GOD IS WATCHING

“Where could I go from Your Spirit?  Or where could I flee from your presence?  If I ascend up into Heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol (the place of the dead), behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall Your hand lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.” – Ps. 139:7-10 (Amplified Version)

God is Everywhere

The Lord is watching everywhere and keeps His eye on both the evil and the good – Prov. 15:3 (Living Bible).  God is present everywhere and that is why He is called Omnipotent.  Because of this He sees everything, and we ourselves can never be lost to His Spirits.  On the one hand, this is good news because it means that those who have a close relationship with God have the assurance that no matter what we do, no matter where we go, we can never be far from God’s comforting presence as we read in Romans 8:35-39.  It also means that we ourselves can never hide from God.  Nor can we hide any of our actions from Him – He even knows our thoughts – Psalm 44:21.

The knowledge that God is Omnipotent – present everywhere should make us want to do what is right at all times.  The following article story, which I read in a Christian newspaper gives much food for thought.

The Two-way Mirror

I saw the mirror at the back of the drug store but paid little attention to it.  I made my purchase and left.   Later, the son of the Pharmacist, a personal acquaintance of mine, told me about a woman who had a prescription filled in the same drug store.  While she waited, the druggist went into his little back room to prepare the medication.

The woman glanced in the mirror and touched up her hair.  Then she wandered over to the perfume counter.  Being alone and seeing her favourite perfume, she slipped a bottle into her purse.  Few minutes later the pharmacist laid the filled prescription on the counter and named a price.  The woman asked why it was so expensive.  The druggist explained the price of the prescription and added the price of the perfume: “For the bottle you have in your purse.” 

Surprised, the woman said: “Oh, I forgot about that!”  That mirror was a two-way one, and the Pharmacist had been watching the woman’s every move.

God is always present, always watching.  He is Omniscient.  He doesn’t need a two-way mirror to know what we are doing.

The Unseen Stealing

A fortune can be made from cheating, but there is a curse that goes with it – Prov. 20:21 (LIVING).  It is quite easy to say: “Well, I wouldn’t take anything that doesn’t belong to me”, but there are other ways of stealing.  Some people think themselves to be upright because they do not break the law.  Yet if they take a little money in a shady deal or slightly misrepresent a product, their character is no better than that of the outright thief.

Concerning any questionable business deal, some businessmen have been known to say: “Well, business is business.”  Everybody does it!  No everybody does it though but the excuse satisfies the unconscionable people.  However, God, who is watching, even though it may be undetected by the customer, sees every shady deal.

There are those who deny it, but gambling may be another way of stealing.  The gambler will tell you it’s his business what he does with his money.  But that statement is questionable if his wife and children have nothing to eat and the rent goes unpaid.

Christians: The World’s Bible

Christians ought to pay all their bills.  Many worldly people judge Christ and His Church by the way professing Christians pay their bills.  If a man is a Christian and his grocer is not, the grocer may feel there is nothing to Christianity when the Christian runs up a bill and never pays.  The outside world does not read the Bible, it reads Christians.

Stealing From God

Then there is the thievery of stealing from God.  This is done by not giving Him His “tithes and offerings” – Malachi 3:8.  We must give God what is rightfully His.  There is an old saying – “The love of money is the root of all evil;” but the greatest evil about money is when it is stolen from God. 

Jesus: God’s Mirror in Your Heart

A man’s conscience is the Lord’s searchlight exposing his hidden motives – Prov. 20:27 – (Living Bible).  There is a remedy that covers dishonesty – the same remedy applies to all sin – Jesus Christ in the heart is the remedy!  When Jesus truly resides in the heart of the believer, Satan’s temptations are easily overcome.

The woman in the drug store who slipped the perfume in her bag was not accused of doing wrong.  Nor were the police called to arrest her and carry her to jail.  The Pharmacist handled the woman and not wanting to embarrass her and not wanting to lose a customer, he simply asked for his money.  He got it and there is no doubt that the woman was totally honest the next time she entered the store.

The God who is watching handles us wisely.  He provides us with a Saviour – His most effective prescription for sin.  He sees every misdeed through the ‘mirror’ of heaven, but He also hears every confession.  Just as the woman had to pay for the stolen goods, so the unrepentant sinner will be made to pay for every wrongdoing.

Stay Blessed!

Please continue to join us on Asempa 94.7 FM – Sunday 5.30 am., Sunny 88.7 FM – Tuesdays 5:30 am; and Uniiq 95.7 FM – Saturdays 7:30 pm, YFM 107.9 – Sundays 6.30am; for our Radio Bible Study as well as Sunny FM 88.7 FM every Sunday at 3:30 pm. for Hymn and their Stories.

LENTEN MEDITATIONS

Come to me, all you who are very weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. – Matthew 11: 28-30

INTRODUCTION

Lent started on Wednesday 17th February with Ash Wednesday and would continue until Saturday 3rd April, a day before Easter Sunday. Originally, Lent was kept as a pre-Easter retreat: a prolonged period of time when Christians would “tone up” spiritually. Their “spiritual aerobics” were not unlike the intensive training an athlete undergoes before an important race or the strict diet a person goes on in order to lose weight for medical or cosmetic purpose.

The reason why Christians took Lent so seriously from the days of the Early Church onwards is that Easter Day was the highlight of their year. On this day, like us, they celebrated the amazing fact that Jesus’ body was not left in the grave. He rose from dead! But on this day, they also welcomed converts to Christianity into full fellowship of the church and welcomed back people who had once believed in God but whose faith in Him had grown dim and whose love for Him had grown cold. Throughout Lent, these people would prepare for Easter by becoming familiar with the basic teaching essential to understanding of Christianity. They would be encouraged to repent of the past failures and be shown how to live life God’s way. Committed Christians did not escape the rigours of the Lenten season. They, too, took Lent seriously and used it as a time to examine their life-style, to turn their backs on the sin that so easily creeps into their lives and to re-dedicate their lives to God.

Lent means to sacrifice your most precious commodity, time: quality time for God. During Lent we should devote our time to extra prayer, extra Bible meditation, extra reflection and serious repentance. Such dedicated time to God would make a difference to the way we worship when Easter Day arrives.

LENT IS THEREFORE:

  1. A time for spiritual spring-cleaning; a challenge to combat evil in our lives. And Lent is a time to turn back to God. The Prophet Joel puts the invitation this way: ‘Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity.’ (Joel 2:13 NIV)
  • A time for new beginnings. New beginnings start with repentance. Repentance is not negative. True repentance is an active, positive attitude which effects real and deep changes. Repentance involves recognizing the wrong, and, where possible, putting it right. And when we repent, we are determining in our minds that we will live differently.  John the Baptist said ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near’ (Matthew 3:2). Repentance means to face up honestly to the past and turn from it… Our own repentance conjures up feelings of being sorry or guilty for something. The biblical meaning is far deeper and richer. In the New Testament usage, repentance turns us from sin, selfishness, darkness, idols, habits, bondages and demons both private and public. Jim Wallis puts it this way: ‘We turn from all that binds and oppresses us and others, from all the false worship that has controlled us. Ultimately, repentance is turning from the powers of death. These ominous forces no longer hold us in their grip; they no longer have the last word’.Repentance and receiving God’s forgiveness go hand in hand. The Apostle John writes: ‘If we confess our sins to God, He will keep His promise…He will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing.’ (1 John 1:9). After we have confessed, we must move on to receive and embrace God’s forgiveness and love. To fail to do so implies that we give greater importance to our sinful self than to God’s goodness. We must learn to accept that God’s goodness is greater than our ‘badness’; that there is joy in God’s heart in extending to us the forgiving love which sets us free from past sin. So, we must refuse to nurse a sense of guilt and accept the healing God offers.
  • A glorious forty-day retreat. A retreat is a time to stand back; to ask; ‘what have I been doing with my life?’ What has God been teaching me? Where have I succeeded in living life God’s way? Where have I failed? What do I need to confess to God or to change?’  Lenten retreat is a time to recognize our wanderings and to determine to go back to God. Like the young man in the story of the prodigal son, we are to make a calculated choice to come back to our Father: ‘I will get up and go to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against God and against you. I am no longer fit to be called your son: treat me as one of your hired workers.’ (Luke 15: 20-24) :and enjoy our Father’s joyful restoration.   
  • A time to hope. Unending love is what God is. Lent is a time to experience that love all over again. For this reason, God ‘woos’and assures us that though we have failed Him, He will not forsake us: ‘How can I give you up?… How can I abandon you?… My heart will not let me do it! My love for you is too strong.’ (Hosea 11:8). Now is the time to make a personal response to God invitation: ‘Return to the Lord your God and let this prayer be your offering to Him: “Forgive all our sins and accept our prayer, and we will praise you as we have promised”’(Hosea 14:2) . Because God’s love is perfect, when we return to Him, we enjoy security. He has promised that He will never abandon us nor banish us from His presence — ‘Does a woman forget her baby at the breast, or fail to cherish the son of her womb? Yet even if these forget, I will never forget you. See, I have branded you on the palms of my hands.’
  • A time to re-focus; to turn away from the business which pre-occupies us for most of the year and concentrate on Jesus.  

END NOTE

Lent is a wonderful time we should not miss. Let us go through the rigours of the 40 days spiritual disciplines of fasting and prayers and enjoy prolific change and growth in our walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.  Stay Blessed!

LET US LOVE ONE ANOTHER

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. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

INTRODUCTION

Today we would like to invite you to study a systematic study of 1 John chapter 4:7-21, where we learn so much about God’s love.

God’s love is not static or self-centered; it reaches out and draws others in. God sets the pattern for true love, the basis for all love relationships – when we love someone dearly, we are willing to give freely to the point of self-sacrifice. God paid dearly with the life of His Son, the highest price He could pay. Jesus accepted our punishment, paid the price for our sins, and then offered us the new life that He had bought for us. When we share the Good News with others, our love must be like Jesus’ willingly giving up our own comfort and security so that others might join us in receiving God’s love.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.

This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Saviour of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And He has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. – 1 John 4:7-21.

VERSE BY VERSE STUDY

A. 4:7 – Everyone believes that love is important, but love is usually thought of a feeling. In reality, love is a choice and an action, as 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 shows. God is the source of our love. He loved us enough to sacrifice His Son for us. Jesus is our example of what it means to love; everything He did in life and death was supremely loving. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to love; He lives in our heart and makes us more and more like Christ. God’s love always involves a choice and an action, and our love should be like His. How well do we display our love for God in the choices we make and the actions we take?

B. 4:8 – John says, “God is love”, not “Love is God”. Our world, with its shallow and selfish view of love, has turned these words around and contaminated our understanding of love. The world thinks that love is what makes a person feel good and that it is all right to sacrifice moral principles and others’ rights in order to obtain such “love”. But that isn’t real love; it is the exact opposite -selfishness. And God is not that kind of “love”. Real love is like God, who is holy, just, and perfect. If we truly know God, we will love as He does.

C. 4:9, 10 – EXPLAINS:

1. Why God creates – because He loves, He creates people to love.

2. Why God cares – because He Loves them, He cares for sinful people.

3. Why we are free to choose – God wants a loving response from us.

4. Why Christ died – His love for us caused Him to offer a solution to the problem of sin.

5. Why we receive eternal life – God’ love expresses itself to us forever.

Nothing sinful or evil can exist in God’s presence. He is absolute goodness. He cannot overlook, condone, or excuse sin as though it never happened. He loves us, but His love does not make Him morally lax. If we trust in Christ, however, we will not have to bear the penalty for our sins. We will be acquitted by His atoning sacrifice.

D. 4:12 – Jesus is the complete expression of God in human form, and He has revealed God to us. When we love one another, the invisible God reveals Himself to others through us, and His love is made complete.

Some people simply enjoy being with others. They make friends with strangers easily and always are surrounded by friends. Other people are shy or reserved. They have a few friends and are frequently uncomfortable talking with people they don’t know or mingling in crowds. Shy people don’t need to become extroverts in order to love others. John isn’t telling us how many people to love, but how much to love the people we already know. Our job is to love faithfully the people God has given us to love, whether there are two or two hundred of them. If God sees that we are ready to love others, He will bring them to us. No matter how shy we are, we don’t need to be afraid of the love commandment. God provides us the strength to do what He asks.

E. 4:13 – When we become Christians, we receive the Holy Spirit, God’s presence in our life is proof that we really belong to Him. He also gives us the power to love. Let us rely on that power as we reach out to others.

F. 4:18 – If we ever are afraid of the future, eternity, or God’s judgement, we can remind ourselves of God’s love. We know that He loves us perfectly. We can resolve our fears first by focusing on His immeasurable love for us, and then by allowing Him to love others through us. His love will quiet our fears and give us confidence.

G. 4:19 – God’s love is the source of all human love, and it spreads like fire. In loving His children, God kindles a flame in their hearts. In turn, they love others, who are warmed by God’s love through them.

H. 4:20, 21. – It is easy to say we love God when that, love doesn’t cost us anything more than weekly attendance at religious services. But the real test of our love for God is how we treat the people right in front of us – our family members and fellow believers. We cannot truly love God while neglecting to love those who are created in His image.

Stay blessed!

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

Email: saltnlightministries@gmail.com
Website:
saltandlightministriesgh.org

FIXING MY EYES ON JESUS

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:2

INTRODUCTION

Every one of us has problems that feel like we are walking through a “fiery” time in life. What fuel has God the Refiner added to the fire of our life, as He works to reveal Jesus in and through us? Has the heat intensified to an almost unbearable level? Maybe it’s marriage problems, and your spouse walked out? Or financial problems, and now the bank says it will no longer give you time to pay? Or challenges at work, and now the boss says they no longer need you because of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Whatever the situation or intensity of the heat, be encouraged! When a refiner purifies gold, he melts it in a pot over a fire. He keeps turning up the heat until the dross, or impurities, rise to the surface. He then bends over the gold to skim off the dross and continues doing so, until he can see his face reflected in the surface of the liquid gold.

JUST LOOK UP!

Gold refined in the fire is a meaningful visual of how God refines us. “But who can endure the day of His coming? Who can stand when He appears? For He will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness” – Malachi 3:2-3. He knows exactly how hot the “fire” needs to be to bring the impurities in our hearts, minds and lives to the surface of our attention, enabling Him to skim them off until He can see His own image reflected in us. When He turns up the heat, we need to fix our eyes on Him, totally trusting Him to know exactly what He’s doing.

Has the Refiner added fuel to the fire? Perhaps a dear one died suddenly or after a very short illness? Or perhaps there is a dangerous disease such as cancer?

Praise God! The cross, the blood of God’s Lamb, trumps anything the devil can throw at us or assign to us!

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” – 1 Peter 1:6-7.

So please let us fix our eyes on the Refiner … the One ultimately in control of everything, trusting Him especially with the intensity of the heat.

Let’s be confident that there will be a healing not just an answer to our prayers, but the prayers of others for us, whether healing without surgery, with surgery, with surgery plus follow-up treatment, or through the greater miracle of the resurrection. And our healing — physical, emotional, spiritual or mental — may also be an answered prayer for others as their faith strengthens ours.

I found the following poem written by a 9 year old which seems appropriate for the situation:

Trust Him when dark doubts assail thee.

Trust Him when thy strength is small.

Trust Him when to simply trust Him

Is the hardest thing of all.

Trust Him, He is ever faithful.

Trust Him for His will is best.

Trust Him for the heart of Jesus

Is the only place to rest.

Trust Him then through tears and sunshine,

All thy cares upon Him cast,

‘Til the storms of life are over,

And the trusting days are past.

As we follow the Good Shepherd through this Valley of the Shadow, we must firmly fixi our eyes on Jesus with a heart of absolute trust. May our prayers be that our faith would be purified, God would be glorified, and Jesus would be magnified through every step we take on this new journey, until the Refiner sees His own reflection mirrored in our lives.

Father God, help me trust You as my faith is purified, until my faith becomes sight, when I see You face-to-face, and the trusting days are past. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

As we continually look to Jesus, He will be the author and finisher” of your faith. He will lead us to overwhelming victory, even amid the storms of life.

TO PONDER

The Lenten season, the period of 40 days fast, repentance and prayer prior to the celebration of Easter Sunday has begun. Please let us deepen our relationship with the Lord.

Stay Blessed!

Please continue to join us on Asempa 94.7 FM – Sunday 5.30 am., Sunny 88.7 FM – Tuesdays 5:30 am; and Uniiq 95.7 FM – Saturdays 7:30 pm, YFM 107.9 – Sundays 6.30am; for our Radio Bible Study as well as Sunny FM 88.7 FM every Sunday at 3:30 pm. for Hymn and their Stories.

10 POWERFUL PRAYERS TO PRAY FOR THE CHURCH

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. – Ephesians 6:18

INTRODUCTION

The Bible is filled with reminders of how important it is to pray for one another. Jesus gave us the best example as He prayed for those who followed Him. Paul also left us prayers written for the churches he had visited over time.

If we are called to pray for the “church,” what is the church, exactly? The Bible reminds us that the church is more than just a building or a gathering place of people. It’s much bigger than any single denomination, social status, or country. The church quite simply is the body of believers all around the world who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. It is referred to in the Bible as the Greek word “ekklesia” and is defined as “an assembly,” or the “called out ones.”

In a world that is often very dark, and in times that we know the end is drawing nearer, may we be found faithfully praying for one another until Christ’s return. Many believers are persecuted, even killed, daily all around our world. Many are being intimidated by others around them, or are ridiculed and attacked because of their beliefs. We can be sure of this – Satan is very aware of the power of our prayers. And he will do everything he can to render us ineffective and to silence our voices. May God help us to recognize those traps and do all we can to show His love and light in this world that so desperately needs Christ’s hope and healing.

1. PRAY FOR UNITY IN THE CHURCH.

“I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” – Ephesians 4:1-3

2. PRAY THAT GOD WOULD BE GLORIFIED IN ALL THINGS AND THAT THE NAME OF CHRIST IS EXALTED.

“To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” – 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

3. PRAY THAT GOD’S SPIRIT AND POWER WOULD FILL THE CHURCH.

“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19

4. PRAY THAT THE BODY OF CHRIST WOULD FAITHFULLY SHOW LOVE TO A HURTING WORLD IN HIS NAME.

“Let all that you do be done in love.” – 1 Corinthians 16:14

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

5. PRAY FOR GOD’S PROVISION AND THAT THE CHURCH WOULD BE FAITHFUL TO GIVE GENEROUSLY.

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35

6. PRAY THAT THE CHURCH WOULD BE FAITHFUL TO GO INTO ALL THE WORLD AND SHARE THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST.

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

7. PRAY FOR THE LEADERS OF EVERY CHURCH, THAT THEIR HEARTS AND MINDS ARE DIRECTED TOWARDS CHRIST.

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9

8. PRAY FOR THE CHURCH TO HAVE A LOVE FOR GOD’S WORD AND TO WALK IN HIS WISDOM, HUMILITY, AND STRENGTH.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

9. PRAY FOR GOD’S POWER AND PROTECTION AGAINST THE ATTACKS OF THE ENEMY.

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18

10. PRAY THAT GOD WOULD WAKE UP THE CHURCH AND STIR US TO ACTION.

“Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,” – Ephesians 6:18.

HEAD OF THY CHURCH TRIUMPHANT – MHB 411

1 Head of Thy Church triumphant,

We joyfully adore Thee;

Till Thou appear, Thy members here

Shall sing like those in glory.

We lift our hearts and voices

With blest anticipation,

And cry aloud, and give to God

The praise of our salvation.

Charles Wesley – 1701-1788

CONCLUSION

It is our privilege to come into God’s throne room to intercede and lift up our church and its leaders. Church is not a place, it’s a body. It is family, with blood ties through Jesus Christ. 

Let us make prayer our life and our lives a prayer while living in a world that needs God’s powerful influence. We also should pray for all believers in Christ; so pray for Christians you know and for the church around the world.

Stay blessed!

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

Email: saltnlightministries@gmail.com
Website:
saltandlightministriesgh.org

6 WAYS TO SHOW LOVE THIS YEAR

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself. – Matthew 22:37-39

INTRODUCTION

God loves everyone—and He calls us to do the same selflessly, without expectation of something in return. Love is given utmost importance in His Word the Bible. We are expected to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind—and to love our neighbour as the Lord Jesus tells us in Luke 10:27He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”.

What is love?

The ‘Love Verse’ at 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 is an oft-quoted Scripture that reminds us love is patient and kind; not envious, boastful, or full of pride. How can we apply this in 2021?

LOVING GOD

We build our relationship with God mainly through Bible Study, praying and fellowship with other believers. The Lord has provided His Word as a means to grow in our faith. Praying regularly, going to church, and spending time with our church family will also encourage us in our love for God, but there is more we need to do. We may love Him, but how can we truly serve Him if we ignore the most important thing we are commanded: to love? Loving God means loving others—an important detail we must never overlook. GOD IS LOVE.

…if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:2

LOVE IS BIGGER THAN FEELINGS

Love is more than just an emotion. Feeling can be a part of love—we have romantic relationships, share friendships, and develop a fondness for other people—but that does not define love. Love is also action, service, courtesy, and forgiveness. Sending an encouraging card or words of sympathy when someone is going through a difficult time will remind them that they are loved—by God and the people in their life. You don’t have to carry the feeling of love in order to share love with others.

Love is a choice. We can choose to respond thoughtfully in any situation when we allow our decisions to be guided by His love.

Let all that you do be done in love. – 1 Corinthians 16:14

LOVE IS HOSPITALITY

Let’s open our hearts to others. Hospitality is not hosting a party to impress others, but rather a way to show our love for our family, friends, and neighbours.

We don’t need to go beyond our means to show our loving care. Meet a need in someone’s life—provide a ride to a doctor’s appointment for an elderly person from your community or send a jacket and packaged meal to someone who may be less fortunate. Offering what you can in someone’s time of need shows the love we are expected to have for our neighbor.

Jesus was able to offer Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus, His unconditional, irrevocable, pure love and forgiveness for her sins. Mary responded with an act that showed her gratitude to Jesus—she poured out her love and devotion when she washed His feet with her tears, dried them with her own hair, then anointed Him with an expensive perfume as we read in John 12: 1- 8. When onlookers criticized the act as wasteful, Jesus reminded them that her great sins had been forgiven through an act of His own love—in return, she provided Him a beautiful gesture of love in the way she was able.

WHEN LOVE IS DIFFICULT

Love can be a sacrifice, as God Himself showed when He sent us His Son. Jesus showed us the same love when He went to the cross to die for our sins. Loving somebody may be difficult as well, but Jesus calls for us to love our enemies. Who are the enemies in our lives? Who are difficult to love? Maybe we have an overbearing relative, someone from work we don’t get along with, or a neighbour who just seems impossible.

Loving our enemies simply means we treat them with respect—regardless of whether they show us respect in return. We must pray to the Lord for strength and guidance in order to fulfill His commandment, especially since we cannot often find it within ourselves. Loving our enemies may mean pledging not to cause harm—even to their reputation or feelings. We do not speak ill of those with whom we do not get along, nor do we wish them ill. Loving someone may mean offering forgiveness or withholding judgement. “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” – Luke 6:35

THREE STRATEGIES TO CHOOSE LOVE IN 2021

1) Love through prayer. The Lord has commanded us to love, but He does not expect us to do it on our own. Let us pray for His guidance, asking Him to help us see people through His eyes. Through God, we can gain the strength to love those who may be difficult to love. Let’s humble ourselves before the Lord—because sometimes we may be difficult to love as well.

2) Love through action. Though love isn’t all service, it is a large part of it. We serve God by loving each other, and we can serve others in love. Let’s put love into action by volunteering, helping our neighbour with some work, or introducing someone to the love of God found in His Word.

3) Love through attentiveness. Family and friends love to feel loved. Let us offer recognition of the time and effort put into the dinner on the table, concern when they’re unhappy, or words of affirmation when they need some encouragement. Simply being available can show our love in big ways.

CONCLUSION

We know how it feels to be on the receiving end of love, so let us joyfully spread love to others. When we consider the gift of God’s unconditional love, we realize how truly blessed we are to be loved by Him. Loving others is therefore how we show Him we are listening and want to do as He does. Not only does sharing love make others feel good, it lifts you up as well. Go into the new year with a heart full of love. Jesus puts it beautifully in John 15:9-11: “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. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

Stay Blessed!

Please continue to join us on Asempa 94.7 FM – Sunday 5.30 am., Sunny 88.7 FM – Tuesdays 5:30 am; and Uniiq 95.7 FM – Saturdays 7:30 pm, YFM 107.9 – Sundays 6.30am; for our Radio Bible Study as well as Sunny FM 88.7 FM every Sunday at 3:30 pm. for Hymn and their Stories.

WHO DO WE WORK FOR?

Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. – Colossians 3:22-24

INTRODUCTION

Many of the first Christians may have been slaves, since perhaps half the population or more of the Roman Empire were under servitude by one historian’s estimate. Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” – Romans 6:16

One of the reasons that our work has dignity and value, even if we are slaves, is that we are coworkers with God. Christ cares not only about what job we have, but how we go about doing it. “Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive. – Titus 2:9-10

WHO’S THE BOSS

Christ gives us work to do. Work is a gift from God. He has created us in His own image to be workers, giving us skills and abilities to accomplish His purposes. He has also sovereignly placed us in our occupation to do His work there. Even if our job is as lowly as a Roman slave’s, it still has value and dignify to Christ.

Christ is our Boss, but He uses human supervisors. According to Colossians 3, people in authority over us are actually human representatives of Christ. They may not act very Christ-like. But in working for them, we are ultimately working for Christ.

  1. Do we follow their instructions?
  2. Do we shirk our job when they’re not around?
  3. Are we more interested in impressing them to gain approval and advancement than in getting the job done?
  4. How would our work ethic change if we saw Christ as our supervisor?

Christ asks us to put our hearts into our work. If we serve Christ in our job, we have more reason than anyone else to work with integrity and enthusiasm. The job itself may be unchallenging or unpleasant. But Christ asks us to do it with dignity, to the best of our ability, as though working for Christ Himself.

WORKERS FOR THE KINGDOM

Do we ever wonder what our life contributes to the work of God in the world? If we are in a “secular” occupation, we may conclude that the only way to further the kingdom is to pray for and contribute financially to those who are in “full-time” Christian work. But are those our only options?

Paul described Aristarchus, Mark, and Justus as “fellow workers for the kingdom”, indicating that they may have been vocational Christian workers. Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jewsamong my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. – Colossians 4:11. However, there is no way to say whether they were employed in that work as a full-time occupation. In fact, if they followed Paul’s example, they probably had other jobs through which they made their living.

The point is that drawing a paycheck for doing “ministry” is not the criterion by which to judge whether someone is a worker for God’s kingdom. Kingdom work involves promoting the values, beliefs and lifestyle of the Kingdom. That may involve professional employment such as pastoring a church or serving on a mission field. But kingdom workers are also found among doctors, accountants, engineers, painters, salespeople, auto mechanics, and homemakers. Wherever believers are furthering the goals and objectives of Christ, they are working for His kingdom.

How does our lives promote the purpose of God? Do we use our skills and abilities toward that end, whether or not pay is involved? Or have we given up and concluded that because we aren’t really serving the Lord with our life and career? If so, let us consider what it means to be a worker for Christ’s kingdom!

GUIDELINES FOR MANAGERS AND OTHERS IN AUTHORITY

FINANCE

  1. Workers deserve payment for their work. (1 Corinthians 9:7-14)
  2. We are accountable for fair employee compensation. (Colossians 4:1)
  3. Handle wealth very delicately. (1 Timothy 6:9-10, 17-18)

WORK RELATIONSHIPS

  • Bring our walk with Christ into each business relationship (2 Corinthians 7:1)
  • Value people highly. (Galatians 5:14-15)

RESPONSIBILITY

  • Fulfill your commitments. (Romans 13:6-8)
  • Remember God’s Son gets the ultimate credit. (Colossians 1:17-18)
  • Discern needs and meet them. (Titus 3:14).

GUIDELINES FOR WORKERS AND THOSE UNDER AUTHORITY

FINANCE

  • Live frugally and do not steal – including pilfering. (Ephesians 4:28)
  • Care for your family (1 Timothy 5:8)

SUPERVISORS

  1. Develop a respect for authority. (Romans 13:1-8)
  2. Do our work wholeheartedly and respectfully. (Ephesians 6:5-8)

COWORKERS

  1. Acknowledge differences and accept the contributions of others. (1 Corinthians 12:1-8)
  2. Learn to speak appropriately and sensitively. (Colossians 4:6)
  3. Understand others and treat them respectfully. (1 Timothy 5:1-3)

TO PONDER

Is it really possible to hold a “secular” job and still please God with our life? Or would it be better to quit one’s job and go into the ministry?

Source: The Word in Life Study Bible

Stay blessed!

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

Email: saltnlightministries@gmail.com
Website:
saltandlightministriesgh.org

CHRIST’S SACRIFICE ONCE FOR ALL

so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him. – Hebrews 9:28

INTRODUCTION

The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Therefore, when Christ came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, my God.’”

First He said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then He said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time He waits for His enemies to be made His footstool. For by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First He says: “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”

Then He adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary. – Hebrews 10:1-18

ANIMAL SACRIFICES PROVIDED ONLY A TEMPORAL WAY TO DEAL WITH SIN UNTIL JESUS CAME TO DEAL WITH SIN PERMANENTLY.

The writer of Hebrews applies to Christ the words of the psalmist in Psalm 40:6-8: Sacrifice and offering you did not desire— but my ears you have opened burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. Then I said, “Here I am, I have come— it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.”

Jesus Christ came to offer His body on the cross for us as a sacrifice that is completely acceptable to God. God’s new and living way for us to please Him is not by keeping laws or even by abstaining from sin. It is by coming to Him in faith to be forgiven, and then following Him in loving obedience. Considering the immeasurable gift He gave us, we should respond by giving Him our devotion and service.

The priests repeated the sacrifice often; Christ’s sacrificed once for all. The sacrifice system couldn’t completely remove sin; Jesus Christ’s sacrifice effectively cleansed us. Beware of anyone who tells you that His sacrifice still leaves us incomplete or that something else is needed to make us acceptable to God. When we believe in Him, He makes us completely right with God. Our loving relationship leads us to follow Him in willing obedience and service. He is pleased with our service, but we cannot be saved by our good deeds.

We have been made perfect, yet we are being made holy. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus Christ, once for all, made us perfect in God’s sight. We should not be surprised, ashamed, or shocked that we still need to grow. God is not finished with us. We can encourage this growth process by deliberately applying scripture to all areas of our lives, by accepting the discipline and guidance Christ provides, and by giving Him control of our desires and goals.

CONCLUSION

The writer concludes His argument with His powerful statement that God will never again remember our sins. Jesus Christ forgives completely, so there is no need to confess our past sins repeatedly. As believers, we can be confident that the sins we confess and renounce are forgiven and forgotten.

Stay Blessed!

Please continue to join us on Asempa 94.7 FM – Sunday 5.30 am., Sunny 88.7 FM – Tuesdays 5:30 am; and Uniiq 95.7 FM – Saturdays 7:30 pm, YFM 107.9 – Sundays 6.30am; for our Radio Bible Study as well as Sunny FM 88.7 FM every Sunday at 3:30 pm. for Hymn and their Stories.

JESUS THE WAY TO THE FATHER

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will knowmy Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. – John 14:1-14

INTRODUCTION

The phrase “MY FATHER’S HOUSE” clearly refers to heaven, the place to which Jesus was returning to prepare a place for his followers. God’s eternal home has many “rooms” (implying permanent “dwelling places”). Members of “God’s household” now on earth will one day transfer to their eternal home with God. “For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come” – Hebrews 13:14.

I WILL COME BACK – JOHN 14:3

As surely as Christ went to heaven, He will return to take His followers to the place prepared for them. This was the hope of New Testament Christians, and it is the hope of all Christians today.

1. The ultimate purpose of the Lord’s return is that His faithful people may be with Him forever.

2. The words “take you to be with me” refer to the rapture, when all followers of Christ (those who are still alive at that time as well as those who have already died) “will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever” – 1 Thessalonians 4:17. This will take place suddenly and at an unexpected time.

3. Christ’s coming for His faithful followers will enable them to escape the future “hour of trial” and judgement that will come on the world in the end times.

4. The expectation of this glorious and eternal reunion should be a comfort to all who desire to “be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words” – 1 Thessalonians 4:17b-18

I AM THE WAY AND THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE – JOHN 14:6

Jesus is “the Way” – He is not simply one among many ways; He is the One and Only Way to God the Father. No one other than God’s perfect Son could have paid the full price for our offenses against God and opened the way for a renewed relationship with Him. In the early days of the church, Christianity was sometimes referred to as “the Way”. This is because they recognized that Jesus provided the only way out of a life of spiritual darkness, lostness and slavery to sin and condemnation. In doing so, He provided the only way for us to find our highest purpose and fulfillment in the life and to receive eternal reward in heaven. It has never been popular – certainly not today – to claim that there is only one way to God, but that is the reality according to Jesus’ own words. There is no other way to have a relationship with the true God except through faith in Jesus Christ.

Jesus is “the truth” – not just part of the truth, but the whole truth. As the living Word, everything about Christ and His message is true. And His truth is absolute (total definite, unconditional, unchanging, conclusive) and universal (true for all people in all situations for all time). The fact that supreme truth is revealed through Christ is a key theme in John’s Gospel.

Jesus is “the life” – true and lasting spiritual life is available only through His life, death and resurrection. His perfect life provided the only permanent and enduring sacrifice for our sin against God. Those who accept His life and sacrifice for themselves – willingly yielding their lives to His leadership – receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life with Christ.

GREATER THINGS – JOHN 14:12

The “greater things” include spreading His message, leading people to faith in Christ and performing miracles as Jesus did. Through Jesus’ followers, an even greater number of people would come to Christ and receive ne life, healing and supernatural help. “The greater things” would not happen because of the disciples’ own efforts or spirituality. Their work would still be Jesus’ work, done only in the power of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus would send once He returned to His Father. Jesus’ followers could then pray in His name, and God would respond in powerful ways through His Spirit. As a result, the disciples’ works will be “greater” in number and scope, as Christ’s message and power continue to reach people throughout the world.

ASK IN MY NAME – JOHN 14:13

Asking for something in Jesus’ name means being completely aware of who He is, what He is capable of doing and what His purposes are. It means acting as His representative, with His power and authority. For this reason, our prayer in Jesus’ name must:

A. Reflect Jesus’ character and be consistent with His desires and purposes.

B. Demonstrate faith in Him and His authority.

C. Reveal a sincere desire to honour both the Father and the Son.

There is no limit to the power of prayer when it is addressed to Jesus or the Father with sincere faith and according to His desire.

Stay blessed!

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

Email: saltnlightministries@gmail.com
Website:
saltandlightministriesgh.org

HOW CAN I HAVE ASSURANCE OF MY SALVATION?

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. – 1 John 5:11-13

INTRODUCTION

Eternal life is not only a future hope, but also a present reality that is based on our faith in Christ and the opportunity to experience personal companionship with Him. All people should hear the message about Jesus Christ because eternal life comes through faith I God’s Son and cannot be received or possessed in any other way. Jesus Christ is the only “way and the life”. “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever” — John 14:16.Eternal life is Christ’s life in us. We have this life as we maintain a continuous and active faith relationship with Him.

That you may know that you have eternal life” as we read in 1 John 5:13 is one of the primary purposes for writing this letter: to provide God’s people with a Holy Spirit-inspired, proven and authoritative standard by which we can be certain of our salvation.

1. Many followers of Jesus Christ look for the assurance of salvation in the wrong places.

We tend to seek assurance of salvation in the things God is doing in our lives, in our spiritual growth, in the good works and obedience to God’s Word that is evident in our Christian walk. While these things can be evidence of salvation, they are not what we should base the assurance of our salvation on. Rather, we should find the assurance of our salvation in the objective truth of God’s Word. We should have confident trust that we are saved based on the promises God has declared, not because of our subjective experiences.

2. If we have Jesus, we have life. Not temporary life, but eternal.

God wants us to have assurance of our salvation. We should not live our Christian lives wondering and worrying each day whether or not we are truly saved. That is why the Bible makes the plan of salvation so clear. Believe in Jesus Christ (John 3:16; Acts 16:31). “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” – Romans 10:9.

Have we repented? Do we believe that Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins and rose again from the dead (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21)?

Do we trust Him alone for salvation? If our answer to these questions is “yes,” we are saved! Assurance means freedom from doubt. By taking God’s Word to heart, we can have no doubt about the reality of our eternal salvation.

Jesus Himself assures those who believe in Him: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand” – John 10:28–29. Eternal life is just that—eternal. There is no one, not even yourself, who can take Christ’s God-given gift of salvation away from you.

Let’s take joy in what God’s Word is saying to us: instead of doubting, we can live with confidence! We can have the assurance from Christ’s own Word that our salvation will never be in question. Our assurance of salvation is based on the perfect and complete salvation God has provided for us through Jesus Christ.

CONCLUSION

Some people hope that they will receive eternal life. John says we can know we can have it. Our certainty is based on God’s promises that He has given us eternal life through His Son. This is true whether we feel close to God or far away from Him.

Eternal life is not based on feelings but on facts. We can know that we have eternal life is we believe God’s truth. If we are not sure that we are Christians, let’s ask ourselves: Have we honestly committed our life to Him as our Saviour and Lord? If so, we know by faith that we are indeed children of God.

Stay Blessed!

Please continue to join us on Asempa 94.7 FM – Sunday 5.30 am., Sunny 88.7 FM – Tuesdays 5:30 am; and Uniiq 95.7 FM – Saturdays 7:30 pm, YFM 107.9 – Sundays 6.30 am; for our Radio Bible Study as well as Sunny FM 88.7 FM every Sunday at 3:30 pm. for Hymn and their Stories.