They are repeated here, although not in the same order. Tozer’s definitions, when used, will appear in quotes.

The Bible says to praise God for who He is, especially in prayer. Much of Psalms is a good example of this. Most people concentrate their praise in just a few areas, such as God’s love, and then spend the rest of their prayers asking Him for things. (So that you can remember all of the attributes of God they are presented in the order of this acronym: WISH TO FLOSS JIM EGGO.)

 

ATTRIBUTES OF GOD – THE CHARACTERISTICS

Wise: “Wisdom is the ability to devise perfect ends and to achieve these ends by the most perfect means.” In other words, God makes no mistakes. He is the Father who truly knows best, as Paul explains in Romans 11:33: “Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand His decisions and His ways!”

Infinite: God knows no boundaries. He is without measure. This attribute by definition impacts all of the others. Since God is infinite, everything else about Him must also be infinite.

Sovereign: This is “the attribute by which He rules His entire creation.” It is the application of His other attributes of being all-knowing and all-powerful. It makes Him absolutely free to do what He knows to be best. God is in control of everything that happens. Man still has a free will, and is responsible for his choices in life.

Holy: This is the attribute that sets God apart from all created beings. It refers to His majesty and His perfect moral purity. There is absolutely no sin or evil thought in God at all. His holiness is the definition of that which is pure and righteous in all the universe. Wherever God has appeared, such as to Moses at the burning bush, that place becomes holy just for God having been there.

Triune: Though the actual word is not used in the Bible, the truth of God revealing Himself in three persons is included. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all called God, given worship as God, exist eternally, and are involved in doing things only God could do. Although, God reveals Himself in three persons, God is One and cannot be divided. All are involved completely whenever One of the Three is active.

Omniscient: “God possesses perfect knowledge and therefore has no need to learn. God has never learned and cannot learn.” Omniscience means all-knowing. God knows everything, and His knowledge is infinite. It is impossible to hide anything from God.

Faithful: Everything that God has promised will come to pass. His faithfulness guarantees this fact. He does not lie. What He has said in the Bible about Himself is true. Jesus even said that He is the Truth. This is extremely important for the followers of Jesus because it is on His faithfulness that our hope of eternal life rests. He will honor His promise that our sins will be forgiven and that we will live forever with Him.

Love: Love is such an important part of God’s character that the apostle John wrote, “God is love.” This means that God holds the well-being of others as His primary concern. For a full definition of love, read 1 Corinthians 13. To see love in action, study the life of Jesus. His sacrifice on the cross for the sins of others is the ultimate act of love. God’s love is not a love of emotion but of action. His love gives freely to the object of its affection, those who choose to follow His son Jesus.

Omnipotent: Literally this word means all-powerful. Since God is infinite and since He possesses power, He possesses infinite power. He does allow His creatures to have some power, but this in no way diminishes His own. “He expends no energy that must be replenished.” When the Bible says God rested on the seventh day, it was to set an example for us and our need for rest, not because He was tired.

Self-existent: When Moses asked who he was talking to in the burning bush, God said, “I AM THE ONE WHO ALWAYS IS.” God has no beginning or end. He just exists. Nothing else in all the universe is self-caused. Only God. In fact, if anything else had created Him, that thing would be God. This is a difficult concept for our minds since everything else we will ever encounter comes from something other than itself. The Bible says, “In the beginning, God.” He was already there.

Self-sufficient: The Bible says that God has life in Himself (see John 5:26). All other life in the universe is a gift from God. He has no needs and there is no way He can improve. To God, nothing else is necessary. He does not need our help with anything, but because of His grace and love, He allows us to be a part of advancing His plan on earth and being a blessing to others. We are the ones who change, but never God. He is self-sufficient.

Just: The Bible says that God is just, but it is His character that defines what being just really is. He does not conform to some outside criteria. Being just brings moral equity to everyone. When there are evil acts, justice demands there be a penalty. Since God is perfect and has never done evil, no penalty would ever be necessary; however, because of His love, God paid the penalty for our evil deeds by going to the cross Himself. His justice needed to be satisfied, but He took care of it for all who will believe in Jesus.

Immutable: This simply means that God never changes. It is why the Bible says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Merciful: “Mercy is the attribute of God which disposes Him to be actively compassionate.” Since God’s justice is satisfied in Jesus, He is free to show mercy to all those who have chosen to follow Him. It will never end since it is a part of God’s nature. Mercy is the way He desires to relate to mankind, and He does so unless the person chooses to despise or ignore God at which time His justice becomes the prominent attribute.

Eternal: In some ways, this fact about God is similar to His self-existence. God always has been and will forever be, because God dwells in eternity. Time is His creation. It is why God can see the end from the beginning, and why He is never surprised by anything. If He were not eternal, God’s promise of eternal life for those who follow Jesus would have little value.

Good: “The goodness of God is that which disposes Him to be kind, cordial, benevolent, and full of good will toward men.” This attribute of God is why He bestows all the blessing He does on His followers. God’s actions define what goodness is, and we can easily see it in the way Jesus related to the people around Him.

Gracious: God enjoys giving great gifts to those who love Him, even when they do not deserve it. Grace is the way we describe that inclination. Jesus Christ is the channel through which His grace moves. The Bible says, “The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”

Omnipresent: This theological term means “always present.” Since God is infinite, His being knows no boundaries. So, clearly He is everywhere. This truth is taught throughout the Bible as the phrase “I am with you always” is repeated 22 times in both the Old and New Testaments. These were even Jesus’ words of assurance just after giving the challenge to His disciples to take His message to the entire world. This is certainly a comforting truth for all who follow Jesus.

 

ATTRIBUTES OF GOD – THE CONCLUSION

This is the description of the God of the Bible. All other ideas about God are, according to the Bible, false gods. They are from the imagination of humankind. By learning the attributes of God, we are able to praise God for who He really is and for how each of His attributes impacts our lives in a positive way.

Stay blessed!

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

Email:  saltnlightministries@gmail.com

Website: saltandlightgh.org

WHAT DOES RIGHTEOUSNESS MEAN?

Scripture:

The Good News shows how God makes people right with Himself – Romans 1:17 (NCV).

God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2 Corinthians 5:21

 

 

Message:

The righteous person – one who is “in a right” relationship with God – continues to live by faith, growing from one level of maturity to the next. In this way, the believer progresses along the path of righteousness and approval from God to experience a fulfilling spiritual life.

Righteousness is a big word in the Bible. It’s used hundreds of times. The Bible says that God loves righteousness and that God is righteous. It says that one day God is going to judge the world in righteousness. Psalm 23 says that God leads us in the paths of righteousness.

So what in the world does this word mean?

There are various definitions for righteousness, but let us boil it down to two things: Righteousness is a relationship and a lifestyle.

  1. Righteousness simply means being in a right relationship with God and having the ability – through faith in Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit – to live in a way that is right by God’s standards.
  2. Righteousness does not refer to a person’s own ability to keep God’s law. No one can get it right with God through good works, and no one can keep God’s law in their own ability. The only way we can become righteous is by accepting the sacrifice Jesus made for our sins and by surrendering our own sinful lives to Christ in return for the new life that comes through faith and devotion to Him.

Romans 1:17 says, The Good News shows how God makes people right with himself” (NCV). The Good News is that God made us right with Himself through Jesus’ death as a payment for our sins. His righteousness is given to us at our conversion. This is what Christians mean by Christ’s atonement for sin. Because of Jesus’ death, we can have a personal relationship with God.

In the world, bartering works only when two people exchange goods of relatively equal value. But God offers to trade His righteousness for our sin – something of immeasurable worth for something completely worthless. How grateful we should be for His kindness to us.

  1. Righteousness is also a lifestyle. It means living right as God intends. The Bible says in 1 John 2:29, “All who practice righteousness are God’s true children”.

So why should you care about being right with God? Because it’s the only way to live, and it’s the only way to heaven.

When you are disconnected from God, you’re not really living; you just exist. Most people in the world aren’t really fully alive. They just exist, trying to make it to the weekend. But to be disconnected from your Creator who made you for a purpose is nonsense.

Life is not about the acquisition of things or the achievement of goals. Life is about getting to know God—the one who loves you and made you for a purpose. You’re not really living until you’re right with God and have a relationship with him.

  1. Righteousness is also the way you get to heaven. God created heaven as a place for His children whom He loves, and He wants you to be with Him forever. He wants you to be in heaven, but He’s not going to force you to go to heaven. You can choose to be disconnected from God here on earth, but when your life on earth is done, you will not have a second chance to choose where you spend eternity.

You can’t blame God, because He gives you the choice right now to have a relationship with him. He wants you to choose to love him! And when you do, you will be made right with Him. It will change your life—here on earth and for eternity!

To Ponder:

  • If God makes you right with Him, why does He still want you to learn and grow in spiritual maturity?
  • What does it mean to have a relationship with God? What does it look like in your life?
  • In your own words, how would you explain righteousness to someone else? What difference has it made in your life to be made right with God?

 

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.